It’s been a pleasure knowing Neal Schaffer over the past several years , following him on the various Social Media platforms, and owning his books. I consider him as one of the foremost authorities in the Social Media area. I’ve never been disappointed in anything he’s done and Maximize Your Social is no exception. In fact, it is his best work to date.
What initially impressed me about Neal, and why I started following him, is that his background in the electronic industry was very similar to mine. Neal, however, far surpassed my accomplishments by mastering Mandarin and Japanese. I know from experience that these are very difficult to even simply become somewhat conversant in, never mind mastering them to the extent where you can conduct full presentations in them. Realizing this, I knew that I could learn a lot from him.
In Maximize Your Social, Neal clearly points out that you, as someone who follows or engages with people in Social Media, should question the credibility of anyone who is trying to offer advice on how you or your business should use Social Media. I wholeheartedly agree, as I’ve seen my share of disingenuous “authorities” and “experts” since becoming totally immersed in Social Media over 4 years ago. He also emphasizes that Social Media is not a one size fits all and that what is appropriate for one channel may not be so for the others. You need to develop an international business mind set when marketing via Social Media. By this, think of each channel as a different country and develop communication strategies that are appropriate for each respective one that you’re involved with.
Given his strong business acumen, and experience working with very large companies, Neal is spot on with his assessment that everything within Social Media begins with a strategy. “Well defined objectives, tactics and activities… is the only rational solution to help you manage and make sense of all the Social Media activities in which your staff engages.”
I had an ahha moment in reading the book when Neal talked about PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Action). As a former employee of a major Japanese electronics manufacturer, this was something which was also ingrained in me. It is something I know that you’ll gain a great deal of benefit from if you elect to subscribe to this way of doing business. It’s extremely effective and I want to thank Neal for resurrecting this for me and sharing it with all of the readers of this book.
Neal has not covered everything that can possibly be covered now in Social Media, as this would take many volumes of a book such as this. What Neal has done is provided the reader with a great, easy to read framework for working with Social Media and an overall strategy for employing it most effectively. He wanted to cut through the confusion and he has managed to do so with this book. I know it is something that you will find extremely valuable and a book that will be on the top shelf of your Social Media book collection, as it is on mine.