I do some marketing, but I'm a writer first, with a career that has been almost entirely in traditional print media. I'm perfectly comfortable using a computer and researching on the web, but I'm hardly what younger people call a "digital native." So the ever-expanding universe of social media has been an intimidating and incomprehensible place for me, and I've spent as little time there as I could get away with.
This book does two great things that -- halfway through -- have already changed my attitude. It identifies and clarifies the distinctions between the many social media platforms, and how they are useful individually and in combination. And probably more importantly, it argues convincingly that the way to use them is to be present, get engaged, share generously -- "join the conversation," in the already cliched phrase -- rather than just pitching yourself.
My only complaint is with the presentation. A final round of proofing would have caught some typos and layout glitches. And (maybe because I'm reading it as an Adobe Digital Edition) it has an inelegant, undesigned look. Which is odd for a book aimed at people in the architecture world.
Anyway, I gotta go. Now that I understand what a productive approach to using LinkedIn could be, I plan to spend the rest of the day re-establishing my presence there.
Social Media in Action: Comprehensive Guide for Architecture, Engineering, Planning and Environmental Consulting Firms is the consummate book on social media, especially for those who are embarking on this terrain for the first time. While this book is specifically geared for social media use in the AEC industry, it's relevant to any business or industry and even for those simply trying to understand the online phenomenon.
Walter and Berkley go through the essentials of social media - spelling out how each social network works and then exploring other facets of social media such as bookmarking, blogs, management and monitoring tools, community platforms, photos, link shorteners and survey tools. The book also does a nice job of examining social media strategies at a high level, including how to create a campaign and the keys to success. The simplicity and fluidity of Social Media in Action makes this book digestable for those not familiar with the jargon and basic concepts. Highlighted case studies present objectives and tactics (in incredible detail) that have been implemented in order to make a social media campaign successful.
The book also discusses the importance of building an online community, which comes on the heels of "tribes" and the importance of engaging and staying connected with your community. Building your community helps you - and your community - learn, and allows you to exchange and share information in a friendly, supportive environment. What better advocate for your business? This book serves as a reliable guide and reference tool for social media, which is increasingly becoming a vital part of our online existence as ubiquitous technologies and virtual connectivity are more and more inextricable from our daily lives.
Social Media in Action is an essential for any architecture and engineering professional. It is chock full of invaluable insights that give A/E practitioners the information they need to strategically and effectively employ social media.