Zen of social media coverI get so many questions from clients on social media that are a mix of the “how” to do things with “why should I? Will this really be worth it?”  The Zen of Social Media Marketing by Shama Kabani has a great balance of answering both types of questions. She also explains the marketing concepts behind social media engagement with a straightforward, non-technical approach.

I love her “ACT” model for how to engage people — first Attract, then relate to them as Consumers, then Transform the relationship — it’s a great model that I wish more nonprofits would utilize. It acknowledges that you build your list first just by offering something useful or relevant to people, and recognizes that most people don’t become donors to a nonprofit without some previous level of engagement. (What she calls consumers we would generally call prospects, and then we transform them into donors.)

Some other highlights:

  • She explains Twitter applications, Open Graph and social advertising.
  • Her “Do’s and Don’ts” for several social media platforms are solid advice.
  • She places key points in boxes labeled as “AHA! Zen Moment” throughout the book that are alone worth the price.

I originally listened to the audio version of this book, and it has a great conversational style that makes it a fast and easy read even as you get tons of useful information.

Note: this book is written for businesses, not nonprofits and certainly not social justice organizing, but the vast majority of it is transferable to our purposes.

Seriously: get The Zen of Social Media Marketing on your bookshelf or device, read it and do what she tells you!