community management Reading List
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#CMGRChat**Community Management Specific
Book (Required)Author (Required)Suggested by (Required)Review (Highly Suggested)
@ Your Service: How to Attract New Customers, Increase Sales, and Grow Your Business Using Simple Customer Service TechniquesFrank Eliason@jmodioGreat examples of getting back to the basics and how great customer service is crucual to any organization. Behind great customer service are empowered employees.
101 Tips For TwitterFred Felton@falconscoveSimple, actionable tips that you can use throughout the year. Also contains great social media advice from a host of experts including Ted Rubin.
18 Rules of Community EngagementAngela Connor@communitygirl
All Marketers are LiarsSeth Godin@mhandy1
Anatomy of Buzz Revisited: Real-life lessons in Word-of-Mouth MarketingEmanuel Rosen @GenuineJack
Archetypes in Branding: A Toolkit for Creatives and StrategistsMargaret Hartwell@jmodioGeared more towards agencies and brands, but quite helpful when trying to come up with the right brand voice for your community. The right voice can be crucial when working for a client.
BrandscapingAndrew Davis@rlindegrenOne of the first books I read when I took my job as a CMGR. Talks about word of mouth, building community evangilist, generating buzz, and adopting a lot of old practices of marketing media to fit into the world of new media and online communities
Building Successful Online Communities: Evidence Based Social DesignRobert Kraut & Paul Reznick@JPedde
Building Web Reputation SystemsF. Randall Farmer & Bryce Glass@frandallfarmer[Recommended by co-author] This book is targeted at web product managers/designers and describes best practices in integrating reputation systems into your online community. There is a free web draft at (click on Companion Wiki)
BuyologyMartin Lindstrom
Buzzing CommunitiesRich Millington@JPedde
Cluetrain ManifestoRick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls, and David Weinberger@doctorcroweWritten in '99 - this books predicted the massive change that was about to occur in digital marketing. This really should be the first work anyone reads regarding digital/interactvive marketing - and yes that includes philosophies on community management. Just read the 95 Theses at the beginning of the book and you'll be surprised at how much these guys got right in the dawning days of proper digital marketing. You can also read this for free online:
Cognitive SurplusClay Shirky@jenncloudThis book is a bit more indirect as it's really a philosophical book about how technology is uprooting the way people behave with and for one another in social groupings. I am a big believer in the "why" behind all the how we pore over so constantly in social media and community management and I wish I had this book sooner. It's been fresh air to my technique-suffocated soul!
Community 101: Building Online CommunitiesRobyn Tippins and Miranda Marquit@duzinsA primer on community management. Intended for new community managers.
Community Building on the Web: Secret Strategies for Successful Online Communities Amy Jo Kim@mengheOK, the title is really hokey, but Amy Jo Kim is an incredible resource for gamification and community. Here's a talk she did on gamification with principles that can be applied to building community:
Community: The Structure of BelongingPeter Block@caligaterA deep dive into how to build community from an offiline perspective (a focus on in-person, local communities) -- but above and beyond any book I've read, its principles apply to online community building.
Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social NetworksNicholas Christakis and James Fowler@jlpA high level view of real world social networks and how information and other contagian travel and disseminate through large, complex social networks.
Content RulesAnn Handley & C.C. Chapman@qualitylogo (+1 @jessicarmurray) @katiedyerfsu
Crowdstorm: The Future of Innovation, Ideas, and Problem SolvingShaun Abrahamson, Peter Ryder, Bastian UnterbergIf you are working with communities to find and evaluate ideas, this is for you. Crowdstorm outlines patterns for working with online crowds and communities from to gather and evaluate ideas in areas ranging from design and marketing to engineering and strategy. //
Crush ITGary Vaynerchuck@mhandy1
Cultivating Communities of PracticeEtienne Wenger, Nancy White and John D. Smith@RichMillington
Curation NationSteven Rosenbaum@yolunia
Customer Service: New Rules for a Social Media WorldPeter Shankman@AdamBritten
Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits Passion and PurposeTony Hsieh@mhandy1
Design to Thrive: Creating Social Networks and Online Communities that LastTharon Howard@Kellylux
Digital Habitats: stewarding technology for communitiesEtienne Wenger, Nancy White and John D. Smith@nancywhiteA different perspective, looking at the types of community activities you want to support and the intersection between tech and group process to succeed at those activities.
Empowered Josh Bernoff and Ted Schadler@sarahmmahoneyespecially great for internal cmgrs
EnchantmentGuy Kawasaki@ArvSux
EngageBrian Solis@RachelYeomans
Engagement from ScratchDanny Iny@indiannie_jones
Enterprise Social Technology: Helping Organizations Harness the Power of Social Media, Social Networking, Social RelevanceScott Klososky@Fisherish
Everything I know about marketing I learned from googleAaron Goldman@rjburkejr
vSarah Robinson@sherrierohdeAmazing actionable model to use for building a fiercely loyal community including a few accelerators. I've definitely applied this with visible success.
Get BoldSandy Carter@jessicarmurraySandy Carter is VP of Social Business Solutions for IBM and shares a deep dive on what it means to be a social business and what steps your organization can take to put social at its core. There's a lot more than just theory in this title, which is why I recommend it and emphasizes why social needs to combine all departments, not just marketing or PR.
GroundswellCharlene Li@evanhamilton + @sdrozdetHigh level, great for organizing your community strategy. Focus on big brand solutions and expensive software. Recommended.
GroupedPaul Adams@jlpPaul Adams from Facebook synthesizes a handfull of studies into actionable steps to be successful when dealing with groups of people.
Guerrilla Social Media Marketing: 100+ Weapons to Grow Your Online Influence, Attract Customers, and Drive Profits Jay Conrad Levinson & Shane Gibson@devora_Another winning book from the Guerrilla Marketing series, great for those who also handle social media management/marketing as part of the CM role
Humanize: How People Centric Organizations Succeed in a Social WorldJames Notter & Maddie Grant@hillaryboucher + @doctorcrowe & @HeatherCossonMore of a book on leadership - with fantastic crossover philosophies for community managers - not only useful for external actions, but also a community manager's place within a company. Teaches skills on internal execution and education. -@doctorcrowe
Ignore Everybody and 39 Other Keys to CreativityHugh Macleod@jmodioGeared more towards those in agencies and working on brand accounts. Short, simple, and to the point. Great inspiration for copywriting and working on creativity.
Influence: The Psychology of PersuasionRobert B Cialdini@sarasigelBrowsable and easy to understand. It makes for a quick reminder of what to do to get out of your own way and have people listen to what you're asking them to do. You can also dive into the example stories and tie them to things going on in your community as a way to think through problems. Highly recommended oldie but goodie.
Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook (And Other Social Networks)Dave Kerpen@jmodioIf you're relatively new to the industry, it's a good read. For an experienced CM, it's mostly practices you're already familiar with.
LinchpinSeth Godin@mhandy1
Linked: How Everything is Connected to Everything Else and What It MeansAlbert-Laszlo Barabasi@econwriter5The book to read to understand the concept of "networking" and how it applies to what you do every day. Good compliment to The Tipping Point.
Made to StickChip & Dan Heath@evanhamilton
Making Ideas HappenScott Belsky@MarnySmith
Managing Online Forums: Everything You Need to Know to Create and Run Successful Community Discussion BoardsPatrick O'Keefe@joshbarraza
Marketing in the Age of GoogleVanessa Fox@mlgun
Marketing in the RoundGini Dietrich & Geoff Livingston@sayitaintshoGreat insight into breaking down silos in marketing departments and beyond
Navigating Social Media Legal RisksRobert McHale@jessicarmurrayWhat's really unique and great about this book is that the author acknowledges how important it is that you create a culture where your social and community strategy can thrive. He talks about the challenges of working within organizations and the necessary steps and relationships you need to succeed.
New Community RulesTamar Weinberg@phillyberg
Online Communities: Designing Usability, Supporting SociabilityJenny Preece@ademoorBasic principles and methods for designing community support systems.
Online Community Management for DummiesDeb Ng@hillaryboucherA great book for beginners, but is useful on any cmgrs bookshelf.
OptimizeLee Odden@jessicarmurraySince so many CM's are responsible for SEO or content marketing strategiest, important tips on improve your content marketing efforts and how best to integrate SEO. Lee provides some great templates and actionable tips that will help any CM better understand SEO and importance of social & SEO working together.
Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from MaslowChip Conley (Author), Tony Hsieh (Foreword)@GenuineJackApplies Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs theory to what Conley identifies as the key "Relationship Truths" in business with Employees, Customers and Investors. Really great read about building a company around a relationship with Employees, Customers and Investors to deliver more than what's expected to meet real human needs.
Perfect Pitch: Communicating with Traditional and Social Media with Scholars, Researchers and Academic LeadersWilliam Tyson & Robert Zemsky@lorindarauschThis book serves as an tool for researchers and scholars on communication skills. In this day and age, how does the scholar develop a communication plan to suite their new or developing research?
Poke the BoxSeth Godin@mhandy1
Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the WorldJane McGonigal@chriscataniaGreat read to understand the power of using game mechanics for good. for anyone looking to gains better understand of how games mechanics can be used to engage online communities with smart gamification elements and offline activities. Very inspiring read!
ReworkJason Fried & David Hansson@mhandy1
Scientific AdvertisingClaude C. Hopkins@doctorcroweWritten in 1923, this book is championed by David Oglivy as a source necessary for anyone involved in advertising at all. Much of this book has sections on "salesmanship" and the relationship between the salesperson and the customer - if you don't think you can learn from a guy born in the mid 19th century, you're wrong. Wonderful and simple philosophies - as if community management instructions were written by Hemingway. Also - you can read it for free:
Smart Business, Social BusinessMichael Brito@RicPratte
Social Media ROI: Managing and Measuring Social Media Efforts in Your OrganizationOlivier Blanchard@Fisherish (+1 @mhandy1)Read the sample on Kindle, More Strategic than tactical social business reading
Start With WhySimon Sinek@jeffcarrollRead it in one sitting.
Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your CityBrad Feld@LyleFoxman
Strengths Finder 2.0Tom Rath@missambearGreat book to help you discover what your strengths are and what you can do to improve and develop them. The theme of the book is to focus on improve on what you're good at instead of focusing on your weaknesses. When you purchase the book you're also given an account on where you can take a quiz to see what your strengths are.
Success Secrets of Social Media Marketing SuperstarsMitch Meyerson@JPeddeGreat vignettes from some of the most successful social media marketers out there. Not entirely community focused, but good to round out the tool skill set.
Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational BehaviorOri Brafman and Rom Brafman@pushingvision
SwitchChip & Dan Heath@mhandy1Fabulous book about change. Simple concepts that focus on what works.
The Art of CommunityJono Bacon@JPeddeGreat as a textbook & excellent advice for community strategy (2009)
The Art of Community 2nd EditionJono Bacon@JPeddeGreat follow up to the first version. (2012)
The Art of SEO: Mastering Search Engine Optimization (Theory in Practice)Eric Enge, Stephan Spencer, Rand Fishkin, et co.@jwherbstWhile it is dated (Q3 '09), it is the most comprehensive SEO book I've come across. Great for learning the fundamentals
The Calvin and Hobbes Lazy Sunday BookBill Waterson@SteveGerlFor when you need a quick break: read a C&H, have a chuckle, and refocus.
The Commitment Engine - Making Work Worth ItJohn Jantsch@rlindegren
The Customer RulesLee Cockerell@indiannie_jonesWe as community managers put our customers (members) first so this is a great read about adding that "wow" factor to your interaction with people - a lot of it applicable to us.
The Facebook effectDavid Kirkpatrick @rjburkejr
The Impact EquationChris Brogan & Julien Smith@HeatherCossonThis book goes into how ideas resonate with people and what you can do to make your ideas seen, heard and understood .
The Jelly Effect (Effective Communications)Andy Bounds@Rob Brotchie
The Now Revolution Amber Naslund and Jay Baer@jaybaer and @ambercadabra
The Power of Social Networking (previously The Whuffie Factor)Tara Hunt@jenncloudThis was the second book I ever read about social media (Groundswell was the first) and the first that really stuck with me. Though written in 2009 and since revised this book is still gold for getting at the basics behind behavior online and ways we can get involved.
The Power of UnpopularErika Napolitano@schmittasticThis is definitely tailored to be a business/entrepreneurship book, but It teaches so much in good marketing and rising above all the rest. As a community manager, I think it's really important to keep these kinds of ideas fresh in the mind to help their business' community stand out. Plus, Erika is friggin' hilarious.
The Psychology of PersuasionRobert Cialdini@RichMillington
The Referral EngineJohn Jantsch@JPeddeAnyone who has to put their community to business use will love this. Word of Mouth referrals, the power of community, and thinking about customer support in very clear and concise ways. (Marketing focus)
The Seven-Day Weekend: Changing the Way Work WorksRicardo Semler@_kamzilla
The Social Media StrategistChristopher Barger@hillaryboucher
The Thank You EconomyGary Vaynerchuck@garyvee
The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at HomeDan Ariely@mengheDan's the master of behavioral economics. His TED talks rule.
The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic FrontierHoward Reinhold@chriscataniaA classic, must-read book about the very first online communities. Should be required reading for all community managers and social media professionals.
The War of ArtSteven Pressfield@mhandy1
The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and FreedomsYochai Benkler@meghan_krane
TribesSeth Godinreading now @7huck
Web Analytics 2.0: The Art of Online Accountability and Science of Customer Centricity Avinash Kaushik @jwherbstGreat for learning fundamentals of web analytics
Why We BuyMartin Lindstrom
Word Wide RaveDavid Meerman Scott@KratzPR
ZAGMarty Neumeier@terakristenIf your brand's marketing is focused on the lessons in this book - community management very aligned with it.
ZMOTJim Lecinski@whitcombej1982Short e-book by a Google guy that is full of great insights into consumer behavior
Designing Online CommunitesTrevor Owens@JPedde
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