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Your Engage Cliff Notes

by Jennifer Kane, @janekaneco

Engage is a great book. I read every last stinkin word in it I underlined stuff (with a straight edge!), made notes in the margins, emailed passages to clients and tweeted my favorite quotes. Problem is, I am totally not normal. I am a reader. Hard core. I dont watch TV. I dont play video games. I have no hobbies or social life. (Wow that sounds really pathetic, doesnt it?) All I do is read books, blogs, magazines, newspapers, backs of cereal boxes, you name it. Whats more, I also read business books. (I run a business book club thanks to all whove dropped by and I know that this is an even more rare breed of people.) So, when I see people tweeting that theyre anxious to tackle Brians book before or after the event, I get a little nervous. You see, Brians book is really good, but its also really well, epic. (At our book salon, some people said there were sections that made their brains want to explode.) Never fear though, I figured out a way that you can get your Engage fix and that gin and tonic too The Engage Cliff Notes. Let me start by saying this: I really think you should read Brains book in its entirety. You should try to drink eight glasses of water a day, floss and live your best life, too. The reality is that many of you wont. However, Im willing to bet that youll read parts of this book, and some is better than none. If your time and attention is limited, hopefully these Cliff Notes can help you determine which parts those should be. So, (with many, many, apologies to Brian) pick your profile and lets get started

1. Im clueless about social media, but I want to find out how to get started.
y y y

Id suggest you start at the beginning of the book with Part I: The New Reality of Marketing and Customer Service. In Part II: Forever Students of New Media, read the Social Media 101 section and all the 201s (201, 202, 203). You may be in over your head with some of the 301 information and totally floundering in the 401s and the MBA sections, so Id suggest you instead skip ahead and read Part III: Brand Representative Versus the Brand You and Part IV: We are the Champions. You might just want to stop after Chapter 19 and revisit the book later after youve had some time to go use what youve learned in the social space and get more comfortable with the tools/technology/tactics.

2. I use social media, and kinda know what Im doing, but I still have a lot to learn.
y y

y y

Start at the beginning of the book with Part I: The New Reality of Marketing and Customer Service. In Part II: Forever Students of New Media, read the Social Media 101 section, as well as all the Social Media 201s (201, 202, 203) and Social Media 301s (301, 302, 303.) If that information isnt freaking you out, go ahead and tackle the Social Media 401s (401, 402, 403). Your brain will likely be hurting after youre done, so if you decide not to read the MBA information right now, thats totally okay. Im sure Brian will still love you. Read all of Part III: Brand Representative Versus the Brand You and Part IV: We are the Champions. If youre up to it, tackle Part V: The Social Architect: Developing a Blueprint for New Marketing and maybe stop after Chapter 22 and revisit the book later after youve had a chance to process and apply what youve learned.

3. Social media is part of my job at my company/agency/consultancy and people are looking to me to show them how its done. I need to make sure I know my stuff.
y y y

You should really read this whole book, you know that right? Obviously, read Part I: The New Reality of Marketing and Customer Service. Then, since youre working with these tools on a daily basis, you may want to skip ahead to Part III: Brand Representative Versus the Brand You, Part IV: We are the Champions and Part V: The Social Architect: Developing a Blueprint for New Marketing. There is good information in these sections and you dont want to be fried from reading all the New Media University stuff when you tackle it. You should read Part VI: A Little Less Conversation, A Little More Action: Rising Above the Noise, but Ill admit that the Social CRM/VRM info can be a little overwhelming. You may want to just skim Chapters 23 and 24 for now. Chapter 25 though (Measuring Investment Returns) is an essential read, though. Do not skip this. After youve had a chance to digest what youve learned, dont forget to revisit the book later and read the New Media University section. I guarantee you there will be some tools and tactics in there that you havent used or thought of yet.

4. As a business person, I get that we need to get on board with social media, but I just want to know what Ill be hiring people to do and to how to fit this into our operations.
y y

Start with Part I: The New Reality of Marketing and Customer Service. If youre not going to be doing any of this, just managing it, you might want to just jump to all the business stuff in the back of the book and revisit all of the details about what social media is and why it works at a later time. This, (for obvious reasons) is not the best way to read the book, but it might be the most realistic way to tackle it for your situation. If you are particularly strapped for time and just want to get down to business, you should definitely read Chapter 17 on establishing policies, Chapter 22 on building teams, and all of Part VI: A Little Less Conversation, A Little More Action: Rising Above the Noise. For a more informed approach though, instead of reading chapters out of context, start at Part III: Brand Representative Versus the Brand You and read from there until the end of the book. It would be good for you to know that stuff in Part II: Forever Students of New Media, so dont forget to revisit the book down the road and review when youve had some time to process or before you start sending our RFPs for people to help you with your social media plans.

5. I got this under control, already. Im a social media rock star/guru.


One of my favorite quotes from Brian Solis is that he considers himself to be forever a student of social media. and he is one smart dude. Point here is we all have stuff to learn. If you consider yourself to be a guru, then I guess my recommendations for you are y Read the book. y Then, go write one of your own. Who knows? Maybe if you play your cards right, someday youll get your very own Cliff Notes too.