Posts Tagged ‘best social media marketing guides’

19 More Outstanding Social Media Marketing Guides

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

While social media marketing has become commonplace, questions about how to optimize the use of social channels and networks, and how to stand out from the crowd, remain.

How often should you re-share content on social networks?

Image credit: KISSmetrics

The post 23 Outstanding Social Media Marketing Guides, published here a few weeks ago, answered questions about social media trends, the evolution of social media marketing best practices, and how to optimize use of visual content.

This follow-up post answers several more, such as: what are the best social networks for b2b social media marketing? What are the best and worst times to post updates? How can different networks be used most effectively for lead generation? Which tactics work best today for building a social media following and growing traffic?

Find the answers to those questions and others here in 19 more outstanding social media marketing guides from the past year.

Five Simple Rules for B2B Social Media Marketing Success by Marissa’s Picks

Marissa PickMarissa Pick (no relation, though I joke that she’s my adopted cousin) outlines a handful of rules for successful B2B social media marketing, among them “knowing what to do is just as important as knowing what not to do” (“Every social media campaign needs a strategy, and it’s crucial to understand your goals. Knowing what you want to accomplish and how you will measure success is crucial before you launch any campaign”), “engagement = essential,” and “know your audience.”

The Top 8 Social Networks For Business by B2B Marketing Insider

Michael BrennerMichael Brenner examines findings from Adobe regarding the top social networks for business in the view of CMOs, based on their value for SEO, brand awareness, customer communication, and traffic generation. In addition to the “Big Four,” the findings and associated infographic looked at SlideShare (the “new kid on the block”) as well as “niche players” Google+, Pinterest and Instagram.

How To Choose The Right Social Media Networks For Your B2B Business by Search Engine Land

Jayson DeMersJayson DeMers details seven factors to consider when determining where to focus social media marketing efforts (such as conversions and customer value: “Do visitors bounce immediately off your page, or are they reading your content, amplifying your message and becoming customers? A…detailed analysis can help you determine not only which networks are sending you traffic, but which ones are sending you valuable traffic”) along with seven types of social networks to leverage.

50 Expert Tips for Getting Started on Social Media by Constant Contact on SlideShare

This presentation provides dozens of one-sentence (mostly) social media tips from top experts inlcuding Rebekah Radice, Robert Caruso (“In social media, content leads to conversations, conversations build relationships, and relationships result in ROI”), Kim Garst, Mike Stelzner (“Study your competition and watch where they participate in social dialog. Don’t reinvent the wheel”), and Ann Handley among others.

The Dead Zones: When Not to Post on Social Media by Cool Infographics

Randy KrumRandy Krum displays a pair of infographics illustrating the best and worst times to post on social media. The worst times seem generally intuitive (e.g., Facebook between midnight and 8:00 a.m.), though a few are odd (don’t post to LinkedIn during the workday?!). The best times, meanwhile, are shown in pretty short windows (e.g., Twitter between 1:00 and 3:00 p.m.). Interesting – though your mileage may vary.

Survey Reveals 11% Increase in Marketers’ Ability to Measure Social Media ROI by Social Media Explorer

Nichole KellyNichole Kelly dives into research findings from Social Media Examiner showing that more than a third of marketers now say they are able to measure ROI from social media activities; but 88% say they “want to know how to measure the ROI from social media” (so, a quarter of marketers say they can measure social ROI, but also don’t know how?); that half of marketers say they’ve seen improved sales from social media; and other interesting facts and stats, including my favorite: “85% of marketers have NO plans to use Snapchat. (Thank goodness!).”

16 Resources to Generate Leads With Social Media by Social Media Examiner

Debra EckerlingDebra Eckerling outlines a collection of helpful resources for generating leads through Facebook (e.g., how to set up a Facebook page for lead generation and methods for generating email leads through Facebook), Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Social Media Lead Generation: Best Tips From The Experts by Heidi Cohen

Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen passes along guidance on “the best way to use social media to generate leads” from 22 social media experts including Michael Brenner, Jeff Cohen, Jason Falls, Neal Schaffer (“The best way to generate leads is to utilize sponsored posts on the relevant social media platform where your customers are utilizing best practices for that platform. Social networks are in business and want you to be successful in your advertising”), and Deb Weinstein.

10 Powerful Social Media Infographics and Resources to Build Your Following by SumAll

Brian HonigmanBrian Honigman presents 10 infographics covering everything from how to create the “perfect” post on various social media platforms and how to size profile images for popular social networks to social media facts and figures (hmm, that sounds familiar), user growth trends across platforms, and the best and worst times to post on social media sites.

7 Social Media Monitoring Tips To Help Your Business Spy Like The NSA by Top Dog Social Media

Melonie DodaroMelonie Dodaro shares sever highly useful tips for finding people who are sharing your content, discovering who is mentioning your brand or products, finding influencers in your industry, and find “super-targeted” followers such as who is following a particular person or brand and lives in a specific city.

The Art of Creating Perfect Social Media Posts – infographic by Digital Information World

Irfan AhmadNoting that “Each social media operates a bit differently, and each brand’s followers have their own preferences and moods…(so) there is no One-Size-Fits-All trick or strategy” for “perfect” social media posts, Irfan Ahmad shares the essential elements of a highly shareable blog post along with an infographic showing best practices for promoting content on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Vine, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Google+.

How to Easily Double Your Traffic from Social Media by KISSmetrics

Garrett MoonGarrett Moon offers helpful guidance on how to increase social media traffic by sharing each piece of your content more than once on various social networks, along with five tips on how not to overdo re-sharing and risk appearing to be a spammer.

5 Social Media Tasks You Might be Neglecting and You Shouldn’t by Reviewz ‘n’ Tips

Daniel SharkovDaniel Sharkov offers helpful tips on a handful of social media tactics you should be using, covering LinkedIn (“Did you know that unlike most social networks, a rather high percentage [about 20%] of your [LinkedIn] contacts actually sees your updates?”), StumbleUpon, Google+, Triberr, and Facebook.

Why social media is losing its sparkle by iMedia Connection

Rebecca LiebThe always fascinating Rebecca Lieb contends that “email and search now both enjoy wallpaper status. They’ve faded into the background. This is absolutely not meant to diminish the importance or significance of either as a marketing channel…(rather) ‘wallpapering’ is a sign of maturity and essential integration into the larger marketing organization,” and that social media is now approaching that status as well. What do you think?

Social Media 101: Branding for the PR-impaired marketer by MarketingSherpa Blog

Maria Lopez FernandezEveryone knows social media has become an essential channel for marketing and content distribution, but Maria Lopez Fernandez reminds readers that not all social networks are created equal: each has its own distinct characteristics, uses, and etiquette, and she provides guidance here on how to make the best use of Facebook, Twitter, and blogging – as well as how to put it all together.

The Ulimate Cheat Sheet for Social Media Dimensions by likeable media

Samy SimorangkirSamy Simorangkir shares an infographic which details the required image dimensions for social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest, along with half a dozen “additional rules of thumb to keep in mind” for optimizing profiles on the largest networks.

30+ Ways To Use YouTube Effectively by Small Business Trends

TJ McCueWriting that online video “is a terrific way for small business owners to compete with the big brands. But creating effective (as in watchable) content and then promoting it can be intimidating,” the brilliant TJ McCue has compiled a list of 30 resources for small business, from expert online training to helpful guides, infographics, online video editing tools and more.

5 stages to unlocking social media’s full potential by iMedia Connection

Scott FasserScott Fasser believes it’s a “colossal mistake” to try to use social media to persuade your target audience to buy. Instead, he lays out a five-stage process for businesses to evolve their social media activities from “nascent to awesome.” At the base stage, companies are listening to buyers and watching competitors; by stage five, a company is truly executing as a social business.

What You Need to Know About Open Graph Meta Tags for Total Facebook and Twitter Mastery by KISSmetrics

Jacek BlautJacek Blaut explains in detail how to use Facebook Open Graph tags to obtain “a degree of control…over how information travels from a third-party website to Facebook when a page is shared (or liked, etc.),” why marketers need to know about Open Graph, and how to implement these, as well as how to use Twitter Cards to “stand out from the crowd” on Twitter by generating additional content from your tweets.

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21 of the Best Social Media Marketing Guides of 2013 (So Far)

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

The use of social media and social networks for marketing has rapidly advanced in the past few years from the “should I do it?” stage to the “how do I do it?” level to the current “how do I measure and optimize social media marketing efforts?” phase.

You’ve seen the statistics on social media marketing: 93% of marketers use social media for business. 90% of Inc. 500 companies use at least one major social media platform. And 92% of small businesses say that social media is an effective marketing technology tool.

Yet most marketers still struggle with how to measure ROI from social media efforts, and with questions like: how we budget for social media programs? What are the best strategies for promoting social content (and which bad ideas should be avoided)? Which social media marketing tools are most useful? And how do we ultimately attract new customers through social media?

Find the answers to those questions and many others here in more than 20 of the best social media marketing guides, strategies, tips and tactics of 2013 thus far.

Social Media Marketing Guides, Strategies and Tactics

15 Strategies To Get More Shares For Your Content by Marketing Land

Courtney SeiterWe’ve all had the experience: you produce a fantastic, thoroughly researched, though-provoking piece of content and…instead of sharing your wonderful piece, your network is busily sharing something just not as good. Argh! Why? Noting that “The secret of getting your content shared by more people isn’t always producing better stuff – sometimes it’s making better connections or just thinking a little differently,” Courtney Seiter shares 15 strategies for getting making your great content “go that extra mile,” such as forming alliances, joining communities and rewarding sharers.

Social Media Priorities – Where Should You Focus? by Social-Hire

Tony RestellWhere should you focus your social media time and efforts? While acknowledging that the “audience you want to reach and your own professional goals will influence where your social media priorities for the coming year should lie,” Tony Restell nevertheless offers some concrete recommendations, like spending time on Google+ communities because of “the overlap between Google+ and Google search results.”

How to Effectively Budget Your Social Media Program in 2013 by ClickZ

Jasmine SandlerJasmine Sandler suggests marketers take six key considerations into account when budgeting for 2013 (or 2014) social media marketing plans, among them social media content development (“Content takes professionalism in design, writing skills, video production, photography, webcast production, audio development, and more”) and social media management (“Social media management takes listening, research, staying on top of trends and influencers, and ongoing creative thinking. Social media management, even for SMB organizations, takes a full-time salary worth of work. Don’t skimp on this and expect a junior person to take it on and run it”).

The Truth About Social Media by Forbes

Suw Charman-AndersonWriting that social media is “not about how many tasks you can tick off your to do list but about nurturing your following and making sure they feel valued…about creating community, relationships and loyalty”), Suw Charman-Anderson offers eight thought-provoking if sometimes painful observations, such as “being a writer doesn’t make you special” and “accept that you can’t be everywhere.”

30 Terrible Pieces of Social Media Advice You Should Ignore by HubSpot

Ellie MirmanEllie Mirman advises marketers to ignore these 30 examples of social media “wisdom” that really isn’t, like “social media is the new SEO” (no, it’s a supplementary activity—and a valuable one—but not a replacement), “an intern can manage it all for you” (hmm, sounds like another post on social media marketing myths), and that you should “use a tool that autopublishes your posts to all social networks at once … to save time” (ach, no!).

How Small Businesses Can Use Social Media at Events by MyBeak Social Media

Guest blogger James Barnett offers helpful tips for using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and blogging to run PR campaigns at live events, for example, on Twitter: “Use hash tags (#) to stay on topic with trends and create a buzzword around your brand. Re-tweet positive PR and update followers daily during the event. Request a re-tweet and support other exhibitors if they are willing to do the same.”

19 Things Successful People Do On Social Media by Forbes

TJ McCueWriting that, “Successful people believe they are adding value to your day, on and off social media,” TJ McCue details how social media pros use the tools effectively. Among their practices: they are genuine; they focus on quality over quantity; and they “believe in their network and leverage it.” They do not, however, send auto-DMs to all new followers or tweet what they had for lunch.

7 steps to rank your video higher on YouTube by iMedia Connection

Jon WhitingJon Whiting lists seven tips for improving video rank on YouTube. Beyond the obvious (keywords, title, description), he notes that “appearing higher than all the other videos targeted at the same keywords will depend on user engagement. This includes metrics like total number of views, likes, time spent watching, how many shares it gets etc. Try to encourage as many people as possible to view and like your video.” While this post isn’t an exhaustive guide to YouTube SEO, it’s a great start.

Social Media and the Sales Cycle by Marketing Wisdom for the 21st Century

Margie ClaymanCan social media help shorten b2b sales cycles? Perhaps, but here the insightful and engaging Margie Clayman skewers some of the arguments made on behalf of that premise. Prime example: “the argument that sending a message via LinkedIn thanking people for a meeting also seems to be a straw man argument. You don’t need to use LinkedIn to contact people you met with if you don’t want to. Email can work. Even better, send hand-written thank-you cards. That will really blow them away. It’s not a bad thing to use LinkedIn for post-meeting messages, but it’s not a convincing argument when debating whether social media can shorten the sales cycle.”

Executable Game Plan for Winning Ultimate Customers with Social Media by SocialSteve’s Blog

Steve GoldnerSteve Goldner lays out a practical action plan for moving “potential customers from interest to promoter step by step,” starting with gaining their attention (e.g., by determining and using they keywords your potential buyers use) and ending with nurturing advocates (when advocates “genuinely like you or your brand and what you deliver…you are now extending to the reach beyond your audience – to your audience’s audience”).

Expert’s Corner: How Manufacturers Are Harnessing Social Media by ThomasNet News

Mike KeatingMike Keating reports on how manufacturers are successfully using social media to increase awareness and sales, including blogs, YouTube, SlideShare, Quora, and most importantly, LinkedIn: “LinkedIn is the preferred social networking venue for B2B and B2G. You can reach out and connect with your clients (government or industry), define and demonstrate an area of expertise, develop a thought leadership position, and tie all your social networking back to your company website. Companies (including manufacturers) with an active social networking presence are growing much faster than those without one.”

Infographic: Size isn’t everything when it comes to social platforms by leaderswest

Jim DoughertyJim Dougherty highlights an infographic which illustrates that which is the “best” social network for your marketing efforts depends upon several factors such as your goals (Google+ and YouTube are great for SEO, Facebook and Twitter for driving traffic, LinkedIn and Pinterest for brand exposure), target audience demographics, and the skills at your disposal.

31 Actionable Social Media Marketing Tips Based On Research by Heidi Cohen

Heidi CohenThe prolific and insightful Heidi Cohen here culls more than 30 tips from Social Media Examiner’s 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, among them guest blogging, providing perks to brand advocates on social media, and answering “customer questions…Make a list of your customers’ top questions and respond to each one.”

Why B2B Marketers Still Don’t Get Social Media–And 7 Steps For Fixing That by Fast Company

Wendy MarxReporting that “while B2B social media spending increased 9.6% last year, the majority of B2B companies failed to integrate social media into their business practices,” the brilliant Wendy Marx offers guidance for how B2B vendors can improve the productivity of their online social activities, such as by carefully structuring a social media team, training employees, and establishing accountability.

Social Media Strategy: The Answer to the Top 5 Social Media Marketer Questions by Maximize Social Business

Neal SchafferNeal Schaffer answers five common questions about social media marketing, including questions about the best social media management tools (see below), how to measure the ROI of social media marketing (see further below) and how to create a social media marketing strategy.

Infographic: Optimize your Facebook, Twitter, G+ and Pinterest posts by leaderswest

Writing that “People have an attention span of eight seconds, so it’s incumbent upon writers to make their content as accessible as possible,” Jim Dougherty (again) here presents an infographic that “offers some very pragmatic and practical tips” such as including images on Facebook posts, mentioning influencers in tweets to drive engagement, and tagging brands and people with the @ sign on Google+.

Social Media Tools and Reviews

50 Top Tools for Social Media Monitoring, Analytics, and Management by Pamorama
***** 5 STARS

Pam DyerFrequent best-of honoree Pam Dyer provides brief reviews of a wide range of free and fee-based social media tools, from Buffer (“An app that manages multiple Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn accounts, with the ability to set a tweeting or updating schedule unique to each. Includes detailed analytics for all your posts”) to UberVU (“Keeps track of all the major social media platforms in real time and delivers opportunities for audience engagement”).

SlideShare Is The Biggest Opportunity In B2B Content Marketing by B2B Marketing Insider

Michael BrennerWriting that “With more than 50 Million visitors per month and more than 100 million pageviews, SlideShare is one of the top websites in the world and should be a key focus of any B2B content marketing program. According to Comscore, SlideShare is used by business owners and business executives at a rate 5 times any other social network,” Michael Brenner explains how to create an effective SlideShare deck and links to some noteworthy examples.

10 Must Have Social Media Tools for Small Businesses by iag.Me

Ian Anderson GrayIan Anderson Gray reviews 10 vital social tools for managing and monitoring social media, including Feedly (one of the most popular alternatives to the now-defunct Google Reader), ManageFlitter (Twitter management), and Commun.it, which Ian calls a “social media relationship management tool.”

How To Calculate Social Media ROI

Social Media ROI: 14 Formulas to Measure Social Media Benefits by Search Engine Watch
***** 5 STARS

Angie SchottmullerIn what is possibly the best post ever about how to calculate the ROI of social media activities, Angie Schottmuller provides not just one or two but more than a dozen different formulas for tracking different types of return on investment, broken down into categories such as advertising value, content value, support value, and lead and sales value.

Social Media ROI: It’s Possible With These 7 Metrics by Kruse Control

Kathi KruseReporting that a MarketingChart study “reveals there’s a mismatch between marketing budget and effectiveness in key areas. Two are mass media and customer support, which are being overspent on versus their return on investment. Alternatively, email and social are being underspent on while they have a more effective ROI,” Kathi Kruse outlines a simple set of metrics for evaluating social media effectiveness, from “Engagement: number of likes, comments and shares” to value of sales closed.

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23 (More) of the Best Social Media Guides, Tips and Resources of 2012

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

As noted in 33 (of the) Best Social Media Guides, Tips and Resources of 2012 So Far, posted here a few months ago, social media marketing adoption is now so widespread there’s little further question of “if” or “when” in the minds of most marketers–but many “how” and “what” questions still remain.

How can marketers make more productive use of their time on social networking sites? What’s the best time of day to post updates on Twitter or Facebook? How can you make sure your company’s social media policy doesn’t run afoul of employment law? What under-utilized site has been called a “social media powerhouse,” and which highly popular social bookmarking site is frequently overlooked by marketers? How can you measure (or can you measure) social media ROI?

Find the answers to those questions and many more here in almost two dozen of the best social media guides, tips, tools, insights and rants of 2012.

Social Media Marketing Guides and Tips

Social Media Campaigns Don’t Match When Consumers Are Online by Spin Sucks

Gini DietrichThe brilliant Gini Dietrich reports on research showing that marketers commonly choose the wrong time of day to post and engage on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, as well as to send emails. While the study was fairly small, the findings are consistent with other sources indicating that they key to better social media results may lie in better timing of updates rather than just more of them.

12 Essential Social Media Cheat Sheets by Mashable

Ann SmartyTools guru-ess Ann Smarty shares a dozen helpful “cheat sheets,” which “are basically infographics that can give a user a simple rundown of various features and how to use them.” The collection here provides guidance on getting the most out of Google+, Facebook and Twitter, as well as network-specific spam definitions and keyboard shortcuts.

Fortune 500 CEOs Don’t Get Social Media! [Research] by Heidi Cohen

Heidi CohenQuoting research showing that “70% of the Fortune 500 CEOs have no presence on social media networks…Two thirds of CEOs on Facebook have less than 100 friends and over a quarter of CEOs on LinkedIn have 1 or 0 connections,” the always insightful Heidi Cohen suggests three reasons why CEOs fear social media (such as liability concerns) and three ways they could actually leverage it instead (such as setting an example for employees: “An active CEO encourages others to engage and shows public support for social media activity that helps build brand and customer relationships over time”).

How your brand is abusing social networks by iMedia Connection
***** 5 STARS

In this must-read post for social media strategists, Rob Rose explains in his own often provocative and always entertaining manner how brands are commonly misusing social media by treating it as another marketing channel, the dangers of that approach, and why each social network should instead be utilized according to its own unique personality and etiquette. “Marketers are the nerdy freshman at the cool kids’ senior party. Say the wrong thing — or say it in the wrong way — and risk getting ridiculed and bounced out. Come with a case of beer and some great conversation, and you just might be a hit. But even then, you are only one mistake away from a viral case of #Fail…make no mistake, this is challenging — and it’s not an even playing field. It used to be that marketers could simply avoid being “salesy” on their social channels, and the world would be OK…But as social marketing becomes increasingly business driven — and content strategies converge in the paid, owned, and earned (POE) models — simply using social channels to engage and entertain is no longer quite as simple…it’s no longer good enough to want to show up to the party with a case of beer. Now, you’ve got to find a way to pay for it as well.”

Beyond the Basics: 30 Fresh Social Media Tips for 2012 by KISSmetrics

Kristi HinesFrequent best-of honoree Kristi Hines provides an outstanding list of general social media tips (e.g., “Cross promote your social profiles. Look for opportunities to add links from one social profile to others. Google+, for example, allows you to link to as many of your other social profiles as you choose”) as well as specific suggestions for getting the most out of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

Slideshare: The B2B Social Media Powerhouse by Heidi Cohen

Noting that “Slideshare receives 60 million visitors per month. More importantly, these visitors tend to be highly influential business people seeking to engage with relevant content,” Heidi Cohen (again) serves up 10 actionable Slideshare marketing tactics, from knowing your target audience on the site to using hashtags, optimizing your presentation’s title and tracking results.

Five Ways Social is Shaping your B2B Customers by LinkedIn Today

David EdelmanDavid Edelman shares a presentation from McKinsey’s Lareina Yee on the Social Enterprise, which includes five ways  social is shaping B2B customers, among them “DIY prospecting” (where customers conduct significant research before ever entering the sales cycle), peer influence, and “click to compare”–conditioned to price transparency in their consumer lives, B2B buyers are coming to expect it from business product and service vendors as well.

3 ways to stop wasting time on social media by iMedia Connection

Drew HubbardDrew Hubbard outlines three social media management practices that will “free you up to do more of what really matters in social media — respond and engage.” Even more helpfully, he lists tools that will assist with each practice. For example, useful tools for keeping a collaborative calendar include Google Calendar, Outlook, Basecamp and ZOHO.

The 5 Best Ways to Use Social Media to Drive Traffic to Your Website by WindMill Networking

Lilach BullockGuest blogger Lilach Bullock shares a handful of tips for increasing web traffic from social media, including being active and engaged (“The one thing that most business owners using social media don’t do is listen”) and making influential links (“identify a list of key influential people in your industry and engage with them. If you are genuine in your praise they will naturally want to find out about you too”).

7 Sources of Inspiration for Writing Sizzling Social Media Posts by Rebekah Radice

Rebekah RadiceWriting that “Unless you are a natural born writer with exceptional skills, running out of content ideas is inevitable,” Rebekah Radice offers tips for finding topic inspiration such as through social media (Facebook groups, LinkedIn questions, Twitter trending topics), books and other industry-related publications, and (when all else fails) re-purposing your own older content.

Social Media ROI Measurement Guides

Social Media: ROI Possible by SlideShare

Angie SchottmullerIn this presentation originally delivered at SES San Francisco, the delightful Angie Schottmuller explains why social media seems like it should be easy, but isn’t. She notes that “social media” is far more than Twitter, blogs and Facebook, now encompassing “social listening,” content curation, crowdfunding, social gaming, social CRM and more. She shares the three reasons that social media ROI measurement is rare, then presents a plan to address each obstacle.

If the presentation alone doesn’t supply quite enough detail for you, check out Social Media ROI: How To Define a Strategic Plan, Angie’s guest post further exploring the same topic on Search Engine Watch.

6 Expert Tips for Measuring Social Media ROI by OMI Blog

Megan LeapMegan Leap share half a dozen tips on social media ROI measurement from Nichole Kelly, author of How to Measure Social Media: A Step-By-Step Guide to Developing and Assessing Social Media ROI. such as “Social media interactions take place on the web, which is inherently more measurable than offline channels like print, TV and Radio. Measuring social media is actually really easy and most marketers have the tools they need. They just need to start using them a different way.”

Social Media Tools

5 Tools to Simplify Social Media Monitoring Tasks by Link-Assistant.Com Blog

Ann Smarty (again) reviews a handlful of helpful social media monitoring tools, including a couple of familiar names (SproutSocial, HootSuite), a couple of less familiar options (such as Cyfe), and even shows how the free Google Reader tool can be used for basic brand- or keyword-monitoring.

The Top 5 Social Media Managing Tools by Social Media Today

Jen EisenbergJen Eisenberg present highlights of five social media management tools, including not just popular applications like HootSuite but also newer, lesser-known tools such as RebelMouse and Flavors.me, which she calls “a hidden treasure…You can pull your photos, updates, videos, music and more from 35 different web services, one of the most of any social media aggregators.”

Social media tools for the smart agency by iMedia Connection

Scott Fiaschetti reviews seven tools for social media monitoring and management, ranging from relatively simple and inexpensive (uberVu) to more sophisticated offerings like Adaptly, “a platform for execution and optimization of social campaigns across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, and YouTube.

Social Media Cheat Sheet for Image Dimensions by The Landlord Blog

How large should your cover photo be on Facebook? What about a story image or shared Facebook video? How many pixels of your Twitter background image are visible to most users? What are the correct dimensions for a cover photo on Google+? Find the ideal / required dimensions for all of these uses and many others in this highly bookmarkable infographic.

24 Must-Have Social Media Marketing Tools by Social Media Examiner
***** 5 STARS

Cindy KingCindy King compiles two dozen recommendations from social media pros on their favorite tools, from Commun.it (which Shelly Lucas says helps her to “build and nurture relationships with supporters, influencers and potential customers on Twitter”) to AgoraPulse (which according to Aaron Kahlow “provides everything your Facebook Page will ever need”).

Writing Social Media Policies

Eight Ways Your Employee Social-Media Policy May Violate Federal Law by Ad Age Digital

Brian HeidelbergerEvery marketing manager knows that his/her company needs a social media policy for employees, right? Actually, no—as of mid-2012, only about 40% of companies had such policies in place. Even worse, according to Brian Heidelberger, is that it’s quite possible “most all of our current social media policies are illegal.” According to rules established by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), a social media policy likely runs afoul of the law if it prohibits or restricts “friending” other employees, posting about the company, talking about coworkers, talking to the press, or using social media sites while at work.

Your Social Media Policies by iMedia Connection

Lee SchneiderLee Schneider outlines nine key points to keep in mind when creating a social media policy, among them “support individuality but stay on message…Many company accounts have multiple posters. Encourage them to let their voice come through, but also make it clear that they are posting for the brand and what the brand stands for,” encourage dialogue but never argue on the Internet, and don’t delete complaints (but do respond to them humbly, helpfully and publicly).

Reddit Marketing Tips

6 Ways to Use Reddit to Grow Your Business by Social Media Examiner

Ben BeckI know—Reddit? A site whose home page is frequently dominated with stories that have headlines like “How I respond whenever a girl thinks I’m cool” and “Extremely Scary Ghost Elevator Prank in Brazil” hardly seems like a promising venue for professional marketers, but don’t write off the second-most popular bookmarking site on the web until you’ve read Ben Beck’s discussion of half a dozen popular business-oriented communities there.

Reddit Marketing [INFOGRAPHIC] by e-Strategy Trends

David EricksonDavid Erickson shares the Reddit Marketing Field Guide infographic, which provides stats about Reddit use (2.5 billion monthly page views), the typical Redditor (18-34 years old, geeky, liberal and male), and tips on adding content that will get shared (spamming will get you nowhere). Despite its high traffic, Reddit isn’t appropriate for every marketer; but if this is your target market, then this is your helpful infographic.

YouTube Marketing Tactics

6 lessons in launching a branded YouTube channel by iMedia Connection

Michael Estrin shares tips from several agency professionals on how brands can get the most out of their YouTube channels, from starting with a strategy and plan through keeping your audience engaged. In the end, success comes down to “picking what is achievable for your brand and matching realistic key performance indicators to them.”

The ultimate guide to video marketing on YouTube by iMedia Connection
***** 5 STARS

Kent LewisReporting that “global internet video traffic will make up 54 percent of all consumer internet traffic in 2016 — up from 51 percent in 2011″ and “Video offers greater retention and recall — up to five times greater than the written word,” Kent Lewis provides an exhaustive guide to everything from video marketing best practices and optimization essentials to YouTube advertising and video sitemaps.

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