The Now Revolution, by co-authors Jay Baer and Amber Naslund, outlines 7 critical shifts that businesses ranging from B2C sole proprietors to Fortune 100 B2B conglomerates need to make in order to stay competitive as the speed of information-sharing accelerates in today’s business environment. Baer is a social media consultant and author of the Convince and Convert blog, while Naslund is the VP of Social Strategy at Radian6 and co-founder of Brass Tack Thinking.
As a fan of both authors, I expected a lot from this book — and was not disappointed. Thus, here are 5 key reasons why this book is a must-read for business managers:
1. A Truly Interactive Experience
The Now Revolution utilizes Microsoft Tag technology throughout the book to create a rich level of interactivity. Microsoft Tags are 2D Bar Codes (like their better-known counterparts, QR Codes) that readers can scan with smartphones to unlock additional content such as videos, how-to documentation, podcasts and more. These resources add depth to points within the book and engage readers in an innovative, enjoyable way.
For most consumers, scanning tags to obtain more information is still a new experience. However, it’s well worth it in this case, as it allows readers to dig into the details of key points and browse through case studies and video examples. It’s also a smart move by the authors, as the content behind each tag can be updated on a ongoing basis to keep the book’s content fresh.
2. Practical Advice for Customer Engagement
Not all businesses are ready to dive into the deep end of digital engagement. Recognizing this, Baer and Naslund first cover the basics of listening to the online chatter of stakeholders. They outline 3 levels of listening for businesses to progress through as become better at monitoring social conversations.
Next, the authors offer a roadmap for engagement that businesses can move along once they have the necessary resources (people, software) behind their listening programs. This Humanization Highway, as it’s dubbed in the book, offers practical advice for progressing from simple listening, through active social media participation and all the way to cultivating stories that reinforce a company’s brand image (such as ThinkGeek’s Operation Guillame, which is offered as an example).
3. Guidance for Crisis Management
The manner in which a business handles a social media-fueled crisis can make a huge difference to its brand image. Recent examples such as Kenneth Cole’s insensitivity toward turmoil in Egypt, the Red Cross’ handling of a misplaced tweet and “Crazy Amy” of Amy’s Bakery and Bistro completely losing it are prime examples (although the damage associated with the last example is debatable).
The Now Revolution offers eight steps for organizations to follow in order to extinguish a crisis situation. Furthermore, the authors urge companies to have well-communicated plans in place before crises occur in order to ensure coordinated organizational actions.
4. Sound Business Advice
Early on, it’s apparent to the reader that The New Revolution is not merely a book about social media — it’s a business book written for managers who will be accountable for delivering results. Sure, the book contains solid tactical advice and tool analysis that is specific to social media, but it goes far beyond that.
By reading this book, managers and other stakeholders are challenged to consider the business strategies that they’ll enable via social media (creating awareness, driving sales or building customer loyalty). They’re also challenged to align the roles inside their organizations with these goals, and to implement social media policies that empower workers to execute the social tactics that support business objectives.
5. Measurement and Math Demystified
Metrics, of course, are crucial for measuring the health of any business program. Fortunately, The Now Revolution dives deep into the topic of social media metrics. A handy Social Media Metrics Selector serves to guide readers toward putting the measurements in place that will enable their business goals. By walking through a series of questions, managers will select measures that truly gauge whether their social media tactics are succeeding, or whether course corrections are needed.
Oh, And About Those 7 Shifts…
In summary, The Now Revolution covers the “7 shifts for real-time business” that will help leaders to adapt to the new speed of information and the corresponding expectations of customers. To learn more, the best thing that you can do is buy a copy of the book for yourself. You can read all the blogs reviews that you want, but in order to truly realize the value of this book, you’ll need to obtain a copy, read it, and unlock the Microsoft Tags for further contextual references.
But just for fun, I’ve provided a summary of the 7 shifts within a QR Code here.
Have you read The Now Revolution? Has this review been helpful to you? Let me know with a comment below!