Social Media Strategies for Professionals and Their Firms

Social Media Strategies for Professionals and Their Firms: The Guide to Establishing Credibility and Accelerating Relationships

This book review is way over due. I actually pre-ordered it, so I’m a little embarrassed that I’m just posting about it now. But I’m going to blame it on Michelle (the author, Michelle Golden) for writing such a damn good book. It seems like every time I pick it up to write a review, I get caught up in re-reading it and run out of time. Anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

This is easily the best book about social media that I’ve read. I haven’t read them all, but I’ve read a lot of them. I promise this is a book you will dog ear and refer to over and over again.

Before I talk about what’s in the book, I want to talk about why I think Michelle was able to write such a good book about social media. It’s because she get’s it. Sure, she’s a good writer, obviously brilliant, and did great research. But she also “walks the talk” using social media to build and nurture relationships.

How do I know this? I often refer to Michelle as “my favorite person that I’ve never met”. We’ve never met in person, but I feel like I know her. We connected primarily through social media (we may have exchanged emails early on), having brief conversations over time. I would recommend her without hesitation to anyone in my professional network. My point in sharing all of this is that if you follow the recommendations in Michelle’s book, you too can build strong relationships with potential customers and referral partners whom you may never have met without social media.

Ok, enough of my gushing <g>, let’s take a look at the book. It is divided into four main parts – What, Why, How, and Tips.

The first section explains “What” firms need to know about social media and includes a chapter on establishing firm policies and guidelines. Personally, I’m not a big fan of creating policies for social media (I view them as regulating talking), but I accept the reality that firms want policies. If you must set  policies, the process outlined in chapter 2 is the most reasonable approach I’ve seen. I love how it starts with an assessment of your firm’s risk tolerance and builds from there.

The second section dives into the “Why” of social media. Actually, section two is just a wonderful section about marketing professional services in general. In my opinion, this is exactly how it should be. I’ve been arguing for some time that “social media marketing” isn’t a thing; rather, social media is a set of tools for communicating. Marketing messages are just one type of message we can convey using social media. Of course, the book makes this point far more eloquently than I do.

The last chapter of section 2 relates some case studies demonstrating real life examples of professionals effectively using social media to grow their practices.

Section 3 covers the “How” of social media. How to set up and the most common social media tools – LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and blogs. The chapters in this section will walk you step by step through each tool and give you some helpful tips about how to use the tools once you get them up and running.

The last section of the book contains tips for helping you get the most out of social media in your practice. Tips include how to be effective online, how to write for the web, social media etiquette, and other best practices.

Whether you are a social media newbie or veteran, you will find helpful, practical advice in this book that will help you build relationships and grow your business.

Go buy the book now.

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