The Myth of the Social Media “it” Book

Feb 07, 2012 1 Comment by

As a professor in San Francisco State University‘s Certificate program, my students ask me constantly for book recommendations.

Lately, it’s become clearer and clearer that everyone – not just my students – are looking for “the” book to tell them how to engage in social media or the Web.

Not unlike academia, the “publish or perish” mantra seems to have enveloped the social media “expert” community. Many of these experts are friends, and they truly have invaluable expertise.

However, there’s a crucial piece missing: Critical thinking.

If you’re looking for a solution, and reading around for solutions, here’s my assignment:

  • Read at least three books, articles, research and / or case studies
  • Pick and choose from what works
  • Discard what doesn’t
  • Think and decide for yourself
  • Be confident

There is no “one size fits all” solution.

You certainly need to know the basics, but beyond that, think through possible options and decide what works best for you, your situation and – above all – your business.

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About the author

Jennifer Neeley is a leading global Social Media Management Consultant and Web Strategist, as well as author and speaker.

One Response to “The Myth of the Social Media “it” Book”

  1. Peter Knox says:

    Great post Jennifer! I’d agree there’s no ONE book that can be all things for all readers, and you have to pick and choose the parts of several that are the most relevant to your goals. Working with so many social media books, I tend to push people towards:

    New Rules of Marketing & PR by David Meerman Scott (now third edition paperback & ebook)
    Unmarketing by Scott Stratten (now revised in paperback/ebook)
    Engage by Brian Solis (revised paperback/ebook)
    Socialnomics by Erik Qualmann (revised paperback/ebook)

    We’ve got those and a list of others, here: and if you ever want to ask for a particular student, direct them to @wileybiz & we’ll do our best! Thanks.

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