Do you really understand what social media is, and what it isn’t? A lot of online marketers don’t. Social media is certainly not about creating pages for your business or company and starting to post loads of promotional stuff – in the hope of immediately pulling in customers or making sales. Whether you have been using social media for a long time or started with it only recently, success always lies in understanding its true essence, creating a well-defined strategy which aligns with your specific business goals and then implementing that strategy tactically while being consistent with your efforts.
Actually, there’s a lot to learn about using social media in a way that works for your business, company or organization.
There are too many websites and blogs you can follow to get the best social media marketing advice. But one of the most effective ways to gain a deep insight into the nuances of social media and learn about adaptive strategies is through the experiences of online marketers who have been there and done that. And you’ll find it all in a good social media marketing book.
Since there’s an overwhelming number of social media marketing books out there and many of you may not know which ones to look for, I’ve gone ahead and hand-picked five best books that you must read.
#1. The Art of Social Media [By Guy Kawasaki]
If you don’t know where to start and looking for lots of practical advice and useful recommendations to get the most out of your time, effort and money spent on social media, this book is a high recommend. The book is a goldmine both for beginners and seasoned professionals. Beginners can use this book as an essential guide to building a foundation, compiling their digital assets, optimizing their company pages (or profiles), and increasing the number of followers. For seasoned online marketers, this book lays out powerful tactics to improve the game.
About the Authors: Guy Kawasaki is a world-renowned author, online marketer, speaker and evangelist. In the past, he has held eminent positions like chief evangelist of Apple and advisor to the CEO of the Motorola business unit of Google. Peg Fitzpatrick, his co-author, is a famous social media strategist and a marketing pro and has worked with Motorola, Google, Audi etc.
#2. The Road to Social Media Success [By Sean Gardner]
The world of social media is a dynamic one. For anyone who is looking to gain an in-depth understanding of social media, how it has evolved over the years and where it is headed in the future, this is the book to read. The book is packed with tools and tips that social media managers need to catch up with the latest trends, devise effective strategies and stay on top of the social media game. In this book, you’ll also find answers to some of the big questions concerning different key aspects of social media marketing.
About the Author: As the co-founder of the pioneering, Huffington Post “Twitter Powerhouses Series”, Sean Gardner has had the opportunity of interviewing a number of professionals from a wide range of fields including IT, business, travel, food, health etc. He was previously associated with Apple and Microsoft. He’s long been known for his social media expertise.
#3. Social Media Explained [By Mark W. Schaefer]
This is a social media book with a new spin on the game. You don’t have to be a social media guru to steer the marketing department of a company towards success. All you need is the capability to ask the right questions. That’s exactly what this book does for you; it enables you to discover those questions that you need to ask as the leader of marketing.
The book first takes a microscopic look at the key principles on which social media is based. Then it answers the five biggest social media questions which every business faces but is afraid to ask. Finally, it equips you with those key questions that you must ask to bolster and lead a strategy in the right direction. Most importantly, this book serves as a guide to understanding the psychological and sociological forces that propel social media marketing.
About the Author: Mark W. Schaefer is a world-famous educator, speaker, marketing consultant and author. A faculty member of the graduate studies program at the Rutgers University, he has delivered speeches at several universities including Oxford and Princeton.
#4. A Social Strategy [By Mikołaj Jan Piskorski]
Just a decade ago, the thing called social media was almost non-existent. But today, social media websites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have penetrated deep into our daily lives. But is social media just another type of media? Or, how is social media different from traditional forms of media? That’s the question that marketers should be able to answer if at all they want their social media marketing efforts to yield results. In this book, you’ll find answer to that question – backed by extensive research, insightful data and case studies from some of the most well-known brands in the world.
The book provides a practical solution to how companies can leverage social media platforms for branding, promotion and business growth. It gives you a concrete roadmap that you can use to tap into the marketing potential which social media platforms have emerged with.
About the Author: A professor of strategy and innovation at IMD Business School, Mikołaj Jan Piskorski is quite well-known for his deep insights into social media platforms and how businesses can leverage social platforms to grow business and boost profitability.
#5. Likeable Social Media [By Dave Kerpen]
This book is for every social media manager who is looking for well-explained how-to instructions on building a brand and connecting with audiences on various social media platforms on an emotional level. Most importantly, the author of the book goes one step further and gives you practical advice to engage customers and get them to spread the word about your product or business. To help you make sense of it all quickly, the book also excludes marketing jargon and technical detail that you’ll often come across in many social media marketing books.
About the Author: Dave Kerpen is the co-founder of Likeable Media, an award-winning social media marketing firm. He’s also a frequent keynote speaker at multiple events held around the world.
Share Your Thoughts
If you haven’t heard of these social media books yet, this list will definitely inspire you and equip you with some ideas for new books to buy. I’d love to hear more recommendations that you may have in mind. So, please feel free to share them in the comments section below.