Saturday, December 05, 2009

Friends With Benefits - A Social Media Marketing Handbook

Traditional businesses are still trying to grasp what the expanding universe of social media means for them, their marketing and PR efforts. While there is consensus around the imperative to be a part of it, decision makers in these organizations find themselves struggling for guidance when they try to put a social media strategy together. If they do end up trying the "social media thing" the results are often either underwhelming or unmeasurable stymieing the way forward to trying a different, more informed approach to it.

The single biggest question for marketing organizations is what is the risk of getting it wrong. What if their campaign fails to generate the positive buzz and turns to a marketeers worst nightmare - the social networks get control of the story in an unfavorable way and decide to digg and stumble it right into the Hall Of Shame. There is a sense that the social media can be cruel, unforgiving and even somewhat whimsical. Unless your recipe is exactly right, you could be in trouble. No one wants to become a case study for what not to do with social media.

With all that, there is a pressing need for a guidebook on navigating through the vast and confusing social media space. Friends With Benefits - A Social Media Marketing Handbook is just such a book and it does an outstanding job of being the expert voice without miring the reader in the minutiae of geek-speak. The authors Darren Barefoot and Julie Szabo, cover a lot of ground in 300 pages. The book is a comprehensive compendium on the tools of the trade, implementing an effective social media campaign, excellent case studies of both successes and failures, what the future holds for this medium and of course lessons learned.

For those who have up to now remained on the fringes of social networking, reading this book is their chance to come up speed quickly and regain lost ground. Yet, there is a lot someone who is conversant with social media can learn from it as well. Having consulted with marketing organizations of large companies for a few years now, I see the value of Friends With Benefits from an education and awareness standpoint - the essential first step to utilizing the medium effectively.

This is great addition to bookshelves of foot soldiers in marketing organizations (specially in large companies) but distilling the learnings from it into a business case to pitch to senior management would still pose a challenge if the audience is not particularly web technology savvy and social media aware (as is often the case). I would love to see a book by the authors that addresses this need.


camilynn said...

Good post on Friends With Benefits - A Social Media Marketing Handbook. I just came across a free video in that tells how to sponsor 20 a month. It contains good information and I hope it hepls everyone.


Darren Barefoot said...

Thanks for the great review--glad you enjoyed the book!

Leonard Williams said...

Great post on Friends With Benefits - A Social Media Marketing Handbook. I found it very insightful.


Heartcrossings said...

Darren - It was a pleasure reading your book. I am definitely looking forward to more.

Leonard - Thanks for stopping by.Glad to know you found the review helpful