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The Facebook Era: Tapping Online Social Networks to Build Better Products, Reach New Audiences, and Sell More Stuff 1st Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 007-6092044765
ISBN-10: 0137152221
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

“People in all demographics and regions of the world are more connected than ever before to the products, issues, places, and individuals in their lives. This book recognizes that we’ve come to a place where people can represent their real identity--both personal and professional--and use the social filters on the Web to connect with the world around them.”

--Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer, Facebook


“...A must-read for CEOs and other executives who want to understand Facebook and more importantly take the right actions to stay relevant and stay competitive.”

--David Mather, President, Hoovers, Inc.


The ‘90s were about the World Wide Web of information and the power of linking web pages. Today it’s about the World Wide Web of people and the power of the social graph. Online social networks are fundamentally changing the way we live, work, and interact. They offer businesses immense opportunities to transform customer relationships for profit: opportunities that touch virtually every business function, from sales and marketing to recruiting, collaboration to executive decision-making, product development to innovation. In The Facebook Era, Clara Shih systematically outlines the business promise of social networking and shows how to transform that promise into reality.


Shih is singularly qualified to write this book: One of the world’s top business social networking thought leaders and practitioners, she created the first business application on Facebook and leads salesforce.com’s partnership with Facebook. Through case studies, examples, and a practical how-to guide, Shih helps individuals, companies, and organizations understand and take advantage of social networks to transform customer relationships for sales and marketing. Shih systematically identifies your best opportunities to use social networks to source new business opportunities, target marketing messages, find the best employees, and engage customers as true partners throughout the innovation cycle. Finally, she presents a detailed action plan for positioning your company to win in today’s radically new era: The Facebook Era.


Join the conversation--www.thefacebookera.com.


Fan the book--www.facebook.com/thefacebookera.


Right this minute, more than 1.5 million people are on Facebook. They’re interacting with friends--and talking about your brands. They’re learning about your business--and providing valuable information you can use to market and sell. In the Facebook Era, you’re closer to your customers than ever before. Read this book, and then go get them!


Clara Shih offers best practices for overcoming obstacles to success, ranging from privacy and security issues to brand misrepresentation, and previews social networking trends that are just beginning to emerge--helping you get ahead of the curve and ahead of the competition, too. 

  • Includes a practical 60-day action plan for positioning your company to win in the Facebook Era
  • For companies of all sizes, in all industries--and business functions ranging from marketing to operations
  • By Clara Shih, creator of Faceconnector, the first business application on Facebook

Learn how to…

  • Understand how social networking transforms our personal and professional relationships
    Why social networking will have business impact comparable to the Internet
  • Use online social networks to hypertarget your customers
    Hone in on precise audience segments and then tailor custom campaigns with powerful personal and social relevance
  • Define and implement your optimal social networking brand strategy
    Ask the right questions, set the right goals and priorities, and execute on it
  • Implement effective governance and compliance
    Understand and mitigate the risks of social networking/Web 2.0 initiatives


About the Author

Clara Shih is the creator of Faceconnector (formerly Faceforce), the first business application on Facebook. In addition, Clara is the product line director of AppExchange, salesforce.com’s online marketplace for business Software-as-a-service applications built by third-party developers and ISVs. (Editor’s note: Upon completing this book, Clara has created a new role and team at salesforce.com focused on enterprise social networking alliances and product strategy.) Previously, Clara worked in strategy and business operations at Google, and before that as a software developer at Microsoft. She is the founder and serves on the board of directors of Camp Amelia Technology Literacy Group, an East Palo Alto, California-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit that develops and distributes technology education software and curriculum. Clara holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in economics and computer science from Stanford, and has a master’s degree in Internet studies from Oxford, where she studied as a United States Marshall Scholar. Clara is a frequently invited speaker at social media conferences around the world, including Web 2.0 Expo, Enterprise 2.0, Netgain, Social Ad Summit, and the Social Networking Conference.


Clara’s first book, Using New Media, was commissioned by UNESCO to help teachers, parents, and school administrators in developing countries use digital media to adopt best practices and distribute high-quality content and curriculum. Clara is an immigrant to the United States from Hong Kong and learned English as a second language.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 1 edition (March 22, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0137152221
  • ISBN-13: 978-0137152223
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,686,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
There are several books and websites which teach you how to develop applications for facebook but there aren't any resources which explain how facebook applications can be used to generate revenue. This book explains in detail how revenue can be generated by using facebook to enhance your business opportunities. The author's personal experience in creating the first business application on facebook gives this book a huge amount of credibility.

The best thing about this book for me is the author's enthusiasm. Her belief that we are on the verge of another tech revolution is inspiring and exciting and that to me makes this book all the more worth it.
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I bought the book and hope that the book can give me advance insights of what we can do in Facebook or social media in general. But I am a little bit disappointed to find 2/3 of the book is about social media history and the role of social media. The last 1/3 covers practical actionable ideas.

The book is very easy to read and understand, especially for people who have no experience participating in social networking sites. In fact I think this qualify as the Dummy book series.

The most interesting thing in the book is the idea of Facebook as CRM (Customer Relationship Management). Well.. I think it could be, but probably not now. Although social media sites are increasing in their popularity, not many people use social media sites as frequently as they use.. cellphone or e-mail.

However, it is still a very interesting insight because if a company can build strong presence in social media sites right now, they might reap tremendous advantage later, when social media become as common for communication.

Although the book is titled "Facebook Era" but it also discuss a little bit about some popular social media sites such as LinkedIn, Myspace, Faceforce, etc.

For CEO, Vice president of marketing from company of any size, who want to catch up about what happening in the social media landscape up to the first half of 2009, the book is for you. For people who know and use Facebook for business, you might skip this book.

In conclusion, I like to read the book, but it does not provide me much. Because social network sites are constantly changing (many new social sites emerge and new features are introduced in monthly basis), this book could lost its relevancy soon.
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Format: Paperback
For those trying to figure out how to use Facebook as a tool to enhance business opportunities and ecommerce, this book has a lot of the answers. Really like the case studies of how actual businesses are using social networking in real life. Of course the SalesForce - Facebook app is a huge advantage for Salesforce customers ... and its free! I also found the history and in depth analysis of why Facebook is so popular for the first time explains the phenomenon in simple and understandable terms. If she is even half right in her belief that we are on the verge of another breakthrough which will be as big as was the creation of the internet, this book will have prepared you and will be worth it.
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The loose relationships that bind social network users are a one of the most valuable commodities of Facebook, according to Clara Shih, author of The Facebook Era.

As individuals, Shih contends that we have two sources of personal competitive advantage: human capital and social capital. The former is the natural talents, characteristics and abilities of an individual. The later is the ability to leverage relationships with others to get things done.

According to Shih, the weak social ties created by social networks build social capital and drive an informal, but powerful, quid-pro-quo social exchange. "Individuals with greater social capital close more deals, are better respected and get higher-ranking jobs," Shih said. "Online social networks offer access to social capital, empowering those who are well connected with private information, diverse skill sets, and others' energy and attention."

Online social networks make it EASIER TO ASK FOR FAVORS and HARDER TO DENY OTHERS' REQUESTS. As a result, according to Shih, weak ties carry the greatest amount of social capital. They are low maintainence and high value.

Read this entire review at: [...]
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Format: Paperback
First off, I wish that we could give books a 1/2 star....because 4 out of 5 stars is to low. I really enjoyed this book. Owning a small e-commerce business, I wanted to figure out the best strategy to get inside of Facebook and really use it effectively.

What this book does very effectively, is show you how powerful social media, specifically Facebook, can be if used correctly. However, despite the history, case studies, and general information, I was hoping for more specific examples on how to make it work...for you.

In the next edition, I would love to get some concrete examples of how you can effectively build up the initial following. I know, in theory, the viral nature of Facebook, but with it being such a new technology, some practical steps to building a following (without simply resorting to display advertisements), would be appreciated.
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