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  • Writer's pictureCheri Woodsmall

Top 10 Books Every Social Media Manager Should Read

Yes, I am an avid reader. At any given time, you can find me reading several books. Books about girls being gone, about the charm of Nantucket in summer (God, love you Elin Hilderbrand!), about putting on your big girl bossy pants, and of course ANYTHING by John Grisham. In addition to those lovely little escapes from reality, there is nothing better than a good marketing or social media read.

In my professional line of work, if you aren't learning something every single day, you WILL fall behind. The world of social is a brisk, changing one and if you don't keep up - well, the only ones that are going to suffer are your clients. Check out this great list from our friends at Hootsuite!

Content Strategy for the Web

By Kristina Halvorson and Melissa Rach

This book has been making its way around the office, becoming more disheveled with each handoff. Many colleagues have been tooting the horn of authors Kristina Halvorson and Melissa Rach approach to content strategy.

Social media is a crucial part of content marketing, so mastering the art of content strategy is something you need to know how to do. Halvorson and Rach teach you exactly how to do this, sharing their expertise and instructions on everything from completing a content audit to leading a project. If others in your company don’t think that content strategy is important, fear not—the authors shares the perfect persuasion tactics for this situation.

Purple Cow

By Seth Godin

To me, it's “the godfather of marketing books”. Purple Cow has more than just an intriguing title. Author Seth Godin aims to change the way people think about marketing.

It can be difficult for social media managers to come up with original content day in and day out, so sometimes you just need a purple cow. As Godin explains, “Purple Cow describes something phenomenal, something counterintuitive and exciting and flat out unbelievable. Every day, consumers come face to face with a lot of boring stuff—a lot of brown cows—but you can bet they won’t forget a Purple Cow.”

Delight your audience and customers after you get inspired to create your own “purple cows” with your social media content.

Contagious: Why Things Catch On

By Jonah Berger

A New York Times bestseller and named the Best Marketing Book of 2014 by the American Marketing Association, many members of the Hootsuite marketing department recommend this book. While ‘going viral’ might not be the best goal for a social media manager, getting your brand noticed on social is definitely a key objective.

Berger dives into six “contagious” qualities that impact everything from consumer products to media content. Learn how you can use these qualities to create your own shareable content.

Thinking, Fast and Slow

By Daniel Kahneman

Why do we do what we do? What drives the choices that we make? These are important things for any social media manager to think about when crafting content, and Daniel Kahneman’s work explores these ideas in-depth. A Nobel Prize winner for his work on decision-making, Kahneman is an expert in human behavior—something that any social media manager needs to understand.

Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives

By Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler

Authors and scientists Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler explore the social networks and connections human beings have, and how these connections influence our decisions.

As a social media manager, you know that your online networks have huge power, so learning how these connections work, and how to grow them, will help inform your social strategy.

Everybody Writes

By Ann Handley

One of our favorites - HANDS DOWN. It’s a definite must-read for social media managers.

Writing is a skill that all marketers need to have, and Ann Handley offers a clear and concise guide to mastering it. Handley explains that content is “everything your customer or prospect touches or interacts with—including your own online properties and web pages and the experiences they offer, but also everything on any social channel.”

If you are trying to get your audience’s attention, you’re going to need the social media content to match. This book will help you create just that.

Hug Your Haters

By Jay Baer

Social media customer service is undoubtedly an area every social media manager needs to master, and Jay Baer’s book is the perfect resource. You already know that ignoring your upset customers on social media is a poor approach, but knowing exactly how to deal with them can be a challenge. With this book, you’ll learn how to not only manage your “haters,” but turn every negative experience into a positive one that can work for you and your brand.

Likeable Social Media

By Dave Kerpen

Social media has given society a VERY LOUD VOICE. If the recent election taught us anything, it's not ALL social media content and personas are LIKEABLE. How many people fell off your "friends list" due to your political beliefs? Did you share them or were you one of the ones who kept quiet?

Author Dave Kerpen explores how to listen to your customers so that you can deliver valuable content - and prove even the most cynical border security guards wrong.

Social IMC: Social Strategies with Bottom Line ROI

By Randy Hlavac

Having a social media plan is all well and dandy, but do you know how your strategy actually benefits your business? Randy Hlavac explains "there are many books out there on the theories behind the use of social media and mobile applications in marketing - but this is not one of them."

Instead of broad theories, Hlavac provides actionable strategies and proven tactics that can bring results. This social media how-to guide will show you how to build a strategy, with you at the helm, your brand sees profit and growth.

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World

By Gary Vaynerchuk

As a social media manager, you know that one of your biggest challenges is getting your message heard. The sheer volume of content shared every second means that you need to work extremely hard to make sure you’re creating unique and valuable content. This is where Gary Vaynerchuk’s book comes in. He shows you how to adapt your content to specific channels and how to keep up with the ever-changing nature of the social media landscape.

In order to be successful in the world of social media and content marketing, you need to stay ahead of the curve. While theory can easily become outdated, the above references are great for building a solid foundation of ideas and skills.

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