Social media and content marketing are ever changing trends and there is no way a marketer can ignore them. In order to be successful on social, a business needs to be flexible and sometimes that requires experimenting with new tactics and technology. And the best way to learn them is through the experiences of other marketers.

While you’ll find millions of blogs, websites and Twitter accounts to follow for social media updates, social media marketing books are still the timeless resource. However, with e-books and case studies being written by multiple businesses, it is important for marketers to know which ones to devote their time to.

So here are 10 social media marketing books that every marketer needs to read to improve his business strategies:

1. ‘Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook’ by Gary Vaynerchuk

About the author: Gary Vaynerchuk is a renowned entrepreneur and a bestselling author. He has a digital consulting agency, VaynerMedia, that works with Fortune 500 companies to develop digital and social media strategies as well as content. He is also one of the top 20 must follow entrepreneurs by Businesslike.

More than 500 million tweets and 80 million photos are shared on Twitter and Instagram everyday, respectively. And more than 30 million content pieces are shared on Facebook each month. The only way to cut through the overwhelming amounts of information available to the customers today, is through storytelling. This book highlights how brand stories change for each platform and how to leverage from them accordingly.

2.  ‘Epic Content Marketing’ by Joe Pulizzi

About the author: The founder of the Content Marketing Institute, Content Marketing World – the largest international content marketing event; and Chief Content Officer magazine, Joe Pulizzi is known for his blogs on content marketing. He has also spoken on the topic at more than 200 locations.

Acquiring a customer is a tough job, but losing one is pretty easy. It only takes one irrelevant piece of content to lose even the most loyal customer. Producing content is easy, but you need to make sure it resonates with your target audience and is delivered in an effective format. Joe Pulizzi’s book walks you through the process of creating a content marketing strategy and how to draw in customers with engaging content. It also offers in-depth case studies of how national brands like LEGO, Coca-Cola, etc use content to drive sales.

3. ‘The Art of Social Media’ by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick

About the author: The chief evangelist of Canva, an online design service and executive fellow of the Haas School of Business, Guy Kawasaki is a very popular influencer in the industry. Having created social media strategies and spearheading their execution, he has worked for the likes of Apple and Google. Peg Fitzpatrick is a social media strategist who spearheads campaigns for Motorola, Google, Audi, Canva and Virgin.

In this book, the two evangelists team up to offer a bottom up strategy for creating a foundation, building your online assets, attracting more followers, integrating social platforms and blogging. A great resource for beginners and professionals looking to improve, ‘The Art of Social Media’ will guide you through what is working for your brand and what isn’t.

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4. ‘Everybody Writes’ by Ann Handley

About the author: Ann Handley is the Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs, a training and education company. She is also a monthly columnist for the Entrepreneur Magazine. Cited as the most influential woman on social media, she has also been recognized as the top 20 female bloggers by ForbesWoman.

In this book, Ann Handley teaches marketers how to write better and not start hating to write because of the high requirement of content today. The book offers grammar rules for businesses, insights and guidance for content creation, production and publishing in an actionable how-to format.

5. ‘Social Media Explained’ by Mark W. Schaefer

About the author: Mark Schaefer is a world renowned blogger, speaker and business consultant. He blogs at Grow, which is one of the world’s top marketing blogs. Having written three best selling books in the industry, he also teaches marketing at Rutgers University.

In this book, Mark Schaefer ditches the industry jargon and guides you through the fundamental strategies of some of the biggest social platforms today. Starting from which platform you need to launch your social media presence on depending on their strengths, he presents a practical approach for business – small or big, to make their mark.

6. ‘The Power of Visual Storytelling’ by Ekaterina Walter and Jessica Gioglio

About the author: Co-founder and chief marketing officer at Branderati, Ekaterina Walter was a former global social media leader at Intel. Jessica Gioglio is the social media manager for Dunkin’ Donuts.

About 65% of people are visual learners and 90% of information in our brain is stored in the form of visuals. In a recent study, it was stated that people lose concentration in only 80 seconds. This gives a very small window to marketers for making an impact. And that’s the reason you see visual content more than ever. This book teaches you how to grow your business by leveraging photos, videos, infographics and other media. The author has included full color images and insightful examples to guide you with visual marketing.

7. ‘Audience: Marketing in the Age of Subscribers, Fans and Followers’ by Jeffrey Rohrs

About the author: Jeffrey Rohrs is the chief marketing officer of Yext, which is a global digital location management leader in the industry.

Like the title says, the book focuses on the fact that without an audience, social media marketing is of absolutely no use. In today’s digital age, the audience matters more than ever and every business needs to identify its ideal target audience before strategising. The book offers research data and case studies along with details on how you can gain a competitive advantage over other businesses to master audience development.

8. ‘Likeable Social Media’ by Dave Kerpen

About the author: Dave Kerpen is the Founder and CEO of Likeable Local, a social media software company for small businesses, and the Chairman and co-founder of Likeable Media, an award winning social media marketing agency. He is a known entrepreneur, author and speaker in his field.

According to a research by Clutch, 47% of small businesses aren’t making use of social media actively to promote themselves because they find it very overwhelming. In this book, Dave Kerpen makes marketing on social media seem easy. Using a clear how-to approach, he provides the readers with all the information and tools they need to engage customers on digital platforms. The tips nudge businesses to make the most out of their human side.

9. ‘Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is About Help Not Hype’ by Jay Baer

About the author: Jay Baer is a popular marketing keynote speaker, consultant and digital marketing pioneer. He has worked with more than 700 brands since 1994, including 30 that are listed in the Fortune 500. He also runs the extremely popular blog, Convince & Convert and host the weekly Social Pros podcast.

This book by Jay Baer focuses on transforming the relationship between businesses and consumers. It teaches the marketers to prioritise helping or solving their customer problems over selling their products. Because by helping them, businesses can develop stronger relationships and create a loyal customer community.

10. ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ by Dale Carnegie

About the author: An American author and lecturer known for his courses on self improvement, corporate training and public speaking, Dale Carnegie is now a popular name in the digital industry as well.

This book is packed with powerful lessons for marketers that focus on human interaction. Be it dealing with an angry customer or going for a new job’s interview, this resource is a must read for professionals. After all, marketing is about connecting with people and that requires understanding how to deal with them.

Over to you

What’s your go-to book for social and content marketing? Feel free to add to this list and we’ll make sure it becomes a part of our library!

If you’re planning to write an ebook for your business, here’s a secret (now, not-so-secret) tip for you: Using exit intent technology can increase the number of downloads of your books by manifolds. It targets your website visitors by offering them a content upgrade on their way out, and delivers your business message effectively – without ruining their browsing experience or seeming too pushy!


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Vanhishikha Bhargava

Content Marketer at Exit Bee. Most of the times found trying to create compelling copies for blogs and digital campaigns, keeping a watch on what's happening on social media or ranting on Twitter. At all other times, not found.

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  • Groundswell is one of my favorite social media marketing books.

    • Vanhishikha Bhargava

      Will definitely be adding it to my reading list!