Book Review:
The Social Media Marketing Book

Author(s): Dan Zarrella
Publisher: O'Reilly (2009)
ISBN: 0596806604
Web Site: http://oreilly.com/catalog/9780596806583
Reviewer: Dave Cross

Buy from Amazon

Social media marketing is big business. All of the social media web sites are awash with companies trying to use them to sell their products and services. In many cases these campaigns are ill-conceived and end up annoying more people and driving them away from the company in question.

It's not that social media marketing is particularly difficult. It's just that it's a new area and it's very easy to get something wrong and to end up doing more harm than good. The users of social media services tend to be a little more clued-up than the general population and they are often suspicious of traditional marketing methods. I'm sure we can all recite horror stories of internet marketing campaigns that have backfired badly.

Dan Zarrella knows what he's talking about though. He knows how to tiptoe around the minefield that is social media marketing without stepping on any of the minds. If all of the people currently trying to use Facebook and Twitter as a marketing tool would stop and spend a couple of hours (yes, it's a very short book) reading Zarrella's book then their campaigns would all be of a higher quality and they'd have a lot more success.

Zarrella covers all the bases in his discussion of social media tools. He goes from blogging and Twitter to video sharing and Second Life. On the way he shares all the nuances that he has picked up whilst working with these various tools. Each chapter discusses a particular area in some depth and the final two chapters step back from the detail to have a look at strategy and measurement.

The precise sites that we'll be using in the future will no doubt change. It's quite likely that won't still be using Twitter in three years time, but Zarrella's advice is likely to still hold true as the underlying principles will still be appropriate.

If you're planning a social media marketing campaign then it'll be well worth your while reading this book.