The ever ebullient Mari Smith is often nicknamed the Queen of Facebook Marketing. Her webinars are entertaining and she attracts millions of fans. As would be expected, her book is packed with fascinating stories.
But the book, in my opinion, narrowly qualifies for academic purposes. Its appeal is limited to an undergraduate class in social media for which it has the following advantages:
- Mari’s popularity and upbeat personality is bound to strike a chord with some students.
- The book portrays well the relationship aspects of social media along with some best practice tactics to be considered by beginners in this field.
- Her anecdotal style lends well to content recall.
- Her references to Hollywood Squares as an influence building technique is highly useful in influence marketing exercises.
But what creates much of her higher popularity among newcomers to social media actually hurts her book’s acceptance in the classroom for the following reasons:
- The title itself has to sting the many relationship marketing scholars who credit the field of relationship marketing with well studied constructs and frameworks backed by years of empirical research. To stake a claim on “new relationship marketing,” I believe the author should discuss what part of relationship marketing changed because of social media.
- The tactical checklist orientation of the book does not bode well with theory-based approaches to learning.
- The numerous references to people in high places throughout the book may leave students wondering if its out of their league.
Overall Evaluation of Social Media Book
Category: Recommended supplementary reading for undergraduate level course in social media marketing
So what is your take on this book being qualified for higher education? Please share your own criteria or what disagreements you have with this book’s academic influence.