‘Social Media Simplified’ by Vijayendra Haryal & Anandan Pillai, is like a Social Media syllabi of sorts. The emphasis has been on the content rather than on the technique, as most authors tend to utilize complicated methods to demystify otherwise simple stuff! In that sense, it lives upto its title and is certainly worth a recommendation.
If you are a student of social media or just taking your first step to join the social media juggernaut, then this book is for you. If you are the traditional marketing types, who gives a damn about the whole social-media-fad, do take a peek; you may be in for a surprise! And for the social media janata, this is like a ‘Ready Reckoner’ with Do’s and Don’ts. However, the icing on the cake decides whether you choose it or not. This surely has to be the 30 Indian Case Studies, well researched and including insights and observations.
It starts with an introduction and a clear-cut description about social media and then goes on to demystify Twitter and Facebook. There is a chapter on ‘How lives are changing on a personal basis’ and it brings out significant changes in different facets of life One can read this chapter alone and come up with ideas to cater to the changing needs. The next chapters are for businesses who want to frame their social media strategy and understand ROI to measure success. Then there is the social media utility beyond business that could help in personal branding to solving criminal cases! The next chapter talks about the influence of social media on journalism, recruitment, politics, etc.and provides one with new opportunities that have opened up. Finally, we have the Case Studies in ten categories – book retailing, apparels, accessories, airlines, automobiles, FMCG, Insurance, multiplex, telecom service providers and NGO. These are exhaustive and presented well.
Overall, the book not only explains the ‘what is’ part, but also gives insights all along, which is like a teacher guiding you all the way. Some may not like the ‘text-book’ style but Indian social media is still in the text-book phase!
It is interesting to note that the authors turned from being acquaintances to friends with common interests on Facebook with the common interest being ‘social media’. Most of their communication occurred via Facebook, email or chat and an extensive use of Google Docs. In that sense, this book on social media has been possible due to social media! And what we like best about the book is its ability to speak to every kind of audience.