Book Review: The Zen of Social Media Marketing

I’ve known Shama Hyder Kabani for a while now.  Turns out, so does everyone!  I met her online and through our  mutual friend, Mari Smith.  I interviewed her for one of the Leading Coaches’ Clubhouse Secrets of the Champions interviews, and I was really excited to get her new book!

Shama’s truly a remarkable woman on many fronts:   not only is she one of North America’s Top 25 Under 25 entrepreneurs, but she has been called by Fast Company “an online marketing shaman”! But what truly makes Shama stand out from the crowd is that she has mastered social media marketing, in fact seems to effortlessly go with the flow, fueling her business’ explosive growth via social media platforms.  She owns that space.  And now, with her book, you can too.
The Zen of Social Media Marketing proclaims to be an easier way to build credibility, generate buzz, and increase revenue, and since I’ve been a follower of Shama’s blogs and tv show for awhile now, I was skeptical what the book could offer me.  Boy was I wrong!
My first insight came even before the book started…in skimming the introduction.  Mindset reset: “The traditional marketing rules cannot be applied to social media because social media is not a marketer’s platform.  It belongs to consumers.”  Shama points out that if you are struggling with social media, it’s because you are going against the natural order of things!  So stop swimming upstream and learn from the master.
Here’s the other cool thing about this book…it’s a “living” book on social media, thus addressing the challenge anyone writing about technology faces.  Technology is changing so fast, that by the time a book gets published, it’s already outdated!  Shama updates her book online, so it always stays relevant.  Nice!
She walks us through her ACT model, showing how to use social media platforms like Linked In, Twitter, and Facebook to work with our blogs and websites to Attract, Convert, and Transform strangers into consumers as well as forces of attraction.  But we also have to know our brand, the outcomes our product or service provides, and what differentiates us from the rest of the noise out there on the internet.
She reminds us that social media is not about gaining clients quickly, but it IS about growing your tribe, which over time leads to clients.  “Remember, social media is not a selling tool! It is an attracting tool.”
She maps out the social proof circle…you have to do a good job, then you have to use your success to attract more success. Social media is an excellent platform for sharing stories, and to the extent that we are good storytellers, we can use this medium to help our stories reach exponentially more people than the old fashioned word of mouth.
“With social media, talking back is the whole point; it’s a conversation, not a monologue.”
The book goes through the big three platforms:  LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter and tells us why bother, how to use it, do’s and don’ts, and specific tactics for each.  Quite a useful roadmap!
This book really is the must-read primer for anyone who feels overwhelmed about social media, and is a great re-calibrating tool for those of us who have been using social media for years, but may benefit from a strategy re-set.

Comments (3)

Great review. I had heard great things about this book but had not yet purchased it. Based on this post I’m going to do so right now. Thank you for the suggestion!!

My pleasure, Bob! She really makes it all accessible and digestible. Anyone who can apply zen to the chaos of social media has clearly got it figured out! 🙂

Awesome. Just ordered it. Can’t wait to receive it and put her wisdom to work. Thank you, Suzi!!

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