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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid. Or not. It's Your Choice
No B**S Social Media, a Recommended Book (Four Stars)

No B**S Social Media, Review No B**S? Really! No B**S Social Media at least has a catchy title. It certainly got my attention and hope that this would be one of the better books on Social Media Marketing. I teach Social Media Marketing in San Francisco and online (just Google `Jason McDonald' or click on my...
Published on September 30, 2011 by Jason L. Mcdonald

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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More About the "Why" than the "How"
As an independent author working with a extremely small, almost non-existent marketing budget, I was hoping this book would be a stream-lined, no-nonsense book on HOW to use social media. Although this book does offer some suggestions, the main focus on this book is on persuading the reader for that his or her business actually needs to be using social media. It does do a...
Published on November 10, 2011 by Bohdi Sanders, Ph.D.


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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid. Or not. It's Your Choice, September 30, 2011
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This review is from: No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing (Hardcover)
No B**S Social Media, a Recommended Book (Four Stars)

No B**S Social Media, Review No B**S? Really! No B**S Social Media at least has a catchy title. It certainly got my attention and hope that this would be one of the better books on Social Media Marketing. I teach Social Media Marketing in San Francisco and online (just Google `Jason McDonald' or click on my profile to find me), and so I am always on the look out for new insights into the emerging world of SMM.

Bottom line: four stars

I recommend the book as a good, fresh intro to Social Media Marketing.
The book's strength: a detailed, high level overview to WHY Social Media matters.
The book's weakness: lack of how-to-, step-by-step detail.

No B**S Social Media is 90% a conceptual book, and only 10% a practical how-to guide. The discussions of ROI / Metrics, review marketing, and how to organize your social media team in a larger company are all quite good. If you have an established product, more than ten employees, and are looking for a good airplane read on social media, this is a good book for you. If you are a start up, a single employee company, or are looking for a detailed practical manual on Social Media Marketing, you are better served by Social Media for Dummies.

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid of Social Media

Not surprisingly, given its brash title, the book's tone is no nonsense. One major theme in the book is: Be afraid, be very afraid! Be afraid, first of all, that the Social Media Revolution is here, and be afraid that you - Mr. or Ms. Marketing - do not understand it. Your company will be doomed as will you - so you had better start paying attention! Do I agree with this statement? Absolutely. Do I agree with the tone: not at all.

Should you be afraid of Social Media? If you are a large company like Nestle or United Airlines, there is certainly reason to fear the viral attack campaign of your Facebook page, or the viral video "United Breaks Guitars." For most businesses, however, the worst that happens is a) the unhappy customer review on Yelp or Google Places, or b) a complete lack of interest by your customers in your products.

Very few of us will experience a viral video assault like "United Breaks Guitars," but many of us will experience the "b" option - difficulty getting our customers to truly be excited about our brand, our products, and our news. Fear is the wrong metaphor, in my view.

Attitude is everything I believe, so despite what No B**S says, I encourage you to be open minded about Social Media rather than fearful. Expect some direct insights from your customers, good or bad, but see this revolution for what it is: an amazing, fun marketing opportunity to get to know your customers regardless of the limits of time or space. Experiment. Be innovative. For many small businesses, Social Media will start and end with Google Places and Yelp. That's OK. It all depends on what YOU make what works for YOUR BUSINESS.

My take, therefore, is 1) don't be afraid you will be left behind, there is still plenty of time to get started in Social Media Marketing. But certainly take the plunge now and start educating yourself and your company, and 2) don't worry too much about the high-visibility attacks such as those against Nestle or United Airlines. Unless you are a major brand, those viral social media messages are very rare indeed, and 3) look for focused opportunities rather than trying to do everything at once. Nigerian proverb: man who goes after two mice, catches none. So, focus, focus, focus on just the best social media opportunities, unique to your business.

Social Media Opportunities - Reviews and Review-based SMM

For many businesses the strongest Social Media Opportunity is in the review space. Fortunately this is the best part of the book - its discussion of reviews and eWOM (electronic word-of mouth). Nowadays, many customers may base their decision to engage with you on reviews posted about your company or products on sites such as ePinions.com, Amazon.com, Yelp.com, and other platforms. Small businesses like roofing companies or attorneys, in particular, are being reviewed heavily on Yelp and Google Places.

Do reviews matter to your business?
If so, what is your strategy to encourage them?
If so, what is your strategy to monitor and respond to them - good, bad, and ugly?

With respect to reviews, the authors make the obvious but necessary point that people often do NOT believe advertising but they WILL believe the reviews of total strangers. Looking for a new Bar-be-que restaurant in Dallas? Turn to Yelp or Google Places, read reviews, go to restaurant. Ready to buy a new book on Amazon? Read the reviews, like the reviewer, buy the book. Review marketing is big, and getting bigger. Reviews matter. Do you lack a review strategy? Then be afraid, be very afraid.

Here, however, is where the book falls down. We are given no easy Web index of sites that have reviews, tools or tips to encourage reviews - so we know that reviews are important, but we aren't really taught how to cultivate them, at either the conceptual or practical level. Like so many books in this sector, the book reads too much like a novel and not enough like a workbook. As someone who teaches Social Media Marketing, I know from my students that what they want are practical, step-by-step directions on issues like how to encourage reviews. In this regard, No B**S Social Media disappoints. It even lacks an appendix of great websites, or power tools for Social Media - items that in this Internet age should certainly be part of any book on the topic.

Conclusion

There's theory and then there's practice. A truly excellent Social Media Marketing book would have booth - a discussion of why reviews matter, and also a step-by-step guide to how to encourage reviews. No B**S Social Media is more theory than practice, but it's still a good book. Buying it, reading it, and most of all - beginning to embrace Social Media - is a start. That's no B**S.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More About the "Why" than the "How", November 10, 2011
This review is from: No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing (Hardcover)
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As an independent author working with a extremely small, almost non-existent marketing budget, I was hoping this book would be a stream-lined, no-nonsense book on HOW to use social media. Although this book does offer some suggestions, the main focus on this book is on persuading the reader for that his or her business actually needs to be using social media. It does do a great job where this is concerned. This book is loaded with facts and figures on WHY every business should be using social media and the ways that social media can help your business.

What I found lacking, and what I was really looking for, was a clear-cut guide to HOW to use all the available social media. Don't get me wrong, the authors do offer some tips and points in this area, but overall this book is not a guide to HOW to use social media to your advantage. Also, this book is more geared towards bigger businesses, not the struggling author or mom and pop business. This is not a knock on the book, but merely my opinion on the contents of the book. The book itself is well-written and I'm sure, a good resource for businesses who know very little about social media and need the facts for their marketing. It was simply not what I needed or had hoped it would be.

So, if you are looking for a book which gives you the down and dirty facts on WHY you should be using social media, along with some good points and tips, this is a great place to start. If, on the other hand, you are looking for an easy to follow outline of HOW to use social media to your advantage, this may not be what you are looking for. A good book, but not what I needed. 3 Stars.

Bohdi Sanders, author of the award-winning bestseller, Modern Bushido: Living a Life of Excellence
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Accurate if you remove the word NO from the title, January 26, 2012
By 
Joel Schopp (Austin, TXStates) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing (Hardcover)
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This book spends much of the text convincing you that you want to use social media for marketing. The problem is you are already likely convinced of that before you bought the book. The rest of the book is generalisations and lack of specifics. I felt like I knew less about social media marketing after reading this book than I did going in.
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25 of 32 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Here we go again, November 27, 2011
By 
Dan Bergevin (danbergevin dot com) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing (Hardcover)
Here we have yet another steaming pile of hype, written by two people who got successful selling hype, and hyped by dozens of fellow hypers. Since it is exactly as useless as everything else ever written on this subject, I'll give a general overview on social media marketing and then at least you'll be able to think straight while reading this book...

Everything I read about social media falls into a few small categories:

1. We researched whether social media is an effective marketing tool and have determined that it is. Our proof is the fact that (a) people like it, and (b) people use it.

2. There is no question that social media marketing is effective. It is, and if you doubt it then you're so pre-2009, and you'll cry when your competitors steal all of your business because you didn't have a Twitter account.

3. We researched whether social media marketing is effective and have determined that it can be, but not always directly or even intentionally. Measuring its effectiveness is therefore difficult and requires critical thought rather than brute force.

Basically, the first group asks the right question but uses the wrong evidence to arrive at the answer. The second group doesn't want to ask the question because their book sales, seminars, and other forms of income are derived from pimping the trend. These two groups will assume that 4,000 Facebook friends is better than 3,642 and that it is worth the time and effort to grow such numbers regardless of ROI.

The third asks the right question and questions the answers. Here is where the question is left open if the evidence is missing or inconclusive. This should not be a novel concept.

Social media can be useful in creating sales or at least bringing people to you with money in their pockets and a few questions they want to ask. Blog posts, forum topics, and Amazon and YouTube product reviews cause me to buy a lot of stuff, so I know it works. But the site where I find the review, the person writing the review, the company that makes the product, and the company I buy the product from are often different. The linkage between cause-and-effect is not clear. And while there are ways to improve traceability, someone might talk about your product and that reference may cause a sale in ways you did not control, let alone were even aware of.

To solve this problem, these authors recommend you just tweet more and upload more videos, since increasing the noise level is the only way to get people to notice you. So basically we're back to where we started, in the early 20th century, before Hopkins taught us how to figure out who really gave a crap and who didn't and then market accordingly.

In summary, I believe social media does, in many cases, lead to more sales of your product, more people showing up at your concert, and more people asking for your services. But the web allows far more oblique ways for me to find what I want than direct paths. Buzz strategies and "facilitating word of mouth" aren't the solution because you can't make someone talk about you, any more than you can make someone like your product by talking about it more, and more, and more...

So what about the people who are making tons of money pimping social media? Think about how they got here. If you make a series of videos about wine and they become popular, then it must mean you not only know about wine, you also know how to get popular on YouTube. After all, look how many hits you got on those videos! You obviously know what you're doing. So it's logical for a publishing house to offer you a book deal and for you to accept it. Because if it works for you then it can work for some guy who makes custom guitar picks and that lady who makes cheese out of human breast milk. And it wouldn't exactly help your new career as a social media guru if you admitted that you just got lucky or that your methods aren't a recipe for everyone else.

So there you have it. Now buy the book and, if you can prove me wrong, please let me know. I'd love to think there is something profoundly useful in books like this, but so far no one can point it out to me... especially not the authors.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The marketing of social media marketing, February 25, 2012
By 
KnC Books "kncbooks" (Inland Empire, CA, United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Social media marketing consultants Jason Falls and Erik Deckers know "what scares you about social media" - it's the fear of missing out on the next big thing. And the next big thing, of course, is social media marketing (SMM).

If you doubt that SMM is the next big thing, just do a search on Amazon books. "Social media marketing" (no quotes) brings back over 4000 results. The vast majority of these have been published in the last 24 months. They promise to show you the secrets to becoming a Facebook fan magnet or Twitter entrepreneur in 30 minutes, or 7 days, or while you sleep. " No ... Social Media" is not the latest of the crop, and really brings nothing new to the table.

Marketing is about selling - in this case selling SMM. SMM books, SMM strategy plans, SMM consultants and experts. They will tell you how social media is the new marketplace, that the old ways are ... well, old. They cite the number of computer users, and the number of Facebook members (a number known only to Facebook) as evidence of the viability of SMM, yet in the next breath criticize traditional media for using the same methodology in estimating 'reach'. They preach that SMM is trackable and measurable, but then declare that ROI is not a fair means of measurement. They decry the hype, but they have a vested interest in selling you on SMM, and their own services.

Social media is all about marketing, Facebook is already saturated with it; the jury is still out on how users will accept their new advertising policy. All social media marketing is not smoke and mirrors and snake oil. As with any new technology, it can be a challenge to tell the legitimate experts from the expert salesmen. Caveat emptor.

Note to the authors: If you are going to use statistics to prove your point, make sure the numbers add up.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the Book I've Been Waiting For, November 15, 2011
This review is from: No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've read a few social media books lately and so far, each one has been a vast disappointment. They all tell you the same thing: be nice, be real, plan but don't make it obvious that you planned, be real but not too real, if you mess up (and you will) make sure you apologize in a video, etc.

This book comes in leagues ahead of the others.

Instead of telling me what to do hypothetically, like so many of the other books, this book describes what social media can do for me. It doesn't explain how to do it in so many words, nor does it spell out exactly what I need to do to get to where I want to be, but it got my mind thinking - and to me, that is the most important thing.

This book continually reminds you that while it may seem like fun, seem like a way to like or follow everyone you possibly can, at the end of the day, it is a business and you have to treat social media as such. It deserves planning and strategy. It's not as simple as it seems, but this book really breaks it down into chewable pieces. You won't be so overwhelmed.

Great read. I look forward to more in the future.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but very repetitive, October 28, 2011
This review is from: No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing (Hardcover)
Good, enthusiastic and clearly something that you should read. My only problem is that every chapter is a repetition on the same thing in a different way. That being said, every chapter does have something of value as well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars UNMEMORABLE, September 29, 2013
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This review is from: No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing (Hardcover)
I bought this book a while back and can't remember what they suggested
I do, so take that with a grain of salt.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The social media landscape needed this book, January 28, 2012
This review is from: No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I work extensively in social media for a range of different companies and can attest to the lack of really valuable, business-grade information on the subject. Endless conferences wheel out specialist after specialist who repeats the tired mantra of "engaging your customer" and "being part of the conversation". After years of being shown how Dell and Starbucks are the new marketing paradigm, the entire space needs a shift back into reality - which is where this book comes in.

This book isn't really targeted to the new users of social media - I feel it's more for medium-to-large sized companies who have been flirting with the tools and haven't really understood how they fit into the marketing mix. There's a great deal of useful information about how social works with brand reputation, creating awareness, developing public relations and creating leads - all the things that often get ignored.

I liked the no-nonsense style, dense type and rich examples. This isn't a typical business marketing fluff book and I'd recommend to anyone running a social media effort wondering how to move it to the next level. No BS here.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Intro to Social Media, January 22, 2012
This review is from: No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book, with a word that you can't use in an Amazon review in its title, is certainly trying to be provocative. Beneath the swagger, though, there's an intelligent, well-conceived manifesto for why social media matters today and how to do it correctly.

No BS takes as its starting point that you, the reader, are working-maybe in marketing, but also maybe in public relations, advertising, or customer service-for a business that has been slow to get on the social media bandwagon. If you've picked up the book, you're a little curious, at least, about how social media works and whether to get involved. Still, there are others in the organizations-including those you report to-who aren't convinced that social media is relevant. This book will give you the arguments you need to convince them.

By the same token, if you own your own business, this book will tell you what you already know: that you need to embrace social media, not for fuzzy reasons like "community building," but because it will help your bottom line. The book gives you some tools to diagnose just what you need to invest to make social media work, and what you should expect to get out of it.

Obviously, a 250-page book written by two guys you've never met isn't going to give you a full blueprint for how to manage Twitter and Facebook on a day-to-day business. But it does explain how you can set realistic objectives and how you can evaluate your progress towards them.

There are three parts to the book. The first explains just what social media marketing-which is more focused than plain old social media-is. The second explains how it works, and considers the question of ROI (return on investment) from several angles. The main point here is that in some ways it's possible to measure social media marketing ROI in very focused ways (click-throughs), while in others it isn't. That's OK, though, because traditional marketing's ROI, it turns out, isn't easy to quantify either.

The third section of the book explains how to get started, in necessarily broad brush strokes. Again, you won't see an org. chart or a social media policy widget that you can plug into your business here: just the tools for you to build your own.

No BS Social Media is focused and filled with useful statistics and anecdotes that make a strong case for social media marketing. Throughout, the tone is a bit blustery for my taste (using words like "ass" and "suck" more than most business books), but the common-sense, real-world focus is a plus. It's ironic that a book with "no hype" in its subtitle takes great lengths to demonstrate how BS-free it is-which, in my book, is a form of hype. It's kind of like the guy you work with who is genuinely talented but has a few idiosyncrasies; if you can look past them and work with him, you'll really be rewarded. It's a really good guide to using social media marketing in real-world businesses.
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No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing
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