Book Review: The Like Economy by Brian Carter

About 90% of the people that speak at conferences on the topic of internet marketing have a sense of humor comparable to that of a sack of bricks and that reason alone is enough to root for Brian Carter. He’s got a personality big enough to fill any room and comes equipped with jokes, many of which are quite funny or at least palatable in comparison to the typical drab of the average keynote speaker. The man also frequently writes for All Facebook, a site that I’m quite fond of, and thus another reason why I was eager to get through The Like Economy. A book that – you guessed it – is all about the topic of Facebook marketing and branding.

Before jumping to any conclusions, it’s worth noting that this isn’t a manual strictly for beginners. Carter gives the reader credit and assumes that if you’ve taken the effort to crack open a book on the topic that you’ve already done some preliminary work within Facebook or that at minimum you’re curious and are trying to decide if it’s something that might benefit you or your department. Don’t worry though, there’s a bunch of a 101 material within these pages if one should happen to need it. The instructions presented are clear and the benefits behind each view point are made obvious and tied up neatly by the end of every chapter.

But still, why even bother with Facebook?

Unlike PPC advertising through Google or Bing, there are many who won’t go near Facebook. It still holds a stigma in certain circles and thought of as a network of young people, who outside of Zynga products, don’t care too much for ads. Fortunately none of this hold trues and The Like Economy makes a convincing case that there’s plenty of money to be made and customers to be won through smart Facebook marketing campaigns. Pick up this book and you’ll learn how to optimize ad copy, refine landing pages, target the right people, and save some time, headaches, cash, or all three in the process.

All of it reminds me of a time not too far back when a friend was yelling in angst at her computer screen wondering why her finely tuned collection of ads weren’t generating any traffic. This is a book I would have enjoyed throwing in her direction in hopes of silencing the little subconscious voice that kept begging her to give up and admit that an AdWords campaign was the only way. Aside from simple cost per click comparisons, Facebook is a different beast altogether. It’s not going away and with new features such as Sponsored Stories being added to the mix, understanding how Facebook operates and learning some best practices has never been more of a relevant ambition than it is today. The information may be out there for the taking within blog posts or through self-practice, but having an organized guidebook likes this to work off of makes for a lot of sense. Facebook likes to shake things up without warning and make big changes quickly, but at of the time of this publishing one would be hard pressed to find a better education companion than The Like Economy. If it’s not the definitive book on the topic, it’s surely near the top of a very short list.

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