The 21 Best Social Media Marketing Books Every Strategist Needs to Read

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social media marketing books
(Last Updated On: July 10, 2018)

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The best social media marketing strategists are those who always seek out opportunities to learn more. They never rest when it comes to adapting, redefining, and transforming their strategy in this fast-paced, ever-changing industry. It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out or you’ve been in the game for years – never stop learning how to refine your craft!

Those who want to enhance their work and discover best practices must learn from the best – and that’s why we have compiled the list of the best social media marketing books below. Happy reading, and don’t forget to brush up on your basic marketing principles with the 33 Best Marketing Books of 2018!

Best Social Media Marketing Books for General Knowledge

The key to perfecting a comprehensive social media marketing strategy is understanding the nature of social media itself. These social media marketing books cover the basics of social media, its rise to dominance, and present theories on how to master these networks to effectively communicate to the right audience and grow return on investment.

1. Social Media Marketing by Gerry T. Warner

social media marketing books warner

“Social Media Marketing” is excellent introductory reading for social media strategists who are just getting started or business owners who want a firm grasp on how to market their ideas, products and services on social media. It also serves as a refresher or primer on basic marketing strategies and how they can be applied to social media. Warner’s “Social Media Marketing” may also be useful to social media managers making the jump from editorial and content-driven work to marketing.

2. Social Media Explained by Mark Schaefer

best social media marketing books schaefer

For the social media marketer struggling to develop a clear strategy, Schaefer’s “Social Media Explained” is the book for you. Schaefer is an acclaimed author, educator and marketing consultant who shares foundational strategies behind success on social media as well as a path to discovering and defining your organization’s social media strategy. While the specifics of your strategy are up to you, let Schaefer’s expertise help guide you on what to do to get started.

3. The 8 Pillars of Social Media Marketing in 2018 by Matthew Bartnik

social media marketing books 8 pillars

In this fast-paced, ever-changing world of social media marketing, even the most seasoned strategist needs guidance to stay a step ahead. Enter “The 8 Pillars of Social Media Marketing in 2018,” the up-to-date resource to ensure your marketing plan is meeting the right customers where they are. Bartnik’s book offers tips for tailoring your approach to each social media platform while maintaining consistent branding. This book is ideal for the in-house social strategist in charge of an organization’s multiple social networks.

4. 500 Social Media Marketing Tips by Andrew Macarthy

social media marketing books 500 tips

“500 Social Media Marketing Tips” is the reference guide that every social media manager needs to keep nearby at all times. Macarthy’s book delivers hundreds of actionable strategies across the spectrum of social networks. It’s a straightforward, jargon-free blueprint for building a social media plan that drives brand awareness, surpasses goals, and retains loyal clients and customers. Macarthy updates this guide regularly, making it one of the most up-to-the-minute social media marketing books available.

5. Spreadable Media by Henry Jenkins, Sam Ford & Joshua Green

social media marketing books spreadable media

Struggling to understand how the digital media landscape transformed from corporate-driven messaging to being overtaken by user-generated content? Add “Spreadable Media” to your reading list. The book examines how our current participatory culture came to be, the nature of engagement, and the contrasting concepts of “stickiness” and “spreadability” when it comes to creating social content. “Spreadable Media” is for the social media strategist who needs to fine-tune his or her explanation for why some posts go viral while others don’t.

6. Digital Marketers Sound Off by Matt Chiera

social media marketing books digital marketers

To be the best, you have to learn from the best. “Digital Marketers Sound Off” is the book for ambitious strategists who want to make a name for themselves, their agencies, and their clients. Chiera compiles digital marketing insights spanning topics like Facebook Ads, social media marketing, content marketing and more from the likes of Fortune 500 in-house marketers, agency owners, consultants, and B2C and B2B digital marketing wizards. Expect fresh insights, tools and tips you’ve never come across before, predictions about the future of digital marketing, and much more.

7. The Social Organism by Oliver Luckett and Michael J. Casey

social media marketing books social organism

If Disney CEO and chairman Bob Iger calls “The Social Organism” a “must-read,” then it really needs to be on every strategist’s list of must-read social media marketing books. Tech visionaries Luckett and Casey offer their groundbreaking theory on social media, including how it’s changing human life as we know it, how it can be mastered for good, and how it can turn a profit. “The Social Organism” is the definitive guide to understanding social media, making it essential to crafting a thoughtful, winning marketing strategy.

Best Books on Crafting Social Media Content

As social media turns back to its humble beginnings – engagement –  and focuses less on pushing content from brands and businesses, it’s more important than ever to develop messaging that sparks conversation, resonates with followers, and inspires new audiences to follow along. Any social media manager tasked with developing a strategy needs to know how good writing plays into a a solid plan. The following suggestions may not actually fall under the realm of “social media marketing books,” but their lessons on messaging, branding, and creating compelling copy are vital to social media success.

1. Marketing: A Love Story by Bernadette Jiwa

social media marketing books

Making our ideas resonate is one of the biggest challenges that marketers face – especially when it’s so easy to be drowned out by the masses on social media. Jiwa’s take on marketing – focusing on less on promotion and more on reaching out – is what makes “Marketing: A Love Story” a must-read for any social media strategist looking to stand out from the crowd and create messaging that matters.

2. Storynomics by Robert McKee and Thomas Gerace

social media marketing books storynomics

Legendary storyteller McKee teams up with digital marketing guru and Skyword SEO Gerace to share “Storynomics,” the ultimate guide to taking a story-centric approach to marketing. This book is for the social media marketers who understands that content is king, and the days of delivering ad after ad are gone. Every brand, every company, every business needs to tell a story to set it apart from the rest;” Storynomics” is the boost you need to write that narrative.

3. Creating Signature Stories by David Aaker

social media marketing books signature stories

Developing your brand’s narrative isn’t enough to succeed in social media marketing; you need to create signature stories that are authentic, intriguing, and inspiring. “Creating Signature Stories” lays the groundwork for social media marketers to incorporate signature storytelling into their strategic messaging, layering authenticity into their content, advertising and outreach.

4. Exactly What to Say by Phil M Jones

social media marketing books what to say

At times it can be hard to know exactly what to say – unless you’re Phil M Jones and you’ve written the book on it. “Exactly What to Say” is for the social media strategist who’s learning what to say, when to say it, and to make it count when it comes to developing and delivering cohesive brand messaging. It isn’t always intuitive, but knowing exactly what to say (and when) to customers will make a great impact on your social media marketing investment.

5. Start with Why by Simon Sinek

social media marketing books start with why

Ever wonder how companies like Apple and Disney seem so much more innovative and influential than others? According to Sinek, an influential speaker himself whose Ted Talk was viewed by 28 million people, the leaders of such companies “Start with Why.” They understood that people won’t truly buy into a product, service or experience until they understand the “why” behind it. This revolutionary idea plays well into the art of crafting an inspiring, engaging social media marketing strategy – a must-read for any social manager.

6. Everybody Writes by Ann Handley

 social media marketing books everybody writes

Handley posits that in our online world, everyone is a writer – so you may as well learn how to write the kind of content that attracts and retains customers. “Everybody Writes” was created to be the go-to guide for anyone who publishes online content, whether that’s the social media manager for a big brand or the owner of a small business looking to launch a social strategy. Learn to write better, easy grammar and usage rules, and the best practices for creating credible content.

7. All Marketers Are Liars by Seth Godin

social media marketing books liars

Marketing and business guru Godin preaches that the best marketing is rooted in storytelling. In his book “All Marketers Are Liars,” marketers must create a narrative surrounding the product or service they’re selling, rather than push features and benefits. Social media managers trying to push boundaries and elevate their strategy should give Godin a read.

Best Platform-Specific Social Media Marketing Books

Armed with a solid understanding of general social media marketing principles and tips for  producing content that resonates, social media marketers can apply new-found knowledge to crafting platform-specific marketing strategies. The writers of these social media marketing books share their best practices for mastering Facebook advertising, increasing YouTube followings, monetizing Twitter, and more.

1. YouTube Growth Hacking by Jeff Abston

social media marketing books youtube

In “YouTube Growth Hacking,” Abston covers the basics, like how SEO factors into a successful YouTube channel and important techniques like collaborating with fellow content creators and engaging with followers and commenters. He also explains at length recent changes to YouTube’s monetization policy and how to create a game plan to profit from the content posted on the channel. This book is for both the social media newbie and the seasoned strategist looking to sustain growth and make money on the video network.

2. Ultimate Guide to Facebook Advertising by Perry Marshall, Keith Krance & Thomas Meloche

social media marketing books fb advertising

As updates to data use and targeting continue to roll out on Facebook’s advertising platform, it’s more important than ever to have a trusted reference that covers Facebook best practices. That’s where the “Ultimate Guide to Facebook Advertising” comes in. Using principles described in the book, marketers can learn to pinpoint their ideal audience and gain greater ROI. This book is for those just getting started in social media marketing as well as strategists seeking a inspiration to refresh their own social marketing plans.

3. Post Like an Influencer, Grow Like a Marketer by Justin Monsanto

social media marketing books instagram

Monsanto’s guide to mastering Instagram was written to help beginners and active users alike understand the kind of content that makes users hit the “follow” button. “Post Like an Influencer, Grow Like a Marketer” serves as a guide for marketers plotting out strategy for clients, as well as inspiration for anyone seeking to turn their personal Instagram account into a successful side hustle.

4. Disrupting LinkedIn by Yakov Savitskiy

social media marketing books linkedin

New to the idea of using LinkedIn for marketing? Savitskiy’s guide will introduce you to the basic principles to successfully incorporate the employment-oriented network into your social media marketing strategy. “Disrupting LinkedIn” shares techniques for turning your own LinkedIn profile, or your company’s profile, into a referral- and lead-generating machine.

5. Pinnacle of Pinterest by Elsie Wilde

social media marketing books pinterest

According to Wilde, you don’t need thousands of followers to use Pinterest successfully in your social media marketing strategy. “Pinnacle of Pinterest” covers the basics for driving high quality traffic from any well-executed Pinterest page. This book is perfect for the social media marketer who wants to diversify strategy.

6. Monetizing Twitter – The Secret by Charles Milander

social media marketing books twitter

There’s some sound marketing advice and tips for growing a Twitter following, but Milander’s “Monetizing Twitter – The Secret” is really geared toward the social media strategist looking to amplify his or her own Twitter account, whether to make money as a side hustle or to wow prospective employers or clients.

7. Becoming Facebook by Mike Hoefflinger

social media marketing books zuckerberg

If there’s any way to make sense of all the data troubles, algorithm changes, and other often frustrating issues concerning Facebook, it’s to get to know the company and how it came to be the social media juggernaut it is today. Of all the social media marketing books on this list, “Becoming Facebook” should be required reading for marketers who want to understand and embrace the platform for what it is and use it more effectively in their own marketing strategy.