Social media has changed the way the both individuals and businesses communicate. Over the past decade the importance of social media has risen considerably and you can find pretty much every company on one platform or another (if not several of them). As with anything that catches on with the masses, there are lots of misconceptions around social media, what it should be used for and how you should use it. Anyone with a Facebook page considers themselves an expert in the field but it doesn’t take a lot of searching to see some truly awful social media going on.
Guy Kawasaki, the former chief evangelist for Apple, and Peg Fitzpatrick, the director of digital media for Kreussler Inc, have teamed up for new book The Art of Social Media: Power Tips For Power Users. The book aims to help those who already know the basics of social media take their understanding and strategies to the next level. It is organised into 12 bitesize chapters so as not to overwhelm the reader and takes you through a variety of topics such as optimising your profile, getting more followers, running Twitter chats and making sure you don’t look like you’ve no idea what you’re doing.
What we really like about this book is how accessible it is. The tone isn’t patronising or condescending with the authors appreciating that you probably do have some grasp of social media to be reading their book in the first place. They also go to pains to point out that there is no fast and easy way to find success on social media; a point that is often completely misunderstood by the masses. Anyone who has worked in a large organisation will know that those in charge often think increasing your Twitter followers and raking in money is as easy as spending an hour a week doing the company’s social media.
It’s actually refreshing to find a social media book that isn’t trying to be the expert guiding you through the murky, and often not well understood, waters that surrounds the topic. Social media is essentially trial and error, and Kawasaki and Fitzpatrick have no qualms about admitting that. They emphasise the importance of taking a strategic approach to social media but encourage experimentation to find out what works for you. What may bring in results for a company like Apple for example may have little to no relevance for a much smaller start-up organisation.
The most interesting chapter is entitled ‘How To Avoid Looking Clueless’. This chapter is the one that everyone thinking about using social media for their business should read before they do. It does a great job of debunking many myths and highlights the importance of not trying to fool people by buying your followers/likes. The information in this chapter is spot on and again refreshing to hear such honesty from those who work in social for a living.
The Art of Social Media is a book that surprised us and it’s one we’ll be keeping to hand. Social media is a marathon not a sprint and next time your boss sets you ridiculous targets such as increasing your likes by 10k in a month, this book is your best defence mechanism. To do social well you need to put in time and effort whilst not being afraid to fail. The Art of Social Media gives you the tools you need to further your social media strategy and avoid the common pitfalls that most companies fall into.