The Social Media Handbook – 57 Resources For First Time Entrepreneurs

social media

As someone who is looking to learn about social media, you’re probably confused where you should start, right? With all of the resources out there, which ones should you follow and which ones should you ignore?

Over the last six years or so of leveraging social media, I’ve found the following sites helpful. My hope is they’ll help you learn everything you need to know about social media.

Social Media Blogs

The world of social media is so young and so rapidly growing that it’s difficult to keep up with. The following blogs will give you the best, most up-to-date information, tips and ideas you will need.

  1. Social Media Examiner – Michael Stelzner runs the world’s largest online social media magazine designed to help businesses master social media marketing with Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  2. Mashable – Social Media news blog covering cool new websites and social networks founded by Pete Cashmere from his apartment in Aberdeen, Scotland. It also covers news and developments in mobile, entertainment, online video, business, web development, technology, memes and gadgets worlds.
  3. Soshable – This blog tries to keep up with all things social media, analyze them and then provide fresh insights into the people and structures that drive engagement.
  4. TechCrunch – One of the best known sources for social media and technology news that also profiles startups, product launches and new websites.
  5. Brand Savant – Professional researcher Tom Webster tries to make sense of the social web. He is the principal author of the studies Twitter Users In America, The Social Habit, The Podcast Consumer Revealed and other widely-cited studies of consumer technology usage.
  6. TopRank – Lee Odden runs this popular multiple-author blog, offering full advice on digital marketing and public relations topics including SEO, content marketing and business blogging and marketing.
  7. Convince & Convert – Social media evangelist Jay Baer, who’s been a digital marketing consultant since 1994, provides no BS social media and marketing tips.
  8. Six Pixels of Separation – Digital marketing and social media insights from Twist Image president Mitch Joel, dubbed the “Rock Star of Digital Marketing” by Marketing Magazine.
  9. Social Media Explorer – Daily advice on social media marketing, conversational marketing, PR, community building and branding from a leading educator, public speaker and thinker in the world of digital marketing and social media Jason Falls.
  10. Danny Brown – This blog explores the human side of social media and the social side of marketing. Very unique.
  11. Brian Solis – Author of the book Engage and principal at Altimeter Group, a research-based advisory firm. Brian Solis’ blog is required reading for anyone in the social media business.
  12. David Fleet – Blog of Edleman’s Vice President of Digital, must-read for anyone who is a communications professional.
  13. The Anti-Social Media – Jay Dolan pokes fun at social media to help us do it better. Very funny!
  14. Web Strategy – Jeremiah Owyang was probably one of the first on the social media scene. This Altimeter Group industry analyst has a great take on disruptive technologies.
  15. AllFacebook – Launched in 2007 and later acquired by MediaBistro, this blog churns out useful content on the world’s largest social network.
  16. Socialnomics – In-depth insights on the impact of social media on business and the world through short social stories, statistics and studies.
  17. Techipedia – Tamar Weinberg is a social media enthusiast who breaks down all aspects of digital marketing.
  18. Social Media Marketing Blog – Head of social media for Ford shares advice on the complexities of online marketing and the convergence of traditional and new media.

Social Media Books

Reading books on social media will not give you the latest information, but it’s a great way to learn the foundational things from the best.

  1. Likeable Social Media – The lesson behind Dave Kerpen’s book is simple: be likable. Do that and you’ll delight your customers, create an irresistible brand and be pretty awesome on Facebook.
  2. Groundswell – Great book by Forrester associates Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff that identifies your social media audience and gives you a process to create a strategy.
  3. Social Media Bible – Everything you need—tools, tactics and strategy—to succeed in social media and transform your small or large business.
  4. Zen of Social Media Marketing – Good argument that traditional marketing and the new social media marketing don’t mix. Shama Kabani proves there’s an easier way to build credibility.
  5. The Whuffie Factor – Tara Hunt explains that building a business online is about social capital. She tells you how to get it.
  6. The Dragonfly Effect – A popular class at the Stanford Graduate School of Business is turned into a handbook on using the power and popularity of social media to do good in the world.
  7. Content Rules – A great book on how to create content for blogs, videos, ebooks and podcasts that people can’t resist. This one is by MarketingProfs’ Ann Handley.
  8. Big Book of Social Media – Perfect for finding case studies and perspectives on social media success. Great for your bookshelf as a reference.
  9. Open Leadership – Co-author of Groundswell shows leaders how social media has changed the business landscape and what to do about it.

Social Media Tools

Social media is a full-time job. The following tools will help you manage, monitor and measure your social media campaigns efficiently and effectively.

  1. IceRocket – Keep tabs on who is saying what about you, your brand or your client on the web, Twitter, video and more with this free buzz search tool.
  2. Kurrently – Free social search engine that shows you what’s being shared on Twitter and Facebook. Clean, simple interface. Free.
  3. Blekko – Allows you to narrow your social media searches with “slashtags.”
  4. Klout – Measures awareness across multiple social platforms like Google+, Facebook and Twitter. This site is really growing, and you need to watch what it does.
  5. Socialbakers – Monitor and measure your Facebook stats with their Engagement Analytics PRO or Engagement Builder PRO.
  6. PostRank Analytics – Helps you measure and improve social media audience loyalty by identifying influencers and measuring off-site engagement.
  7. Google Blog Search – Another great tool to help you monitor keywords across blogs. Free and works just like the search engine, except focused on blogs.
  8. Social Mentions – Allows you to set up alerts for certain keywords that you get when people use that keyword on the social web.
  9. TwazzUp – If you want a buzz-monitoring tool that focuses on Twitter, then TwazUp is your best bet. Simple, clean layout. Free.
  10. TwitterFall – Shows you how to monitor what is being said about your brand. Not the greatest layout, but the geolocation feature is cool for local search.
  11. Friend or Follow – Want to know who’s following you and who’s not? This tool is for you. Can be a little tricky when it comes to cleaning up your list though.
  12. Wetoku – If you interview people with video, then make side-by-side video interviews with this easy-to-use tool. Easy to record and easy to share. Free.
  13. SocialCam – The easiest way to share videos with your social network. For Android and iPhone only.
  14. Instagram – Great way to treat and share your photos with your social networks. Combine this with Blurb and you can make great promotional books cheap.
  15. Board Tracker – Follow customers who are more likely to spend time on message boards than on other channels. Remember, forums are social media too.

Social Media Information

Blogs and books will tell you most of what you need to know about social media, but they don’t cover everything.

  1. Social Networking 101 – From getting started to more advanced stuff like “clickjacking” on Facebook is what you’ll find in this comprehensive beginner’s guide on social media from the people at PC magazine.
  2. Social Media Glossary – Ever feel like people in social media are speaking another language? Find out the definitions for the top 100 social media words.
  3. Social Media ROI Pyramid – A great framework for understanding how social media can help you achieve your business goals by Jeremiah Owyang. Lots of graphs and charts.
  4. Social Media Best Practices – Brian Solis, the grandfather of social media, suggests you follow these 14 guidelines if you want to succeed at social media.
  5. Social Media Cheat Sheet – Getting executive level approval on social media campaigns can be a pain sometimes. This infographic for CMOs will help them understand the social media landscape.
  6. Ultimate Social Media List – Giant list of social media and networking sites by category that’s constantly updated. You’ve got to see it to believe it.
  7. Social Media Marketing FAQ – Comprehensive question and answer site on all things social media marketing. Great for beginners and experts.

Social Media Conferences

Attending a social media conference puts you face-to-face with the best in the business. It’s really the climax of good social media efforts.

  1. BlogWorld and New Media Expo – Industry-wide conference for new media professionals that’s easily the biggest and the best.
  2. DigidaySocial – An event is designed to serve executives, presidents, CEOs, CMOs, EVPs and directors in charge of social media.
  3. PR + MKTG Camp – PR and marketing professionals meet to discuss the impact social media has on their disciplines. Very casual and great for brainstorming.
  4. Schmoozd – A casual conference where you can get to know other social media professionals while still walking away with tons of great ideas. The connections alone are worth it.
  5. Social Fresh – Social media training and events targeted to marketers. This event tours the country, so you can typically find one near you.
  6. Social Media Strategies Summit – A great way to meet and learn from the best in the industry and grow your social media skill set. Events in London and Vegas.
  7. Social Biz World – Attend the keynote speeches, workshops and round-table discussions free at this small but very intimate conference.
  8. SXSW Interactive – An indie approach to social media conferences that will open your eyes to new possibilities and introduce you to unexpected social media experts. Always fun and interesting.

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Comments

  1. When I saw the image for this article, I assumed it was just a bunch of social networks, how wrong I was. Checking these out will take a while, and I’m particularly looking forward to individual contributors. Niel: is there any particular ordering in this listing?

    • Other then the categories they are broken up into no, not really.

    • The picture makes you feel confused abut when you see all these websites, book, tools and so on you really get confused :) There is a lot of helpful information in here and it takes a lot of time to process it all but in the end you will definitely have a much clearer vision about social media.

  2. SeoMOZ’s blog (http://www.seomoz.org/) has excellent SEO articles, but there is also a Social Media category (http://www.seomoz.org/blog/category/18). I really recommend it!

  3. Hi Niel,
    Really Great information. Thanks for Sharing.

  4. Great information, no doubt but at times, too much information confuses specially when you are talking about first time enterprenuers…

  5. This is great! For the social conferences, I would also add BlogWell (www.blogwell.com), and though it’s by membership only, SocialMedia.org is an invaluable community for social media leaders at big brands.

  6. Great article, I’m looking forward to going through these and bookmarking them so I can go back. Great blog post you did on SEO moz btw too, it led to here. Great content here too.

  7. Alex @ Easy ways to make money :

    I’ve visited some of the social media blogs you listed Neil, but haven’t known the other media blogs on the list… I’ll include them all on my current list, Thanks a lot for sharing.

    • Good to hear you are already familiar with a few. Definitely look into the others you have yet to check out yet. I am sure you will be able to find some useful information.

  8. Wow! Awesome list! Thanks for putting this together. i already bookmarked this article for my reference. Thanks again! Keep it up! :)

  9. Once again, great article Neil.

    Be careful with Mashable and Social Media Examiner. Often basic 101 stuff and most of it’s a waste of time. Both are in the business of attracting views as opposed to providing quality information.

  10. That’s quite a list. Even though you might not think of your own blog to be “social media,” your blog might be considered among the ultimate in social media — you’ve talked about really important people, entrepreneurs, really *social* people, and I’m sure lots of really important connections have been made via your blog that perhaps might not have been made had your blog not been here. So, at least on *my* list of social media, your blog is on it :-)

  11. Excellent overall-guide Neil.

    Only one question: This is massive information over-load. Do you really read all of these site(s) ? At this rate you must be getting 600+ RSS entries per DAY on your reader. Do you just read the top 5-10 blogs or since this is your industry, do you make maximum effort to pretty much spend a few hours each day skimming/reading over every one of these sites?

    Thanks!
    Dilanka

  12. Hi Neil

    Thanks for providing this great resource. Though I am aware of some of the sites, the post definitely is a resource which has to be bookmarked. One more question, which triggers my mind- Is it good to hire a social media expert to take care of our social media profiles, while it’s hard to find someone of our frequency?
    Thanks for your time!

    • If you don’t have the time to do it yourself and have the money to hire someone else to take care of your social media for you then try it out. See how it goes and if it works for you. It may be difficult to find a good person, so be carful if you do decide to hire someone for it.

  13. In my experience social media is the best way to boost business in short period of time. By help of social media you can target your users/customers.

  14. Social media books and Conferences are new to me but in social media blogs i found 3 new blogs and in social media tools i found 5 new tools to me, it was really great thanks Neil :)

  15. Thanks for sharing all these social media books, Thanks Neil…:)

  16. Wow. that is a lot of information out there.

    However if you will have to cover all of them, how much will you need everyday?

  17. Brilliant! I think I would be doing well to go through even half of those!

  18. Hi Neil,

    I don’t think so any body will get much good information than this blog post about how Social Media Handbook will work. Each and every point is on target.

    Thanks for this.

  19. This post is just what I needed as I have a new client interested in social media services. It is a bit overwhelming though, I’d scale it back and provide 4 or 5 links for each section…

  20. I really appreciate the resources listed in the post. Although some of the resources I’ve already known but the list contains really new one that I discover it for the first-time thanks to this post.

  21. Thanks for the great resources!

    I’m liking SproutSocial to manage and measure my social media. Really friendly and helpful customer service there too.

    Have you seen this? If so, what do you think about it?

  22. What a fantastic list, especially for someone like me who has come very late in life to the world of social media. I am going to use some of your suggestions to help me to learn more about using facebook and other media to get more attention to my website

  23. That is an awesome list, really awesome :p

  24. Outlook Studios :

    This list is extensive but very useful to provide a great resource tool for social media. Love it!

  25. Why did you not add Kissmetrics blog to this list. It has lots of information. Thanks for the list.

  26. A REALL Amazing Post Neil! This is gonna be my bible for a loooong time to come!!

  27. Hi Neil, Thanks for the excellent list of “one-stop shopping” resources and for making everyone’s life a little easier!

  28. Hi Neil,

    Thot this was about the top social media sites (which I thought was gonna be a little boring). As it turns out I have no idea about most of these resources. I will definitely check them out one by one, though they seem so many haha.

    Many thanks
    David

  29. Neil, I have been following your blog for a short while now and, so far, most of what I read here has been useful. I don’t know if you’re a mind reader, but I was just wondering where I could find this kind of social media resource when your message popped up in my inbox. Keep up the stellar work!

  30. Great collection Neil. huge list to digest and follow.

  31. Great list of sites on social media. I’ll need to check some of these out that I haven’t heard of yet. Thanks for sharing!

  32. Wow, I’d like to find someone who’s read the books, follows those blogs, attends the conferences, knows how to use the tools – and then hire them to tell me what I need to know.

  33. Good job. I first thought oh no not another facebook or myspace. thanks for the list

  34. Thanks Neil for yet another wonderful article. This is definitely a good resource for us, since we have been trying to focus much on the Social Media marketing.

  35. Mary Lou Scott :

    As always – on the money…great to add to a constantly growing resource list! Thanks.

  36. I always love simple but highly effective and useful lists like this. Here are two other sites that I know of

    http://www.socialmedia.biz/

    http://socialmediaclub.org/

  37. Great stuff Neil, but I have just one question, why isn’t my blog up there in the list? just joking :)

  38. a wonderful article. Surely this help me utilize social media more effectively for my work.

  39. Once again great stuff Neil. The most common mistakes social media marketers make is to push information, which is disastrous. The mantra of social media success is engagement and only by engaging the audience you can create a positive awareness about your brand or product.

  40. Thanks Neil for this great post and I have book marked this post so that I can refer whenever I want to

  41. Hi Neil,

    First of all, thanks. This information was so helpful. As a beginner, I really did not know where to start and a lot of the terminology was flipping me out because I realized my deficit and that I had a lot to learn.

    Thank you. I have already begun using a two or three of your recommendations and I don’t feel overwhelm any more. Still got a lot to learn but I have direction.

    Once again, thanks. Your suggestions came at the right time for me.
    Sincerely,
    Patricia

    • Happy I could help. There is a lot to learn and take in when you first start out, so make sure to take the time to read through and study what you can.

      Best of luck.

  42. Thank You so much Neil, I really found some of good websites & tools.What about Radian6 Social Media Tool, Is that work?

    Great Thanks Man…..

  43. Hi Neil!
    This is a great stuff for social media resources for me. Few of them already on my list and thanks for the rest.
    Just noticed that there are social media conferences :)

  44. This is a great list of social media resources. Fortunately I know of these resources. Seeing all the resources on a single place just makes me smiling.

  45. Hay absolute great list. I must thank you for the effort to put all the resources at one place.

    Some of the sites are really cool.
    cheers
    Arun

  46. Neil
    Thanks for the list, bookmarked them all.
    Cheers

  47. This yet a great list from the great Neil. You always deliver! Will see how I can use this for my about to be launched online business. Thanks Neil.

  48. Nice list. You’ve provided great info for us. Rather than searching everything by ourselves you’ve given a shortcut. Thanks thanks. Would check everything. You have been a great help to everyone here. thanks neil.

    mimi

  49. nice really very nice list.but why is mashable on second place.social media exminer is really better then mashable ? any way nice share :)

  50. Wow, that’s a rather large list. Thanks for sharing it,

  51. Wow, it took me two days to finish going through just the sites I haven’t heard of. Awesome list Neil!

    Have you read through all the books you listed? If so, can you suggest one to start with?

    I mainly focus on marketing and SEO – Social media I sorta suck at. I’m sure most people will say (if you aren’t doing social, then you cannot call yourself an online marketrr) but keep in mind some of my clients are still very leery of having a BIG social media presence. No matter how hard I try and convince them, they are mostly worried about what happens after they stop paying me.

  52. wordpress plugin review :

    well, thanks neil for this great information. Now i know there is many social media we can use to share our opinion and also use for more backlinks to our site.

    • Definitely, anytime. There is certainly a lot of information out there for what anyone may need. You just have to know where to look of it, or get a guy like me to make a list for you. ;)

  53. Bolaji Adepegba :

    I am very grateful for this. Very enriching!
    Thank you Neil

  54. Hi Neil

    Do you believe if social media boosting services really help for a initial push? Can you specifically tip us on maintaining relationships? Thanks in Advance.

    • Yes, I do. If you want to maintain relationship then you have to communicate. Share information, comment, tweet, retweet. Use all tools to your advantage keep up with it. Ask questions and offer solutions. Be part of the conversations and you will manage to make some solid contacts.

  55. I regularly read Mashable, AllFacebook and Mashable. I have bookmarked this page to check other links.

  56. Awesome, this is an impressive collection of Social Media resources!

    Thanks for this!

  57. This information is really helpful for me. At a glance i thought its very hotchpotch & so i didnt read it. But in meantime i read some of the points & i found that useful
    I think one more thing that can be used us http://twitterfeed.com/ i.e. add your blog feeds on this page.

  58. Wow! great list. Definitely helpful in my efforts to market my brand on Fb and twitter.

    Thanks,

    Allen Youdim

  59. Nice list!
    I follow most of the blogs but yes thanks to you for advising about the books on SMM.

    Thanks

  60. Neil I’m confused little bit between social media information and blog. blogs are also giving lots of information about the social media. Let me know what is the major core difference between these two. I’m hearing first time about social media conference, what’s about this?

    • Social media are sites like Twitter, Facebook, GooglePlus, linkedin and so on. Those sites are networks for people to share and connect online.

      Blogs typically share larger amounts of content and information. They usually focus on a specific topic and then have readers who follow and comment. Where as social media sites have more or less more personal and random topics that people who you are connected with can read an follow.

  61. Impressed with how did you could to gather so large collection of useful resources.
    I will add your article to bookmarks and will gradually test them.
    Many thanks for a useful compilation!

  62. What a nice resource of link. Bookmarked for sure and I will be coming back to this page over the weeks to come.

  63. Hi Neil,

    This is my very first comment. I love Your Tips. Really Great information.
    Thanks for detailed sharing. Can you please suggest me some tips on Social Media Optimization (Facebook , Twitter etc) Or some tips on Pay per clicks(PPC)

    Thanks
    Ashok

  64. Very complete list of books and tools to use for social media! When i first heard about social media, i though all resumed to Facebook but it is so much more than that. I have been social media all my blogs and i have been using http://www.onlywire.com to social bookmark all my new posts! Recommend it!

  65. You think you pay a third party to create 500 socialbook is feasible for pagerank?
    http://hostcarioca.com.br

  66. This is actually the best consolidated list I’ve seen. Easy to use as an index.

  67. Hello Neil,

    This is a Lot of Resource to keep me occupied for days.

    By finding this Article all my searches for “Best Social media Blogs” ,”Social Media Marketing Tips”,”Top Social Media Tools”,etc.. Have come to an End because I am sure these must be the perfect information Sources since Neil said it.
    I got to know about your Blog a few days back and since then I have bookmarked it and read 4-5 posts daily . I like reading everything that you Publish because its all expert advise in the simplest Smartest way possible.

  68. hey neil,
    nice post. really liked social media tools and social media information. thumps up.

    Thanks.
    Matt

  69. Great list of sites on social media. I’ll need to check some of these out that I haven’t heard of yet. Thanks for sharing!

  70. Hi!,,,Awesome, this is an impressive collection of Social Media resources!Thank you for sharing!,,,,

  71. It’s amazing how business are using social media to thir advantage these days

  72. Thanks for compiling a great resource instant BM…have about 50+ tabs to get through now., as well as your other blog posts. BTW Your FB advert inadvertently drove me here :)

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