Likeable Social Media – Book Interview

Likeable Social Media cover

Heidi Cohen Interviews Dave Kerpen

What’s your best piece of advice for readers looking to improve their marketing and why is it so important?

Listen first and never stop listening.

Before you even begin executing a marketing campaign, make sure you’re listening to what your customers and prospects are saying about you on social media.

Listening is the most important aspect of any marketing campaign.  Tweet This

What was the inspiration for Likeable Social Media?

The social media landscape has changed dramatically in the past 4 years. While the major strategies might not have not changed, the way you implement those strategies and the tools involved have changed tremendously.

I wrote a new edition of Likeable Social Media so everyone has the ability to transform their business and effectively provide value using today’s emerging social media sites – not just Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn, but Instagram, Vine, Pinterest and more.

What is the key concept behind your book?

It’s more important than ever for businesses, big and small, to connect with their customers on social media. Companies have the opportunity to reach and build lasting relationships with their audiences, but many don’t understand how to do this effectively on social media.

The new edition of Likeable Social Media helps you to not only learn about the tools available, but also shows you how to use these tools to further the success of your business.


What do you want readers to take away from your book or be different as a result of reading it?

The ability to harness the power of word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing at scale.

Social media is the great equalizer and I want to empower companies big and small to leverage word of mouth via social media.


How do you describe yourself professionally? What is your elevator pitch?

I’m a father of 2 beautiful girls and 1 baby boy, husband to an amazing business partner, and friend to many. I’m an entrepreneur, author, and speaker.

In my day job, I’m the founder and CEO of Likeable Local, a social media software company serving thousands of small businesses, as well as the chairman and cofounder of Likeable Media, an award-winning social media and content marketing firm.

My secret to success in business and in life is simple: Just be likeable.  Tweet This

What are 1-3 books that inspired your work/career?

Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers by Seth Godin. No author has influenced me more as a marketer, business person and writer than Seth.

Permission Marketing described social media marketing before it existed. He understood push-vs-pull marketing long before others, and this book, published in 1999, is still a must read for anyone in marketing today.

Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. This easy read will change the way you think about your work. It is so simply written, with small words and big pictures – and yet contains profound wisdom about how to be more productive and successful without being a workaholic or sacrificing anything.

I read it in an hour on a plane, and have since shared it with two dozen colleagues, and referred back to it myself at least a dozen times.

What Color Is Your Parachute? 2015: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers by Richard Bolles. I read this book when I was 21 years old and didn’t know what to do with the rest of my life. It helped me go from a Crunch n Munch vendor at the ballpark to a top salesperson at Radio Disney.

Fifteen years later, I have given at least 40 copies away to interns, staff and friends who are searching for their career purpose.

It’s difficult work – because not only will you read the book, but you’ll have to do a lot of exercises and soul searching throughout – but whether you’re 21 or 61, you’ll emerge with a clearer vision of what you want to do next and where you’ll want to work.

What’s the biggest challenge you had to overcome in your life or career?

When I met my wife in October 2001, I was the top sales representative for Radio Disney. She had just started working there and quickly dropped me to the number two sales slot, but I thought she was amazing and we became best friends.

I fell for her, but the problem was that she was married at the time. It was a hard situation, especially with my competitive nature and feeling as strongly as I did, but it was not meant to be at the time. I realized there were some things outside of my control, and let go.

Carrie moved to NY to focus on her marriage and I went on to what anyone with unrequited love would go: I went on reality television to find true love (Paradise Hotel, Fox, 2003).

A year later, I was at a red carpet event and called her, only to learn that she was going through a divorce. After that I moved to NY and we fell in love, and the rest is history.

What’s something unusual or fun that most people don’t know about you?

Not a lot of people know how the vending business works – it’s a commission-only and seniority-based business.

During college at Boston University I was a ballpark vendor. I was the lowest man on the totem pole, selling Crunch ‘N Munch and making $10 a day at first.

Dave Kerpen - Crunch 'n' Munch

Determined to succeed, I started singing and dancing and got some people’s attention. Before long, I became a local media sensation known as “The Crunch ‘N Munch Guy.” It was a great experience in which my courage and drive alone (and no talent whatsoever!) turned that $10 into $800-$1,000 a day at its height!

Contact information


Personal note: I met Dave and Carrie Kerpen at a small marketing event in New York City. As a result, Carrie Kerpen spoke to my graduate Not-For-Profit marketing class at Hunter College about Tweetsgiving. The Kerpens are a creative, helpful team. I appreciate knowing them. (Here’s more insight on NFP marketing and Tweetsgiving.)

Thanks, Dave.

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies.
You can find Heidi on , Facebook and .