Books are cheaper than heroin, but they DO add up....

Amy, Carrie, Chanin and Sarah buy (and read and review) their own stuff. They've been known to shop around from dealer to dealer looking for the best price. If you're interested in slipping them something to try out, just contact us.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Art of Social Media by Guy Kawasaki & Peg Fitzpatrick

I received a free e-version of this book from the authors.  I'm 97% sure I heard about the giveaway on Twitter.

Fair warning: The next handful of books I review will be titles I picked up to see if I could use them in my college-level classes.  As I'm a marketing professor, that means these books will be nothing like my normal selections of urban fantasy, romance, mystery or YA.  Feel free to walk away briskly.

In general, I find way too many business books to be fluffy.  By that, I mean that too many lack enough insight and new material to justify an entire book.  So, as some point, the authors start repeating themselves or are using a fourth or fifth example to illustrate a point we all understand after the first or second depiction. I skimmed through two different social media-related books in December, and was so frustrated with one of them (that shall remain nameless) that I immediately e-mailed my senior capstone class and told them NOT to buy any of the books I picked for them this semester.  Instead, I decided to supply readings.  I would allow me to cherry-pick the useful pieces and avoid the fluff.


It was with a certain amount of trepidation that I clicked on a Twitter link for a free copy of The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Kitzpatrick.  

I had already hit my quota of business-related fluff for the foreseeable future.  
But it was free.  
And I, like so many professors, am on a continual hunt for the perfect texts for my classes.

So I clicked.

ohmygoodness, oh my goodness, OH MY GOODNESS am I glad I did.

I finished it up on the flight home from a class trip.  I practically tackled my co-chaperones to tell them how useful and practical The Art of Social Media is.  I lucked into a third row seat, so while I was waiting for the rest of the class to deplane I actually tested out two of the things I learned from reading the book.

I'll be using this book for a summer class I've proposed for our Italy program and for a required class for my new Digital Media Marketing major, the DMM minor and the DMM certificate.  The ONLY thing I'm unsure of is if I should require students to buy the e-version*. 

As the authors state in the forward "the purpose of this book is to enable you to rock social media", and they work through 12 chapters giving you straightforward and (fairly) step-by-step instructions on how to do that.  They cover the predominant social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, G+, LinkedIn, Instagram & blogging), and they start with the beginning (setting up a strong profile), provided insight on content creation, content curation, and promotion before ending with a chapter on how to put it all together (building a foundation, amass your digital assets and go to market).

In particular, I found chapters 1, 2, 7 and 12 exceptionally useful for working with students.  But all the chapters are written in an accessible style and can be adapted to fit both an immersion course (short duration, longer class sessions, short turn around between classes) or a traditional semester course.

In additional to finding this book to be useful, practical and accessible, I was impressed by how i felt like I could immediate sit down and DO the things they described.    The chapters are written so you feel empowered to handle your own social media--not so you feel like you know what to ask an expert to do.

If you're trying to teach social media or master if your for own interests, The Art of Social Media is a great resource.

P.S. I knew I had stumbled up on something interesting when the first quotation in the book came from my beloved Douglas Adams and The Hitchhiker's Guide.

*The e-version contains hyperlinks to sources and examples depicted in the text.  This makes the e-version a very rich experience, and pretty much perfect for my on-campus classes (where we have Wi-Fi), but the hyperlinks might be frustrating in our travel courses when Wi-Fi can be scarce.   Pin It

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