50 (of the) Best Social Media Guides, Tips and Insights of 2011 (So Far)

Social media marketing has gone well beyond the hype stage and is now mainstream business practice. Still, questions remain: how do I use social media most effectively across the enterprise? Which social media monitoring tools should I use? What should I monitor for? How do I use my time and resources most effectively? What social media developments and trends should I be watching?

Best of 2011 - Social Media GuidesAnd of course, there’s the ongoing social media ROI debate: how do I measure this? Can social media ROI really be measured? Influential voices like Olivier Blanchard and Jacquie McCarnan present formulas and methods for ROI calculation, while Steve Goldman contends that social media ROI can’t be measured in isolation, and Jackie Cohen reports that more than a third of CMOs still have no idea whether or not social media marketing is producing any ROI.

What to do? Read on for answers to these questions and more from some of the best minds in social media in some of their best blog posts and articles of 2011 so far.

Social Media Strategy and Best Practices

9 Ways B2B Companies Can Use Location Based Services by Social Media B2B

Adam Holden-BacheThe always-insightful Adam Holden-Bache contends that location-based services like Foursquare aren’t just for consumer marketers, and supplies ideas on how B2B marketers can capitalize such as through partnerships with non-competitive local businesses, incentives and rewards, and in event marketing (“Are you seeing a lot of your contacts attending certain business events? Whether it’s a local tweet-up or a major conference, this knowledge could be useful to help you plan what events you should sponsor or where you should set up your next booth”).

Is Social Media Really Living Up to Expectations? by B2B Lead Roundtable Blog

Brian CarrollBrian Carroll talks with MECLABS Director of Research Sergio Balegno about the disconnect between social media activity and results in the B2B environment, and concludes that “marketers are expecting way too much too soon.” Social media adoption on both the buyer and vendor side is happening with incredible speed; the tools that we’ve developed to track other web marketing activities haven’t kept pace. As social media monitoring and integration with CRM systems improves, marketers will have the metrics and analytical tools to more accurately assess the value of various social media efforts and continually improve them.

The B2B Social Media Landscape: a portrait by Beyond
***** 5 STARS

John BottomJohn Bottom has crafted an amazing, creative, interactive B2B social media landscape image with links to a large group of key B2B bloggers like Mark Schaefer, Joe Pulizzi, Beth Harte and Tony Karrer.

The social media approach that nobody wants to hear by Hugo Guzman

Hugo GuzmanHugo Guzman explains the importance of listening and planning before jumping into social media (failures also noted previously here in the dirty dozen top 12 social media mistakes to avoid). He lists nine steps its imperative for companies to take in order to “build enough social karma (yes, I said karma) to facilitate things like guest posting opportunities, retweets, likes, etc.”

19 Social Media Best Practices [VIDEO] by Social Media Explorer

Mark SmiciklasMark Smiciklas presents his “infographic inspired list of 19 social media best practices” in this entertaining and creative four-minute video.

 

30 Ways to Use Social Media for Business People by SEOptimise

Tad ChefCiting a recent study showing that “94% of businesses actually do not use social media even for the most obvious task it’s good for: Getting feedback”–and another demonstrating that those businesses are less competitive–Tad Chef supplies a list of 30 ways businesses can use social media, among them to get feedback, get attention, debunk myths, forge relationships and build links.

5 ways to use social media to build a crowd for your event by Socialbrite

Tamara MendelsohnTamara Mendelsohn of Eventbrite details five guiding principles for promoting events, including choose the right platform, publish your event to Facebook, and “define success metrics and don’t underestimate the effort required.”

 

Organizing Your Social Media Strategy by CompuKol Connection

CompuKolMichael Cohn offers a helpful checklist for organizing social media efforts, from setting goals and listening to engaging your audience and selecting the right tools.

Influence in social media: how to find the top bloggers by blur Group

blur GroupThis post outlines three key measures of social media influence and three key tools to help identify the most influential bloggers in any specific topic niche.

 

The most underestimated social media asset by iMediaConnection

Lori LuechtefeldNoting that “the proper framework of enablement and empowerment can turn a company’s workforce into the most effective means of advancing the goals of the business through social media,” Lori Luechtefeld details IBM’s experience with transforming its business be empowering employees to actively engage as part of the company’s social media strategy.

It’s Not Your CEO’s Fault He’s a Social Media Moron by Social Media Today

Social Media CanadaGotta love this post for the title alone. Jacquie McCarnan contends that many CEOs struggle with social media because it doesn’t fit old models for clear departmentalization and measurement.

 

Expand Your Social Media Mix: Twitter Alone is Not Enough by Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang
***** 5 STARS

Jeremiah OwyangDeftly weaving in a dinner analogy to social media, Jeremiah Owyang compares Twitter to shish-kabob (bite-sized morsels of information) that are tasty but need to be supplemented by “steak”–infographics, Slideshare presentations, blog posts–and topped off with online video for dessert.

26 Ways to Use Social Media for Lead Generation by Social Media Examiner
***** 5 STARS

Debbie HemleyDebbie Hemley compiles another brilliant A to Z post, this one focused on using social media for lead generation. Her list of tactics begins with Assets, Branding and Compelling messages and continues all the way through Word of mouth, eXcellence, adopting a Yes attitude, and demonstrating Zeal in your social media activities and relationship building.

Social Media Tools

10 Steps to Finding the Influencers in Your Market by Junta42
***** 5 STARS

Joe PulizziThe brilliant Joe Pulizzi details 10 steps for finding and cultivating relationships with the key influencers in your market space. For each step, he identifies the overall strategy, useful tools, and helpful tips for execution.

9 Social Networks Your Business Should Be Using by Likeable Media

Cara FriedmanBeyond the obvious (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube), Cara Friedman makes the case for adding social networks like Flickr, Tumblr and Meetup to your social media marketing mix.

 

The Social Media Strategists Power Tools [Consumption] by NewCommBiz

Tac AndersonTac Anderson reviews seven of his favorite tools for saving time in social media consumption and management, among them TweetDeck, Twendz and Quora.

Social Media and Online Video

9 new rules for YouTube marketing by iMedia Connection

Greg JarboeGreg Jarboe lists nine helpful rules for video marketing, such as “Rule 1: YouTube marketing is the new video marketing…YouTube gets more than 86 percent of visits to 77 video sites in this country.” (Hulu, at #2, gets less than 4% of visits.) And “Rule 2: You can’t make it on YouTube alone…even with close to 2.0 billion out of the nearly 5.2 billion viewing sessions in the U.S., only 38 percent of all viewing sessions occurred at YouTube.com…45.13 percent of viewers discovered videos by going to a video site (i.e., going to YouTube and running a search or clicking around the featured or related videos). But 44.24 percent of viewers discovered videos embedded on blogs or other websites.”

Social media: Adding video to your digital marketing plan by SignOn San Diego

Erik BrattErik Bratt expounds on the popularity of video marketing (“video capability was the fastest-growing website feature for small-business advertisers in 2009, with one in five hosting website video by the end of the year”) and the different types of videos businesses can consider using, including screencasts, customer testimonials and video email.

7 Little Known Tricks That Will Get You More YouTube Views by SocialTimes

Megan O'NeillMegan O’Neill offers helpful tips for increasing exposure of your online videos, including using annotations across videos, creating playlists, and actively participating in the YouTube community.

Social Media Case Studies

The Fantabulous Lists of Social Media Case Studies by Social Media Today

Giedrius IvanauskasLooking for examples of social media success to emulate? Giedrius Ivanauskas supplies 17 lists of social media case studies such as WOMMA’s Case Study Library and 35+ Examples of Corporate Social Media in Action from Mashable.

 

B2B Social Media Example: GE MarkNet by Social Media B2B

Jeffrey L. CohenJeffrey L. Cohen describes how GE found success with a private social media community. In just one example of collaboration across divisions and geographic boundaries, the company saved $250,000.

Social Media Trends and Predictions

2011 Trends: Make Your Corporate Site A Social Media Hub by Business 2 Community

Sally FalkowSally Falkow predicts that social media integration with corporate websites will be a major trend in 2011 and shares Jeremiah Owyang’s model for achieving that integration.

 

2011 Predictions: Top 12 Reasons Businesses Will Fail at Social Media by FruitZoom

Pam MoorePam Moore outlines a dozen ways companies can fail at social media marketing, from not understanding the social media “ecosystem” for their industry or hiring the wrong consultant/agency for help to assuming social media will fix a broken business (it’s won’t–it will expose it) and having unrealistic expectations in general.

Social media: What lies ahead? by iMedia Connection

Shelley PalmerShelly Palmer predicts that Facebook will face increased competition from better tools, that smart phones will continue to advance and account for a higher share of online traffic, and more in this 11-minute video.

Are These Social Media Trends of 2011 Part of Your Strategy? by Social Media Today

Marina ArnoutMarina Arnaout outlines five key trends for social media marketers to watch and utilize, including online video, mobile and location-based services.

 

It is the structure of social networks that shapes influence… and the structure is changing by Trends in the Living Networks

Ross Dawson (logo)Ross Dawson delves into the concept of influence networks to explain why some tweets go viral and others don’t, noting that this is a rapidly evolving area and that research shows “professional blogs are the most influential news media in sports and the second most influential media in politics and national news, while personal blogs are the most influential in entertainment and the second most influential in technology. In general the influence of blogs tends to decay more slowly than other media.”

Social Media Policies and Regulation

10 Steps to Managing Employees on Social Media by Write Speak Sell
**** 5 STARS

Kyle-Beth HilferNoting that “Well-written (social media) policies prevent public relations disasters and potential legal liability. In addition, when done properly, they also create environments that foster productivity and loyalty among employees,” Kyle-Beth Hilfer provides an outstanding 10-step list to use as a guide in writing a social media policy.

Social Media Policy Unites Social Media Initiatives by Social Media Today

Going down the same path as Who Should Write Your Social Media Policy?, Tim McCord emphasizes the need to create a team when crafting a social media policy and selecting monitoring tools.

NLRB Says Companies Can Not Discipline Workers For Posts in Social Media by iMedia Connection

Chris BoudreauxIn news that every company needs to hear thought most likely don’t want to, Chris Boudreaux reports on a recent case wherein the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) determined that “companies can not discipline workers who post criticisms on social-networking sites.” Chris concludes with: “This clarification by the NLRB is a big deal for a lot of companies in the United States.” Indeed it is.

Social Media and SEO

Why social media optimization is the new SEO by iMedia Connection

Noting that many people now “receive the majority of their news on Twitter or via posts on Facebook and LinkedIn before resorting to a Google search on any given topic…How many times have you seen an article posted on Facebook or Twitter that has either made you click on it, or urged you to suddenly search about the topic? It’s a fascinating process,” Dennis Franczak explains why social media optimization (SMO) is now taking center stage in online marketing and how to go about it successfully.

The Social Media Marketer’s SEO Checklist by SEOmoz

Jennifer Sable LopezJennifer Sable Lopez offers a nine-step checklist to making social media activities SEO-friendly, such as incorporating keyword research and making sure your content is easily sharable across the most popular social networks. She uses the word campaign unfortunately, but otherwise it’s a helpful post.

Why Not Be The CMO Of Everyone? by MediaPost Search Insider
***** 5 STARS

Derek GordonWriting that “every person in an enterprise is potentially an authentic, invested content producer, networker or influencer. Very often, employees in large enterprises are actively evangelizing their brands or products and no one in the home office even realizes it,” Derek Gordon advises CMOs to solicit content from the broadest possible array of contributors within an organization in order to develop more valuable, search-optimized copy.

Social Media Monitoring

20 free, awesome social media monitoring tools by Socialbrite

J.D. LasicaJ.D. Lasica reviews 20 free social media tools, categorized by function, including Wildfire, HootSuite, Plancast and Addict-o-matic.

Top 20 social media monitoring vendors for business by Socialmedia.biz

J.D. Lasica and Kim Bale review 20 powerful fee-based tools for professional social media monitoring, among them Radian6, Lithium, Alterian SM2 and Attentio. For guidance on how to evaluate these tools, check out 9 Criteria for Selecting a Social Media Monitoring Tool.

Top 10 analytics tools for social media by iMedia Connection

Adam BoydenAdam Boyden details key features and capabilities of several fee-based and free (or low cost) social media monitoring tools including Sysomos, Beevolve and ReSearch.ly.

 

20 Free Social Media and Brand Monitoring Tools Worth Exploring by oneforty

Pam SahotaPam Sahota provides helpful mini-reviews of 20 free social media monitoring tools worth checking out, from Twilerts and Backtype through Proxlet (which, among other features, helpfully filters out those annoying Foursquare checkin tweets) and Trendrr.

Social Media Dashboards by CompuKol Connection

Marco GiuntaRather than writing just another post about monitoring tools, Marco Giunta delves into which social media metrics are the most critical to track, and how to act on the results of this measurement.

 

Why You Aren’t Getting What You Need Out Of Social Media Monitoring… Yet by SocialTimes

Neil GlassmanNeil Glassman raises a number of questions to help focus social media monitoring activities (e.g.,”Does your query language mesh with your consumers’ language? Or is it industry language?”) then makes three key recommendations to help organizations really get value out of social media monitoring.

Social Media Metrics and ROI

6 Critically Undervalued Social Media Success Metrics by Convince & Convert

Jay BaerJay Baer details the half-dozen social media metrics and tools he views as the most meaningful yet undervalued, from the Klout scores of your Twitter followers (rather than just number of followers) to share of voice and inbound links.

Social media metrics: 5 things to learn in 2011 by Ragan.com

Don BartholomewWondering if “perhaps 2011 will be the year that social media measurement matures and comes of age,” Don Bartholomew details five objectives including measurement, ROI and attribution.

Social Media Strategists Look Hard at ROI this Year by eMarketer

According to research from The Altimeter Group, “when it came to social media programs, 82% of respondents reported they would be investing in brand monitoring in 2011, while 77% cited staff budgets and 78% training budgets…Creating ROI measurements tops the list of internal social strategy objectives for 2011, with 48.3% of respondents highlighting that goal.”

3 Ways social media market research can impact your business by ListenLogic

Chris KarnesNoting that “Market research is now beginning to leverage social media in a revolutionary way that provides insights and impact across the organization,” Chris Karnes explains how social media listening can be used to measure marketing campaign effectiveness, drive purchasing decisions and inspire product innovation.

6 Buckets of Social Media Measurement by Take a Peck

Jason PeckJason Peck details six “buckets” of metrics companies should use to evaluate the success of various social media initiatives, including business metrics, awareness (e.g. website traffic, searches for brand terms) and engagement (Facebook likes, blog comments, retweets, etc.).

Social Media ROI for Idiots by Social Media Today

Hmm, not to sure about the title of this post, as idiots are unlikely to get social media ROI. Or even to get social media for that matter. But regardless, Jacquie McCarnan helpfully provides several different formulas for calculating social media ROI, based on different factors such as qualified leads, employee retention, and customer engagement.

Measuring the Stages of the Cyclic Social Media Marketing Funnel by SocialSteve’s Blog
***** 5 STARS

Steve GoldnerContending that social media ROI can’t be measured in isolation, Steve Goldner recommends instead measuring its contribution to the business through key performance indicators (KPIs) including awareness, consideration, loyalty and advocacy. His brilliant “Cyclic Social Media Marketing Funnel” graphic makes the post worth a look in itself.

Social Media ROI business measurement by Slideshare
***** 5 STARS

Olivier BlanchardOlivier Blanchard, a.k.a. the BrandBuilder, delivers a comprehensive process for measuring social media ROI in this cleverly illustrated but very long (133 slides) online presentation.

Social Media Research, Facts and Statistics

Companies using social media are making more money, says McKinsey by The Wall

Gordon MacmillanGordon MacMillan reports on research from McKinsey showing that “companies that are starting to do it (social media marketing) well are being rewarded for their efforts (e.g., with higher operating margins and market share). More than that, it says those that fail to implement social media could be making a ‘critical mistake.'” He also shares four key steps McKinsey suggests executives should take to move their organizations forward.

85% of Inc 500 Say Social Media Will be “Very” or “Somewhat” Important to Their Marketing or Business Strategy by iMedia Connection

Chris Boudreaux cites a study concluding that nearly 9 in 10 large-company CEOs believe social media is important to their business strategies, and that “43% of CEOs say they will ‘significantly change’ their strategies in the next three years to respond to customers’ increased use of social media and mobile devices.”

STUDY: Return On Investment In Facebook Eludes CMOs by All Facebook

Jackie Cohen summarizes and comments on a recent Bazaarvoice / CMO Club showing that “Nine out of every ten Chief Marketing Officers participate in at least three forms of social media promotions, yet many don’t know whether these efforts yield a return on investment…(while) 15.4 percent have a significant return on investment and 20.6 percent have an average return…34.9 percent said they don’t know whether they have an ROI, and 8.6 percent have none.”

How much does Social Media cost companies in 2011? by MackCollier.com
***** 5 STARS

Mack CollierMack Collier very helpfully provides social media consultants, and companies looking to hire them, with pricing benchmarks for common types of projects. For example, ghostwritten blog posts cost anywhere from $50 to $500 per post, with most providers charging $100-$250.

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