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Social Media Is Bullshit Hardcover – September 4, 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 145 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“B.J. isn't saying that all social media is worthless--he's saying far too much of the chatter and hype about it is. Read this book to hear from someone who actually knows what they're talking about.” ―Ryan Holiday, bestselling author of Trust Me I'm Lying and former Director of Marketing at American Apparel

“In his absorbing and provocative new book, Social Media is Bullshit, Mendelson, a former marketing guy, is pulling back the curtain on what happens when you're inveigled into having a 'social media presence' by people who, as luck would have it, will show you exactly how for an often exorbitant fee.” ―Chris Lombardo, The Toronto Star

“I've been telling everyone for years that social media is just the same bullshit we've always done sped up 1000 times. Finally someone's laid it all out in book form.” ―Drew Curtis, founder of Fark.com and author of It's Not News, It's FARK: How Mass Media Tries to Pass off Crap as News

“Passionate... This work should provide useful ammunition for readers skeptical about the new networks linking the people of the 21st century” ―Publishers Weekly

“A thought-provoking counterpoint to the myriad books on the usefulness of social media for business promotion. Anyone interested in the true impact of social media will find it of interest.” ―Poppy Johnson-Renvall, Central New Mexico Comm. Coll., Albuquerque (Library Journal)

“This small book packs a welcome, refreshing punch.” ―Kirkus Review

Social Media Is Bulls*** is common sense applied to hype, often in a very funny way. [...] If you enjoy watching bulls*** being taken apart, it's a great read.” ―Dan Seitz, Uproxx

“Thoughtful and provocative... If you're a social media junkie, read it and weep.” ―New York Journal of Books

From the Inside Flap

A provocative look at SOCIAL MEDIA that dispels the hype and tells you all you need to know about using the Web to expand your business.
If you listen to the pundits, Internet gurus, marketing consultants, and even the mainstream media, you might think that social media was the second coming. They declare that it's revolutionizing advertising, PR, customer relations, everything. And they all agree on one thing: Social media is here to stay.
In this practical and insightful guide, journalist and social critic B.J. Mendelson skillfully debunks the myths of social media. He illustrates how the notion of social media first came to prominence, why it has become such a powerful presence in the marketing field, and who stands to benefit each time it's touted in the press. He shows you why all the Facebook friends and Twitter followers in the world mean nothing to you and your business without old-fashioned, real-world connections. He examines popular tales of social media "success," and reveals some unsettling truths behind the surface. And he tells you how to best harness the potential of the Internet--without spending a fortune in the process.
Social media is bullshit. This book gives the knowledge and tools you really need to connect with customers and grow your brand.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (September 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250002958
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250002952
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (145 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #773,917 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By James R. Holland VINE VOICE on September 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The book is not about the millions of people who are addicted to using Social Media to gossip, talk about themselves or post family photos and/or embarrassing snapshots of their friends. It's about trying to use Social Media or the Internet as a selling or marketing tool.

That said, this is one of the most interesting books I've read this year.

Dan Lyons, the technology editor of Newsweek, was quoted as saying, "I think the golden era of one guy blogging his thoughts and building an audience is kind of over."
The marketing "myth that says all you need to do is use the Big Six `social media' platforms (Facebook, Twitter, foursquare, Linked in, You Tube, Tumblr) and all your problems will be solved. All the while, these companies and the marketers pushing the myth are lining their pockets...by selling your information to others and monetizing it."

The author compares the Social Media Marketing Scam to the California Gold Rush of 1849. The miners digging up the gold didn't make the money, the guys selling the shovels and blue jeans made the money.

"Ninety-nine percent of the things that are often referred to as `viral' are driven by offline forces: real-world connections, traditional media, legitimate celebrities, corporate spending. " All the major social media marketing successes are the result of corporate backing and or celebrities. "

"Radio and print remain the most effective form of advertisements" according to the author. He doesn't even mention television.

The author relates an epiphany he experienced during "a cross-country tour to raise money for a small not-for-profit he was working for. " His mission was to raise five million dollars by getting his one million Twitter followers to donate $5.
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Format: Hardcover
Social Media is Bullshit is a must read for any entrepreneur looking to take their business online.

As a consultant, I've dealt with dozens of clients who have drank the "social media" kool-aid hoping to make their business grow with websites like twitter and facebook. I've been preaching BJ's take on the industry since learning about it a year or so back. Sure, clients don't like hearing they are wrong, but soon they realize how much money and time they save by smartly approaching the web instead of blindly following the so-called guru's advice.

I was always skeptical of these social media gurus who claim that one can earn a living tweeting. But they do it! (by fleecing everyone they can and tricking people into believing the hype they created around themselves.

The book is succinct, to the point, and worth reading. If you are in the internet industry, it's one you'll be lending your clients for years to come.
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Format: Hardcover
I read this book around LA at Starbucks and restaurants over the weekend and waiters, waitresses, customers, etc. all wanna talk about it after seeing the cover. Everyone said the same thing: they hate "social media," - young and old. Being a PR agency guy I can attest that it is all bull. But tell any client they are wasting their e money and you'll be "un-friended" faster than a tweeting bird. PR and Ad agencies not only sell expensive "social media" campaigns to clients but they actually believe in them. They say they raise awareness and engagement. Been to Cheetos' FB page lately? Follow Kraft on Twitter? I thought so.
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Format: Hardcover
I feel like I'm the guy B.J. was going after with this book. The whole thing seems to revolve around what social media expert/guru/douchebags sell. I've been called those things and I am a digital marketing/social media consultant, author, speaker, etc. While there are a lot of good nuggets in this book and B.J. and I agree on quite a bit -- his essay on Facebook's practical applications and the truth behind YouTube success are strong points -- there was one glaring problem with the book. He positions his argument for the book in that he's looking out for the small business owner, little fish that can't afford complimentary ad budgets and celebrity endorsements, yet "debunks" social media by criticizing the case studies of Blendec, Dell, Old Spice, Zappos and Kia. Comparing big business, big budget, integrated campaigns to what small businesses can do with social media is a big disconnect. There were no small business case studies presented or criticized despite the vast opportunity. So he claims to be protecting the innocent (yet gullible?) small business owner from being stuck by the greedy marketing shysters but doesn't present arguments for or against the use of social in their terms. The apple-to-oranges argument is hollow.

But, there are marketing hucksters out there. B.J. does a nice job of giving you some perspective on how to avoid them, but lumps all of us into the same boat and generalizes far too much. There's a lot of good to be had using social media for business. If a small business owner gets hold of this book and believes the advice in it, they'll be as disadvantaged in business as B.J. says they would be if they read other social media marketing books.

Is this worth reading? Yes. But I'd take it with a whole lot of grain of salt since the argument is weak and there's no balance to the perspective.
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