There are a lot of articles on social media out there.
It’s a little bit of information overload for anyone looking for a guide on how to use social media for business.
Social media for business really started ramping up about five or six years ago with the introduction of Twitter. Since that time there have been a lot of articles and guides that have come and gone. Some haven’t really made a difference and others have stood the test and are just as valuable today as they were when first published.
I’ve read (and have written) a lot of articles on social media over the years. These are the best ones I’ve found.
The 25 Best Articles on Social Media
(2008, The Future Buzz)
Using the “wait and see” approach here is pretty dangerous, especially when your competitors are successfully leveraging these amazing tools to massive effect.
When you build community you build an army of evangelists for your blog, create social proof and open many doors for growth and strengthening of your site.
Do You Make These Mistakes With Your Social Media Marketing?
However, in my opinion, if you’re looking to generate traffic for business purposes, you’re better off focusing on practically useful content that activates high arousal emotions. It has given me the best results for the last 5 years, and still gives me great results today.
What makes content practical? And how can you activate high arousal emotions?
If you’re interested in connecting with someone you might want to try ReTweeting some of their messages before you introduce yourself.
(2011, Social Media Examiner)
Because there’s a tremendous amount of competition vying for consumers’ attention in the social media arena, businesses that can differentiate themselves will stand out and get noticed. Zappos Service Twitter page shows how to make it friendly and feel like you’re hanging out with a good friend.
You are a source of knowledge in your space where inevitably, someone is looking for answers. Be among the earliest to share your knowledge freely and develop a devoted following of potential customers who will eventually look to you for not only answers, but also products and services.
The lesson here? Don’t just create helpful content. Create the most helpful content. Do the research no one else wants (or has time) to do. Compile the most comprehensive resource. Take the time to do it right. One immensely useful blog post will do 10 times more for your brand than 50 mediocre ones your users can find elsewhere.
Once you find some people that fit your targeted, local demographic, be sure to follow them on Twitter. Don’t just click the follow button though, be sure to actually follow their updates and interact with them. The second part is key if you expect to get any local followers to your Twitter profile in return.
Curate the Best Content – Even if you are the best content creator in your industry, people often like to see a second opinion. Find out who other authorities are in your industry and share their opinion on industry topics with your following. You will gain more relevant followers simply for sharing the best news.
We started using Twitter because we saw that people were talking about us there – in fact it freaked people out at first when they’d hear from us! We have forums, a blog, we do a lot of email and events, and we answer the phone. We just want to make it easy for people to communicate with us. Users choose the medium they like and we make it easy to connect. So when people started Twittering about FreshBooks, we started Twittering too.
(2007, Chris Brogan)
Some advocates of social media focus on the tools. They show off the gear, the software, all the nuts and bolts of getting it done. Show the benefits of these tools, not the hardware itself. Start by showing how a successful podcast like the Financial Aid Podcast drives leads back to trackable web assets and converts the traffic into revenue for the company. Talk about how you can bring conversations out to where the people are through using tools like Google Blogsearch and Technorati, instead of showing someone how to set up a Ning group. Think from the mindset of benefits, not the how-to.
Make sure you’re either on top of the hot topics and sensitive issues in each of your target markets, or you hire someone to specialize in each market.
(2011, Social Media Examiner)
The time frame will depend on the length of your standard sales cycle. For example, if your sales cycle was 1 to 30 days for your longest direct conversion point lead, you might find that social media leads represent 31 to 60 days for the indirect lead and 61 to 90 days for the engagement lead.
(2011, The Future Buzz)
A lot of marketers continue an unhealthy obsession with spending time purely in Facebook and Twitter. I see it again and again. And while Facebook and Twitter absolutely should have a place within a larger digital strategy, your marketing does not start and end with them. They’re outposts but not a hub.
Everyone wants something. Understand the one reason why people come to your blog. If you blog about marketing, your readers want you to help them get more clients and customers. If your blog is about blogging, your readers might want to know how they can monetize theirs. Everyone wants to pursue their dreams and know they’re needed.
As the stereotype would have it, women love to keep, tell and discover secrets. Actually, so does everybody else. This word appears in all the headline swipe files of those (male) copywriting masters.
Body language communicates more information than you could ever HOPE to write.
A diversity of profiles may seem wise, but in reality, you may be able to draw far more link juice and value by contributing more significantly with fewer accounts.
(2008, Top Rank Marketing)
Brand control is in the hands (minds really) of consumers, not companies. So marketing on the social web means informing, educating and even entertaining those communities of people that care about the issues, problems, wants and needs met by your company.
Social proof: you’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again—despite all their protestations of individuality, people love conformity. So tell them which way the flock is going because people want to be in the majority.
@EdgeShaveZone began randomly targeting people on Twitter to receive random acts of kindness, part of the brand’s Anti-Irritation Campaign.
(2010, Brian Solis)
In social media, we are measured by our actions and our words as well as who we know.
It seems like people respond better to tweets that aren’t built on sensationalism according to the researchers. That means if you can say something as plain as possible, that will get more traction than if you punched up the copy to make it sound enticing.
Determine the commercial value of a Facebook “Like” for your business – Having more “Likes” may increase your sales – or it may not.Â Take the time to determine what impact Facebook promotions have on your bottom line in order to understand how much emphasis this tool should receive in your social media marketing campaigns.