Review: The Zen of Social Media Marketing: An Easier Way to Build Credibility, Generate Buzz, and Increase Revenue

book cover

The Zen of Social Media Marketing: An Easier Way to Build Credibility, Generate Buzz, and Increase Revenue is by Shama Kabani, published by BenBella Books (2013). This is the 3rd edition of this popular book. The author is the CEO of The Marketing Zen Group – a successful marketing firm – and does a lot of speaking on TV and in training and conference talks. Kabani’s success as a marketer adds credibility to the tips and advice contained in the book.

I’ve never heard Sharma Kabani speak, but I can almost feel her voice reaching out of this book: an enthusiastic and very present voice that inspires listeners to make the leap into social media marketing. She’s full of encouraging quotes, examples of success, and tips to help marketers understand various social media sites and how to use them to best advantage. The book feels as if it was created from her speaking engagements and carries a vibe that feels like she’s right in front of you with a set of slides.

Kabani begins by explaining basics like the need for a website and/or a blog. She talks about SEO and what social media marketing is and is not. Then she goes through a series of chapters about Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. These chapters about specific social media sites are all organized in the same way. She explains,

  • why the site is important
  • how to set up your presence on the site and how to use the site’s various features
  • how to build your presence on the site
  • dos and don’ts of marketing on the site

The chapters about individual sites provide both basic how-to information and tips on marketing that are valuable and specific.

The book also has chapters about using video, about creating a social media policy, social media case studies from real businesses and advertising on social media.

Kabani made occasional statements that seemed a bit arbitrary to me, for example, you should blog twice a week, or you should synchronize all your social media efforts with ping.fm. I think she would certainly be more nuanced than these statements appear if you could engage in a Q&A with her.

Summary: A helpful guide for marketers who are unfamiliar with social media marketing and strategy.

A review by Virginia DeBolt of The Zen of Social Media Marketing (rating: 4 stars)

Disclosure: The publisher provided a review copy of this book, but my opinions are my own.

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