The Zen of Social Media Marketing: An Easier Way to Build Credibility, Generate Buzz, and Increase Revenue By Shama Kabani

Shama Kabani Ø 9 Free download

Social media is a crucial tool for success in business today. People are already talking about your business using social media, whether you’re using it or not. By becoming part of the conversation, you can start connecting directly to your customers, as well as finding new ones, easily and inexpensively spreading the word about your products or services.

But social media marketing isn’t like traditional marketing-and treating it that way only leads to frustration. Let Shama Hyder Kabani, president of Web marketing firm Marketing Zen and social media expert, teach you the “zen” of social media marketing: how to access all the benefits of social media marketing without the stress!

With a foreword by New York Times bestselling author Chris Brogan, The Zen of Social Media Marketing outlines the most popular social media tools, from Facebook to Twitter to LinkedIn, and teaches you how to use them, step by step. She provides proven strategies for success from the businesses she works with every day, along with shortcuts and tips to help you make the most of your time and energy.

The Zen of Social Media Marketing is also the last social media guide you’ll ever need: with the physical book you also get access to the exclusive online edition, which includes regular updates and video extras to make sure you’re always on top of the latest in social media.

From Library Journal:
“Highly recommended for anybody with anything to market online—including him- or herself.”
The Zen of Social Media Marketing: An Easier Way to Build Credibility, Generate Buzz, and Increase Revenue

This book is billed as the last social media guide you'll ever need. I don't know if I'd go as far as that, but I will say the free online updates to the book do make it a very reasonable book and a very helpful one as well. What makes this book most valuable is that the author writes about social media marketing and social media policies. The chapters on the big three social networking sites are good, but I like how she explains the marketing piece of social media and the importance of having a policy, which is something only a couple of other books do.

I'll admit, I'd have liked to have seen some focus on social media etiquette (she mentions a couple tidbits) and also some focus on social media for networking and customer service purposes. Also the author mainly focuses on the big three social networking sites and video marketing, but doesn't touch much on blogs, internet radio, social review sites, social coupon sites, etc., all of which are an essential part of social media marketing.

Overall though this is one of the better books on social media marketing and one I recommend you keep on hand. The free online updates definitely help and its clear the author knows what she's talking about. Paperback Written by: Scott Dinsmore of ReadingForYourSuccess (

Average Reading Time: 6 minutes

Who’s a bit confused on how to get 140 characters working for you and your brand? My hand’s up.

At least it was until I finished up Shama’s new book, The Zen of Social Media Marketing. I have been aggressively learning about social media marketing for the last few months and I was still having trouble connecting the dots.

Shama got me excited to the point that I started making changes before I finished the first couple chapters. On top of that, Twitter finally is starting to make sense. And it actually is useful. And she more than fully covers the others as well: Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs and video. In fact my last couple articles got more Facebook and Twitter mentions than the previous ones combined. I love immediate results.

I used to refuse to “waste” my time on social networking sites. But before long it was too hard to resist. I couldn’t look at a website without being bombarded with it. So this year I made it a goal to become an inbound marketing/social media marketing expert. Then I realized that was shooting a little high… So I changed it to “start becoming an social media expert.” The learning curve has been steep and amazing.

The more I learn, the more I realize that the leverage of these social networks is unreal. Forget the fact that it’s a fun way to connect to friends and network. The leverage you can get on your exposure is something that I believe is going to be the primary way to market a business (or yourself) in the years to come. Just in a few months of putting this stuff to work on ReadingForYourSuccess, I have seen a 300-400% increase in traffic and almost as big of an increase in my subscribers.

The beauty of it: it’s not costing me a dime. That’s why it works. People are connecting with each other because they actually want to. Everyone gets value from the connections. This isn’t the type of exposure you can buy. You must participate and be genuinely interested in adding value to the networks in order to experience the leverage. But do this and it will be massive. It’s no different than deciding to add value to every one of your in-person interactions… which I hope we all have as a goal.

With social media, as with anything else, success comes from putting in more than you take out. The next stage of marketing and positioning will be in adding genuine value to the people you come across. The smoke and mirrors of traditional methods is working less and less (not to mention entrepreneurs can’t afford it). Those who are prevailing are the ones who actually care and who are indeed finding their own social media marketing zen.

Shama’s book serves as an ideal how-to book for those brand new to the space and it also provided plenty of new ideas despite what I’ve learned over the past months. When done reading, I ended up with 25+ action items for ReadingForYourSuccess. Then I logged onto the book’s companion site to find an awesomely helpful Workbook and followon resources. This is about as much handholding as you can get without Shama showing up on your doorstep. Although with how responsive she was to my tweets and emails, I wouldn’t be surprised if she did.

10 Most Powerful Marketing Zen Take-Aways:

1. Create a strategy. Social media can absolutely kill your productivity if you just surf around all day. Set up time limits and boundaries for how you’ll spend your time. Limit yourself to 30 minutes a day for all networks. Remember these should leverage your time. Spend much more and the leverage may reverse. And you certainly don’t want to get too caught up in the chatter.

2. Have Simple Daily Routines: This is how you execute on your strategy. Shama suggests simple daily social media interactions of wishing your friends happy birthday, posting a useful link or two, update your status in a fun way and check to see if there are any comments worth responding to. This should take all of 10 minutes. She also has great weekly and monthly routines for each network.

3. Use Tweet Deck. The head of marketing for a hot tech company in Santa Barbara turned me onto this a few days before picking up the book. Then Shama added fuel to the fire. This is a killer time saver app. It allows you to see all Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn Status updates without all the other distractions. You can set up specific lists and search terms for your favorite tweeps and quickly submit status updates without getting caught up by all the other things on the network’s website like pictures and videos. Very cool tool.

4. Add Value. The social networking system will only work as long as each member continues to add value to the network. If you are not adding value, chances are that the leverage isn’t working for you either. Don’t make a big deal about it though. For many people, all the value they need to receive is an unexpected smile, laugh or comment. If you are constantly promoting your own brand and site, you will miss the train.

5. Set Limits. This might sound a bit repetitive but it’s crucial. The average person spends way too much time on these networks. Set limits. If you don’t, you will drain your day. This is of course assuming you have something better to do than connecting online. If you’re not sure what, go out and meet someone face to face the good old fashioned way. These networks can’t do it all.

6. Add New Connections After Each Event. The moment you get back from a networking event or anytime you meet some new people, go through all the business cards you have and send them friend requests. This becomes the perfect rolodex. And it will even remember their birthdays.

7. Own Your Own Domain Name. If you don’t already own your own domain name then go out and buy it. Set it to forward to your Facebook or LinkedIn profile, or your personal website. I own as well as a few others and they all forward to ReadingForYourSuccess. Don’t miss a chance to build your brand. Get your name before someone else does.

8. Think Like a User First and a Marketer Second. This goes with adding value. Think of what your readers would find benefit in reading or learning. Provide those links to your network. Offer this benefit and the marketing will come naturally. Think like a marketer and your network will lose interest.

9. Help Others Promote Their Stuff. As long as their content is useful, don’t be shy about sharing it. It has felt amazing when I’ve seen someone promote an article of mine for no apparent reason. I love doing it for others too. Being part of a community means supporting the other members. It’s much more fun this way.

10. Be Authentic and Be Human. Show your colors a bit. People want to get to know a person, not some brand name. Talk about your life. Post some pictures and open up.

Social media is not just for promoting yourself; it’s about communication with your audience. Add some value.
Many people have yet to dive into social media due to fear of being overwhelmed. It’s a very real possibility if you don’t have a plan. Shama does an awesome job of making it manageable and approachable. I’d even say exciting. In the process she’s made herself a pretty impressive model to follow. And she’s more than eager to help you on your journey.

It’s a given that this is a must-read topic for entrepreneurs and marketers. But I see it as required reading for all of us…No joke. You can’t be asleep at the social media switch if you want to sincerely have an impact. Look around. What known brand, charity or figure does not have a Facebook page or Twitter handle?

It’s no longer ok to say you don’t get it and it’s not worth your time. I assure you it is. Maybe to help your division at work, or the spread awareness for your own business, or the charity you volunteer for or maybe just to continue molding the way the world perceives you.

There is not one of us who doesn’t have a massively important brand to promote and position–Your own. There’s nothing more crucial to get right than Brand You. There has never been a time where so much free leverage existed for promoting your values and those of your business. All you have to do is be interested enough to use it.

Whether you do something about it or not, social media will shape your brand. Manage your reputation before someone else does. I know you’ll have a ton of fun doing it. I hope this gets you started.

How has social media marketing affected your personal brand or business? What have you found to be your most useful tactics? Share with us below.

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Other books and articles you might enjoy:

Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media and Blogs

How to Not Get Caught Up in the Chatter

Shama’s Website: The Marketing Zen Group Paperback Unfortunately, I feel that Kabani rehashed the basics of social media without providing much, if any, new insight. “The Zen of Social Media” seemed like more of a instruction manual for creating profiles on social networks instead of a marketing guide. Many of the ideas throughout the book relied on common sense. For example, it is common sense for a brand to post regular updates on social networking sites. It would have been a better reading experience if Kabani had gone as far as explaining the types of updates people seem to respond to and bring a bit more of a human aspect into it.

To me, the highlight of “The Zen of Social Media” was the workbook provided online. It is a nice workbook that gets the user thinking critically about what they want to achieve by using social media. The workbook gives tasks such as, “How will you measure your social media marketing efforts?” and “List three goals you want to accomplish using social media marketing.” While the workbook does not provide the sought after analysis and case studies, it does get the user to take a step back and think about their motives for using social media, which is always useful. I feel as if “The Zen of Social Media” would have been more effective as a whole if it was set up more like the workbook.

Despite its flaws, “The Zen of Social Media” has only enhanced my interest in working with social media from a marketing standpoint. The constant changing creates an always evolving workplace. Although I have been critical about “The Zen of Social Media,” there are some nuggets of helpful information in there.
There is one passage that I wish had been focused on more throughout the book: “So much of social media is about building relationships and leveraging word of mouth. Sometimes a consumer has to hear about you ten times before he or she will buy” (p. 141-142). I do not think the goal here is to get people to post the same message ten times on different social networking sites. I am afraid that novice people who are looking to “The Zen of Social Media” for guidance may just take exactly that away from this book. I think Kabani has some really good ideas, they just were not executed very well. Perhaps it would have been more effective in an online only version that could be updated regularly. The three main points Kabani wanted the readers to focus on were: Strategize first, be human, and have patience. Overall, I wish these aspects were weaved more thoroughly throughout the book. If “The Zen of Social Media” had focused on these aspects, like I think the goal was, it could have been great. Paperback In the short history of Blog on Books, we have come across all variety of social media guidebooks. Some (like Twitter Power) are so basic as to be only useful for first time followers, while others (Brian Solis’ ‘Engage’) are rather advanced and best used by those who have a serious and broad company-wide agenda to pursue the full range of social marketing possibilities (many of which have yet to be fully vetted, of course.)

Now we have Shama Kabani’s ‘The Zen of Social Media Marketing’; a book that picks up on a new theme within the social media community which is: it’s not what you do, it’s how you do it that matters most and while Kabani (one of Business Week’s 2009 ‘25 under 25′ entrepreneurs to watch) is not obsessed with etiquette the way some social media progenitors are, there is still enough here to steer one in the right direction.

The crux of ‘Zen’ is really a roadmap of the various mainstream options available to the social networked marketeer presented in a way that lays out most everything you need to know for a working relationship to the various tools of the trade, while at the same time, trying to avoid going down the rabbit hole of endless features that can actually stymie even the best of marketing plans on the web. In other words, get the balance right.

It is in this regard that Kabani’s work is well recommended, not for the novice per se, but for individuals or organizations who want to achieve a well balanced integration of the various tools and platforms available now to get the message out to their customers, fans, etc. It’s placement in the middle of the pack is, ironically, what makes it succeed.

To see how Shama Kabani uses social media marketing for her own projects, take a look at her book website here of her main site, Marketing Zen. Paperback If you are a social media savvy, you would know pretty much what this book has covered...
Nothing really interesting... I think this shall be for beginner who never used any social media platform to give them a conception..


Very basic beginner level stuff. No new information. Written for someone who has never used social media for marketing. Would be useful for a newb though. Referenced appendix visual material which is useless in audiobook format. Paperback Too basic for Gen Y.
You don't have to convince us that Social Media is a necessary medium. That's why we're reading your book. And we know how to set up a Facebook page. Paperback I think this book would be good for those who have NO social media knowledge. Most of the book was about starting a Facebook page and Twitter account, which is nothing new to me. I wish there had been more marketing strategies than there actually were. Some of the marketing info was helpful, but I didn't need to relearn social media platform basics which is what a majority of the book was. Paperback I'll be referencing this book from time to time. Even though so much has changed with social media lately, the concepts still ring true. This book will work for any type of business, including the business of writing! Paperback Don't read this in 2017 unless you just got your account on Myspace. Paperback