My own interest in social media is from the perspective of learning and workplace performance but the lines are getting fuzzy between marketing, communications, learning and training, so Social Media Marketing may be suitable for a wider audience than just marketing. This is one of the latest books in the for Dummies series produced by Wiley.
In Part 1, Shiv Singh covers the overall lay of the Internet landscape comprehensively and without any hype. In reading this section, I thought that this is the kind of information I would give my own clients. It covers broader aspects, such as general trends in social media use, as well as specifics like setting up Twitter alerts.
Part 2 is the hands-on section of the book and deals with developing an online voice, reaching your audience and most importantly, dealing with criticism. Part 3 could be called “SEO in a box”, and while it’s not of particular interest to me, this is what most companies (for profit & non-profit) are looking for – how do I actually market with social media? This section includes a chapter on the fast-growing mobile media marketplace. There are lessons here that translate for the learning function as well, such as sending mobile text alerts for changing content.
The headings in Chapter 12, “Energizing Employees within Your Company for Social Influence” could just as easily be incorporated by HR/Training as Marketing:
- Encouraging your employees to collaborate
- Picking social software for social influence
- Don’t try to control too much
- Surfacing the connections
- Taking search social, too
- Allowing alternate access
- Making the goal to de-structure and de-organize
- Giving employees other choices
The final section is on best practices and common mistakes and, given the complexity and changing nature of the field, these may change. Here are my picks of those provided:
Best practice: Conduct many small tests frequently and build on each one
Common Mistake: Not being patient
Overall this is a comprehensive book for someone new to the field and is a good reference for those with experience. It’s the kind of book I would recommend or give to clients to provide us with a common point of reference.