from $ apropos

So I have made my way through most of this book (skipped a couple of sections specific to customer engagement & marketing), and have a quick review to offer.

The Facebook Era is first and foremost a general discussion on: a) how social networking technology is the next big revolution in IT, b) the nature of social capital and digital media, c) how social networking sites will change the way that we do business, and d) specific discussions on how social networking sites can be put to use by marketers, sales reps, and recruiters.

Mary Lynn mentioned that she uses it as a textbook in her course on Marketing Through Social Media (see comment, last post). I can definitely see how the book could function well as a guide to the basic principles involved in using an SNS as an advertising medium. Shih covers the basic reasons why a social networking site can offer a highly targeted approach to reaching consumers (what Shih refers to as hypertargeting or microtargeting). Ads can be placed according to the content of the individual user's profile and/or updates, as well as gender, location, age, education, workplace, relationship status, relationship interests and interest keywords. (That explains why I keep seeing all of those dating service ads on my Facebook page... sigh...).

What about from the point of view of a recruiter? Shih includes a couple of chapters on why/how recruiters might make use of social networking sites to develop and make use of professional networks. She includes discussions on why it is that people are more likely to respond to requests to connect with someone (such as an introduction on LinkedIn), and how that tendency promotes the effectiveness of the site itself. What she does not discuss, and I do not say this as a criticism of the book but as a point of relevance, is the nitty gritty or nuts and bolts of recruiting through social networking sites. The impression I get is that she did not intend the book to address that topic in that much detail.

The Facebook Era is useful as an introduction to topics associated with social networking sites (and again, this is why it would function well as a text for a social media marketing class). But I don't think that the book will really turn on any light bulbs for a recruiter that has at least some experience using social networking sites. On the other hand, if you are relatively new to these services, then I think that the book would make a great "big picture" introduction, as well as include a few useful details. However, anyone looking to break out of a rut or buck any trends as a recruiter using social networking sites should look elsewhere.


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