It’s fitting that Aliza Sherman and Danielle Smith first connected in an online space.Sherman, an established author and digital marketing consultant, finally had the chance to meet Smith, a longtime television reporter, at a blogging conference in 2010. That in-person connection manifested itself in the form of the duo’s first joint effort, a guide to balancing work and motherhood: “Mom: Incorporated.” Sherman and Smith have reunited to mark the launch of their new book “Social Media Engagement for Dummies.” They've also embarked on a multi-city “Savvy. Social. ENGAGE!” tour, a campaign of “tweet ups,” seminars and interactive events.
What advice do you give to people who want to develop their personal brand on social media?
Danielle: One of the things I love about the book is, true to the “dummies” format, it’s broken down into digestible sections about the theories and then we go into the individual platforms. Each of those individual platforms has access and community building opportunities. We hope that we made it very accessible for people.
Aliza: We were asked to write a book specifically for small to mid-sized businesses. We were gearing the book toward a more business audience, but I still feel though that individuals would benefit because instead of having to by “Twitter for Dummies” or “Google Plus for Dummies” you can take in all of them in [our book] and determine which ones are right for you.
What are your favorite platforms to use?
Aliza: Personally my favorite is Twitter. I love the speed and brevity of tweeting. As for my clients the most effective platform so far has been Facebook. As much as I adore Twitter, as a consultant I have to give my clients the right tools for them and Facebook wins hands down because of the ultra connectivity. When somebody interacts with you and your brand through your page it becomes reflected in their activity stream and it compels people to share and suddenly the application of your message is huge.
Where do you see social media going in the next five years?
Aliza: From a technology standpoint it’s ever changing. With Facebook buying Instagram and Yahoo buying Tumblr, the big companies are starting to buy up the smaller upstarts. Even in five years the landscape will look a lot different and there will be a lot more choices but it will be more niche.
Danielle: Aliza and I received emails that Barnes and Noble was going to feature the book, so therefore our publisher asked us to rewrite it. We were given a deadline and had to go through every chapter and rewrite everything that had been updated, like Facebook including hashtags. The very day we had to turn it in, Instagram included video. There’s a new version of this book coming out in the next two months because [social media] is constantly and evolving. It’s beautiful, scary, amazing and it’s one of the reasons why we love it.
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