Book Review: Secrets Of Social Media Marketing by Paul Gillin

I read a lot for this blog and I try to pass along the books that I especially recommend. Some are simply must-reads if you're on the cutting edge of marketing and social media.

But it's rare that I quote a book more than a handful of times. If you read about a particular book on this blog more than a couple times, it means that it's a true resource for me - something I go back to again and again for guidance and ideas.

Sometimes these books are heavy on research and statistics (like Groundswell). Sometimes they provide a philosophical direction that keeps me on the correct path (like Join the Conversation).

It is rare, however, that a book is so chock-full of information that I know it will be a resource before I've even completed it. I'm only half-way through Paul Gillin's Secrets of Social Media Marketing and I already know you must buy it.

90% And 10%

Gillin begins the book by introducing the intended audience:

"This book isn't intended for the 10 percent of marketers who are on the leading edge of this phenomenon. It's for the 90 percent who are still trying to figure out how to start."

Since I consider this blog aimed at that audience as well, I commend Gillin's efforts. However, I also respectfully disagree. As a member of that 10 percent, I know that it's useful to other 10 percenters, not just the 90 percent trying to figure it out.

For instance, his outline of search engine capabilities was largely new to me (page 44) and I haven't heard of many of the examples he mentions, including the Twitter Baja 1000-Jim Beam promotion (page 116). Even the most prominent blogger, marketers, and social media enthusiasts will gain something by reading this book.

That said, it's also great for the 90 percent who are trying to figure it all out. They will benefit from other's successes and missteps. Gillin does a great job of walking the reader through a social media marketing campaign from idea to strategy to execution to measurement.

Examples And Research

In my opinion, the two most useful aspects of this book are the examples and the research. Gillin isn't simply spouting off his theories - he is backing them up with real-world intelligence.

Like Made To Stick, this book supports it's premises and ideas with concrete examples and research. The section on CEO blogs featured several business leaders with positives and negatives about their experience. Likewise, his section on customer conversations was supported by influential authors and the facts and figures that inspire trust in his work.

The Gist

I highly recommend that you buy Secrets of Social Media Marketing. (It ships on November 1, but you can pre-order it on Amazon with that link at a third off the cover price.) I think it is a great resource for marketers, small business owners, or anyone who touches social media - and that's most of us.

Regular readers know I will rip into a book I think stinks. But I've been really impressed with Gillin's work and this book, in particular. Please let me know what you think in the comments section below.

P.S.: Gillin did something smart by creating a website well before the book is released: Check it out if you want to know more about his work, read other reviews, and get all of the footnotes in one convenient place.


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