Book Review: The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users

Reading Time: 7 minutes

How Your Small Business Can Rock Social Media

The Art of Social Media, co-authored by Canva’s ‘Chief Evangelist’ Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick who, in her own words, is a “Social media butterfly” brings forth the key aspects every person and business needs to know to be successful at social media.

Though the title says the tips are for “power users,” I would say that whether you are an intermediate user or almost a pro, this book will help make your social media strategy even better.

Humor is a recurring theme throughout the book. For example, Kawasaki explained how you want to have a recognizable social profile so users will, “Know which Guy Kawasaki you are – God help us if there is more than one.” The humor serves as a way to not only hold the readers’ attention, but also to show how social media can be interesting and fun.

The Art of Social Media provides a brief rundown of all the important pieces of social media – from optimizing your profile to sharing what you’ve created effectively. Taking time to read this information-packed book will change the way you do social media and will set you on the path to success.

Direct Capital aids in small business success so we want to share with you some key takeaways from each chapter, as they all provide different tips that can help drive your business’s social strategy.

Chapter-by-Chapter Takeaways

Chapter One: How to Optimize Your Profile

Your social profile is a “snap judgment” about your account. Will users find you? Will they remember you when they click out of the page? Here are a few ways to ensure your page is memorable and easy to find:

  • Pick a name that makes sense to either who you are or what your business name is.
  • Make sure that you have the same logo across all of your social channels
  • Get a vanity URL that has your name in it (ex: ).

Social profiles are supposed to give users the impression that you and your business are likable, trustworthy, and competent. Take a peek at your profile and make sure that image comes across clearly.

Chapter Two: How to Feed the Content Monster

“The biggest daily challenge of social media is finding enough content to share.”

Because of that, Kawasaki and Fitzpatrick explain how to create a content plan and stick to it to make sure your profiles are always ‘feeding the content monster.’

First, make a plan. Their three tips are:

  • Figure out how you want to make money
  • Determine what kind of people you need to attract in order to make money
  • Figure out what those people want to read and develop content based on that.

Once you know what content your audience will enjoy and share, you can start creating and curating. The authors suggest creating at least 2 new pieces of content a week. And when you aren’t creating, curate! Content curation is a summary of someone else’s content and is ultimately a win-win.

They provide many useful sites to find content to curate and also to help with discovering new ideas to write about. Some on that list are: Alltop, Feedly, Futurity, and Google Scholar.

One final takeaway from this chapter: “The key test for the art and science of social media is this: Will people reshare my post?” To Kawasaki, in the social world re-sharing is the sincerest form of flattery.

Chapter Three: How to Perfect Your Posts

The key in perfecting your posts is, of course, having good content. But, how do you know if what you are sharing is “good stuff?” Kawasaki and Fitzpatrick tell you:

  • What happened? Provide information
  • What does it mean? Provide analysis
  • How can I do that? Assistance, how-to.
  • What the heck? The entertainment factor.

Kawasaki adds something else to this list, though: don’t be boring! He wrote, “My theory is that if you’re not pissing people off on social media, you’re not using it right.”

Keep this in mind too: Every post that you share should contain a photo, or as they call it “eye candy.” A Skyword study found that posts with a relevant graphic saw a 94% increase in views.

In short, the best way to perfect your posts is to just share awesome content. The authors write, “Let Google do what it does best: Find great content. So defy all the SEO witchcraft out there and focus on creating, curating, and sharing great content.”

Chapter Four: How to Respond to Comments

Handling reviews and comments about your business will always be a part of your social media strategy. Whether positive or negative, the authors suggest monitoring and responding to all comments. But, keep in mind, you aren’t just responding to the commenter – you are responding to all of your followers – so do it smartly.

Kawasaki has a rule – he calls it going three-rounds – which is that it’s okay to respond to negative comments, but only do it once. If they continue the conversation, just let it happen and stay out of it. However, he says he always deletes profanity, racism, or off-topic comments.

Chapter Five: How to Integrate Social Media and Blogging

Remember this: “If a blog post is not worth sharing, it’s not worth writing.”

Powerful words, but because blogging and social media complement each other, you want to make sure the content you are developing will be useful in the social realm.

But how else can you utilize your social profiles on your blog?

  • Make sure you have share buttons on your blog.
  • Pin every one of your posts to Pinterest because they have a lot of staying power.
  • You can incorporate a “Pin it for Later” link on the blog so users can return to the post at a later time.
  • Submit a blog on Alltop. Your blog can be found through their RSS feed which generates a lot of exposure for you.
  • Embed social posts on your blog (a Twitter feed, Pinterest profile, etc).

Chapter Six: How to Get More Followers

This chapter is pretty straightforward, so I chose the two most helpful points to share with you:

  • Sharing good content is 90% of the battle to getting more followers.
  • Try to jump on a new platform as soon as it goes live. This way, you aren’t competing with as much traffic.

Chapter Seven: How to Socialize Events

Holding a special event? Ever think of using social media as your main agent for publicizing it? If your social strategy wasn’t up to speed, it probably never crossed your mind that using social could significantly benefit you, and here’s how:

  • Use short, memorable hashtags everywhere to publicize the event. Ask your vendors, speakers, and guests to use it.
  • Assign an employee the sole duty of monitoring social media before, during, and after the event. Have them post real-time updates.
  • Display the Twitter stream on the big screen at your event.
  • Take plenty of pictures with guests and share them everywhere.

Chapter Eight: How to Run Google+ on Air

When I said anyone from an intermediate user to a pro could benefit from these tips, I meant most of the tips. Hangout on Air (or HOA) is, as the authors say, “A magical way to rock social media,” but if you’re just getting started hold off on this for now.

If you are ready to rock an HOA, here’s how they suggest you do it:

  • Make sure you have your materials in order. You’ll need: a webcam, a microphone or earphones, good lighting, and a nice background.
  • Plan your script out ahead of time.
  • Wear solid colors.
  • Embed the HOA code to your website and/or blog so more people can watch.

Chapter Nine: How to Rock a Twitter Chat

This is another one of those ideas that work wonders, but aren’t for the beginners. When you are ready to take this step, here are some ways Guy and Peg have found to be successful:

  • Hold a Q&A using short and memorable hashtags.
  • Prepare your guests by drafting likely questions in advance.
  • Be audience-driven and resist promoting a certain agenda.
  • Answer as many questions as possible.
  • Summarize the Q&A afterwards and share it on all other social channels.

Chapter Ten: How to Avoid Looking Clueless

I said Kawasaki and Fitzpatrick used humor, but did I mention they were blunt, too? Though it sounds harsh, they are trying to protect you from looking clueless on social media.

  • Don’t buy your followers or likes, and here’s why: “Because the followers, likes, and +1s are not real, social media fails to deliver meaningful results.”
  • Don’t call yourself a guru or expert because, chances are, your followers already think that’s what you are. You don’t need to tell them.
  • Put qualified people in front of your social accounts, not someone with limited experience.

Chapter Eleven: How to Optimize for Individual Platforms

This chapter had far too much valuable information for me to completely pass on (I am trying to encourage you to purchase the book, after all), but I will provide my favorite takeaway for each social platform.

  • Facebook: Use page Insights to see what’s working for you and when your primary audience is online.
  • Google+: If you are looking for engagement, use comments and +1s to run polls. Ask a question and comment with answers. Have users +1 the comment (or answer) they like best. The title of this book (Art of Social Media) was chosen in this way.
  • Instagram: Use filters. The most popular ones are Normal, Valencia, Earlybird, and X-pro III. But, #NoFilter is still one of the most popular hashtags.
  • LinkedIn: Personalize your connection request so it’s not the generic one that LinkedIn automates.
  • Pinterest: I have two favorites, here. The first is to start collaborative boards by inviting others to pin to your boards. The second is to not use hashtags. Contrary to other social sites, Pinterest is not receptive to them.
  • Slideshare: Repurpose your blog content to a Slideshare and share it on your social sites.
  • Twitter: Always add graphics to your tweets. Fun fact: You can add up to 4 pictures to one tweet.
  • YouTube: Create a channel trailer or welcome video. This is the first video users will see when they come on your page.

The final chapter, “How to Put Everything Together,” basically tells us that after you have built the foundation and generated all of your digital assets, its’ time to go to market and share everything everywhere.

The conclusion provides 5 codes for personal conduct Kawasaki and Fitzpatrick retrieved from Don Miguel Ruiz and his son Don Joe Ruiz that they also believe relates to social media:

  1. Be impeccable with your word.
  2. Don’t take anything personally.
  3. Don’t make assumptions.
  4. Always do your best.
  5. Be skeptical, but learn to listen.

I can’t speak for Guy and Peg, but I’m sure they – much like all of us here at Direct Capital – hope you got a lot of their book The Art of Social Media. We know we did.

For more information on Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick, visit their respective websites or to purchase The Art of Social Media, click here. If you’d like to learn more about Direct Capital and how we help small businesses, visit our website!