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Book Review: The Art of Effective Online Social Networking by Jeanne Grunert

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When networking online or offline, it’s important to stay consistent and  The Art of Effective Online Social Networking by Jeanne Grunert, shows you how to do just that.

The book is perfect for those thinking about dipping their toes into social media, and believe it or not, there are still many resisters out there.

Grunert focuses on business marketing online. She takes the reader on a journey that explains in simple language exactly what online social network marketing entails and time-saving tools you can employ once you are engaged.

In simple, easy-to-understand, language, Grunert provides real-life case studies to help the reader understand why and how online marketing can increase business growth.

I love the way Grunert organized the book. In the beginning of each chapter she gives clear explanations about various topics. This is followed by “Acorns,” which are tips throughout the book that offer social marketing strategies. At the end of each chapter, she provides key points to remember.

In the chapter about social networking, she writes that social networking “isn’t something new, online marketing versus in person marketing is new.” Whenever I give seminars, I always say the same thing. Social networking takes you beyond that superficial networking stage. It helps take the conversation beyond the “how’s the weather” stage to “how are the kids?” stage.

She also provides action steps to follow.

In the chapter about profiles on a social networking sites, Grunert says that your “personal profile is like your handshake.” She tells readers to make sure their profile page shines.

I also like that she sets this book up as a workbook. It helps the reader get a sense of what to do and what to say on social networking sites. In one chapter, she helps the reader define who they are and what they do for their customers.

She tries to get the readers to be unique and memorable by standing out. She also says to be careful about what you say because it will stay with you, even if you erase the post. She says that she plans out what she is going to say 50% of the time on her networks. A quarter of the time she links content that she wrote somewhere else and the other 25% of the time she finds articles or engages her community.

One of the most important things to remember when engaging in social networking is “don’t sell.” No one wants to be sold to, so be sure that your posts reflect that. Three posts Grunert suggests you have are:

• Posts that show you are an expert in a particular area
• Neutral posts about the weather, food, travel, books, etc.
• Links to your product or service without selling

At the end of the book she uses the analogy of a cookbook. She says that social networking is like cooking: you get the ingredients, you mix it well for as long as it takes, and then it will be done the right way.

In addition to being an excellent writer and author, Grunert owns a consulting firm called Seven Oaks Consulting. The last page of the book, she provides the reader with her firm’s motto, “Life is Good. Choose to be happy.” When I read that, I just smiled.

I recommend this book to anyone just starting out and learning about social media. It’s a quick read (I read it in an hour) and it’s quite enjoyable. I liked Grunert’s writing style because it was light and engaging. It definitely had some good points that even someone with some experience would still find value in.

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