5 Social Media Books that Can Make a Difference to your Business in 2015
Social media has become an core part of just about any business’s marketing strategy. New ideas on how best to tackle the thorny fields of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other networks arise daily, and it’s not always easy to know where to go for solid advice.
Believe it or not, books may be the answer you’re missing. Blogs are useful, and topical, but only offer minimal coverage and analysis of an issue when compared to a full-length read.
Don’t scoff – sure, we’re used to dismissing long-form content in this fast-moving industry, but that’s dangerous thinking. Books provide you with a wealth of insights from some of the best brains in the business, and that’s not information you can afford to ignore.
So, interested in learning a bit more about social media? Start with:
The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick
You’ll likely recognize at least one of these authors. Guy Kawasaki is a tech marketing legend. The man who put Apple on the map, the pioneer of pitch methodology – I could go on, but long story short, Kawasaki knows what he’s talking about.
Peg Fitzpatrick might not be quite the household name her co-author is, but she is an enormously experienced and well-qualified marketing writer and blogger.
Either way, The Art is a must-read. It’s well organized, highly action-oriented, and designed to help marketers of just about any skill level.
The Reciprocity Advantage by Bob Johansen and Karl Ronn
The Reciprocity Advantage isn’t strictly a social media book – in fact, it’s much more accurate to call it a business philosophy book with a wealth of useful insight.
However, this is what makes it valuable to marketers. Precise information for social media has a very short sell-by date, given how fast the field evolves. Books like Johansen and Ronn’s are higher-level.
Advantage is particularly great as it focuses on B2B interaction in the current social context. Again, not precisely a social media book, but one that does a great job explaining the foundation (good and bad) that social media marketing is built on.
Likeable Social Media by Dave Kerpen
Dave Kerpen does us all a favor by taking social media back to its roots. Remove the marketing glitz and the omnipresent best practices we’ve all had drilled into us, and our field is all about making positive person-to-person connections.
This is at the heart of Likeable Social Media. Kerpen’s all about these delightful connections, and advocates for a high-value, highly-shareable slant on social communication. Something that I think we’d all like to see a little more of these days.
We Are All Weird: The Rise of Tribes and the End of Normal by Seth Godin
Seth Godin’s quirky but effective take on social media is a love letter to the niche marketer.
Whether or not you agree with his label of “tribes”, Godin’s basic message is an important one: you don’t have to appeal to everyone, just a very segmented target market, even one as granular as physiotherapists using online marketing.
While this might not be enormously novel news to some, Godin still does an admirable job of charting and explaining the trends and context that make this method tick. A great read for newbies and pros alike.
Color Your Message: The Art of Digital Marketing and Social Media by Lisa Caprelli
A great read. Caprelli is an engaging, sharp author, and does a truly amazing job of capturing the spark and creativity that modern marketers can and should apply to their work.
Caprelli’s all about stories. Discovering the narrative that makes your business compelling – no matter how boring it seems – is the first step towards creating a truly unique marketing campaign.
That may sound a little idealistic, but Caprelli backs her claims up with hard data and advice. A must-read for any content or social marketers out there.
And that’s really just the tip of the iceberg. Amazon publishing has made it extraordinarily easy and cheap to find new insight from some very well-qualified sources. I would offer a couple of caveats for anyone out looking for new reads though.
First, know who wrote it. LinkedIn stalk them if necessary. An awful lot of these pieces are written by armchair marketers – they may have plenty to say, but they haven’t really done anything that makes them worth listening to. Names like Kawasaki and Godin are stamps of, if not quality, at least experience.
Second, look for enduring insight. I love technical manuals on AdWords or on Facebook campaigns, but they tend to go obsolete extraordinarily quickly. Use them if you’re about to dive into a particular platform and need some quick advice, but try to find reads that give more philosophical, widely applicable information.