artofsocialmediaBook review: The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users by Guy Kawasaki & Peg Fitzpatrick. (Penguin, December 2014 – available in hardcover, paperback and Kindle ebook. Prices vary, the UK Kindle price is £6.99)  http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Art-Social-Media-Power/dp/1591848075http://www.amazon.com/The-Art-Social-Media-Power/dp/1591848075

Over the holiday period, I received a “suggestion” from LinkedIn that perhaps I might like to endorse the “social media” expertise of a contact – a contact who was so social media-savvy that they hadn’t even added an avatar/photo to their LinkedIn profile. I didn’t endorse them but instead suggested they buy this book!

The key word in the title is “tips” for this is a collection of 123 separate pieces of advice, so even the most proficient “new media guru” (see Tip #110 – never call yourself a guru) will pick up some advice they may not have known before – not least because the book covers a wide range of social media platforms, as well as some of the add-ons/desktop clients (such as Hootsuite) that can help automate some of the processes.

In social media circles, Guy Kawasaki is a bit on an acquired taste, not least because he is an advocate of rebroadcasting your own content and typically repeats his tweets as many as four times to a day, to hit the different timezones. Personally, I’ve been a fan of Kawasaki since the mid-1980s when he was the “chief evangelist” at Apple besides, as he says in this book “if you are not pissing off someone on social media, you are not using it aggressively enough”. Given he has about 1.44 million followers on Twitter – and has achieved this without appearing covered in oil with a champagne glass resting on his naked butt, it is probably fair to say he knows what he is talking about.

A couple of points in the book jumped out at me… In Tip #40 he says don’t waste your time and money on SEO (search engine optimisation) “bullshit” because Google has 3000 computer science PhDs working on search algorithms, so what chance do you have trying to fool them. Instead, he recommends you focus on “creating, curating and sharing great content.” What he calls SMO: social media optimisation. And, in Tips #111 and #112 he warns against outsourcing or delegating your social media activities to agencies or office juniors/interns.

The only point I would question is Kawasaki’s definition of the 5 Ps of Social Media. Facebook is for People – LinkedIn is for Pimping – Pinterest is for Pictures – Twitter is for Perception and Google+ is for Passions. Really? Surely “Pointless” would be a better definition for Google+ !