8 Books For Your Community Managment Reading List


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Earlier this year a #cmgrchat took place where community managers from across the country discussed the reading they do for work and for fun. More than a few community managers talked about the professional and personal inspiration they gain from a good book.

There are a number of titles out there that are written about social media, community management, and sales & marketing that double in education and entertainment. If you’re curious what they are, or would like to add to the growing list of books that these professionals find useful, a chat member, Adam Britten (@adambritten) created a shared Google Doc for all to use.

Book Suggestions and Lessons Learned

A few of the books mentioned on the above list should be considered community management 101 and will provide a great starting point for any community manager to get going. There are also a few titles that go above and beyond the group building and deal with relationships, sales, SEO, public relations, case studies, and marketing. If social creeps into your business at all, there’s probably a book for you, and definitely ones that go beyond the basics.

1. The Art of SEO

For example, The Art of SEO was suggested by Jeff Herbst, who works on the MBA online program at the University of North Carolina.  He believes the book gives search newbies a clear understanding to the fundamentals and best practices of SEO while providing seasoned practitioners with a wide variety of advanced tactics for both on-site and off-site optimization. He considers it a must read.

2. Trust Agents

3. Unmarketing

For new community managers or even if those that have been doing it for awhile, Chris Brogan’s “Trust Agents” or Scott Stratten’s “Unmarketing” are excellent jumping off points. Both discuss the topics of gaining trust, creating and using influence, and building on the reputation you continue to craft online as well as offline. They demonstrate the act of engaging an audience, and that is a necessary skill for the profession.

4. Enchantment

Another example was Guy Kawasaki’s book on marketing, Enchantment, by Arvind Dilawar who heads up NursingLicenseMap.com.  Kawasaki makes a subject that could be extremely dense into something simple, relatable and — most impressively — entertaining.


There are countless other lessons to be learned from these books if only because a number of them have been written in the past few years by people who have worked in the trenches. The authors’ lessons and words are from real life situations and can be applied to everyday online (or offline) circumstances and they’re relevant. More take aways from community managers:

5. Power of Small

@RachelYeomans: From the book ‘Power of Small’ – the importance of the phrase “Thank you!”

6. Switch

@JamesVKautz: From “Switch” I’ve applied a lot of methods to motivate “elephants.”

7. Groundswell

8. Click

@mhandy1: The entire foundation for Social Media research I use daily is built from Groundswell and Click.

What are some of the books you’ve read recently? What are some of your takeaways?


Image source: Shutterstock.com


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