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on September 20, 2010
Go Dummies Go! I love Dummies! Dummies books rule!

I always look forward to the latest installment of the such-and-such for dummies books, so I eagerly awaited my pre-order of Jan Zimmerman's and Doug Sahlin's Social Media Marketing (all-in-one) for Dummies. Even better it proclaimed it was eight books in one. The book is fantastic, even if it does suffer from the usual forest-vs-trees issue. It is much more a "trees" book with lots of details on each social media venue, but still a great book.

By "trees" I mean it gives you the details of each social media marketing venue: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogs, etc. For each, the authors do a nice job of overviewing the venue, and explaining the basic steps of how to create an account, what you can do with it, etc. It's a great survey of the entire Social Media Universe. Importantly, it is a critical, skeptical, ROI point of view vs. many of the simple cheerleading or laundry list books on Social Media out there. I really liked that.

By "forest," however, I mean the big picture / strategy of Social Media. The book DOES have information on building a Social Media Marketing plan and DOES have some useful case studies, but there is often just too much text and too many details. I teach Social Media Marketing (online and in San Francisco), and I have experienced that my students are just overwhelmed with the details. Less is often more, as they say, and this book could have used a re-write on the chapters on making a social media marketing plan. Missing in particular is a clear explanation of which social media venue fits which business need best.

That said, if you combine this detailed book, with some "higher level" marketing strategy... And, for example, you pre-think WHY you want to Twitter (Facebook, Youtube, MySpace, LinkedIn), and WHY your potential customers might care to listen / converse with you... You will have a dynamite combination. Don't be afraid to realize that perhaps you don't NEED Twitter - that Youtube is a BETTER fit for your company.

This book has earned its place on my reference shelf, for myself and my students in Social Media Marketing. For more on me, just click on my profile or Google Jason McDonald plus Social Media. I love comments and feedback, and I try to read as many new SEO, Social Media, AdWords books as I can.

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on April 5, 2011
This book is not for dummies! It presupposes that the reader has working knowledge of the Internet and social media. It is not an introduction to social media. If you don't have an understanding of Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, this is not the book to start with. The book really covers all aspects of social media marketing very cearly and in detail, almost too much detail. I found it almost overwhelming at times; because it is so dense with information it is a slow read, not a book you can read in one sitting. It is divided into very logical sections so if you aren't interested in Twitter you can skip the section on Twitter and focus on Facebook, or LinkedIn. The book is extremely well and clearly written with none of the goofiness sometimes found in the "Dummies" series. All in all I think it is an excellent resource and reference to which I will refer again and again.
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"Your customers and your competition are already involved in social media. Why aren't you?" ~ pg. 8

If you are interested in Blogs (WordPress), Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr, Digg, Yelp and Second Life (a virtual world) then this book may appeal to you. The book doesn't focus on marketing but rather introduces these sites and gets you up to date on the terminology of the Web. I thought there was some useful advice about interacting at forums. I also liked what Dan Zarella had to say about blogs: "content trumps comments." He also mentions that a blog will be more effective if it sticks to a single topic.

"When responding to a review, keep a cool head. If a poster gets you upset, don't respond right away; step away from the computer for a while to calm down." ~ pg. 137

Throughout the book there are interesting facts like a short history of Twitter. There is also a short section on how to get "retweets" that might be helpful to anyone using Twitter. What I liked about this book was that on almost every left-hand page there is a screen shot so you can instantly see what Dan is talking about. No need to go online while you are reading! I thought that was very helpful since I was new to most of the sites discussed.

What I think you will enjoy is that the author introduces you to many sites you may want to start using to spread the message about your product or service. He does however advise that you avoid hard selling techniques. There is a brief chapter on "Strategy, Tactics, and Practice." This chapter helps you figure out who is talking about you online. This is especially useful if you run a business.

If you are new to social media then this book will be helpful. If you are looking for specific information on the sites listed above then I'd recommend you buy some of the Dummies books for each site. They have great books for Twitter, Facebook and WordPress to mention a few. Those are the sites I'm currently interested in and will be reviewing those books soon.

~The Rebecca Review
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VINE VOICEon March 21, 2010
Anyone in business today has been told that their business needs to be on social media. The problem is should a business be involved in social media marketing, but how does one get into this. Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, You Tube Digg and Second Life are things that a manager may have heard of, but how to do get involved, without shooting your business in the foot or falling on your face, is something that can be very daunting to someone ready to start dabbling. There are books galore out there how to effectively leverage activity based upon various case studies, but to appreciate these one must have some kind of background in the media to begin with. But first questions such as "What is a Social News and Bookmarking site like Digg or Reddit?" need to be answered. This is where Zarrella's book is valuable. Each chapter is laid out with simple and practical explanation, information and suggestions on the right hand page and screen shots and graphics illustrating this information on the left hand page. The approach puts practical information right in front of you both as an explanation as well as what you would see on the Web. The information provided is concise, free of jargon and with practical suggestions, and more importantly warnings, regarding how and how not to engage in using these social
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on August 10, 2011
Do you know your way around Facebook? Or at least `think' you do? How about Twitter? This book has proven an excellent tool for all things viral marketing.

Today's tech-savvy market demands constant contact from their PCs to the cell-phones. Social Media marketing is the new (necessary) marketing tool. Especially if you're a small business, website looking for traffic, or just have a neat dog walking service and want to make sure your neighbors know.

This book covers the A-Z from setting up simple facebook accounts to Search Engine Optimization (Making sure your site pops up first on Google). It has all the tips and tricks any startup needs, all told in the easy-to-follow "dummies" format.

Follow this book and with a little time and a little luck, your sites new traffic will pay for itself!
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on April 20, 2010
It's really amazing how much good information is packed inside this little book! It gives the reader an excellent overview of the big picture of social media marketing, and while it clearly wasn't intended to be an exhaustive "how-to" guide on implementing all of the social media marketing approaches it describes, I'm sure that anyone (even an experience social media marketer) could learn something that he didn't know before reading this book. If you're new to social media marketing, this is a "must read." If you have some experience with the topic, you should read to make sure you're not missing anything.
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on March 1, 2018
Not as good as his book entitled The Science of Marketing. So so.
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on March 7, 2010
The book provides a compelling overview of "what's on" in Social Media. It prompts you to another level of knowledge where "classical" strategic marketing is a plus as a starting point but opens to an outstanding world of new ways to make yourself or your brand seen hence wanted. The last part of the book is dedicated to "Strategy" and is by far the most interesting. I think the book unveils the dawn of a new profession: the social media marketing scientist. JFP
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on May 21, 2017
Great book
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on December 21, 2011
What can I say except that this book is worth every penny of its cost. In my opinion, it is extremely well written, easy to follow, and loaded to the hilt and above with useful information. From the totally socially inept person to the social butterfly type of person, this book will be a valuable reference in navigating the arena of social media marketing. Social media marketing can be a very tricky cat to deal with, even for the experienced person who is always on top of the sometimes rapidly changing dos and don'ts involved. This book can be a big asset to those who take the time to really read and digest the information in this book. Kudos to the author on a well written and very useful book!
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