Social Media Marketing Books 2017 – A List of Best Books on Social Media for Marketers

Social Media Marketing – it’s a party and not a prison. Social Media Marketing Workbook 2018By that, I mean that you need to learn how to ‘throw’ incredible parties on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and yes – even Snapchat. But social media can be confusing for many reasons. At various times (MySpace, Twitter, SnapChat) people are terrified that if they’re not ‘doing it,’ well everyone else is ‘doing it,’ and ‘doing it’ better. So you better be ‘doing it,’ right? Well, not exactly. You need a conceptual framework to do social media marketing, well. Fortunately, there are many good books on social media marketing – deep dives into the in’s and out’s of throwing the most incredible ‘party’ on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or even Snapchat. Here’s my list of 2017 book on social media marketing (included in the Appendix of my own book, the Social Media Marketing Workbook 2018).

If you have a recommendation, please contact me.

Updated: April 15, 2017

Recommended Books on Social Media Marketing for 2017


Social Media Marketing All-in-One For Dummies
Jan Zimmerman and Deborah Ng bring you one of the ‘Dummies’ series that can be so popular. Coming in May, 2017, the book is much anticipated! It has both an overview and then detailed chapters on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
Rating: 5 Stars.
No B.S. Guide to Direct Response Social Media Marketing: The Ultimate No Holds Barred Guide to Producing Measurable, Monetizable Results with Social Media Marketing
Authors Dan S. Kennedy and Kim Walsh-Phillips position this guide as an irreverant, tell it like it is guide to social media marketing. The book is more a book about small business marketing than really a book about detailed strategies to succeed at social media. It has a good chapter on email marketing, but it has a such a negative attitude towards social media you almost wonder why the authors bothered to write a book about social media if they have such a debbie downer view of the medium? That said, still worth a place on your bookshelf of top social media marketing books.
Rating: 4 Stars.
500 Social Media Marketing Tips: Essential Advice, Hints and Strategy for Business
Andrew Macarthy brings forth a wonderful cornucopia of tips and advice on social media marketing. While the book doesn’t provide an overarching conceptual framework on social media marketing, it does have a great ‘laundry list’ approach that you can scroll through, looking for ideas for your own company.
Rating: 4 Stars.
Becoming Facebook: The 10 Challenges That Defined the Company That’s Disrupting the World
Yet another insider account on how Facebook became Facebook. At least this one has practical tips that attempt to connect an insight about Facebook with an analysis of how Facebook ‘did it.’ According to the book blurb, ‘Mike Hoefflinger was one of those Facebook insiders. As a computer engineer turned marketing innovator who worked with COO Sheryl Sandberg, Hoefflinger had a front-row seat to the company’s growing pains, stumbles, and reinventions.’
Rating: 4 Stars.
Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World
Another classic. Published in 2012, so it’s very out-of-date, but read it for the concepts on social media. In its own words, ‘To be successful in the market today, you must possess two strategic assets: a compelling product and a meaningful platform. In this step-by-step guide, Michael Hyatt, former CEO and current Chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers, takes readers behind the scenes, into the new world of social media success.’
Rating: 3 Stars.
Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator
Why do some ideas, products or services go viral? Well, this classic book about social media marketing is by a self-professed ‘media manipulator.’ He says, ‘You’ve seen it all before. A malicious online rumor costs a company millions. A political sideshow derails the national news cycle and destroys a candidate. Some product or celebrity zooms from total obscurity to viral sensation. What you don’t know is that someone is responsible for all this. Usually, someone like me.’
Rating: 3 Stars.
Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked
OK, we marketers TRY to get people addicted to our messages and our products. This book is told more from the perspective of consumers and society, which might not be so keen on the whole let’s-get-addicted paradigm. In the author’s words, ‘Welcome to the age of behavioral addiction—an age in which half of the American population is addicted to at least one behavior. We obsess over our emails, Instagram likes, and Facebook feeds; we binge on TV episodes and YouTube videos; we work longer hours each year; and we spend an average of three hours each day using our smartphones. Half of us would rather suffer a broken bone than a broken phone, and Millennial kids spend so much time in front of screens that they struggle to interact with real, live humans.’
Rating: 3 Stars.
Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World
Published in 2013 by Gary Vaynerchuk, but a classic this is a ‘must read’ in your journey to social media marketing expert. According to the book blurb, ‘New York Times bestselling author and social media expert Gary Vaynerchuk shares hard-won advice on how to connect with customers and beat the competition. A mash-up of the best elements of Crush It! and The Thank You Economy with a fresh spin, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook is a blueprint to social media marketing strategies that really works. ‘
Rating: 3 Stars.
The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users
Though outdated being published in 2014, this is one of the classics of Social Media Marketing. According to the book description, ‘There’s no one quite like Guy Kawasaki, the legendary former chief evangelist for Apple and one of the pioneers of business blogging, tweeting, Facebooking, Tumbling, and much, much more. Now Guy has teamed up with Peg Fitzpatrick, who he says is the best social-media person he’s ever met, to offer The Art of Social Media – the one essential guide you need to get the most bang for your time, effort, and money.’ That said, this book suffers a bit from a lot of hype and not as much actionable todos.
Rating: 3 Stars.
Social Media: Master Social Media Marketing – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube & Instagram
Accordiing to the book description, ‘In this expanded 2nd edition of Social Media: Master Social Media Marketing – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube & Instagram, you’ll be taken through a step-by-step process on how to develop your web presence. This book helps you improve your marketing strategies in many ways: Increased Reach, Brand Recognition, Lower Marketing Costs, Better Interactions with Potential Customers, Higher Conversion Rates SEO Optimization, and Greater Brand Loyalty.’
Rating: 3 Stars.
The Social Organism: A Radical Understanding of Social Media to Transform Your Business and Life
From the book description, “In The Social Organism, Luckett and Casey offer a revolutionary theory: social networks — to an astonishing degree — mimic the rules and functions of biological life. In sharing and replicating packets of information known as memes, the world’s social media users are facilitating an evolutionary process just like the transfer of genetic information in living things. Memes are the basic building blocks of our culture, our social DNA. To master social media — and to make online content that impacts the world — you must start with the Social Organism.”
Rating: 3 Stars.
Social Media: Dominating Strategies for Social Media Marketing with Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, LinkedIn and Instagram
From the book description, ‘Do You Want To Dominate Social Media? Have you ever wondered if there was an exact blueprint on how to dominate social media marketing? Do you want to grow your followers and your brand? Are you looking to increase your online presence? When you buy Social Media: Dominating Strategies for Social Media Marketing with Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, LinkedIn and Instagram, your followers and social media will start to grow rapidly! Every business owner or marketing executive now agrees to the fact that their business has to adapt to social media or end up losing touch with its customers.’
Rating: 3 Stars.
Social Media Marketing: Learn, optimise and supercharge your business
With a bit of a focus on WordPress, this book starts out with some philosophy for why you should do Social Media Marketing and then proceeds through local, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumble, and Twitter. It has a nice chapter on keywords, too.
Rating: 3 Stars.
Social Media Made Me Rich: Here’s How it Can do the Same for You
With some practical information, especially ‘idea’ or ‘think piece’ strategies, this book is in the genre of social media hype, it’s incredible, people are making millions, and so can you. From the summary, ‘Have you ever wondered what specific strategies the world’s highest-paid Internet entrepreneurs are using to get rich? Are you tired of working forty hours per week at a job you dislike and not getting paid what you’re worth? Would you like to learn how to package the knowledge already in your head and put it into high-earning digital products (ebooks, online courses, coaching programs, software, etc.)? Wouldn’t it be great to make a bigger impact in the world by helping others and doing what you love?’
Rating: 2 Stars.
Social Media: Strategies to Mastering Your Brand- Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat
David Kelly’s book is an overview to all the major social media networks at a high level of generality.
Rating: 2 Stars.
Social Media: How to Skyrocket Your Business Through Social Media Marketing! Master Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, & LinkedIn
From the book description, ‘Social media marketing plays a huge role in modern business management. In this insightful book, you�ll learn to build brand awareness, authority, and loyalty. You can increase your inbound website traffic, conversion rates, and market your products and services very inexpensively!’
Rating: 2 Stars.
Social Media: Marketing Strategies for Rapid Growth Using: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and YouTube
John Williams’ book on social media marketing is yet another basic introduction to the topic.
Rating: 2 Stars.
Likeable Social Media
Dave Kerpen, et. al, has written an ‘think piece’ to social media marketing. This book is less a “how to” manual and more a “how to think about” social media marketing. Some are obvious such as “listen to your customers,” and a few are not. Good if you’re looking for a book to help you conceptualize your social media marketing strategy.
Rating: 2 Stars.
Social Media Marketing: Learn Strategies on How to Use FaceBook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter to Grow Your Following, Build Brand Awareness and Drive Traffic to Your Business
Another survey book on the topic of social media marketing. According to the other, ‘There are plenty of books on this subject of social media marketing, however, only few of them are actually useful. This book was made to ensure it is full of as much useful information as possible, whether you’re a beginner, advanced, or even expert on social media marketing.’
Rating: 2 Stars.
Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley
Antonio Garcia Martinez shares his experience at Facebook in this witty, if controversial, book. Not so much a ‘how to’ manual about social media marketing, but rather an insider view into how Facebook operates, corporate culture, etc.
Rating: 2 Stars.
Social Media Marketing: A Strategic Approach
Melissa Barker, et. al., has produced a monumental ‘textbook’ on social media marketing. That’s the good, and the bad of it. On the good side, this is an incredibly comprehensive overview to social medai marketing. On the bad side, it’s a textbook which has a dry tone and makes it seem more like we’re studying physics or biology rather than something FUN and something we DO rather than observe. Plus it’s expensive – $110.44 (!) at last check. Published in March, 2016.
Rating: 1 Stars.

A Strategy for Social Media Marketing in 2017

Ok, before you buy all the books. Step back for a moment, and think about the big picture. Here are some steps. First, write down your marketing goals. Who are your customers? What do they want? How does what you sell match what they need? Second, figure out the keyword connection points. Social Media is all about the connection points – why they care about what you have, and why they’ll SHARE your marketing message. It’s more about your customers’ needs than about you. Third, content content content – you need to generate a lot of quality content to make social media work; choose one or just a couple networks (e.g., Instagram and Facebook not Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube, MySpace (OK, not MySpace)… Less is more. Fourth, have FUN. If it’s not fun (even LinkedIn), it won’t really work. Finally, if you’d like to suggest a social media marketing book for my 2017 list of the best SEO books, please just email me your suggestion with a link to Amazon. Thanks!

Updated: January 5, 2017

Social Media Marketing Books 2017 – A List of Best Books on Social Media for Marketers
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Jason McDonald

About Jason McDonald

Jason McDonald is a top-rated San Francisco SEO Consultant. His consulting services include search engine optimization consulting, social media marketing consulting, and Google AdWords consulting. Jason’s motto as a consultant is that he doesn’t do SEO ‘for you’ but rather he does SEO ‘with you.’ That goes as well for his social media marketing consultant activities and Google AdWords consultant services. Besides serving clients in the San Francisco Bay Area, Jason consults with clients in Silicon Valley (San Jose), Oakland and other cities throughout the Bay Area. Beyond the Bay Area, Jason is available as an SEO consultant, Social Media Consultant, and as an expert witness in litigation involving social media marketing, search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising.