5 Books Social Media Pros Should Read

Want to up your Twitter game? These are for you.

Have a look at a few books that can help you boost your team or brand equity through an improved social media strategy. (Photo via Pexels.com)

A quick glimpse through the hashtag “SMSports” on Twitter will show you just how seriously (and deservedly so) digital media professionals take building a quality social media presence. There’s a lot of thought and work that goes into managing the content creation, the distribution strategy, and the community management aspects of social media. This especially applies to the world of college and professional sports. Here’s a few books for the #SMSports newbies and seasoned professionals alike that can help up your game in several aspects of social media management.

Brands Win Championships

By Jeremy Darlow


This one’s an obvious choice. Darlow spent several years at adidas garnering insight into what goes into building a great college athletics brand. Specifically, from an athletic recruiting perspective, the book focuses on the importance of making your athletic department attractive to sixteen and seventeen year olds through both social and grassroots efforts. It essentially comes down to a three step process: managing your perception, writing your story, and telling your story. Pick this one up to learn more from one of the best in the business.

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook

By Gary Vaynerchuk


Few names are more well recognized throughout social media marketing than Gary Vaynerchuk. In this book from 2013, Vaynerchuk talks about how the key to building a winning social strategy is focusing on small wins and positive one to one engagements with fans and followers (jabs), until the time and environment are right to introduce your next big campaign or content push (right hook) that can convert social and web traffic into sales. The key takeaway here for social pros is context is everything. Emphasize social listening in order to make it easier to capitalize on the audience that you’ve built up.

The New Rules of Marketing & PR

By David Meerman Scott


While it also serves as a great textbook, it’s actually a pretty easy read even for those already out of the classroom. The book utilizes case studies and other real world examples to demonstrate the power of digital content in raising awareness for your brand. To paraphrase Brian Halligan, CEO of HubSpot, who had a glowing review of the book, Scott emphasizes not just the importance strengthening the relationship between fan and brand, but how that process has changed so drastically in the last decade or so.

Epic Content Marketing

By Joe Pulizzi


One of my personal favorite messages of the book is the key to good content marketing is not everything will have to be a sales pitch. If you’re content is good, people will gravitate to what you’re selling. This especially applies to the sports world where if your team isn’t having their best year on the court/field, you can still have fun and keep fans engaged through high quality content. It’s lessons like that that have made Pullizi a popular consultant with brands like AT&T, Petco, LinkedIn, SAP, the Gates Foundation.

How We Watch Sports: The Evolution of Fandom and Sports Consumption in the #postinternet Era

By Dan Voicescu


In Voicescu’s first book, he examines through both empirical data and personal anecdotes how watching sports has evolved into a multi-screen experience over the years. Given the nature of the social media marketing profession, that should be fairly obvious to a lot of us. However, this book does an interesting job of examining how those changes are affecting the perception of sport to fans (and athletes) who are growing up in the digital age versus those who are learning to adapt to it.

What books do you think are essential reads for social media professionals in the sport industry? Let us know on Twitter.


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