I really wanted to dislike this. It was sent to me by the publisher without my requesting it and I'm sure I groaned out loud when I opened the package and saw the subtitle. Social Media? I HATE social media!
Aaargh! OK, I'll read the damn thing, I thought. Maybe there's enough fodder here for a scathing review - tear the skin right off the authors and roast them on a spit! That'll teach that publisher not to send me junk when I don't want it. I sat myself down on the couch and started reading.
Hmmm. Something's wrong. Where's all the crap about getting 4 zillion Facebook followers? Where are the shady tricks, the spammy tactics? What's WRONG with these people?
Nothing. The book has no sleaze, just practical advice about how to market using social media. This would be a great introduction for anyone who can't imagine why Twitter could be good for business, but it will also be useful for fine tuning the efforts of those who are already using the Web to enhance their marketing.
The reality is that I don't hate social media - I just hate some of the sleazy practitioners. When it's done honestly, with concern for customers, social media marketing is valuable both for the producer and the consumer. I was reminded of a young women who does Tweets for a few local businesses. She announces specials, does amusing reminders every now and then, that sort of thing. I follow her tweets because I want to know about the things she posts. It's not annoying - she's doing it the right way, and that's exactly the sort of thing that this book suggests. Because she's doing it right, I forget that she's doing social media marketing - and that's exactly what you want!
I know that I should do more of this myself. I do some, but I don't take advantage of all that this book covers. Again, there's nothing spammy here, nothing that makes me uncomfortable (and I'm more than a little squeamish on this subject). Anyone with a business, whether it's Big Business or just you working out of your living room, can benefit from the advice in this book.
So, as it turns out, my initial groan was wrong. I'm glad No Starch sent this for review and I'll actually be reading it again and following through with some of its suggestions. Recommended.