Author: Justin R. Levy
Aimed at: Newcomers to Facebook
Pros: Well chosen examples, easy,informative, read
Cons: Much of content off-topic
Reviewed by: Sue Gee
This is a second edition and the cover flash proclaims "completely revise and updated".
What it doesn't mention explicitly is that it has a different author - which makes one wonder why didn't Que choose a different title as this one really doesn't reflect the book's content.
This book has a very straightforward approach but many readers will feel that it covers more than the topic suggested by its subtitle, Designing Your Next Marketing Campaign".
In Chapter 1, "From Dorm Room to Boardroom" it gives us not only the history of Facebook but a biographical sketch of its founder Mark Zuckerberg. Then in Chapter 2, Getting around Facebook: The Basics, we are treated to an introduction to using Facebook that is equally well suited to an individual as to a company. It includes setting up your profile, adding photos and uploading videos and using the Chat facilities.
It doesn't cover all the gizmos that are perhaps aimed at younger users - there is no mention of Pokes, for example - and there is discussion of whether as a business user you want to disclose details of your personal life and if so how much of it. Justin Levy welcome the opportunity for business contacts to get to know him as a "rounded individual" but he does caution against indiscretion, particularly in regard to photos.
In Chapter 3 Levy presents the case for having a corporate Facebook presence. He uses a lot of examples to make his point and discusses the alternatives of creating a Facebook Group or a Page - recommending the latter as the option to adopt. Chapter 4 is about using Facebook Connect to integrate into your website, blog or application and the opportunities it offers for understanding the demographic of the audience you connect with in this way.
Chapter 5 finally gets on to the topic of advertising and looks at using Facebook ads and analysing their performance. The next chapter is about incorporating Facebook apps to provide a richer user experience. There follows a well reasoned look at privacy concerns, including the issue of keeping a distinction between work and personal.
Next we arrive at Chapter 8, Developing a Facebook Marketing Strategy" and remember that we selected this book rather than any of the myriad titles on Facebook because it claimed to be about a marketing campaign and only now, at page 121 is this topic being explicitly tackled. Or is it?
The chapter opens asking the reader five questions, starting "Why do you want to use Facebook for your business" and concluding "How do you plan on measuring success?" Much of the chapter then re-iterates points that have already been made. It does, however, present some useful advice on measurement including mention of Facebook Insights.
Chapter 9 looks at using Facebook to develop communities but after some examples of corporate Facebook pages, including Coca-Cola and Volkswagen (VW) - includes a section, "Building a Personal Community" a strategy that Levy suggests is beneficial for business.
Chapter 10, Best in Class, is used to showcase ten Facebook pages including those of Barack Obama, Microsoft Office and Volkswagen. The five key points you are expected to derive from these examples are:
- Use all available features
- Extend pages with FMBL (Facebook Markup Language (introduced fleetingly earlier in the book)
- Promote your page
- Be Helpful
The final chapter asks What's Next for Facebook and again much of its scope - questions such as will it go public and what acquisitions will it make - is again off-topic.
So if you want a book to address your marketing questions this is definitely not the book to choose. If, however, you want a rounded book on Facebook that is easy to read and well illustrated with examples this isn't a bad choice.