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SocialCorp: Social Media Goes Corporate 1st Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0321580085
ISBN-10: 0321580087
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Editorial Reviews


"There is much talk about the 'online conversation' but this has become a moving target because of new media publishing technologies such as Twitter, Friendfeed, Seesmic, etc. This fragmentation of media requires attention, and it takes a person such as Joel Postman to help put all these techniques and technologies into perspective. I've been saying for several years now that every company is now a media company, and every company needs to master the new media technologies at our disposal. Joel can help large and small corporations use the appropriate approaches because of his experience in journalism, corporate PR, and social media."

Tom Foremski, Silicon Valley Watcher

"SocialCorp is a must read for any corporate communications professional. It also serves as an invaluable scale for balancing business objectives, corporate responsibility to stakeholders, and customer and influencer engagement. Joel Postman is a long time veteran of strategic communications and a proven expert in the socialization of marketing communications. His guidance will ensure that your company will not only stay on track with critical day-to-day marketing communications, but also increase brand visibility, resonance, and loyalty through direct participation in the online communities that expand your business opportunities."

Brian Solis, Principal of FutureWorks PR, author, and blogger at PR 2.0

"I’m about three-quarters of the way through the book and I am having trouble putting it down. Postman sees social media for what it is — a complementing strategy for companies to help them achieve their already established business objectives. He writes about specific considerations that both private and public companies should make before introducing social media programs. And he understands the risks. He also included one of the most comprehensive social media glossaries I’ve ever seen. I can’t wait to finish it."

Jennifer Leggio, ZDNet

From the Back Cover

This book will help companies of all sizes develop and implement a strategy to become a SocialCorp, a company that has adopted social media intelligently and effectively, in a way that does not compromise the company's primary obligations as a corporation. While the conversational and engagement values of social media are well understood, many social media theorists often overlook the realities faced by the large corporation, like accountability to shareholders and regulators, and how these factors cannot be overlooked in corporate social media adoption. Using case studies and analysis of available social media tools, and proven corporate social media strategies, the book will help corporate communicators understand the new communications landscape, the power of social media, and how to adopt it intelligently in a corporate environment.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (December 18, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321580087
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321580085
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.6 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #415,644 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Paul A. Baker on February 3, 2009
Format: Paperback
Joel Postman argues persuasively that the new "basic business skills" now requires a basic understanding of social media and the ability to use social networks correctly, alongside presentation skills and the ability to create and understand an Excel spreadsheet.

SocialCorp provides several starting places for organizations that want to create social media initiatives specifically for each audience and to engage them on their terms, in a way that is relevant to them. A progressive, forward-thinking company adopts social media 'in a way that accomplishes strategic business and communications objectives without compromising the company's primary obligations as a corporation,' he says.

For example, Dell, Zappos, IBM, and Procter & Gamble are among companies using social media to reshape their relationships with their audiences. Dell's IdeaStorm functions as a full-blown customer engagement program and a catalyst for change in the company's products and services.

Organizations can monitor conversations using social media to learn, day-by-day, how their brand is performing, where the company is strong, and where there's work to do. The organization can join in the conversation and influence the brand for the better.

Social media strategy isn't that complex, Postman says, but it does require a synthesis of traditional thinking, creativity, understanding of new tools and etiquette, and the willingness to take some chances.
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Format: Paperback
Joel Postman's SocialCorp: Social Media Goes Corporate may be lightweight in terms of pages (it's under 200 pages), but the contents pack lots of good content for companies trying to get on the Social Media wave.

As the title suggests, the book is targeted to corporations who would like to put a Web 2.0 spin to corporate communications. The tone of the book is not technical- as a matter of fact, there is no code anywhere in the book. This makes it accessible to managers and executives that know something about the internet and marketing. One theme the book touches on is "Going for it," that is, allaying some of the fears most corporations about social media (e.g. lack of control, unauthorized information, chaos, etc.).

There are easy to read case studies of how companies implemented social media to their advantage. From corporate blogging, Twitter, and social media ethics, Joel Postman showcases the wide array of online tools in a practical and concise manner. Also, the book touches on the fudgiest part of social media: measurement.

If you're looking for a play-by-play guide for implementing Social Media-powered corporate communications, this book may disappoint. Postman gives a pointers approach to showing the way to the promised land of SocialCorp and chooses his words carefully to to avoid confusion. But if you ask me, SocialCorp: Social Media Goes Corporate is a great starting point to begin the Social Media journey for companies.
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Format: Paperback
Postman tells it like it is when it comes to the bind in which social media has placed many corporate communications managers. He addresses the challenge that "Inside companies, people are clearly confused about social media" (p. 160)

This book goes a long way to dispel any confusion. It's chock-full of checklists, questions to consider, case studies and options to review. The guidance he gives is grounded in what is clearly first-hand experience of the corporate world. For example, this advice on selecting who should represent a company on an officially sanctioned blog is right on the money:

"Choose your bloggers well, counsel them, monitor them, and if need be, shut down their blogs if they are not posting in a way that helps you meet your communications objectives. But try not to censor them ahead of time." (p. 65)

If you work inside a corporation and need to encourage co-workers or the suits in management to consider the options presented by social media, this is the book to leave lying around the office to stimulate discussion.

From the politics to the technical details and the straightforward PR and communications counsel the book covers a lot of ground. It also manages to be a complete inventory of social media, circa January 2009.

One inevitable problem any book on a subject as fast-moving as this will face is a limited shelf-life. In a few years it might seem impossibly quaint. But for now, there's no better guide to new territory. As Postman says on the last page "Start Now!".
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was required to purchase this book for my graduate program at Franklin University.

The book was never used in class by the instructor, however I used it for references and in text citations.

Though the instructor did not use the book in class, I found it to be quite interesting and useful as a reference.

The book is an easy read and can be finished in a matter of days (2-4) depending on how fast you read.

Buy it!
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Format: Paperback
Joel takes the time to point out how to do Social Media Marketing correctly. Too often companies (or individuals) jump into a medium that is misunderstood and end up alienating the very same audience that is being courted.

This book questions whether corporations want someone with experience driving their brand or if they want to turn it over to the intern who happens to have a facebook account. Is a presence on MySpace and twitter desired or is the corporate blog good enough? What pitfalls should be considered? Does your corporation want a strategy or just the "figure it out as we go along" plan?

Every time I disagreed with this book I kept having to remind myself the advice is for corporations and not individuals (though as stated above individuals should consider these issues). The genuine, honest, from the heart, social media update that make us love the mommy blogger might be the same update that lands the Fortune 500 CEO into trouble with the FCC!

If there's one take-away from this book: don't blunder, have a plan, be real and engage. Ok, that's like three or four things you need to remember, but in the end these come down to: be real, honest, and immediate. You know, social!

In the mid-90s the hot term was "e-commerce." They call that "commerce" or "sales" these days. In 20 years they will be referring to "social media marketing" as "marketing." There will be a lot to consider between now and then. There will be a lot of errors and mistakes. You have to ask, "Do I want my company to make the obvious ones?" I am guessing you don't. This book is your driving instructor. You can get behind the wheel without his guidance, and you may be a natural racer, but don't come crying if you crash. Joel points out the obstacles.
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