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Book Review: The Social Media Marketing Book By Dan Zarrella

Social media marketing is the process that uses social networks, blogs, online communities, or other online collaborative sources for sales, marketing, customer service, or public relations. Included in these sources are Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Flicker.

In The Social Media Marketing Book , Dan Zarrella, a social media and viral marketing scientist, will attempt to guide you through the maze of social platforms and tools to help you make a better informed decision on which ones to use and how to use them. The Social Media Marketing Book is 240 pages and 11 chapters.

Chapter 1, "Introduction," begins with a look at what social media marketing is, especially when compared to traditional marketing. In this chapter you will see how the big corporations use social media marketing, how small companies use it, as well as how you can use it.

Chapter 2, "Blogging," examines how blogging can be used as a hub for your social marketing efforts. Here you will look at what kind of content is appropriate for blogs, what you should put into your posts, your content strategies, how to build an audience as well as the various options you have for your blog.

Chapter 3, "Twitter and Microblogging," looks at the latest phenomenon of microblogging. This is a form of blogging that restricts the length of each post. Twitter is probably the most famous of these and you are limited to140 characters per post. In this chapter you will look at the history of microblogging, protocol, Twitter, and how Twitter can be used to promote your business.

Chapter 4, "Social Networking," is where you connect with friends, colleagues, and clients. Each site presents its own possiblities and challenges and here you will look at three sites; Facebook, Linkedin, and MySpace. You will explore the various options that each offers as well as whom they fit best for.

Chapter 5, "Media Sharing," is done on media sharing sites such as Flickr, YouTube, and SlideShare. On YouTube, you can use this type of platform for content that can be used for entertainment, training, and education. With Flickr, you can post images about your company and with SlideShare you can upload and share presentations.

Chapter 6, "Social News and Bookmarking," sites are ones that allow you to submit and vote on content from around the Web. Bookmarking sites are similar to social news sites but they focus on content that the user may want to revisit. These include sites like Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit, and Delicious. In this chapter you will see the kind of content fits best with these sites and how to effectively use them.

Chapter 7, "Ratings and Reviews," are important because in recent studies 70% of all people trust consumer options posted online which is more than any other source. Since the users of your product are already talking about it, you may as well get involved. Covered here are a range of site like Yelp, CitySearch, Judy's Book, and Superpages.

Chapter 8, "Forums," are one of the oldest forms of social media in that they are essentially a modern version of the community bulletin board. Here the user makes a post and others respond to them. Unlike other forms of social media, there are thousands of popular forums on the Web. Here you will see how to locate the ones that are right for you and your business.

Chapter 9, "Virtual Worlds," exist around the Web, but the primary one that can be used by businesses is Second Life. This can be a little more intimidating since more technical prowess is needed to create your world, but this chapter will help you determine if this is the right step for you.

Chapter 10, "Strategy, Tactics, and Practice," are essential if you are going to succeed in social marketing. One of the keys is to listen. You have to learn the rules and see how others use the media. Here you will see how to monitor, research, and build your strategy for the Web.

Chapter 11, "Measurements," are the key to your return on investment within the social media world. In this chapter you will learn how to determine your effectiveness and measure your success with your marketing.

The Social Media Marketing Book is a very targeted book that lays out all of the options of marketing in an easy to understand manner. It does not intend to go into depth about each aspect, but rather gives a fairly detailed overview. It explains why you would want to use a particular media, who it is best suited to, and most of all the protocol for the use of each.

For example, there are some sources that you don't want to broadcast because the media is more about conversations. With other sources, shorter bite-sized content is better. Still others are just fine for publishing news information.

What I like about The Social Media Marketing Book is that it begins each of the main media sections with a history of how that particular type of social media developed and who it was aimed at. Then the final two chapters brought it all together by showing how to develop a plan and measure its effectiveness.

Keep in mind that The Social Media Marketing Book is really an introductory guide to social media and how best to use this media for the marketing of your business. The advice is really based on workable solutions that can be put into practice by almost anyone. If you are new to social marketing and want an easy to understand book to break it all down, then I highly recommend The Social Media Marketing Book .

About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.

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