Book Review: The Social Media MBA (SMM)

This review was written as part of my Digital Media Module at University

500 words to review a near 300 page book is nigh on impossible. I have decided the best way to quickly review this Social Media 'bible' is to quickly share what I like about the overall structure of the book, before choosing a few highlights that I was particularly inspired by, in the hope that in turn, you will also be inspired to read all 300 pages.

Christer Holloman's book came from a personal frustration of not finding the modern, practical resources needed for his social media research. What I love about this book, is how Holloman has worked with such a collection of professionals, crossing industries, including global perspectives and then rounding the knowledge of with current, relatable and dynamic case studies. 
In his own words, 'Social Media MBA' should be seen as a "refresher" of social media - there's none of the basic, "how to get followers" / "how to write a blog post" - instead there is practical advice on how to implement social media into strategies and ensure that those already on the social media hype, are getting the most out of their efforts.

Chapter 1.
"the benefits of taking a calculated risk to embrace social media as a legitimate business tool are clear and compelling to many companies who have taken the first steps"

The first chapter is all about change. Why companies should embrace social media despite the disruption. In my experience, a lot of people are 'scared' of social media and SMM recognises that "the stakes are high: everything you do should be considered against objectives you can measure" but that you have to see social media as a means of communication, an opportunity to engage with your customers and listen to them. This chapter really recaps the basics, but it is full of compelling arguments that professionals can easily share with their seniors to convince them to get on board with Social Media. 

Chapter 4.
"social media branding efforts have fallen short because of a formidable hurdle: that between a willingness to engage and a willingness to create"

Content is King, and we know it. Using Kanon Vodka as a perfect example of high quality, audience specific content creation, Alex Yenni explores the importance of content, but consistent with the theme of this toolkit book, the six easily digestible "best practices" at the end of the chapter covers authenticity, culture, audience optimisation and measurability. 

Chapter 9.
Continues the topic of measurability as David Marrinan-Hayes examine social media ROI’s more in depth, again through the use of 10 “rules.”
He considers the need to clearly establish the company objectives prior to kick starting a social media campaign and how communicating with audiences rather than pushing products and press releases can garner the most valuable, quality return for businesses. ROI’s and AEV’s are a tricky subject for PR in general so it’s good that SMM suggests ways social media can be measured effectively.

The book comes to a close with several high profile case studies as well as predictions for the future of social media and particularly social media strategies.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it has really prepared me for the work experience I have lined up with a social media agency over the summer. It’s a hard drive trying to explain the benefits and extent of social media impact, particularly to those scared of it – but even more so to those that undermine it’s importance and “pass it on to the intern.” The Social Media MBA equips professionals to present substance and enhance their own social media strategies. 

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