As a social media speaker, author and professor, I often get asked at the many social media conferences I speak at what are the top social media books I recommend. The barrier of entry is so low for anyone to pretend that they are an expert and publish on Kindle that it is an important question worth asking: For someone that doesn’t know better, how would they know what the best social media books are?
I have published many annual social media books lists in the past, but I want to take a new approach by creating a resource that I am committing to update on a regular basis. So here we go!
I have tried to organize the books among the many categories of content we have here at Maximize Social Business, but as you can imagine it was difficult to find a book for every category. For those categories which I feel need a good book but I don’t believe one exists, I have left them blank for the time being until one appears.
In order to provide some semblance of balance, I have also tried to make the following limitations to improve the quality of this list:
- Limit of 10 books for the popular categories of social media marketing and content marketing and 2 books for all other categories
- Limit of one book per author, usually (but not necessarily) their latest offering (although there are notable exceptions)
- Placed preference on books that exist in hardcover and/or paperback over Kindle-only
I have lots of friends who are also social media authors so it was impossible to include everyone I would have liked to, but if you feel that I made a mistake and/or feel that your book should be included, please comment below. Thanks!
Now I have not simply selected the newest of books because some of the “older” books are still relevant, especially those that focused more on concepts and less on specific tactics. For that reason, don’t be afraid to buy a book if it wasn’t published recently. Remember, many of these books are either textbooks being used in universities or are often talked about amongst social media professionals, so you’ll want to play “catch up” if you haven’t read some of the older books. For those of you sensitive to age, I have listed the books that were published or re-issued most recently with the oldest books at the bottom of each category.
Without further adieu, here’s the list of best social media books, which currently stands at 61 (PHEW!) .. I’ve also added videos of the book trailers or of the authors speaking about their books to give you a further introduction and background to each book:
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
The category of social media marketing is the broadest one on this list, but it’s also where a majority of the books about social media for business would fall under. Some of these books were written several years ago but have already gone through revisions to keep them up-to-date. Needless to say, a majority of these are still talked about today, so flip through the selection, read the descriptions, and find your own best social media book in this category.
Marketing has suffered false teachings, digital attribution and over-application in a lot of areas. Now, UnMarketing offers a reprieve from typically stale marketing tactics, outdated approaches and underwhelming results. It focuses on new marketing tactics, striking out age-old myths, falsely validated tactics and an over-reliance on outdated platforms.
UnMarketing additionally teaches you to foster relationships in the Digital Age, helping you settle new deals while making logical choices. Unique to UnMarketing is its understanding of ever-expanding marketing options. Sometimes, you need to forget the terminologies, textbook explanations and go-to resources. Sometimes, you need to ditch the flyers, newspaper advertisements and television spots. Now, more than ever, a comprehensive approach to the “customer is always right” mantra is appreciated.
Scott Stratten clearly has a unique voice that demands attention and fosters rational behavior in the sometimes irrational science of social media marketing. Here’s a great “look” at what his “voice” looks like – enjoy!
The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Social Media, Blogs, News Releases, Online Video, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly
The classic book that was originally published back in 2008 (where were you in social media in 2008?!?!?) reappeared in its 2nd edition this year. Along with some of the other books that were republished this year, this book deserves to be on every social media bookshelf. A book that covers both marketing and public relations and emphasizes the directness of marketing to your customers over the social web, it includes a plethora of case studies and is all encompassing in scope. Indeed, social media marketing is about the “new rules,” and one of the established thought leaders in social media reminds us of his relevance with this work. Informative, conversational, and entertaining, The New Rules of Marketing and PR is a pleasant and satisfying read for all.
Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook (And Other Social Networks)
If you need your business to be “likeable”, Dave Kerpen will teach you how. Through his experience and work as the CEO of the social media agency Likeable Media, he teaches us how to engage fans and followers alike, offering up actionable tips that will greatly improve your company’s social media presence. What I like about the author is that he really talks the talk: whatever he teaches in the book, he also applies in real life to grow his own social media following.
This book by the legendary Guy Kawasaki, offers a solid examination of social media, time investment and money options. The Art of Social Media carries a slew of insights, tips, tricks and industry insights. Collaborating with Maximize Social Business alumni Peg Fitzpatrick, Guy Kawasaki offers a compelling insight into today’s social media giants without sacrificing much-needed marketing attention.
Optimization is a key word in The Art of Social Media, helping readers amass digital clout while optimizing their social appearance. Today, digital followers are everything. The Art of Social Media knows this, compiling fantastic resources into an easily readable format. If you want to integrate your social media presence, outfit your digital marketing toolkit and achieve higher visibility, The Art of Social Media is your book.
By now, a lot of digital marketers understand the “hidden” aspects of Internet visibility, YouTube views and Facebook fame. Because Twitter, Airbnb and Dropbox are ever-expanding—sharing a massive digital pie—books like Growth Hacker are invaluable. Traditional marketing tactics can’t cut it anymore, and bestselling author Ryan Holiday intends to help you invest your time wisely. Whether you’re expanding a start-up business, growing a Fortune 500 or simply want to create a buzz, Growth Hacker has answers. It’s a road map of sorts, helping digital marketers plant seeds of success.
Yes, it does hold lesser-known tips and tricks for massive visibility inflation. New-gen brands are watertight in terms of exploitation, but books like Growth Hacker have circumnavigated dangerous waters to deliver legal, safe and effective alternatives to shady tools. The best part is that you can use Growth Hacker’s tools with a modest budget.
While this book covers social media marketing as part of its discussion of Internet Marketing as a whole, seeing that the authors of this book are the founders of Hubspot is reason enough to recommend this book. More importantly, the secret to social media marketing is less broadcasting your message and more indirectly bringing people to your website. For this reason, “Inbound Marketing” is a book that will help beginners at social media marketing realize this. As Guy Kawasaki said in his review of Inbound Marketing: “If you have more money than brains, you should focus on outbound marketing. If you have more brains than money, you should focus on inbound marketing by reading this book.” Elegantly spoken!
Gary Vaynerchuk is back with a “how-to” book on how to tell your story in social media and adapt it to all of the different social media platforms out there. Through explaining his “six rules of outstanding content” and showcasing relevant case studies, Gary will have you rethink what “storytelling” means in the context of social media. As Gary says, communication is still key, but context matters more than ever – and he provides us all a blueprint about developing content that will truly engage with your customers by using new narrative forms that are specific to each of the social networks covered in his book.
Jay Baer writes the definitive book that provides us the background for successful content and social media marketing: Providing a resource for our customers. By helping, instead of selling, brands can cut through the clutter and be recognized for lending a helping hand, building strong brand awareness and loyalty that results in increased business over the long term. Case studies as well as stories from Jay’s personal consulting experience add fuel to his argument that by genuinely helping your customers, you truly can create customers for life. What are you waiting for? Go out and help your customers NOW!
Every company needs to create a platform for success in social media.
Get Noticed in a Noisy World helps you nurture your own online platform via time-tested-and-true formulas. It takes readers behind the curtain, explores social media successes, re-approaches public speakers and examines today’s marketplace for fertile grounds.
Writer Michael Hyatt is one of the world’s most successful business bloggers, and he’s here to offer advice from experience. Having written over 800 blogs—and carrying over 100,000 Twitter followers—Hyatt’s large, expanding platform is a viable source for consultation. Why settle for less than the best? It’s hard finding a mentor, but Hyatt’s book is an incredibly capable teacher. Learn to extend your influence, monetize your content and build a solid platform—all by using minimal resources.
The New Relationship Marketing: How to Build a Large, Loyal, Profitable Network Using the Social Web
Mari Smith is the most loved figure, and potentially the most genuine and nicest person, in social media. She also knows a thing or two about Facebook. Her new book, however, focuses on relationship marketing and serves as an easy to follow guide to growing your business through social media. It presents 9 steps that will help you build relationships with your contacts, increase your authority online and optimize your offline marketing efforts. It’s written in a personal, friendly manner that appeals to both newbies and veterans alike, something that every social media practitioner should emulate as well. Mari is for real, and so is this book!
One thing that I like to say about content when describing it vis a vis social media is that Content is the Currency of Social Media. Content marketing actually goes above and beyond social media, but you simply cannot participate in social media as a business without creating content, and thus the topic is of inherent interest to any social media marketer. Where the publishing of great books on general social media marketing seems to have dropped off recently, publication of excellent content marketing books continues – after all, the authors are all content marketers themselves, right?!? 😉
This much-anticipated book will publish in January of 2017, but Marcus Sheridan, aka “The Sales Lion,” is no strange to the world of social media. While his book has yet to be published, the following is what we know from publisher et. al. previews:
Sometimes, straightforward answers work best. They Ask You Answer is a to-the-point approach to budget marketing. A comprehensive guide, the book pays much-needed attention to print ads, television spots and radio. It also discusses the importance of Internet advertisement. Today, content marketing is king. It’s diverted from keyword-stuffing, link-building tactics—and marketers are struggling to accommodate for the change.
Above all, They Ask You Answer focuses on the importance of quality content. If you want to know the key ingredients to a successful content marketing platform, the book has an answer. The book focuses on customer acquisition, website presence, trust generation, in-house resource management and innovative tactics. It’s your one-stop shop for success—regardless of your industry.
Startups and digital entrepreneurships are today’s go-to marketing ventures, and a lot of soon-to-be business pros have little—if any—experience. Content Machine discusses ways to strategize content marketing options, simplifying the regularly challenging process of content creation, marketing and strategy.
I have personally seen the author, Dan Norris, use content to propel his WordPress support service startup, WP Curve, to immense success in a short period of time.
The framework discussed in Content Machine, while rigorous, adequately replaces formal education. It outlines the pitfalls of modern marketing, discusses idea generation, focuses on the importance of guidelines and assists with every content marketing tactic under the sun. The book offers a refreshing perspective to digital marketing—which is a world filled with off-base advice, wrong turns and dangerous endeavors. If you want to jump into the world of content marketing, and if you have little formal education, Content Machine is an invaluable resource.
The Content Code: Six essential strategies to ignite your content, your marketing, and your business
Best-selling author, college educator and marketing guru Mark W. Schaefer is here, and his newest marketing book redefines his previously-discussed areas of digital business. The Content Code is a much-needed addition to typical marketing schemes, offering the tools you need for next-level success.
It discusses modern social media marketing, utilizing measurable results as primary resources in the long-haul game of online representation. Offering an in-depth exploration of brand-and-content relationships, The Content Code is a refreshing outlook on typically glossed-over promotion tactics. SEO and distribution tricks, of course, are also featured, but The Content Code glows in its representation of organization-sized solutions—each of which has been “boiled down” for ease-of-digestion and repeatability. Give The Content Code a whirl, and check out Schaefer’s other books while you’re at it (keep reading this list for recommendations).
Content Marketing pays homage to the ever-rarer topic of comprehensive content marketing. Whether you’re late to the game or want to create increasingly robust content, Content Marketing has the merits needed to assist with the implementation, measurement and management of great content.
It follows an intuitive, easily accessible eight-step generation process, using the author’s own content marketing agency, Vertical Measures, as a study subject. Together, the reader and Content Marketing break down successful strategies, organize solutions and dissect traffic-growing tools. Business lead generation solutions are covered, too, yet content marketing is the book’s sole focus. Its eight steps include: strategy development, content creation, ideation, optimization, promotion, distribution, lead nurture and measurement.
If there was one chapter in Maximize Your Social that I would rewrite today, it would be the chapter on visual social media marketing. Leveraging the visual and establishing a “visual voice” has become vital for every business to engage not only in the visual social networks of Pinterest and Instagram, but also to get better noticed in all of the other social networks. This book is your definitive guide to visual storytelling for social media co-authored by one of the pioneers in the space, Ekaterina Walter. This book itself is visually stunning and packed with enough visual information to convince you the power of visual social media before you even complete the book!
Content marketing newcomers deserve education from credible, established sources—and Welcome to the Funnel offers it. While overwhelming for some, Welcome to the Funnel is a niche book offering intensive opportunity management skills.
It’s research-heavy, so it isn’t for the fainthearted. If you’re not ready to connect powerhouse solutions, put in the legwork and examine Herculean amounts of research, Welcome to the Funnel isn’t for you. If you are, however, Peter Shankman’s vision is incredible valuable. By focusing on a content-to-social approach platform, his vision is both incredible capable and sustaining. Be prepared, however, because the face-melting statistics behind every option may, again, be too much to handle for the uninitiated.
The world of content is growing, and good writing is harder to come by. Everyone Writes is your go-to retention, attraction and promotion guide, breaking down modern online communication while deriving solutions from heavily touted digital marketing approaches. Even if you’re not a content creationist, Everybody Writes packs a ludicrous amount of useful information. Marketing messages are powerful publishing, financial and distribution resources.
Now, they have proper representation. Short, snappy and fun, the book’s hand-fed teachings are both digestible for newcomers and palpable for return visitors. Make your business thrive, and don’t neglect the foundations of online writing. While the Internet is plagued by Twitter streams and click-bait headlines, quality content can still break through. Good writing exists, and you can learn to create it.
Global Content Marketing: How to Create Great Content, Reach More Customers, and Build a Worldwide Marketing Strategy that Works
Many have worried about the digital marketing world’s increased globalization. Understandably, technology has destroyed national barriers, creating an ever-accessible network of transformation, promotion and communication. Global Content Marketing addresses the ever-growing elephant in the room, helping readers cope with present—and upcoming—realities in the digital world.
With Global Content Marketing, you’ll learn to reach, engage and retain a stretching online audience. It’s important to transform with new challenges, approach problems in a new light and engage passionately. As globalization increases, the Internet’s white noise levels grow. Global Content Marketing is a gem—one of the finest, in fact—and it’s deserving of its critical acclaim across many business circles and entrepreneurial groups.
Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break Through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less
The true Godfather of Content Marketing, Joe Pulizzi, is back to re-define content marketing in an age where more and more companies are jumping on the digital publishing bandwagon. Epic Content Marketing is about creating content that your customers actually want to engage with – not merely content that interrupts them like in the days of traditional marketing – and Joe provides enough in-depth case studies from companies to show his content marketing techniques can directly led to greater sales. If you’re just churning out content and haven’t been able to align your content marketing program with business objectives, you need to read this book and do a hard reset on your content marketing strategy!
Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media, and Content Marketing
The founder of one of the top online marketing blogs, TopRank, Lee Odden publishes his first book and covers a lot of ground covering the entire spectrum of social and online marketing. A gem of practical insight and advice to get you thinking of optimizing your online presence through a holistic combination of SEO, social and content marketing. A great online marketing perspective to integrating social media into your marketing mix.
B2B SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
After introducing content marketing, which is not exclusive to companies servicing other businesses (B2B), it makes sense to introduce two selections in B2B social media marketing that I have. Content plays a critical role in both B2B social media marketing and B2B marketing in general, so read these books if you want to know how content and social media marketing best applies to your business and industry.
The B2B Social Media Book: Become a Marketing Superstar by Generating Leads with Blogging, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Email, and More
An all-star combination of B2B social media marketing professionals, Hubspot Director of Marketing Kipp Bodnar and Salesforce Marketing Cloud Content Marketing Manager Jeffrey Cohen, provide a comprehensive look at how to generate B2B leads using a plethora of social media platforms. I enjoyed the holistic perspective of this book which goes beyond even social to also include search, email marketing, and other forms of content marketing such as webinars. It even talks about how to make traditional trade shows more social. If you’re a B2B marketer, this is the best introduction to find to help make better use of social media to generate leads.
Social Marketing to the Business Customer: Listen to Your B2B Market, Generate Major Account Leads, and Build Client Relationships
B2B (business to business) social marketing is an area ignored by many because it is simply not as intuitive as the B2C (business to consumer) side is. This book, arguably the first of its kind devoted to the subject, is a hands-on guide that delves into subjects that are unique to this segment, especially those engaged in marketing and sales to other businesses.
SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY
A social strategy is the solution to the biggest problems that social media marketers face, yet most companies either don’t have a comprehensive one or don’t have a social strategy that is aligned with business objectives.
Maximize Your Social: A One-Stop Guide to Building a Social Media Strategy for Marketing and Business Success
Yes, I am the author of this book. Through my own social media consulting, I wanted to create a resource that will allow the reader to create their own social media strategy. I obviously wouldn’t put my own book on this list if I didn’t think it would add value to your business, and being encouraged by the reviews I’ve received so far on Amazon, I’m taking a deep breath and adding it. Once again, this is a subjective list, but if I wasn’t writing a book that I would recommend to others, why write it, right?
Ric’s excellent book provides the reader with a framework for which to create a social media strategy and then processes to allow your marketing team to do everything from humanizing your personality and voice to influencer marketing. Highly recommended read to any business who isn’t sure how well they are doing at social media or those that lack a concise strategy.
SOCIAL MEDIA ANALYTICS & METRICS
Once you create a social media strategy, you need to manage and continually optimize it through the application of social media analytics and social media metrics. Read these two selections to better familiarize yourself with how social media marketers are measuring their performance from a strategic business perspective, not through merely getting excited over vanity metrics.
In this book, we can learn how to derive valuable information, and extract deeper meaning from, all the data and metrics we can collect in our social business activities. Featuring in-depth case studies, this book helps us in understanding the how and why certain things relating to social media need to be done and how they can affect our way of doing business.
“What is the ROI of social media?” is the question that I get asked most often. Nobody asks about the ROI of traditional types of marketing that are a lot less trackable, but social is often put under a microscope like no other. I always argue that, from an Income Statement perspective, the ROI of social is in the metrics. Metrics, thus, provide the “proof” that social media is worth investing in, and now a definitive book on the subject has appeared. This book is not simply about social media metrics, either, because Jim explains the metrics as he points out all of the various marketing activities that companies should be utilizing social for. Highly recommended for any businessperson looking to establish, or prove, the ROI of social media.
When I worked with a client on writing a social media strategy that would become the framework of my own Maximize Your Social, I asked them to invite an individual from every department in which they utilized social media, regardless of objective. That meeting turned out to have someone from almost every department present, and thus my own definition of social business was born:
The more companies participate in social media, the more that engagement will require the entire organization to engage and collaborate. This collaboration will be culture-changing and lead to a more open brand – and more business decisions to be based on insight gleaned from social media.
Social business is an evolution that most companies are still on the journey of becoming. Read these books to help accelerate the process!
Another book dealing with the woes of constant connectivity, The Social Business Imperative takes a lively approach to difficult-to-swallow truths in the business world. It highlights quality social media practices, targets the fundamentals of modern business and examines customer engagement models.
More importantly: It pinpoints the commonalities between industries, discussing the stresses of constant communication, customer cynicism and mass visibility. The Social Business Imperative is an incredible guide for online marketing gurus, but it’s also a comfort piece for businesses suffering from Google’s development of mass information spread. Today’s consumers are constantly connected, but they needn’t be feared. With the help of The Social Business Imperative, to can re-architect your business models accordingly.
Your Brand, the Next Media Company: How a Social Business Strategy Enables Better Content, Smarter Marketing, and Deeper Customer Relationships
We all have heard that, in this new world of mainstream social media, brands must become media companies in order to better reach consumers. But how does a brand go about doing so? A true pioneer of the social business space, author Michael Brito, utilizes his social business consulting experience to guide you through the entire process, and in doing so brings together all of the elements and practical approaches you need for transforming your brand into the media company you want to become. Now only will you better understand content marketing in context, but along the way you’ll learn a lot about the social customer, real-time command centers, editorial teams, the integration of paid, earned, and owned content, as well as how other brand leaders such as Red Bull, Burberry, and Sharpie created their own media companies.
If social media permeates every department in a social business, it is only more natural that more employees become part of a brand’s efforts in social media. This manifests itself most in employee advocacy, and here are two classics to consider when building or optimizing your employee advocacy program.
The Most Powerful Brand on Earth: How to Transform Teams, Empower Employees, Integrate Partners, and Mobilize Customers to Beat the Competition in Digital and Social Media
With the advent of employee advocacy, brands are trying to figure out how to leverage the benefits of employee and partner empowerment. The problem is that your employees were never trained for, nor are experienced in, engaging in public conversations in social media on behalf of your business. Furthermore your company was never set up to be a real “social business,” and thus leaders must take on new roles and manage new risks in parallel. Utilizing their own experience leading global enterprise social business programs for IBM and other companies, the authors present frameworks and case studies that will both inspire you to act as well as provide you sound processes to help manage the cultural transformation to becoming a social business.
Fellow Rutgers University Mini-Social Media MBA Professors Cheryl and Mark Burgess have created a much-needed book to help you build a successful social business by empowering what they call the new “Social Employee.” With case studies of notable companies that have empowered their employees to use social, including IBM, Cisco, and Adobe, this book is an excellent primer on internal social media and will show you how to create value and improve your company culture by leveraging your internal resources in a new way.
Social media was made for people to connect on, and there are a variety of ways that we as people – and representing our businesses – can leverage the “relationship” aspects of social. From improving your social networking, finding decision makers, engaging with influencers, turning customers into “fans,” or merely reminding ourselves that marketing comes down to relationships, these books will give you unique insight on the “human” side of social and power of relationships to power your brand.
Influence marketing continues to be the rage, but how many companies are still mystified by the concept or are actually doing it in a way that impacts their bottom line? This book demystifies the concept of influence marketing and gives you a practical, actionable framework which will allow your company to move influence marketing from a “nice-to-have” peripheral exercise merely generating brand awareness in social to one of lead generation and customer acquisition. This book is full of facts and case studies that will make you rethink your understanding of influence marketing – for the better, of course. Instead of analyzing Klout scores, this book will help you start by understanding the influence of your current customers and working from there. A refreshing and enlightening read.
While the concept of influence marketing and the importance (or lack thereof) of influencer scores such as Klout still sparks debate in many circles, the integration of social scoring into the most popular social media dashboards means that this is a topic that will continue to engage social media marketers into 2013. Fellow instructor of social media marketing at Rutgers University Business School Mark Schaefer provides a good introduction into influence marketing, Klout, and social scoring.
When working with influencers brands are realizing that relationships are often short-lived and transactional. On the other hand, brands have already amassed a potential army of social media users that can be activated to help their brand: Your own fans. Brand advocacy is all about creating a system to leverage the word-of-mouth power of your fans in social media.
While mass communication and information spread has assisted consumers during the buying process, businesses receive a surprising lack of trust. Buyers trust each other, and Brand Advocates utilizes the hidden angles of customer-to-customer marketing while acknowledging the difficult standards in advertisement.
If you’re struggling with your social media presence—or if you’re simply in search of promotion alternatives, Brand Advocates can help. The book replaces age-old advocacy initiatives with fresh, expandable digital options. Your marketing sphere’s biggest influencers are out there, but they’re hidden away on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Classic advocacy brands are failing to dig up these audiences, but Brand Advocates presents a healthy alternative. Rob Fuggetta’s vision is inspirational, and it’s entirely valuable to the modern day digital marketer.
CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE MARKETING
Customer experience marketing is still a relatively new field of study, but with omnichannel marketing and trying to be wherever the customer is as the mantra for today, it makes sense that we look at our customers from the opposite angle: How do they experience our brand on a daily basis whenever they interact with us? The technology and platforms exist to help us manage and optimize our customer experience, but it takes a dramatic shift in mindset. My two favorite books here come from one of the true thought leaders in social business, Brian Solis, who I hope will have as positive an influence on you as he has on me.
rand experiences are changing. Today, customer experience is synonymous with reputation. Aside from digital connectivity and mass information spread, customer support and engagement can be responsible for a company’s rise, fall and everlasting reputation.
X exists for this reason, raising the warranted questions few are afraid to ask. Author Brian Solis shares fantastic experiences, discussing the impact of creative marketing and customer delight. The future of business is bright, but it’s certainly changing. To creating great experiences, garner useful perspectives and design long-lasting success plans, you need to focus on the areas Xpresents. The user experience, human-centered design, brand architecture and the buyer’s pathway-to-purchase have never been so relevant—and X is here to present new ideas in an easily digestible way.
Social media thought leader Brian Solis is back with a customer experience-centric look at the future of business and why it is important to rethink our business models to incorporate the power of this user experience. By rethinking the many ways your brand “touches” your customers, you can see the variety of ways in which you can be re-engineering the customer experience for the better. Using real world analytics and real-life examples of the connected consumers that we call Generation C, you’ll learn how to future-proof your business by creating and investing in meaningful and sharable experiences for your customers.
SOCIAL MEDIA FOR PUBLIC RELATIONS
Social media for business began for many enterprises as the role of the public relations department to figure out. There are still many businesses and regions of the world where social media engagement is seen as more of a public relations engagement and not necessarily about marketing. Whether or not you’re a public relations professional, these books are essential to give you a deeper understanding of how to build goodwill with social media users that will definitely help you in whatever objective you might have for using social media for your business.
Today, practical digital marketing handbooks are rare. Written by over 20 public relations experts and practitioners, Share This is the brain-child of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations. It magnifies the areas existent between private, public and voluntary sectors, utilizing famed social tools to address today’s biggest digital marketing difficulties.
Share This covers social network management, industry planning, outreach monitoring, industry adoptions and more, serving as a one-size-fits all tool for digital marketers everywhere. It’s additionally an unmistakable public relations tool, assisting industry professionals in areas receiving less attention than normal. Media’s biggest changes have spawned a new environment requiring constant upkeep and attention, and Share This is the companion book you need most.
If there is one book you read out of any of these to enlighten you on the fundamental change that social media has brought upon any particular industry, this is the book you need to read. While probably written for PR and Marketing folks, this book is enlightening for all to read to understand the fundamental changes that social media bring into the world of communications. I had the fortunate chance to meet both of the authors at a recent PRSA Tweetup, and I learned the most amazing thing about this book: it was written by two people who didn’t meet each other until after the book was finished! (you tell me after reading this book if you could have figured that out!)
SOCIAL MEDIA FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE
Your customers are also social media users, so at some point, especially but not necessarily limited to consumer-facing brands, you will need to figure out how to make social media part of your customer service team. Use these books for inspiration on how best to do so.
Online marketers understand the resentment, gossip and negative press surrounding faulty online ventures, and Hug Your Haters is a valuable tool in the face of such issues. It assists digital marketers in closing the reception gap, targeting negative behavior for positive engagement.
Social media and smartphone adoption isn’t going anywhere, nor is the paradigm shift of “haters” expressing mass displeasure. Today, businesses need to choose criticism responses wisely—lest they fail—and engage their fans on a deep level. By targeting the world’s different complainers, Hug Your Haters divulges industry secrets while targeting important aspects of business as a whole. If you’re invested in digital marketing—or even online business—Hug Your Haters is a must-have.
Writer Peter Shankman reveals his intuitive goal-setting approaches to digital marketing, presenting fantastic solutions derived from customer loyalty programs. Today’s companies generate enormous value from ecommerce, and low-cost customers—more than ever—are important resources.
Customer Service aids readers in organizing cost-effective social media teams, prioritizing budget flexibility to assist with prospect targeting. The book’s secondary teachings encompass social media platform management, credibility building exercises and online hit generation. While primarily a budgeter’s guide to cheap, but effective, online crowd generation, Customer Service is a powerful tool for trust generation, retention solutions and ongoing business growth. If your business is expanding to online realms, Customer Service a much-needed toolkit resource.
Social selling is a term that is still often misused by many. As a former B2B sales executive, I do not define social selling as a one-to-one approach of using social media to sell as opposed to a one-to-many approach used in social media marketing. Instead, I believe we should define social selling as to how salespeople can utilize social selling as part of their tool box. If your role in your organization is in sales, these books will be your most valuable assets out of all of the books on this list.
Whereas most social-media-based selling guides prioritize simple engagement, Social Selling Mastery expands upon key resources to outfit digital marketers for success. Author Jamie Shanks is an established social selling solutions guru, and she’s well-respected in her industry.
Social Selling Mastery helps digital marketers achieve a precious balance between marketing ideation and ongoing sales analytics. By helping business owners reach online consumers, acquire valuable insight and develop much-needed sales, the book helps individuals allocate money where it matters. Serving as a skills gap bridge, Social Selling Mastery is your one-stop guide to connect with modern buyers.
In Social Selling: Techniques, readers engage relationship-building exercises, a modern look at the decision-making process and touted social network solutions. Social Selling is a step-by-step guide for marketers intending to harness new skills, refurbish outdated ideas and obtain a high-quality community.
By building trust with online consumers, digital marketers can utilize Social Selling’s developmental points when furthering relationships. Unique to the book is a section on risk and governance—which steers digital marketers away from wasteful online maneuvers with a plethora of applicable examples. Social Selling is a definite “win” in the comprehensive seller’s guide section, and it’s a great choice for any digital marketer seeking evergreen advice.
Social CRM is important, and a lot of businesses fail in maximizing its potential. The Small Business Guide to Social CRM covers today’s leading CRM usage practices, redefining typical marketing, sales and customer service options for modern business professionals.
The hopeful result is increased revenue. Unlike other digital and social marketing books, The Small Business Guide to Social CRM is packed with direct tips, mastery roadwork and small business tips. It’s very comprehensive, and it’s often referred to as the industry’s comprehensive CRM guide. If you need consumer base management solutions, and if you want to boost your creativity, The Small Business Guide to Social CRM is up your alley.
SOCIAL MEDIA LAW
If social media permeates every industry and every department inside a company, you can imagine the potential legal implications it might have for your company. The more your company invests in social media, the more you need to understand the legal implications of those investments. While books are no replacement for consulting with a lawyer, they will hopefully provide you some guidance in helping to understand the potential legal issues that lurk in social media.
Social Media Law for Business: A Practical Guide for Using Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and Blogs Without Stepping on Legal Land Mines
Social media is rife with pitfalls—and modern digital marketers are urged to identify them before they’re approached. Social Media Law for Business is a comprehensive guide to the ever-changing world of social media. Easy to read, easy to digest and easy to implement, the guide’s overall structure is one of return value prioritization.
The book teaches readers to create social media policies. These policies cover hiring, recruitment and even continuous employee upkeep—all while identifying the many social media barriers capable of halting, or even damaging, a business. The book’s author, Glen Gilmore, is a social media law authority, and his past approaches to digital marketing solutions have been successful.
Note: The latest edition of this definitive book will be available on February 1, 2017
For in-depth coverage of social media dynamics, law, illegalities and safety, digital marketers are urged to pick up Social Media Law: A Handbook of Cases & Uses. Sometimes, forewarnings aren’t enough. The book offers an incredibly in-depth look at modern lawsuits and legal cases surrounding social media, and it reflects today’s updated legislative developments and case laws.
Because social media networks are expanding exponentially, Social Media Law: A Handbook of Cases & Uses is a vital resource of comprehensive copyright coverage and freedom of speech boundaries. Covering cyber-crime, freedom of speech, fair use laws and privacy options, the book addresses most issues commonly experienced by today’s Internet-based businesses and online marketers.
Many corporate disciplines have been disrupted by social media, but maybe none more so than recruiting. Social media gives companies the power to search for, engage with, and interview potential employees. There are still surprisingly few good books that I found to introduce you to the concept, but hopefully the recommended book below will guide you down the right path!
Social media recruitment has become surprisingly relevant in recent years, directing entire digital marketing initiatives. Social Media Recruitment is a comprehensive directory of useful recruitment methods, touching upon the importance of industry insight, social leadership and channel navigation.
Unfortunately, many modern HR professionals lack the guidance Social Media Recruitment offers, failing to maximize digital marketing expertise by employing today’s leading minds. The book’s chapters slowly cover the importance of HR, social media crossover and the uses of social media recruitment technology. By teaching readers to measure ROI on a recruitment basis, Social Media Recruitment succeeds in existing as one of the best representations of HR policies, big data and online video interviewing.
SOCIAL MEDIA FOR NONPROFITS
Nonprofits are doing amazing things in the world, and social media is a natural place to help them tell their stories. Learn how nonprofits should be taking a unique perspective on social media by reading these two books!
Social Media for Social Good is a highly-appreciated book by author Heather Mansfield. The book is based on over 15,000 hours invested in mobile and social media, spanning across the past 15 years to comprehend today’s shifting landscape.
Carrying the digital marketing world’s 100 best practices spanning across Web 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0, Social Media for Social Good is far more than a guide expressing the importance of social media representation. It’s your personal assistant for mobile marketing campaigns, serving as a step-by-step guide for launching, maintaining and succeeding with communications, fundraising, e-newsletter creation and mobile marketing. While specific to widespread outreach, Social Media for Social Good is undeniably a brilliant text.
Beth Kanter, the co-author of this book, is a known as a thought leader in how nonprofits can utilize social media as an invaluable tool, and she lives up to her reputation in this book. Just as Social Nation and Open Leadership deal with organizational change, this book also challenges Executive Directors of nonprofits to embrace social media but only after first understanding the challenges and trends of nonprofits, the social web, and an internal social culture that will be required to become a truly networked nonprofit. This is followed by enough tips and resources solely for nonprofits to leverage social that it should be required reading by all nonprofit organizations.
The importance of content in social media cannot be underestimated, and whether you want to brush up on your quality, or in the words of one of the authors featured on this page, Gary Vaynerchuk, to “triple down on content,” these books will help you create more, better, and differentiated content that will help you beat your competition and hopefully be heard above the noise.
I’ve always argued that a blog deserves a role in every social media strategy, and now there is finally an accessible book on business blogging that will provide you practical advice and ideas to help you create and manage a business blog. Everything from the basics of blogging and writing powerful content to promoting your blog are covered with a plethora of examples. As we enter the world of social business and employee advocacy, more and more of us will undoubtedly become content creators over time, and this will be the guidebook that will provide both the knowledge and inspiration for beginners to being on their blogging journey as well as for advanced bloggers to look for new ideas.
Darren and Chris released their 2nd version of the book has become the bible for bloggers this year. Although the title suggests that the book is only for affiliate marketers, the advice on blog writing, blog promotion and marketing, social media and your blog, and secrets of successful blogs is relevant for any business that is looking to blog as part of their social marketing strategy. ProBlogger continues to be the thought leader and definitive source for everything blogging, so regardless as to whether you want to start blogging or just reconfirm your knowledge of best practices using the blogging medium, this should be your primary resource.
YOUTUBE AND VIDEO MARKETING
With the advent of livestream marketing, video marketing has taken on new meaning and urgency to marketers. While none of these books specifically cover livestreaming, many brands are still looking to better leverage video in general. For that reason, if you’re not a born videographer, you should learn more about the techniques that the pros use, as showcased in the first book reviewed below. The second book talks about the grandfather of video marketing, YouTube, which advice should also be applicable to native videos made for social networks. Hopefully we’ll see a book on livestream marketing appear on the horizon in the not-so-distant future….
Visual media is undeniably one of the most potent forces available to modern marketers. How to Shoot a Video That Doesn’t Suckis a one-stop-shop guide for camera positioning, movie creation, digital development, television show marketing and online media.
Surprisingly, the book’s 74 chapters present media in all forms—which is relevant for straight-shot business promoters and digital marketers alike. While purist digital media marketers may find the book lacking in some areas, How to Shoot a Video That Doesn’t Suck is still an incredible resource for film development and visual promotion. Insightful, resourceful and clean-cut, How to Shoot a Video That Doesn’t Suck should be on your shelf if you value comprehensive multimedia marketing.
Everyone wants to be “YouTube famous,” but few know where to start. YouTube: Ultimate YouTube Guide to Building a Channel resists age-old “fame stories” and offers practical, true advice about planning, uploading and earning money from YouTube videos. Written by Andrew McKinnon, years of research and verifiable success support each of the book’s social media tactics.
The book additionally covers the business side of YouTube, discussing the past, present and future of YouTube video monetization. To get a comprehensive view of YouTube and its opportunities, you must first utilize the truths presented by McKinnon’s work. It’s an excellent source of passion-fueled Internet tactics, each of which has proven validity and effectiveness when applied correctly.
Facebook should need no introduction 😉
The Ultimate Guide to Facebook Advertising helps today’s leading minds pinpoint the Internet’s most profitable audiences. Then, it helps readers discover new outreach tactics, promotional benefits, conversion tools and fan-fostering approaches. Keeping Facebook customers for life is difficult, but the Ultimate Guide to Facebook Advertising, written by several successful digital marketing providers, circumnavigates the industry’s pressing issues.
Focusing on customers, profits and in-clicks, the guide helps readers create their own campaign, garner customer attention, spread awareness and generate leads on a sales-number basis. The guide is similarly useful to those wishing to avoid fatiguing audiences with News Feed Ads, presenting modern solutions to historical Facebook advertisement difficulties.
One of the few comprehensive Facebook advertising books, Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies is an incomparable list of social media engagement strategies, tech-savvy tools and fully customizable business plans. It helps readers who’re building Facebook community support plans while explaining each solution in great detail, finishing with long-term engagement plans and suggestions.
Readers learn, systematically, how to maximize their Facebook marketing tactics, build a solid user base and utilize digital media in promotion of their business. Facebook Marketing All-in One for Dummies is much more than a typical, base-level guide. It’s a strategic tool for modern innovators, entrepreneurs and start-up gurus.
Instagram is now the 2nd largest social network in terms of active users, so if you’re still struggling with creating your visual voice and leveraging the platform, here are two books you can glean some insight from.
Instagram Power might be about the platform’s marketing opportunities, but it packs a punch where direct e-commerce solutions and cross-channel marketing is considered. Jason Miles, author of Instagram Power, utilizes intensive studies to present the world’s newest generation of intelligent marketers—as well as their innovations.
Instagram monetization isn’t new, but it’s become increasingly complex in recent years. Instagram Power slows the process down, dissects viable marketing options and helps marketers strategize for future opportunities. The book covers everything you need to know to begin your Instagram marketing journey, spanning across platform setup, monetization strategies and cross-platform marketing integration.
Instagram: Instagram Black Book: Everything You Need to Know About Instagram For Business and Personal – Ultimate Instagram Marketing Book
Even if you’re well-read on Instagram marketing, Instagram Black Book carries the necessary tools for continuous promotion, marketing outreach and success. This ultimate guide isn’t for newcomers—and it’s packed with enough content to carry even the most diehard Internet and mobile marketers.
That said, Instagram Black Book still covers the basics of Instagram marketing, rewiring the reader’s preconceptions while identifying new social connectivity options. Instagram is a powerful platform, and it’s deserving of such an intuitive examination. Instagram Black Book covers business analytics, personal business options and long-term marketing solutions. If you’re serious about Instagram marketing, you should pick up the Black Book immediately.
While many still feel Twitter has no future, it is still a vital channel for social media marketing and for social customer service. If you haven’t been leveraging Twitter as part of your social media strategy, start with these two books.
Twitter for Dummies offers a fully updated version of the Dummies Twitter guides readers have known to love. Today, Twitter holds over half a billion users. Whether you’re implementing a year-to-year social media marketing campaign or simply want visibility, Twitter for Dummies can benefit your marketing efforts greatly.
Twitter for Dummies was written by a Twitter pioneer, and it’s directed towards platform users crafting new strategies, business applications and product promotion campaigns. To incorporate Twitter effectively in a business plan, you need to understand third-party tools, Twitter analytics and consistent promotion. Twitter for Dummies is here to help, supported by the love of thousands of readers.
Twitter is one of the world’s quickest-growing social networking websites—and it’s deserving of attention in the world of digital marketing assistance. Twitter’s immense marketing power has been adopted by entrepreneurs, corporations and even celebrities. Twitter Marketing for Dummies is a revered inclusion in the Dummies series, helping readers boost their Twitter visibility while promoting important messages.
The book is applicable to any with a Twitter message to share, but it’s specificity to marketing sets it aside from the base-level Twitter for Dummies book. Helping readers analyze Twitter lists, optimize their time and promote multiple messages, Twitter for Dummies succeeds in a multitude of areas without isolating readers.
LinkedIn is and will continue to be the King of B2B social media marketing. Period.
Linked to Influence: 7 Powerful Rules for Becoming a Top Influencer in Your Market and Attracting Your Ideal Clients on LinkedIn
LinkedIn may be used as a hiring tool, but it’s also a powerful marketing tool. Linked to Influence covers he gap between basic and professional LinkedIn use, offering powerful, professional tools to be used in the digital world. If your business depends upon referrals, client relationships and a consistent reputation, Linked to Influence is a must-read to keep at your side.
Moreover, Linked to Influence digs into the platform’s otherwise undiscovered potentials. By examining LinkedIn’s big professional database, the book outlines great areas of influence for readers seeking constant user connections. It’s a go-to resource for industry impact, digital planning and niche selection, and it’s a consistent tool utilized by digital marketing giants. Even if you’re only establishing a referral network, Linked to Influence is an indispensable tool.
Maximizing LinkedIn for Sales and Social Media Marketing: An Unofficial, Practical Guide to Selling & Developing B2B Business on LinkedIn
First, an obvious disclaimer: As you might have noticed, I’m actually the author of this book. And I wouldn’t add my own book to this list if I didn’t have the confidence to tell you that it unlocks the mysteries of how to generate business from LinkedIn that no other book does. If you think LinkedIn is only for professionals and job seekers, think again. If your business markets and sells to other businesses, LinkedIn should be your top social media marketing priority, even above Facebook. Attract more leads, become an industry leader and improve your online reputation: you can accomplish all these things and more through this book. Includes more than 15 case studies to help you see exactly what others have done to see positive ROI from their LinkedIn investment.
While Pinterest is a smaller and less global social network compared to the others, it still generates more social referral traffic than the other social networks excluding Facebook combined. It’s not for all industries, but if you’re an e-commerce brand targeting females, Pinterest just might be the most strategic social network for your brand to focus on. Here’s how.
While Pinterest is a lesser-used marketing tool, its importance can’t be understated. Its demographics are unique, as are its social media offerings. Pinterest Marketing explains the platform’s immense offerings, walking readers through its fundamental usage, interesting tips and detailed case studies to assist long-term marketing endeavors.
Interviews, tips and strategies complement each case study—so readers are never left without information. By exploring Pinterest’s appeal, Pinterest Marketing helps readers develop powerful plans capable out outfitting entire marketing strategies. If you want to market on Pinterest, and if you’re up for a long—but rewarding—slog across verified studies and research endeavors, Pinterest Marketing is your best bet. It’s fantastically comprehensive, and its relevancy is expected to exist well into upcoming years.
Pinterest Power: Market Your Business, Sell Your Product, and Build Your Brand on the World’s Hottest Social Network
This book has everything you need to get started on Pinterest and more: From real-life examples of how Pinterest has impacted small businesses and personal anecdotes from the author’s own business to detailed tactics and strategies to become a pro at pinning. I like how the book goes as far as giving advice as to not only how you can best integrate Pinterest into your entire social media marketing but also how you can best integrate your efforts with Amazon, eBay, and Etsy, should you be on those platforms. If you’re looking for one Pinterest book out of the many that have been published, this is going to be your best bet.
I’m still waiting for the definitive Snapchat marketing book – who’s going to write one?!?!?
Haven’t seen any good WeChat books being published in English yet…
Now it’s your turn: Were your favorite social media books included in this list? Any missing? Please chime in. THANKS!