When I visited Gnip a few months ago, I saw something I really liked: books, on shelves and ledges scattered around the office. There's a lot to know in this business, and I liked seeing a company make that small investment in developing their team. Are you making the same investment in yourself?
This is why I usually talk strategy and expanding horizons, rather than specific tactics and metrics: it's just too much to cover. When you start going into the details, you find that there are a lot of details. Really, a lot. If you want to read a detailed view of analytics in social media, you don't need a book, you need a shelf.
Loading the shelf
Social media analysis—monitoring, measuring and analyzing social media data—isn't a specialty, it's several, and that means it takes more than one book to cover the details. If you need to understand the whole landscape, you might consider some of these:
- Listen First, Stephen Rappaport
- Measure What Matters, Katie Paine
- Social Media Analytics, Marshall Sponder
- Social Media Metrics, Jim Sterne
- Social Media ROI, Olivier Blanchard
Beyond the specialist books, I recommend an expanded reading list that gets into the broader view of analytics and big data, web analytics (which overlaps with social media), and visualization. If you want a challenge, you might go deeper into the science and technology that make the analysis possible. Plus, of course, you'll want to be informed about the thinking on marketing and management roles that you're probably supporting.
By the time you catch up, more good books will be out there, but that's ok, because a good analyst is always learning. The question is, what books would you add to the list?