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4.0 out of 5 stars A useful guide if you are trying to deploy social media marketing for a big corporation, 20 April 2013
This review is from: The Social Media MBA: Your Competitive Edge in Social Media Strategy Development and Delivery (Hardcover)
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I have to admit that I'm a little disdainful of books that claim to offer "MBAs" in one form or another; it's rather like a short history of Britain claiming to offer you a BA, or a popular science book offering a BSc. The most detailed and densely packed business books on my bookshelves are texts for just single modules within an MBA or professional qualification, and I seem to recollect having bought two or three such texts for each module. The claim that any book is "an MBA" is, therefore, at best pretentious and at worst ridiculous. Nor was I reassured by the first sentence in the book: "This book is the first of its kind in the third and final wave of social media literature." The final wave? Really? With social media advancing so rapidly, with new platforms appearing regularly, it seems odd to be talking about "final waves" of literature.

Having got that off my chest, I did like the Social Media MBA. Its claim to MBA status is that it is presented as a series of case studies by Mr Holloman's 15 co-authors, and the chapters are easy to read and easily digestible. The language is pleasingly non-academic! I most enjoyed the case studies, or which there are eight, each written by a senior social media practitioner in a separate companies: ARM, Aviva, Dell, Evans Cycles, GSK, Kodak, Philips and Sage. Interesting, and an indication of the sort of level at which this book is considering social media strategy - that of the FTSE 100 or multi-national corporation. All very "MBA", you might say... With my own focus being on SMEs, this did all seem very high level, but sensible enough.

This book would have been more useful to me if it had included some medium sized company examples (and a medium sized company is one with up to 250 employees and something like £26 million turnover); only Evans Cycles came anywhere near that. I would have found some professional service firm examples useful - but perhaps there are still insufficient examples of psfs, especially the bigger ones, using social media properly.

If there are any Social Media modules in MBA courses - and I suspect that there must be, even though many will take the view that social media is just another tactic within the long established fields of marketing and communications - this book, or an updated version thereof, does deserve to be on the reading list. If you're trying to work out how to use social media in a large organisation environment, it's certainly worth reading too.
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