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on October 2, 2010
With the 5 stars, I thought this would be just what I was looking for. The book got off to a good start but then it became so repetitive that I stopped on page 215. Written simply for novices to understand, I'm not sure where the earlier reviewers found the expert guidance on strategy development and said it was for experts - now really?? This book is a great overview of social media and aligning it with goals and audiences but if I didn't already have some background in managing this as part of our organization's marketing communications strategy, this book would still leave me needing much more info. I may use it as an intro to several staff members but then, it's loaded with typos and missing words that really surprised me. I like the short chapters and assume the author expected people to jump around and that's why so much content is repeated throughout. I'm looking for a true guide for strategy development and integration? Anyone have suggestions?
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on October 11, 2010
I truly regret spending [...] Bucks on this Book. It is incredibly repetitive. What is actually written on over 315 pages could have been said on maybe 50 pages. It's the same blabla over and over again. "you should listen to the community first" is probably mentioned 100 times in this book. Although repeating things is a great means to make important things stick to the readers, Li Evans manages to bore you to death by saying the same things over and over again.
Furthermore, hardly any useful links are provided, and those in there are from Forrester Research Group (some of them don't work anymore e.g. the greatly appraised Groundswell Profile Tool. One of the "cited" articles was up for purchase for 500 Dollars from Forrester. "Wow" that is what sharing is all about. From someone claiming to be a social media guru I would have expected more.
In general, references are not properly laid out, which makes them hard to find anyways (basically she doesn't cite a lot because she prefers to draw from her very rich (warning: irony) experience, which results in 30x pages repeating stuff.) There are sooooo many useful websites out there that can help you understand, track, and plan a strategy for social media. She ignores most of them.
The only useful chapter to me was "goals need to be defined". Since it is at the beginning of the book, read the intro and you are fine. All other chapters are more or less common sense.
Not worth your money....Did I mention that she doesn't provide any useful "hand on tools" or strategies how to actually PLAN, IMPLEMENT, MONITOR & ADJUST your social media strategy in your company? - The title of the book claims to provide "strategies" for engaging in Facebook - I've never read a book with less practical use than this (even Marketing 101 - today helps me more at my job....)
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on September 28, 2010
I approached this book with an open mind, but I was completely turned off by the condescension and arrogance of its author. She seems to believe that since she comes from a technical background, EVERY practitioner of Social Media must have a background identical to hers - or else they are just fakes and charlatans.

For example, in the section on How to Choose a Consultant, she suggests that you judge a consultant by his or her website and then goes into a long harangue about how if their website is designed entirely in Flash, you should think twice before hiring them.

Well, so I went on HER website, and, guess what, it describes her as a columnist on social media and as writing a book on it as well. When was THAT written? Apparently, in 2009, LONG BEFORE her book was published. You mean to say she hasn't updated her website in OVER A YEAR? Why should I hire HER? [Upon reading this, she will probably freak out and update her website!]

Just because some people are strong in one area and some in others, that's no reason to put them down. Isn't Social Media about BUILDING COMMUNITY? Everyone comes to Social Media from a different vantage point and with a different skill set. Ms. Evans may be good with the technical stuff whereas someone else has better people skills (which is not at all hard to imagine!). No one can know every aspect of Social Media, but we can all keep learning and improve our knowledge base.

She has some good information, but no better or worse than any of the other social media marketing books. I think you could choose from any of the hundreds of titles out there at random and you'd come out just as well. And I see no reason to reward someone for being obnoxious.

P.S. When I read reviews of the various books on Social Media, I am highly suspect of many (not all!) of the 5-star reviews, as they appear to come from close friends and colleagues of the author. I suspect that is the case with many of the 5-star reviews here.
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on March 12, 2011
As others have noted, this book is very repetitive. I would actually give it 2.5 stars as it isn't bad, but it is not very informative, either. For example, do we need an entire chapter about "Bring in legal early", that actually says not much more than bring in legal early. She not only repeats herself throughout the book but even within paragraphs, by saying the same thing over and over using different words. This would have been a great pamphlet entitled Social Media Intro for Beginners. Also, not sure how much she is walking the walk, i.e. her blog hasn't been updated in months, her website has a terrible design and the last video posted is from 2 years ago. Don't want to bash the author; the book seems accurate but just extremely basic, rife full of typos and not as full of information as one would expect from a book. Reading it on the kindle made it worse as it is not as easy to flip through and skim the info, which would have been adequate to get the take away messages. I really liked the Zen of Social Media Marketing (thanks to another reviewer who recommended it - love Amazon reviews!) and found it more to the point, with practical advice and good case studies at the end.
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on February 2, 2011
I received this book from the publisher at no cost in exchange for writing a review. I am an author myself on the topic of social media for business and marketing, and believe I am an authority on the subject. This book provided some good insights but I was left wanting more. There was a lot of surface information and theory provided but not substance where I felt like a new user to social media to create an account log in and fully articulate a strategy without further assistance from a consultant, other book, or expert.

One area that I felt like they missed an opportunity was for corporations and businesses to work with the human resource professional in addition to their marketing and PR teams. The author casually mentioned that HR is involved in creating policies but suggested that the reader should work with marketing. HR controls so many channels of the business, it is important to work with them along with IT, Marketing, and PR. A business should work to educate and assist the HR professional so that they truly understand how social media can be used. Most HR professionals in an organization only see the ugly side of social media: Facebook stalking, sexual harassment investigations, and employees who violate company confidentiality. The same things that employment law attorneys also see.

I would have liked to see a social media terminology glossary at the back of the book for those that are true newbies to the subject. This will help them from feeling overwhelmed with talk of words like Twitter, Mashup, Search Engine Optimization, and Blogging. Not every business leader is wise in the ways of social media marketing terminology.

Jessica Miller-Merrell
CEO of Xceptional HR
Author of Tweet This! Twitter for Business
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on October 26, 2010
This would suffice as a social marketing primer, but only if you can forgive the nearly countless typos throughout. If you're going to write a book, shouldn't it be proofread? Typos aside, I concur with other reviewers that found this book very repetitive. I got the sense early on that she was trying to draw things out - to fill a book. Edited down, it'd have made a good e-booklet or white paper - since it's devoid of specific strategy tools the reader can implement anyway.
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on January 17, 2012
Repetitive, lacks depth, and most information can be found in other more useful business books.

Book in a nutshell:

Watch what you say on social networks because your words represent the whole company.
Word travels as fast as light within social networks.
Everyone can have a role.
Everyone can share.
Things change and change fast so don't let attachment to certain aspects cloud your judgement.
Monitor what is being said about your business
Sharing is key.

There were a few useful tidbits of information as stated above, but everything else in this book can be found in your own mind if you are no stranger to the internet. If the title had a "For Dummies" or "Introduction to" in the title I may have been more lenient.
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on May 23, 2012
The first few chapters of this book were very helpful -- probably worth the $25. Overall, it spoke a lot to social marketing overall: philosophy, history. I was looking for something that addressed how to best take advantage of the various social media platforms available. Still on the lookout for that book!
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on August 4, 2010
I typically read information about social media marketing online, but this book is a must-read for any social media marketer, anyone interested in social media marketing or even the casual social media user who is looking to spark some more interest. Li Evans is a super genius in the realm of social media marketing, and she passes along her knowledge to the rest of us flawlessly and generously in this book. Giving overviews, details and real-life examples of social media successes and failures, "Social Media Marketing" is sure to spark creativity and inspiration for all marketers.
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on August 3, 2010
I have read a lot of books and write extensively on the subject and this book is excellent. When I first picked it up I opened the book to a chapter called "Interns make coffee not social media strategy and immediately thought that the authors comments were spot on. If you only buy one book to bone up on why social media is important this is the one. It's so good that I am going to feature it on my website ([...]). I highly recommend this book it's a great read.
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