A Social Strategy: How We Profit From Social Media

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Seeing that social media is such a big (natural) part of our lives by now, and that I use it a lot in my own business, it only seemed reasonable to start reading more about it in order to perhaps (hopefully) understand its “ins and outs” better. So when I came across the book A Social Strategy: How We Profit from Social Media by Mikolaj Jan Piskorski, it looked like a good place to start.

Reading this book took me way back to my days as a University student in Denmark. It was exactly like reading a textbook for class or someone’s thesis. Piskorski is a professor of strategy and innovation at IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland, so naturally this turned out to be an academic book rather than a “how-to” for business (which I originally thought it would be!).

in A Social Strategy, Piskorski writes about SOCIAL FAILURES and SOCIAL SOLUTIONS from a theoretical perspective and later incorporates an empirical study looking at various companies and how they have sought to solve or avoid social failures through their use of social media.

He looks at dating websites (OKCupid and eHarmony), social media websites (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, MySpace, Friendster), gaming companies (Zynga), review sites (Yelp), credit card firms (American Express and XCard, an anonymous company), retail (Nike) and publishing (Harvard Business Review).

He discusses how social failures are created because of certain INTERACTION COSTS that come from what he calls BREADTH, DISPLAY, SEARCH and COMMUNICATION and looks at both the social and economic costs that arise when any of these areas are not aligned perfectly.

The book is an interesting read, and if you’re e.g a sociology student and interested in social media, I’d say you should definitely include it in your reading list. I, however, was reading it for a different reason (to find out how to use social media better for my business) and at first read, I honestly can’t see how it can apply.

I own a travel company with several products to sell that are bound to a narrow location. My company is located in Punta Cana, the Dominican Republic, and my products are only here (excursions, golf, hotel accommodation, private villa rental and transfers). So, although, my company is more like NIKE than any of the other companies that Piskorski deals with in his book (in the sense that I have products to sell), it’s totally different, because my products don’t transcend physical/geographical borders… like NIKE’s.

I can’t sell my products anywhere but in Punta Cana, and from a social point of view, I’m not looking to connect people over my products either to create a sense of community between people traveling here and buying my products. That would, however, be a nice “goal” to have and to be able to elevate myself and business to a higher level to say that “I want to help people and create a greater good with my products”, but THE TRUTH IS… I’m just looking to enhance my bottom line.

MAYBE…I am looking at this from the wrong perspective. I feel like this is a book that needs to marinate with me for a while and that I need to go back and re-read some of the chapters in order to see if/how I can use it for my own business.

One thing that it did do for me right off the bat was to get my creative juices flowing…thoughts and ideas were spilling out from many corners of my brain yesterday after I’d finished reading the book.

That’s ONE THING I LOVE ABOUT READING … it always, always opens up your brain and gets you thinking!

If this post has in any way sparked your curiosity about the book, you can read more about it and purchase it on http://www.amazon.com.

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