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Introduce Clients to Social Media With a New Book from O'Reilly

“What is Twitter, anyway?” I’ve been asked questions like that many times, as I’m sure most web workers have. “The Social Media Marketing Book” by tech writer Dan Zarrella, attempts to explain Twitter, blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr, Second Life, Yelp, and even such sites as Rate My Professors.

The book is divided into sections on blogging; Twitter and microblogging; social networking; media sharing; social news and bookmarking; ratings and reviews; forums; and virtual worlds. In each section, Zarrella provides very short descriptions of leading web sites in the particular category, together with quick discussions of how they work, and how businesses could benefit from using them.

The book’s author dedicates it to his grandparents, which is appropriate, since this is the sort of book that I’d give to someone older and less computer-savvy. It sometimes gets a little technical for this audience, but the writing style is clear and friendly.

The book feels like a bit of a departure for O’Reilly Media (who kindly provided the book to me). I tend to think of O’Reilly as publishers of dense software and programming manuals. I was amused to note that the book is listed in O’Reilly’s catalog as “First Edition.” The book will need updating frequently if it’s to stay relevant — some of the screenshots are already out of date.

“The Social Media Marketing Book” is a little book. At 239 8″ x 6″ pages (in paperback or as an e-book), with lots of illustrations and white space, the content is frankly limited. But it’s well-organized, easy to understand, inviting to flip through,and approachable. I doubt that many WWD readers will learn anything new from this book, but it might be useful for lending to clients, family and friends.

How do you explain social media to clients?

4 Responses to “Introduce Clients to Social Media With a New Book from O'Reilly”

  1. I received the twitter chapter of this book as a bonus from a webinar earlier this year, and it was so concise and straightforward, that I bought the full book. I have recommended this book to others as well, looking for an all-encompassing social media guide. I would highly recommend this book for anyone who has the task of proving the value of social media in a traditional marketing budget.

  2. Many of my clients have liked the “idea” of social media, but have had absolutely no idea what they were talking about or what they needed.

    So my first response to this concept is, “Great! This will be handy.” But it seems like a print version is self-defeating given the rapid pace of change in SM world.

    I’ve been using a slide deck with high-level overviews of the forms and functions of the big 3 SM sites, which seems to work fairly well. The strategic introduction can then easily be followed by tactical follow-ups.

  3. I too bought this book – as I wanted to have a few books I could recommend to clients, friends and family. This one really is the basic guide to twitter, facebook etc….certainly one I’ll be recommending to them to read. So much easier to get them to understand the basic principles then you can build on that.