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on September 20, 2010
Go Dummies Go! I love Dummies! Dummies books rule!

I always look forward to the latest installment of the such-and-such for dummies books, so I eagerly awaited my pre-order of Jan Zimmerman's and Doug Sahlin's Social Media Marketing (all-in-one) for Dummies. Even better it proclaimed it was eight books in one. The book is fantastic, even if it does suffer from the usual forest-vs-trees issue. It is much more a "trees" book with lots of details on each social media venue, but still a great book.

By "trees" I mean it gives you the details of each social media marketing venue: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogs, etc. For each, the authors do a nice job of overviewing the venue, and explaining the basic steps of how to create an account, what you can do with it, etc. It's a great survey of the entire Social Media Universe. Importantly, it is a critical, skeptical, ROI point of view vs. many of the simple cheerleading or laundry list books on Social Media out there. I really liked that.

By "forest," however, I mean the big picture / strategy of Social Media. The book DOES have information on building a Social Media Marketing plan and DOES have some useful case studies, but there is often just too much text and too many details. I teach Social Media Marketing (online and in San Francisco), and I have experienced that my students are just overwhelmed with the details. Less is often more, as they say, and this book could have used a re-write on the chapters on making a social media marketing plan. Missing in particular is a clear explanation of which social media venue fits which business need best.

That said, if you combine this detailed book, with some "higher level" marketing strategy... And, for example, you pre-think WHY you want to Twitter (Facebook, Youtube, MySpace, LinkedIn), and WHY your potential customers might care to listen / converse with you... You will have a dynamite combination. Don't be afraid to realize that perhaps you don't NEED Twitter - that Youtube is a BETTER fit for your company.

This book has earned its place on my reference shelf, for myself and my students in Social Media Marketing. For more on me, just click on my profile or Google Jason McDonald plus Social Media. I love comments and feedback, and I try to read as many new SEO, Social Media, AdWords books as I can.

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on June 5, 2010
I have been moving around social media for some time, though I am by no means a pro, either in marketing or Internet tech.

I appreciate this will be useful for anyone who has not even come into contact with social media networks, but anyone who has dabbled even slightly will find this *extremely* basic. I just cannot understand how anyone can even suggest it might be useful for a pro, never mind recommend it! If you are seriously looking to develop a social media strategy, it means you have a basic appreciation of what it's about, and that's how far this book goes, no further. In any case, don't do serious social media strategy based simply on the know-how in this book!
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HALL OF FAMEon November 30, 2009
I just finished reading Dan Zarrella's book and I am very impressed. If you are new to the world of social media or wondering how to make it fit your marketing strategy, this book is a perfect starting point. Dan lays out all the dimensions of social media in an easy-to-understand way, outlining the do's and don't's for each of them. It doesn't pretend to be a Bible of the topic: for in-depth tactics for each leg of your social media marketing strategy, you will need to pick up other titles. But it gives you a very complete feel for what lies ahead, should you want to market your brand through social media, something that you will soon realize not to be an option but a must.
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on April 5, 2011
This book is not for dummies! It presupposes that the reader has working knowledge of the Internet and social media. It is not an introduction to social media. If you don't have an understanding of Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, this is not the book to start with. The book really covers all aspects of social media marketing very cearly and in detail, almost too much detail. I found it almost overwhelming at times; because it is so dense with information it is a slow read, not a book you can read in one sitting. It is divided into very logical sections so if you aren't interested in Twitter you can skip the section on Twitter and focus on Facebook, or LinkedIn. The book is extremely well and clearly written with none of the goofiness sometimes found in the "Dummies" series. All in all I think it is an excellent resource and reference to which I will refer again and again.
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on January 3, 2010
In the increasingly complex world of social media, how do you begin to successfully engage in social media marketing for your business? Dan Zarrella has responded to that question with "The Social Media Marketing Book." It's a quick read. But the small book is packed with useful information for those itching to jump into the social media marketing fray.

The book's organization is quite user-friendly and begins with a brief introduction to social media. The bulk of the book then focuses on presenting a concise history, definition, and description of the various types of social media: blogging, Twitter/microblogging, social networking, media sharing, social news and bookmarking, ratings and reviews, forums, and virtual worlds. I found each section both helpful and interesting, especially appreciating the author's conciseness.

The final two chapters--one on strategy, another on measurement--are some of the most important. As I went through the strategy chapter, I was highlighting different bits of advice and enjoyed his discussion of "call to action" (CTA) in which you, the marketer, try to engage visitors on your website. The measurement chapter stresses the importance of goals and describes several tools you can use to measure return on investment and engagement as a result of your social media marketing efforts.

Overall, I found Zarrella's guide a helpful resource on understanding and applying social media for business. Note that the book is an introductory guide, so don't expect to find profound social media strategies if you're already an experienced social media marketer. Nevertheless, I appreciated the nuggets of wisdom throughout this survey of social media marketing.
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on October 14, 2010
Original review written by Sebastiano Cobianco, JUG Lugano, [...]

If you think marketing is an unproven practice to lure prospects, then web marketing is all that in a new domain - the internet - where many marketing professionals still are unfamiliar with. And social marketing poses these challenges at scale!
Therefore, marketing pros willing to achieve results on the web must dominate the field, or face overwhelming failure. Imagine someone's misstep in marketing to Facebook users...firefighters may not be enough :)
The book by Dan Zarrella is an introduction to the various type of tools available to marketing pros promoting their products on the web, how to measure campaign results. It very much addresses the need of those not very familiar with the most common sites and communities.
The book is introductory, so experienced and long-time twitterers or facebookers will not do much with this book. Otherwise, the book will bring you up to speed with the buzz around social networking and related marketing approaches.
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on June 24, 2011
This book is all theory and meant for someone with an IT degree or a philosophy degree or someone who works is the IT department for a company that employs more than 100 people. I was shocked that it was a for "dummies" book. The book is long on theory, NONE on "how to." The FEW bits of useful information are scattered about and you have to read and read boring computer philosophy to find them. I was expecting: do this, then do this then do this. Or this is how you start face book, then you add twitter, this is how you make them and other sites work together as a marketing plan. It is not a practical guide to setting up a marketing plan, it is the philosophy in a larger corporate environment on social media marketing. If you are a "mom and pop" company, or a realtor or other service provider looking to use social media tools this is not the book for you. The only think I can say for the other reviewers, whom I relied on when I purchased this book, is that they must work for IBM or HP as I am fairly tech savvy and I thought the book was a complete waste of money. I didn't even give it to goodwill for fear of someone paying 1.00 for it and getting ripped off. I put it into the recycle bin where maybe it will get recycled into something practical and useful in its next life.
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on December 21, 2011
What can I say except that this book is worth every penny of its cost. In my opinion, it is extremely well written, easy to follow, and loaded to the hilt and above with useful information. From the totally socially inept person to the social butterfly type of person, this book will be a valuable reference in navigating the arena of social media marketing. Social media marketing can be a very tricky cat to deal with, even for the experienced person who is always on top of the sometimes rapidly changing dos and don'ts involved. This book can be a big asset to those who take the time to really read and digest the information in this book. Kudos to the author on a well written and very useful book!
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"Your customers and your competition are already involved in social media. Why aren't you?" ~ pg. 8

If you are interested in Blogs (WordPress), Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr, Digg, Yelp and Second Life (a virtual world) then this book may appeal to you. The book doesn't focus on marketing but rather introduces these sites and gets you up to date on the terminology of the Web. I thought there was some useful advice about interacting at forums. I also liked what Dan Zarella had to say about blogs: "content trumps comments." He also mentions that a blog will be more effective if it sticks to a single topic.

"When responding to a review, keep a cool head. If a poster gets you upset, don't respond right away; step away from the computer for a while to calm down." ~ pg. 137

Throughout the book there are interesting facts like a short history of Twitter. There is also a short section on how to get "retweets" that might be helpful to anyone using Twitter. What I liked about this book was that on almost every left-hand page there is a screen shot so you can instantly see what Dan is talking about. No need to go online while you are reading! I thought that was very helpful since I was new to most of the sites discussed.

What I think you will enjoy is that the author introduces you to many sites you may want to start using to spread the message about your product or service. He does however advise that you avoid hard selling techniques. There is a brief chapter on "Strategy, Tactics, and Practice." This chapter helps you figure out who is talking about you online. This is especially useful if you run a business.

If you are new to social media then this book will be helpful. If you are looking for specific information on the sites listed above then I'd recommend you buy some of the Dummies books for each site. They have great books for Twitter, Facebook and WordPress to mention a few. Those are the sites I'm currently interested in and will be reviewing those books soon.

~The Rebecca Review
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VINE VOICEon March 21, 2010
Anyone in business today has been told that their business needs to be on social media. The problem is should a business be involved in social media marketing, but how does one get into this. Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, You Tube Digg and Second Life are things that a manager may have heard of, but how to do get involved, without shooting your business in the foot or falling on your face, is something that can be very daunting to someone ready to start dabbling. There are books galore out there how to effectively leverage activity based upon various case studies, but to appreciate these one must have some kind of background in the media to begin with. But first questions such as "What is a Social News and Bookmarking site like Digg or Reddit?" need to be answered. This is where Zarrella's book is valuable. Each chapter is laid out with simple and practical explanation, information and suggestions on the right hand page and screen shots and graphics illustrating this information on the left hand page. The approach puts practical information right in front of you both as an explanation as well as what you would see on the Web. The information provided is concise, free of jargon and with practical suggestions, and more importantly warnings, regarding how and how not to engage in using these social
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