The emergence of social media as an integral part of life has irrevocably changed the marketing landscape. To stay relevant, you must learn marketing techniques that work with today’s digital mediums. And social media marketing books are one of the best ways to do it.
On the other hand, social media is always changing. Books based on specific strategies or platforms can become out-of-date in a matter of months. Choosing the right social media marketing books to advance your goals can be a challenge.
This list will introduce you to a variety of evergreen social media marketing books so you can invest your time and money in the right places.
Best social media marketing books
1. “The New Rules of Marketing and PR” by David Meerman Scott
The New Rules of Marketing and PR explains how the rules of marketing have changed because of digital media. This book then goes on to provide step-by-step processes for using a variety of digital marketing tools. Some of the topics covered include social media, online video, blogs, and viral marketing.
Best of all, The New Rules of Marketing and PR skips the technical jargon, making this book accessible to people dipping their toes into social media marketing for the first time. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the sheer scope of digital marketing opportunities, this is the perfect book to start with.
2. “The Zen of Social Media Marketing” by Shama Hyder
The Zen of Social Media Marketing is a practical guide to getting started on various social media platforms with minimal stress. The book focuses on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn, making it one of the best social media marketing books for people starting out on one or more of those platforms.
While this book focuses mostly on advice for people who are completely new to using these platforms for business, there is also some in-depth advice for people with some social media experience.
3. “Inbound Marketing, Revised and Updated” by Brian Halligan
Inbound Marketing, Revised and Updated is a comprehensive guide to digital marketing created by the founders of Hubspot. This book uses a combination of the authors’ lived experience and the most recent data to demonstrate how businesses can turn searchers into visitors and visitors into customers.
Once these concepts are demonstrated, Inbound Marketing goes on to explain how you can build effective marketing strategies in the digital world. Entrepreneurs and marketing professionals of all experiences will find something useful in this book.
4. “eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale” by Ardath Albee
eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale focuses on how the evolution of the web makes it essential to build relationships with potential customers by discussing meaningful and relevant subjects with them. This book also drives home the importance of a strategy designed for long-term success instead of short term sales.
If you want to learn how to turn members of your social media audience into long-term customers, eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale is one of the best social media marketing books you can invest your time in.
5. “The New Community Rules” by Tamar Weinburg
The New Community Rules: Marketing on the Social Web explains the power of “conversation marketing” in the age of social media. Tamar Weinburg then goes on to offer specific tactics for social web technologies like blogging, microblogging, and social media to build professional success. The book also explores how to tap into the ever-growing video and podcasting markets.
If you already have some experience in the world of social media and you want a resource to deepen your understanding, The New Community Rules: Marketing on the Social Web is an excellent place to start.
6. “Socialnomics” by Erik Qualman
Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business goes beyond superficial tactics to explore how social media has fundamentally changed the world of business. The book then goes on to discuss how you can change your approach to business to bolster your chances of success.
If you feel like your social media presence has begun to stagnate, Socialnomics might provide the perspective you need to transform your marketing efforts. The detailed strategies in this book can also be taken a step further, transforming every aspect of your business to create something that will thrive in the face of today’s always-changing marketplace.
7. “Groundswell” by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff
Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies uses data straight from Forrester, Inc. to provide entrepreneurs with concrete strategies they can use to adapt to changing technologies. Groundswell shows readers how to build social technologies into their business, evaluate new social technologies as they emerge, and create effective marketing strategies for the digital era.
If you’re less concerned about platform-specific advice and more interested in learning to adapt to new platforms as they arrive, Groundswell is one of the best social media marketing books you can buy.
8. “Trust Agents” by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith
Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust offers actionable advice from two social media veterans with a combined 20 years of experience under their belts. This book uses a combination of high-level theory and simple, step-by-step instructions to help you master various aspects of social media.
If you want practical advice on how to become an influencer or build your business’s influence on social media, Trust Agents is one of the best social media marketing books to start with.
9. “Viral Loop” by Adam Penenberg
Viral Loop: From Facebook to Twitter, How today’s Smartest Businesses Grow Themselves explores how word-of-mouth creates what Adam Penenberg calls a “viral loop”. The book then looks at major companies like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter to show how they have used this phenomenon to create unprecedented success.
Focused on high-level theory with only a smattering of practical advice, this book is most useful for understanding how viral content works. Viral Loop is also a great choice if you want to learn more about today’s social media giants.
10. “The Social Media Bible” by Lon Safko
The Social Media Bible is a comprehensive 700-page guide designed to make social media success accessible to the everyday person. This book was most recently updated in 2012, so many of the specific recommendations are now outdated, but the core information still provides valuable insight into how social media works. The Social Media Bible also provides an interesting snapshot of what social media looked like in 2012, for anyone interested in the history of social media.
If you want a book that minimizes technical jargon to make concepts accessible to anyone, regardless of their previous experience with social media, The Social Media Bible is one of the best social media marketing books available.
11. “Social Media Marketing: The Next Generation of Business Engagement” by Dave Evans
Social Media Marketing: The Next Generation of Business Engagement offers lessons from the first generation of social media marketers and ways to build on those lessons as social media continues to grow. This book shows readers how to implement social media campaigns, monitor their success or failure to inform future campaigns, and successfully act on feedback they receive online.
Finally, Social Media Marketing helps entrepreneurs see how social technology connects to every area of business. If you want to learn how to use the internet to build loyalty among both your customers and your employees, you need to pick up a copy of this book.
12. “Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us” by Seth Godin
Humans are social animals, drawn to form tribes as a social mechanism. Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us explores how social media makes it easier than ever to form a tribe of your very own, with people from all over the world. The book then goes on to present a three-step process for building tribes in the digital era.
If you want to go from having customers to having fans, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us is one of the best social media marketing books you can read. You can apply the lessons in this book to any other community you’re part of, too, creating stronger bonds with all of the people in your life.
13. “Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day” by Dave Evans
One of the first truly groundbreaking books in the field of social media, Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day is a practical guide to building social media campaigns. The book breaks down managing a large campaign into bite-size steps. And unlike what you’ll find within many other social media books released around the same time, the strategies contained within Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day are still useful today.
This is a great book for anyone who feels overwhelmed by the scope of social media. If you want to slow down and get back to the basics, Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day is a great book to start with.
14. “Secrets of Social Media Marketing” by Paul Gillin
Secrets of Social Media Marketing: How to Use Online Conversations and Customer Communities to Turbo-Charge Your Business is a handbook for marketers and business owners who are relatively new to the world of social media marketing. The book offers practical strategies, tools, and tactics for building a following on social media. There are also several strategies for building community engagement once you have gathered that following.
Secrets of Social Media Marketing is another excellent book for anyone who feels overwhelmed by social media. If you want to get back to basics and re-build your social media presence from the ground up, you want to start with this book.
15. “500 Social Media Marketing Tips” by Andrew Macarthy
500 Social Media Marketing Tips: Essential Advice, Hints and Strategy for Business is a comprehensive guide that focuses on actionable, bite-sized pieces of advice. The book includes strategies that work for every social media platform and hundreds more that are fine-tuned to individual platforms. The Kindle edition also comes with access to over 250 social media marketing video tutorials and free monthly updates.
If you want to skip the theory and dive deep into the practical aspects of social media marketing, 500 Social Media Marketing Tips is one of the best social media marketing books you can buy.
16. “Epic Content Marketing” by Joe Pulizzi
Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break Through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less explains how to build success by creating content people actually want to engage with. The book offers a step-by-step process entrepreneurs can use to inform, entertain, and eventually compel their audience to act.
If you have spent the past year or three spinning your wheels on social media without developing a significant audience, Epic Content Marketing is the book you need.
17. “The Power of Visual Marketing” by Ekaterina Walter and Jessica Gioglio
The Power of Visual Marketing: How to Use Visuals, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand combines research on how humans digest and retain information with the lived experience of two social media veterans to provide a roadmap for using visual content in marketing campaigns. The book focuses on social media, but many of the lessons can also be applied to other areas of marketing.
If you struggle to properly incorporate visuals into your marketing campaigns, The Power of Visual Marketing is one of the best resources you can find.
18. “The Lead Machine” by Rich Brooks
The Lead Machine: The Small Business Guide to Digital Marketing explores how to build successful campaigns around what Rich Brooks calls the BARE Essentials of Digital Marketing. These are Build, Attract, Retain, and Evaluate. The book explains why each of these items is important and offers practical strategies for building your own digital marketing strategy around them.
If you want a book that takes high-level theory and boils it down into practical advice, The Lead Machine is exactly what you need.
19. “Content Mavericks” by Andrew and Pete
Content Mavericks: How to Grow Your Business with Insanely Shareable Content offers a seven-step process to take your content to the next level. The book also explores how already-great content can be adjusted to go beyond entertaining and informing your audience to producing sales.
If you want a quick, enjoyable read filled from cover to cover with practical advice, Content Mavericks is one of the best social media marketing books you can invest in this year.
20. “Faster, Smarter, Louder” by Aaron Agius and Gián Clancey
Faster, Smarter, Louder: Master Attention in a Digital World uses a combination of lived experience and scientific research to show that success on social media is about more than technical understanding: it’s about authenticity. The book then goes on to show how you can build marketing campaigns around authentic, valuable communication to improve your success.
If you want to understand why certain tactics work instead of merely being spoon-fed the answers, Faster, Louder, Smarter is the book for you. You will learn to understand how psychology plays into marketing in the digital era, and how to use psychology to improve your social media marketing campaigns.
21. “Likeable Social Media, Third Edition” by Dave Kerpen, Michelle Greenbaum, and Rob Berk
Likeable Social Media, Third Edition: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, & Be Generally Amazing on All Social Media Networks that Matter teaches entrepreneurs how to build and retain loyal audiences through social media. This most recent edition, released in 2019, offers up-to-date case studies from all the major social networks, practical advice from social media veterans, and more.
If you want the most up-to-date information available, Likeable Social Media, Third Edition is one of the best social media books for you.
22. “Personal Branding in 2019” by Jack Gary
Personal Branding in 2019: Strategies to Build Your Brand with Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter is a guide for professionals who want to build a brand around themselves, draw in higher-paid clients, and ensure their long-term success in today’s ever-changing marketplace. The book offers an extensive look at the history of personal branding, then shows you how you can use personal branding to build a successful career.
If you are a freelance professional or you run a small business that depends largely on your personal brand, Personal Branding in 2019 will revolutionize the way you approach marketing.
23. “Social Media Influencer” by Nicolas Borl
Social Media Influencer: Discover the 12 Golden Rules of Online Marketing, Social Media Marketing, and Instagram Marketing offers practical strategies for optimizing your presence on every major social media platform. The book also offers specific strategies for fine-tuning your marketing on specific platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
If you’re already pretty confident about your social media skills and your main focus is on leveling up, Social Media Influencer is a great book to start with.
Final thoughts on the best social media marketing books
Social media is always changing, which makes it hard for books about the subject to stay relevant. However, this doesn’t mean you should ignore social media marketing books entirely. In fact, it makes it even more important to read the best social media marketing books, the ones that remain relevant year after year. And this list is a great place to start your education.