A social media manager never stops learning. We’ve compiled a list of our favourite books – including practical guides, and insider perspectives.

Facebook: The Inside Story

“Facebook: The Inside Story” is the story of the social media giant, Facebook.

Authored by Steven Levy, this book takes you on a journey through Facebook’s transformation into the largest social media platform in the world.

It was derived from years of reporting and interviews with key executives and employees, including Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg. Through these firsthand accounts, Levy provides an examination of Facebook’s rise, as well as the controversies and challenges it has faced along the way.

The Facebook Effect: The Real Inside Story of Mark Zuckerberg and the World’s Fastest Growing Company

“The Facebook Effect”  is another book focusing on the meteoric rise of Facebook. From its origins in a Harvard dorm room to its status as a global powerhouse with over 500 million regular users spanning every corner of the globe. 

At its core, “The Facebook Effect” is a story of resilience, ambition, and unconventional thinking. The book offers a behind-the-scenes look at the individuals and scenarios that shaped Facebook’s trajectory.

No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram

“No Filter”  contains everything you could want to know about the evolution of Instagram. From recounting its growth from an idea conceived in a Silicon Valley coffee shop to becoming the most successful photo app in history. Through exclusive interviews with key people at Instagram, this book shows the platform’s rise. Including its acquisition by Facebook and the subsequent clashes with its new parent company.

For social media managers seeking to understand the inner workings of one of the most influential platforms of our time, “No Filter” is essential reading. This book offers valuable lessons and inspiration for those of us who use Instagram, both personally and professionally.

Social Media ROI: Managing and Measuring Social Media Efforts in Your Organization

“Social Media ROI”  by Olivier Blanchard contains practical solutions for aligning your social media efforts with your organisation’s goals. Whether you’re a startup or a global enterprise.

Blanchard provides a guide to defining and achieving both financial and nonfinancial business impacts through social media. From structuring programmes to attracting followers, defining metrics to managing crises, “Social Media ROI” covers all aspects of optimising your social media investments.

With clear guidelines and real-world examples, this book prepares social media managers to integrate social communications with broader business goals, plan for effective performance measurement, and implement strategies for long-term success. 

Social Media Marketing All-In-One For Dummies

“Social Media Marketing All-In-One For Dummies” offers straightforward and friendly guidance on leveraging social media platforms to promote your business, engage your customers, and enhance your brand’s presence.

With nine mini-books in one, you’ll learn everything from evaluating the right social mix and planning your strategy to creating engaging content, analysing metrics, and evaluating success. 

Social Media Recruitment: How to Successfully Integrate Social Media into Recruitment Strategy

“Social Media Recruitment” provides HR and recruiting professionals with the knowledge and understanding needed to create a successful social media recruiting strategy. Currently, new approaches are essential for attracting talent, and social media is a key channel. Yet, many HR and recruiting professionals lack the expertise to develop effective social media recruiting strategies.

This book bridges the gap by drawing on practical guidance, case studies, and insights from industry thought leaders, this book covers everything from implementing a social media strategy to measuring ROI and leveraging technology in recruiting. 

Myths of Social Media: Dispel the Misconceptions and Master Social Media

“Myths of Social Media: Dispel the Misconceptions and Master Social Media”, authored by digital consultant Michelle Carvill and workplace psychologist Ian MacRae. This book challenges common misconceptions surrounding social media and offers practical guidance for mastering its use as a business tool.

Carvill and MacRae debunk myths about social media, from its perceived cost-effectiveness to misconceptions about millennials’ expertise. By dispelling these myths, the book encourages social media managers to adopt best practices and harness the full potential of social media for achieving business objectives.

Check out the recordings from The Lighthouse Social Summit in March and September 2022.

SOCIAL 3.0: How forward-thinking B2B’s can unleash the power of social media

“Social 3.0” by Andy Lambert is a game-changer for social media managers and marketing professionals in the B2B space. 

This book highlights the influence of social media on buyer behaviour and the emergence of the creator economy. By recognising the immense growth opportunities presented by these changes, Andy Lambert challenges B2B businesses to rethink their approach to social media.

Traditionally, B2Bs have lagged behind in leveraging social media, often viewing it as just another distribution channel for content. However, Andy argues that this mindset is outdated and inhibits growth in the new era of social media.

Drawing on insights from the fastest-growing and most successful businesses, “Social 3.0” underscores the importance of embracing social media as a powerful tool for building trust and driving demand on an unprecedented scale.

Attention Factory: The Story of TikTok and China’s ByteDance

For social media managers seeking to understand the record-breaking rise of TikTok and its parent company ByteDance, “Attention Factory” is an indispensable resource. Authored by Matthew Brennan, this book offers an exploration of how ByteDance reshaped the digital world.

With interviews with current and former employees, extensive research, and rare photos, this book provides a unique perspective on the intersection of American and Chinese internet cultures. 

Social Selling: Techniques to Influence Buyers and Changemakers

“Social Selling”  by Tim Hughes provides a practical blueprint for building relationships and driving sales online.

From networking effectively to building trust online, “Social Selling” offers actionable strategies and real-world examples to help social media managers develop influence and authority in their respective fields. With checklists, tips, and case studies, this book guides readers through the process of creating digital communities and turning relationships into sales opportunities.

Now in its second edition, “Social Selling” captures the latest developments in the industry. Including insights into defining digital businesses and the future of sales and marketing. 

To hear more about Social Selling, check out this article based on Tim Hughes’ guest appearance at The Lighthouse Social Summit.

The Journey Mapping Playbook: A Practical Guide to Preparing, Facilitating and Unlocking the Value of Customer Journey Mapping

For social media managers wanting to improve their customer experience, “The Journey Mapping Playbook” offers expert guidance on developing and implementing effective customer journey maps.

Journey mapping is a tool used for understanding and managing the customer’s perception of a brand. This playbook shows you how to plan, facilitate, and understand the value of journey mapping workshops. 

To hear more about Customer Journey Mapping, check out this webinar recording where Jerry Angrave and Luan Wise discuss customer journey mapping workshops.

The Social CEO: How Social Media Can Make You A Stronger Leader

“The Social CEO” by Damian Corbet debunks traditional ideas of leadership. It advocates for CEOs to actively engage with social media platforms. Everyone has a voice and online commentary shapes public perception, CEOs must embrace social media to thrive.

The aim is for CEOs to improve employee engagement, communicate values, and improve brand image. 

From storytelling and personal branding to managing risk and public relations, “The Social CEO” covers all aspects of leading. Social media managers will learn how to encourage CEOs to use social media effectively and strengthen their leadership presence online.

To hear more about the value of social leadership, check out Damian Corbet’s session at The Lighthouse Social Summit 2022.

Content 10x: More Content, Less Time, Maximum Results

“Content 10x: More Content, Less Time, Maximum Results” allows social media managers to optimise their content creation efforts. 

Creating content that resonates with your audience is essential for business success. However, many content creators struggle to reach their intended audience and achieve maximum impact. “Content 10x” addresses this challenge by suggesting how to repurpose content across multiple platforms.

Planning for Success: A practical guide to setting and achieving your social media marketing goals

“Planning for Success” by Luan Wise

Discover how to adapt to the ever-changing social media landscape and unleash its full marketing potential. From setting meaningful goals to understanding your target audience and analysing your competition. This book equips you with the essential tools for success.

Learn to captivate your audience through compelling storytelling, create content calendars, and optimise your activity for maximum impact. By the end of this book, you will know how to measure what matters. You will be ready to handle any potential crisis with confidence.

Using Social Media for Work: How to maintain professional etiquette online

“Using Social Media for Work” was published in December 2023 as part of the Bloomsbury Essentials series.

Many people use social media every day – and it can be a vital tool in professional life. Whether you’re polishing an online CV or contributing to a chat group relating to your industry sector. You could even be using Instagram to highlight goods and services. The professional face you present needs to be different to the ‘social’ posts that you may make outside of work.

Using Social Media at Work is an easy-to-read, pocket-sized guide that can be dipped into for advice, tips and guidance. It is perfect for reading during a lunch break or on a commute. The book is the ultimate etiquette guide for anyone nervous about using social media in professional settings. Including top tips, common mistakes and advice on how to avoid them, summaries of key points, and lists of the best sources of further help.

Do you have a book recommendation to add? Email editor@thelighthouse.social with the details. If we review the book and find it valuable to include, we’ll send you a £10 Amazon voucher as a token of appreciation.

Luan Wise is the Editor of TheLighthouse.Social