The buzz around social media has grown into a roar. Social media has shown an ability to ignite revolutions, drive consumer decisions, connect friends and make or break careers. For all you social media enthusiasts out there who are looking to stay ahead of the curve, here is a list of five must-read books about the online phenomenon that has changed the way we work, play and even live.
1. Likeable Social Media by Dave Kerpen
Whether you are a veteran user or a relative newcomer, Kerpen’s book Likeable Social Media can give you helpful insight into the world of social media. The message is concise and direct: be likeable.
Word-of-mouth marketing should not be devalued, according to Kerpen, whose book offers advice about how to increase brand value through Facebook and other social media platforms without getting caught up in technical marketing jargon. Kerpen shows us that a friend’s recommendation — a “like” — can be worth more than any marketing money can buy.
2. The Social Media Bible by Lon Safko
As its title suggests, Safko’s bestseller The Social Media Bible addresses fundamental questions about social media and makes a convincing case for putting faith in it. The Social Media Bible espouses a doctrine meant to convince its readership that harnessing social media should not only be a goal of businesses, but a priority.
The book is comprehensive: It covers the full scope of social media services, new and old; lists the hundreds of companies that are key players in the industry; and references case studies that analyze advanced metrics.
3. The Zen of Social Media Marketing by Shama Hyder Kabani
Kabani’s book asserts that classical marketing strategies should not be translated to marketing in the social media arena. Why? Because social media “is not a marketer’s platform. It belongs to the consumers.”
In keeping with its title, The Zen of Social Media Marketing recommends that social media users (both inexperienced and knowledgeable) should employ a less-is-more, Zen strategy to online marketing.
The Zen of Social Media Marketing also differentiates itself from other books by providing updates to its content on the book’s website. This commitment to providing the latest information about social media via those updates positions Kabani’s work as a highly reliable source.
4. The Whuffie Factor by Tara Hunt
Tara Hunt writes her book The Whuffie Factor from the perspective of someone who has successfully grown a business from the ground up using social media as a primary tool. Her theory centers upon the notion that online communities do not give credence to monetary capital, rather social capital — what she calls “whuffie.” By increasing your whuffie factor, the author illustrates that you can achieve true online success.
It’s not about selling a product or a service, it’s about building and becoming part of an online. Social media newbies and vets alike can gain valuable tips and insights from this read, not only about how to best use platforms like Facebook and Twitter, but also about how to grow with them as well.
5. Socialnomics by Erik Qualman
The subtitle to Qualman’s book reads, “how social media transforms the way we live and do business.” This dual influence of social media over the way we socialize and the way we consume is mirrored by the book’s title. Qualman argues that power has shifted from marketers to consumers and offers guidance to help marketers regain some of that control.
Full of stories and case studies, Socialnomics does not merely illustrate how social media has changed our culture, but also how it is here to stay. This book can help any business or individual channel the power of social media by showing you how to integrate social media into your everyday life and, perhaps more importantly, motivating you to do so.
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