Why Learn Social Media Marketing from a Book?

In my ADL310 course on social media marketing we were assigned a textbook to read as part of our homework.  Why choose a textbook when social media itself can teach us the basics? There are blogs on WordPress telling us how to use WordPress; tweets on Twitter with links to articles about using Twitter, and I’m willing to bet I could find a Facebook page telling me the best way to create a page on Facebook. So what is the usefulness of a text on social media?

Recently I have come across numerous helpful articles online with tips on how to use social media marketing effectively, from creating great blog content, using Pinterest for marketing, mistakes to avoid on Linked In, and even the best time of day to tweet. The majority of these articles are blog posts between 500 and 2,500 words, and they are designed to catch your attention, give you a handful of helpful ideas or interesting facts, and then send you on to the next article in the blog. These posts are short and to the point, exposing you to a lot of ideas in a brief amount of time.

If you want to drill deeper into some of these concepts though, something more detailed is required. A text on social media marketing allows the reader to expand their knowledge and really get comfortable with a particular aspect of social media, whether they want to learn how to improve the design of their website, write a e-book, or use a specif platform like Google+ more effectively.

In ADL310 our required reading is The Zen of Social Media Marketing, named one of the top 10 best social media marketing books of 2013. In my opinion Shama Kabani’s book is a great guide to social media marketing for beginners and those looking to learn more, with easy to follow advicethe-zen-of-social-media and helpful insights. Her suggestions were easy for me to grasp and implement right away. I have gained confidence quickly and already seen positive results from following her advice.

Wouldn’t books on social media marketing become outdated in a short amount of time though, as trends shift and social media platforms evolve and emerge? Sure, some books might not have as much impact 2-3 years after their publishing date, but others such as Shama’ Kabani’s book have been updated with new information and re-released as a new edition.

In fact, seeing the value in her book has lead me to follow her on Twitter as well. Not only have I learned from the information published in her book, but I can continue to learn from Shama through social media itself by reading her tweets. So a great social media marketing book can also lead us to a great social media marketing mentor.

To discover some more fantastic books on social media marketing, check out these 17 social media books that will make you a better marketer.


6 thoughts on “Why Learn Social Media Marketing from a Book?

    • Social media systems have been created and based on expert system-algorithms and software robot technologies which mean they are able to self-learn from users and teach to users. I agree that there are lots of blogs on WordPress, Google, Tweeter, LinkedIn and so on they are telling us how to use their smart tools.


  1. Good analysis – And thanks for the list of other resources as well. I think the book is far more helpful than learning from the social media sites themselves as well. She provides great explanations and connects all the social media sites together so that you know how to use them WITH each other.


  2. I like this post. It made me rethink my position on books- I once was a reader, and then became a social media lover. Now I find it hard to read through large quantities of text as I only want the highlights. This brought me back to ground level, a good reminder that a strong written guide is always worth having!


  3. As I sit in my comfortable chair with a mug of Chai tea, the candles burning, and a blanket on my lap and my textbook opened and being highlighted by points I think resonnate, I think of a few things. First, I’m acting like a boring old grandma . . . oh, but second, I remember that the feel of books and the ability to move slowly through books using bent pages and bookmarks engages me. I love reading textbooks and my house is full of them – I don’t get rid of them because there are days when I just sit and open up the book and find something new that I missed, or generally something new that I wasn’t able to grasp the first time around. That is the bonus of a textbook.

    Your post is excellent for several reasons. First, I appreciate that you used graphics. The picture of the textbook was well placed and if I was a reader not familiar with the Zen, I would hunt this book down. I also liked that you now follow Sharma on Twitter – that’s high praise to hunt her down. Most importantly, you draw the reader to the fact that textbooks require depth. They are meant to be digested like a fine meal – slowly and with deliberation. Social Media marketing online is meant to be like tapas – awesome and instantly gratifying, but always leaving you wanting just a little bit more.

    Good post – again! Love how you write.


    • Thank you for your kind words! You have inspired me to use my pictures in my posts, and I enjoy your writing style as well. I can totally relate to your vivid description of reading with your Chai and candles. I do love the feel of a great book in my hands, as much as Kindles and Kobos can give us instant access to all sorts of reading material. 🙂


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