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The Zen of Social Media Marketing: An Easier Way to Build Credibility, Generate Buzz, and Increase Revenue Paperback – April 6, 2010
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To me, the highlight of "The Zen of Social Media" was the workbook provided online. It is a nice workbook that gets the user thinking critically about what they want to achieve by using social media. The workbook gives tasks such as, "How will you measure your social media marketing efforts?" and "List three goals you want to accomplish using social media marketing." While the workbook does not provide the sought after analysis and case studies, it does get the user to take a step back and think about their motives for using social media, which is always useful. I feel as if "The Zen of Social Media" would have been more effective as a whole if it was set up more like the workbook.
Despite its flaws, "The Zen of Social Media" has only enhanced my interest in working with social media from a marketing standpoint. The constant changing creates an always evolving workplace. Although I have been critical about "The Zen of Social Media," there are some nuggets of helpful information in there.
There is one passage that I wish had been focused on more throughout the book: "So much of social media is about building relationships and leveraging word of mouth. Sometimes a consumer has to hear about you ten times before he or she will buy" (p. 141-142). I do not think the goal here is to get people to post the same message ten times on different social networking sites. I am afraid that novice people who are looking to "The Zen of Social Media" for guidance may just take exactly that away from this book. I think Kabani has some really good ideas, they just were not executed very well. Perhaps it would have been more effective in an online only version that could be updated regularly. The three main points Kabani wanted the readers to focus on were: Strategize first, be human, and have patience. Overall, I wish these aspects were weaved more thoroughly throughout the book. If "The Zen of Social Media" had focused on these aspects, like I think the goal was, it could have been great.
If you're new to social media marketing and are looking for a good primer on the subject, then this book might do the trick. But if you already have a Facebook fan page or Twitter account, or even if you don't, but know that you should, skip this book and read any of the several good books out there devoted specifically on how to market on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, in that order. Save your Zen for something with more depth.
There are probably others like me who avoided social media because all I ever saw was meaningless banter. However, I now realize how I've been missing the big picture. It is a practical communication tool that can help individuals (and their companies) build a global presence. I'm getting started with the ideas from the book, sharing my expertise in risk management. Thanks, Shama.
The book is great! It is a real "how to" guide, step by step and offers lots of insight and ideas of things to explore online.
I have not yet read the book entirely. I have had it for two weeks, and read a few pages daily but every time I read a little I am drawn to the web to try out, test or explore what I just read!
I am excited to get to the end and then start over to really Learn all Shama has to offer!
She also practices what she teaches in the book - follow her on Twitter (@shama) and you will find out, and while you are at it - follow me too! @katytexaspi