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The Whuffie Factor: Using the Power of Social Networks to Build Your Business Hardcover – April 21, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Hunt, cofounder of community-marketing consulting firm Citizen Agency, presents the hows and whys of accruing "whuffie," her word for social capital in the Web 2.0 landscape. Introducing a wide range of post-blogosphere social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and Flickr, Hunt clues in marketers to the possibilities with online success stories, influential voices and winning strategies. Numerous anecdotes (from the Obama campaign, online t-shirt boutique Threadless, Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh, etc.) illustrate the power of even the most tossed-off communiques; micro-blogging site Twitter, for instance, may restrict posts to 140 characters, but is uniquely powerful in its ability to reach a swarm of "followers," establish new relationships and provide multi-various feedback. Hunt packs in many specific strategies and concepts, which include seeking out and incorporating feedback, educating and empowering your connections, and treating your company's message as a conversation (a good net marketer's goal should be contained in the statement, "I want to create a culture of..."). Detailed, practical profiles of networks and related tools make this a valuable, illuminating title for anyone looking to the ever-expanding realm of online social life for business success.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“Embrace the chaos! The Whuffie Factor weaves stories from Moleskine, 37Signals, Threadless, Willitblend, and Gary Vaynerchuk into a compelling story of the way business is now done. Tara doesn’t just talk about it, of course, she does it herself.”
—Seth Godin, author of Meatball Sundae
“Marketing–or doing business at all–in the age of whuffie and the world of social media means authenticity, listening, engaging, and trusting. That’s what Tara Hunt says, and it’s also exactly what she does. If you are in marketing now or starting a company that has customers, you need to read this book to understand exactly, and I mean precisely and with detailed examples, how the conversation between vendor and client, business and customer, has changed radically. Tara Hunt knows her stuff, and she knows how to put a great deal of knowledge into compelling stories that are a pleasure to read because her voice is not just the voice of extensive experience: Tara Hunt’s voice works well in this book because it’s who she is.”
—Howard Rheingold, author of The Virtual Community and Smart Mobs
“Social capital may be the most powerful currency of the twenty-first century, and this book is a guide to its care and feeding. Bursting with energy and enthusiasm, Tara Hunt shows us how to win friends and influence people in a Web 2.0 world.”
—Tom Kelley, cofounder of IDEO and author of The Ten Faces of Innovation
"The market power of social networking continues to grow exponentially. It may well overwhelm all other communication vehicles--and in short order. The Whuffie Factor is exceptionally readable, and both instructive and fun. You'd be foolish to pass it by, or fail to heed its advice."
—Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence
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Top customer reviews
You are a person and in the business world you have reputation. Networking helps build up this reputation. Measure the reputation in a made up unit called "whuffie" (wuh-fee) and gauge how much networking capital you have. Spend this "whuffie" in resourceful and genuine ways to grow your network.
Time could be better spent.
Rather than summarize the book in detail, the fundamental concept is that marketing to your customer has changed. The long-entrenched system of throwing money at marketers to create ads that scream for our over-stretched attention is dead: we see this in the death of newspaper ads and the collapse in the cost of TV advertising. We just get too much noise with too much disinformation to be interested, and we don't believe the messages. In the new model, we trust opinions of friends and we like companies that aren't afraid to hear criticism and deal with it, and she gives several excellent examples of this. This is 'Whuffie' - social capital that you can trade for business.
Many people I've heard talking around this topic tend to slip into vagaries at about this point, but Tara Hunt has solid hands-on practical advice to help generate Whuffie. Clearly, there's no definitive 12-step plan for every company, but there are ideas that are employable in every business. My wife's a Marketing Director and has already started to use some of the advice in the book, and her opinion is that it's *transformational* in terms of customer relationships and staking your place clearly from competitors, compared with barely incremental in traditional advertising.
If you've had a nagging feeling for a while that social media is changing everything, this book is valuable in understanding how to engage your customers and create this social capital that allows your business to flourish. I just wish it wasn't called Whuffie, but at least it makes the point memorable when trying to enthuse your co-workers.
I highly recommend it to any business owner who wants to truly engage with their customers in the best possible way.
I have turned the bullhorn around, and I have become a more active part of the communities that I serve. I have deployed some of the lessons in the book in my company and we are now more focused on creating amazing experiences for each and every customer.
I highly recommend this book to those who could benefit from really getting what social media is all about..and that's everyone.
If I can help you further with your decision, I would be happy to help..and that's what Whuffie is all about.
Contact me on twitter @johnreinhardt
This book was written at the beginning of the social media revolution and it shows. The unfortunate aspect of social media is that is moves so fast that print books like this one become dated almost before they're published.
The concept here is that the "currency" of the social media world is something called "Whuffie" or, more simply, doing nice things for people for the sake of doing nice things. Your wonderfulness will be rewarded by establishing relationships with other nice people and since the reach of social media is so vast, your influence will grow exponentially with each nice act and whuffie-like relationship built.
This is really a very simplistic and idealistic view of human nature and the way the world works. Sure. It would be nice if we were all willing to trade "whuffie" or favors or good deeds or whatever you want to call it. The fact of the matter is that mortgages don't get paid with "whuffie" and social media gurus like Ms. Hunt don't get the gas in the BlogBus (or whatever she called it) for her cross country trip topped off in exchange for a positive mention in her blog.
My opening sentence says it all. Tara Hunt road the "whuffie" train to great speaking gigs and this book and then.....?
Read this only if you're interested in what social media gurus thought back in the early days. It's history.
Most recent customer reviews
It was a Christmas present, on my list. I'm serious. You'll be seeing me repeat this phrase for awhile.Read more