Shama Kabani

The Zen of Social Media Marketing Revised

Some time ago, I wrote a review of Shama Hyder Kabani’s The Zen of Social Media Marketing. Now, two years later, Shama has released a revised version of the book, because, as you well know, social media changes fast.

Shama Kabani

In this article, I will point out a few of the gems that Shama shares rather than reviewing the book, but know this, the book is updated and there are additional chapters on Google+ and Social Media Advertising, new content for search engine optimization and updated info for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


A while back, I realized that the main reason people are struggling with social media marketing: they are going against the natural order of things!  The traditional marketing rules cannot be applied to social media because social media is not a marketer’s platform.  It belongs to the consumers.  (p. xi ) Shama Kabani

If you understand this paragraph, you can begin to understand the elements that Shama is teaching in her book, The Zen of Social Media Marketing.  Failure to do so will leave you scratching your head.  Social media belongs to the consumers, and no amount of “pushing” your message will work effectively in this communications medium.

This paragraph is the most important to understand when learning about social media and it is the foundation for what Shama will teach you in her book.

While there are tons of useful information in this book, I am going to focus on four specific gems.

Gem Number One

The ACT Methodology for using Social Media
This particular methodology shows Shama’s incredible communications skills as she takes something that is a little complex and simplifies it for the reader.  Each letter in ACT stands for how we can better use social media for our business, big or small.
Attract — stands or means to get attention or stand out
Convert — turning a stranger into a customer or consumer.
Transform — this means taking a success and turning it into a “magnetic forces of attraction” as she puts it.  The ACT is like a circle.  Each step leads to the next and transform should lead to attraction.

Gem Number Two

As a website designer, I am appreciative of her words on websites.  Shama points out that:

Today, there are trillions of websites, and people have a lot less patience for bad ones (p. 10).

There are so many websites that people have more options than is possible to visit, so why would a person visit, much less stay on, your website?  It’s not just enough to have a static, brochure type website which doesn’t change anymore.

There are two big nuggets from the website section.

The first nugget s the purpose, or goal, of your website.  Shama believes websites should Educate, Market and Sell, or EMS.

The Second nugget from her chapter on websites are the Seven Elements of a Great Website.  It’s not just enough for a website to look pretty, or have a blog, but, according to Shama, there are seven elements that make a great website.

  • Design
  • Lead capture Mechanism for with a free Giveaway
  • Structure
  • Content
  • Social Media Integration
  • Optimization for SEO and code
  • Maintenance


Gem Number Three

This gem is scattered over three chapters on the “the big three” of social media, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.  Shama includes a Do’s and Don’ts for each social media website which are crucial for following the natural order of social media.  There is an etiquette for each website and Shama will let you know what they are.

Shama will explain the phenomenon of #hashtags for Twitter (pp. 91-93) which is one of things I see people struggle knowing how to use.  She explains that Facebook has over 750 Million users making it a “no brainer” for businesses who need a social media presence.  Finally, she shows the power of LinkedIn for business professionals.

One side note, Shama gives a great differentiator between Linekin and Twitter:

LinkedIn is like a buttoned-down office-networking event. If Facebook is happy hour, LinkedIn is all business, in a suit and tie. (p.117)

Gem Number Four

Leave it to Shama, the guru of social media, to be one of the first to include information on Google+.  She gives us a crash course on the use of Google+ including how to navigate around the social media website.

Further, she offers a few different ways that businesses can use Google+ to benefit their company.  It might be worth trying some of her suggestions which includes holding conference calls.  Shama also goes over how you can have a business brand page on Google+.

The Zen of Social Media Marketing is definitely a great place to get a primer on Google+.


There aren’t many drawbacks to this book.  The one that I can think of is the lack of information or help with the new Facebook Timeline layout.  To be fair, I am sure that Shama and her team were making updates a year ago before Facebook released much information about the Timeline.

However, in light of when the book came out, almost the same time as when Timeline was introduced, it would have been wonderful if Shama could have included info on how to navigate the Timeline or resources for learning more.

Shama has, however, written on the subject here and here.  Even though it isn’t addressed in the book, she is on top of the changes.