Thursday, May 5, 2011


socialnomics-3d-smallsocialnomics – how social media transform the way we live and do business
Written by Erik Qualman
published at Wiley

About the book

Welcome to the world of Socialnomics—where consumers and the societies they create online have profound effects on our economy and the businesses that operate within it. Online word of mouth, social search, social commerce, and the influence of peer groups are making traditional marketing strategies obsolete. As a result, we no longer have a choice on whether we do social media; the question is how well we do it.

Join Erik Qualman in Socialnomics for a fascinating look at the business implications of social media, and tap its considerable power to increase sales, cut marketing costs, and communicate directly with consumers.

Who is Erik Qualman?erik-qualman-small

Erik Qualman has helped grow the online marketing and e-business functions for several Top 100 brands over his sixteen-year career.     He is currently the Global Vice President of Online Marketing for EF Education, the world's largest private educator, and an MBA Professor at the Hult International Business School.    Qualman is also an International Fortune 500 Speaker and his blog is listed by PCWorld Magazine as a Top 10 Blog to Boost Your Social Network Savvy.   His video "Socialnomics: Social Media Revolution" was one of 2010's most viral on YouTube.    Follow him on Twitter at @equalman and visit

My Thoughts

I was first introduced to this title when I started my course Introduction to Social Media which is part of the Social Media certificate at a college in town.   It was a recommended reading for the course and I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to review it.   So I took upon me to contact the author and ask if I could review his book.   He immediately agreed and proceed to contact his publisher so I can received a copy of the book.    It took a while to receive my book but eventually I did.  For some reasons, there was delivery issues.   Weird.   But it happens…   But I got the book and I read it avidly the past few weeks.

I have discovered more about the power of social media while reading this book.   Social media is here to stay.  Plain and simple.   We need to learn to live with it and be willing to expand our experience with it.   More than three years ago, I didn’t know anything about the world of social media.   Then I got introduced to blogging, facebooking, twittering and so on…  This year, I have expanded my knowledge with delicious, linkedIn and many more venues in the social media world.    I suspect that I will continue to learn about it as this are of marketing is continuing to grow by leaps and bounds.   

I have already applied some information that I have gleaned in this book already.  For example, in chapter seven, the author strongly suggest that you applied the You Follow, I Follow rule on twitter.   I was wondering how this could change my twitter account – @canadianladybug.   So in the past two weeks, I am more dedicated in applying this formula and guess what… my followers are climbing slowly and steadily since then.    Interesting isn’t it? 

The book contains a variety of example on how social media has impacted companies and even elections in the US in the past years.    I was amazed on how it can be applied in a variety of ways in our daily lives.    Recently, Canada has gone through elections which came to an end this past Monday, May 2nd.   I learned during the campaign that Elections Canada wasn’t considering using the social media platform whatsoever until many years from now.   I find this sad since it was widely used in the US a few years ago and with success apparently from what I have read in the book.    To be honest, I am still surprised to get negative answers and or no answers at all to request I have send to companies.    You would think that with the popularity of mom bloggers and the quality of post on various products companies would jump in the  bandwagon for this free advertising opportunities.    Mind you I can understand that some companies are limited in their possibilities to go through a social media experience.   Still I think more business owners, marketing managers and bloggers should read this book so that they can be more open minded on the power of social media.  

At the end of each chapters, you will also have key points to remember. Also included in the book is a social media rolodex where you can discover the leaders in social media.    Personally, I would also be interested in having questions to help me evaluate and think about the next step to take as a business.    Maybe this could be incorporated in the next edition of the book…

As I said social media is here to stay.  How you plan to use it in your life and/or business is up to you.   But reading the book socialnomics will give you insights on how you can apply it.   

In case you are interested in socialnomics but would like to see the table of contents beforehand, here it is…

  • Chapter One Word of Mouth Goes World of Mouth. Why is there a need for social media? Why has it become the most popular activity on the Web in a span shorter than three years? Despite fragmentation caused by the Web, people still desire an understanding of what the majority of other people are doing. Social media is that mechanism. In the future, we will no longer look for the news; rather, the news will find us, or we will create it. That future is now.
  • Chapter Two Social Media = Preventative Behavior. What Happens in Vegas Stays on YouTube.  Two distinct forms of behavior have emerged in the social media age. The first one is preventative; for example, you may hide alcoholic drinks during photos, or you may avoid that "harmless" photo with the two attractive lifeguards on your next business trip. Similar constructs apply to corporations. Companies are thinking hard about actions that could cause a negative reaction within the blogosphere or social graph. While preventative behavior is somewhat of a drag compared to the socially unaccountable freedom our parents enjoyed in the 1960s, it's a good thing on the whole. It's making us adhere to the old adage "live your life as if your mother is watching."
  • Chapter Three Social Media = Braggadocian Behavior. "It's All about Me, Me, Me."  The second, more exciting change is braggadocian behavior. As people continue to Tweet and update their status on social networks, it soon becomes a competition of who's doing the coolest thing. What once took place only occasionally around the watercooler is now happening in real time. As a society, this is a good thing. It allows people to take stock of their collective lives and what they're doing throughout the day, rather than letting years go by and looking back on a wasted youth, saying "what did I do with my life?" Is it any wonder that the television viewing audience is shrinking by the minute? People are actually living their own lives rather than watching others. As a company, it's imperative that you produce products and services so that people not only want to be associated with your brand, but also take ownership of it.
  • Chapter Four Obama's Success Driven by Social Media. For an indication of how powerful social media is, we need look no further than Barack Obama's meteoric rise to power.
  • Chapter Five I Care More about What My Neighbor Thinks than What Google Thinks.  Social Commerce: Billions of dollars will be made in and around social media; a majority derived from search queries around products and services. Consumers will have the ability to see what their friends and colleagues found relevant, researched, purchased, and commented on. We've always valued Word of Mouth; social media puts it on digital steroids by allowing you to search for it. Social media eliminates multiple individual redundancies in society. This is a tremendous benefit in saving people's time, energy, and frustration. It is mission critical for companies to understand that the impact of social media shifts traditional business practices across marketing, recruiting, manufacturing, etc. Products and services will find us in the near future.
  • Chapter Six Death of Social Schizophrenia. People play various roles in their lives and take on different personalities depending on where they are or with whom they are interacting. People have their work personas that are much different from their nightlife personas, which in turn are different from their family personas, and so on. The same holds true for corporations; on one hand, a company donates millions to save-the-planet-type funds, but on the other hand, they dump millions of gallons of toxic waste into the clean water supply. The transparency and speed of information flow caused by social media mitigates this type of social schizophrenic behavior. What does this mean for companies and individuals?
  • Chapter Seven Winners and Losers in a 140-Character World. Celebrities are twittering with followers because they need followers more than the followers need them. More and more people are getting rid of cable TV altogether and watching their favorite shows, debates, and movies online. Conversations with prospects/consumers occur within the platforms (Facebook, Vkontakte, Delicious, YouTube, Twitter, etc.). Consumers will not allow you to force them into your database and communicate through traditional marketing channels (phone, e-mail, direct mail). What do these recent and violent shifts mean, and how can individuals and corporations capitalize on them? How does it integrate with your search engine optimization strategy? A few case studies are highlighted in this chapter. These range from "Can behavioral search data predict presidents?" to "Why NBC's record online Olympic viewing was fool's gold." 
  • Chapter Eight Next Steps for Companies and The "Glass House Generation". What capabilities and characteristics are needed for people, politicians, companies, and so on to be successful in a transparent and sound-bite crazed world—a world in which social media is a driving force? How will job recruiters find these successful people? Conversely, how will good people find the right job? Referrals are the most effective form of marketing. Social media allows referral marketing to go to unforeseen heights. Smart companies are moving dollars from traditional advertising to incentives for users/buyers to discuss their products within a social media context. This often occurs at the point of purchase.
  • Chapter Nine Social Media Rolodex and Resources. This chapter highlights thought leaders and resources that will help you to continue your digital education well into the future.
  • Chapter Ten Other Insights and FAQs. Some readers may want to start by reading this chapter first. This section dives into some common questions, showcases interesting statistics & trends, and touches on Social Media ROI.

The book is available anywhere in the world and has been translated in German, Italian, Korean, Japanese, Chinese and Portuguese.

socialnomics is available at your favourite bookstore, even

Disclaimer: Many thanks to Erik Qualman and Wiley for sending me the above mentioned product for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

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