Thursday, October 29, 2009



“We are at the start of a newer and brighter world for consumers and businesses; this is the world of Socialnomics,” stated by Erik Qualman in his book titled ‘Socialnomics.’ Socialnomics is changing and will continue to change every aspect of the consumers’ and businesses’ worlds as we once knew them.

Qualman understands that many of his readers use social media in one form or another. He demonstrates how we all can benefit from our friend’s/follower’s ideas. Through social media we are able to be more efficient. By using Facebook and Twitter updates we can actively record an “answer to the age-old question ‘What am I doing with my life?’” (Qualman, 59) Consumers can have a profound impact on their favorite brands. “Often our customers will market the product better than we can; if we can leverage one of their ideas, then it is beneficial to everyone.” (Qualman, 129)

The author uses many examples of companies that fail to use social media to their advantage. “Poor companies spend time attempting to obfuscate or manipulate negative comments within social media.” (Qualman, 42) He compares them to companies who innovatively and creatively implement new ideas of marketing through social media to build real relationships with customers. “Effective companies and people relish critical feedback via social media. Customer comments that identify areas for improvement are invaluable.” (Qualman, 42) If businesses truly take into account the information that is given to them through the easily accessible social media both businesses and consumers will benefit.

“Just like businesses, politicians and governments need to keep up with advancements in social media, otherwise they will be left behind.” (Qualman 87) Through the effective use of social media Obama won the election. “It is argued that without the internet Barack Obama would not be our President.” (Qualman, 87)


Socialnomics was written primarily for businesses and consumers. Qualman hopes that companies will jump aboard the social media train. He emphasizes that businesses will be left behind if they are stuck in their rut of the old way of doing things. The companies that do not attempt to modify their business models to embrace this new from of marketing will cease to exist. Qualman demonstrates to consumers how much of an impact they have on business decisions. He shows consumers how much more efficient life is through social media.


The book uses real world examples based on the author’s own working experience. Qualman illustrated stories from ESPN, Comcast, NBC, Google, Hulu, Scabulous, Coca-Cola, and Second Life; just to name a few. The book also uses fictional stories to relate and appeal to consumers. A good example of this can be found in chapter one when Qualman introduces Sally Supermarket.


The author seemed to exaggerate and over emphasize how plugged in our society has and is becoming. During the Sally Supermarket illustration Qualman dramatized the amount of information that can be received from Facebook. Although Facebook is one of Google’s biggest competitors it is not know to users that the social media can also serve as a search engine. Additionally, Qualman mentioned President Obama’s achievements made possible by social media. While, Obama did make good use of social media and this did assist him during his campaign I believe making this a primary example in the book turns off those readers who do not approve of Obama. Furthermore, Qualman mentioned some of the same examples and concepts more than once in separate chapters. This made the book a little hard to follow.


The book is an informational popular press book. The format is a hardcover book. Some other similar books are Twitter Power: How to Dominate Your Market One Tweet at a Time by Joel Comm and Ken Burge; Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff; and World Wide Rave: Creating Triggers that Get Millions of People to Spread Your Ideas and Share Your Stories by David Meerman Scott.


Currently the Global Vice President of Online Marketing for EF Education, Erik Qualman has also improved e-commerce for Cadillac, AT&T, Yahoo!, EarthLink, and Travelzoo. He speaks at internet and marketing events. His works are featured in Business Week, Advertising Age, Forbes, Investor’s Business Daily, eWeek, Media Life, Adweek, TechCrunch, Direct Marketing News, Marketing FM, and Direct Response Magazine. Qualman received his BA from Michigan State University and his MBA from University of Texas at Austin. In addition to his present position at EF Education he also writes for Search Engine Watch and SES Magazine. (Qualman, 257)


I selected this book because it looked like it was easy to read and understand. I am not tech savvy therefore, I looked for a book I could identify with. Fortunately, Socialnomics was a perfect find. I was able to follow along with the many examples and stories the author provided. He used several illustrations of human commonalities with social media which made the information relatable. I do not know much about the newer versions of social media, such as Twitter, so I was looking forward to finding out what all the hype was about. I learned that social media does not stop at Facebook and Twitter even search engines, texting, and Wikipedia are all social in nature.

Given similar books I would strongly recommend Socialnomics based on the writers experience and background in e-commerce. His many illustrations relevant to businesses and consumers provide great support for his claims.

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