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on February 15, 2008
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.
Blogging.

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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Weber scores high with this book on marketing via social media. Although written in 2007 (and you know how quickly the world on the web changes) this book will continue to be relevant to those who have not yet jumped into social media marketing (SMM).

Rather than delving into step-by-step, tactical ways to execute SMM on a laundry list of social media sites, Weber discusses the strategy of SMM and how and why you should care. He goes into enough rationale and detail to show you why this new type of marketing is and will continue to be important for your business and provides enough examples -- even in the business-to-business space -- to let the reader see what has worked and why. To be accepted by the online social media culture you must understand the underlying concept of SMM and how to approach the topic without being intrusive. This book does a great job explaining it to those who are not already deeply involved in it.

-- Review by the author of the e-book, "How to Build and Manage Your Brand (in sickness and in health)."
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on October 16, 2013
I'm a big fan of Larry's -- he's undoubtedly one of the best PR minds in the world, but this book was useless.

Blogs were dead before this book was written. The future was Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, yet they weren't the pivotal parts of the book.

I read this book before working for one of Larry's companies. He's a rather brilliant dude, and he's going to stay ahead of the curve, and probably make even more money than he did before. But this book is dead -- don't bother to read it.
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on September 27, 2009
Larry Weber's original "Marketing to the Social Web" set the tone for thinking how our company, Exciting Windows!, could become active in Facebook, Twitter and more...in fact the original book presaged the ubiquitous emergence of these phenomenons. His newest book shows how to use them in our thinking and develop this as a new strategic approach in all that we do. The book continually inspires my thinking how to apply his principles to benefit our customers, in management to benefit our franchisees and licensees, and in development of new members to benefit our growth. I consider "Marketing to the Social Web" a must read and would add that "Socialnomics", the video on YouTube, and the book you can find here on Amazon are essential supplements to Larry Weber's thesis. [[ASIN:0470477237 Socialnomics: How social media transforms the way we live and do business]
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on July 13, 2008
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. Another quick example of the target market is that the book took about 4-5 pages in describing what a blog is. This is all well and good for an "Intro" book, but it is indicitive of the audience this book was meant for. I found this book too generic to be useful. It lacked specifics, strong case examples, adequate statistics, etc. If you are 60+ years of age and really aren't aware of what social communities are, or message boards, or online reviews of products (Oh the irony), I would recommend this book. Also, if you don't believe that having an online voice is relevant in today's global market, and are looking for a strong case to show you why it is, I would recommend this book. If you have ever participated on a message board, read a blog, posted/read an online review, etc...this book won't tell you anything that you don't already know.

However, if you are looking for effective ways to market to the "Social Web" AKA Web 2.0 by the rest of the world, go elsewhere. This book is too generic to be useful IMHO. I gave this book two stars instead of one because it was well written, and unlike EVERY other marketing book I have ever read, it didn't remind you to go to the author's website every other page (In fact, I don't even remember him naming his website in the book, which is to be applauded, as you can tell this info was legitimately designed to help the reader, not just another marketing tool by the author as many marketing books are). Also if you do want a BEGINNERS' book to what Web 2.0 is, this would be tough to beat. The author puts everything in non-techie terms, and is very thorough at explaining some of the core/basic concepts of Web 2.0.

BOTTOM LINE:
The people who could best be helped with a book like this are intelligent people who don't keep up with technology, but know the basics. I found this more as an introduction to what Web 2.0 was than a "How to" book which is what I believed the book to be about based on the title.
If you are looking for valuable "How to market to the Social Web" info, this book will GREATLY disappoint you.
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on December 5, 2007
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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on May 13, 2009
Marketing to the Social Web is the best book on using social media for marketing and customer relations which I have read to date. For every business person who sells services and manages client relations, this is a crucial work to use for launching into the web and laying the groundwork for success in an increasingly online business environment!
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on June 17, 2009
This book does an excellent job of getting you to look at the mindset for social marketing first before applying any tools. We approach these customers differently is the primary message and offers good insights on the whys with paths that get you started on the hows.
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on August 16, 2007
This book goes into detail about the possibilities behind marketing to the social web. It's more about how to interact with your customers and the social ties that bind them to determine the next steps in marketing and product development. It's also a good way to attract and interact with them in a more personal way than every done before in traditional marketing. The book is full of examples and case studies with usable techniques even for smaller companies who might not have as much to invest.
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on July 27, 2010
Good explaination of social media in early years. Lacks on how to start getting involved, but written more for exec level anyway (promoting the reason why rather than how).
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