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Five Social Media Books you Should Read

I love to read non-fiction books and try to review them regularly on my blog! A couple of nonprofit and social media books that I reviewed on my blog include Twitter for Good by Claire Diaz Ortiz and Welcome to the Fifth Estate by Geoff Livingston. There are also a few terrific books that are not specifically targeted to nonprofits, but still worth reading.  If you are planning to curl down up with a book (or your kindle) during those last few quiet days of the year, here's five more social media book suggestions.


The New Relationship Marketing by Mari Smith

I've been reading Mari Smith for a couple of years. What I appreciate about her writing and what she shares is that she takes the time to find the gems or reflect on her own process to share insights. She also practices what she preaches, she is a master at relationship building - that special ingredient that builds loyal and powerful networks. This book did not disappoint. Mari shares her best tips and wisdom about building long lasting relationships through the social web.





No Bullshit Social Media by Jason Falls and Erik Deckers

I first saw this book at the Saleforce Dreamforce mega conference bookstore last September and Jason Falls was kind enough to lend me an autographed copy. This book offers straight forward advice about what works and what doesn't work in social media.  But who couldn't love the clever hooks for chapters and sections - like "Social Media Is for Hippies." "Social Marketing Is for Business." My favorite part of the books is at the end where the authors offer their five kickstarters for social media. 1. Hear, then Listen; 2. Share, then Solve; 3. Launch then Learn; 4. Trust, then Adjust; 5. Give, then Get.


Humanize: How People-Centric Organizations Succed in a Social World by Jamie Notter and Maddie Grant

This book focuses on how we have to change the way we work and manage our organizations because of social media.  In a nutshell, the organization has to become more human. Each chapter provides a framework and approach for these different qualities - including transparency, openness, being generative, and being courageous.  The authors were thorough in their research so each concept synthesizes the thinking in this area, but also breaks new ground. What I love about this book is that each chapter includes a worksheet and a set of reflective questions to help you think through how to apply the concept.  


The End of Business As Usual by Brain Solis.

This book is about how networks and being connected is changing the environment both inside and out for organizations and what to do about it. I have two favorite chapters that cover topics that you don't usually see in other books. He covers the whole issue of the attention deficit crisis and the downside to abundant access that social networks offer - and how we need to focus in an age of distraction. He also covers "adaptive business models" which is about how organizations need to change their internal structures to harness innovation. As he points out, innovation isn't about new ideas or processes, but also being able to evolve and scale them. Leaders have to rewire their organizations in the face of networks in order to be successful.

Measure What Matters by KD Paine

I've had the pleasure of writing a book with KD Paine on measurement over the past year - where we merged two concepts - the Networked Nonprofit and Measurement. So,  I've read this book cover-to-cover many times. It's a cookbook of measurement techniques for social media filled with helpful case studies, step-by-steps, and great advice. Want more social media book recommendations?

Check out this comprehensive review of the best books of the year. Want a few more nonprofit book suggestions? See Marion Conway's annual list of the best nonprofit books. Do you have a favorite social media book recommendation?

Beth Kanter is the author of Beth's Blog and co-author of the Networked Nonprofit.


Reader Comments (5)

Not taking away from your list, but you missed two great social media books:

Hajj Fleming's "Brand YU Life" and Peter Shankman's "Customer Service"
December 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoel Quass
You may also want to look into Return on Impact (ASAE, 2012)
December 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Nour
No BS Social Media by Jack Falls sounds like just the book for me. I love when people cut through all of the red tape and get straight to the meat of a subject.
December 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRobert Samuel
Hi Joel: Thanks for the recommendations will check them out!
David, I got a copy of your book last week, but haven't read it yet.
December 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBeth Kanter
I'm Niels, Danish/American child psychologist. I managed to design this online non-profit education program for orphan caregivers: www.fairstart-net/training, which is already in 8 languages and 16 more coming up translated by volunteers across the globe. It's made of a users handbook and 15 sessions teaching research based quality care for orphans. Please have a look at the site.
I'm a psychologist and not a media nor a marketing expert. So your advice or book recommendations will be much appreciated:
How do I use LinkedIn and other social media to spread the program to more users, social educators and professional researchers? Can someone design an APP version of the program, and is that the way to go? How do I get in contact with media designers for designing improved versions of the program? How do I get in contact with aid organizations who can use the program? And how do I get in contact with funds interested in orphan caregiver education?
Lots of questions, hope you will share your expertise for this non-profit to improve the lives of the 143.000.000 orphans worldwide. Best from Niels, Denmark
January 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNiels Peter Rygaard

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