Social media is constantly evolving. If you want to stay competitive—and you probably do—then your social media strategy needs to evolve, too. But where to begin?
To help you navigate the multitude of resources out there, we’ve weeded out several that are actually worth your time. Consider these books, blogs and newsletters “required reading” if you want to take your social strategy to the next level.
1. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk
Approximately 6,000 tweets are sent out every second and more than 95 million photos and videos are posted on Instagram every day. That’s a lot to be up against. Social media is all about storytelling, but how can you make sure your story gets told when you’re competing against so many other people?
That’s exactly what Gary Vaynerchuk’s book helps you do. Social storytelling isn’t one-size-fits-all, and in Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, Vaynerchuk breaks down how to customize your story for every social platform to break through the noise. As the founder of VaynerMedia, a consulting agency that provides digital and social strategy to Fortune 500 companies like GE and PepsiCo, Vaynerchuk’s advice is the kind you can trust. His YouTube series, “The #AskGaryVee Show,” is also worth checking out.
Social media practices are in a constant state of flux, and while staying current is vital, it can also be extremely overwhelming. Social Media Examiner is a one-stop-shop for all things social media marketing. The blog is a treasure trove of industry news, interviews with experts and “how to” guides that teach you how to measure your results and optimize your posting schedule. They also offer a podcast and a weekly video show.
3. Everybody Writes by Ann Handley
We live in a content-driven world that is hyper-obsessed with brevity. You may only have 140 characters to work with, but that certainly doesn’t mean you should neglect the amount of time you spend crafting that perfect 140-characters-or-less message. As author and content expert Ann Handley puts it, “writing matters more now, not less.”
Writing—good writing, rather—is absolutely critical and often overlooked. The tips shared in Everybody Writes are applicable to any online presence, be it a web page, social platform, blog, or newsletter.
Buffer is a social media Swiss Army knife that allows you to share content, schedule posts and increase traffic, and their blog, Buffer Social, is just as dynamic. It provides a steady stream of content that covers current topics (like how to utilize Instagram’s new zoom feature to your advantage, for instance), best practices, and other valuable strategies you can start implementing as soon as you close the tab.
5. Will the Real You Please Stand Up by Kim Garst
Unlike more “traditional” forms of marketing, social media is an entirely different beast. It allows businesses to connect with consumers in ways that didn’t exist two decades ago. Sure, you can use it to sell to them—and at the end of the day, that’s the goal, right? But it also allows you to build relationships. That can’t be said for print, TV, or radio.
Selling on social starts with relationship building. In Will the Real You Please Stand Up Kim Garst, founder and CEO of the social media consulting firm Boom! Social, stresses the importance of being your real, authentic self in order to develop those relationships before you sell. You’ll have a considerable advantage compared to your competition.
The Daily Code is a daily newsletter sent out by SocialCode, a tech company that specializes in digital advertising for major brands like Nestlé and Visa. The newsletter is an easy-to-digest way to keep tabs on what’s shaking in the world of social. Get links to original SocialCode content and other buzzworthy headlines from around the web that offer insight into consumer trends, social platforms and more. It also includes a handy word of the day that decodes social media jargon.
7. Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi
Content is important, but unless you’re delivering that content in the right way to the right audience, it’s not working in your favor. Epic Content Marketing is a how-to for creating a killer content marketing strategy. Author and founder of the Content Marketing Institute Joe Pulizzi explains how you can attract customers by creating valuable, engaging content, and he also draws on in-depth case studies of how major brands like LEGO and Coca-Cola use content to increase sales.