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Friends with Benefits: A Social Media Marketing Handbook Paperback – December 2, 2009
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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About the Author
Darren Barefoot and Julie Szabo have run social media marketing campaigns for national retailers like Best Buy, Future Shop and Brother International. They've been quoted as experts on social media on the CBC and BBC, and in Wired magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and dozens of other magazines, TV, and radio programs. Founders of Northern Voice, Canada's social media conference, they regularly speak around North America on social media, marketing, and emerging technology. Darren has 10,000 daily readers at DarrenBarefoot.com.
Top Customer Reviews
Friends with Benefits spoke to me because I have "lonely nerd" deep inside of me and this book goes all the way back into the yesteryears of 80s computing when I, too, was surfing the proto-Internet via a 1200-baud modem. Like the book asserts in chapter one, we lonely nerds weren't lonely, "the early BBSs were actually very social" and so were we. Fast-forward from the early 80s -- when I was doing dial-up and geeking out in Honolulu Bulletin Board Systems -- twenty years and "social media" is invented. No, re-invented.
Darren Barefoot and Julie Szabo get it and they lay it all out into this book and basically wrote the book on starting and building Abraham Harrison -- or a firm or agency like it -- from scratch. And not just starting an agency but integrating social media marketing into your advertising or PR agency or even adding smart social media capacity into your big, medium or even small business. I am impressed.Read more ›
The reason is that I have a distaste for spammy marketing. You know, "get 4 gazillion Facebook followers!" and all that sort of thing. The sleazy Internet marketers have really turned me off.
On the other hand, I am reminded of a young women who does Tweets for a few local businesses here. She announces restaurant specials, provides links of interest for the people who follow her husbands computer repair business, and just does amusing reminders every now and then. I follow her tweets because I want to know about the things she posts. It's not annoying - she's doing it the right way, and that's exactly the sort of thing that this book suggests.
There's nothing spammy here, nothing that makes me uncomfortable (and I'm more than a little squeamish on this subject). Anyone with a business, whether it's Big Business or just you working out of your living room, can benefit from the advice in this book. No sleaze, just practical advice about how to market well using social media.
This would be a great introduction for anyone who can't imagine why Twitter, Facebook et al. could be good for business, but it will also be useful for fine tuning the efforts of those who are already using the Web to enhance their marketing.
In addition to explaining how the reader might go about getting social network ready, the authors go about explaining some very interesting points about "netiquette." I've been around the web for a long time and this particular section was of interest to me. It confirmed many of my own hard earned beliefs and went onto point out a few new ways in which I might change what I do so that I avoid unintentionally put off others. Since the point of Social Network is to provide value to others, it makes no sense to offend.
There is a significant amount of information on "damage control." One of the most important things to remember is that whether or not we are active on the web, the web can be very active on us! The authors point out that unless you are watching what's being said about your company or you as an individual, you may be blindsided by customer issues (rightly or wrongly accusing your company) that are being blogged about in a very public manner. So guidelines are given for how to monitor the web not only for news about you, but to measure success for any marketing campaigns you might run.
Each of several of the major social networking sites has a chapter of its own to explain how it got started, who is using it and how it works. Blogs and how to find them, My Space, Facebook, YouTube and other video sharing sites, and of course Twitter are all covered.Read more ›
material out there on Social Media. There's a lot of
cheerleading about the free advertising and the engagement
with customers, but not enough acknowledgement of the
enormous investment of skilled man-hours many social media
tactics require to bear fruit.
Social Media boosters may be aware that real marketers want
to know what the ROI will be, and to please us they have
some convenient, practiced answers. The truth is you cannot
realistically outsource your company's social media branding
to people earning $2 an hour who don't have a reason to care
if your company looks stupid. If you go for the bottom-rung,
quantity-over-quality approach to social media you'll get a
messy result. The other alternative, as in most advertising,
is to put the right MONEY into social media. Since
intelligent employees who "get it" must be paid, and since
social media is a time-consuming type of marketing, you
won't be getting free advertising the way you're hoping.
This book is excellent. My expectations were low, because
much of what I read on social media marketing hypes the free
advertising and avoids addressing the labor-intensity of it.
This book is a breath of fresh air because it addresses real
problems that can and will occur in social media marketing
and how to deal with them.
Now that I've had my rant, I'll just recommend the book with
a 5 star (a rating I'm getting stingier and stingier with).
That means it's really useful stuff.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Still one of the best books out there on managing and planning for social media, in particular because it offers solid examples of successful and unsuccessful campaign (with... Read morePublished on January 4, 2013 by SoMisguided.com
If you're starting out at a digital agency, this book is a good primer.
It includes a thorough history of social media sites, which will help you understand why you use... Read more
When I bought this book, I wasn't sure I'd learn anything. After all, I work as a marketing consultant. But I was impressed with the book. Read morePublished on July 27, 2012 by Andrea Coutu from Consultant Journal
This is a bite-sized book. If you're a PR person or a marketer who feels that you're a little behind the curve when it comes to social media, you'll be able to get through this... Read morePublished on January 24, 2011 by Theseus
How I got the book:
Electronic review copy sent to me on behalf of the authors. (disclosure: an excerpt from this review appears in the paperback version)... Read more
Social media has exploded in the last few years with millions of people using the various sources to connect with each other. Read morePublished on September 30, 2010 by Alain B. Burrese
Many books about social media promote the idea that these new tools are the be-all and end-all of marketing. Read morePublished on August 20, 2010 by Janice King
Friends with Benefits is a great book.
When Amazon recommended it to me I had to laugh a bit at the title, and upon reflection, realized it couldn't be more true. Read more
Social media democratizes communications, allowing anybody to become a publisher, from YouTube videos, to blog posts, to twitter messages. Read morePublished on July 22, 2010 by Dr. Yuval Lirov