Social media is a crucial tool for success in business today. People are already talking about your business using social media, whether you’re using it or not. By becoming part of the conversation, you can start connecting directly to your customers, as well as finding new ones, easily and inexpensively spreading the word about your products or services. If you’ve been following my blog, Twitter and Facebook’s posts, you’d have noticed how wrapped up I’m on Social Media. My goal goes beyond presenting specific strategies, tactics, and tips to improve your business through improved social media and online marketing, but to help you look at social media and the wider online universe from a strictly business perspective. To that end, I have used Amazon.com to help me build by Social Media Bookshelf. Descriptions are below. SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING: AN HOUR A DAY - by Dave Evans. If the idea of starting a social media marketing campaign overwhelms you, this book will introduce you to the basics, demonstrate how to manage details and describe how you can track results. Case studies, step-by-step guides, checklists, quizzes and hands-on tutorials will help you execute a social media marketing campaign in just 1-hour a day. SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING FOR DUMMIES - by Shiv Singh provides an indispensable resource for small businesses and start-ups looking for low-cost online marketing strategies, as well as for marketers in larger companies who want to be more involved with social media. Among other things, you’ll learn how to use Twitter, blogs, Facebook, and other social media outlets to full advantage, plus setting up a program to assess your success and measure your results. THE SOCIAL MEDIA BIBLE: TACTICS, TOOLS, AND STRATEGIES FOR BUSINESS SUCCESS - by Lon Safko and David K. Brake. Part I: introduces you to social media, and gives you a helpful framework, and presents practical and tactical tips for using some of these tools. Part II: introduces you to over 100 social media tools and applications in 15 different categories, giving you a quick rundown of the features and functions of the tools that should become part of your social media strategy. Part III: offers mini exercises and assessments to help you conduct a social media audit of your company, your competition, and your customers. INBOUND MARKETING: GET FOUND USING GOOGLE, SOCIAL MEDIA, AND BLOGS - by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah helps you improve your rankings in Google to get more traffic, build and promote a blog for your business, grow and nurture a community in Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc., and measure what matters and do more of what works online. THE RULES OF MARKETING AND PR: HOW TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA, BLOGS, NEWS RELEASES, ONLINE VIDEO & VIRAL MAFRKETING TO REACH BUYERS DIRECTLY, 2ND. ED. - by David Meerman Scott shows you how to leverage the potential that Web-based communication offers your business. Now, you can speak directly to customers and buyers, establishing a personal link with the people who make your business work. It gives you all the information you need to craft powerful and effective marketing messages and get them to the right people at the right moment - at a fraction of the price of a traditional marketing campaign. FACEBOOK MARKETING: LEVERAGE SOCIAL MEDIA TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS – by Steve Holzner reveals new social marketing techniques that do work, and shows you exactly how to make the most of them. Using true case studies, the author introduces powerful new techniques from today’s smartest Facebook marketers... and helps you avoid pitfalls that can cost you money and credibility. No matter what business you’re in, you’ll learn how to create bottom-up, “viral” Facebook marketing programs that achieve maximum results at minimum cost! SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING TOP SEVEN - by David Meerman Scott will convince you to pay attention to your products and services by dreaming up messages and ad campaigns, search engines deliver interested buyers right to your company’s virtual doorstep. However, most small business owners don’t know how to harness this exciting form of marketing. Many are even fearful of jumping into the social media waters because it seems scary to put yourself out there. SECRET OF SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING: HOW TO USE ONLINE CONVERSATIONS AND CUSTOMER COMMUNITEIS TO CHARGE YOUR BUSINESS - by Paul Gillin is a handbook for marketers and business owners to use in deciding how to employ the new social media for online marketing. Social media has quickly moved from the periphery of marketing into the forefront, but this is a new and quickly-evolving field and there are few established formulas for success. You are provided with practical advice on strategy, tools, and tactics. THE ZEN OF SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING: AN EASIER WAY TO BUILD CREDIBILITY, GENERATE BUZZ, AND INCREASE REVENUE - by Shama Kabani and Chris Brogan teaches you the “Zen” of social media marketing: how to access all the benefits of social media marketing without the stress! It outlines the most popular social media tools, from Facebook to Twitter to LinkedIn, and teaches you how to use them, step by step. It also provides proven strategies for success from the businesses the author works with every day, along with shortcuts and tips to help you make the most of your time and energy. SOCIAL MEDIA 101: TACTICS AND TIPS TO DEVELOP YOUR BUSINESS ONLINE – by Chris Borgan gives you 100 effective, proven strategies you need to succeed. From it, you'll learn how to cultivate profitable online relationships, develop your brand, and drive meaningful business. It shows you how to build an effective blog or website for your business, monitor your online reputation and what people are saying about your business online, and create new content to share with your customers. WHAT NEXT? So, what should YOU do with the list? See if any of those books appeal to you. If so, consider adding them to your Social Media Bookshelf. If you have a favourite social media book, please share it with me.