How can our business ‘get social’? How do we organize the right team around this and what do they do? And, most of all, how do we know if it’s successful? These are the social media questions that organizations large and small struggle with today. These issues are also the central focus of The Now Revolution (affiliate link) by Jay Baer and Amber Naslund.

The Elevator Pitch

As the subtitle notes, the book is divided into ‘7 shifts to make your business faster, smarter, and more social.’ More than being a how-to book about social media marketing, The Now Revolution takes a step back and exposes how this new channel has forever changed the way business is done. Getting ‘social’ isn’t a simple 3-step process you can easily graft on to your business-as-usual approach. Wholesale, organizational change is needed to ensure sustainable results. The seven shifts of The Now Revolution make you rethink and redefine your culture and talent while helping you organize an action plan for integrating social media into your business in a meaningful way.

The Big Idea: The 7 Shifts of the Now Revolution

Jay Baer, Convince & Convert

Shift 1: Engineer a New Bedrock – The book starts with a deep truth. To become a faster and more social organization, you need to ensure that you have the right foundation. Engineering a corporate culture that can empower every employee accordingly is a critical building block of The Now Revolution. Bonus! This chapter contains a Culture Quiz you can use to diagnose the state of your organization.

Shift 2: Find Talent You Can Trust – With the right foundation in place, it’s time to build the right team as we ‘hire for culture and train for skills.’ The transparency of modern business has made it impossible to fake passion. When everyone’s a marketer, finding the right talent is key. As much as this shift is about finding talent, it’s also about how to lead and motivate your new team.

Shift 3: Organize Your Armies – With the foundation in place and a team assembled, it’s time to get organized. The Now Revolution’s football metaphor is a spot on illustration as we learn about the players on the field implementing, the coaches on the sidelines, and the powers-that-be monitoring from the booth. This shift also contains important guidelines on how to work with other key constituencies like your non-social employees and your agency. Bonus! A special section on finding the right social agency.

Amber Naslund, Radian6 & Brass Tack Thinking

Shift 4: Answer the New Telephone – It’s worth noting that a whole shift/chapter is dedicated to listening. As a society we are all eager to talk but first we need to listen. We need goals for social listening as well as systems, staffing, and tools to support these programs.

Shift 5: Emphasize Response-Ability – Once you’re listening, the time comes to respond. What will you say? Who will say it? Like listening, engagement is detailed through understanding goals, teams, and tools as well as insights from the political world on the value of ‘Message of the Day’ thinking to foster consistency among various members of your social teams.

Shift 6: Build a Fire Extinguisher – Though you may never have to use it, this book makes a clear-cut case for why your team needs an emergency response plan to deal with any sudden social media firestorms. Rather than handing you a one-size fits-all response, Jay and Amber teach core frameworks for you to build the right plan for your organization.

Shift 7: Make a Calculator – Surprisingly, this was one of my favorite chapters (I’m one of those pesky creatives). A detailed matrix helps you align your objectives with the appropriate Key Performance Indicator (KPI). Measurement should be a part of your culture and results should be routinely shared. Finally, it reminds you to include other anecdotal results as well to paint a holistic picture of your social performance.

Each shift is highlighted with informative graphics by Teach to Fish Digital that illustrate key ideas. These graphics as well as other supporting resources are available for easy capture via Microsoft Tags found throughout the book. Though using these require you to download an additional app, it’s useful to be able to nab a graphic for reinforcement or future use (which you’ll want to do). The ‘Getting There’ summaries at the end of each chapter are critical for recapping and integrating new concepts which this book is chocked full of.

So, Should You Read It?

The Now Revolution is a must read for anyone charged with changing corporate culture to organize around social media either at the strategic or tactical level. The first few shifts are perhaps more directly related to strategic-level corporate planning while the next few shifts speak to building the functional team and the tools and processes they’ll use. Again, all will find value in the last two shifts dealing with emergency-response planning and measurement. As a consultant/agency guy, I enjoyed Chapter Three’s insight on establishing a working relationship with a clients’ social team and finding ways to add value via brand experience design, content creation, training & education, and advanced analytics.

What’s great about The Now Revolution is that it’s not a paint-by-number social media how-to book. In fact, it’s so much better than that because it takes these social issues up a level and teaches you frameworks for thinking critically, creating policies, and starting your own revolution.

If you are working to make your business faster, smarter, and more social, I highly recommend The Now Revolution.