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6 Must-Read Social Media Books

Whether you are a novice wanting to learn the world of social media or a seasoned social media pro (there is always room to learn more) these 6 books are for you. I view all of them as “Must-Reads” if you are in the field of Social Media.

Come to think of it… if you are a Social Media “pro” and you have not read any of these… well you are NO “pro”… you’re probably one of those “Gurus, or Ninjas” everyone keeps talking about. I’m digressing… that’s another other post ;-)

Here they are:

1. Social Media ROI

Social Media ROI Book Cover
Use this book to bring true business discipline to your social media program and align your tactics to your company’s goals. Olivier Blanchard brings together best practices for strategy, planning, execution, measurement, analysis, and optimization. You will learn how to define the financial and non-financial business impacts that will bring true value to your efforts. Social Media ROI delivers practical solutions for everything from structuring programs to attract followers/fans to managing crises. Whether you are in a startup or a large enterprise, this book will help you gain more value from every penny you invest in social media marketing and social CRM.

Learn how to:

  • Align social communications with broader business goals and functions
  • Plan for effective performance measurement
  • Implement guidelines and operations for effectively managing social media
  • Learn how to “listen” first
  • Integrate social media into long-term marketing programs, short-term campaigns, and brand initiatives
  • Use social media to deliver real-time, optimized customer support
  • Among many other tactics and strategies to ensure social media bring you an ROI.

2. Groundswell


Learn how to take advantage of communities, blogs, wikis and other forms of social media. Josh Bernoff and Charlene Li show you how to turn the force of customers connecting with each other to your own advantage. The book provides plenty of examples of how leading companies are gaining insights, generating revenues, saving money, and energizing their own customers. Whether you’re in marketing, research, support, sales, development, or even the CEO, there’s targeted advice here for you, backed up with real-world ROI to prove social media works.

Examples in the book come from hard consumer data and experience with dozens of companies, both large and small, from Procter & Gamble to Ernst & Young.

3. Content Rules

Content Rules Book Cover

The title of the book says it all “How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business” this book is a soup to nuts “how-to” guide that teaches you how to create great content and remain relevant to your customers.

4. Likeable Social Media

Likeable Social Media Book Cover

The secret to successful word-of-mouth marketing on the social web is easy: BE LIKEABLE (not really… but it’s some great advice) A friend‘s recommendation is more powerful than any advertisement. In the world of Facebook, Twitter, and beyond, a recommendation can travel farther—and faster—than ever before (and so can a complaint.) Likeable Social Media helps you harness the power of word-of-mouth marketing to help you transform your business. Learn how to Listen to your customers and prospects, continually delivering value, excitement, surprise and most importantly, learning how to truly “engage” your customers and help them spread the word.

5. Trust Agents

Trust Agents Book Cover

Today’s online influencers are Web natives who trade in trust, reputation, and relationships, using social media to accrue the influence that can build up or bring down your businesses. In Trust Agents, two social media veterans (Chris Brogan & Julien Smith) show you how to tap into the power of social networks to build your brand’s influence, reputation, and at then end of the day your bottom line. The book combines high-level theory and practical actions, delivering actionable steps and case studies that show how social media can positively impact your business. Brogan and Smith’s message which comes through clearly in the book is this: online communication tools are just a simple, easy and inexpensive way to connect with people – either to build new relationships or to further develop those that you’ve established offline. Just like any human interaction, all social media presences need to be guided by integrity, honesty and purpose.

6. The Tao of Twitter

The Tao of Twitter Book Cover

Quite frankly this is one of the best books on Twitter you will ever read. In one hour, this book will show you how to connect and start creating meaningful business and personal relationships on the hottest (in my humble opinion) social media platform out there today.

In this book Mark Schaefer provides real-life examples and easy-to-follow steps to help you:

  • Build influence through Twitter
  • Build an audience that wants to connect to you
  • Develop Content strategies
  • Save Time

As well as provide you with hundreds of practical, actionable tips to make Twitter work for you.

There are a lot of books these days out there about social media – have a book about Social Media you absolutely LOVE? I’d love to hear from you! (Maybe I’ve read it and if I haven’t maybe I’ll want to.)

About Chris Zilo

Ideation + Execution. Mission Driven Startup Guy & Early Adopter obsessed w/ all things tech. Former Third Culture Kid.