Book review: Engage! by Brian Solis
A few weeks ago I finished reading Engage! by Brian Solis. With an foreword by Ashton Kutcher, Engage! is touted as “The Complete Guide for BRANDS and BUSINESSES to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web.”
That’s a pretty big tagline to live up to, but Engage! accomplishes it.
I tend to pride myself on my experience with social media. In no way would I label myself an “expert” or a “guru,” but I do love social media, and I have numerous experiences using it for professional and personal use.
However, Engage! changed the way I think about social media. If you’re interested in learning more about social media, Engage! would be the first thing I suggest you read.
In 348 pages, Solis outlines the “new realities” of marketing, provides lesson plans for learning more about new media (called The New Media University), explores the concept of brands, defines rules of engagement, develops a plan for new marketing, and discusses relationship management. There are a TON of helpful ideas and strategies in here. And the pages are filled with more than just words – there are the classic graphics that define Solis’s writing.
At times the writing can be a bit wordy and complex, but the quality of the information presented more than makes up for this. The book mainly focuses on how you can use social media for your business, and how to build your professional brand, but all of the advice can be applied to individual use as well.
I think that the thing I enjoyed most about this book was that Solis laid out concrete strategy and organization for social media. I confess, I am a classic Type A personality, and I often get frustrated with the lack of strategy in social media. However, while it used to be that you didn’t need a strategy to use social media effectively, that is quickly changing. It is no longer sufficient to simply make a Twitter account and tweet whatever you want. It’s important to have a strategy, and to account for potential problems that may arise in that strategy. Solis drove this point home for me and had the examples to back it up.
All-in-all, Engage! is an excellent book for anyone interested in gaining more experience with social media, and a must read for all public relations and marketing students.