Social Media Is Bullshit

Overview

A provocative look at social media that dispels the hype and tells you all you need to know about using the Web to expand your business

If you listen to the pundits, Internet gurus, marketing consultants, and even the mainstream media, you could think social media was the second coming.  When it comes to business, they declare that it?s revolutionizing advertising, PR, customer relations?everything.  And they all ...

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Social Media Is Bullshit

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Overview

A provocative look at social media that dispels the hype and tells you all you need to know about using the Web to expand your business

If you listen to the pundits, Internet gurus, marketing consultants, and even the mainstream media, you could think social media was the second coming.  When it comes to business, they declare that it’s revolutionizing advertising, PR, customer relations—everything.  And they all agree: it is here to stay.

In this lively, insightful guide, journalist and social critic B.J. Mendelson skillfully debunks the myths of social media.  He illustrates how the notion of “social media” first came to prominence, why it has become such a powerful presence in the marketing field, and who stands to benefit each time it’s touted in the press.  He shows you why all the Facebook friends and Twitter followers in the world mean nothing to you and your business without old-fashioned, real-world connections.  He examines popular tales of social media “success,” and reveals some unsettling truths behind the surface.  And he tells you how to best harness the potential of the Internet—without spending a fortune in the process.

Social media is bullshit.  This book gives the knowledge and tools you really need to connect with customers and grow your brand. 

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Nothing sells quite like angry, contrarian tirades and few recent phenomena provide quite the same broad expanse for hyperbole as the wildly popular, grossly oversold social media. In a world where many pray for surcease from the 1% boot smashing forever on the collective face of humanity, the tools provided by social media seem to provide some faint promise of hope, whether empowering collectively driven reforms or merely providing personal enrichment. Having himself failed miserably at applying social media to his own ends, journalist and social critic Mendelson yearns to save others from his mistakes by revealing the degree to which social media have been overhyped, providing a wealth of examples from recent history to illustrate his points. While grudgingly admitting the existence of an occasional success story, Mendelson prefers to focus on the myriad ways in which social media fail to deliver what is promised; he also provides pointers to methods he thinks do work. Passionate and mercifully short, this work should provide useful ammunition for readers skeptical about the new networks linking the people of the 21st century. Agent: Dan Mandel, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
"B.J. isn't saying that all social media is worthless—he's saying far too much of the chatter and hype about it is. Read this book to hear from someone who actually knows what they're talking about." —Ryan Holiday, bestselling author of Trust Me I'm Lying and former Director of Marketing at American Apparel

"In his absorbing and provocative new book, Social Media is Bullshit, Mendelson, a former marketing guy, is pulling back the curtain on what happens when you're inveigled into having a 'social media presence' by people who, as luck would have it, will show you exactly how for an often exorbitant fee."  —Chris Lombardo, The Toronto Star

"I've been telling everyone for years that social media is just the same bullshit we've always done sped up 1000 times.  Finally someone's laid it all out in book form." —Drew Curtis, founder of Fark.com and author of It's Not News, It's FARK: How Mass Media Tries to Pass off Crap as News

“Passionate... This work should provide useful ammunition for readers skeptical about the new networks linking the people of the 21st century” —Publishers Weekly

"A thought-provoking counterpoint to the myriad books on the usefulness of social media for business promotion. Anyone interested in the true impact of social media will find it of interest." —Poppy Johnson-Renvall, Central New Mexico Comm. Coll., Albuquerque (Library Journal)

“This small book packs a welcome, refreshing punch.” —Kirkus Review

"Social Media Is Bulls*** is common sense applied to hype, often in a very funny way. [...] If you enjoy watching bulls*** being taken apart, it’s a great read." —Dan Seitz, Uproxx

"Thoughtful and provocative... If you're a social media junkie, read it and weep." —New York Journal of Books

Library Journal
Despite the gimmicky, provocative title, freelance writer Mendelson presents a strong, well-researched argument against social media's usefulness as a marketing tool. He draws on relevant, concrete examples to reveal the truth behind the hype, citing predatory marketers and monetized social media platforms owned by conglomerates. Mendelson also offers an interesting rebuttal to some of the ideas in Malcolm Gladwell's influential marketing book The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, in particular challenging the concept of an influencer. He then goes on to examine and debunk the perceived success of social media outlets like Facebook, YouTube, Klout, TED, and more. The advice it has to offer to businesses—a cautionary tale of the dangers of overemphasizing marketing through social media—is secondary, an afterthought to justify a compelling book intent on exposing the false reputation of these outlets as democratic, grassroots spaces. VERDICT A thought-provoking counterpoint to the myriad books on the usefulness of social media for business promotion. Anyone interested in the true impact of social media will find it of interest.—Poppy Johnson-Renvall, Central New Mexico Comm. Coll., Albuquerque
Kirkus Reviews
Mendelson dethrones the ubiquitous myths spewed by influence peddlers claiming special insight into how individuals and small-business owners can profit using social media. The author lays out his thesis in four easily digested sections and a short introduction, in which he offers an overview of his career in marketing, from which he happily decamped in 2010. "Marketing is fiction created by salesman to get companies to buy ideas they don't need," he writes, "to sell customers what they don't want, to an end that only benefits their own." Following the introduction, Mendelson dives into a reader-friendly discussion of a variety of topics, including the basics of social media; who really runs the Web and how its history has been "selectively revised" for public consumption; how YouTube and Google work; and the rise of the Cyber Hipsters and their role in the marketing feedback loop. "Cyber Hipsters have their ideas spread to businesses through marketers, increasing their perceived influence," he writes, "and the marketers get backing from the Cyber Hipster crowd, which does the same for them." Mendelson introduces the people behind all the social media shenanigans and deconstructs its puffed-up role in marketing and business. He dissects the questionable role the Internet played in several touted corporate success stories, including Zappos, Dell and KIA. The author then turns to what Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Foursquare can and can't do for a business. "In most cases, money spent on social media platforms is money wasted," he writes. The author concludes with a section titled "How to Really Make It On the Web." This small book packs a welcome, refreshing punch.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781250002952
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 9/4/2012
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 702,392
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 5.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

BRANDON MENDELSON (aka B.J. Mendelson) has contributed to The Huffington PostForbes, MTV's O Music Awards, and CNN. He has also appeared on CNN, CNBC, Yahoo! News, and the CBC. Brandon currently contributes to The Wall Street Journal and teaches marketing at Columbia College in Chicago.

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