I’m grouping chapters 4 and 5 together because really, they fit together quite well. It’s almost like, I don’t know, like there was a plan behind this book…??

So chapter 4 is about listening. Now, if you’ve been around the Social Media world for awhile, there isn’t a whole lot in this chapter that will cause your jaw to drop, per se. However, if you are new to Social Media, or if you’re wondering how to get your arms (corporately speaking) around what’s going on in the Social Media world, this chapter could be one of those rare life-changing chapters. Seriously.

What’s nice is that while I had seen a lot of this information about listening before, Jay and Amber don’t assume that the reader is a complete idiot, which, I have come to realize, is an unfortunate common trait of many other Social Media books. This chapter reviews information but not in a “This is how you spell Twitter” way. References to malt liquor and Christina Aguilera make sure that you’re paying attention, too!

The next chapter, chapter 5, is about how to respond to what you listen to. The really interesting thing about this chapter, which I have not really seen in too many other places, is that it places a lot of emphasis on listening to your co-workers, your bosses, your employees – other people in your place of work. This is a brilliant concept which I’m surprised, frankly, that I haven’t seen more of in the Social Media world, but it makes a world of sense. If you can’t keep each other in the loop within your own company, how can you be of one mind externally? How can you communicate with people from other companies if you can’t effectively communicate with the person 1 cubicle over?

Chapter 5 also encourages people/companies to determine what kind of players they want to be in the Social Media world. Do you want to just ignore things and pretend that problems don’t exist? Do you want to dip your toe in the water? Do you want to take advantage of the “opportunity economy” where your next customer could be created, it would seem, from being, purposefully, in the right place at the right time?

The book is building in a very logical way to a point where a company could create not just a really sound Social Media strategy but also a really healthy internal culture that the Social Media presence would send out. I would also say that while I felt a little left behind by chapter two, these two chapters offer great information that could be as useful to an individual as to a Fortune 500 company. That takes a pretty good hand.

One final thought, which really isn’t specific to these 2 chapters, but man – I so appreciate that there haven’t been any typos (at least that I’ve seen) in this book. And I’m really glad that Jay and Amber opted to keep the book professional but fun. I’ve dabbled in some books where it seemed like the author thought that readers would want to read a book the same way they approach Twitter or Facebook – there can be such a thing as too much personality, not enough info (said in my best Dr. Evil voice). If I were writing a review for the back cover, I think right now it might say something like this:

Chock full of knowledge ideal for people from Fortune 500 C-Suites to individual professionals who want to learn about Social Media, this book is charming, innovative, and darned fun to review. I meant, read.

Signed, Margie Clayman, Queen of Everything, Esq.

I’m going to make a wild guess here, by the way, and say that Amber wrote both of these chapters. It’s really not fair because one of the chapters mentions Jay in the 3rd person – the level of mind games is clearly over the top :)

Image by Kristina Rogova. http://www.sxc.hu/profile/Kristina_R