In the world of “social media pundits” snake oil salesmen abound. I accidentally wandered into the world of social media back in 2002 when I started this weblog. Back then the phrase “social media” didn't exist. But once sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and you-name-it cropped up we needed a phrase to lump all of those things into. Hence, “social media.”
And hence the appearance of people professing to have expertise this hip new thing.
I don't consider myself a “social media expert” since I've never sat down and tried to map out what it all means in some larger context. But I've used almost all of the popular social media tools, so I have a sense of who knows what they're talking about and who doesn't.
Michelle Golden is one of those sensible people who I would recommend to any professional (e.g. lawyer, doctor, businessperson) who wants to understand how social media affects their business, and how to take advantage of social media tools. And, fortunately for those professionals, Michelle has written a comprehensive book about this: Social Media Strategies for Professionals and their Firms.
The book explains pretty much everything, including:
- The advantages of an effective online presence
- The differences (beneficial and detrimental) between social media and traditional marketing
- How to mitigate risk and gain benefit from social media use
- Comparisons of popular social media tools
- Understanding the audience, and capitalizing on that understanding
- Integrating old and new marketing tactics
- Internet monitoring that takes only 10 minutes a day
- Assessing what attracts an audience
- Determining how to build an effective audience
Michelle also includes many case studies that delve into how various bloggers and twitterers have achieved success online. On page 141-43 she profiled me, which is the only blemish in this otherwise fine, practical work.
As I keep saying, Michelle walks the walk (see her twitter page: http://www.twitter.com/michellegolden). And if you pick up her book, you'll see that she knows how to talk about social media in a way that's actually helpful. Even if you don't buy the book, you should at least follow Michelle on Twitter.