Monday, July 10, 2017

Book Review: 'The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users' by Guy Kawasaki

It’s not so much social as business

Guy Kawasaki is a very busy person. He is constantly searching for shareable content, beefing up blog posts, timing tweets and experimenting with online services (especially new ones) that will help him do more with all the above. He recommends using every tool and function social media sites provide, otherwise you will look like an amateur. He says you can (and should) repeat posts, and if people unfollow you, they weren’t right for you anyway. He says if you’re not annoying, you’re not using social media to its fullest.

His book is a super fast, jam packed tour of his social media life. It has more than a hundred links to pages that expand what he writes about (so it’s best to buy the e-book because they’re not spelled out in print). It is a very userfriendly manual. 

It is also very singleminded. It recommends you give your life to reposting other people’s findings, written and photographic, and keep up the pace indefinitely. That will give you credibility and followers. It’s basically a business. You brand yourself and constantly hype your presence, without also hyping your talents and accomplishments, goals and desires (That would be crass). Ultimately, it seems enormously shallow, robotic and numbing, as all social media has been criticized as both being and promoting. But not to him.

Kawasaki is as usual, forthright and effervescent. He fears no critics and lives the bold life he recommends. He tells it straight and hard, and you have to take it, because he’s living proof it works. He is that exception we give license to.

Possibly the wisest among the many wise things in The Art of Social Media, is that “social media guru” is any oxymoron, because nobody really knows how social media works, including the authors. What they do is latch onto every platform and work it, and leverage it. What does well they do more of. The most successful tactic (and most oft repeated direction) is to use graphics. Attach them to every post and tweet you can. Make different sizes of them and use them to draw visitors to your blog post, from as many different social sites as you can. Like movie posters. It’s the old: repetition is the soul of advertising, combined with: a picture is worth a thousand words. How could that possibly be wrong? Ever?

If you’re willing to take the full plunge, this is the book for it. If not, you can be amazed at how intricate and involved simple social interaction has become.

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of David Wineberg. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.