Social Media Santa – put these books under the tree

I’d like to recommend two excellent and inspiring books that I read this year. If you haven’t read them, get them for yourself.  If you’ve got them, buy them for your social media team, or – even better – buy them for the higher-ups who need to see the light.

Note: I do not have any deals with the writers or publishers of these books (nor do I know them). These are strictly my recommendations for excellent social media reading.


The New Roles of Marketing & PRThe New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott

Scott does an excellent job of diagnosing the problems that one can have when dealing with old school marketing think, or those who play by “the old rules”. He offers excellent cheap and often free ways to reshape your marketing for the modern age, learning to talk with people instead of at them.

In addition, his writing style is quite inspiring – this book got me excited enough to get up and start the blog you are reading right now. In addition, he champions an idea which I hold dear: that you don’t need to get your press release to a journalist or get your ad on TV.  In this era, everyone is a journalist and a broadcast center. Create your content, and they will come.

He also prepares you with the arguments and tactics you will need to launch a marketing plan based on “the new rules” of marketing:

  • Where credibility and creating value are king, rather than whop can produce the loudest and dumbest television ad.
  • Where customers choose you because they like your content, rather than being force fed.
  • Where you become a community member rather than a broadcaster.
  • Where you are creating and distributing your news, rather than waiting for journalists to pick it up.

Likable Social MediaLikable Social Media by Dave Kerpen

As good as Scott’s book is, this one is even better.  Every time I read a chapter from this book, I get inspired to start building social media currency.

While Scott’s book focused on many aspects of marketing and PR, Kerpen’s is almost solely focused on social media strategy.

He offers the kind of common sense thinking that is required to conquer the fear that social media brings to many boss types.  Fears like, “What is someone writes something negative on our Facebook page?” or “Why would we give information away online for free?”

Kerpen understands that consumers will no longer go to your website or click a like just because you tell them to.  You need to build trust and affinity, and the way that happens is by creating likable content and making yourself valuable, not saying “Click here to see our new items for sale.”

Kerpen does away with the idea that social media exists to drive people to a point of sale. Instead, it exists to build long term fans and evangelists of your brand. Social media is about finding a spouse, not a one night stand.

In addition, each chapter has a series of exercises that you can do with your team.  I bought this book for my entire social media team, and you’ll want to too.

Do you have any recommended social media books?  If so, please let me know in the comments below!


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