IT, Social Media and 3 Good Books

Written by Tim Haight

I'm VP of Technology Services for CGNET. I love to travel and do IT strategic planning.

March 9, 2013

CGNET does IT strategic plans, needs assessments, and technical audits for lots of organizations, so we hear a lot of what’s on their minds with respect to IT. I must admit, it surprises me how often we’re asked what IT’s role ought to be in the organization’s social media participation.

I guess it makes sense. After all, social media is all based on relatively new information technology. So it’s logical to assume that IT would have something to say about it. My answer, however, is “Not!” Asking IT about social media is about like asking the guy who takes care of the broadcast transmitter how much the station should charge for ads.

The whole point of social media is that people participate on sites they do not control, which live in the cloud, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube and the rest. And the best way to learn how to use them is to use them, not to implement them.

That having been said, if you want to learn a lot about social media (without actually having paid your dues online) here are three books I’ve read recently that should help. They are in order of preference, with my favorite first:

Kabani, Sharma, The Zen of Social Media Marketing: An Easier Way to Build Credibility, Generate Buzz and Increase Revenue. Dallas TX: BenBella Books, 2013.

The book isn’t really very Zen, but the chapters on how to use the specific social media are wonderfully detailed and helpful. It also gets the spirit of social media right, which is to share, not pitch. This is very important.

Handley, Ann and C. C. Chapman, Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) that Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business. Hoboken, N.J., Wiley, 2012.

This one has a lot of good practical advice on creating online media, including social media, with its strengths in building content. It is, however,  a wee bit more traditional than Zen, which has a better tone.

Hyatt, Michael, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World: A Step-by-Step Guide for Anyone with Something to Say or Sell. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2012.

This one is particularly helpful for the individual author, speaker and blogger. It recommends a lot of good utilities, too.

If you think there’s a role for IT in an organization’s social media effort, please leave a comment. I’d love to learn.

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