Book recommendations for your summer reading on social media marketing

Contributing ColumnistJune 29, 2014 

Summer holidays are a good time to catch up on your reading. While you may be picking out the newest paperback thriller or loading your Kindle with the classics, you may want to add a business title to your summer reading, also.

The choices are vast regarding business reads and many are very good.

Here are some I've read. I have these books on my bookshelves (and Kindle). These books may not be hot off the presses; however, they are well-written and their positions are evergreen.

Oh, and I haven't ranked these titles. The order is random. All of them are available in print and eBook format.

1. The Social Media Strategist: Build a Successful Program from the Inside Out by Christopher Barger (McGraw-Hill, 2012). This book will help you understand social media from someone who has built social media programs from the ground up for Fortune 500 companies. Barger takes you through how to build effective programs and what the pitfalls are for organizations.

2. Social Media ROI: Managing and Measuring Social Media Efforts in Your Organization by Olivier Blanchard (Que, 2011). Building a social media program is important; measuring your social media efforts is vital. Blanchard breaks down how to build return on investment into your social media programs. Without measurable outcomes, how can you prove your efforts are worth it for your business?

3. Fiercely Loyal: Unlocking the DNA of Wildly Successful Communities by Sarah Robinson (Hayfield Publishing, 2012). How do you build loyal communities online that can help build your organization? Robinson outlines the DNA of great communities and shares in a no-nonsense manner how you can build those communities.

4. Influence Marketing: How to Create, Manage, and Measure Brand Influencers in Social Media Marketing, by Danny Brown and Sam Fiorella (Que, 2013). Brown and Fiorella cut through all the hype about what is influence marketing and explain influence marketing through data, case studies and product recommendation. They give you actionable ways to engage influencers in your communities.

5. Civility in the Digital Age: How Companies and People Can Triumph over Hater, Trolls, Bullies, and Other Jerks by Andrea Weckerle (Que, 2013.) Uncivil behavior has become commonplace in the digital age. How do we cope with this very negative behavior? Weckerle helps individuals and organizations overcome the haters and trolls with a 30-day action plan to help you restore civility in your corner of the digital world.

What business books I'm reading over the summer? I have two books in my bag to read currently: Youtility: Why Smart Marketing is about Help not Hype, by Jay Baer (Penguin, 2014); Spin Sucks: Communication and Reputation Management in the Digital Age by Gini Dietrich (Que, 2014).

So feed your brain as your body is resting during summer holidays. Happy reading!

Ann Marie van den Hurk is an award-winning, accredited public relations professional and principal of Mind the Gap Public Relations. She proudly called Lexington home but now lives in North Carolina. Email her at, or follow her on Twitter at @amvandenhurk.

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