Author: Jennifer Anernethy

ISBN: 978-1-59257-989-1

Publisher: Alpha (A member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc

Author: Shiv Singh

ISBN: 978-0-470-28934-1

Publisher: Wiley

Recently, I was asked by to compare Social Media Marketing For Dummies with The Complete Idiot's Guide To Social Media Marketing and here is my analysis.

When you look at the contents of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Social Media Marketing you notice that there are five parts comprised of twenty-one chapters, and appendixes that include a glossary and additional resource directory as well as an index. In addition, there are many screen shots to help the reader navigate the social media websites.

Social Media Marketing For Dummies contains four parts comprising sixteen chapters and an index. The parts move from learning the fundamentals of social influence marketing to practical strategies for implementing SIM programs and campaigns for your brand.

The Complete Idiot's Guide breaks down the chapters as follow: what is social media all about, the right mind set, what you need to get started, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, My Space, Streaming Social Media, and Internet Radio, the New Video Marketing, Blogs, using social media for meetings and presentation, networking, writing and marketing your articles and time strategies to get it all done. Social Media Marketing For Dummies begins with an introduction about the book, understanding social influence marketing, the lay of the SIM Land, getting in the social influence marketing frame of mind, practicing SIM in the social web, developing your SIM voice, researching your audience and their influences on the major social platforms and this is broken down into Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and You Tube, marketing niche networks as Wikipedia, Flickr, Delicious, Digg, message boards, accounting for influencers, practicing SIM on your web site, becoming an authentic and engaged advertiser, building a SIM mobile campaign, energizing employees within your company for social influence, applying metrics to the SIM realm, ten best SIM practices, avoiding ten common mistakes, and ten SIM-related must read blogs.

Both contain more or less of the same information, however, I found that The Complete Idiot's Guide to be more reader friendly and concise than Social Media Marketing For Dummies. The former concentrates more on Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, You Tube and Linkedin, whereas the latter prefers to delve into more details concerning SIM and frames it in the context of other forms of marketing, and then walks the reader through the different stages of the marketing funnel. Incidentally, Social Media Marketing For Dummies devotes little ink to Linkedin.

If we look to the first chapter of each book, we see how they are pretty much dealing with the same topics, however their presentation seems to differ. The Complete Idiot's Guide deals with what is social media, the scoop on social networking, the big seven social media sites, and social media and its effect on business marketing. Social Media Marketing For Dummies concentrates on understanding social media's role in social influence, knowing what types of influencers you're marketing to, coordinating your efforts with other types of marketing and moving beyond corporate marketing. Notice the emphasis on the marketing aspect that Social Media Marketing For Dummies prefers. The right mind set appears in Chapter Two of The Complete Idiot's Guide and it is here where we learn about having the right mind-set, investing your time, networking online, building celebrity status, protecting your business reputation and the unwritten rules of social media. Social Media Marketing For Dummies gets around to dealing with getting in the social influence marketing frame of mind in Chapter Three. However, notice their emphasis on putting SIM in the context of the marketing funnel it breaks down into the awareness stage, the consideration stage, the preference stage, the action stage, the loyalty stage, treating SIM differently from brand marketing, the context of direct response and tying SIM with brand marketing and direct response. The remainder of the two books pretty much follow the same pattern and emphasis.

From my own personal perspective, I prefer The Complete Idiot's Guide To Social Media Marketing due to its simpler organization and clearly defined sections dealing with Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin where we are presented with an easy-to-understand how to set them up, using the applications and how to use them in the market place. I also found very helpful the section concerning the use of video as part of your social media marketing strategy and as we are learning, videoconferencing sites are becoming very affordable and sometimes even free. Perhaps, if I was a professional marketer, I would have a different opinion and be more interested in the “nitty gritty” of the marketing aspect.