Hundreds of books have been written about social media and online marketing. Here are the ones that we use and cite most often.
Content Rules – Ann Handley and C. C. Chapman
This engaging and readable book is packed with ideas for how to create, package and distribute content that attracts an audience. The authors are content marketing pioneers, and they share their recommendations with a friendly and lighthearted touch that’s not only useful but also a delight to read.
Inbound Marketing – Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah
HubSpot, the marketing automation firm founded by the authors, is credited with inventing the term “inbound marketing,” so the authors know their stuff. This book covers the basics of creating content that search engines will find and readers will recommend. It’s practical, tactical and you can read it in less than two hours.
Search Engine Marketing, Inc. – Mike Moran and Bill Hunt
Does search engine optimization (SEO) mystify you? It won’t after you read the first 100 pages of this classic manual for marketers. Although search engines tweak their rules all the time, the basics of how they find in rank content don’t change that much. That makes this book every bit as relevant as it was when it was first published in 2009.
The New Rules of Marketing & PR – David Meerman Scott
An international bestseller, this book was the first to outline in simple terms and examples the momentous changes that search engines and social media were about to introduce to the marketing profession. Regular updates (it was in its fourth edition as of this writing) have kept it fresh and relevant to today’s marketer.
Word of Mouth Marketing – Andy Sernovitz
The godfather of word of mouth marketing spells out the value of being remarkable in a world in which peer recommendations increasingly drive sales. Packed with examples, it’s nevertheless a quick read that will inspire you to try something different.
Trust Agents – Chris Brogan and Julien Smith
The new currency of the online world is trust, and authors Brogan an d Smith are living examples of its value. Both have amassed huge followings and influence in online channels by being transparent, approachable and generous with their time and wisdom. It turns out that paying it forward is a pretty profitable business strategy.
The Cluetrain Manifesto – David Weinberger, Rick Levine, Christopher Locke and Doc Searls
This is the 2000 book that started it all. Its premise is laid out in the opening sentence: “Markets are conversations.” The authors then present a Martin Luther-like list of 95 theses that they explore in later chapters. Although preachy and dated at times, this book is still a worthy read for anyone who wants to understand why social media caught on with such blinding speed.
Measure What Matters – Katie Paine
Most marketers still evaluate the effectiveness of their digital marketing efforts by the seat of their pants, which is surprising considering that the Internet is the most measurable medium ever invented. Katie Paine is the queen of PR and social media metrics, and this practical volume is brimming with ideas for tracking the ROI of your marketing investments, both online and off.
Age of Context – Shel Israel and Robert Scoble
The Internet of Things is coming, and it will change our lives fundamentally. Nearly everything around us will be monitored, recorded, analyzed and fed back as actionable information. Cars will drive themselves, heart monitors will anticipate heart attacks and wearable devices will turn eyeglasses into video cameras and computer screens. It’s all very exciting and also a little creepy. While Age of Context is unabashedly enthusiastic about the future, the authors are also careful to point out the privacy and security issues that new technology raise.
Influencer Marketing – Duncan Brown and Nick Hayes
While everyone agrees that online influence has value, social media skeptics Brown and Hayes make a compelling argument that its role in B2B buying decisions is drastically overstated. Using data gleaned from years of research and hundreds of client engagements, the authors describe more than 50 sources of buying influence, ranging from consultants to policy-makers to competitors. Only a few are online. In order to understand influence, they argue, marketers need to understand the buying process, but most are still woefully ignorant of that.