30 Brilliant Social Media Marketing Tips From 2011

    by Corey Eridon

    Date

    December 9, 2011 at 5:30 PM

    social media networksWith so many great social media marketing tips getting shared in the blogosphere, we wanted to pass along some of the best tips and ideas that came up in 2011. These are tips that, if you haven't benefitted from them yet, are evergreen enough that you can continue to leverage them well into 2012 to make your social media marketing rock.

    1. Write blog content for your target audience, which is not necessarily yourself. This happens with startups a lot. They blog about being entrepreneurs, which is great – if your target audience is entrepreneurs. Blog about the things that your community wants to know about. (Source: Mark Suster)

    2. If you’re going to use social media for customer service, mirror your hours of operation on Twitter to the hours of operation you have for your support team. (Source: Jeff Esposito)

    3. Measure social media ROI by analyzing how it performs compared to more established channels or advertising methods. It’s not comparing apples-to-apples when it comes to cost, but you can compare the quality of traffic they drive to your website. (Source: The Next Web)

    4. Mobile check-in deals aren’t just for restaurants and bars. See how one medical practice creatively offered a special to his tech-savvy patients for checking in. It’s something any small business marketer can learn from. (Source: Mashable)

    5. How frequently you blog does count. Businesses that blog daily generate 5 times more traffic than those that post only weekly or daily. (Source: Social Media ExaminerBonus tip: need ideas for all that content? Here’s 100 of them to get you started.

    6. Hashtag-stuffing tweets doesn’t work. A study from Argyle Social shows that (in their sample) tweets with hashtags got 5% fewer click-throughs than those without hashtags. (Source: Social Media B2B)

    7. If you follow more people than are following you, you could harm your Twitter account’s SEO potential. Search engines “trust” those with more Twitter influence, and following many more people than follow you isn’t always an indicator of that. (Source: Marketing Profs)

    8. Building an online community? Show your power users that you appreciate their contributions. Do this by asking them for feedback, offering prizes and giveaways, and actually saying "thank you" for their interactions, mentions, and good content. (Source: Social Media Today)

    9. Blog about the problems your product or service solves – not about the product or service. No one cares about you (yet.) Everyone cares about their own problems and if your product or service can help. (Source: Social Fresh)

    10. Think of marketing as storytelling, and think of your customers as the characters. Think about what motivates them. Measure what patterns they display. Let their actions, wants, and needs drive the story. (Source: Joey Strawn)

    11. Depressing tweets, vague tweets, tweets about your weight loss – and of course, our favorite, the humblebrag - these are all messages that are better kept to yourself. A little personality is fun. But for the most part, stay professional and positive. And always, always stay classy, of course. (Source: BostInnovation)

    12. What does your social media strategy really need? It needs to answer simple questions. Who am I speaking to? What do they want from me online? How will this strategy evolve? It’s not tools or tactics or having the perfect definition for either one. It comes down to these basic ideas that are all about tying social media to your businesses needs. (Source: Smart Blogs on Social Media)

    13. Publishing a blog post on your company blog? Post several tweets of that post and track the success of different times and keywords for your followers. (Source: Social Media B2B)

    14. Stop talking about yourself if you want more retweets. Want to get more RTs? Of course you do. They drive traffic to your blog posts, can boost SEO, and connect you with with more followers. According to Social Media Scientist Dan Zarrella’s latest research, tweets with self-reference get fewer retweets than those with other information. So be relevant, share good information, and don’t make it about yourself. (Source: Dan Zarrella)

    15. The medium isn’t the message. Remember that Twitter, Facebook, or whatever platform you’re using isn’t the strategy; it’s a tool to distribute your message. (Source: Entrepreneur)

    16. Choose to measure social media metrics that tell you how you’re doing based on why you’re doing social media in the first place. This will require you to step back and think about why you are tweeting, or why you have a Facebook Page. Is it because you want sales? Then measure conversion rates. Is it for market research? Then monitor trending topics. (Source: Clickz)

    17. Use geo-location Twitter searches to identify local prospects to connect with. In Twitter’s advanced search, you can refine your search by keyword and location. (Source: Jeff Bullas)

    18. Use social media data to find your key influencers, outline your media plan, and develop your messaging. By listening to customer conversations on social media, companies can learn a lot of information about their competitors and industries that will help them better craft their marketing programs. (Source: Mashable)

    19. Create a Facebook group to stay connected with those you meet at conferences months after the last panel. The new Facebook groups aren’t the old “I lost my cell phone number” most people have been invited to at some point. New groups allow you to email content, use collaborative group docs similar to Google Docs (perfect for sharing Twitter usernames or other contact information), and message the whole group at the same time. (Source: Social Fresh)

    20. Consider the timing of your social media posts – time of day, time of week, and time of year. If you're posting to your Facebook Page in the mornings but your audience isn’t looking until after office hours, your updates are lost in the mix. If you work for a seasonal brand (think snowboards), how do you need to better tailor your content during the summer vs. the “on-season?” (Source: Search Engine Optimization Journal)

    21. You don’t need the voice of influencers – you need your brand advocates. Engaging with influencers just for the sake of having someone with 100,000 Twitter followers talk or blog about your product isn’t useful because they aren’t invested in your product. Your brand’s existing advocates are. An influencer might get you quick buzz, but your brand advocates offer longevity. (Source: Danny Brown)

    22. Have a common name? Use checkusernames.com to test personal brand monikers that will work for your social media handles and domain. It’s likely that DanTaylor.com is already taken, but you can check to see what variations are available so you can create a cohesive personal brand across all social networks. (Source: The Next Web)

    23. Plan your editorial calendar for what ebooks can result from your blog posts.  Cranking out content for a company blog each day isn’t easy, but if you approach your content creation strategically, you can do it in a way that scales for your business. (Source: Social Media B2B)

    24. If you’re going to tell people to “like” your company on Facebook, have something of value waiting there for them. Give them a reason why they should “like” you. (Source: Outspoken Media)

    25. If your company makes a mistake on social media – think rogue tweets – step out and own up to the mistake. Don’t pull any tricks and pretend you were hacked. (Source: Smart Blogs on Social Media)

    26. Use social media contests as an opportunity to learn more about your customers. Ask them how they heard about your promotion to get a sense of what channels people use to learn more about your brand. (Source: Mashable)

    27. Here are three universal content blueprints to include in your company’s blogs: offer a new opinion, create a killer list, or teach your customers how to do something. (Source: Social Fresh)

    28. Leverage social search and boost your rankings for target keywords by offering content (ebooks, webinars, etc.) and having community members pay with a tweet. Use hashtags.org to find hashtags that matter to your audience and work them into your pay with a tweet offering to tap into prospective community members on the web. (Source: SEOmoz)

    29.) Include social sharing and follow buttons on your site, your blog, and in your emails. Use this how-to guide to learn how you can create them for all the major social media networks. (Source: HubSpot)

    30. It seems obvious, but an often disregarded quality of great community and social media managers is great social skills. Tact and discernment go a long way. (Source: SocialFresh)

    What social media marketing tips helped you out in 2011? Let us know in the comments!

    Image Credit: daniel_iversen

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