12 Best Social Media Marketing Books to Read in 2021

Home » Books » Social Media Marketing BooksUpdated: October 05, 2021

You found our list of top social media marketing books.

Social media marketing books are guides that teach entrepreneurs and marketers how to grow businesses and clientele bases by leveraging social channels. These works cover topics such as content, interaction, and growth. The purpose of these books is to teach strategies and skills that lead to greater reach and engagement on social media.

These works are a subset of marketing books and business books. The guides are also helpful books for small businesses owners.

This list contains:

  • social media marketing books for beginners
  • books on social media marketing for small business
  • social media marketing strategy books
  • books on social media growth

Here we go!

List of Social media marketing books

Here is a list of new and bestselling books on marketing through social media, covering a range of topics from the formation of strategy to the posting of content, to engaging with the audience.

1. Social Media Marketing Workbook 2021 by Jason McDonald PhD

social media marketing workbook book cover

The Social Media Marketing Workbook 2021 is one of the best books on social media marketing for small businesses. This handy series breaks the world of social marketing down into easy-to-follow steps and exercises. Each chapter focuses on a different online marketing medium or a social platform. The book is full of exercises to help account managers practice and plan.

Following along with the workbook’s “homework” is like having a personal coach. Readers finish the book with a tailored strategy and a more robust understanding of the business side of using social media.

Notable Quote: “First of all, using social media is one thing, and marketing on social media is another….Indeed, many businesses simply fail at social media marketing, either doing nothing or spinning their wheels with constant busywork.”

Read Social Media Marketing Workbook 2021.

2. 500 Social Media Marketing Tips: Essential Advice, Hints and Strategy for Business: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, Snapchat, and More! by Andrew Macarthy

500 social media marketing tips book cover

500 Social Media Marketing Tips is a quick reference guide for social media strategy. The book outlines hundreds of best practices for every major social platform. This collection of tips and tricks is useful both for beginners trying to feel out platforms, and experienced social managers looking for ideas to re-invigorate channels. The book prescribes actions to gain and keep the target audience’s attention and encourage higher levels of engagement, and provides a solid general overview of social media marketing. The print version of the book was updated in 2019, and readers can access e-book updates indefinitely.

Notable Quote: “The bottom line is that the more consistently engaged a customer is with your posts on social media content – liking, commenting, sharing – the more likely they are to continue to do so in future.”

Read 500 Social Media Marketing Tips.

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

One Million followers book cover

One Million Followers is one of the most popular books on social media growth. As the title suggests, Brendan Kane built a combined social media following of one million users across different platforms in one month. This experiment, combined with his experience building online presences for big brands and celebrities, gives the author the authority and credibility to advise about what kinds of content and strategies produce the best results. While most readers may not hit the million mark so quickly, following these guidelines means winning the battle for attention in an oversaturated social landscape.

Notable Quote: “Even though building an audience does take a lot of time and effort, it’s actually one of the easier tasks. The harder part is maintaining that following, receiving engagement on posts consistently, and experiencing continual growth.”

Read One Million Followers, and check out more growth hacking books.

4. Social Media Marketing: A Strategic Approach by Melissa Barker, Donald I. Barker, et al

social media marketing a strategic approach book cover

Social Media Marketing: A Strategic Approach is one of the best social media marketing books for beginners. This textbook provides a solid foundation for amateurs, including a brief history of the medium, definitions and terms, and main points of key concepts. The layout is easy to scan, and the pages include graphs, figures, bulleted lists, and statistics. Social Media Marketing: A Strategic Approach covers the gamut of topics from basic goals and rules of engagement to monitoring and planning. The book also explores how to tie social media marketing in with other forms of digital marketing such as video streaming, discussion and news sites, and mobile marketing.

Notable Quote: “In some instances, social media can have a powerful impact in an industry or on a situation where it seems unlikely to be useful. In addition, it will probably take time for the full impact of SMM to be felt.”

Read Social Media Marketing: A Strategic Approach.

5. Freakishly Effective Social Media for Network Marketing: How to Stop Wasting Your Time on Things That Don’t Work and Start Doing What Does! by Ray Higdon and Jessica Higdon

freakishly effective social media for network marketing book cover

Freakishly Effective Social Media for Network Marketing helps readers to streamline social media efforts and decide where to focus their energy. The authors advocate for thinking in terms of long-term growth and reputation rather than indulging trends and instant gratification. The book outlines how to build a profile, choose topics and avoid charged subjects, communicate with engagers, and course correct after missteps. Freakishly Effective Social Media for Network Marketing touches on many subjects other social media marketing books fail to mention, and provides marketers with a playbook on how to best use time on the platforms.

Notable Quote: “All things being equal, people prefer to do business with people they know, like, and trust.”

Read Freakishly Effective Social Media for Network Marketing.

6. The End of Marketing: Humanizing Your Brand in the Age of Social Media and AI by by Carlos Gil

the end of marketing book cover

The End of Marketing is a manifesto for modern marketing. The book shows how to leverage social networks to promote a brand and message. Carlos Gil outlines the approaches that work best on specific platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook and prescribes best practices for social media in general. The book provides readers with a toolkit to hack growth and increase engagement, with techniques like monitoring mentions, tracking content performance, mapping out messaging, and creating a strategy.

The overarching message of the guide is to be authentic and original, and to post content that creates value for the audience. The End of Marketing shows how social media can be an opportunity to humanize your brand, communicate directly with customers, and connect meaningfully with your target audience.

Notable Quote: “The reason why many people and brands fail fast on social media is because despite doing ‘all of the right things’ (ie, posting daily across multiple social networks, creating visually pleasing content, etc), nobody’s paying attention to them, or if some are, they aren’t being engaged in a meaningful dialogue or relationship by the brand.”

Read The End of Marketing.

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

the art of social media book cover

The Art of Social Media is one of the best social media marketing strategy books. This guide breaks the art of marketing on social networks down into a series of quick and digestible tips. The table of contents makes it easy to navigate through subjects, and the main text consists of flowing lists and bullet points broken up with illustrations. The book suggests techniques for topics like optimizing profiles, responding to comments, integrating blogging with social media, and hosting events. The Art of Social Media‘s language is minimalist, and the advice is straightforward and free of fluff.

Notable Quote: “Sharing good stuff is 90 percent of the battle of getting more followers. Almost everything else is merely optimization. End of discussion.”

Read The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users.

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

Jab jab right hook

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook is one of the top books on social media strategy. Though this title is almost a decade old, most of the advice is still relevant, primarily because it prioritizes creating good content. Entrepreneur and social media guru Gary Vaynerchuk drives at the heart of each platform, and emphasizes making content with the audience in mind. The central philosophy of the text is that by listening to and interacting authentically with the audience, your social messaging can have a greater impact. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook insists that the key to social media success is not grabbing followers’  attention, but rather giving followers your attention. This book dissects the timeless strategy of tailoring content and telling relevant stories.

Notable Quote: “Your number-one job is to tell your story to the consumer wherever they are, and preferably at the moment they are deciding to make a purchase.”

Read Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook.

9. Social Media Success for Every Brand: The Five StoryBrand Pillars That Turn Posts Into Profits by Claire Diaz-Ortiz

social media success for every brand book cover

Social Media Success for Every Brand lays out a framework to help companies within any industry post engaging and attention grabbing content. Drawing inspiration from Donald Miller’s Building a Storybrand, Claire Diaz-Ortiz bases her system around five main points, which she calls the SHARE model: story, how, audience, reach, excellence. By following this formula, marketers can improve reach and optimize their efforts when posting on social. The book provides ample examples to illustrate this approach, and the tone of the text is light and conversational, making for an easy read.

Notable Quote: “To balance your social media budget, vary the types of content you deposit and withdraw. Content should come from different content envelopes, including things like curated content, original content, articles, quotations, statistics, testimonials, direct calls to action, transitional calls to action, impactful images, selfies, video, etc.”

Read Social Media Success for Every Brand.

10. Likeable Social Media: How To Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, & Be Generally Amazing On All Social Networks That Matter by Dave Kerpen, Michelle Greenbaum, and Rob Berk

likeable social media book cover

Likeable Social Media is a crash course in growing a fanbase on social platforms. This guide covers many of the same fundamentals as other social media books, for instance, think like your followers, post quality content, respond quickly to comments, and employ a genuine and transparent tone. However, Likeable Social Media also provides a wealth of case studies that give readers concrete examples of companies that exemplify these ideas. This book acts as a simplified instruction manual for social media.

Notable Quote: “If you want to grow a social presence, you have to take the time and energy to attract the low-hanging fruit: your current customers and other people who know you. From there, you’ll gain other fans and followers who are likely to eventually buy from you. But you have to start with your current customers.”

Read Likeable Social Media, Third Edition.

11. Entrepreneur Magazine’s Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing by Eric Butow, Jenn Herman, Stephanie Liu, et al

the ultimate guide to social media marketing book cover

Entrepreneur Magazine’s Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing provides a comprehensive overview of the business side of social media. This anthology gathers a panel of experts to weigh in on topics such as strategy, video, and building and managing the social team. The experts cover the basics such as the subtleties of different platforms and the importance of social media in modern business, and also add insights on lesser-addressed topics such as paid ads and chatbots. Entrepreneur Magazine’s Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing aims to cover the full range of the social media landscape.

Notable Quote: “The important take-away is that people use social networks to connect with, talk to, and learn from other people. If, as a business, you can insert yourself into that process and help them fulfill that need, you’ll be on your way to a successful social strategy.”

Read Entrepreneur Magazine’s Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing.

12. The Age of Influence: The Power of Influencers to Elevate Your Brand by Neal Schaffer

the age of influence book cover

The Age of Influence is a guide to collaborating with social media influencers. Getting an endorsement from a figure with a following can help companies spread brand awareness and build a bigger customer base. Neal Schaffer takes readers through the ins-and-outs of the influencer economy, and lays out tips and techniques for working with these types of professionals. The book explains how to find and reach out to influencers within your niche, how to budget and measure return on investment on these partnerships, and how to develop a unique brand voice that earns authority and attention. The Age of Influence is the ultimate handbook for working with digital trendsetters.

Notable Quote: “Influencer marketing is not about paying someone else to take selfies and put them online. It is about engagement and communication. It is about building relationships.”

Read The Age of Influence.

Final Thoughts

Social media marketing is a popular conversation topic in our increasingly digital world, and there is no shortage of advice about the practice. However, not all information is equally credible or useful. Writing a book requires more knowledge and commitment than jotting off a single post online. The authors of these guides tend to have a wealth of expertise and experience to share with readers, and are able to give a more comprehensive overview of social marketing as a whole. Since the content needs to be accurate and relevant at the time of publication, many of these books tend to favor the principles of the practice over trends and passing fads, and tend to be more reliable and evergreen. Nevertheless, the social media world changes quickly and in this genre it is helpful to seek out newer books or titles that update regularly.

For more reading recommendations, check out this roundup of growth hacking books and this list of business biographies.

FAQ: Social media marketing books 

Here are answers to questions about social media marketing books.

What are social media marketing books?

Social media marketing books are guides that teach readers how to promote brains on social media platforms. These works cover subjects such as content creation and curation, social media planning and strategy, and best practices for interaction and engagement.

What are some good social media marketing books for beginners?

Some good social media marketing books for beginners include The Art of Social Media by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick, Social Media Marketing: A Strategic Approach by Melissa Barker, et al, and Entrepreneur Magazine’s Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing by Eric Butow, et al.

Is reading books on social media marketing helpful?

Reading books on social media marketing is helpful for learning new strategies and techniques that can help to grow the following and improve engagement rates. Social media is about constant experimentation, so the more ideas marketers have to try out, the better.

However, it is worth noting that trends and algorithms change fast in the social media world, and the information in some books may no longer apply. The best social media books are either new releases, or books that focus more on evergreen concepts such as creating valuable content.

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Author: Angela Robinson

Team building content expert. Angela has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and worked as a community manager with Yelp to plan events for businesses.

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