Given the widespread adoption of social media marketing practices, the “if” and “when” questions seemed to have now been resolved by most midsized and larger companies (and a lot of small companies as well).
However, as the posts and articles highlighted below show, plenty of questions remain, such as how much should we budget for social media? What’s the best process for developing a social media marketing plan? How should we staff for this and train current employees to contribute? How do we demonstrate the ROI of social efforts?
Find the answers to those questions and many more here in almost three dozen of the best social media tips, how-to guides, lists and reports of 2012 so far.
Social Media Marketing Tips, Tactics & Techniques
Dr. Seuss’ 7 social media lessons by Ragan’s PR Daily
The delightful Heidi Cohen presents seven social media marketing tips in Dr. Seuss style, among them “‘Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.’ Be yourself on social media platforms and reveal your true essence…Show who you are with your avatar and profiles. Include information that proves you’re human.”
9 social media hacks you need to embrace now by iMedia Connection
Astutely noting that “Social media isn’t inexpensive, it’s just different expensive. To do it well requires a tremendous time commitment, and regardless of what your life and lifestyle entails, the time you spend on social comes with an opportunity cost price tag,” Jay Baer offers six tips for getting more done in social media in less time, such as listening to podcasts while commuting or working out, and utilizing tools like Buffer and If This Then That.
Five Types of Social Media Influencers by Intelegia
Raymond Morin presents both Klout’s 12-type matrix of social influencer types as well as Lisa Barone’s simpler model of five types, including the networker (“one who has the biggest contact list and found on all platforms. He or she who knows everybody and everybody knows him or her”) and the sharer (“one who distributes information to the bloggers to journalists through the specialized webzines. He or she usually amplifies messages”).
“Businesses are interacting with consumers to socialize rather than learn about customer expectations to in turn, deliver tangible value, improve product experiences, and invest in long-term relationships,” writes Brian Solis, who then details an experiment by Andrew Blakeley in which he spent a week as a “social consumer.” Blakeley concluded that “the online experience for consumers was undefined or uncharted, leaving consumers to fend for themselves to find relevance within the engagement without any reinforcement to brand value or story.” Don’t be one of those brands.
What Marketing Questions Are Worth Asking in Social Media Listening? by MarketingProfs
David Rabjohns says that the top five questions Fortune 500 companies are asking about social media are:
- • Where are people talking about my brand?
- • How should I change my messaging?
- • How much buzz do I have vs. competition/trend?
- • How do they feel about us vs. the competition?
- • Quantify the biggest brand topics.
Why Now Is The Time To Build Your Personal Brand by B2B Marketing Insider
You want loyalty? Get a dog. Michael Brenner notes how recession, downsizing, the end of pensions and other developments (the accelerating pace of technological change) have made the implicit employment “contract” that existed for much of the last century obsolete, and offers four tips for building a brand that will enhance your professional success and influence.
29 Social Media Leaps of Faith by Heidi Cohen
Heidi lists 29 helpful “leaps of faith to help you build your social media presence and activity,” such as building your social media tribe, introducing your connections to each other (where is may be mutually beneficial), and guest blogging.
3 Steps to an Effective Social Media Strategy by Social Media Examiner
Amy Porterfield outlines a “three-step plan designed to help you develop an effective, streamlined road map for social media success,” beginning with an assessment of where you are at today and working through ongoing monitoring, measurement and continual improvement.
How to create and edit articles for Wikipedia by Web Ink Now
***** 5 STARS
Wikipedia is one of the most popular sites on the web, so getting exposure there is incredibly valuable. But the site is not of course, and shouldn’t be, a marketing tool. Content needs to be informational and neutral in tone. David Meerman Scott explains how to properly write for Wikipedia here.
How to Train Employees to Manage Social Media [infographic] by WordPress Hosting SEO
This infographic explains why existing employees may make the best social media managers, how to divide employees into different training groups most appropriate to their skills, and recommendations for handling personal social media use at work.
How To Write Your Social Media Plan in 8 Steps by Social Media Today
Mike Thimmesch lays out an eight-step process for drafting a social media plan, starting with painting “The Picture of The Big Opportunity of Social Media” and finishing with an urgent call to action (“While similar to how you started your plan, you want to finish with some more strident points that create a sense of urgency”).
7 tips to take social to the next level by iMedia Connection
Erick Mott walks through the definitions of and process of creating owned, paid and earned media followed by seven tips for developing and implementing a social plan, among them “Staff up your social media roles with a distributed workforce that can collaborate and perform in real time. Plot where your organization is, which will help inform strategy and budget and hopefully help you secure what you need for the next phase.”
21 Tips to Balance Social Media Addiction, Tweets, Life and Real Work! by The Marketing Nut
Pam Moore supplies 21 tips for keeping the “social” in social media marketing, developing “a plan that includes objectives, goals, and knowing your audience” without spending excessive time (though noting that sometimes such activity will necessarily take longer than you expect). Among her tips: “Use time blocks. If you struggle with controlling your time enjoyed (or wasted) on social media then set time blocks for engaging, writing blog posts and other tactics.”
Tom Treanor shares 14 “secrets” to building relationships with industry influencers, though he acknowledges the simple truth that “Networking is 98% about being a nice person and having good manners.”
What exactly is a social graph? by Biznology
Writing that “one thing I don’t like (about social media) is that technical people like to make up new fancy words to describe what they make, even if no one knows what they mean,” Mike Moran explains in plain words what a social graph is and what its limitations are.
Social Media Metrics and ROI
101 Examples of Social Business ROI by Dachis Group
Despite the fact that “quantified results in social business and brands willing to stand behind them are difficult to find,” Peter Kim manages to compile a list of more than 100 real-life examples of social media ROI, such as Blendtec (“Viral videos increased company sales +700%”) and Epson (“Reviews drove 98% higher revenue per visitor for Epson”).
The Social Media Metrics That Truly Matter by iMedia Connection
Kent Lewis proposes a matrix model for identifying and monitoring meaningful metrics for your company, based on which platforms are most relevant to your target audience, your objectives and goals for each, and important secondary KPIs to consider.
The Real Secret To The ROI Of Social Media by Social Media Today
Koka Sexton explains why “The real ROI of social media is the moment you realize that you can’t stop the spreading of your content even if you tried. It would be like trying to unpull a trigger…ROI is most importantly the cultivation of relationships and capturing the positive word of mouth recommendations from your community. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.”
CMOs Say Social Media Spending Will Surge 46% in the Next Year by Mack Collier
Mack reports that although spending on social media marketing is set for another year of strong growth, many companies still struggle to measure or prove the ROI, because, in Mack’s words, “shockingly, most customers don’t want to be marketing mouthpieces for brands.” Therefore, transferring traditional value measures from other media won’t work in social networks; that doesn’t mean ROI can’t be measured, it just can’t be measured using the same criteria.
Social Media Facts and Stats
Companies Struggle To Manage Social Media by MediaPost
Mark Walsh reports the findings of an Altimeter Groups study showing that “global corporations are now struggling to manage an average of 178 business-related social media accounts, spanning Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Foursquare, among others…Social media has often been harnessed haphazardly for marketing, sales, customer support and product development. While 70% of businesses said social media efforts met company objectives, only 43% had a formal strategy to address how social will meet specific business goals…(social media management is) exacerbated at a scale CMS didn’t have to deal with (as large) companies typically oversee 39 Twitter accounts, 32 blogs, 30 Facebook pages and 29 LinkedIn accounts.”
Social Media Jobs Salary Guide by Onward Search
Promising “a comprehensive look at the best US job markets, the most in-demand social media jobs, and the corresponding salary ranges for each profession,” this informative infographic reveals findings such as that Minneapolis ranks #13 in number of social media job postings (New York is #1), the highest salaries are generally paid in San Jose, and the most common position is content writer.
Reporting that “77% (of consumers) are more likely or much more likely to buy from a company whose CEO uses social media to clearly define company values and leadership principles (and) 94% say C-suite social media participation enhances a brand image,” according to a recent Brandfog survey, Rhonda Hurwitz advises senior C-level executives to learn social media tools instead of over-delegating.
Search and Social
Using Social Buttons to Enhance Search Engine Optimization by Practical eCommerce
It’s no secret that social signals are playing an increasing role in search engine rankings, but Jill Kocher provides additional detail behind the trend and recommendations for how to capitalize on it.
Social Media Tools
New technologies to manage social by iMedia Connection
Josh Dreller lists almost 200 tools for every aspect of social media marketing from managing multiple social networks, managing Twitter and searching social networks to apps for social analytics, media relations and video/photo sharing.
YouTube Tips & Tactics
Set Up Your YouTube Channel for SEO Success by The YouMoz Blog
Pointing out that “YouTube is now the world’s second largest search engine,” Joel Chudleigh steps through the process of optimizing a YouTube channel for usability and findability, from properly setting up your profile and editing your channel to sharing videos through social networks and measuring results.
B2B And A Resistance To Video Marketing by B2Bbloggers
Observing that “B2B companies have long resisted video as a means of marketing, but that medium is gradually becoming more accepted,” Chris Peterson provides half a dozen valuable tips for technical optimization as well as four practical suggestions for producing effective, non-cheesy b2b videos.
Pinterest Tactics & Techniques
Why Pinterest Should Be of Interest to Brands by MarketingProfs
Amanda DiSilvestro explains how Pinerest works, how to get started with it, and four ways that brands can benefit from the visual social sharing site, including “Visibility and SEO: Every image that is pinned will include a link back to the website where it originated. This helps to spread the word about your company and what your company can offer” (in addition to building links, though these are now no-follow).
Sage Lewis first explains why optimizing for Pinterest is important (e.g., to ” take up greater search engine results pages real estate) then provides 10 optimization tips such as posting original images, giving them search-friendly file names and using keywords in your description.
Claiming that Pinterest is “not ‘just another social media site. This one is different. Pinterest is doing a great job of driving traffic, leads, and sales,” Jesica Meher outlines six benefits of Pinterest, from generating inbound links to integration with existing Twitter and Facebook accounts.
103 Resources For Becoming a Pinterest Expert by KISSmetrics
Zach Bulygo shares more than 100 tips for capitalizing on Pinterest, helpfully arranged in categories like Background and Basics, How-To Articles, Lessons to Learn, Marketing with Pinterest, and Similar Sites.
Why I’ve Resisted Pinterest by MediaPost
The brilliant Ryan DeShazer likely speaks for more marketers than he knows in this thoughtful essay outlining his personal and professional reasons for not yet jumping on the Pinterest bandwagon. Among his personal reasons: “#1 – My guy friends would make fun of me. I’m serious. You will never catch me at a dinner party commenting that, ‘I just pinned the most incredible thing today.’ #2 – This smells like social scrapbooking. I don’t scrapbook. My mother does.”
Tumblr and Google+ Tips & Tactics
How to (Properly) Use Tumblr to Market Your Brand by Search Engine Journal
The prolific Debbie Hemley showcases 10 major brands (including ESPN, Wired magazine, Starbucks, Pepsi and Android) that stand out from the crowd on Google+ and what makes each brand page remarkable.