3 Social Media Books You Don’t Need to Read but Your Clients Do

If you're reading this blog, you probably fall into one of four categories:

  1. You're into social media in some way
  2. You're a Central New Yorker wondering when I'm going to start writing about Central New York again
  3. I've bought you coffee/a beer/lunch and you feel obligated
  4. We're related

If it's the first or the third, this post is for you. If not, you can wait until next week, when I'm doing a whole week of childhood cancer, because you don't feel bad enough about the world these days.

If you're in category number one, you might remember back in August when Mitch Joel reminded me he wasn't writing for me, but rather for people who weren't already sold on the power of the Internet for marketing.

Here, I'm going to give you three must-reads for people who are slow to get into social media, but that you, the person who is already doing social media well, probably don't need to read.

In fact, if you're doing the consulting thing, every time you enter a contract, buy these books for your client and include them in your price. Also, insist that they read them in this order.

1. Trust Agents by Chris Brogan & Julien Smith. The first thing I like about these two gentlemen is that they walk their talk. This book will explain to your clients why they need to give away knowledge, if not product, for free, and why they need to build relationships, even with non-customers, even outside of working hours. If they're not sold on social media after this book, tell them what Brogan charges after a couple of years in social media ($10,000 for a speaking engagement, $22,000 for a day-long consult). If they're still not sold, exercise your out clause.

2. The Zen of Social Media Marketing by Shama Kabani. My favorite part of this book is that it provides how-tos. Most other social media books talk about how to best utilize the platforms (this one does as well), but this book actually walks you through setting up Facebook pages and the like. And because social media is always changing, Kabani and her staff keep the book updated online.

3. UnMarketing by Scott Stratten. Stratten even tells you in the introduction to this book that if you're already using and succeeding with social media to not read his book. Use this book to reinforce what Brogan and Smith write about. There are more old-media comparisons in this book, which might help the stodgier of your clients think about their practices and the way they behave themselves as consumers. If you have initial resistance, start with this book and have them read Trust Agents third.

I hope that saved you some time.

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