Social media strategies for professionals and their firms:
The guide to establishing credibility and accelerating relationships.
By Michelle Golden
Wiley, 2011. 348 pp.
In Social Media Strategies for Professionals and Their Firms Michelle Golden helps the reader think through today’s social media tools: which best suits your purpose and style, and what it takes to succeed with each medium, whether in corporate use or individual use.
Golden is a certified professional facilitator who blogs at Golden Practices Inc. Accounting Today has named her one of the most powerful women in accounting.
In this very well written book she argues that marketers must persuade their firms to abandon most traditional (and ineffective) forms of marketing, including formal corporate ‘messaging.’ She promotes relationship marketing, using LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and blogs instead.
She takes on the ‘bottom line’ crowd and those managers who demand, “What’s the ROI of social media?” She responds, that’s a lot like asking, “What is the ROI of your phone?” In either case, she says, that depends entirely on what it’s used for.
Anticipating the entirely predictable (and reasonable) concerns of IT staff and of corporate “brand” hawks, she says that disallowing employees’ use of social media is cutting off the firm’s nose to spite its face. Rather than worrying about the way people spend their time, she says, it’s better to hold people accountable for the end result: Ether they are performing or they aren’t.
When firms and their marketers say they feel rushed to implement a “Facebook strategy” or “LinkedIn strategy,” she advises taking a slower, thoughtful approach. She cautions against considering the mere adoption of any social media channel as the goal. Success requires first specifying what you ultimately seek to accomplish.
Some firms mistakenly implemented social media tools as vehicles for one-way content delivery. This practice severely under-uses these tools, she says, and using social media for “broadcasting” suggests the firm and its people are uninterested in relationships, inaccessible, unaware of social media behaviors, or all three.
Golden provides many corporate success stories. More than 20 case studies offer detailed strategies. These include Freed Maxick Battaglia: A CPA firm’s 10-week campaign to attract new business; Mark Bailey & Co., Ltd.: An ongoing campaign for audits of small, public companies; McKonly & Asbury: An approach to earning the trust of, and business from, local family-owned businesses; and Tracy Coenen’s Fraud Files blog, which established her niche in a fraud and forensic practice.
Like Dan Schwabel, Chris Brogan, and Erik Deckers and Kyle Lacy, Golden discusses what to do, and what to avoid, when branding oneself individually. Presenting oneself online in a corporate-like, sanitized, inauthentic way is doomed to fail. Authenticity is a core value, and the online community generally rewards usefulness and altruism. Trust, transparency, and giving freely to the community are core to social capital.
In the book’s second half Golden details how to set up and use social media tools. She discusses the importance of using LinkedIn, in part because it’s highly searchable and well ranked in Google. She advises using Twitter not so much to talk about yourself, but to share information that can help others and to go out of your way to name others outside of your organization.
She explains how to use social bookmarking sites like Delicious, Digg.com, Alltop.com, Friendfeed, and Stumbleupon to collect and tag content relevant to your industry. Search for content already tagged in useful ways, then filter and share that information through bookmarks of your own.
I found Social Media Strategies to be thorough, well organized, and satisfying. I believe it has helped me create a more effective online presence.