The Social Media Marketing Book

Dan Zarrella

Published by






Reviewed by

George Williams MBCS CITP


9 out of 10

Social Media Marketing BookThis A5-sized landscape book of some 230 pages is an excellent primer for the world of social media marketing. Dan Zarrella opens with a reflection on the fact that traditional advertising does not seem to work anymore, at least not like it used to.

More consumers are ‘connected’ than ever before, and every second a company is not engaging with them in social media is a wasted opportunity. And so we are encouraged to ‘get on board’.

Whether you are part of a small, medium or large business, or are an individual entrepreneur, your customers are using social media, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t be, too. It costs almost nothing, it’s easy to get started and it can have an enormous financial impact on your business.

Social media comes in many forms and Dan Zarrella focuses on the eight most popular:

  1. Blogs
  2. Micro blogs (Twitter)
  3. Social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn)
  4. Media sharing sites (YouTube, Flickr)
  5. Social bookmarking and voting sites  (Digg, Reddit)
  6. Review sites (Yelp)
  7. Forums
  8. Virtual worlds (Second Life, World of Warcraft)

In each specific case Dan begins with a brief introduction of the social media type, the development and protocol of the type, which is then followed by a detailed discussion and concluded with some useful ‘takeaway tips’. One of the interesting illustrative and presentational aspects of the book is that every even numbered page contains a screenshot - which reduces the amount of written editorial by some 50 per cent.

Dan Zarrella provides much added value in the final two sections of this excellent little book. Most readers will have some exposure to some of the media, but the penultimate chapter advises us of the strategy, tactics and practice that we should deploy, for example monitoring what goes on in each medium to understand the rules and customs and to get to know our audience before jumping in.

Finally, the book discusses how we should endeavour to measure the return on investment for our social media marketing campaigns. A range of on- and off-site analytical tools are discussed, but the bottom line is that the value provided by your social media marketing campaign should outweigh the cost of your investment - which sounds sensible to me!


In my opinion the book has achieved its objective of teaching the reader everything they need to know about social media in order to pick the right tools and get started, and it offers good value for money.

The subject coverage is thorough, although I would have liked to see some of the screenshots sacrificed for more of Dan’s pearls of wisdom. However, as a primer in the world of social media marketing, I have awarded 9 marks out of 10.

Further Information: O'Reilly

March 2010