It’s that time of year when many business minds are firmly fixed on one thing: no, not the World Cup, but getting away for a long-awaited summer break. With the flights and accommodation booked, new clothes bought and currency exchanged, it’s time to start thinking about what to pack.

It’s not just the sun cream and swimwear that are poolside essentials though – you’ll want to make sure you pack enough reading materials to enjoy while you soak up some rays.

While the latest fiction chart-toppers are always popular, why not use this time to catch up on some business-related reading too? With that in mind, I’ve pulled together five great social media titles to sink into this summer – including audiobook options for those who’d rather listen than read…

1. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World, by Gary Vaynerchuk

Serial entrepreneur, Gary Vaynerchuk, is the Marmite of social media masters. His bold, brash persona is equally loved and hated. There’s no denying his success though, with well over a million followers on Twitter alone, six-figure sums paid for his speaking engagements, and multiple books written and published. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook introduces the concepts of jabbing (creating consumer content) and the right hook (profit-spinning campaigns), and how to tailor them to different social channels. There’s an extended summary available as an audiobook too, if that’s your preferred format.

2. Content Mavericks: How to Grow Your Business with Insanely Shareable Content, by Andrew and Pete

How do you use social media to make your product or service stand out in a crowded market? The Content Mavericks’ process helps readers to take poorly performing content marketing tools and turn them into something eye-catching that will create fans, and have a positive impact on the bottom line. It’s a must-read for anyone looking to create a winning social media strategy, complete with examples – and it’s a quick read too, making it ideal for holiday reading.

3. Social Media Marketing Workbook: 2018 Edition – How to Use Social Media for Business, by Jason McDonald

SEO and social media consultant Jason McDonald’s second book has been updated for 2018 and is perfect for both small and large businesses alike. It’s a practical, step-by-step guide that begins with an intro to social media marketing and content marketing, before delving deeper into seven different platforms. What’s more, if you buy the book you’ll also get access to a linked webpage, where you can download worksheets, SEO tools and more, to use alongside the book’s content. You’ll also find an audiobook version here.

4. The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly, by David Meerman Scott

The sixth edition of this bestseller is now available, with over 375,000 copies of the title having been sold in 29 different languages. As well as his tried-and-tested rules for keeping ahead of competitors, the latest edition of Meerman Scott’s book includes updates on newer platforms like Facebook Live and Snapchat, as well as case studies from events like the 2016 Presidential Election. It’s a great choice for holiday reading: after digesting the introductory chapters, it’s easy to dip in and out of the sections on each of the channels. Plus there’s an audiobook too, narrated by David Meerman Scott himself.

5. Storynomics: Story-Driven Marketing in the Post-Advertising World, by Robert McKee and Thomas Gerace

Effective social media marketing is all about telling a compelling story to entice customers to buy. Here, renowned writing workshop leader McKee teams up with digital marketing specialist Gerace, to help businesses adopt a story-centric, rather than ad-centric, approach to selling via social networks. The examples contained within the book are easily actionable and not overambitious, and it’s a title that’s well laid out, with an eight-step process to creating and telling the perfect story. Looking for an audiobook version? Find it here.

If you have no space for physical books or you’ve already worked your way through all these audiobooks during your holiday, there’s also a huge number of podcasts you could listen to. Hootsuite has pulled together a fantastic list (which includes the #AskGaryVee Show), which you can find here – you’ll find plenty of podcasts that will address your specific questions, problem areas and needs.

Do you have a go-to social media marketing book, website, blog or podcast that you regularly turn to or recommend to others? Let me know by tweeting your suggestions to @Liz_Harmon!

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(Header photo by StockSnap on Pixabay)

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