Facebook Marketing for Dummies

I normally adore Dummies books. I have several of them on my shelves. Facebook Marketing for Dummies is the first in the Dummies series that I did NOT like enthusiastically. I really feel this book is not up to the Dummies standard of helpfulness.

First, this book is supposed to be about MARKETING - but over half the book is about the very basics of Facebook. There are plenty of other books out there on how to use Facebook - including one by the Dummies group! It seems silly for this book on marketing to rehash the existing information and spend so much time on things covered elsewhere. It means that only a small portion of what remains is actually helpful information on Marketing.

They cover a few basics about the areas of Facebook to use for marketing - how a fan page is better than a regular "personal" account because a person can only have 5,000 friends while a fan page is completely unlimited. Fan pages are also "anonymous" - while a group makes it clear which person is the administrator, with a fan page the administrator is private. So you can run a fan page for your company or project without worrying about people tracking down and bugging your personal account.

But in terms of actual MARKETING information, the pickings are very slim. They tell you to post relevant info onto your account. Was anyone really going to post a lot of IRrelevant information? They say to post enough to keep people interested, but not so much that you bombard your users with too many messages. But they don't provide any examples or information to help newbies get a feel for which numbers fall into which ranges! They tell you not to use a "hard sell" and turn off people - but again, no examples, no further information.

In terms of drawing in visitors, they focus primarily on paying Facebook to use their ad system, and that's about it. They mention putting a Facebook tag in your email and on your site, and again, that's it. That's all you are learning about marketing your Facebook fan page?

There's an entire section on pushing contests - about how you can do them with random winners, or with the judging of submissions, and how this is great for traffic building. But NOWHERE in that entire section do they even mention legalities of doing all of this! How about the legalities of taking personal information from winners who are under the age of 13? How about the legalities of having a winner who hails from South Africa or other countries which have strict rules about entering online contests? Some countries have quite serious penalties for companies who offer contests and sweepstakes to "their residents" without doing legal paperwork first! It was completely shocking to me that a book in the Dummies series would offer seriously flawed legal advice like this.

In their "why do marketing on facebook" section, one of their top ten reasons is "to run promotions for fans". This doesn't make sense to me. This is one of the things you use Facebook FOR but it's not a reason TO have a Facebook account. Reasons are things like "to get a higher ranking in Google" or "to get free word-of-mouth mentions by people in Facebook's network". It's as if they ran out of real reasons and they had to stick something in there to fill out the top 10 list.

When they finally hit issues which ARE important in Facebook marketing - like dealing with irate fans posting on your public business area, there is hardly a few lines dedicated to the topic. If anything, this is the sort of thing that the book should be covering in great detail.

And how about their commandment of "don't drink and Facebook"?? I run a wine site! My wine site page is ALL about drinking wine, and that is what all the members do. Many of them come online when they're drinking wine and we discuss what we're drinking. If what the book was trying to say is "don't post when you're drunk" then that is a COMPLETELY different issue and one they should have been more clear about.

I just can't state how disappointed I was with this book. Looking at other reviews on Amazon, it seems like half of them were primarily swayed by a "$50 Facebook ad credit" they got - but I don't see that credit ANYWHERE in my book. I even went back and re-read the entire Marketing chapter to see if I missed it somewhere. I still can't find a free credit. If it's in here somewhere, they didn't make it very obvious.

Not recommended. You could get far more out of their regular Marketing book, and simply apply that great knowledge to the Facebook world.

I bought this book with my own money at a local book store.

Buy Facebook Marketing for Dummies from Amazon.com

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