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A Social Strategy: How We Profit from Social Media

A Social Strategy: How We Profit from Social Media [Kindle Edition]

Mikolaj Jan Piskorski
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Almost no one had heard of social media a decade ago, but today websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have more than 1 billion users and account for almost 25 percent of Internet use. Practically overnight, social media seems indispensable to our lives--from friendship and dating to news and business.

What makes social media so different from traditional media? Answering that question is the key to making social media work for any business, argues Mikołaj Piskorski, one of the world’s leading experts on the business of social media. In A Social Strategy, he provides the most convincing answer yet, one backed by original research, data, and case studies from companies such as Nike and American Express.

Drawing on his analysis of proprietary data from social media sites, Piskorski argues that the secret of successful ones is that they allow people to fulfill social needs that either can’t be met offline or can be met only at much greater cost. This insight provides the key to how companies can leverage social platforms to create a sustainable competitive advantage. Companies need to help people interact with each other before they will promote products to their friends or help companies in other ways. Done right, a company’s social media should benefit customers and the firm. Piskorski calls this "a social strategy," and he describes how companies such as Yelp and Zynga have done it.

Groundbreaking and important, A Social Strategy provides not only a story- and data-driven explanation for the explosion of social media but also an invaluable, concrete road map for any company that wants to tap the marketing potential of this remarkable phenomenon.

From the Inside Flap

"Piskorski accessed Silicon Valley's storied social media firms and has returned with the keys to the kingdom for understanding what makes 'social web strategies' the real killer app behind social media. Anyone who wants to enhance the user experience must read this book."--Brian Uzzi, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

"A Social Strategy is a remarkable book--perhaps the first truly comprehensive examination of one of the transformative phenomena of our time: the emergence of the social web. Broad in reach and appeal, it will interest readers who want to think about web-based social platforms in a new light and gain new insights about social media."--Toby Stuart, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley

"Rich in analysis and information, A Social Strategy provides a timely and very insightful view about why some social media platforms succeed and others fail--and why some digital marketing strategies do better than others. The book's arguments are supported by an impressive array of quantitative and qualitative evidence and its ideas have the potential to become central to understanding social media."--Martin Gargiulo, INSEAD Asia

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1498 KB
  • Print Length: 284 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (25 May 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00I1OV9NE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #298,162 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific book! 12 Jun 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Finally, a book that makes use of serious sociological theory to study social media. The author analyzes huge amounts of data to make sense of the sociological processes that drive the success or failure of various social media platforms. The analysis is sophisticated and careful, yet written in a very engaging manner. Even better, the novel theoretical insights that result from this analysis are distilled into actionable frameworks. The result is a rare combination of rigorous academic research and deeply useful insights for managers. Professor Piskorski has made a quantum leap in our understanding of one of the most important social and economic phenomenon of our time.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Social media explained with science 31 July 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The big strength of this book is the fact the author has done some serious statistics to inform his opinions. It is therefore streets ahead of the average business book with a silly title and a few fatuous insights. The central message can be summarised on a side a A4 but distilling these principles is a good job and to understand them you really should read this book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read to Truly Understand How to Use Social Media from a Business Perspective 11 Jun 2014
By J. Camargo - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was interested in this book because I wanted to see how the author analyzed why many companies talk about social media presence yet very few of them get any economic benefit from their strategies. As a marketer, I was tired of hearing how Facebook likes and impressions were an example of a successful campaign, only to be disappointed when demanding data to prove that these results correlated with lower customer acquisition costs or revenue increases. I'm glad this book explains why I'm not alone. There are countless books on the power of social media, but very few explain how to profit from its use and, more importantly, how to use it as a competitive advantage.

The first part of the book describes the different types of social platforms and how each one of them meets different social needs. I found the concept of social failure extremely powerful to consider when analyzing and developing social platforms that create solutions for such failures, This part is a good read for those who believe that buying Facebook and.or Twitter ads will lead to increases in sales, only to struggle to show the economic benefits of such activities. As tempting as it was to skip to the part that talked about social strategies, I recommend to those who get the book to not do so in order to truly understand how social solutions work and why the ones the author mentions are successful in their own way. This section also distinguishes between a digital strategy and a social strategy, a key difference that very few grasp and can lead to disappointing results.

The second part of the book then analyzes different social strategies that meet different customer needs and, more importantly, how are firms extracting an economic benefit from their social products. The author mentions several examples, my favorites being American Express' design of social solutions to improve its bottom line (more transactions and applications) and Yelp's choice to reward super users instead of paying reviewers to create high quality content. Finally, the author goes through the process of creating a social strategy by analyzing the work done by the Harvard Business Review and by an unnamed credit card company

Overall, a compelling read and one I recommend to managers and marketers who want to better understand the potential impact of social media's economic benefits. I rented the Kindle edition, but the content was so good that I'll buy it just to keep referring to it on a regular basis.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Book for Anyone Interested in Effective Digital Marketing 11 Jun 2014
By Robert R - Published on
Amazing read. We all use social media on a daily basis, but there are few companies that have truly figured out how to use it effectively to grow and sustain their business. So often companies employ a digital strategy that broadcasts a message or campaign, but they do not engage the consumer in an effective way.

This book takes on the emerging and complex world of social networks, and explains not only their origin and benefits to the consumer, but how companies can use social networks to their benefit. Piskorski's use of case studies not only shows how to effectively go beyond a digital strategy to create a truly social strategy, but it does so in a specific, tangible way.

This is a perfect book for any general manager or marketer who is interested in using digital to drive their business.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the most important book written on social networks to date 24 Jun 2014
By Alistair Davidson - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
I recently reviewed this book for a forthcoming issue of Strategy and Leadership magazine, where I am a contributing editor, and did an interview with the author about the book. To date most people writing about social networks have not looked at how to make money from social networks nor have they proposed an underlying framework for understanding the economics of social networks for companies and customers. Basing his work upon transaction economics (Williamson, Coase), the author provides a framework for understanding how social networks can remedy different types of market failure, and in doing so create new sources of value for companies and customers, and enable transactions that might otherwise not occur for social or economic reasons.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource for anyone interested in social networks, from CMOs to the average user 9 July 2014
By Kenyon Han - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a great book for anyone curious about the current rise of platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Rather than just providing a history lesson about these companies, the book examines what each platform serves to accomplish and gets into the specifics of what each does and why each has succeeded or failed. Interestingly, it grounds the analysis by drawing on sociology. You won't have to be a technologist to understand and appreciate these lessons. It's refreshing to analyze these platforms from the perspective of basic human interactions and social needs. As the book argues, these needs are nothing new, it's just that these platforms are now able to fulfill them in new or better ways thanks to technology.

While it covers a lot with a lot of good data analysis and models, the book does a great job of developing frameworks to illustrate and summarize these concepts. The case studies are very interesting, ranging from typical tech companies like Twitter and LinkedIn to more traditional ones like American Express and Nike. It's a good mix of industries and strategies implemented. These case studies are good examples of how some have integrated certain strategies into their core businesses that might not be so obvious to appreciate. Reading this book is highly encouraged for anyone looking to work at a social networking company or those hoping to leverage these platforms into their businesses.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly insightful read 16 Jun 2014
By Ben Faw - Published on
I am awarding this book five stars because it is the best all around book on social strategy that I have yet read. Starting with how a platform solves an off-line failure, and working through numerous real-time examples of success, the book really helped me gain a holistic understanding of how to think about building a thoughtful and meaningful social strategy. If you are engaged with social strategy (as a marketer, salesperson, or manager), interested in the field because of its recent growth, or just curious why some platforms succeed while others that appear very similar fail, this book is for you. If you want to learn about simple yet elegant frameworks that will enable you to have a greater impact as a social strategist - this book is for you as well!
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