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In the age of social media, mastering the right marketing strategy is paramount for any small business. I've immersed myself in the best books on this topic, diving deep into Instagram marketing, the nuances of TikTok, and the secrets behind powerful email marketing campaigns. As a dedicated social media and marketing manager, I've grappled with ever-changing algorithms and their effect on consumer psychology, explored the potential of influencer marketing with social media influencers, and honed strategies across diverse social networks.

This isn’t just about fleeting social media marketing tips—it's about crafting a robust social media marketing strategy and marketing plan, understanding the art of Storybrand, and navigating platforms from Snapchat to Amazon. Your quest for the ultimate guide with social media books to elevate your social media content ends here. Trust in this curated selection—I've been there, read that, and now, I'm here to guide you.

17 Best Social Media Marketing Books Shortlist

Having delved into numerous times, I've refined a selection of books that adeptly address the nuanced needs and challenges you seek to navigate in social media marketing.

  1. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World by Gary Vaynerchuk
  2. Contagious: How to Build Word of Mouth in the Digital Age by Jonah Berger
  3. The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users by Guy Kawasaki & Peg Fitzpatrick
  4. Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content by Ann Handley
  5. Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is about Help Not Hype by Jay Baer
  6. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath & Dan Heath
  7. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini
  8. Crushing It! How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence—and How You Can, Too by Gary Vaynerchuk
  9. Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less by Joe Pulizzi
  10. The Power of Visual Storytelling: How to Use Visuals, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand by Ekaterina Walter & Jessica Gioglio
  11. Top of Mind: Use Content to Unleash Your Influence and Engage Those Who Matter To You by John Hall
  12. One Million Followers: How I Built a Massive Social Following in 30 Days by Brendan Kane
  13. The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly by David Meerman Scott
  14. Killing Marketing: How Innovative Businesses Are Turning Marketing Cost Into Profit by Joe Pulizzi & Robert Rose
  15. Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers by Jay Baer
  16. The Conversion Code: Capture Internet Leads, Create Quality Appointments, Close More Sales by Chris Smith
  17. Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces that Shape Behavior by Jonah Berger

Overviews Of The 17 Best Social Media Marketing Books

Here’s a quick summary of each book, what you’ll learn, and why you should read it, plus a quote I like from the book. I added the author’s LinkedIn and other places to connect with them online.

1. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World by Gary Vaynerchuk

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook - How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World - Social Media Marketing Book

Summary:

In “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook,” Gary Vaynerchuk unveils the essence of significant storytelling in the chaotic realm of social media. He emphasizes the delicate balance between “jabs,” which offer value, and “right hooks,” which drive conversions. The book is packed with case studies showing the right and wrong ways to connect with modern consumers.

What You'll Learn:

This book enlightens readers on the value of context within various social media platforms, instructs on creating compelling content that adds value, and demonstrates the significance of timing to optimize conversions. It provides insights into formulating adaptable strategies that resonate with the evolving dynamics of the digital world.

Why You Should Read It:

Gary's approach in this book is an essential read for anyone seeking to create a significant impact and elevate their brand presence on social media. It's a guide for those who wish to refine their storytelling techniques and advance their consumer engagement strategies to transform their online presence effectively.

Quote From The Book:

“Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read.”

About The Author:

Gary Vaynerchuk is a renowned entrepreneur, author, speaker, and internet personality. Discover more about his thoughts and works through his LinkedIn, Twitter, or on his website.

2. Contagious: How to Build Word of Mouth in the Digital Age by Jonah Berger

Contagious - Why Things Catch On - Social Media Marketing Book

Summary:

Jonah Berger’s “Contagious” provides a comprehensive overview of the intriguing elements that make information shareable. He delves into six principles that drive things to become contagious, from customer interactions to the creation of viral content, helping readers understand how to make their product or idea catch on.

What You'll Learn:

You'll acquire knowledge on the six contagious principles, understand the science behind why people share information, and learn how to apply these principles to have your product or idea catch on.

Why You Should Read It:

This book is an invaluable resource for marketing professionals and anyone looking to leverage the power of word-of-mouth to drive growth and success. The principles outlined can be the catalyst for the creation of contagious content that defines brand success in the digital age.

Quote From The Book:

“Word of mouth is the primary factor behind 20 percent to 50 percent of all purchasing decisions.”

About The Author:

Jonah Berger is a marketing professor and bestselling author. Connect with him on LinkedIn, and Twitter, or learn more on his website.

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3. The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users by Guy Kawasaki & Peg Fitzpatrick

The Art of Social Media - Power Tips for Power Users - Social Media Marketing Book

Summary:

“The Art of Social Media,” co-authored by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick, is a compelling guide that offers practical insights for social media success. It serves as a comprehensive tool for individuals seeking to amplify their social media presence, with actionable tips on building a foundation, amassing digital assets, optimizing profiles and content for social search, and more.

What You'll Learn:

Readers will grasp the essence of effective social media presence, including the creation of captivating content, effective engagement with followers, and the utilization of social media tools to enhance online visibility and influence.

Why You Should Read It:

It’s a concise guide filled with actionable and no-nonsense advice for anyone—whether a beginner or seasoned user—looking to harness the power of social media. It enables individuals to build winning social media plans, optimize their strategies, learn how to work with content creators, elevate their online presence, and achieve their social media goals efficiently.

Quote From The Book:

“Good content always has an objective; it’s created with intent. It therefore carries triggers to action.”

About The Authors:

Guy Kawasaki is a marketing specialist, author, and Silicon Valley venture capitalist. You can connect with him through LinkedIn, Twitter, or his website. Peg Fitzpatrick is a social media strategist and director. Discover more about her works via LinkedIn, Twitter, or on her website.

4. Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content by Ann Handley

Everybody Writes - Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content - Social Media Marketing Book

Summary:

“Everybody Writes” by Ann Handley is a definitive guide to creating and publishing the kind of content that will make your business thrive. It serves as an accessible go-to resource for creating compelling, meaningful content that engages and attracts the desired audience.

What You'll Learn:

You'll learn the foundation of creating and producing engaging and shareable content. Ann offers insights into the process of content creation, from the ideation phase to publishing, and provides practical tips and techniques for every business or writer.

Why You Should Read It:

This book is essential for anyone looking to elevate their writing and content creation skills, whether for personal or professional development. Ann’s witty and relatable writing makes the learning process enjoyable and enlightening, allowing readers to enhance their communication skills effectively.

Quote From The Book:

“Good writing serves the reader, not the writer. It isn’t self-indulgent. Good writing anticipates the questions that readers might have as they’re reading a piece and answers them.”

About The Author:

Ann Handley is a Wall Street Journal bestselling author and a well-regarded expert in digital marketing and content creation. Explore more about Ann through her LinkedIn, Twitter, or her website.

5. Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is about Help Not Hype by Jay Baer

Youtility - Why Smart Marketing Is about Help Not Hype - Social Media Marketing Book

Summary:

Jay Baer’s “Youtility” fundamentally challenges the traditional marketing setup and puts forward the concept of being useful. He argues that the key to cutting through the competitive noise is to create marketing that people want and need, changing the consumer perception of your brand.

What You'll Learn:

You’ll dive into the concept of Youtility, understanding how providing self-serve information creates a level of trust and kinship that is the backbone of a lasting customer relationship. Jay provides a new approach to looking at marketing through the lens of being useful.

Why You Should Read It:

This book is for those who seek to transform their marketing approach. It allows marketers and business owners to create profound relationships with customers by being genuinely and consistently helpful, building trust, and enhancing brand reputation in the long run.

Quote From The Book:

“If you sell something, you make a customer today; if you help someone, you make a customer for life.”

About The Author:

Jay Baer is a renowned marketing and customer service speaker and New York Times bestselling author. Connect with him on LinkedIn, or Twitter, or visit his website.

6. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath & Dan Heath

Made to Stick - Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die - Social Media Marketing Book

Summary:

“Made to Stick” by Chip and Dan Heath explores why some ideas thrive while others fade away. It uncovers the anatomy of ideas that stick and explains the way to make ideas stickier, such as applying the human scale principle, using the Velcro Theory of Memory, and creating curiosity gaps.

What You'll Learn:

You'll understand the six principles of sticky ideas—Simplicity, Unexpectedness, Concreteness, Credibility, Emotions, and Stories. The book provides insights and practical techniques to transform the way you communicate ideas, making them more effective and memorable.

Why You Should Read It:

If you are looking to convey ideas that make an impact and persist, this book is a must-read. It combines insightful research with a compelling narrative to explore how to craft messages and ideas that resonate and endure.

Quote From The Book:

“An idea that is not communicated is a dead idea.”

About The Authors:

Chip Heath is a professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business, teaching courses on business strategy and organizations. Dan Heath is a senior fellow at Duke University’s CASE center. Explore more about their works on their Amazon portfolio: Chip and Dan, and explore their website.

7. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini

Influence - The Psychology of Persuasion - Social Media Marketing Book

Summary:

“Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” is a groundbreaking book by Dr. Robert Cialdini that delves deep into the science of persuasion. The book uncovers the secrets of the six principles of influence: reciprocity, commitment and consistency, social proof, authority, liking, and scarcity.

What You'll Learn:

You'll learn about the science behind why people say "yes" and how to apply these understandings in various aspects of marketing. Dr. Cialdini combines evidence from rigorous, peer-reviewed studies with relatable anecdotes to illustrate the principles of influence.

Why You Should Read It:

If you are looking to understand the core principles of persuasion and how to apply them ethically in business and everyday situations, this book is invaluable. It’s a seminal read that’s rich in insights on creating marketing strategies that are persuasive and compelling.

Quote From The Book:

“People seem to be more motivated by the thought of losing something than by the thought of gaining something of equal value.”

About The Author:

Dr. Robert B. Cialdini is a highly regarded social psychologist and a professor emeritus of psychology and marketing at Arizona State University. Connect with him on LinkedIn, or Twitter, or visit his website.

8. Crushing It! How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence—and How You Can, Too by Gary Vaynerchuk

Crushing It! - How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence—and How You Can, Too - Social Media Marketing Book

Summary:

“Crushing It!” by Gary Vaynerchuk is a dynamic and practical guide on how entrepreneurs can leverage the power of the Internet to grow their businesses and build their influence. It provides real-life examples, strategies, and tips on building a personal brand and harnessing the power of online platforms to achieve success.

What You'll Learn:

Gary provides insights into the importance of personal branding and gives practical advice on using social media platforms to their fullest to build a powerful online presence. The book offers real-life examples and lessons from various successful online entrepreneurs.

Why You Should Read It:

If you are passionate about building your brand and maximizing your influence using social media, “Crushing It!” is a must-read. Gary’s high-energy advice and practical approach make it a go-to guide for anyone looking to make their mark in the digital world.

Quote From The Book:

“Your legacy is being written by yourself. Make the right decisions.”

About The Author:

Gary Vaynerchuk is an entrepreneur, author, speaker, and internet personality. You can get more insights from Gary through his LinkedIn, Twitter, or personal website.

9. Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less by Joe Pulizzi

Epic Content Marketing - How to Tell a Different Story, Break through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less - Social Media Marketing Book

Summary:

Joe Pulizzi's “Epic Content Marketing” teaches marketers how to cut through the noise and create content that resonates with audiences. It serves as a strategic guide to creating content that informs, entertains, and compels customers to act, thereby setting your brand apart from the competition.

What You'll Learn:

You'll gain insights into developing a content marketing strategy that positions your business as a trusted expert in your industry. Joe provides detailed steps to create compelling content that attracts and retains customers, ultimately driving profitable customer action.

Why You Should Read It:

This book is essential for anyone looking to harness the power of content to build brand authority and customer loyalty. It's packed with valuable insights, strategies, and practical tips to elevate your content marketing game and create meaningful connections with your audience.

Quote From The Book:

“Content marketing is all about telling a compelling story.”

About The Author:

Joe Pulizzi is a content marketing strategist, speaker, and founder of Content Marketing Institute. Engage more with Joe by visiting his LinkedIn, Twitter, or his website.

10. The Power of Visual Storytelling: How to Use Visuals, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand by Ekaterina Walter & Jessica Gioglio

The Power of Visual Storytelling - How to Use Visuals, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand - Social Media Marketing Book

Summary:

This book unravels the dynamic impact of visual storytelling in the era of social media and how it can be used to magnify brand marketing efforts. It is an essential guide for anyone seeking to leverage the power of visuals, videos, and social media to establish brand presence and resonance.

What You'll Learn:

Discover the foundational strategies of visual marketing, exploring actionable insights on how to create compelling visuals and videos to enhance your brand’s story and presence in the digital landscape. The book offers a step-by-step guide on effectively integrating visuals into your content marketing strategy.

Why You Should Read It:

To effectively navigate the competitive social media landscape, incorporating visual storytelling is crucial. This book is a treasure trove of strategies and insights for marketers and entrepreneurs looking to elevate their brand through the power of visuals and videos, ensuring maximum engagement and impact.

Quote From The Book:

“Visual content is 40X more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content.”

About The Authors:

Ekaterina Walter and Jessica Gioglio are renowned experts in digital marketing and visual storytelling. Connect with Ekaterina on LinkedIn, and Twitter, or explore her website. Engage with Jessica on LinkedIn, and Twitter, or visit her website.

11. Top of Mind: Use Content to Unleash Your Influence and Engage Those Who Matter To You by John Hall

Top of Mind - Use Content to Unleash Your Influence and Engage Those Who Matter to You - Social Media Marketing Book

Summary:

John Hall’s book serves as a comprehensive guide on how to use helpful content as a tool for trust-building in your target audience. It's a meticulous roadmap to ensuring you stay top of mind with your audience and industry, focusing on building relationships through strategic content.

What You'll Learn:

Understand the profound insights and strategies for creating and leveraging content that positions you as an industry authority. John provides practical advice on building authentic relationships, fostering trust, and establishing a strong brand presence by being genuinely helpful through content.

Why You Should Read It:

Anyone looking to build influence and establish a strong presence in their industry will find this book indispensable. It provides nuanced insights on trust-building and staying top of mind with your audience and peers by leveraging strategic and authentic content.

Quote From The Book:

“Trust is built through a series of selfless acts over time.”

About The Author:

John Hall is a co-founder of Calendar.com, a leading scheduling app. To glean more insights from John, connect with him on LinkedIn, or on his Twitter account.

12. One Million Followers: How I Built a Massive Social Following in 30 Days by Brendan Kane

One Million Followers - How I Built a Massive Social Following in 30 Days - Social Media Marketing Book

Summary:

Brendan Kane’s book outlines his groundbreaking strategies to gain a massive social media following within a short timeframe. It serves as a practical guide for anyone looking to significantly expand their social media reach and influence by breaking down the process into manageable steps.

What You'll Learn:

Learn the mechanics of growing your social media followers exponentially, understanding the dynamics of various platforms, and crafting content that resonates and engages. Brendan provides a detailed blueprint for creating a robust online presence and leveraging it to maximize influence and reach.

Why You Should Read It:

If your goal is to quickly expand your social media footprint and influence, this book is a must-read. It demystifies the process of rapidly growing your online presence, offering actionable insights and strategies to effectively engage and resonate with your audience.

Quote From The Book:

“It’s not about the quantity of content you post but about the quality of the creativity of that content.”

About The Author:

Brendan Kane is a growth hacker for Fortune 500 corporations, brands, and celebrities. To learn more, connect with Brendan on LinkedIn, or explore his website.

13. The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly by David Meerman Scott

The New Rules of Marketing and PR - How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly - Social Media Marketing Book

Summary:

David Meerman Scott’s book provides a profound understanding of the transformed realm of marketing and public relations. It is a comprehensive guide that explores innovative and cost-effective strategies to reach buyers directly, emphasizing the importance of online platforms and social media in contemporary marketing.

What You'll Learn:

Acquire knowledge on leveraging social media, online video, mobile applications, blogs, news releases, and viral marketing to create impactful connections with potential buyers. David elaborates on how to effectively integrate these tools to reach and engage with buyers directly, offering a roadmap for harnessing the power of the digital landscape.

Why You Should Read It:

This book is crucial for marketing professionals and business owners who aim to adapt to the evolving digital marketing landscape. It provides valuable insights and methodologies to interact with buyers in real-time and to utilize online platforms to their fullest potential, ensuring enhanced reach and engagement.

Quote From The Book:

“Instead of one-way interruption, Web marketing is about delivering useful content at just the right moment that a buyer needs it.”

About The Author:

David Meerman Scott is a marketing strategist, advisor to emerging companies, and a professional speaker. You can connect with David on LinkedIn, Twitter, or through his website.

14. Killing Marketing: How Innovative Businesses Are Turning Marketing Cost Into Profit by Joe Pulizzi & Robert Rose

Killing Marketing - How Innovative Businesses Are Turning Marketing Cost Into Profit - Social Media Marketing Book

Summary:

Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose present an innovative approach to marketing in their book, focusing on how businesses can transform marketing expenses into profitable revenue streams. The authors explore how companies can leverage content marketing to create and own marketing platforms that drive continuous revenue.

What You'll Learn:

Understand the evolution of marketing and discover how to use content marketing as a vehicle for driving profit. The book delves into actionable strategies for turning marketing costs into profit, highlighting the significance of content creation, ownership, and innovation in revenue generation.

Why You Should Read It:

If you're looking to understand the transformative power of content marketing in business profitability, this book is invaluable. It offers a fresh perspective on marketing, focusing on creating value and driving revenue through innovative content marketing strategies.

Quote From The Book:

“Your goal is to be the leading expert in your niche. You can’t do that by curating someone else’s content.”

About The Authors:

Joe Pulizzi is a content marketing strategist, speaker, and founder of Content Marketing Institute. Robert Rose is a sought-after consultant, author, and the Chief Strategy Advisor at the Content Marketing Institute. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn, Twitter, and through his website. Engage with Robert on LinkedIn, Twitter, and his website.

15. Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers by Jay Baer

Hug Your Haters - How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers - Social Media Marketing Book

Summary:

Jay Baer’s “Hug Your Haters” is a revolutionary guide for businesses and marketers to manage and benefit from customer complaints. The book offers insights into how addressing complaints can lead to customer retention, brand enhancement, and an increase in profitability.

What You'll Learn:

Gain insights on how to embrace customer complaints and convert them into beneficial assets for your business. Jay offers practical advice and strategies for handling haters and critics, with an emphasis on the importance of addressing every complaint and turning detractors into promoters.

Why You Should Read It:

Every business owner and marketer dealing with customer feedback should delve into this book. It presents a transformative approach to handling customer complaints, emphasizing the value of hugging your haters to enhance brand loyalty, reputation, and profitability.

Quote From The Book:

“Haters are not your problem. Ignoring them is.”

About The Author:

Jay Baer is a renowned marketing and customer service expert and the founder of Convince & Convert. Connect with Jay on LinkedIn, or Twitter, or visit his website.

16. The Conversion Code: Capture Internet Leads, Create Quality Appointments, Close More Sales by Chris Smith

The Conversion Code - Capture Internet Leads, Create Quality Appointments, Close More Sales - Social Media Marketing Book

Summary:

Chris Smith’s “The Conversion Code” is a pivotal read for sales and marketing professionals. It offers a meticulous guide on capturing internet leads effectively, setting up quality appointments, and closing sales, integrating an amalgamation of digital sales and marketing strategies to achieve optimal results.

What You'll Learn:

Chris Smith shares key insights on the fundamentals of digital lead capturing, creating impactful appointments, and methodologies to close more sales. The book amalgamates digital marketing strategies with sales tactics, providing a roadmap to convert online leads into customers.

Why You Should Read It:

If converting online leads and enhancing sales through digital platforms are your objectives, this book is indispensable. It provides a holistic approach to online marketing and sales, focusing on actionable strategies to maximize lead conversion and increase sales effectively.

Quote From The Book:

“Success is sequential, not simultaneous.”

About The Author:

Chris Smith is a USA Today bestselling author and the co-founder of Curaytor, a social media, digital marketing, and sales coaching company.

17. Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces that Shape Behavior by Jonah Berger

Invisible Influence - The Hidden Forces That Shape Behavior - Social Media Marketing Book

Summary:

“Invisible Influence” by Jonah Berger explores the subtle, secret influences that affect the decisions we make—from what we buy, to the careers we choose, to what we eat. It delves into the powerful and surprising impact of social influence and how it shapes our behavior and decisions, often without us realizing it.

What You'll Learn:

Jonah Berger illuminates the unseen aspects of social influence that shape our decisions and behaviors. He unveils the subtle forces and hidden persuaders that impact our everyday decisions and how we can harness this knowledge to make better-informed choices and influence others.

Why You Should Read It:

For anyone interested in understanding the dynamics of human behavior and decision-making, this book is enlightening. It offers a blend of research insights and real-life examples to explain the powerful role of invisible influence in shaping our choices and actions.

Quote From The Book:

“Similarity leads to liking. We like people who are like us, and we are more likely to be influenced by people we like.”

About The Author:

Jonah Berger is a marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a world-renowned expert on word of mouth, social influence, and why products, ideas, and behaviors catch on. Connect with Jonah on LinkedIn, Twitter, or through his website.

Which Social Media Marketing Books Do You Recommend?

I hope you find this list insightful and that it guides you to new learnings and understandings in social media marketing. If there are remarkable books on social media marketing that you believe should be on this list, I welcome your suggestions. Feel free to share your thoughts and let's enrich this collection together.

By Stephanie Hood

Stephanie Hood is an experienced marketing professional and Editor of The CMO. With nearly a decade spent as Marketing Manager at Discover Holidays and Executive Editor at VIVA Lifestyle & Travel, she built her career leading editorial and marketing teams and strategies that turn six-figure budgets into seven-figure profits. She now enjoys connecting with the world's top executives to learn their secrets to business success, and shares those insights right here with her community of like-minded professionals. Curious what she’s uncovered? Be sure to sign up for The CMO newsletter.