The Observer (Kampala)

9 October 2012

Uganda: Everyone in One Social Network or the Other

book review

Book: Social Boom!

Author: Jeffrey Gitomer.

Publisher: FT (Financial Times) Press, 2011.

Volume: 190 pages.

Cost: Shs 20,000, hard cover (a bargain).

Available from Aristoc.

"Business social media is the best, least expensive, most direct way of communicating with your customers to be discovered in the last 100 years," reads the back cover of Social Boom!, edited and written by Jeffrey Gitomer, with the help of a few guest writers.

"By taking complete advantage of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube", it goes on, "you can promote and propel your own business beyond the next level, beyond your competition and beyond the economy ....."

Gitomer writes for the international business press and is read by more than four million people every week, has written best-sellers on business, has a weekly e-zine with more than 500,000 subscribers and makes more than one hundred public and corporate presentations a year. Quite a profile. Social media has become a phenomenon beyond words. In a millisecond, millions of people can know everything about everything and everyone.

And, of course, it wouldn't take long before business got involved, all business, big, small, and most important, your business, he says.

This book is a "how to" and "what to" implement for your online presence to develop a total business social media game plan. It's a step-by-step, insight-by-insight guide that looks at the four main social media platforms in such a way as to build your business attraction and your connections with valuable business customers, prospects and contacts.

It also answers these questions: how can I use social media to attract new customers; how do I tweet; how can I get results from social media; and what to do if my boss won't let us use Facebook at work?

One hundred years ago the average attention span was 20 minutes. But after Internet arrived, it slumped to just nine seconds, the same as that of a goldfish. Nine seconds -just long enough to read one tweet- is all we have before our customer's brain makes a decision to either stay focused or move to a new topic.

Once we've decided to take the plunge, Gitomer tells us how to start our own business Facebook page, and the difference between social media and business social media on Twitter, and YouTube. This is all very well, but what about if I don't know how to write, he asks, and then proceeds to give his own experience.

Write like you think, and like you talk; anywhere, any time; collect ideas and thoughts and then stretch them; write from your own experience; stick to one subject at a time; don't worry about grammar in the first draft, but do care about structure and flow; keep on writing until you complete the thought; don't be too politically correct about gender, no need to keep writing "his or her".

If you're brought up to say "his", leave it at that. And then, edit when you finish, but edit better a day later. Write something every day and write it as you'd say it, simple, clear and complete, and edit early and often. Amen I say to that!

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