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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The End of Business as Usual, 31 Dec. 2011
Change is afoot, and there is no better person placed than Brian Solis. A true guru of business change in the modern, connected world, he has written many words on the subject of how businesses need to adapt to a more communicative way of trading.

Gone are the sureties of hierarchy and status, and usurping these knowns are the unknowns of social media in the form of Twitter, Facebook and Google. There are many, many other ways of communication with modern customers.

And it's all about the consumer. The Pandora's Box of business has been opened and they are taking their economic power, wielding it harder and harder to make their money go further. In order to win their patronage the traditional businesses need to reorganise to survive.

It may have been acceptable for a business to tack on a Facebook page or a Twitter stream to be seen to engage with their customers, but the author argues that you have to make these tools work for you. You need to feed your customer information, listen to their questions, and make sure that they feel as though they are being looked after.

This revolution of consumerism is a rebalancing of the economy in favour of the little person. And these connections are being bolstered with connections of connections of connections... With the power of word of mouth, it's possible for a product or a service to be lauded or destroyed with minimal effort.

By following this book's proposal, a company becomes more than just bricks, mortar and a profit/loss account. The great companies that engage with their customers will survive, the others will not. By talking and adapting to the needs of their customers, there is the possibility of virtuous (or destructive) spirals to be created. The trick is to mould into a business that provides exactly what the customer wants, in a way that makes them feel like equals. This equality is the key to a long-lasting modern business relationship.

Reading "The End of Business as Usual" will inspire even the most cagey of readers into trying to be a better communicator. This has to be on the shelf of anyone interested in the future of modern business.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book needs an SME chapter though!, 1 Dec. 2011
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Just occasionally you come across a book that you have to reread again because it has such a wealth of knowledge and interest - this is one such book. Brian Solis has a huge experience in new media and is worth following on twitter. He writes clearly and takes you thoughtfully step by step through the dynamics of the new media Facebook, Twitter, 4sq etc. and its implications. The application of his ideas follow in the closing chapters and some of it is geared towards the corporate environment but with a little imagination this can be transferred to the SME territory.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind Changing, 31 Oct. 2011
Nic Oliver "Radical Coaching" (Margate, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The End of Business As Usual: Rewire the Way You Work to Succeed in the Consumer Revolution (Kindle Edition)
Ok, disclaimer first - I like Brian's writing and enjoyed his previous book, Engagement, hugely.

The End of Business as Usual opened my eyes and changed my approach to a number of things:

1. The nature of engagement and how companies can use social media platforms to increase engagement.
2. The privilege and Responsibility of Social media and Social networking.
3. The importance of Facebook
4. The changing nature of our audience when we present.
5. How to filter out the excessive noise in Social Media.

The book is aimed firstly at businesses and business people and, secondly, because we are all customers, at all of us.

It's must be sobering for some to read that Brian doesn't consider himself an expert in social media. he points out that social media is in constant change at the moment and that we are all students; he is rightly cautious of the so-called experts.

One of the things he points out early on is that "Customers are connecting with one another, creating a vast and efficient network that shapes and steers experiences and markets."

He continues "Whether you're a business professional or a consumer, you are part of connected or social consumerism... Businesses and consumers have the power to change the course of thew economy and it's nothing short of disruptive."

To back up this claim, he points out how Wikipedia has displaced Encyclopedia Britannica as the world's encyclopedia and how Borders, Tower Records, Wherehouse, Circuit City and Blockbuster have all disappeared, victims of what he describes as Digital Darwinism.

He goes on to ask an important question every business has to face: "Are you market-driven or marketing-driven?"

I'm not going to give away the whole contents. I hope though that this brief review has encouraged you to buy the book - I'll be extremely surprised if it doesn't change your perception of social media, whether for busiensses or all of us as consumers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read reviewed by Ann Dempster, Plum Software, 26 Feb. 2012
The mobile phone revolution began with businesses and was then adopted by the general public. Conversely, the current Twitter/Facebook revolution was initiated by the younger members of our society and adopted by business. Financial advisers need to realise that shortly all of their clients will have adopted social networking and, as such, will have to join them. Instead of the traditional one-to-many marketing approach, businesses need to adapt to the one-to-one-to-many network model. To succeed, businesses need to become more like the very people that they are trying to reach.

But take heart, Brian Solis reckons that the changes are happening so fast that it is impossible to be an expert - we are all still learning. Solis argues that the new generation want to feel connected, they hate feeling disconnected. Businesses need to grab customers' attention but they cannot use traditional methods to do so. Attention is a precious commodity and businesses must adapt their ways of working to capture it. Content is less important than context and is the key to creating shared experiences and building connections. There can be different interest groups to help create meaningful topics and to keep relevant. A happy customer tells a few, an unhappy customer tells many more - so we need to adapt to the change that social networking is making.

Solis contests that people are being scored on their "influence" - their capacity to influence others through social networking. Brands look for "influencers" as a domino effect is created by digital consumers directly through peers. You need to reach those in high regard. You can use your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software to categorise and identify ambassadors. Start at the end, look at what you want to achieve and work backwards.
To establish a good influencing network, you need to combine relevance, authority, affinity, proximity, trust, popularity and goodwill. To measure your success you need to look at the reach, relevance and resonance.

People do not spend their `social capital' foolishly. Borrowing social capital is a steep request and not to be taken lightly. Also, with limited resources, you need to focus on where to put time and effort. We can gain collective intelligence about all the interaction with the internet i.e. the content of blogs, tweets etc and focus our communications accordingly - likes attract. "Fish where the fish are!"

If you give connected consumers something to believe in and exciting to feel part of, they share and benefit from it. But you must stay consistent, recognise and reward community participation. By keeping in touch with the responses and having spare money, you can be flexible and independent, but more importantly, adapt. Those that do not adapt do not survive. It is the consumers' perspective that now defines the brand in this new democratised marketplace. Social media is driven by emotion. You need to be in harmony with consumers' personal values and aspirations and adapt to this new type of customer.

Brian Solis gives many examples to help you to see how you can adapt your own business to rewire the way you work. He emphasises the need to keep on reviewing your approach to this fast-growing new world. This is an inspirational book to help you to see how you have to review your whole approach towards connected consumers.
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