Social media marketing has revolutionized the way that businesses and customers connect and interact. In the past, businesses were primarily responsible for generating interest in the products and services they offered. Now it is possible for businesses to harness customer interest and work together with the people they serve to reach an increasingly broad base of potential customers. Multimedia marketing is no longer confined to just print and television. Many types of branded media can be turned into value-rich content for users around the world.
Navigating the increasingly complex world of social media marketing requires an in-depth understanding of customer behavior and business activity. No matter how long you have worked at marketing, I believe there is something new to be learned; these are some of my favorite books on this intriguing subject.
Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and be Generally Amazing on Facebook (and Other Social Networks) by Dave Kerpen
First published in 2011, this little book has become the go-to favorite of people exploring the world of social media marketing. It is a highly readable volume that is packed with relevant information. Though the material presented is fairly specific to Facebook, the lessons can be applied to any social network that you have a professional presence on. Ultimately it presents new ways of thinking about marketing; the realm that that marketing takes place in is less important.
The author stresses authenticity in interactions and calls for transparency when dealing with customers, colleagues, and even rivals. Since social media networks allow for very direct interactions between users, businesses are forced to rethink the way they handle those interactions. Responsive, authentic, and meaningful interactions are required and Likeable Social Media helps you learn how to have these kinds of interactions.
This book’s exceptional popularity has meant that many people will be implementing Kerpen’s strategies. Though this could mean stiffer competition for space on social networks, the long term application of these and other effective strategies will separate successful businesses from the herd. If nothing else, you deserve to know what strategies other businesses are going to be implementing.
500 Social Media Marketing Tips: Essential Advice, Hints, and Strategy for Business by Andrew Macarthy
Unlike other books on this list, 500 Social Media Marketing Tips does not contain lengthy explanations of strategy and planning. In many ways it can be used as quick reference when you are learning a new social media outlet; you can also use it as a source of inspiration when you just are not feeling motivated in your marketing efforts.
Though experienced social media marketers may not find many new strategies in this book, people who have only recently integrated social media into their overall marketing strategy will find a lot to like. The suggestions contained in this book can go hand in hand with a more traditional approach to marketing. This makes the subject more approachable to experienced marketers who have yet to prioritize social media marketing strategies.
This book makes an excellent companion volume to other books on this list. It may not be able to orient you within the broader context of marketing development but it can give you some valuable pointers as you work to implement long-term strategies.
The New Rules of Marketing & PR by David Meerman Scott
There are certain constants in the field of marketing that hold true whether marketing takes place on social media networks or in other venues. Small business owners and home business owners may know a lot about their personal industry but may be unfamiliar with traditional marketing skills. Managing public relations concerns can be a nightmare for people who have never been trained to do that job. This book gets you ready to handle marketing and PR like a pro; it also gives experienced marketers and PR experts a new perspective on the industry they thought they knew.
Perhaps most importantly, this book tells you how to conduct some fundamental marketing tasks, such as how to write an effective press release. A lot of space is given over to the creation of value-rich content; whether you are trying to create a video or compose a blog post, this book will provide information that helps you craft an effective message. Once the content has been created, you can begin to spread the message. This book will help you do this, too.
While this book will not help you get started as a business user on social media sites, it will give you many of the practical skills required for business development.
The Social Media Bible: Tactics, Tools, and Strategies for Business Success by Lon Safko
This book includes some of the information contained in other books on this list though goes deeper in several subjects. You do not have to purchase it right away though I definitely suggest you give it a look; many people swear by it. Real-world examples of social media successes and failures let you see for yourself how important strategizing really is.
The Social Media Bible has a broad scope and includes discussions of custom video, podcasts and audio productions, and even website development. This emphasis is a refreshing change from other books that focus primarily (or exclusively) on popular social media sites. While these websites form an invaluable branch of social media marketing, Safko believes that creating a lasting presence on property that you control gives you much stronger control over your content and your message. Even if you do not choose to create a personal website, being familiar with its advantages makes you a more informed marketer.
Some readers dislike the inclusion of Internet history that Safko includes in this book; though Internet history as such may not have much to do with your day to day customer interactions, it is important to realize that marketing and commercial interests have done a lot to shape the way the Internet works today. As trivial as social media interaction may appear to outsiders, this present trend will shape the way that technology and business develop in the future.
The Social Media Bible: http://www.amazon.com/The-Social-Media-Bible-Strategies/dp/1118269748/ref=pd_sim_b_6