With the amount of helpful content about social media marketing growing faster than Facebook’s user base or Lindsay Lohan’s court appearances, it’s tough to keep up. Here’s a modest contribution to help with that effort; more than six dozen of the best, most bookmark-able articles and blog posts about social media tactics, tools and strategies written so far this year, by leading writers like John Jantsch, Lori Dicker, Lee Odden, Lisa Barone, Jay Baer and many more.
Social Media Marketing Tips, Tactics and Guides
Building Social Bookmarking Networks 101 by Search Engine Journal
Todd Heim supplies a helpful guide to best practices for building a following on and generating traffic from social bookmarking sites like Digg, Reddit, Mixx and Propeller. Todd’s guidance is straightforward and practical; finding the time to do this well is the hard part.
Matt Silverman steps through the process of creating cool custom backgrounds for popular social media sites, with easy-to-follow instructions and rich example illustrations.
What is Social Media Optimization and Why Should I Care? by Kuno Creative
For those who know little if anything about social media (there are more such people than you may realize; some in rather lofty positions at that), John McTigue offers an excellent primer covering the most popular tools, sites and strategies.
30 Tips: The Productivity Guide of Social Media by WebStudio 13
Andrew Ran Wong provides a valuable list of productivity tips for Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, Google and other social networks to help readers get more done in less time.
Despite the widespread use of the phrase “social media marketing,” marketing is not the only business use of social media, as John Jantsch reminds us. Here he outlines five ways that sales can use these tools as well, from social CRM to teaching prospects how to solve business issues.
6 tips for connecting with social media content by iMedia Connection
Noting that “Smart and savvy companies have positioned themselves as authoritative experts and trusted sources of information by creating their own content,” Gordon Plutsky outlines a six-step process for consistently connecting with prospects through relevant, compelling content.
10 Principles for B2B Sales by Better Closer
Social media has dramatically altered the buying process as well as marketing practices. In this post, Bill Rice provides sales people with 10 principles for using social media in sales, from setting objectives and listening to creativity and tools to improve social media efficiency. Given the importance of sales-marketing alignment, this is a worthwhile read for marketers as well.
Are you reaching your Best Customers through social media? by Cultivating Your Customers
Mark Price summarizes a Fast Company case study on how restaurant chain Houlihan’s engaged their best customers through some exclusive social media programs to increase sales and profits, and what other social media marketers can learn from the chain’s experience.
A Cheat Sheet to Help You Conquer Social Media by Fast Company
Not sure how to navigate through various social media sites? Addy Dugdale shares this handy CMO guide to the social landscape, which “takes all the major social media sites in the U.S. and analyzes their capabilities in four sectors: customer communication, brand exposure, driving traffic to your site, and SEOs.”
5 Ways to Use Social Media for Things You Are Already Doing by Social Media Today
Possibly inspired by Social Media is Simpler Than You Think, John Jantsch explores five ways to use social media for common business tasks such as prospect follow-up and market research.
10 Essential Social Media Tips for B2B Marketers by Mashable
Christina Warren tells b2b marketers how to use Twitter effectively, find their “social voice,” efficiently monitor industry developments through social media, expand their influence and more in this excellent post.
How to Monitor Your Social Media Presence in 10 Minutes a Day by HubSpot Blog
Rebecca Corliss reveals an easy five-step, 10-minute daily process for keeping on eye on what’s being said about your company across popular social media venues. Depending on how active your company is in social media, it may take a bit more than 10 minutes and may have to be done more than once per day, but at a minimum this is a great place to start.
10 Tips for Using Social Bookmarking Sites Effectively by Online Social Networking
8 brand personalities Facebook and Twitter users hate by iMedia Connection
If you want to be a success in social media, then you definitely don’t want to be part of any of these groups. Kevin Barenblat presentes a taxonomy of social media failure types, including “canned responders,” spammers, lurkers and serial re-tweeters.
More than 50 bookmarks of Social Media Case Studies by Social Media Tactics You Can Trust
Michiel Gaasterland shares his collected list of 500+ case studies, from small businesses to global brands around the globe.
5 Workarounds In Avoiding Social Media Fluster by Social Media Philippines
The always fascinating Rob Angeles how to ramp up a social marketing quickly without simply “jumping in” with no plan.
6 Reasons You’re Not Rocking Social Media by Small Business Trends
For those whose social media marketing programs aren’t quite meeting expectations, Lisa Barone offers several possible reasons (and advice on how to fix things), such as having poor content, putting the wrong people in charge or simply not listening.
10 signs it’s time for a social media makeover by iMedia Connection
Following on the theme of Lisa’s post above, Lori Dicker offers a collection of indicators that your social media marketing has gone astray such as “An intern handles all your social media efforts” and “Your company does not have a (written) social media policy” and how to place efforts on the right track.
3 Simple Steps for Creating Social Media Visibility by Social Media Examiner
For those still struggling with where to start in social media, Denise Wakeman lays out “a three-step formula to get you started creating a visible presence on the web, resulting in more opportunities for your business: leads, prospects, sales, media queries, speaking gigs and joint ventures.”
Taking the First Steps in Social Marketing by iMedia Connection
Contending that “finding exactly which of your customers and prospects are on which social networks and who are the most socially connected, is the first step to figuring out if and how to integrate social media into your marketing mix,” Gary Halliwell illustrates how to tie your CRM data to social media marketing efforts, and why this is crucial to creating value for your company through social media.
Five Rules for Responsible Social Marketing by Fast Company
Just as etiquette is what separates us from the beasts (well, that plus some DNA), so social media etiquette often separates the successful from the spammy, the engaging from the enraging, the outgoing from the obnoxious. David Lavenda supplies five rules here (such as “Respect people’s privacy online, even if you don’t have to”) to help you stay on the positive side of those word pairs.
10 Ways to Cut Through the Social Media Noise and Be Heard by Social Media Examiner
Chris Garrett advises marketers to simplify their messages, use appropriate channels and appeal to ego among other recommendations to make their social media content more likely to get noticed.
The “No Duhs” of Social Media by Social Media Bits
Sharon Lane lays out the basic elements for social media success, such as knowing your audience, being authentic and being patient. Good post for newbies as well as those at the “a little knowledge is dangerous” phase.
90+ Essential Social Media Resources by Mashable
A collection of short summaries and links to a huge list of posts about Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, mobile marketing and business development. It’s sort of like this post, except that all of the links are to other Mashable articles. Hmm. Guess Webbiquity is a bit less about ego and more about sharing the love.
16 Lessons on Using Social Media for Business by Social Media Today
Adrian Swinscoe shares an excellent collection of social media do’s and don’ts such as defining your goals to keep yourself on track, great content is crucial, and perhaps most importantly, “It takes time, persistence, consistency and commitment to generate results.”
The 7 Secrets of Social Media Conversion [INFOGRAPHIC] by The Unbounce Blog
Oli Gardner reveals key tactics for converting social media followers into buyers, from using a landing page with a clear call to action and offering “social proof” through badges and widgets to optimizing post-conversion opportunities.
4 Social Media Mining Metrics by iMedia Connection
Daniel Flamberg proposes four key metrics that can give marketers “actionable intelligence to identify competitive strengths or vulnerabilities, shape messages, identify informal opinion leaders and influencers or suggest the best choice of media channels” along with suggested tools to track those measures.
4 Ways to Measure Social Media and Its Impact on Your Brand by Social Media Examiner
On the same theme as Daniel’s post above, Nichole Kelly her shares her four key social media metrics and shows how these fit within the sales conversion funnel.
25 Characteristics of Highly Effective Social Media Campaigns by Social Media Today
What sets successful social media marketing programs apart from the failures? Lots of things, and Sosthenes Boame helpfully lists 25 factors such as providing value, being “not spammy,” building trust, consistency, and incorporating visual images.
12 Social Media Marketing Myths by Roxana Portalatin
Social media is cheap or free. It’s a fad. It’s for kids. This post demolishes these and other common social media myths.
Top 10 Social Media “Power Friending” Tips by OPEN Forum
Amber MacArthur condenses her book Power Friending: Demystifying Social Media to Grow Your Business into these 10 key tips to grow your social media presence and influence, such as acting authentically, telling stories and listening well.
Top 6 Social Media Mistakes And How to Fix Them by Social Media Examiner
Kristi Hines details half a dozen social media mistakes to avoid (or correct) including having the wrong connections, sending the wrong messages, and restricting your activities to “things that can be measured for return on investment.” She also lists “using social media profiles for link building” as a mistake, though there are situations in which this makes sense; you may want to grab a profile on a lesser-known social media site for purposes of reputation management or brand protection. Even if there isn’t enough relevant traffic on that site to make a large effort in network-building and interaction worthwhile, any links you include in your profile still have value.
50 Tips Granny Never Told You about Twitter & Social Media Etiquette by Social Media Today
Noting that “social media is no different than the social circles that existed in the 20?s, 50?s, 70?s and even 80 ‘s. Yes, the same rules apply. Just executed on a different platform and at a higher volume,” Pam Moore passes along 50 social media etiquette tips from Great Granny Walton. Among these nuggets of fold wisdom: “Be a friend to get a friend,” “Plan yer work and work yer plan” and “It is just darn right rude to auto DM when Tweeters follow ya’!”
Social Media Tools
Social media tools that marketers shouldn’t miss by iMedia Connection
Lori Dicker presents an outstanding list of free and fee-based tools for social media monitoring, measuring and messaging.
Managing Your Reputation Online: 5 Essential Tools by CIO Magazine
Where To Find Social Media Power Users by Search Engine Land
Want your story on the front page of a popular social media site? You need help from the power users in that community. Greg Finn introduces a dozen tools and pages to help identify the most influential users to connect with on various social sites including Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon and Twitter.
Top 10 Free Social Media Tracking Tools by ineedhits
Social Media Glossary by Social Media for the Socially Awkward
Social media jargon can be confusing for newbies, and even seasoned pros occasionally run across unfamiliar terms. To help out, Sean Horrigan has compiled this glossary of social media terms from aggregator, blogs and crowdsourcing to thumbstream, widget and wikis.
Speaking of social media glossaries, Kipp Bodnar provides a more extensive list of terms and definitions here.
11 Free Tools for Social Media Optimization by TopRank Online Marketing Blog
The ever-modest Lee Odden reviews tools to help spot trends, research keywords and analyze social media activity to help improve “visibility on standard, social and real-time search.”
8 Social Media Monitoring Tools by Onflow Interactive
Google: the killer social media monitoring platform by Social Media Today
Trevor Jonas explains how Google’s various tools — from Google News and blog search to Google Reader and Analytics — combined create a powerful and free social media monitoring platform, and how these would enable Google to “absolutely blow away any of the existing monitoring services tomorrow if it wanted to.”
Christina Warren reviews 10 tools on her list of social media favorites, including some surprises. Note: most are fee-based, but worth the cost for midsized to large enterprises active in social media marketing.
10 Free Social Media Tools Every PR Pro Should Master In 2010 by the COMMS corner
An alternative list from Adam Vincenzini of 10 key social media tools for those prefer free to fee.
7 Social Media Aggregation Tools To Simplify Your Streams by Social Media Today
The 39 Social Media Tools I’ll Use Today by Convince & Convert
***** 5 stars
Jay Baer reviews his favorite tools, organized by category: Twitter-related, Facebook-related, Virality & Search, Photos, Tracking, Content Creation, Listening, Email and iPhone. This collection is comprehensive without (quite) being overwhelming.
***** 5 stars
Some day in the future, when social media is a mature marketing channel, there will likely be only a handful of high-quality, comprenhensive monitoring tools on the market for marketers to choose from. Today, however, social media monitoring tools are still in their wild west phase: there are a large number, of varying quality, each of which does something or a few things very well, but none of which are yet the “Holy Grail” of monitoring. Ken Burbary has done a masterful job of compiling this list, currently at 145 social media monitoring alternatives. The list is likely to grow before it consolidates.
195 Social Media Measurement Tools & Technologies by Sales Rescue Team
Yet another huge list of social media monitoring tools.
Social Media Employee Policy Examples from Over 100 Companies and Organizations by Social Media Today
In an organization of any size, you’ll have multiple people using social media sites. In large organizations, this can be hundreds or thousands of employees. While management can’t, and shouldn’t seek to, tightly control all such interactions, it is imperative to have basic guidelines in place. That’s where a social media policy comes in, and if you’re not sure how to write one or what to include, check out this extensive set of examples.
57 Social Media Policy Examples and Resources by Social Media Today
More corporate social media policy examples, this list from Dave Fleet.
Social media monitoring and interaction activity can be tough to maintain. So Erica Swallow helpfully provides “a list of 11 free services for scheduling social media updates, either across multiple social platforms or just for Twitter. At the end of the list, you’ll also find a quick note on 11 paid services that you may be interested in investigating, as well.”
Social Media Marketing Strategy
Social Marketing Strategies by Brand Nexus
A fact- and statistic-rich SlideShare presentation covering social media reach, growth, demographics, consumer and b2b buyer behavior on social networks, spending levels by industry and strategies for success.
4 ways social media can save you time and money by iMedia Connection
Noting that social media be used for various business purposes (marketing, PR, market research, customer service), Larry Weintraub cuts to the chase with practical guidance, writing “ultimately you want to do one thing: sell more products or services. Let’s take a look at how each of these four components of your social media strategy can help you sell more.”
Razorfish: Social Influence Marketing Trends by Digital Buzz Blog
Another social media SlideShare presentation, this one focused around trends and rich with both useful guidance and examples from brands that have achieved social media success. It also includes a helpful section on metrics, introducing the SIM score.
Is Social Media Just Another Channel? The Potential of Social Media for B2B Markets by The Social CMO Blog
Alex Romanovich contends that social media is far more than just another marketing channel; it is phenomena that is “forcing corporations (brands) to look at how they engage with their clients, how they use information, and how they respond to events…the benefits and opportunities it presents are something we’ve never seen before. It is becoming the connecting thread that links all points of the Value Chain.”
Got some time? Here’s a nice collection of 10 exceptional social media SlideShare and YouTube presentations, including “Web 3.0 – This time its personal,” “Content Strategy for Social Media” and “How to make the best use of SEO and Social Media.”
Social Media History Animation by Hai Le
Interesting video filled with trivia and statistics on the growth and current state of social media, such as that there were 90 trillion email messages sent last year (though roughly 80% were spam), Facebook serves six million pageviews per minute (is that possible?) and that YouTube serves one billion videos per day.
Social Media-Integration-Theory-Model by Israel Garcia’s No-Blog
Israel Garcia offers a compact model of how social media has changed the historical pattern of corporate and marketing communications, and how to capitalize on that trends. He also makes a compelling case for doing so, pointing out research showing that “consumers are 67% more likely to buy from the brands they follow on Twitter, and 51% more likely to buy from a brand they follow on Facebook.”
Why we need to kill “social media” by iMedia Connection
Rob Key argues that the term “social media” needs to be killed because (almost) all media is becoming social, and it isn’t the tools or buzzwords that really matter in business so much as what social media can do in areas like risk management, media relations, product life cycle management, customer care, HR, market research, and innovation.
11 Killer Social Media Presentations Worth Watching by HubSpot Blog
Kipp Bodnar showcases 11 outstanding social media presentations from experts like Rohit Bhargava, Marta Kagan, Christina “CK” Kerley and Jay Baer.
Jeff Bullas offers several suggestions for selling social media to executives. #1, “scare them” is tempting but perhaps not the ideal approach, while #5 (use website grading as a baseline measurement) has real potential. #4 (buy them a book) works well if [italics] you have the kind of boss who actually reads books.
What Can Social Media Do to Improve Your Business by My Venture Pad
Writing that “the intention for gathering (social media) data should NEVER be for spamming but to help integrate your value proposition into what people are truly interested in,” Eric Tsai lays out a framework for gathering data, analyzing it, and using it to make decisions and modify activities so that you can ultimately do “more of what works and less of what doesn’t.”
Social Media Strategy from A to Z by Techipedia
***** 5 stars
Tamar Weinberg has written one of the most thoughtful and creative blog posts of the year, explaing social media strategy through the alphabet from “always be listening” to “zealous” (and yes, she even includes entries for the letters q and x). Simply brilliant, a must read.
Social Media needs a (GASP!) budget by iMedia Connection
Uwe Hook helpfully makes the case that “Social Media is not free. Social Media is not cheap. Social Media requires a considerable of time and resources to make it work.” A toe-in-the-water approach doesn’t work with social media; it requires a commitment and a sustained investment, because while the payback can be considerable, it won’t happen overnight.
B2B Social Media Strategy: 5 Steps to Gaining Executive Buy-in by B2B Bloggers
Michael Brenner provides an outstanding guide to getting executive buy-in for social media marketing, beginning with showing them the numbers behind the new reality and progressing through resources to help you answer the (inevitable) hard questions and developing a social media roadmap.
We Can’t ‘King Canute’ the Social Media Tide by iMedia Connection
Gary Halliwell writes that “there are only three things standing in the way (of social media marketing success). The bad news is these are potentially tricky issues if not addressed correctly.”
12 Reasons to Use Social Media to Grow Your Business by My Venture Pad
***** 5 stars
“Why exactly should we do this social media stuff?” Rather than fumbling to articulate a brilliant answer when you get that question from an executive or client, refer to this outstanding post from Pam Dyer, packed with ammunition like increasing brand recognition, improving SEO, taking your message directly to buyers, and making it clear that you “get it” (at this stage, as Pam notes, “If you don’t have a presence, you appear as if you’re not very savvy.”).
Is a social media bubble ready to burst? by iMedia Connection
If the boss or client remains a skeptic even after following Pam’s guidance above, you may need to pull out this post. “Aha!” your skeptical counterpart will say, “I knew it! Social media is just a fad.” Actually, it’s not that simply, and you may be surprised by the conclusions Michael Estrin draws in this insightful post.
Is Social Media a Big Joke? by The Confident Copywriter
First a bubble, then a joke? Is this more fodder for social media skeptics? Not quite, but Victoria Ipri offers a helpful reminder here to avoid jargon — both when selling social media and when using it. In her words, “simple, to the point, interesting, thought-provoking, but not especially flowery or verbose” messages are key in both situations.
9 Things to do Before Entering Social Media by Small Business Trends
***** 5 stars
In another outstanding post from Lisa Barone, learn what it’s crucial to do before getting immersed in social media marketing. Just as a strong foundation is critical to the long-term stability of a home or building, so steps like crafting a social media policy or rulebook, assigning responsibilities, and making a commitment to responding are vital to social media success.
Three ways to act on your social media monitoring by Fresh Networks
Once you’ve decided on a set of metrics to monitor and tools to use (see the section above), now what? Matt Rhodes notes that “What you do with your social media monitoring is as important, if not more important, than getting the monitoring in place in the first place. Different brands will want to engage with the conversations they discover online in different ways,” and suggests three actionable areas based on monitoring results.
Defining your social media goals by iMedia Connection
Ben Cathers provides guidance on the different approach and metrics to use depending on whether the primary focus of your social media efforts is for customer service or customer acquisition.
5 reasons why brands fail with social media by Engage Sciences
Whether you’re already engaged in social media marketing and not seeing the results hoped for, or you’re just getting started and want to avoid common pitfalls, this post will help you avoid strategic mistakes (such as treaing social media as a silo) and steer your efforts in the right direction.
Conversations that Aren’t about Mel Gibson: the B2B Social Media Case Study, Part 1 by iMedia Connection
Eric Anderson eloquently makes the case for b2b use of social media marketing. “B2B sales tend to be complex and consultative, after all, and where do B2B buyers go for consultation? A surprising number start with simple Google searches, and those Google searches increasingly lead to, yep, industry blogs and forums.”
Why Executives HATE Social Media by The Deming Hill Blog
***** 5 stars
A long but brilliant post on the executive view of social media, starting with, as the title indicates, some of the reasons C-level people hate social media including “don’t feed me another fad” and “eagles don’t flock.” Midway through, however, the tone changes as the author writes “Maybe I don’t HATE social media after all. Maybe I just hate the Quixotic context in which most social media conversations exist, featuring a perpetually moving target, combined with an obsessive, cult-like worship of the default worldview,” then proceeds to detail five of the top benefits of social media from the executive perspective.
How To Create A Killer Social Media Strategy by The Business Insider War Room
Alyson Shontell quotes Nicole Melander, PhD, who teaches American University’s MBA course on social media for business, saying “At this point companies don’t have a choice (about participating in social media). They have to play in the arena somehow. The conversation is happening, it’s just a matter of how much a company chooses to participate.” Melander then presents a five-step guide to creating a business social media strategy.
25 “P”s of Social and New Media Marketing by Social Media Today
Expanding upon the traditional five “P’s” of marketing (product, price, place, promotion and people), Ky Ekinci proposes 25 P’s for social media marketing such as promote (carefully), play, protect, plan, and perhaps most importantly — persist.
Trends with Traction: Meaningful “social” measurement with Net Promoter Score by iMedia Connection
Adam Kleinberg extols the virtues of the Net Promoter score, introduced by Frederick Recihheld in his book The Ultimate Question: Driving Good Profits and True Growth. He makes the case that this metric is one of the most vital, meaningful and valuable ways to measure the impact of social media marketing activities.