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Social Media Marketing:
Marketing Panacea or the
Emperor's New Digital Clothes?

The book has been included on the website of Harvard Business Publishing Education to pair with Harvard business case studies which are promoted to thousands of faculty and professionals worldwide

With regard to digital marketing Alan has been there, seen it, done it and got the teeshirt. In this book he brings to the table a weary eye on academic theory and skepticism of jingoistic popularism to produce a text that analytically questions the use of social media as a platform for effective marketing

Published in 1837, Hans Christian Andersen's 'the Emperor's new clothes' tells the tale of two weavers who present a non-existent suit of clothes to the Emperor with the caution that the suit is invisible to those who are unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent. book cover: Social Media Marketing: Marketing Panacea or the Emperor's New Digital Clothes?s

As the Emperor parades in his underwear no one dares to say they see no clothes - except for a small child who exclaims 'he isn't wearing anything at all'.

Fast forward to the present day and business owners and managers around the world are told that anyone who cannot see the benefits of social media marketing are unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent. As organizations, brands and products fill the social media landscape with meaningless, objectiveless drivel that is of interest to no one and serves only to waste resources and alienate customers, a small voice can be heard exclaiming 'who told you that was a good idea?'

The caveat to this contemporary tale is that for a very few organizations, brands and products, social media has provided a kind-of marketing panacea. Correction: make that very, very, very, very few. For the rest, they are metaphorically parading in their digital underwear.

All is not lost however. Although many have been duped in a new clothes-esque sting, and that their social media marketing efforts are indeed, invisible - but marketing on social media might just be riding to the rescue.


Chapter 1 What is Social Media
1.1    Introduction
1.2    So what is digital social media?
1.3    Social networks and online communities
1.4    Social sharing
1.5    User generated content
1.6   Blogging

Chapter 2   Who uses what on social media, and why
2.1   Users and user behaviour
2.2   What platforms are out there?
2.3   Who uses which platforms?
2.4   Why people follow social media sites of organizations, brands or products

Chapter 3   What is social media marketing?
3.1   What is social media marketing not?
3.2   When is social media marketing not social media marketing?
3.3   Models associated with social media marketing
3.4   Social hosting

Chapter 4   Strategic issues in social media marketing
4.1   Introduction
4.2   Strategic objectives
4.3   Return on investment
4.4   Measure and monitor
4.5   Legal issues impacting on social media marketing
4.6   Culture

Chapter 5   Operational issues in social media marketing
5.1   Management and staff
5.2   Who does what, and when
5.3   Third party platforms

Chapter 6   Social media marketing: what works, what doesn't ... and why
6.1   The right brand and/or product?
6.2   The right implementation ... what could possibly go wrong?
6.3   The right culture?

Chapter 7   Conclusion
7.1   Ticking the marketing boxes

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