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Friday, November 7, 2014

"The Art of Social Media" (Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick)

TITLE: The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users
AUTHOR: Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick
PUBLISHER: New York, NY: Portfolio Penguin, 2014, (208 pages).

Many of us are users of social media. It is quite straightforward to set up a Twitter or a Facebook account. With simple instructions to follow, one can be connected very quickly to friends both new and old, near and far, and best of all, free of charge. Even businesses are quickly getting into the fray, promoting their products and services through this new media. What about the rest of us? What about those who want to learn beyond the basics? How can one maximize the power of social media? This book reveals many tips in twelve chapters. Meant primarily for people already familiar with social media tools, this nook aims to provide "power tips for power users." Tips such as attracting greater attention with catchy profiles as well as something as basic as creating an avatar. Or providing ways to "feed the content monster." Kawasaki teaches us about content creation as well as content curation. The former is about our own works while the latter is about sharing worthy works of other people. He guides us through the planning, the use of Excel spreadsheets to plan, how to reshare posts, using aggregation services and so on. He acknowledges tips from others as well. More importantly, Kawasaki exposes readers to a whole lot more besides the titans of social media.  He teaches us how to create content well. I like the way he points out the four forms of good stuff: Information, Analysis, Assistance, Entertainment.

I appreciate the way Kawasaki deals with real life issues, in particular the chapter about how to deal with comments. In our social media world, we sometimes forget that while technology can do wonders, it cannot replace human social relationships. Behind every tweet, every post, every share, lies a person. Of course there are computer software bots around that combs the Internet for the latest and the most popular, but in general, most lively discussions on social media do have real people interacting. Of interest is how Kawasaki distinguishes blogging from social media, not in terms of social media replacing blogging, but how resilient blogging is despite the influx of social media outbursts. We learn about guests posts on other websites and blogging networks to increase our profile. Tips abound for Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, SlideShare, and of course Twitter. For the technical folks, we realize what a "dot" can do to optimizing our sharing on Twitter; using Facebook "Page Insights" to gain more statistics on our pages; and many more.

Although the book looks like 123 lists of bullet points, there are a lot more subpoints within each bullet. Thankfully, there is a glossary list of terms for reference, just in case any reader is unfamiliar or needs a refresher. This book has accomplished its objective to provide power tips for those of us wanting to go beyond simply a normal user of social media. Best of all, Kawasaki puts in images, examples, and easy to follow tips that make me want to simply go try it out on social media itself. Great resource!

Rating: 4.5 stars of 5.


This book is provided to me courtesy of Portfolio / Penguin Group and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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