On The Bookshelf: The Zen Of Social Media Marketing By Shama Kabani [Giveaway!]

On The Bookshelf: The Zen Of Social Media Marketing By Shama Kabani [Giveaway!]
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{Web.Search.Social} Giveaway: Download a free excerpt of the book and enter to win a free copy at the end of this review.

When publishers BenBella Books generously offered two free copies of the new edition of the Zen of Social Media Marketing for the subscribers of {Web.Search.Social} I jumped at the chance and was thrilled when a copy landed on my desk.

Here’s my review… and if this book sounds like one that’s for you, download a free excerpt and enter the giveaway at the end.

This Book Starts Where It Should: With The Marketing

“Social” is just a word we tacked onto “marketing”, but that doesn’t make it any less about marketing.

In this book, Shama starts out with some marketing fundamentals, discusses the importance of a good website as a vital component of any social marketing plan, tangents into SEO with some practical tips and then hits hard with “get up off the couch and start working” stuff.

I’ll get to that in a minute, but I want to mention first that if you read nothing else in this book… even if you think you know everything about social marketing… I want you to read Chapter 5. And then I want you to read it again. And when you’re done, I want you to rip the pages out and glue them to your office walls because Shama says quite possibly the single most important thing you can understand about social marketing:

People do not use social networks to connect. They use them to showcase their own identities.

I couldn’t do it justice without reprinting it word for word, but the key takeaway is that most of us start out thinking we’re going to brand our companies, tell the story of our businesses and get people to connect with us.

But that’s doing it backwards because people don’t want to connect with your business – they want to see their own identities reflected in your brand. They want to know: “What does liking/following/tweeting this company say about me?”

Think on that for a while. Read the book for the true brilliance of it.

Intrigued? Remember to download your free excerpt and enter to win a free copy at the end of this review!

Some Things You’ll Learn

Roll up your sleeves. If you’re looking for an introduction to the major social networks, want help getting started, need ideas for what to do once you get there and some advice for the what-not-to-dos, you’re going to want a highlighter handy.

These are some of the topics covered:

  • Facebook: how to set up a page, manage your privacy settings, types of content to post, general etiquette plus info about events, contests and ads.
  • Twitter: getting started with all those funky symbols, how and why to follow people, a simple step-by-step guide to finding opportunities and a nice list of helpful tools.
  • LinkedIn: setting up your profile along with a laundry list of dos-and-don’ts for engaging on this most professional of networks.
  • Google+: setting up your profile, managing circles, running hangouts, using business pages and a pretty nifty list of shortcuts that can help you style and post like a pro.

There’s more… (Groupon and Facebook ads and video podcasting, oh my!) But we’ve got a giveaway to host so I’ll leave it at that!

What This Book Is… And Isn’t

This book is a great introduction. It’s thorough, it’s got great checklists of dos and don’ts at the end of each chapter and it forces you think about what you’re doing before blindly jumping in.

There’s a focus on the “social” side of social. Shama reminds us that behind all the methods and tools, there are people, and that’s something you must understand to succeed.

As a get-started guide it’s not too detailed in any one area but gives an overview of important ideas and concepts. That’s great news for anyone who feels overwhelmed by social and all the options available.

No matter what your experience level, this is a book you can dog-ear and highlight and refer back to. Even for those of us who feel pretty comfortable with social media, it’s never a good idea to get too comfortable. A “back to basics” is sometimes what we need.

The 10-Second Wrapup

What I really appreciated was that each chapter started with the big, fat question, “Why?”

Knowing “how” to do something is only useful if you know why – and have a good reason!

I’m also a big fan of anything action-oriented so I loved the very practical tips and suggestions in this book. If you read it, there’s no way you’ll be able say, “I just don’t know where to start!” anymore.

For me though, Chapter 5 and Shama’s “reverse look” at what social networks are really about was worth the price of admission.

Get A Free Excerpt And Enter To Win!

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Carol Lynn Rivera

Carol Lynn Rivera

I'm a business owner, content creator, podcaster and marketer. In 1999 I founded Rahvalor Interactive, a web and creative services production studio, with my husband and business partner Ralph. In 2011 we created Web.Search.Social, a consulting and marketing service line for small businesses. We also cohost the Web.Search.Social Podcast where we challenge the status quo of marketing and the Carbon Based Business Units podcast where we talk about the human side of being an entrepreneur. On any given day I wear the hat of project manager, consultant, social media manager and content marketer. My true passion is writing and in my spare time I'm busy planning my early retirement to Barcelona as a famous and wealthy novelist.
Carol Lynn Rivera
Carol Lynn Rivera