rating: 1 of 5 stars
I saw this book on a client's shelf and thought, "Oh, goodie! One I haven't read!" I promptly ordered a copy, dove in... and was underwhelmed with a big side of "meh." I understand that social media changes daily, and hardcover published books can't keep up, bit this copyright 2007 book seemed out of the loop.
It's not that the advice is bad per se; Larry Weber does seem to say the right things (Wal-Mart Across America ampaign was bad), but he uses the word "control" entirely too much for my comfort level. I'm all for managing expectations and staying active in communities, but after a while, I began circling every time he used the word "control" to assuage the reader (presumably some terrified traditional marketer or CEO) that this crazy social media thing isn't a free-for-all. He seems to be quick to assure that you can still massage your messages (and people's responses) just as much as you used to.
For example, he claims "the objective is to have customers invite you to deliver the message to them. You just can't force them anymore." Um, no, you can't--did you used to? Is this the new way to "force" people to listen to your crappy message? And I disagree with the first sentence as well; I think this statement misses the point of social media completely, that it is about engaging in real conversations, not about "delivering messages" at all.
In short, the book seems to be looking at social media from a traditional marketing point of view and not quite getting it. (Sorry, Shel, for using "getting it.") :-)