Are you still struggling with how to actually put social media to work for your brand or company? You know you’re not alone in this.
In fact, you probably run into a ton of folks who USE social media, but haven’t quite hit upon the magic formula that all the gurus are writing about.
If that sounds like you – then you’ll want to pick up a copy of The Tasti D-Lite Way: Social Media Marketing Lessons for Building Loyalty and a Brand Customer Crave  by James Amos, Chairman and CEO, Tasti D-Lite and BJ Emerson, VP Technology, Tasti D-Lite.
I received a review copy of the book from a publicist a week ago. One of the first things I noticed was that it was written by the CEO and the VP of Technology for Tasti D-Lite, James Amos and BJ Emerson.
James Amos is the CEO of Tasti D-Line and Planet Smoothie. He’s a longtime leader in the franchising field. Before his foray into the world of food franchises, he was the Chairman and CEO of Mail Boxes Etc.
BJ Emerson is known as an award winning social technology executive who has a long and consistent track record of innovation and leadership within the organizations he serves. He is widely considered a social loyalty pioneer and in 2010, he led the deployment of the first ever loyalty platform to feature and integration with Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare.
A Rallying Cry for CEOs Afraid of Social Media
In an online world that still boasts a negligible percentage of CEOs on social media, Amos and Emerson stand out. The Tasti D-Lite Way is their rallying cry to other CEOs about the power of social media done right.
It’s important to note that this book is NOT written for the proverbial “choir” of online marketers and social media experts. It’s written for the CEOs and business owners who aren’t quite sure how to leverage social media to grow their business and their brand.
The Tasti D-Lite Way is a story about a brand’s determination to embrace the customer of the future while holding onto its existing loyal customer base. It shows business owners how to break free of organizational traditions and conventional approaches to marketing and enter a more open, transparent and authentic world where your brand can be humanized or self-expressed.
If you’re a CEO that’s been standing on the sidelines and poo-pooing social media because deep inside, you just don’t understand it and don’t really want to take the risk to embrace it, then you’ll find solace inside the pages of The Tasti D-Lite Way.
There is a section of the book called “Old Dogs, New Tricks” where they discuss exactly this point. The authors asked the question:
“What is more challenging, teaching a young digital native food business acumen, or teaching an older person online social skills?”
As you might expect – the answers came down square on the side of learning online social skills is by far easier. After all, no amount of social media acumen can replace the business acumen and experience gained “on the court” so to speak.
And this should give any business owner who has put off social media marketing encouragement.
All You Need Is Vision, Commitment And A Killer Team Of Experts
I’m not sure if this is what the authors intended, but the biggest lesson or impression I got out of reading this book is nothing more than what every successful business owner and CEO already knows; stay committed to your vision and surround yourself with experts who can put it into action.
I think that there is a gross misunderstanding where social media is involved – that you HAVE to do it yourself. Just because a technology is easy to use and accessible by anyone with a keyboard or a smartphone, doesn’t mean everyone should be a pro or an expert. Right?
I mean just because you have a pen and paper isn’t going to turn you into Shakespeare! So why should a social media account and the title of CEO turn you into a social media wiz? It shouldn’t. And this is exactly what James Amos did.
Amos took his business acumen and experience and his savvy observation of what works and recruited a team of experts who enthusiastically bought into his vision and helped him achieve it.
The Tasti D-Lite Way will take you on their thought process and share many examples of how they integrated traditional business strategies and experiences into the new world of customer engagement and social media.
The Future Is Human
At the end of the book is a fantastic summary chapter where one of the key points is that “the future is human.” Earlier, they ask if social media is a “bubble” and go on to distinguish the difference between expanded usage and irrational exuberance.
The conclusion is that regardless of what technological tools we use – the future is human. Anything that your organization can do to be more human and to connect and relate to more humans is a strategy worth embracing.
And this is what makes The Tasti D-Lite Way a book that every small business owner and CEO should read as they begin strategic planning for the new year.