Three recommended 'must-read' social business books

Summary:Let's face it, it's hard to swing a stick without hitting someone who has written a social media book these days. However, here are three that I recommend.

I'm going to admit something taboo -- I don't love to read. I know we're all supposed to say that we do because it makes us appear more worldly and intelligent, but the truth is if I am not working the last thing I usually want to do is spend more time processing content. And when I do read it's generally vapid "chick lit" or even the "Twilight" series I consumed in four days the week of Thanksgiving. Escapism stuff.

With the introduction of three social business books into my life, my mind has started to change. I find myself having read or reading two of these as voraciously as I read vampire romance. I also find myself anticipating the arrival of a third as excitedly as I would anticipate a Jennifer Crusie novel. But let's face it, it's hard to swing a stick without hitting someone who has written a social media book these days. However, I would recommend the three below-mentioned books for your own personal education or for marketing or public relations agencies who want to provide valuable holiday gifts to their clients.

Consumed "Twitter Means Business" by Julio Ojeda-Zapata. This is a special one for me since Julio kindly asked me to write the foreword (in which I explain, geekily enough, how Twitter changed my life). Before you say, "Of course you'll recommend that one, you wrote the foreword!" Stop. I wrote the foreward after being given a chance to review the copy and I found myself fully engrossed and receiving great education. Ojeda-Zapata does a nice job of explaining the value of using Twitter, the perils of ignoring Twitter, and helps companies determine whether or not they are ready for microblogging. The most valuable offering in the book? Case studies with measured results.

Mid-Consumption "SocialCorp - Social Media Goes Corporate" by Joel Postman. Funny enough to admit, I actually got a copy of this book as a prize when I co-won a karaoke contest last week at a Silicon Valley tweet-up event. My horrible singing aside, the book is well worth the humiliation-- and I likely would've purchased it anyway. I'm about three-quarters of the way through the book and I am having trouble putting it down. Postman sees social media for what it is -- a complementing strategy for companies to help them achieve their already established business objectives. He writes about specific considerations that both private and public companies should make before introducing social media programs. And he understands the risks. He also included one of the most comprehensive social media glossaries I've ever seen. I can't wait to finish it.

Hungry for Consumption "Personality Not Included" by Rohit Bhargava. I haven't read this one yet, at least not in its entirety. I actually ordered it from Amazon.com this morning but only after what seemed like the 100th person I know recommended it. I did some poking around and read a few excerpts, all of which were impressive. I can't say too much yet not having read it myself, however I love Bhargava's approach. He's cutting through the social media "tools" noise and focusing on the most important aspect for companies -- authenticity. There's a bang-up foreword from Guy Kawasaki, to boot.

Who is on your social business reading list?

Topics: Social Enterprise

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