4 Must-Read Customer Community Books for Social Business Pros


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With all of the online reading that marketers and customer management professionals do, it is sometimes refreshing to read or listen to an entire book on a topic that covers all the angles, is full of comprehensive tips, and offers practical examples and success stories.

While there are an array of books (many of them are very good) about using social media to build reach and develop a personal brand, many social media books don’t cover why and how to build a successful and sustainable online customer community. There is agreement among most public social media professionals on best practices to grow your business. However, most marketing strategy books don’t offer in-the-trenches advice for planning and launching an online communities since organizations have wide-ranging customer engagement goals.

To help you plan your social business strategy, here are 4 books that every marketing, customer care, and IT professional should read (in order from newest to oldest):

social business book enchantment

Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions by Guy Kawasaki

Guy Kawasaki really makes the modern case, and outlines a plan, for creating experiences where your organization provide the products, information, and community to create long term likability and trustworthiness by your target audience. More information on Enchantment.

social business book empowered

Empowered by Josh Bernoff and Ted Schadler

Learn how organizations of all sized have used technology to empower their employees, customers, and partners to create an active community to promote, support, and provide continuous feedback on your company, products, and services. More information on Empowered.

social business book tribes

Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us by Seth Godin

Building a successful online community involves identifying those in your community who others will follow. See how leadership by your organization, and facilitated by your organization, empowers those who are enthusiastic about your business or association to engage the community and lead. More information on Tribes.

social business book raving fans

Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach To Customer Service by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles

This is a classic worth revisiting in the age of social networks. Read this book with private online customer or member communities in mind and you will come away with dozens of ideas to use technology to create passionate advocates in your community and market. More information on Raving Fans.

Which books have you found useful in developing your social business or member engagement strategy? Add your recommendations in the comments below.


Republished with author's permission from original post.

Joshua Paul
Joshua Paul is the Director of Marketing and Strategy at Socious, a provider of enterprise customer community software that helps large and mid-sized companies bring together customers, employees, and partners to increase customer retention, sales, and customer satisfaction. With over 13 years of experience running product management and marketing for SaaS companies, Joshua Paul is a popular blogger and speaker on customer management, inbound marketing, and social technology. He blogs at http://blog.socious.com.


  1. One of the earliest, and most informative and comprehensive, books on this subject was Customer.Community (2002), by Drew Banks and Kim Daus. The Foreword was written by Scott Cook, co-founder of Intuit; and among many endorsements, one was from Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist. I wrote the Afterword for this book, as well as setting up several sections; so I have an appreciation for the guidance this book offers.


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