I’ve blogged before about the importance of books in my life. Whenever I’m faced with a new challenge, a new subject or an issue to deal with, I will reach for a book or books that will let me tap into others’ previous experience in order for me to make my own sense of a subject and follow my own path based on acquiring that book-based knowledge.
Sometimes it works better than others; when my sister died after long and slow illness, Sarah Ban Breathnanch’s book Simple Abundance helped me greatly in working out the grief by reading and by writing through it, and it provided great comfort. Of Charles Bukowski’s raw and honest poetry and prose, It Catches My Heart in its Hands never fails to make me feel alive and fearless, taking courage from such a fiercely authentic voice. On the other hand, we are more than a few weeks in on Gina Ford’s Potty training in one week and with little success on my son’s part – maybe he needs to choose his own books?
Back to the subject – broadening my knowledge of social media, and looking for a book to give a quick and solid background to put my own activities into context. There are so many books out there, some good, some bad, all proving once again the old saying about picks and shovels – the mechanics of any new trend are the surest-fire people making the money.
One book not so slippery with snake oil is Twittfaced, written by Jacob Morgan and Josh Peters. Billed as Your toolkit for understanding and maximising social media, the book neatly fashions a chapter for each major social network, and for each one summarises its key points and opportunities. Although originally published in 2009, the book remains remarkably fresh given the speed of change in the industry, and maybe with the exception of MySpace, the networks covered are still the major players in today’s market.
The most useful section of the book is a section of tips and advice on how to make the most of your social media approach, including selecting a number of the most appropriate networks for you and focusing on using them well, rather than trying to appear across all sites too thinly. Behind this whole advice section is a healthy attitude to making the different media work hard for you for a reason – the authors advocate and emphasise the need for you to integrate social media into your own strategy and understand how these tools can help you in achieving your own and your business goals.
Rounded off with some sound advice on how not be overwhelmed by the sheer noise and clamour of the various tools and platforms, the book is a quick light read and a good primer on how to get started and get fast across a wide range of opportunities. If you are looking for a good overview that will kickstart your business activities across a range of sites, with some sound advice and snappy examples, then you should give Twittfaced a test drive today.