Book Review: Cheryl and Mark Burgess’ The Social Employee

Did you know that 79% of businesses are utilizing social media to communicate with their target audiences? In Cheryl and Mark Burgess’ book “The Social Employee: How Great Companies Make Social Media Work,” the authors explain why social media is necessary and the powerful benefits of involving company employees as brand ambassadors.

Throughout the book, Cheryl and Mark Burgess examine:

*The importance of social business in this economic landscape
*The significance of human connections
*Why reluctance to join social media networks leads to the loss of potential clientele
*The strength of the brand both internally and externally

The Burgess’ explain how employees are great brand advocates through:

*Their knowledge of the company
*Their insight into the industry
*Their real world perspective of how customers may view the company

The book goes on to explain that the way the public views your company is how it should be viewed internally – happy employees generate happy sentiments about your company online, which then creates a positive message to potential clientele.
The Burgess’ also provide various examples of companies that are successfully integrating their employees, while maintaining a unified presence on social media. One that really stood out to me was IBM.

IBM created a network involving all 40,000+ employees successfully through:
*Blogs
*A cohesive social media presence through individual pages
*Forums/Communities

I recently had the pleasures of hearing Chris Bishop, Former CDO of IBM, discuss the ways IBM involved employees in the social process. In conjunction with the book, he stressed the idea that your best company advocates are your employees and that it was great to give them a medium to discuss:

*Their expertise
* The company’s proficiency
* The culture of the company

What I found most interesting in the book was the discussion on the aversion many C-Suite executives have to social media. Burgess really nailed the excuses:

• I don’t get it.
• I’ll wait until something better comes out.
• There really isn’t a way to get ROI on this so what’s the point?

They countered these statements by saying:
• Jump right in and stop waiting. Your potential audience will be lost to a competitor that’s more “social.”
• Social Media is constantly changing, but that doesn’t mean you should sit it out. Unless your company creates the “next best social network,” you’ll have to use the majors- Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
• Although it is hard to measure ROI on Social Media, you’ll create awareness for your business- the more brand recognition, the more sales will increase (eventually).

Aside from the inclusion of employees in social media, this book explains why social media is important in this era of the “Social Business.” Your business doesn’t exist unless it’s on social media. They explain that social media is here for good and isn’t just a fad. If businesses aren’t inclined to “join the online conversation,” they might be loosing out on potential clientele. 

Overall I thought “The Social Employee: How Great Companies Make Social Media Work,” was a great and quick read. It shows how companies in this economy operate online in order to attract new business. The book is an excellent resource for any business beginning its journey into social media or looking to improve its online visibility.

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DISCLOSURE: GIVEN A SAMPLE
I have a material connection because I received a gift or sample of a product for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was/am not expected to return this item or gift after my review period. Individual links could be associated with affiliate marketing sites and through the use of affiliate links contained herein, I may collect fees from purchases made.
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