January 15, 2011

Social Nation - A Toolbox Book Review

"How to harness the power of social media to attract customers, motivate employees and grow your business."

That is the sub title of Barry Libert's new book, Social Nation but it could just as easily be a question being asked by hundreds of thousands of people trying to balance their business world with their personal world with their social world.

Libert is the Chairman and CEO of Mzinga, the leading provider of social software, services, and analytics that improve business performance,. He has published five books on the value of social networks and human interaction. He is a regularly featured keynote speaker and has delivered speeches to audiences of 20,000+ globally.

I had the chance to interview Libert a few weeks ago via our CBOLT system (Coldwell Banker On Line Training) about why he wrote the book, how this book may apply to members of real estate's "Social Nation," and what REALTORS can learn from his stories in the book.

Here are some of the questions and ideas we explored during this interview. A link to download the interview can be found below.

  • When it comes to Social Skills, is there a difference for a corporation, a small company or an individual agent?

  • We had a neat discussion about the four major forces driving the shift towards a more social business world;

    1. Today’s changing workforce
    2. Open business models
    3. Emerging technologies
    4. Social monitoring and measurement tools

  • The evolution of skills and strengths;

  • Our parent's parents thrived in the "Physical Age" where brute force was required to succeed. The hard work and tactical execution of a day laborer or assembly line attendant was a different skill set that today's businessman.

    The "Informational Age" was built around organization and the dissemination of knowledge.

    We then entered the "Emotional Age" of creating relationships that brought mutual benefit and value. People demanded personal attention, benefited from flexibility and shared the rewards that came from a communal environment.

    Today in the "Social Age," leaders are defined more by their listening, sensitivity and emotive skills that help create the thriving communities - both physical and virtual that we see in today's society.

  • What skills and competencies do you possess? Click here to take the Social Quotient Test?

  • We spent time discussing how REALTORS can successfully blend their own individual culture with that of the company and the industry while learning to successfully balance the public vs. private side of social networking.

  • Libert and his staff look at some of the "quintessential guidelines for success in the social environment. Among them, "Be on time" and the basics of "Say please and thank you."

  • There are some fabulous real-life anecdotes in the book of companies that understand how to build, support and grow a social nation around their product and it's followers. Among the great examples in the book – Webkinz, Mountain Dew and Apple

  • Libert's company Mzinga’s has three "Tips for Creating a Socially Intellectual Organization"
    1. Pick and audience to follow
    2. Know why you are listening and what you want to learn
    3. Be ready to change

    If the ideas I've shared with you in this post intrigue you, scroll down and download the interview. Or, you could click here and pick up a copy of the book. Social Nation: How to Harness the Power of Social Media to Attract Customers, Motivate Employees, and Grow Your Business

    Click here to download my interview with Barry Libert, author of Social Nation. (Download times may vary depending on your computer and internet connection)

    A final thought from the book which should resonate with all of my real estate industry readers -

  • "Marketing is an expensive undertaking and the most cost-effective way to stay competitive is to retain existing clients. One way to achieve this is to anticipate and understand the needs of these customers so you can reach them before they even realize they have an unfulfilled need.

    Community adoption is especially critical in building social businesses because fans and followers can leave at any time they’re not happy with what you are offering them."

    Thanks for reading. Now get out there in-person or on-line and continue "building relationships, solving problems and having fun"