we approach the end of 2011, I think it’s fair to assume that most organizations who wish to remain competitive in the digital marketplace should have at least a rudimentary social media presence. As far as using social media for human resources, it should go without saying that social media tools are vital in identifying and recruiting candidates, promoting openings, and even retaining employees. There is also a growing movement to allow employees at all levels to use social media in the workplace, both on behalf of the firm and of themselves.

Perhaps the best new book I’ve read this year on integrating social media into the workplace has been by Michelle Golden, entitled Social Media Strategies for Professionals and Their Firms: The Guide to Establishing Credibility and Accelerating Relationships. Golden, a social media thought leader, is recognized as having been a driving force in bringing blogging to the traditionally staid accounting profession. Using that experience as the foundation for her book, she very smartly and seamlessly demonstrates how other professional fields can benefit from social media as well.

What I found most compelling about this book was that it didn’t focus on specific tools and tactics, like so many other similar resources do, so much as convey an overall message regarding social media’s importance in business and the workplace: how it can be used to demonstrate sincerity, reliability and competence to the marketplace; how brands can use social media to help guide their messaging; how to generate content which will truly benefits your constituents; and guidelines for how firms can allow employees to use social media, without giving HR and legal departments anxiety disorders.

Golden does indeed go into detail on certain tools, devoting entire chapters to LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. But like the rest of the book, her approach here is more from a “big picture” perspective – the “whys” of social media in the workplace, rather than getting lost into the details of who, when and how.

I highly recommend this book for HR directors who are eager, ambivalent or outright resistant to embracing social media in the professional workplace. You will find it a very easy, approachable read, which takes a lot of the mystery away from social media while providing some extremely sound, practical advice on its use for business and HR development.

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