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30 Aug


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5 Must-Read Social Media Books

August 30, 2011 | By | One Comment

What are you reading to better understand social media and how to use it as a way to manage online reputation, build brand awareness, connect with consumers, and collect intelligence? If you need suggestions, look no further. Here are 5 of the top must-read social media books:

  1. Social Media Leadership: How to Get Off the Bench and Into the Game by Social Strategy1 Co-founder Michael F. Lewis. Do you need to take your social media strategy from on-paper conception to ROI-producing action? From reputation management and group buying to customer service and corporate governance, Mike’s guide to social media is a must-have for any professional who wants practical suggestions written without the techno-garble.
  2. The Digital Handshake: Seven Proven Strategies to Grow Your Business Using Social Media by Paul Chaney. If you’re fed up because the time and money you’ve already invested in traditional marketing (like advertising or direct mail) isn’t paying off, or you’re frustrated because the marketing world is changing and you’re not sure how to maximize the technology for your business objectives, then this book is for you. It doesn’t delve into the nuts-and-bolts of how to start a blog or how to use Twitter, but it will help you to start plotting your next move.
  3. Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business by Erik Qualman. This book is a great place to start if you or other decision makers are still figuring out what exactly social media does and why it’s becoming such an important part of brand strategy. Not a specific “how-to” guide, Socialnomics makes a spot-on case for why brands must engage online if they want to stay competitive.
  4. The New Community Rules: Marketing on the Social Web  by Tamar Weinberg. Sold on the idea of incorporating social media into your marketing strategy? But there are so many social media advice websites, books, and blogs that you’re still not sure exactly what to do or where to do it or how to do it—beyond establishing a basic profile or presence. Tamar’s The New Community Rules is your next step.  This book will give you the specifics you’re looking for. It also covers a number of niche social sites you may not be as familiar with, and includes brief case studies highlighting business success.
  5. The Facebook Era: Tapping Online Social Networks to Market, Sell, and Innovate by Clara Shih. Now in its second edition, the Hearsay Social founder’s book gives a full-on view of doing business in a Facebook world. Clara gives readers to-do lists, takeaways, case studies, plus a wealth of new material about Twitter and LinkedIn. This edition also includes thoughts, research, and best practices from guest experts, including Rohit Bhargava from Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, Jeremiah Owyang from Altimeter Group, and the always insightful Danah Boyd from Microsoft Research Labs.

What are you reading?

Image: jscreationzs /


  1. Ilona AKA @eyelona

    Having read all of the books on this list, what I like the most is that each one of these listed above is reader-friendly, without a whole bunch of that marketing-jargon. Each is a practical book for business people. Socialnomics provides a general lay of the land and explains why businesses should experiment with social. Clara’s book takes a deep look at the in’s and outs of Facebook, while Paul Chaney’s book expounds in detail about how, when and why to embrace twitter. While some of these, like Tamar’s book came out a couple of years ago (although almost every one of her marketing strategies are still relevant), each of the books on this list still so applicable to the average business and in particular to the regular business person who is looking to “get into the game”. This part is explained as a practical guidebook in Mike’s book. Social Media Leadership puts the opportunities social media presents to specific areas of business—research, customer support, operations, human resources, finance, marketing and sales—within targeted industries into clear, tangible terms so every business person can relate.

    Great choice of books here.

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