Book Review: The Now Revolution



The Now Revolution book reviewThe Now Revolution (affiliate link), co-authored by Jay Baer and Amber Naslund, offers 7 shifts on the adaptation of social media within your organization to meet the expectations of your customers.  This book is a book of guidance and all you would expect with that guidance. They are not just writing the words, they are giving hard examples for each major point they are making. If you are new to social media or are seeking some guidance as to how it all fits together and into your overall marketing strategy, this is the book that you will keep referring back to. It is not one that will be thrown up on the shelf and dusted off every so often. No, it will be one that you keep close by to double check that you are staying on top of The Now Revolution.

The Now Revolution 7 Shifts

Shift 1: Engineer a New Bedrock. No this is not the whistle blowing 5pm slide down the dinosaur bedrock, this is your corporate culture. The 5 attributes of a healthy real time culture is immediately followed by the cultural roadblocks to social media. They go to great lengths to first map out the attributes and then what walls are met in the adoption. Adoption of social media cannot be half hearted and the true concept of going all in applies. They walk you through this process of identifying your corporate culture even if you are a sole proprietor and how you assess that culture. There is even a quiz!

Shift 2: Find Talent You Can Trust. Talent who does a great job is not always talent you can trust. In the digital age, we have a wealth of information at our fingertips and finding talent who is qualified and also worthy of your trust is how we hire today. The bottom line is that the customer experience starts with the employees you hire. How their personalities fit within the corporate culture travels down to the customers. There is an important reminder at the end of this shift, the 9 elements of finding talent you can trust (these elements will change the way you go about the hiring process)!

Shift 3: Organize Your Armies. This shift jumps immediately into the big question that so many companies have: who is responsible for the social media – which department? The answer is simpler than we ever thought. Social media is not a specialty per se and treating the entire organization as part of the social media team is truly how a successful social media strategy is created and executed. I naturally loved this shift as it has references to football and that is something that I can relate easily to. They do not leave you hanging as they delve into not only the team, forming the team but also the social  media policies for the organization. Guidance. Jay and Amber guide you every step of the way.

Shift 4: Answer the New Telephone. This shift is where I can see many coming back and reviewing over and over. Listening. Jay and Amber provide a foundation for which you can build upon. Here they explain how we listen, what we listen for and how listening is not limited to just the marketing/PR departments for brand mentions. Listening is for the entire organization with sales, customer service, HR for new hires, etc. They round out the shift with the levels of listening. Grab your pen and paper for this shift as a lot of notes will be taken.

Shift 5: Emphasize Response-Ability. Listening is the most important in social media. We learn from listening however we also have to respond and engage. Shift 5 walks you through the different avenues of engagement and how to keep your story straight when multiple people are responding and engaging. This section was a bit slow for me as I have good foundation on blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn and engaging however for someone new or unsure how they can engage via the various platforms, a lot can be learned here.

Shift 6: Build a Fire Extinguisher. This shift walks you through with some fantastic examples, when a crisis is fueled. Regardless of how big or small your business is, you need to build that fire extinguisher or at the very least have a resource available to help walk you through some steps that would need to be taken. When a crisis hits (ie a bad tweet, a blog comment that was not putting your best foot forward, etc) we are not thinking about anything other than how can we fix it fast. We forget some of the steps to take. Flag this section so that if you are faced with a crisis, your resources is readily available.

Shift 7: Make a Calculator. This is where many probably wished they went to first. ROI! It is the biggest and never ending question in social media – what is the ROI? Well, get off that train and look at the bigger picture. The GOALS! You cannot start to measure anything unless you have goals to measure and achieve. What is your share of voice? Driving sales is a goal just as is building the email list and repeat customers. Just as with a billboard, it is very hard to definitively calculate the ROI in social media.

The Now Revolution has so many takeaways that it is hard to just throw a few out there. Jay and Amber definitely delivered with this book and certainly did not disappoint. There is a lot to be learned for folks new to social media and a whole lot to be refined for those that have been hanging around in the social media neck of the woods. I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. I keep it nearby and have already referred back to it quite a few times in tweaking my social media strategy. Again, it is a book that guides you and trust me, it will be very helpful to you.

The Impact of Criticism



impact of criticism

Criticism is a part of life. People criticize us, we criticize them and others. We use it as a defense mechanism, we use it to exude our power and control or sometimes simply as a conversation starter to explore what others are thinking and if they feel the same. Do we always realize the impact that it has? We know it when to comes to us but what happens when we push it away from us? Do we ever think about the person we are criticizing or are we so focused on ourselves that just do not think about it.

The Impact of Criticism

Can we even measure the impact of criticism? It would be different for everyone as what would have an affect upon you might not be the same for me. Plus, we do not always see it in people but yet we know that it is felt. We see frequently when people lash out against someone for a blog post that has an opinion that is inconsistent with what the reader perceived as image they created of the author. People also criticize when they feel threatened or when we are doing something that they thought they should be doing. There are a myriad of reasons why people criticize but the one common denominator is always that the criticism sets out to elicit some sort of reaction. But how can we determine the reaction they are seeking? Are they just trying to get our attention? Are they trying to have us second guess ourselves or is it even deeper where they are trying to hurt us to make themselves feel better?

Why do People Criticize?

People criticize for a multitude of reasons but mainly we see when they feel powerless, inferior, challenged, insecure and as their insecurities get the better of them, they resort to demeaning and degrading us to build their self esteem. If someone is deemed better than us when we perceived us to be equal, we start to really focus on them and find things to pick them apart over. For them, a weakness and an insecurity has been exposed. Women call others sluts or fat as attacking a physical attribute has an impact. Men tend to attack the mind as the physical attributes are trivial and they are above that. We see more men going on the attack with name calling. Stupid, ignorant, pigheaded, insignificant. These words in and of themselves show their inhibitions. The fear or the threatening feeling is so deep within them that they lash out and the fear is channeled into anger. The anger is unfounded as many times it stems from dealing with their own shortfalls. When we do not react in the way in which they desired us to, the anger and rage continues.

Many criticize to elicit a response or gain some attention within the community or to rattle those they are criticizing to take them off course. The underlying problem is that the fear of not being able get the attention, result or sometimes simply the answer they expected takes over and they become angry or jealous all because they are feeling a lack of control. They want the attention of those that we are criticizing, they want them to react to as when they do in many situations, they have achieved what we set out to do, get their attention! Are we really just attention whores in disguise?

Do We Have A Right to Complain?

Complaining is not always criticizing. Complaints are an eye opener as we are not always aware that we have not met or exceeded the expectations. Complaints help us to improve. Should we consider it a right to complain or more that we have the ability to do so? If we are promised a delivery within 2 days and on day 3 we are unable to reach anyone, we are going to complain. We are waiting for something promised and when that promise is not met, we want answers. When we do not get answers we complain, well the majority of us. There are those that seem to complain about everything.  Twitter goes over capacity, we complain. Facebook is down, we complain on Twitter. Is this complaining though? We are voicing our discontent but not to Twitter or Facebook directly. We are reaching out to others who share the same sentiment. We do not like to be alone in our feelings when technology fails.

In this digital age, companies are still trying to wrap their arms around the customer service touchpoints that are available. We are able to share a complaint with anyone that will listen across the social networks and that includes the brand we are complaining about and also competitors.

Complaining as Telling the Truth

Isn’t a part of complaining telling the truth? Of course it is but at what price? We are free to speak our mind but yet where are the parameters? Does there need to be parameters (this is not getting into the legalities of freedom of speech or slander or anything of the like) where we are not publicly airing the dirty laundry ? I think so as when we are complaining we have to think about the intent of the complaint. Is the intent to rid ourselves of it or make it better? Making it better moves to constructive criticism whereas complaining to complain or rid ourselves is just a means of expressing some frustrations and the intent is just to have our voice heard to anyone that listens but no real action is taken.

Complaints as an Action

Complaining as an action is taking the time to explain to the person or brand why we are dissatisfied. This is the constructive criticism that is helpful to a person and a brand. It is not a rant or a filled with hateful words or ramblings that tries to attract attention. Constructive criticism is explaining how the expectations were not met. We all set expectations of others that through either personal or business branding, they sold us on. We believed and when they are not living up to that, we become uncomfortable and voice the uncomfortable or uneasy feeling through a complaint. Well, at least it should start as a complaint.

Complaining is a constant in our lives. We complain, people around us complain and complaints do sometimes get the desired results of change. Criticism on the other hand does not. Someone who is constantly criticizing us or others, falls on deaf ears after a while. We roll our eyes or shake our head as they go on an on. This is not productive but sometimes emotionally it fulfills a need and gets us to move away from fear or the feeling of losing control. We are not going to like everyone we come into contact with, or everything that our friends do but when we criticize we are showing our own inhibitions. This is not to say that we should never criticize or complain but we have to look at ourselves and see what our intent is. Why would we go on the attack of someone? What do we want to accomplish? Isn’t sometimes a complaint better than a criticism to get the desired result?

There are days we have a whole lot to complain about but the stronger resist. Our words are a gift to us and those around us.


photo credit: gideon_wright