Likeable Business: Why Today’s Consumers Demand More and How Leaders Can Deliver by Dave Kerpen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
(Full disclosure: I got a free copy of this e-book from the publisher via the wonderful NetGalley service.)
Author Dave Kerpen runs a social media marketing firm and has previously written Likeable Social Media. In his latest effort, he applies the principles of social media behavior to business life in general.
I appreciate the message in this book as it’s one I often share with clients when discussing social media. There’s really no difference between social media and real life in how a businesses should behave. They need to be genuine, be likeable, honest, etc. Kerpen lays out 11 different values that businesses should try to live, both via social media and in real life. I agree wholeheartedly with the values he identifies, and he illuminates them all with some good real-life examples of company behavior.
My one small quibble with the book is that too many of Kerpen’s examples are introduced as just a thumbnail sketch. I suspect this is because a number of the examples are taken from the media rather than Kerpen’s own direct experience with clients, perhaps due to Kerpen’s own youth and the youth of his business. As a result though, since the examples are only skin deep, at times Kerpen’s advice leans perilously close to being shallow and cynical. For example, in discussing engaging with customers on social media, Kerpen suggests that you might consider putting more effort into engaging someone with a high Klout score. Such an approach, if not done carefully, could be construed to only value customers that can truly show you online value.
Quibble notwithstanding, there are still a lot of good examples in the book, and in the end Kerpen does come across as someone who does business while truly trying to value people. He identifies most of the values that I treasure in my own business, and I appreciate anyone that can evangelize those values.