Likeable Social Media: A book review by Bob Morris

Likeable Social MediaLikeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing
Dave Kerpen
McGraw-Hill (2011)

How and why social media can increase our ability to listen, to respond, and to be empathic as no other media

I commend Dave Kerpen on his rock-solid decisions concerning how to present the wealth of information, insights, and counsel found in his book. For example, the title of each of the 18 chapters serves multiple purpose: as an admonition, as a core principle, as an especially important issue, and/or as an affirmation. They comprise both a multi-dimensional challenge by Kerpen to his reader, and, as the values and strategies for his manifesto of advocacy. For example, consider the titles for the first five chapters:

1. Listen First, and Never Stop Listening
2. Way Beyond “Women 25-54”: Define Your Target Audience Better Than Ever
3. Think — and Act — Like Your Customer
4. Invite Your Customers to Be Your First Fans
5. Engage: Create True Dialogue with, and Between, Your Customers

Kerpen immediately establishes and then sustains a direct, personal rapport with his reader and thus serves as a role model for his articles of faith and pragmatic street smarts. As is seldom true of other business books I have read, I felt that he wrote this book specifically for me and presumably many others will have the same sense of collegiality. He thoroughly covers the WHAT of achieving and then sustaining success with social media but most of his and his reader’s attention is devoted to the HOW.

With regard to the meaning and significance of the book’s title, Kerpen observes, “In the end, succeeding on social networks amounts to your ability to be likeable. There are two fundamental aspects to this term: likeable business practices and likeable content.” I wholly agree with him as do millions of others who have been involved in major consumer research studies conducted by firms that include Gallop, Nielsen, and Consumer Reports. They indicate that “feeling appreciated” and “easy to do business with” are among attributes of greatest importance to them. Also keep in mind that most of the companies annually ranked “most highly admired” and “best to work for” are also ranked among those that are most profitable and have the greatest cap value in their industry. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

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