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Book Review: The Social MBA By Christer Holloman

CHRISTER Holloman has edited rather than written this insight into how corporations can effectively use social media, drawing on experts to relate their experiences of successfully delivering strategies.

It's clear that many companies are still unsure about how to develop an effective social media presence -- many have one, but connecting with consumers, interacting with them and managing the entire relationship is not always a highly engineered process.

"Companies ... are often putting these critical consumer communication channels in the hands of ill-prepared employees without the support that these vital client-facing channels require," notes contributor Jeremy Woolf.

He's right of course, but knowing there's a problem means finding a solution. Various contributors exhort the reader to free their employees to exploit their corporate brand and to embrace rather than fear the challenge that this brings.

"The ultimate prize," notes one contributor, "is to reshape companies in a digital future."

"Social media is for sharing ideas, not creating them," adds another.

But it still seems that despite the claim that "2011 was for many businesses a year of social media experimentation, 2012 must be the year of action," the use of platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and others is for many companies still a matter of experimentation.

Online evolution

It also seems that due to the fluid and rapid nature of online evolution, experimentation will always be a key element of any social media exploitation.

Holloman's book, by virtue of its range of contributors, will certainly help readers glean at least some useful insights.

But perhaps most interesting of all are the chapters relating the real-life experiences of executives from companies such as Dell, Aviva and GlaxoSmithKline.

Knowing how other companies effected social media campaigns is arguably more useful than the theory.

Any readers expecting Holloman's book to provide all the answers will be left wanting. In reality, it can't be expected to. What it does is provide food for thought.

But for many firms, their success, or lack thereof of social media strategies, are still likely to come down to trial and error.

Available with free P&P on www.kennys.ie or by calling 091-709350.

Indo Business