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"The Digital Handshake" by Paul Chaney - Don't Miss This One!

I was privileged to have a chance to meet Paul Chaney last year when he was the keynote speaker at the Houston RE Barcamp.  I was impressed with his use of video and pictures to make his points about social media.  In fact, I think that might have been the first time I ever saw one of BlendTech's "Will it Blend?" videos (it did, and it was an iPhone reduced to powder - here's the link).

At any rate, I knew Paul from when he co-wrote "Realty Blogging", which was the very first book on new media that I ever purchased.  When I heard a few months ago that Paul was working on a new book, I was anxious to buy a copy.  Thankfully, Paul sent me a signed copy instead.  Cool!

Paul was a guest on our online radio show on the same day that his book was officially released (September 22nd), although I got my copy in October.  During our talk, he spoke of the book as a field guide, which is a terrific description.  The full title is "The Digital Handshake: Seven Proven Strategies to Grow Your Business Using Social Media".

This book is suitable for newbies to social media, and it gives a great view of this topic from 30,000 feet, so to speak, while also providing some very solid tips for those of us in the trenches as well.  Considering that social media is still in its relative infancy, I suppose I'm somewhere between rookie and grizzled veteran at this stage, and "Digital Handshake" definitely spoke to me.  

Based on some of the success examples that he cites, including Ines Hegedes-Garcia and Stephanie Edwards-Musa, it is clear that Paul holds the real estate industry near and dear, although the lessons therein are valuable for any industry.  

The book is served up in three sections, which are essentially as follows:

  • history of media and advertising, along with trends that led to social media marketing

  • current tools at your disposal 

  • a pragmatic blueprint for moving forward in this arena

Included in the seven (or more) strategies are business blogging, social networks (like Facebook, LinkedIn etc.), niche communities, microblogging (Twitter), online video, podcasting, and an interesting new concept: the social media news release.

I was happy to realize that I am already using most of these tools, although I would love to expand my use of video in 2010 and beyond.  Paul gives some excellent and specific pointers on this.  I also have some ideas about building some local communities online, and this is addressed as well.

In essence, this book serves as a great reference guide for anyone who is still on the social media sidelines, while also giving a playbook for those of us who are already in the game.  Much like "Trust Agents" by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith, I have found myself referring back to "Digital Handshake" for particular websites that are mentioned therein.

I might just need to buy copies for the agents who work for me.  :-)

Thanks for reading - get the book!

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