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Marketing to the Social Web: How Digital Customer Communities Build Your Business Hardcover – June 22, 2007

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (June 22, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470124172
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470124178
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,783,422 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"…outstanding book…an intelligent, accessible guide to a new world." (The Marketer; Chartered Institute of Marketing, October 2007)

From the Inside Flap

The future of marketing is a two-way street, not a one-way message.

Marketers must look to the Web for new ways to find and communicate with customers, rather than at them. From MySpace and YouTube to blogs, social media on the Internet is the most promising new way to reach customers.

Marketing to the Social Web helps marketers and their companies understand how to engage customers, build customer communities, and maximize profits in a time of marketing confusion. Author and social media guru Larry Weber describes newly available tools and platforms, and shows readers how to apply them to see immediate results and growth.

In order to use the Internet to its full marketing potential, executives must open their minds to new possibilities, embrace social change, and rethink best practices. Rather than broadcast messages to audiences, savvy marketers will participate in, organize, and encourage social networks to which people want to belong, striking up a dialog with and between customers. Networking sites like MySpace, Facebook, and even Flickr are the perfect forums for this new dialog; Marketing to the Social Web shows you how to tap into it.

Today, marketing is exploding with possibilities and complexities as it reaches out into new forms, media, and models. Marketing to the Social Web presents an exceptional opportunity to use these new tools and models to reach new markets, even in today's fragmented media environment.

More About the Author

Larry Weber is the Chairman & CEO of Racepoint Global (, an advanced marketing services agency, well-known expert in PR and marketing services, and author. Passionate about the convergence of technology and communications, he is a frequent public speaker on the future of marketing, the social web and building communities online. Larry enjoys helping global brands and emerging companies harness social media strategies to enhance brand reputation, create and extend partnerships, and increase demand generation. He founded one of the industry's first interactive marketing agencies, Thunderhouse, and has worked with world-class clients including ARM, AT&T, Coca-Cola, Cook Medical, General Electric, General Motors, IBM, Kaiser Permanente, Microsoft, and many more.

In 1987, Larry started his own public relations company, The Weber Group, and within a decade it became the world's largest public relations firm. The Interpublic Group of Companies purchased The Weber Group in late 1996, and in early 2000, Larry was named Chairman and CEO of Interpublic's Advanced Marketing Services, a $3 billion unit with 12,000 people and including the company's public relations, research and analysis, and entertainment holdings.

Larry serves on a number of Boards of corporations, non-profit organizations and academic institutions. He is the co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Innovation and Technology Exchange (MITX),the world's largest Internet marketing association. Larry has authored four business and marketing books, including The Provocateur: How a New Generation of Leaders Are Building Communities, Not Just Companies (Random House/Crown Business, 2002), business bestseller Marketing to the Social Web: How Digital Customer Communities Build Your Business (Wiley & Sons, 2007, with a second edition in 2009), Sticks & Stones: How Digital Business Reputations Are Created Over Time...And Lost in a Click (Wiley & Sons, 2009), and Everywhere: Comprehensive Digital Business Strategy for the Social Media Era (Wiley & Sons, 2011). Larry's newest book, The Digital Marketer: Ten New Skills You Must Learn to Stay Relevant and Customer-Centric, is due out in Spring 2014.

Customer Reviews

If you don't already know what these are and why they are getting a lot of attention, this is the book for you.
Peter Eggleston
I highly recommend this book for beginners and marketing professionals alike, which should greatly benefit from the treasures concealed in this book.
Rakshit Joshi
Marketing to the Social Web is the best book on using social media for marketing and customer relations which I have read to date.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 55 people found the following review helpful By C. Fallon on July 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Executive Summary:
The book would be more appropriately entitled: "An introduction to Web 2.0" There is very little marketing advice, and the information in this book might have been cutting edge in 2002-3 but in 2008, it would only appeal to beginners, or non-tech oriented people. If you don't know what a "Blog" is, then this book is for you. If you do know what a blog is, I would go elsewhere.

Full Review:
I have read about a dozen books on marketing/advertising/community building on the web. Perhaps I didn't realize the scope of this book. First, if you are reading a review for what this book is about, you are probably more technologically advanced than anything this book has to offer...(IE: The "Social Web" as he puts it, Or Web 2.0, can affect hearts and minds. For example, you are reading this review before purchasing this book for some insight.)

To me it seemed as if the book was written for very large company's marketers who are 60+ years of age and are not familiar with the internet, or at best don't think there has been any evolution of the internet in the past 14+ years since it has gone commercial. I don't mean to be rude, but this book really seemed like something that would have had an impact and would have been interesting in about 2001. The fact that this book was written and released in the last year honestly amazed me, as I was certain that it was just re-released based on the material.

To be slightly more specific, the book concentrates heavily on not trying to hurt the ego's of marketers who have not been keeping up with the Internet by saying "Some of your old marketing knowledge is still useful." a bit too often. While true, it just seemed a bit overboard.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Laurent Pacalin on December 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In Marketing to the Social Web, Larry Weber provides an effective framework to further the understanding of the customer engagement process on the social web. This book will help many companies better appreciate that the command and control mode of communication has been rendered obsolete by social networks and that customers are more and more dictating the terms or engagement in terms of time, place and frequency. However, I would have liked a deeper look at how one converts social conversations and relationships in leads and revenue!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Brad Shorr on February 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are perplexed by the light speed evolution of marketing on the Web, this book is for you. The author is has been deeply involved in the Web since the beginning of time, on both the technical and business fronts. Thus,Weber paints a very clear picture of how social media evolved, what it looks like, how businesses should use it, and where it is going. The book provides a lot of detail and advice to help marketing professionals understand things like-

The differences between traditional and new media.
How to engage customers in real conversations.
How to target customers in the social Web.
How to implement social marketing strategies.
What mistakes to avoid in social marketing (based on case study examples.)
How to vibrant customer communities.

Weber's practical advice for marketers is spot on, but what really struck me is the conceptual framework he provides. He sees the social Web as an integrated whole, which is very important. You can't understand how to effectively use the pieces of the social Web - blogs, microsites, social network sites, etc. - until you see how all the pieces fit together.

Weber's model of the marketing department of the future is fascinating. For starters, he envisions the CMO having a director of paid media and a director of unpaid media. This in itself is a great concept that will help companies prevent the stovepiping of individual social Web initiatives and ensure new media and old media programs are likewise integrated. Right now, old reporting structures are making it difficult for companies tap into the power of new marketing tools at their fingertips.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Paul Gillin on August 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Larry Weber lives five years in the future, so if you want to know where marketing is going, ask him. This book is about how businesses will market after they finally concede that they've lost control of the message. Once you come to grips with the fact that customers are dictating the terms of engagement, you can have wonderfully rich conversations with them that lead to meaningful relationships. Stop spewing and start conversing. Larry Weber tells you how. This book is forceful, opinionated, passionate and very relevant to the challenges and opportunities that face marketers in the coming years.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Theresa Leavens on November 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Reading Larry Weber's recent book, Marketing to the Social Web, I was relieved to discover sound, practical advice for generating conversations on the web. As a Global Marketing student, I am continually looking for suggested strategies and framework necessary to implement an effective marketing campaign.

Weber outlines various issues companies grapple with when approaching the web, such as, legality issues surrounding consumer comments, employee blogging backlash, moving consumers to your company's site, and how to generate conversations. He finishes with closing thoughts on Web 4.0, calling it to `emotive' web, the location where emotions, experience and fulfillment will develop from the interactive and rich media environment. He leaves the reader with a greater sense of the workings of the web, while still leaving food for thought.
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