By @SimonCocking review of  The Financial Times Guide to Social Media Strategy by Martin Thomas.

Social media has become an integral part of our professional and personal lives. It has transformed marketing, customer service, recruitment and internal communications.  At the same time, most of us have smartphones loaded with social media apps to connect with everyone from our friends and family to our elected politicians.  This familiarity with social media has, however, led to complacency and bad behaviours. Businesses and individuals are wasting time, money and effort on tactical activities and trivial outputs and not enough on measurable outcomes. Opportunities are being missed. Poor ideas are slipping through the net, whilst good ideas are underfunded. Lessons are not learned. Risks are taken that are avoidable. Now a new book, The Financial Times Guide to Social Media Strategy, has been published to help everyone in business take a more “grown up” approach to social media, and use it to really boost their business and their careers.

We enjoyed reading this book. It is smart and practical. For those who are (still) unsure how to manage the social media side of their businesses then this book will be a great help. We seemed to have moved beyond the point where it is necessary to articulate for too long why it is vital to have a presence in this arena. Not all CEOs or C suit executives are using social media, but the relative advantages accrued by those that are using it in some shape or form is clear to see. Naturally it can also be used in negative and undemocratic ways too. However as can currently be seen in the way that it is playing out with the POTUS and his admirers and detractors, it is certainly an open space where many different views can be expressed quickly.

This book covers all of the relevant questions to consider, what is your company voice, what platform is right for you, how far do you let your staff go in terms of communicating well, the pros and cons of micro managing your corporate record. For newbies this is a really helpful guide, but in the footnotes and discussion areas, as well as with embedded articles from the FT, there is also a lot more depth and useful observations for the more seasoned social media users too. This is of course a topic close to our hearts, as it has done so much to help drive our own traffic, and relate to our audience, and the author has clearly also walked along this path too and has many good, actionable insights to share. Well worth reading.


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