The Zen of Social Marketing rough

The Zen of Social Marketing: An Easier Way to build Credibility, Generate Buzz and Increase Revenue by Shama Hyder Kabani was laughable. I thought it was published back in 2006 or so when SNS such as Twitter first came out, but I found it was published in 2012, I was insulted. I paid $10 for stuff I already knew, not by learning about it in class or from working in the communications field, but from common sense. Yes, perhaps she is catering to an older audience who have limited to no experience with the internet, but even then I feel like she basically treats her audience like children. She uses her own successes as examples after each point she makes, which gives her audience the sense that this is the only way to be successful on SNS. The same social media tactic when applied to different companies will yield different results.

She goes through:

  • Marketing basics
  • The importance of having a website
  • What social media is
  • What FB, Google+, Twitter, and Linkedin are and basic functions such as adding friends and picking a twitter name
  • She talks about videos as the “next frontier” like it was something new and fantastical
  • Online etiquette- don’t be rude or annoying

I believe she views new technology through a social construction lens. There is a give and take relationship between the audience and the company, and the technology is just the medium in which a company’s messages are filtered. This relationship between the consumer and the producer gives way to new social practices online through SNS. Lucas made a good point about how Kabani doesn’t give a good sense of culture behind each platform, which is crucial to know because not all platforms are right for a company.

She does give good advice when she tells a company to “be human” (but doesn’t go on beyond a sentence or two about it) in her conclusion. These days, we like to see the authentic side of companies so we can better relate to them (authenticity taste performance- Liu). But again, this is still dependent on the company. A high end, luxury brand wouldn’t necessarily try to “be human” because it needs to seem unattainable and target a very specific audience (prestige taste performance).

Kabani also writes about the importance of credibility, yet her credibility can certainly be questioned—as Lucas pointed out, her stats are never cited. This book basically shows that you shouldn’t write a book about social media because the realm just changes way too quickly and that what you write will be outdated before you even publish it.

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