I’m excited to announce my new e-book, Practice Safe Social: How to Use Social Media Responsibly to Protect Your Reputation and Build Loyalty, has just been released. It’s a training manual of sorts designed to help social media managers and public relations people teach their charges how to use social media responsibly. The book has a strong bent towards higher education and college sports, but its implications are as broad as social media use. I hope you’ll take a trip over to Amazon.com and check the book out–it’s available right now at an early bird discount.
I thought rather than try and extol the praises of the book myself, which I love doing, I’d let my friend Jason Falls tell you a little about the book. The following is from the Foreword he so graciously wrote for the book. If you get a copy, be sure and get in touch with me and tell me what you think. You can also visit the book’s web page here and see what other people have said about the book. If you want to learn how to train people to use social media responsibly, or teach yourself, this is your resource.
The revelation was a smack in the face. It’s one I’ll remember as long as I live. I was browsing through a Rivals.com message board focused on my school — the University of Alabama at Birmingham — where I was the assistant sports information director in charge of basketball. Fans were being fans, talking smack about this opponent or that recruit.
Typically, I would find a post or two that was repeating rumors that may or may not be true and let the assistant coaches know what was out there. If we needed to respond in some way, I’d find a way to get it done, though posting officially as an athletic department representative at the time wasn’t kosher.
But on this day, I saw a post where an anonymous fan made a claim about one of my student-athletes that I knew was provably false. Never mind that it was libelous, I was mad. But the revelation hit me: Social media is different in college athletics and academia where students and even minors are involved.
Fast-forward several years later. I’m out of the college athletics world and have become a noted social media marketing thought leader. I was giving a speech about social marketing when someone asked me from the audience about getting their children involved in social. For all my study and practice and prognostication, I was ill-prepared to tell a parent what they should or should not do. I gave them as good an answer as I could — Social media is like anything else! You need to teach them how to use it responsibly, which means you have to know how to use it responsibly yourself — or something like that. But the void this parent felt then is one felt by parents, teachers, coaches and even students around the country and world today.
There’s simply not enough quality education out there to guide us through the world of social media, either professionally or personally.
What Chris Syme has written in these pages is a huge step in the direction of quality advice and information being made available to the curious. As a former college sports information professional, she brings the insider’s view of how social and sport can intertwine. Her attention to the education space beyond sports is a unique and refreshing bit of sound and level-headed advice to guide parents, teachers, and students alike. And the principles you’re about to discover as you read this book can and should apply to your business, organization, or team as well.
Too often in the marketing world we hear promises of success and even riches coming from consultants and blowhards with 10 times more bravado than they have experience. With Chris, it’s the opposite. There’s proof to this pudding and what you’re about to read is going to make you smarter.
Social media is what you make of it. You can make it an afterthought, a shrug-able passing thought. You can make it a passive activity that occasionally informs and enhances your entertainment experiences. You can leverage the power of social media to expand your network, friendships and fulfill voids in your offline life. And you can even ramp up social marketing to drive customers and revenue to your business.
In today’s world, making the most of social media — for personal or professional gain — is a smart move. Congratulations on the first step. Now get to reading.
-Jason Falls, Vice-President of Digital Strategy, CaféPress and founder of Social Media Explorer