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Engage: The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web Hardcover – March 8, 2010

4.1 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Social media has democratized influence, forever changing the way businesses communicate with customers and the way customers affect the decisions of their peers. With platforms like Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook, anyone can now find and connect with others who share similar interests, challenges, and beliefs—creating communities that shape and steer the perception of brands. Without engagement in these communities, we miss major opportunities to shape our marketing messages.

However, use of the tools does not guarantee that people will listen. Engagement is shaped by the interpretation of its intentions. In order for social media to mutually benefit you and your customers, you must engage them in meaningful and advantageous conversations, empowering them as true participants in your marketing and service efforts.

With Engage! as your guide, you can effectively compete in this new era of digital Darwinism while engendering the support of online champions. Social and participatory media significantly contribute to the success of every modern business, and with this book, you will find out how to:

  • Create a space in the online ecosystem that truly represents your business and cultivates your customers' loyalty and trust

  • Participate in the unique culture of each available social media platform to engage your customers

  • Establish an organizational structure that constantly targets the next new media trend

  • Attract online champions and change agents who will uncover the social networks you need to reach and the influencers who will help build your reputation in the networked world

  • Consistently adapt your company to market needs and trends based on the invaluable connections you forge and the empathy and insight you garner in the process

There are thousands of customers waiting to hear from you about your business and vision. It's the minimum ante to create a vibrant and loyal online community. When you engage, you will build an authoritative social network that increases your visibility, relevance, influence, and profitability. It's time to Engage!

From the Back Cover

Praise for Engage!

"It's no longer an era of business as usual. Executives and entrepreneurs must embrace new media in order to not only compete for the future, but for mind share, market share, and, ultimately, relevance. This book helps you engage. Without it, you're competing for second place."
—Mark Cuban, owner, Dallas Mavericks; investor; entrepreneur; and Chairman, HDNet

"Affinity is personal and emotional. Without personifying the company and what it symbolizes, it's difficult for customers to connect with your brand. The concepts from this book can help your brand engage in a way that inspires communities to extend your message, promise, and reach."
—Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos.com

"The power of the top-down, A-list influencer is winding down. Now brands must engage on a direct-to-many basis. Social media makes this possible, and Solis makes this happen. Read his book or be left in the dust."
—Guy Kawasaki, cofounder, Alltop

"Social media is changing everything about the way people relate socially, in commerce, and in politics. Engage! gets you up to date regarding current trends and technology, and shows you how to build a serious social media strategy. It's the real deal."
—Craig Newmark, founder, Craigslist.com

"Before Solis, I was cluelessly competing in the attention economy of the twenty-first century. Solis's Engage! provides me with the intellectual capital to build relevancy amidst our cacophonous culture. This book is worth its weight in attention—the digital gold of the twenty-first century."
—Andrew Keen, author of the international hit Cult of the Amateur: How Today's Internet Is Killing Our Culture

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (March 8, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470571098
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470571095
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #146,942 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I am driven by mental anguish to write this, my first review, because this book is terrible, really wretched, and it's assigned reading for a class. First of all, it is almost impossible to decipher as the author enthusiastically mixes metaphors, jargon and run-on sentences in his text. Here is a sample: "The listening that identifies relevant dialogue online and the transparency that facilitates authentic conversations by being humanly accessible is not the formula for sparking relationships that create communities that help spread our messages virally." I think the author is trying to say that listening and transparency are critical in creating online communities that will become loyal to a brand and communicate with social networks about that brand. However, he gets so lost in his own prose that it seems he is intimating the exact opposite.

Secondly, the author writes like a used car salesman selling a lemon. I am not saying the messages are bad, but the tone used to relate them is far too infomercial-like, and apocalyptic, as another commenter has said. "Engage or die?" Please.

I am lost in the maze of words piled upon words nonsensically, such as: "The essence and usefulness of each important and distinct word is slowly migrating into a hollow of obsolescence...." How many monkeys at how many typewriters were used to generate this?

So, my questions are: Who wrote the 5-star reviews? Did they actually read the book? One person said they use it like a textbook and underlined important passages. Will I get to that part soon? I am on chapter 3 and just about drowning in the overwritten, overwrought, self-congratulatory prose.

DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book clearly explains that we're in the process of a paradigm shift here regarding marketing/PR and the like. So props for that. I guess I was looking for more of a manual of "how-to's" in the social media realm. There was some good stuff in here. But as a small business owner I found myself skipping over a fair amount of the pages that were discussing how different departments should respond and what their goals should be. I would say pick this book up if you're part of a big organization trying to better understand "social media" and you want to find a place for it in your mid to large size company.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Perhaps the biggest mistakes committed by businesses, personalities, and brands in social media occur when people jump into social networks blindly without establishing guidelines, a plan of action, a sense of what people are seeking and how and why they communicated, an understanding of where people are congregating, a definition of what they represent and how they will personify the brand online, and the goals, objectives, and metrics associated with participation." Albeit fairly late in the book, this sentence sums up the purpose of Brian Solis in Engage! One more book about Social Media, sure; but this one is one of the best written. It's almost reassuring to read sentences that exceed 140 characters (or twenty words), and, while you can find all the trendy buzzwords and expressions on virtually every page, the author authentically tries to assist social media managers as they transition from the broadcasting age to the intricacies of a new form of netcasting architecture where both users and corporations exchange "social objects." How well or efficiently can they do so? This book provides social media managers with the background knowledge and practical notions that they can leverage to design a consistent strategy.

The first half of the book surveys the world of social media in general, describing all the aspects of social interactions and their impact on corporate marketing and communication, as well as customer service departments. Traditional marketing schemas have irreversibly imploded under the pressure of a crowd represented in a "conversation prism" that factors in behavioral guidelines implicitly or explicitly set by the multiple socialization channels. So marketers must listen. What can they do with so much information?
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First things first, Bryan Solis is extremely knowledgeable, passionate and plugged into the Social Media space. This book, his blog, his professional experience, they all prove that beyond a reasonable doubt.

He is no social media pretender or self proclaimed Social Media Guru, he is the real deal and I highly value his insight.

That said, I really did not enjoy reading this book. Sure, there is some valuable information in there, but it's buried in a sea of overwritten prose, that flat out sucks the fun out of Social Media. Words like "elucidate" "facilitate" "social architecture" and "threshold" dominate, making my eyes heavy and my interest wane. I wish Solis would have put away his thesaurus and just told it like it is.

Social media really isn't that complicated, so why make it so?

After finishing university, I promised myself, I would never again read a piece of over stuffed academic writing again. Sadly, I just did. Sorry self, I'll try not to break our promise again. Or as Solis would say, "I will strive to follow a course of action, that will ensure in the utmost that I will not again breach a condition set verbally, or otherwise in regards to my personal conduct, henceforth.

Content = 4*
Readability = 1*
Overall = 2*
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