Going Social: ExciteCustomers, Generate Buzz, and Energize Your Brand with the Power of SocialMedia by Jeremy Goldman is an excellent resource for anyone wanting to learn how to use social media to promote, to build a customer base, to grow a business. Goldman inserts the experiences and voices of other people—business owners, entrepreneurs, etc.—to lend weight to his own advice. And he has plenty to offer, drawing on a wealth of experience and knowledge.
I read this book as part of a project that fell through so I didn’t have an opportunity to put much of it to work. I did, however, take away some obvious tips and ideas. In this day and age, it’s unimaginable that anyone would try to have success without utilizing social networking sites like facebook, twitter, and google+ and others. Goldman highlights the strengths of the various resources, as well as sharing the occasional mishap where a seemingly good idea goes viral in a very bad way.
Some things seem obvious: know your brand and maintain it throughout. Others bits of advice are not quite so obvious. Like how to respond when someone has something negative to say. Should you delete a comment made on your company’s facebook page or should you leave it where it is? There is a delicate line between censorship and negative press and, for all that it’s been said that there is no such thing as bad press, the online experience is not the same so different rules apply.
Branding and content are obvious issues when using social media but training your staff, utilizing them to the fullest capacity is not so immediately evident. Or at least it wasn’t to this reader. Training staff to best utilize the various forms of social media is something one would think is self-evident. Less obvious is how to take advantage of the 24-7 opportunity of having constantly connected staff at your beck and call. There is a lot of customer relations content as well that I found enlightening.
Because I am not a business owner, an entrepreneur, nor using social media to that end, this book was a highly informative. I think I can now appreciate the subtle manipulation of social networking now better than I could have before. I grew up without a television so I had to learn how commercials are used to manipulate the audience and now, with the internet and online social networking, I’ve a whole new skill set to acquire. I learned a great deal.
Whether you’re in the business to learn how to utilize social media or merely curious about how businesses, from small local ones to larger corporations, are taking advantage of these freely available resources, I can’t imagine anyone reaching the end of the book and not learning something immediately useful. I certainly did.