7 must-read books and guides for community managers

by Digital Admin January 29, 2015

There’s a lot of reading to do when you’re a community manager. We need to stay on top of a fast-changing digital landscape. We need to be on top of world news. We need to sift through comments and tweets.

But what should a community manager read to learn and hone the craft?  To get you started, we’ve compiled seven books and guides that have helped us.  They cover a range of topics – not just social media content creation, but strategy and the written word too. Best of all, many are free or around the $10 mark.

1. Strunk & White’s Elements of Style
As content-creators and the ‘voice’ of a brand online, community managers need to be exceptional communicators. This guide is a classic on writing well in English.  And it’s a free PDF download!

2. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Take Hold And Others Come Unstuck by Chip and Dan Heath
Solid information on what goes into a great idea. Brilliant for community managers who need to create ongoing conversations and content. It’s available by ebook in Australia for less than $10.

3. 7 Habits of Highly Successful People by Stephen Covey
Many of this book’s lessons can be applied to your professional life and community management as well. My biggest take away from this when I first read it was the ‘circle of influence’. Worry about the things you can influence, and keep everything else in your peripheral vision.

4. Sun Tzu’s The Art of War
Another classic that’s free online.  This book has long been heralded as the book to read on strategy of any kind. It shows how strategy can be broken down into a formula. Now you need to decide, who’s the enemy? Colleagues, agencies, clients, community members or your BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal)

5. Strategic Planning For Public Relations by Donald Smith
PR skills are an important element of community management. While this free Google Book is a cut-down version of the original, it’s got enough to upskill you handsomely. You’ll get an excellent grounding in strategy and crisis management. If you want to go all out and get the full, physical version, it’ll cost a bit, but it’s a good investment.

6. Marketing White Belt: Basics For The Digital Marketer
Community management and social media is often tied to marketing – many of our roles sit within marketing teams. If you want to better understand marketing basics, this is a great place to start. Another $10 ebook.

7. The Hero With A Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
If you’re a writer and content creator, this book is a fascinating read.  It will cost $20-30 but is well worth every cent. Learn about the myths and stories that have been told and retold for millennia and the way their characters share common archetypes. You’ll better understand storytelling and it will help to create amazing content!

Have you read any of these guides or books? Do you have any favourites we could add to the list?


Inspired to take your community to the next level? Why not take our 5 Days to Community Greatness challenge?


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