At the Charleston Social Media Club panel on February 16th, one of the audience members asked for recommendations on good books for learning more about social media. We all know that technology-related books can be outdated pretty quickly. However, “Web 2.0: A strategy Guide” by Amy Shuen is a good introduction for users new to the Web 2.0 world and since it covers strategy; it is a very relevant book. It goes beyond just the latest and greatest tools.
Amy Shuen encourages the audience to ask relevant questions before embarking on a social media plan. How will we draw people to our site? Can we learn from users as they visit us? What is the target group? How will it change our business practices? How much input do we want?
Shuen gives an overview of well-known applications, such as Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn, along with implications for their use. Web 2.0 tools make it difficult to control content, but more likely to generate interest from users because of its interactive nature. As I’ve mentioned to groups when introducing them to social media, people need to get past the idea of “control” and think more about influencing the audience. There are powerful multiplying effects of social media that people should tap into. After finishing this book, the reader should be able to begin implementation of a Web 2.0 plan and think strategically about maximizing online opportunities.