Top 25 Social Media Books from an Academic Perspective: #22 Launch

Continuing our countdown on the top 25 books that could qualify for classroom reading, number 22 is Launch by Michael Stelzner.

Launch ranks as top social media book

Michael Stelzner as author of top social media book

Stelzner’s book was the required reading for an NSU undergraduate class I taught in Social Selling (MKT 3240). It provided a fresh insight into the role that content plays in trust building.

The book, in my opinion, qualifies academically as a supplementary and primary reading for undergraduate level programs. Though lacking in some critical thinking areas, the book stands out in the following way:

  1. The author provides an easier to read explanation of how content fuels the selling process.
  2. His style is very personal and backed by his own hands-on experiences.  
  3. Using his Elevation Principle, Stelzner demonstrates very convincingly how content can be crafted  and sequenced to build a trail of trustworthiness.
  4. His many examples of content formats and media tactics are highly descriptive and convincing. 
  5. The blog style orientation of the book makes it an easy read for beginners in the field.

What keeps the book, however, from qualifying as a primary text for MBA social media courses is the following.

  1. The book is written much like a large recipe for blending content and social media. The “lists of” and “how to” tactical approach actually hurts the development of strategic and critical thinking exercises even at the undergraduate level. 
  2. Most of the case examples assume large brand resources. Examples more relevant to entrepreneurial businesses would have helped. 
  3. The book’s advisory style may be the preferred format for practitioners, but MBA academics tend to appreciate more of a case orientation and empirical evidence to derive their own conclusions.
  4. As convincing as the author’s primary and nuclear fuel insights are to real world situations, evidence of success is lacking outside of some vanity metrics captured for those in social media circles. 
  5. As a 2011 release, the book lacks a current perspective on imagery-intensive, SoLoMo and entertaining content.

Overall Evaluation of Social Media Book

Category: Recommended supplementary reading for undergraduate and primary reading for content marketing or social selling. 

Social media book evaluation

Evaluation of Launch as top social media book

So what is your take on this book being qualified for higher education? Please share your own criteria or what disagreements you have with this book’s academic influence.

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