3 Must-Read books for social media marketers

I don’t think I have read any fiction in over a decade.   Real life interests me more than stories about it.  You would never know I was an English major by looking at my home library. Since I have been teaching some social media business topics lately, it seems that I am called upon to provide handouts with links and useful tidbits, so I have started putting together a list of essential books that relate to the subject:

41-0CC6UJqL._SL160_ The Cluetrain Manifesto: 10th Anniversary Edition
Written  over 10 years ago by Internet visionaries,Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls, and David Weinberger,Cluetrain could have very easily been written a few months ago.  I lost my orignal copy and had to replace it with the updated 2009, 10th anniversary edition.  Cluetrain is the Bible of Web 2.0 Marketing and PR.  You can read it online free here.  Manifesto item number one sets the tone of the book:   Markets are Conversations.

sethpermissionPermission Marketing : Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers , by Seth Godin.  Also published in 2009, Godin’s assault on push (or interruption) marketing has withstood the test of time.   The book helped me understand the power of Opt-In,  gave me a good basis for my early explorations in Internet marketing, and fostered a healthy attitude for working in the social media.

The Whuffie Factor: Using the Power of Social Networks to Build Your Business by Tara Hunt, is my latest read. It seems that the term “social capital” keeps popping up these days.  Well, Whuffie IS social capital, and this book is about building it, working for it earning it and putting it to proper use.  Whuffie is the currency of Social Media and  Web 2.0 Marketing.  Whether you are  a new media neophyte, or a power user who “gets it”, I think you will find this book to be an interesting read.

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Joe Spake is a Memphis-based Real Estate Broker and Consultant. He blogs at Joe Spake's Weblog and Memphis Real Estate Buzz. Joe's Social Network.