A social media book of concise tips and advice for small business owners and managers from experienced social media practitioners -- a valuable resource for triggering ideas.
“Connect: 100 Mind-Blowing Strategies to Use Social Media and Drive Business Growth” by Michael Kawula gives from-the-trenches advice from dozens of social media practitioners who clearly know what they are talking about. It covers seven major social media platforms: Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube.
It’s a book of tips contributed by many people. The tips are concise, and each tip stands alone. So it’s the kind of book you can pick up and read a chapter about one social platform or even just a few pages of tips, then put it down. Then pick it up later, and read a few more pointers — without missing a beat.
Compiled and put together by a business owner with the stated intention of helping other business owners, the book focuses on the practical. It doesn’t spend a lot of time on theory. Instead, this book focuses on what every business owner wants to know about social media, i.e., finding specific strategies and techniques that get more customers and generate leads.
It is targeted toward the small business owner, social media manager or marketing manager.
Why You Should Read This Social Media Book
Kawula’s “Connect” is especially designed for the small business person who has started a social media profile, but doesn’t know precisely which strategies and tactics to should use to reach customers. Categorized by social media platform, readers can go directly to the particular social media channel they wish to improve. Or you can take a quick tour through all of the major social media channels. You can then get very specific strategies ranging from beginner to more advanced.
Let’s look at an example from the book relating to Facebook. One of the first mentioned strategies is to have a Facebook contest. Just about every social media marketing book, blog, or article worth its salt will recommend this. “Connect,” however, treats it differently. Although the content describing this strategy is short (less than half a page), it provides something very important. It provides dollar amounts for costs and the return on that investment. Few major social media books provide this kind of information. Yet this is the information that small business owners want to know to determine if a strategy is worthwhile for them.
This level of specificity continues throughout the book. Details on small tweaks that can improve a social media account’s visibility or engagement are sprinkled everywhere. These aren’t just ordinary tips from a random guy or girl on the street. They are targeted tips from experienced, knowledgeable business people.
In fact, that is the strongest part of “Connect.” It is rare to have so many expert insights and tips from that many people in one book.
What I Would Like to Have Seen
Kawula’s book is very specific and offers a plethora of experts providing advice. I enjoyed reading the review copy of the book. But there are a few things I would like to have seen.
First, the book could be longer and dig deeper into the strategies. Many of the strategies are less than half a page. Some are as short as three or four sentences. While this might be helpful for the business owner who just needs another quick pointer, it may not be helpful for those seeking to really analyze and think over the strategies. Sometimes when you get a social media marketing strategy, you want to take it apart, learn from it, and think about how it will work for your business. This book may not help in this regard.
It would have been good to have examples pointed out. One of the recommendations is to create an editorial calendar followed by a few paragraphs explaining why you should have one. It would have been nice to have an example of an editorial calendar and detail how it can help one’s marketing — and ultimately the business’s bottom line. This is the reason many small business owners want to read a book about social media.
However, the good news is that the book does provide direct links to the websites and blogs of each contributor to this book. This can help readers who are looking for deeper insight on a specific strategy.
Small business owners want to know that their tweets, their Facebook posts, and Pinterest pins are making a difference. They want to know how social media works, how much it costs, and how much time it will take.
This book is a step in a right direction, and a good starting point. You would need more detail before it becomes a complete social media book for business owners, though.
So just set your expectations appropriately, for a series of short tips. Looked at in that vein, as a starting point to trigger ideas, you should find it a useful quick reference.
About the Author
According to his bio, Michael Kawula worked on Wall Street, worked for an Internet startup, bought a franchise, and started a retail store. One of his companies was listed by Inc magazine as the 144th fastest growing company in 2012. He can be found on Twitter @SelfEmployDKing and his website is SelfEmployedKing.com. His book “Connect: 100 Mind-Blowing Strategies to Use Social Media and Drive Business Growth” can be found on Amazon.