Archive | Book Reviews

BookSmart: Social Media Explained – Mark Schaefer

“We have grown to love broadcasting, advertising, and press releases and that is what many companies are shoving through their social channels. Their approach to the social web is ‘A-ha! Another place for us to advertise?’

And they routinely fail.

To be successful in this most human channels, with this historic opportunity to create consistent, small provocations that lead to engagement and loyalty, we must adopt a new mindset. The Social Media Mindset”

~ Mark Schaefer, Social Media Explained

social media explained by Mark SchaeferAlthough I’m an experienced social media user, I don’t consider myself a social media marketing expert. However, it wasn’t until I read Social Media Explained, that I realized how much more I still have to learn 🙂

Social Media Explained moves beyond the specifics of any one social media platform, to address the practical concepts behind social media marketing  success.

Far from a dry academic text, Mark draws on his experience as a professional educator, speaker and expert marketer to weave real-world examples and case studies into the narrative, creating an easy-to-read, interesting, and educational social media marketing book.

By far the best social media marketing book I’ve read, I strongly recommend Social Media Explained (not an affiliate link) for all DIY small business owners, enterprise level CEOs and CFOs  charged with implementing or overseeing social media marketing for their company, and all self-proclaimed “social media marketing experts”.

Mark Schaefer is also the author of The Tao of Twitter – my next read, Born to Blog, and Return on Influence  (Not affiliate links).

Thanks for reading! What other marketing books would you recommend?






BookSmart: The New Rules of Sales and Service by David Meerman Scott

The New Rules of Sales and ServiceIn 2008, when I first read David Meerman Scott’s The New Rules of Marketing and PR (2nd edition – it’s now in the 4th edition), I was already preparing for the transition from my teaching career. After 15 years, it was time for a change – something new – which at the time, for me, meant an MBA and new career in Financial Planning.

The New Rules of PR and Marketing, and other, similar books, changed all of that. I did finish my MBA, but by that time, knew that I wanted to be a part of the exciting changes that were taking place online and in the marketing industry – changes that involved communication, relationship building, transparency, and educating prospective buyers.

I continue to read marketing and business books today, including most of David’s books since The New Rules. However, after seeing the title of his latest book – The New Rules of Sales and Service –  I doubted that it was a good fit for me. It conjured up images of sales boards, quotas, and cold calling – perhaps more suited to real estate, car dealerships, or office supply companies.

But of course, we’re all in sales to one degree or another, and as a small business owner, I’m most definitely in sales. So I gave the new “New Rules” a read – well, actually a listen, and am now listening to it for the third time 🙂

This book is about everything that traditional sales is not – transparency, communication, real time information, engaging with the customer – it is about “restoring the human touch” to sales and services.

The New Rules of Sales and Service picks up where The New Rules of Marketing and PR left off.”

In traditional sales, the salesperson has all of the power and control, but in today’s internet world, the roles have reversed. Buyers no longer need the sales representative for information, and don’t contact the salesperson until they are ready, usually deep into the sales funnel. The seller or customer service agent needs to engage with the customer where and when he/she wants to – real time and in a meaningful way. David Meerman Scott presents all of this and more, with real life examples (stories), data, and strategies.

If you enjoyed The New Rules of Marketing and PR (not an affiliate link), do yourself a favor and pick up or download a copy of The New Rules of Sales and Service (not an affiliate link). If you somehow missed The New Rules of Marketing and PR, then you have two great reads ahead of you!


Review of “Spin Sucks: Communication and Reputation Management in the Digital Age”

This is a review of “Spin Sucks”, the just released (officially March 29th) book by Gini Dietrich, founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, well known speaker, and author/host of the SpinSucks blog. Although I’m in no way affiliated with this book, I did volunteer, and was accepted, to be a “brand ambassador” for it. My willingness to volunteer for this position was a result of following and admiring the work of Gini over the past several years. Based on the remarkable content that she creates and shares every day, and the endless energy and enthusiasm that she applies to everything, I was confident that her book would be engaging, informative, and entertaining, and admittedly, I was eager to have the opportunity to be one of the first to read it. I’m happy to report that she delivered in all respects.

Spin SucksA few short years ago the internet marketing industry was made up of specialists – web designers, search engine optimization consultants, content marketing teams, PR agencies, and social media marketing experts – all vying for your attention, and that of your clients.

As the industry matured, search engines evolved, and we saw how consumers responded, the various internet marketing strategies began to coalesce and the lines between the different marketing segments began to blur.

In Spin Sucks, Gini addresses the many elements involved in a comprehensive communications, or online marketing, strategy, including:

  • Branding
  • The importance of Content Marketing
  • How to help your content to be found by the search engines, and shared by others
  • Syndicating your content
  • Protecting your content from plagiarism
  • Building a community

“The secret sauce is this: There is no secret sauce.”

  • Handling online crises, attacks, and criticisms
  • Repairing your online reputation
  • Media Relations
  • Real-Time marketing
  • and more . . .

Throughout Spin Sucks, the importance of an honest and transparent online presence is communicated – “spin” is dead as an effective marketing strategy.

Gini includes many interesting real world examples, and provides actionalbe “how to” information that you can start using for your business today. I personally found the section on DIY Media Relations really interesting and helpful – it is not a strategy that I have employed or have experience with – yet! 😉

Although Spin Sucks addresses these issues at an enterprise level, the information shared is great for small business owners, marketers, executives, or those trying to convince the c-suite of the value of, and need for an internet marketing strategy.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. As always, I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Purchase Spin Sucks at Amazon or Barnes and Noble (not affiliate links)