Lee Odden

Best Books on Social Media

Lee Odden     Online Marketing, Social Media

Recently I had the task fo creating a resource for direct marketers on social media marketing and print books are something many people rely on as a portable source of information. The challenge with print sources on internet marketing related topics of course, is that they can become outdated more quickly than other topics.

As a result, I tried to focus on books that would retain thier usefulness to readers over time. The following list was researched from the stack of books on my desk, from the good Tweeple following @leeodden on Twitter and a few private recommendations. Fortunately, we’ve interviewed almost half of the authors on this list, so I’ve included those links as well.  Enjoy!

And a book that’s coming out in a few weeks that I’m looking forward to: 

What are your book suggestions for learning more about Web 2.0 and social media topics for marketers?

PoorSo SoOKGoodAwesome (4 votes, average: 2.50 out of 5)

Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. can I also recommend communities dominate brands, smart mobs, everything is miscellaneous and, my own book, the power of the network (on lulu.com)

  2. Avatar Julie-Laure Coassin says

    I would also recommend Communities dominate brands by Tomi T Ahonen and Alan Moore + The whuffie factor: Using the Power of Social Networks to Build Your Business by Tara Hunt. Thanks, Julie

  3. Wow! Heck of a list Lee!

    Thanks for including Radically Transparent and thanks for lending your wisdom in the chapter on public relations!

  4. Avatar Albert Maruggi says

    I’ll add two more. Tactical Transparency – Shel Holtz and John C Havens http://www.tacticaltransparency.com/

    and Twitter Means Business – Julio Ojeda-Zapata http://twitin.biz/

    Both are out within the last few weeks

  5. It’s incredible what a wealth of information/knowledge is out there in the form of these books and more.

    I wonder if this was the case 10+ years ago with the dot com bubble. I remember books like Customers.com, [email protected], blur…what else was there?

  6. Great list, Lee. I’m honored to be included.

  7. Lee,

    Thanks for the list. The book that I’ve been saying is the best book for social media is…drum roll please…How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

    The reason is that social media at it’s heart is just a new version of networking. It’s about providing value. Anyone who reads How to Win Friends will be light years ahead of their competitors in terms of using social media to build their personal brand.

  8. Thank you for the recommendations David (Cushman), and congratulations on the book!

    Hi Julie, I had not heard of “The whuffie factor: Using the Power of Social Networks to Build Your Business” before, thanks.

  9. Hey Andy, thank you and Judy for such an authoritative book on Online Reputation Management – nothing else comes close.

  10. Thank you for the suggestions Albert and also the links. That makes it even easier to check out the books.

    I think Julio’s book is excellent of course, he included my endorsement on the cover :), but I avoided application specific books because who knows how long a service with no business model will last?

    Speaking of tomes on Twitter, I would also recommend “Twitter and the Micro-Messaging Revolution” from O’Reilly.

  11. That’s a good point Joseph and I agree, I don’t think there was anywhere near as much 10 years ago. Rich Brooks makes a good comment on that as far as longstanding books like those from Dale Carnegie that speak to the core of all that’s social.

    Obviously the landscape has changed as well with the ease of publishing. In the past 5 years or so there’s been a huge surge in publications on digital marketing topics, yours included. I’d speculate the boom in blogging has something to do with that.

  12. why add freaknomics and why ignore – Anatomy of buzz .

    and why no inclusion of “wikinomics” ?

  13. Avatar Marney Lewis says

    Holy Smokes!
    that is quite the list of resources there and I really appreciate it 🙂 This aricle was a joy to read, and i took alot of notes, Thanks so much!

  14. Avatar Barry Plaskow says


    This is quite a list. A little over whelming. How should a newcomer prioritize this information?


  15. Avatar Jason Mangrum says

    This is an excellent list of Social Media Marketing books.
    One could reach a college-level education (or better) with
    just a handful of these in their arsenal.

    Great article, too. I keep coming back to this blog b/c
    the information keeps me fresh and at the top of my game.

    Thanks again for another excellent post.

    Be well,
    Jason Mangrum, Founder

  16. Avatar Abigail Beal says

    Wow! What a great list! Now I know what I want from Santa…..

    I’d also recommend Red Hot Internet Publicity by Penny C. Sansevieri. This is the book you’ll want to have if you’ve just written a book and want to get it into the hands of eager readers. Learn to use virtual author tours, blogging and other online tools to publicize your book.

  17. Hi,

    What do you think about Seth Godin’s ‘Tribes’, I think that could be an addition to your list.

  18. Hi Mike, Tribes is on the list between “Personality Not Included” and “Here Comes Everybody”.

  19. Barry, prioritizing really depends on your goals and starting point. You can’t go wrong starting with Cluetrain and then Groundswell.

  20. Hi Abigail, I think I’ve seen that Internet Publicity book before, am checking. Thanks for the suggestion.

  21. I would add “The World is Flat” by Thomas Friedman. While not specifically a marketing book, it gives a good overview of what is happening to the world that marketers need to be aware of.

    H. Court Young
    Promoting awareness through the written word

  22. Avatar Carlos Abler says

    I don’t know if a lot of people know about this one because it is kind of new and does not overtly focus on marketing. But I am reading Designing For the Social Web by Joshua Porter right now, and find that there are a lot of great insights that would be beneficial to marketers.


  23. Thanks for a great list, it’ll keep me occupied for a while

  24. Thanks so much for including my book, Lee. It’s a great honor to be on a list with these fantastic books.

  25. Hi Lee! Thanks for including our book in this list. Though I’ve read many of these, I see many that I’ll have to check out now.

    Thanks for sharing.

  26. “One could reach a college-level education (or better)” – and if you read 10 poker books you’re automatically a poker pro? 🙂

    Still a great list though! 😉

  27. I’m reading Secrets of Social Media Marketing right now – good book!

  28. I appreciate the compendium. But isn’t there one book that states it all? If I had to choose one book, which one should it be? Thanks.

  29. Lee,

    Thanks for including Social Media is a Cocktail Party.

    My favorite on this list is Groundswell. I’ve read 5 or 6 of these, and Groundswell is really well done.

    ~Jim Tobin

  30. Great list, I would add Crowdsourcing by Jeff Howe and Wikinomics by Don Tapscott.


  1. […] Social Media Marketing Books List | Online Marketing Blog I have read all 3 and recommend them too (tags: books about social media book list new) […]

  2. […] have collected links to 25 top (free) downloads for Social Media eBooks. BONUS: Lee Odden’s list of top (”real”) books on social media […]

  3. […] are many ways to acquire information on the topic of social media ranging from blogs to books to Twitter. As part of our efforts to aggregate useful resources for Online Marketing Blog readers […]