Welcome to 2019. A social media presence is no longer optional for businesses. Social media marketing is vital – as vital as having a website or a phone number. Furthermore, it’s not just a numbers game. Your follower count doesn’t mean much if no one wants to actually buy from you. All in all, your social media strategy is more important than ever.

These resources will help you make sure your social networking doesn’t become social NOTworking. The key to successful social media marketing (SMM) is to deliver high-quality and consistent posts that are engaging and shareable.

Easy to say. But how are you actually supposed to do that? These resources will help you formulate a plan.

Official Resources on Strategy

A lot of business owners tell us they feel sceptical about the official guidelines published by social media platforms. But the truth is, these platforms want you to succeed. They know that if they can help you be successful on their platform you won’t hesitate to invest in it, recommend it, use it personally and professionally, advertise with it, and otherwise contribute to their own success.

Yes, social media platforms are businesses too. Yes, they want to make money. But they know they can’t do this without making sure that they give a return on investment for businesses.

It’s important to remember that social media is one cog in your marketing machine. It won’t work alone, it works as part of a system. These official guides from the platforms themselves are where you’ll hear about the latest features, case studies, use cases, and more.

Books on Social Media Strategy

Social media changes. Fast. Much faster than the typical time it takes for a book to come out. But there are still books on social media, marketing, and building community that are worth reading. The foundations of a successful strategy actually haven’t changed that much. At least not in the last 10 years. Small businesses just have more tools and platforms and content types to play with now.

These books are relevant to your social media strategy now, and they will continue to be relevant. Even when the exact features (and even names) of the “must have” social media platforms change.

Tribes: we need you to lead us

Seth Godin is a thought leader in marketing. All of his books should be on your reading list. But Tribes is as relevant today as it was over a decade ago. Community-building isn’t optional anymore, and successful businesses have known that for years. But today, public perception means that pretty much everyone knows that a business should have a loyal following. So how are you supposed to build a ‘tribe’? Seth shares some timeless wisdom.

To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Persuading, Convincing, and Influencing Others

Dan Pink’s work on the art of selling and research is applicable to every aspect of marketing, but it’s really relevant for social media, too. After all, you should understand what motivates people to act if you want them to take actions. For instance, actions like subscribing to your newsletter. Or buying your products. Or even just taking the time to reply to what you’ve said, or comment on your post.

#AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur’s Take on Leadership, Social Media, and Self-Awareness

Gary Vaynerchuck is a social media expert to follow, and his books consolidate hard-earned advice. Why is he worth listening to? He grew his family’s wine company from $4 million to $60 million. And this book is a skimmable, unplugged, referable version of his #AskGaryVee series.

Blogs, Podcasts, and Brands

There are an infinite number of blogs, podcasts, news sites, and other publications you can subscribe to, to stay up-to-date with the latest industry news and tactics. But to get you started, here are three fantastic resources. If you only have time for three, start with these:

Neil Patel 🔗

Neil Patel is a traffic generating genius who knows how to use every tool possible – like search engines and social media – to gain results. His blog and podcast offer practical tips and advice to help you understand how to use social media to get relevant traffic. ‘Relevant’ meaning, people who’ll buy.

Marketing Week 🔗

Marketing Week offers a huge range of insight across, you guessed it, marketing. Their social media articles will keep you abreast with all the latest trends, use cases, and other things that matter.

HubSpot’s Social Media Courses 🔗

HubSpot isn’t just a great blog or CRM, it also offers a fantastic range of social media courses you can study (or delegate to your team) to build up a foundation of social media marketing knowledge.

Social Media Strategists to Follow

Do you learn best by observing? Not every social media personality is a social media expert. But there are a few names in marketing who show their expertise in action on their own profiles. Here are a few social media strategists we recommend following:

Looking for more inspiration? We gathered a whole list of social media experts to follow.

Your social media strategy is always going to be ‘in motion’. You’ll have to pivot and evolve with the platforms, changing perceptions, and shifts in technology and business.

No idea where to start? Still stuck and don’t know what you’re doing wrong? Getting ‘some’ results but on a plateau? Claim a bespoke social media audit (made by humans, not bots) and we’ll take a look for you. For free.

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Anna Simmonds
Anna Simmonds

Anna, Head of Social, knows her beans when it comes to social media. She keeps her finger on the social pulse, funnelling her knowledge and experience into creating engaging social media campaigns. She’s also pretty decent with a camera and Photoshop.