In the introduction to this book Guy Kawasaki explains that the book is “all about making everything invigorating, fast and easy”. Quite a claim for a textbook.
It’s certainly fast. Reading this book is like getting on a high speed train. There is no time for repetition or the mind-numbingly tedious “This is what I’m going to tell you. This is what I’m telling you. This is what I told you” approach.
Every chapter is full of concise tips and instructions that you could do today – or in the near future. It’s also not for the cautious. In fact Kawasaki’s approach is “if you’re not pissing people off in social media you’re not using it right”. This viewpoint refers to people complaining about accounts showing too many posts or even posts that are not perfect for them.
The book only has half a rebellious streak though as while Kawasaki loves to destroy protocols and procedures, Fitzpatrick values a systematic approach.
“Kawasaki remains the genial, if rebellious host who is never likely to turn down a photo opportunity.”
“Fitzpatrick is warm fun and friendly and certainly lives up to her ‘get stuck in but plan it well approach’.”
What they both agree on is optimisation. The first chapter guides you in optimising your profile and there is lots of in-depth information for optimising each individual social media platform.
It’s this mixture of ‘getting the basics right (quickly) and just do it’ that lights a fire under the reader. Take one step back to optimise before strutting confidently forward.
On this high speed train they cover lots of distance without getting bogged down in endless details. This ranges from running Google + hangouts, socialising at events, hosting Twitter chats and integrating social media and blogging. Not to mention examining all the main social media networks.
There is more than a touch of product placement (remember Kawasaki’s overlying approach) but he is transparent about any links he has with his recommendations. One tip from me is to buy the ebook version as it links directly to what is being discussed in the book.
After reading it I wanted to see if the authors practice what they preach. After following them on Twitter for a few weeks it becomes obvious that they’ve learnt from their own lessons. Kawasaki remains the genial, if rebellious host who is never likely to turn down a photo opportunity. Fitzpatrick is warm, fun and friendly and certainly lives up to her ‘get stuck in but plan it well approach’.
What level is the book aimed at?
You need to be competent in using the Internet and a general understanding of social media to use this book. It’s not a complete follow by numbers, you need to add your own identity to your work. The authors state at the beginning that you should try your own tricks (and tell them about them if they are successful.) However, even experienced social media managers will improve their return on investment from something in this book.
In summary the Kawasaki and Fitzpatrick express is a white-knuckle ride of social media inspiration. I’d recommend reading through quickly once and then returning to individual chapters when you’re working on each aspect of your social media empire. Having a fluffy cat on your lap while planning world domination is purely optional.
You can buy a copy of The Art of Social Media by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick here from your local Amazon store – or just grab/download it at your favourite shop.
Of course – the only thing missing from the book is a chapter on creating viral content. Something else that can be optimised (via Riddle)! Did anyone notice the product placement there? ;O)