No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing Hardcover – Sep 1 2011
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"A book like this deserves a no bullshit testimonial: The social media world is so full of it, I really didn’t think anybody had the guts to put out a book like this on it. If someone tells you social media is crap, throw this book at them and demand they read it.”
--Scott Stratten, international bestselling author of UnMarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging
“Jason and Erik don’t screw around with wishy-washy theories or starry-eyed notions. If you’re looking for sound advice on how to use social media to grow your business (and who isn’t?), this book is your guide.”
--David Meerman Scott, bestselling author of Real-Time Marketing and PR: How to Instantly Engage Your Market, Connect with Customers, and Create Products that Grow Your Business Now
"I've been famously quoted as saying, '99.5% of social media experts are clowns,' but watching Jason over the course of the last five years makes me feel pretty confident that he's in the other .5%."
--Gary Vaynerchuk, cofounder, VaynerMedia; author of The Thank You Economy
"Jason and Erik are the real deal. They blend heartfelt sincerity with technical know-how and experience. This book gives you a lot to chew on, and if you let it, gives you a serious step up on your competition."
--Chris Brogan, coauthor of Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust
“Finally, a book that hits the topic of social media in a way that makes it real, practical, and important.”
--John Jantsch, author of Duct Tape Marketing and the Referral Engine
"Social media marketing can drive real business results and No Bullshit Social Media delivers straight-talking guidance to help brands succeed."
--Peter Kim, chief strategy officer, Dachis Group
“Forget everything you thought you already knew about social media marketing. Chuck it. Start over. Then, turn to page 1 of Falls and Deckers’s No Bullshit Social Media guide and learn from the masters.”
--Todd Defren, principal, SHIFT Communications; blogger, PR-Squared
“Deckers and Falls crystallize the relevant aspects of social media marketing in an exciting and informal way. Not just for marketing types, No Bullshit Social Media is a must-read for anyone who has a passion to grow their business by learning how to listen and dialog with their customers.”
--Scott Applebee, vice president marketing, Travelpro International, Inc.
"Finally! A no-nonsense marketing book from guys deep within the social media trenches. This book is a must-read for any business that's struggling with social media marketing."
--Michael A. Stelzner, CEO, SocialMediaExaminer.com; author of Launch: How to Quickly Propel Your Business Beyond the Competition
“I punched the wall with enthusiasm after reading this book! No joke. This is the best bare-knuckled approach to social media marketing I have ever read. Erik and Jason tell it to you straight. Every CEO, entrepreneur, and business professional should read this book and spit out the BS!”
--Kyle Lacy, author of Branding Yourself and Twitter Marketing for Dummies
“Pop! Finally a book that bursts the hype balloon around social media and delivers a real recipe for how to use it to actually build your business. Falls and Deckers call out the fools and phonies and pull no punches while doing so. This book delivers clear-headed, no-nonsense, proven advice that you'll gobble up like candy--especially if you're a doubter about the whole social media craze.”
--Jay Baer, coauthor of The Now Revolution: 7 Shifts to Make Your Business Faster, Smarter, and More Social
“Jason Falls and Erik Deckers waste no words getting right to what works and what doesn't. You couldn't find two more qualified people to deliver the clear story on how social media can grow your business--using the speed and reach of the Internet to make real relationships. Buy this book now!”
--Liz Strauss, brand strategist, community builder, founder of SOBCon
"Ripping off a Band-Aid never feels good, but that is exactly what Falls and Deckers do as they cut right to the point and tell you exactly how your company needs to approach social media if it wants to be successful. No kissing your boo-boo in this book!"
--C.C. Chapman, coauthor of Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business
“Stop. Put this book down! Step away from the book. Honestly, we’d prefer that you not read this book. We’re quite happy to continue to run laps around your business, and the last thing we need is for you to start trying to satisfy your customers by applying what you’ll learn here.”
--Joe Sorge, entrepreneur, small business owner, burgerwhisperer, coauthor of #TwitterWorks: Restaurant 2.0 Edition: How social media built a restaurant, a pizza truck and thousands of relationships
“No Bullshit Social Media advances and distills Jason and Erik’s unique and thought-provoking insights about why, and how, we should use what they so simply demonstrate is the most powerful marketing tool available to businesses today--social media.”
--Kevin Taylor, aka @telecomtails; former president, Chartered Institute of Public Relations; founder, Robertson Taylor PR; European lead for Global Results Communications
"Many business leaders are still trying to understand the value of social media communication. Falls and Deckers take the key questions and challenges head on, back them up with examples, and spare you the frustrating jargon and hyperbole. If you're an executive trying to get your arms around social or need your boss to better understand, this book is the place to start."
--Amber Naslund, VP Social Strategy, Radian6; coauthor of The Now Revolution: 7 Shifts to Make Your Business Faster, Smarter, and More Social
“Kick-ass straight-talk about how social media has emerged core to businesses' bottom line success. A must-read, with no holds barred.”
--Stacy DeBroff, CEO and founder, Mom Central Consulting
"This is a book I'm excited about. Not just because it sounds straightforward (that ‘No Bullshit’ thing!), but because it is. Social media isn't all Rainbow Brite, snuggly puppies, and big group hugs. It's real. It's actionable. It works. So what are you waiting for?"
--Ann Handley, chief content officer, MarketingProfs; coauthor of Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business
"Jason and Erik offer something often in painfully short supply in the social media world: business sense. No kumbaya, no fluffy talk about engagement or conversation, just real advice crafted with business needs and a bottom line in mind."
--Christopher Barger, senior vice president of global programs, Voce Connect
“‘Yes you can!,’ President Obama’s slogan from his first presidential election campaign, is an apt label to apply to Jason Falls and Erik Deckers’s treatment of social media and its dynamic place in business and marketing. Falls and Deckers pepper their book with credible case studies to illustrate the compelling differences social media marketing can make to any business, large or small. No Bullshit Social Media offers you actionable insights that will help you believe that you, too, can realize benefits that social media marketing can bring to your business.”
--Neville Hobson, ABC (Association of Business Communicators); copresenter, the For Immediate Release podcast series
“Jason Falls and Erik Deckers continue to deliver ‘Pristine and Straight Arrow Insights’ into social media marketing. Their book No Bullshit Social Media is just that: no B.S. This book is common sense from cover to cover!”
--Ramon De Leon, social media visionary and international speaker, Domino’s Pizza Chicago
“In an era when everyone from kids to grandparents has mastered social media, too many business people are still asking, ‘Do I dare?’ This no-B.S. read says loudly and clearly, ‘Hell, yes!’ It’s a smart, succinct combo of why to and how that persuasively pounds home its social-media premise: ‘You better play, or you’re gonna pay.’”
--Bruce Hetrick, president and CEO, Hetrick Communications
"Enough of the excuses! No more saying that you don't ‘get’ social media or that you're too old/out of date/not geeky enough to use today's tools to market your business. Get off your butt, buy this book, and start growing! 'Nuff said."
--Sarah "Intellagirl" Smith-Robbins, PhD, Director of Emerging Technologies, Kelley Executive Partners at Indiana University; Marketing faculty, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University
"Social media has changed the rules of how products and services are marketed, forever! In this book, Jason and Erik throw stone-cold facts at the reader and force you to open up to new forms of ROI."
--Arjen Strijker, founder, Somesso.com
About the Author
Jason Falls is a consultant, speaker, strategist, and thinker in the world of digital marketing and social media. He is the owner of Social Media Explorer, a social media consulting service, as well as Exploring Social Media, a learning community. He works with corporate clients, developing and managing their social media and PR strategies. He is a highly sought-after speaker, traveling around the country to speak to various trade associations, conferences, and corporate groups.
Erik Deckers is the co-owner and vice president of creative services of Professional Blog Service, a ghost blogging and social media agency. His company works with both small businesses and large corporations. Erik has been blogging since 1997, and he speaks widely on social media topics for personal branding, business, crisis communication, and citizen journalism. He is also a newspaper columnist and award-winning playwright.
Inside This Book(Learn More)
Top Customer Reviews
I am neither a social media maven nor am I looking into a career in such a field, but I have done a fair amount of personal social media promotion over they years. I’ve read a lot of books and articles on the topic, but am yet to come across one that can provide me with a clear sense of how to grow my own personal brand through social media strategies. So far I have been relying mostly on trial and error, and this book is only marginally helpful beyond the insights that I’ve come across on my own. However, if you are completely new to the world of social media marketing, then this book could be a useful first resource.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
No B**S Social Media, Review No B**S? Really! No B**S Social Media at least has a catchy title. It certainly got my attention and hope that this would be one of the better books on Social Media Marketing. I teach Social Media Marketing in San Francisco and online (just Google `Jason McDonald' or click on my profile to find me), and so I am always on the look out for new insights into the emerging world of SMM.
Bottom line: four stars
I recommend the book as a good, fresh intro to Social Media Marketing.
The book's strength: a detailed, high level overview to WHY Social Media matters.
The book's weakness: lack of how-to-, step-by-step detail.
No B**S Social Media is 90% a conceptual book, and only 10% a practical how-to guide. The discussions of ROI / Metrics, review marketing, and how to organize your social media team in a larger company are all quite good. If you have an established product, more than ten employees, and are looking for a good airplane read on social media, this is a good book for you. If you are a start up, a single employee company, or are looking for a detailed practical manual on Social Media Marketing, you are better served by Social Media for Dummies.
Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid of Social Media
Not surprisingly, given its brash title, the book's tone is no nonsense. One major theme in the book is: Be afraid, be very afraid! Be afraid, first of all, that the Social Media Revolution is here, and be afraid that you - Mr. or Ms. Marketing - do not understand it. Your company will be doomed as will you - so you had better start paying attention! Do I agree with this statement? Absolutely. Do I agree with the tone: not at all.
Should you be afraid of Social Media? If you are a large company like Nestle or United Airlines, there is certainly reason to fear the viral attack campaign of your Facebook page, or the viral video "United Breaks Guitars." For most businesses, however, the worst that happens is a) the unhappy customer review on Yelp or Google Places, or b) a complete lack of interest by your customers in your products.
Very few of us will experience a viral video assault like "United Breaks Guitars," but many of us will experience the "b" option - difficulty getting our customers to truly be excited about our brand, our products, and our news. Fear is the wrong metaphor, in my view.
Attitude is everything I believe, so despite what No B**S says, I encourage you to be open minded about Social Media rather than fearful. Expect some direct insights from your customers, good or bad, but see this revolution for what it is: an amazing, fun marketing opportunity to get to know your customers regardless of the limits of time or space. Experiment. Be innovative. For many small businesses, Social Media will start and end with Google Places and Yelp. That's OK. It all depends on what YOU make what works for YOUR BUSINESS.
My take, therefore, is 1) don't be afraid you will be left behind, there is still plenty of time to get started in Social Media Marketing. But certainly take the plunge now and start educating yourself and your company, and 2) don't worry too much about the high-visibility attacks such as those against Nestle or United Airlines. Unless you are a major brand, those viral social media messages are very rare indeed, and 3) look for focused opportunities rather than trying to do everything at once. Nigerian proverb: man who goes after two mice, catches none. So, focus, focus, focus on just the best social media opportunities, unique to your business.
Social Media Opportunities - Reviews and Review-based SMM
For many businesses the strongest Social Media Opportunity is in the review space. Fortunately this is the best part of the book - its discussion of reviews and eWOM (electronic word-of mouth). Nowadays, many customers may base their decision to engage with you on reviews posted about your company or products on sites such as ePinions.com, Amazon.com, Yelp.com, and other platforms. Small businesses like roofing companies or attorneys, in particular, are being reviewed heavily on Yelp and Google Places.
Do reviews matter to your business?
If so, what is your strategy to encourage them?
If so, what is your strategy to monitor and respond to them - good, bad, and ugly?
With respect to reviews, the authors make the obvious but necessary point that people often do NOT believe advertising but they WILL believe the reviews of total strangers. Looking for a new Bar-be-que restaurant in Dallas? Turn to Yelp or Google Places, read reviews, go to restaurant. Ready to buy a new book on Amazon? Read the reviews, like the reviewer, buy the book. Review marketing is big, and getting bigger. Reviews matter. Do you lack a review strategy? Then be afraid, be very afraid.
Here, however, is where the book falls down. We are given no easy Web index of sites that have reviews, tools or tips to encourage reviews - so we know that reviews are important, but we aren't really taught how to cultivate them, at either the conceptual or practical level. Like so many books in this sector, the book reads too much like a novel and not enough like a workbook. As someone who teaches Social Media Marketing, I know from my students that what they want are practical, step-by-step directions on issues like how to encourage reviews. In this regard, No B**S Social Media disappoints. It even lacks an appendix of great websites, or power tools for Social Media - items that in this Internet age should certainly be part of any book on the topic.
There's theory and then there's practice. A truly excellent Social Media Marketing book would have booth - a discussion of why reviews matter, and also a step-by-step guide to how to encourage reviews. No B**S Social Media is more theory than practice, but it's still a good book. Buying it, reading it, and most of all - beginning to embrace Social Media - is a start. That's no B**S.
What I found lacking, and what I was really looking for, was a clear-cut guide to HOW to use all the available social media. Don't get me wrong, the authors do offer some tips and points in this area, but overall this book is not a guide to HOW to use social media to your advantage. Also, this book is more geared towards bigger businesses, not the struggling author or mom and pop business. This is not a knock on the book, but merely my opinion on the contents of the book. The book itself is well-written and I'm sure, a good resource for businesses who know very little about social media and need the facts for their marketing. It was simply not what I needed or had hoped it would be.
So, if you are looking for a book which gives you the down and dirty facts on WHY you should be using social media, along with some good points and tips, this is a great place to start. If, on the other hand, you are looking for an easy to follow outline of HOW to use social media to your advantage, this may not be what you are looking for. A good book, but not what I needed. 3 Stars.
Bohdi Sanders, author of the award-winning bestseller, Modern Bushido: Living a Life of Excellence
Everything I read about social media falls into a few small categories:
1. We researched whether social media is an effective marketing tool and have determined that it is. Our proof is the fact that (a) people like it, and (b) people use it.
2. There is no question that social media marketing is effective. It is, and if you doubt it then you're so pre-2009, and you'll cry when your competitors steal all of your business because you didn't have a Twitter account.
3. We researched whether social media marketing is effective and have determined that it can be, but not always directly or even intentionally. Measuring its effectiveness is therefore difficult and requires critical thought rather than brute force.
Basically, the first group asks the right question but uses the wrong evidence to arrive at the answer. The second group doesn't want to ask the question because their book sales, seminars, and other forms of income are derived from pimping the trend. These two groups will assume that 4,000 Facebook friends is better than 3,642 and that it is worth the time and effort to grow such numbers regardless of ROI.
The third asks the right question and questions the answers. Here is where the question is left open if the evidence is missing or inconclusive. This should not be a novel concept.
Social media can be useful in creating sales or at least bringing people to you with money in their pockets and a few questions they want to ask. Blog posts, forum topics, and Amazon and YouTube product reviews cause me to buy a lot of stuff, so I know it works. But the site where I find the review, the person writing the review, the company that makes the product, and the company I buy the product from are often different. The linkage between cause-and-effect is not clear. And while there are ways to improve traceability, someone might talk about your product and that reference may cause a sale in ways you did not control, let alone were even aware of.
To solve this problem, these authors recommend you just tweet more and upload more videos, since increasing the noise level is the only way to get people to notice you. So basically we're back to where we started, in the early 20th century, before Hopkins taught us how to figure out who really gave a crap and who didn't and then market accordingly.
In summary, I believe social media does, in many cases, lead to more sales of your product, more people showing up at your concert, and more people asking for your services. But the web allows far more oblique ways for me to find what I want than direct paths. Buzz strategies and "facilitating word of mouth" aren't the solution because you can't make someone talk about you, any more than you can make someone like your product by talking about it more, and more, and more...
So what about the people who are making tons of money pimping social media? Think about how they got here. If you make a series of videos about wine and they become popular, then it must mean you not only know about wine, you also know how to get popular on YouTube. After all, look how many hits you got on those videos! You obviously know what you're doing. So it's logical for a publishing house to offer you a book deal and for you to accept it. Because if it works for you then it can work for some guy who makes custom guitar picks and that lady who makes cheese out of human breast milk. And it wouldn't exactly help your new career as a social media guru if you admitted that you just got lucky or that your methods aren't a recipe for everyone else.
So there you have it. Now buy the book and, if you can prove me wrong, please let me know. I'd love to think there is something profoundly useful in books like this, but so far no one can point it out to me... especially not the authors.
If you doubt that SMM is the next big thing, just do a search on Amazon books. "Social media marketing" (no quotes) brings back over 4000 results. The vast majority of these have been published in the last 24 months. They promise to show you the secrets to becoming a Facebook fan magnet or Twitter entrepreneur in 30 minutes, or 7 days, or while you sleep. " No ... Social Media" is not the latest of the crop, and really brings nothing new to the table.
Marketing is about selling - in this case selling SMM. SMM books, SMM strategy plans, SMM consultants and experts. They will tell you how social media is the new marketplace, that the old ways are ... well, old. They cite the number of computer users, and the number of Facebook members (a number known only to Facebook) as evidence of the viability of SMM, yet in the next breath criticize traditional media for using the same methodology in estimating 'reach'. They preach that SMM is trackable and measurable, but then declare that ROI is not a fair means of measurement. They decry the hype, but they have a vested interest in selling you on SMM, and their own services.
Social media is all about marketing, Facebook is already saturated with it; the jury is still out on how users will accept their new advertising policy. All social media marketing is not smoke and mirrors and snake oil. As with any new technology, it can be a challenge to tell the legitimate experts from the expert salesmen. Caveat emptor.
Note to the authors: If you are going to use statistics to prove your point, make sure the numbers add up.
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