Posts Tagged ‘Neal Schaffer’

22 Expert Guides and Reviews of 200+ Social Media Tools

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

As social media marketing has become ubiquitous (88% of marketers say social media is important for their businesses), hundreds of new tools have developed just in the past few years: tools for social media management, monitoring, measurement, automation, identifying influencers, creating graphical content, and more.

Reviews of social media tools

Image credit: Buddy Media

No one has time to put every one of those tools through its paces. Which are most worth investigating and investing in?

In the posts highlighted below, 20 (or so) social media marketing pros review more than 200 tools, ranging from popular, widely used tools like Buffer, Hootsuite and Feedly to intriguing but lesser-known apps.

12 Tools to Help You Optimize Your Social Media Marketing Results by TopRank Online Marketing Blog
***** 5 STARS

Debbie FriezNoting that 26% “of marketers spend 6-10 hours a week on social media,” Debbie Friez proceeds to “explore twelve possible problems and the tools that can help solve those problems and make you more productive,” among them Directr, which lets you “easily create videos” and “includes tons of storyboards to help you organize your video”; Nuzzle “for Facebook and Twitter, tells you when your friends are sharing a piece of content and emails you with the details of the latest posts”; and for competitive research.

7 Social Media Tools to Boost Your Effectiveness in a Noisy World by Seriously Social

Ian Anderson GrayBased on one of his conference presentations, Ian Anderson Gray showcases seven tools “that can help you be more effective and efficient” at managing your social media marketing activities, such as Friends+Me (which is “similar to Buffer but allows you to repost to your Google+ profiles, pages, communities and collections. You can also post to Tumblr. It converts Google+ into a social media management tool”) and Agorapulse, a social media management tool that integrates with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

6 Free Social Media Tools for Startups to Build a Strong Social Media Presence by Duct Tape Marketing

Jessica DavisJessica Davis provides compact reviews of half a dozen helpful free tools for building a presence on social media, including DrumUp (“a smart content discovery tool that scours the web for relevant content based on the keywords you input. The tool acts as a central dashboard for your Twitter and Facebook profiles, letting you manage multiple accounts simultaneously”) and, an infographic creation tool which “offers ready-to-use infographic templates that are categorized by subject.”

28 social media management tools rated, scored, and reviewed (study) by VentureBeat

John KoetsierJohn Koetsier reports on research conducted with more than 1,100 social media managers to determine the most-used social media tools. Among the findings: “For enterprise, Oracle is surprisingly good, as are Sprinklr and Komfo. For smaller companies, Meshfire, Sendible, and Hootsuite lead the pack. And for the midsize company, Sendible, Meshfire (again), and Oktopost are leaders. Other tools you can’t ignore? TweetDeck, Buffer, SocialFlow, Spredfast, and Crowdbooster.” And the most widely used tool of all? Check out this post.

26 Social Media Monitoring Tools [Reference Guide] by Razor Social
***** 5 STARS

Ian ClearyFrequent best-of honoree Ian Cleary lists five different areas you should be monitoring on social media (brand, competition, your prospects…) then serves up concise but useful reviews of more than two dozen free and fee-based tools (with pricing), including Talkwalker, Trendspottr, and Trackur (“a social media monitoring tool that provides executive reporting, sentiment analysis and influence scoring.  It’s unusual to have sentiment analysis available for a monitoring tool with a relatively low starting price” of under $100 per month).

5 Essential Social Media Monitoring Tools for Beginners by Social Marketing Writing

Joe CoxJoe Cox lays out the advantages, features and pricing of a handful of popular social media monitoring tools including Hootsuite, Buffer, and Followerwonk: “Twitter’s own built-in search tools are incredibly limited, and Followerwonk aims to correct this, making it easier to find the right people to engage with. If you have been struggling with Twitter because you find that the signal to noise ratio on the network is so poor, then Followerwonk could revolutionize how you use the service.”

Tips to Use Social Listening to Drive Business Goals, Plus 11 Free (or nearly free) Listening Tools by Karianne Stinson

Karianne StinsonKarianne Stinson explains how social listening can provide benefits in areas well beyond marketing, including customer support, competitive analysis, product development, crisis management, and sales support (“Social listening can give your sales team great insights on potential customers pain points”); details ways social listening can help achieve corporate goals like reducing customer service calls (by helping the brand produce “content that proactively answers questions”); and then lists 11 helpful and free or low-cost social listening tools.

3 Tools that help you Understand and outreach to your Audience by State of Digital

Bas van den BeldBas van den Beld provides in-depth looks at three tools “that help me get a better grip of who I am targeting” as he puts it, including Peerreach (“Peerreach gives you a nice one page overview of someone. It shows you the topics the person is ‘all about’ and it will show you the interest areas their followers have. It also has a Chrome plugin to show on your Twitterfeed how ‘important’ the Twitterers are. And one nice thing is that you can compare them to other Twitterers by adding up to four handles to compare and see who has reach on what topic and whether or not they ‘fit’ your needs”).

16 Social Media Tools The Experts Swear By by Social Fresh

16 social media marketing pros (and past Social Fresh Conference speakers) briefly highlight their favorite tools, from Matthew Knell on Buffer (“We’re big fans of Buffer because of its simplicity and it’s ability to plug into a bunch of other content aggregation / curation tools (Feedly, Pocket, Mention) to make content easier to find”) to Eric Boggs on LinkedIn (“I get more value out of LinkedIn than any other tool or platform. It is a fantastic prospecting / sales resource for B2B marketers”).

Top 28 Social Media Tools to Make Your Job Easier by SlideShare

Catherine PhamCatherine Pham presents the basics about a range of helpful social media tools in this slide deck, from commonly used platforms like HubSpot, Buffer and Hootsuite to more specialized tools such as Tweepi and Twitonomy for Twitter, viralWoot and Piqora for Pinterest and Instagram, and Circloscope for Google+.

15 Best Social Media Tools by CodeGeekz

The English is a tad rough but the list is solid as Gavin Matteo reviews “a list of Best Social Media Tools for our audience,” from Mention (Google Alerts on steroids) and BuzzSumo to Rapportive (which displays LinkedIn profiles for your contacts from inside Gmail) and Tagboard, a “multi-platform, free and highly useful tool. It offers an easy way to monitor social interactions and act on them quickly. You can also search for specified hashtags on several social networking systems, including Google+ and Vine.”

10 Free Online Tools to Monitor Your Social Media Influence by NoPassiveIncome

Erik EmanuelliErik Emanuelli offers compact reviews of free social media monitoring tools ranging from Google Analytics and YouTube Analytics to Twitter-specific tools like Tweetstats and Twitter Counter, which “is a useful service to measure some parameters of Twitter, like the followers growth rate, the average number of tweets per day, and more. It also allows you to compare different accounts, which means you can get an instant overview of your relationship with your competition and your overall progress.”

6 Super Quick Social Media Productivity Tips + 23 Tools to Help! by Maximize Social Business

Neal SchafferFrequent best-of honoree Neal Schaffer here shares six strategies for accomplishing more with social media in less time; working “smarter, rather than longer” as he puts it. Each tip links to related tools. For example, to help schedule your posts, he recommends WordPress JetPack Publicize, CoSchedule and SMQueue.

16 DIY Tools for Social Media Management by Business2Community

Jim BelosicJim Belosic shares an infographic highlighting “16 tools that can help businesses with their social efforts,” and which is “helpful for folks who are preparing to migrate away from Wildfire and North Social” (both of which were acquired in 2014). The tools are categorized into three groups: social media messaging & scheduling; analytics; and social landing page tools.

6 top social media management tools by iMedia Connection

Greg KIhlstromGreg Kihlstrom “discusses six tools that help you manage your communication and content delivery across one or more platforms. Their capabilities vary from managing content, to analyzing and reporting on the best times to post, to determining the effectiveness of campaigns,” including SocialFlow, Sprout Social and IFTTT.

Social Media Marketing World: 16 Tools to Optimize Your Social Media Performance by Razor Social

Ian Cleary (again) summarizes a presentation he delivered covering “a range of tools to optimize social media performance…really interesting and useful tools to help you target the right people, get better results with your content, convert more traffic and improve results,” such as Leadpages, a landing page creation tool that “provides you with a range of landing pages that are known to convert very well with existing customers.”

5 Top Brand Monitoring Tools for Marketers by 60 Second Marketer

Jamie TurnerJamie Turner provides concise but helpful reviews of a handful of popular social media monitoring tools, from Social Mention (which is free) to Brandwatch [] (which isn’t–but is very powerful: “check out how many mentions your brand has across the internet, where they are coming from, and how far the comments have reached. The tool gathers data from a staggering 70+ million sources that include social networking platforms, forums, blogs and news sites”).

Marketers Adopt Social Media Analytics Tools by eMarketer

More than 60% of U.S. marketing groups have adopted social media analytics tools. The top three uses for such tools are campaign tracking (60%), brand analysis (48%) and competitive intelligence (40%). Yet more than half of those marketers still cite staffing/resources and linking measurements to objectives as significant challenges.

10 Tools to Make Your Social Media Management Easier by SteamFeed

Andrew JenkinsAndrew Jenkins reviews 10 of the tools he uses “to consume and curate content as well as manage and interact with (his) community,” including (specific to Twitter, gives gentle prompts and reminders regarding who to engage, follow, unfollow, get back in touch with or acknowledge for the level of interaction and engagement you have had”) and Nimble (“Nimble takes what does for Twitter and carries it across LinkedIn and Facebook”).

16 Tools Every Social Media Manager Should Use by Visually

Stephanie CastilloTo maximize the business benefits of social media, Stephanie Castillo writes “you should develop a strategy, based on as much knowledge as possible about your audience and their behavior,” then outlines 16 tools to help in that effort, ranging from Visually’s own (very cool and free) Google Analytics Report to Tailwind, a tool that ‘tracks activity across Pinterest about your company, products and competitors.”

9 Tools to Discover Influencers in Your Industry by TopRank Online Marketing Blog

Lee OddenNoting that “people with a strong center of influence can provide valuable context and credibility to a company seeking to connect with an audience of buyers,” Lee Odden provides concise reviews of nine tools to help identify and engage with industry influencers. Among the tools: Traackr (a premium tool used by PR, communications and marketing pros), Buzzsumo, and Kred.

29 Social Media Tools Recommended by the Pros by Social Media Examiner

Cindy KingIn this outstanding list of tools and star-studded post, Cindy King compiles reviews from 29 top social media marketing pros of their favorite tools. Among them: Mari Smith reviews Pocket, which “allows you to consume and save a wide variety of online articles, which you can then post to Twitter or Facebook, schedule via Buffer or review at a later time”; Ekaterina Walter covers ShareRoot (“an all-in-one solution for Pinterest”); and social media monitoring tool TalkWalker is reviewed by Gini Dietrich.

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10 Top Marketing Thought Leaders in Social Media

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

If you were asked to name the top thought leaders in marketing today–the 10 marketers you’d definitely advise others to follow on social media–how would you proceed?

You’d probably start by looking at those you’re connected with on the major social networks, then do some additional research. Perhaps you’d look at existing “top” lists from other sites. You’d develop a “long list” of worthy experts, then gradually narrow it down based on followers, level of engagement, quality of posts, and other factors. You’d carefully develop your final list, possibly using a method like pairwise ranking.

Top 10 Social Marketing ProsBut—what if you had to answer on the spot? What if you had to respond immediately, or within just a few minutes? You’d forget some important names, of course, but your answers would reveal those you keep top of mind.

If you’re up for it, try this now; spend no more than five minutes listing your top 10—then come back to this post.

This recently happened to me. Below is my list in response to the question:

“Tell me the top ten marketing people you would follow on social media, those people that you think are the top ‘thought leaders’ in the marketing space today?”

Cheryl Burgess would unquestionably be on the list. In addition to being an expert on enterprise b2b marketing, she’s the co-author (with Mark Burgess) of The Social Employee, and the authority on how to inspire employee social media advocacy inside large organizations.

Ann Smarty knows SEO inside and out, and is the guru-ess of online tools. She also hosts the highly popular weekly Viral Content Buzz Twitter chat.

Meghan M. Biro is an acknowledged thought leader at the intersection of HR, social media and marketing.

Carla Johnson is one of the top experts on enterprise content marketing. Plus, she went to grade school in a one-room schoolhouse, making her ascent all the more impressive (or perhaps that just explains it?).

Robert Rose is another top resource on enterprise content marketing, co-author with Carla Johnson of Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing, and an original member of the Lebron team.

Jeff Bullas — does anyone know more about blogging than Jeff? He’s one of those guys who seems to defy the laws of time and space by being able to consistently churn out bookmark-worthy blog posts, speak at events all over the planet, write ebooks, and still engage actively and prolifically on social media.

Glen Gilmore has long been known as an author and expert on the intersection of social media and the law. But not content with that, he’s more recently emerged as a top authority on the Internet of Things (IoT) as well.

J-P De Clerck is a “digital business and marketing strategist” whose expertise stands in the crossroads of content, search, and social media. Plus he’s from Belgium, so along with Jeff Bullas (Australia) he keeps this list from being too U.S.-centric.

Gini Dietrich is a top PR pro, author of Spin Sucks and co-author of Marketing in the Round (incidentally a great primer on building a team to execute a web presence optimization strategy), and tweeter of consistently good stuff.

Wendy Marx is a brilliant b2b PR strategist whose B2B PR Sense blog is a must-read for any marketing or PR pro seeking wisdom and insights into b2b content marketing and social media.

In the moments after rattling off this list, my first thought was: not bad, for a group quickly compiled off the top of my head.

But my second thought was: wow, I missed a lot of important and worthy names!

How could I have left off some of the most engaging social media marketing and PR pros like Harry Hoover, Judy Bellem and Jayme Soulati?

Or within just the PR realm, thought leaders and key influencers like Deb Weinstein, Lisa Buyer, Jeff Domansky and Arik Hanson?

In the realm of content marketing, Michael Brenner, Neal Schaffer, Rebecca Lieb, Heidi Cohen and Ann Handley are certainly worthy additions. As are, getting more granular, experts in developing b2b buyer personas, like Ardath Albee and Tony Zambito.

Closer to home, I could have highlighted the fact that some of the smartest people in social media marketing are fellow Minnesotans, including Lee Odden, Marty Weintraub and Angie Schottmuller.

How about CMOs and others focused on leadership, like Patrick Strother, Tony Karrer, Chris Schenk, Kent Huffman, Eric Fletcher, and Margaret Molloy?

Or leaders in academics on social media, such as Gary Schirr, Mike Johansson and Dorie Clark?

Even at that, there are deserving names left off the list.

If I’m ever again asked to name a list of the top 10 social media marketers, I think I’ll answer—I can’t name 10. But I can give you 75 or so.

Who’s on your “top of mind” top 10 list?

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28 (of the) Best LinkedIn Marketing Guides of 2014

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

As noted in several of the posts highlighted below, LinkedIn is no longer just a hangout for job-seeking professionals, who largely abandon it in between job searches. A wave of changes over the past couple of years have transformed it into a major publishing hub, a platform for personal branding, and a place to ask and answer questions from like-minded professionals across nearly 2 million LinkedIn groups.

2014 Top LinkedIn Tips

Image credit: Cox Business

What’s more, as reported here previously, LinkedIn is the top social network for B2B marketing; 83% of marketers say they prefer to use LinkedIn for distributing B2B content. And yes, it’s still a key site for job seekers and employers—91 of the Fortune 100 companies (along with thousands of smaller firms) use LinkedIn for candidate searches.

The site’s expanded features have created new opportunities, but using all of these new features—and using them effectively—can be challenging. What type of content works best on LinkedIn? How can you maximize the exposure of your content published there? How can you make the most of LinkedIn groups? How does LinkedIn advanced search work? What are the best practices for utilizing Showcase pages?

Find the answers to those questions and many others here in more than two dozen of the best LinkedIn guides of the past year.

Guides to Publishing on LinkedIn

How to Use LinkedIn Publisher to Get More Visibility by Social Media Examiner

Viveka von RosenLinkedIn expert Viveka von Rosen shares half a dozen “best practices for publishing your posts to LinkedIn for more visibility,” including knowing the elements of a good post (“A catchy title…Attractive images…Good marketing/sharing strategy for your post…Luck”) and deciding what to publish (“writing posts about LinkedIn influencers or influential people in your industry is a good place to start. If they decide to share your post with their network… kaboom! It might go viral”).

Writing and Sharing on LinkedIn Just Got Easier by LinkedIn Official Blog

Akshay KothariWriting that “Whatever your style, your subject, your background, we’ve made it easier than ever to share insights and ideas with the world in a blog post,” Akshay Kothari shares tips for making the most of LinkedIn’s redesigned publishing features, from picking a vibrant visual (adding a “cover photo to make your post stand out”) to concentrating more on the quality of the content than any certain length.

10 Tips for LinkedIn Publishing by
***** 5 STARS

Kevin J. AllenKevin J. Allen passes along 10 tips for LinkedIn publishing success based on a study of “3,000 of the highest performing pieces of content published on LinkedIn.” Among the recommendations: keep headlines under 50 characters; use multiple images; don’t be afraid of long posts (those with 1,900-2,000 words do well); don’t use questions as headlines; and publish on Thursdays.

How to Write Your First Blog Post on the LinkedIn Publishing Platform by Neal Schaffer (on LinkedIn)

Neal SchafferAnyone can now publish on LinkedIn, but not everyone should–at least not without knowing the ropes. Social media expert Neal Schaffer explains the main features, including headings, formatting, quotes, links, and visuals.

7 Essential LinkedIn Marketing Stats: When to Post, What to Post and How to Improve by Buffer

Kevan LeeMoving beyond the basics in Neal’s post above, Kevan Lee shares some compelling stats about LinkedIn (e.g., “LinkedIn sends nearly four times more people to your homepage than Twitter and Facebook”) and explains how to take advantage of each finding (for example, “6 out of every 10 LinkedIn users are interested in industry insights”–so “industry and company insights should compose a fair majority of your posted content, and the overall content plan should feel relevant and actionable to your followers”).

How to Maximize Your LinkedIn Publishing Exposure by Social Media Examiner

Gregory CiottiBuilding upon the guidance from Viveka von Rosen above, Gregory Ciotti offers advanced tips for gaining larger readership on LinkedIn, using tactics such as “channel stacking: publish (or stack) topics on different days of the week,” researching winning topics, and planning publishing times to hit peak hours.

How To Dominate LinkedIn Publishing by Heidi Cohen

Heidi CohenFrequent best-of honoree Heidi Cohen showcases several key statistics about LinkedIn publishing (such as that “LinkedIn content pages attract 7 times more views than the job pages because people only check job pages when they’re seeking a new job”), then explains how to take action to capitalize on each finding or observation.

LinkedIn’s Content Publishing Flood: 4 Tips for Staying Afloat by Content Marketing Institute

Mike BaileyMike Bailey details four valuable tactics for making the most of publishing on LinkedIn, while not succumbing to “the temptation to exploit a shiny new promotional tool.” His first tip is to share your expertise, as this is a common thread among highly engaging influencer posts: “Authors with hard business advice to offer are the ones who are read most often and generate the most engagement, with posts on ‘spotting talent,’ ‘acting ethically,’ ‘leading with purpose,’ and ‘building company culture’ topping the popularity list.”

Guides to Using LinkedIn Groups

How To Find LinkedIn Groups With Target—ed Prospects by Top Dog Social Media

Melonie DodaroMelonie Dodaro explains how to find groups using keywords, “look under the hood” at group statistics to help narrow the list, determine what a “good” group is, and leave an impression by adding value. Just one caveat to add here: newer groups may not have a lot of interaction (yet) but offer the opportunity to “get in on the ground floor” as a key influencer in the group. Don’t overlook these opportunities.

How To Become A Top Contributor In Any LinkedIn Group by Top Dog Social Media

Once you’ve found the right groups to target, Melonie Dodaro (again) outlines a nine-step plan to “become a top contributor in ANY LinkedIn group and then what you should do about it once that happens,” warning that “You’ll need a heavy dose of ACTION along with this knowledge before you see results.” Among her tips: “Pay close attention to the most highly engaging content in the group. What are the specific topics that are evoking strong emotions and discussions? What keywords seem to be popping up in popular discussions? Answering these questions will help you get down to the core interests of the group,” and then develop content likely to resonate with group members.

Guides to B2B Marketing on LinkedIn

What We Learned After Spending $50,000 on LinkedIn Ads by Social Media Today
***** 5 STARS

Dave RigottiThinking about trying out LinkedIn ads? Wondering if (and how) they work? Dave Rigotti here shares his lessons learned after spending $50K on LinkedIn advertising. Among his findings: LinkedIn is great for driving leads from gated content, though offers and ads should be switched out every six weeks or so, and “The CPCs are significantly (5 – 10X) higher than many other channels, but converts much higher than other social networks. In the end we see the cost/customer as effective.” However—beware of mobile users: “mobile accounts for 47 percent of total traffic to LinkedIn. While this is great for increasing ad impressions, this is generally bad for gated content.”

B2B Marketing: Dominate Through LinkedIn Showcase Pages by SalesPanda

Samit AroraThe English is little rough, but Samit Arora here does an outstanding job of explaining how showcase pages are different from other areas of LinkedIn (e.g., 2-column layout; no tabs for careers, products or services; link back directly to the main business page; no employee profiles are associated), how to create a showcase page, and best practices for B2B marketing using showcase pages.

Breaking Down the LinkedIn Social Selling Funnel by Social Media Today
***** 5 STARS

Melonie Dodaro (yet again) walks through a “7-step system (that) will help you go from finding prospects on LinkedIn to taking the relationship offline,” from using LinkedIn Advanced Search and groups to idenify prospects to engaging with them on LinkedIn and other social platforms before taking the conversation offline.

5 Reasons Why LinkedIn Showcase Pages are an Audience Marketer’s Dream Come True by LinkedIn Pulse

Celia BrownWriting that LinkedIn has “grown to be far more than a recruiting solution- offering opportunities for everyone from freelancers to Fortune 500 brands to connect, market, engage, and influence members of the community. And LinkedIn’s Showcase pages enable brands to connect with audiences ion the social platform where they are already learning, networking, and engaging with peers,” Celia Brown explains why and shows how to use showcase pages for industry thought leadership.

10 Steps To Use LinkedIn For Small Business by MarketingThink

Gerry MoranReporting on research from the Wall Street Journal showing that “80% of small business owners, with 200 or fewer employees, use social networks to find new customers and grow their revenue, and…41% of small businesses feel that LinkedIn provides them the most potential to generate business,” Gerry Moran lays out a 10-step plan for small business success on LinkedIn, from the basics (setting up a company page, connecting with local groups) through shining up “your LinkedIn curbside appeal” with a complete and optimized profile.

5 Ways to Grow Your Leads With LinkedIn by Social Media Examiner

Melonie Dodaro (one more time) looks at five ways to use LinkedIn to “better connect with leads and prospects,” such as saving successful advanced searches (“LinkedIn’s advanced search tool is also great for finding potential prospects. It offers excellent functionality with the ability to search for people by keywords, relationship, groups, location and industry”) and creating a sequence of messages.

Company Pages Products & Services Page – No Longer Supported by LinkedIn Help Center

While this is no longer “news,’ for those who haven’t adjusted to LinkedIn’s late summer changes, this post explains what’s gone, what’s taken its place, and how to adjust your business’s LinkedIn company page to take advantage of the new structure.

Expert Advice About LinkedIn For Business And Your B2B Marketing by MLT Creative

Writing that “One of the reasons LinkedIn works so well is that it tells us exactly how we’re related to the people in our network (1st, 2nd and 3rd level connections) and the best ways of communicating with them. To a first level connection we can simply send a message, 2nd and 3rd level connections might get an invitation or an introduction,” guest blogger Viveka von Rosen (again) succinctly explains how best to utilize this communications framework.

Guides to Personal Branding on LinkedIn

30 Things You Must Do on LinkedIn to Find More Success This Year by Email Marketing Tips Blog

Marya JanMarya Jan recaps 30 tips for optimizing your use of LinkedIn, from using your profile to differentiate your skills (rather than being boring), using the new header image, and providing case studies, to optimizing your profile (“Use [keywords] throughout in key places like your title, summary and work experience”) and maximizing your endorsements.

The Five Fundamentals to Using LinkedIn by Bryan Kramer

Bryan KramerBryan Kramer shares a handful of helpful tips for getting the most out of LinkedIn, from the standard (join groups, keep your profile updated) to the inspiring: “use LinkedIn to establish yourself as an expert. Getting recognized as a top influencer on LinkedIn can have a dramatic effect on your brand. Simply put, people love to identify with an expert. It not only inspires trusts within your prospective client base, but it can open doors in terms of new business ventures.”

How to Structure a Perfect LinkedIn Profile by Cox Business BLUE

Neil PatelNoting that 40% of LinkedIn users log in each day, and “you can reach at least 60% of your audience if you post 20 posts or more a month,” frequent best-of author Neil Patel presents an infographic illustrating the elements of a “perfect LinkedIn profile,” from using a current, professional profile image and “connecting the dots” in your background to asking for and giving recommendations.

Cracking the #LinkedIn Profile Code by Social PR Chat

Lisa BuyerFrequent best-of honoree Lisa Buyer taps LinkedIn expert Jabez LeBret for his guidance on the “four P’s” of LinkedIn profiles: personalization, professionalism (tip: to keep your profile professional, “write your summary in the 3rd person. As he put it, ‘Don’t write in the 1st person. Don’t sound like an a-hole'”), progress, and publishing.

Social Media: 4 steps to build your personal brand using LinkedIn by MarketingSherpa

Rachel Minion offers helpful tips for establishing your personal brand on LinkedIn, most critically optimizing your summary: “The biggest key here is you want to talk to visitors using a conversational tone that connects with them. Talk about yourself in the same way you would if I’m standing next to you. Allow the conversation to be easy to understand and interpret.”

3 Stunningly Original LinkedIn Headlines by

Andy FooteAndy Foote illustrates how not to be boring on LinkedIn, using three outstanding examples (including Cindy Gallop, whose personal headline is: “I like to blow shit up. I am the Michael Bay of business.”), plus advice on how to think about crafting your own unique, non-boring headline, and why this exercise is worth the effort.

New LinkedIn Profile Features: 4 Tips to Optimize Your Presence by TopRank Online Marketing Blog

Evan ProkopExtending on the information in the post above, Evan Prokop outlines a four-step process for getting the most out of recent LinkedIn profile design changes, from the new image options (“think about what kind of imagery could add a tasteful yet personal touch and tell a story about you and your professional background”) to measuring and comparing your visibility (“The new ‘How You Rank’ report will show where you fit into the top 100 most viewed profiles among your company and first degree connections”).

The LinkedIn Profile Header – How to Improve Your Look by Integrated Alliances

Mike O'NeilMike O’Neil supplies detailed guidance on how to optimally use the LinkedIn profile header (for paid LinkedIn subscribers only), company pages, and showcase pages (“So, what goes in a header image?…You could upload a large image or graphic. Be thinking of something that fits your brand…This is a GREAT OPPORTUNITY should you choose to take advantage of it”).

6 Lessons to Make the Most of LinkedIn by LinkedIn Pulse

Eric HoltzclawEric Holtzclaw passes along half-a-dozen “important lessons…how to use LinkedIn more effectively,” such as segmenting your connections using tagging: “To be successful on LinkedIn you need to ensure all communication with your connections is as personal, specific and targeted as possible. Your connections need to be segmented in their specific fields so that at any given time you are able to effectively communicate with any one of your contacts.”

And Finally…

5 Reasons LinkedIn Has Lost Its Luster by {grow}

Eric WittlakeIs LinkedIn’s value and position as the premier professionally-oriented changing? Eric Wittlake contends it’s at least at risk, due to recent changes that have diminished LinkedIn’s value, such as the gamification of recommendations (“Now LinkedIn prompts us to endorse people for skills they don’t even have, but it’s far easier to click “Endorse” than it is to actually edit what you are endorsing someone for!”), the diminished value of connections, and “going Facebook” (with the addition of profile header images).

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The Top #Nifty50 Men Writers on Twitter for 2013

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

By Cheryl Burgess, originally published on the Blue Focus Marketing Blog


In 2011, I teamed up with Tom Pick (@TomPick) and his Webbiquity blog to unveil the first annual #Nifty50 Awards. Our goal in designing these awards was to honor the top 50 women and top 50 men in social media. In that first year, we cast a wide net, honoring those whom we felt actively engaged as brand ambassadors on Twitter day in day out, exchanging valuable information, and just generally being good, helpful people. Last year, we narrowed our focus to honor the top 50 men and top 50 women engaging on Twitter on behalf of the tech sector.

This year, we wanted to target a specific group once again, and so we agreed to honor the top bloggers, authors, PR specialists, and journalists on Twitter. After reviewing all of your wonderful nominations over the summer, it’s now time to unveil the winners!

Now that Tom and I have compiled our lists, the word that keeps popping into my head is “community.” This isn’t just a list of 50 men who work in isolation; these are people who share strong social bonds with each other, who would be just as happy to celebrate the success of one of their colleagues as they would be for themselves. These thought leaders understand that the greatest product of a good idea is more good ideas, and it’s great to see that their generosity and thought leadership in online communities is being recognized.

I’m happy to say that I have had the privilege of experiencing this generosity firsthand. As we were writing our book The Social Employee: How Great Companies Make Social Media Work – Success Lessons from IBM, AT&T, Dell, Cisco, Southwest Airlines, Adobe, and Domo on building a Social Culture (McGraw-Hill, August 2013) (@SocialEmployee) late last year and early this year, we were honored to receive excellent contributions from people like Vala Afshar (@ValaAfshar), David Armano, (@Armano) David C. Edelman (@DavidEdelman), and Kevin Randall (@kevinbrandall) —just to name a few. These wonderful wordsmiths truly enlivened our own content, and we couldn’t be happier to see them make this list.

So without further ado, here are the 2013 #Nifty50 Men! Feel free to celebrate their achievement by dropping them a line on Twitter, and don’t forget to check out the Webbiquity blog for the 2013 #Nifty50 Women!

Vala Afshar @ValaAfshar

Vala Afshar

David Armano @armano

David Armano

Jonathan Becher @jbecher

Jonathan Becher

Sander Biehn @sanderbiehn

Sander Biehn

Michael Brenner @BrennerMichael

Michael Brenner

David Brier @davidbrier

David Brier

Michael Brito @Britopian

Michael Brito

Terry Brock @TerryBrock

Terry Brock @TerryBrock

Mark Burgess @mnburgess

Mark Burgess

Chris Carragher @cjcarragher


Dan Cristo @dancristo

Dan Cristo

Dino Dogan @dinodogan

Dino Dogan

Mike Edelhart @MikeEdelhart

Mike Edelhart

David Edelman @davidedelman

David Edelman

Mark Fidelman @markfidelman

Mark Fidelman

Sam Fiorella @samfiorella

Sam Fiorella

Jez Frampton @jezframpton

Jez Frampton

Nis Frome @nisfrome

Nis Frome

Sean Gardner @2morrowknight

Sean Gardner

Glen Gilmore @GlenGilmore

Glen Gilmore

Andrew Grill @AndrewGrill

Andrew Grill

John Hagel @jhagel

John Hagel

Arik Hanson @arikhanson

Arik Hanson

Kent Huffman @KentHuffman

Kent Huffman

John L. Kennedy @johnlkennedy


Jure Klepic @jkcallas

Jure Kelpic

Bryan Kramer @bryankramer

Bryan Kramer

Simon Mainwaring @simonmainwaring

Simon Mainwaring

TJ McCue @TJMcCue

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Billy Mitchell @billymitchell1

Billy Mitchell

Jacob Morgan @jacobm

Jacob Morgan

Tom Peters @tom_peters

Tom Peters

Howard Pyle @howardpyle

Howard Pyle

Erik Qualman @equalman

Eric Qualman

Ajay Ramachandran @ajay

Ajay Ramachandran

Andreas Ramos @Andreas_Ramos

Andreas Ramos

Kevin Randall @KevinBrandall

Kevin Randall

Ron Ricci @RonRicciCisco

Ron Ricci

Tony Riches @tonyriches

Tony Riches

Alex Romanovich @alexromanovich

Alex Romanovich

Ted Rubin @TedRubin

Ted Rubin

Neal Schaffer @NealSchaffer

Neal Schaffer

Dan Schawbel @DanSchawbel

Dan Schwbel

Gary Schirr @ProfessorGary

Gary Schirr

Brian Slattery @BrianSlatts


Andy Smith @kabbenbock

Andy Smith

Brian Solis @briansolis

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Bill Strawderman @marketingbard

Bill Strawderman

Todd Wilms @toddmwilms

Todd Wilms

Tony Zambito @TonyZambito

Tony Zambito


Cheryl Burgess (@ckburgess) CEO and CMO of Blue Focus Marketing, author of The Social Employee – How Great Companies Make Social Media Work, published by McGraw-Hill, in summer 2013.  She is a social branding consultant with expertise in social business and social media. She is an expert blogger for AT&T Networking Exchange on social media. Proud to be an invited contributor to the Wharton FOA’s Advertising 2020 Project. Active Member of the Wharton Advertising 2020 Contributor Community.

She was awarded Wharton Future of Advertising’s MVP and praised as a “brilliant strategic thinker in the social media space.” Huffington Post honored her as one of 40 global women “Passionistas” for her “great business expertise and timeless blog posts.”  Also,  Huffington Post “Top 100 Business, Leadership and Technology Twitter Accounts You Must Follow.”

She was featured in Fast Company and Business Insider.  Invited speaker on “Expanding Your Social Influence” at the AT&T Networking Leaders Academy Annual Conference. She is a four-time winner of the Twitter Shorty Award in Marketing [The New York Times hails this as the Oscar of Twitter], named Top 75 Twitter Women, 2012 Top 100 Branding Experts on Twitter, and a 100 Top Marketer on Twitter.  Cheryl is a syndicated blogger. She is the co-founder of #Nifty50 Top Twitter Women and #Nifty50 Top Twitter Men. Google+

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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, 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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