As a social media book author, I often get asked by others what social media books I recommend. Just a few months ago I wrote a blog post entitled “Top 15 Social Media Books of 2009” which should give you some idea of my recommendations. I would like to go one step further and start providing more in-depth reviews of selected social media books that I recently read or re-read. I will begin this by reviewing a book that I recommended as one of the top 15 of 2009: “A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization” by Deltina Hay.
A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization Summary
Beginning with advice on creating a social media strategy, this book covers the whole spectrum of the technology you need to understand in order to implement your strategy. Starting with blogs and RSS feeds, the book continues with separate how-to chapters covering building a WordPress website, podcasting, social networking (Facebook being the primary focus), social bookmarking, image and video sharing sites, widgets and badges, and social media newsrooms. The book is technical in nature but extremely hands-on, with very guided instructions on both the why and how of utilizing all of these social media sites. Furthermore, a resource CD is included with the book with handy worksheets that the author has created to make life easy for the reader.
Deltina Hay Author Summary
As I tell my customers choosing a social media consultant that they need to look at their background to get a feel for the value that they provide, the same is true of book authors. Deltina is uniquely both a web developer as well as a small business owner in the publishing industry. This explains the very hands-on feel that the book provides. It also explains why Deltina cuts through theoretical talk and concentrates on the practical reason why you would read this book: to learn how to optimize your Internet presence for the Web 2.0 and to get results from it.
My Top Ten Takeaways from This Book
1) Introductory Terms Explanations
I like how Deltina began the book by assuming the reader is not yet technically familiar with many of the terms that are the jargon of many a social media marketer. If you are unsure as to the exact meaning of terms like RSS feeds, widgets, badges, content management systems, metadata, and landing pages, the book begins with a primer just for you.
2) Sample Social Media Strategies to Consider
The first chapter of the book covers creating your own social media strategy. Deltina has taken this one step further by providing actual examples of how a service business/consultant, author/media personality, entrepreneur/performer, publisher/product business, and public relations firm would use each of the various channels like blogs, Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, etc. that exist. One can learn a great deal just by studying these excellent examples.
3) Tags and Keywords
Anyone who has a website will tell you that tags and keywords are extremely important for social media optimization. Deltina goes into the why they are important as well as gives specific guidance as to how to choose tags as well as how they will be utilized. While many books might find this type of information too simplistic, I feel that this information is valuable for many that are just beginning their social media journey.
4) Comprehensive Look at Planning Your Blog
From planning the content, categories, tags, frequency and delegation of your blog to managing comments, optimizing and promoting your blog and RSS feed as well as recommending a blog post signature, Deltina truly has created a comprehensive chapter about blogging in a few pages. Very efficient read!
5) RSS Submission Services and Software
While there are many sources of information about blogging, I had never found information regarding how to promote your RSS feed throughout the social web. Deltina gives very specific suggestions on how to go about doing this in a variety of ways.
6) Initial Settings on a WordPress Blog
Deltina is so careful and yet comprehensive in her explanations that she points out things that others may skip over. For instance, there are many resources about “must-have Word Press plug-ins” out there, but many of these skip basic plugins like the WP-Security Scan plug-in. Deltina also covers other security settings as well as tasks to complete right after establishing your WordPress blog such as creating a static home page, adding a user to rid yourself of the “admin” username, and changing your permalinks for better search engine optimization.
7) Hands-On Podcasting Chapter
As someone who is considering starting a podcast in the future, I found everything that I wanted and need to know about how to go about doing this in the chapter devoted to podcasting, webcasting, and vidcasting. This chapter alone may be worth the price of the book!
8) Facebook Page & MySpace Profile Applications
While the chapter on social networking sites was very basic, Deltina did do justice in pointing out some potential applications that can be used in Facebook Fan Pages as well as MySpace Profiles to help differentiate yourself or company as well as add more value for the user. I appreciate that emphasis was placed on applications as that is where the value in these platforms will be going into the future.
9) Social Bookmarking Strategy
The chapter on social bookmarking was insightful because of this information. Instead of a dry description of the functionalities of the different social media bookmarking sites, Deltina recommends an excellent strategy with her description of purpose-built Delicious pages. Never heard the term before? Buy the book!
10) Social Media Newsrooms
Perhaps this is a term that has gone out of fashion, but this was another gem of a chapter covering what social media newsrooms are and how they could be implemented. I love the idea, and there is compelling reason why every company and/or person who has a website and/or a blog should be implementing this. One more thing to put on my “to do” list!
As you can see, this is a very practical and hands-on book for both the techie as well as the not-so-techie. If you are looking for a results-oriented read on what you need to be doing to your optimize your web presence for web 2.0, you have found your book. Needless to say a highly recommended read! A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization by Deltina Hay can be bought at Amazon by pressing this link.
Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Any books that you want me to review for you? Please do tell!
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