Social Media Strategy, Tactics and Tools
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I’m currently participating in the Social Media Success Summit, a four-week online conference featuring many of the world’s top social media experts and authors. My head’s already spinning with all the great information, so as I piece it all together, I thought I’d share some of my key takeaways with you.
The theme for Week 1 was social media strategy, tactics and tools, with an amazing speaker line-up:
- Mike Steltzner – How to Succeed by Continuously Showing Up: Drip Feed Marketing
- Kim Garst – How to Use Visual Content to Drive Massive Social Media Engagement
- Andy Crestodina – How Examining Two Numbers in Your Analytics Will Make You a Better Blogger
- Mark Schaefer – Unlocking Your Perfect Social Media Strategy
- Mari Smith – How to Build Powerful Relationships on Facebook and Beyond
- Syed Balkhi – How to Grow Your Blog’s Traffic and Revenue
- Bryan Kramer – How to Take Control of Your Social Body Language to Maximize Your Social Brand
- Ian Cleary – How to Streamline Your Social Media Activities with Proven Tools
- Neal Schaffer – How to Find Out Where Your Ideal Audience is Using Social Media
To capture all that wisdom in one blog post would require far more time than I have to write, and probably more time that you have to read, so I’ve selected just a few gems for you.
Food for Thought: Keep it Real
The overall theme was that social media marketing isn’t about broadcasting your promotional messages all over Facebook, Twitter, and other sites. It’s about having conversations with other users.
As Mark Schaefer stated, “People don’t go on Facebook to read ads. They go there to have fun.”
Mari Smith reinforced the lesson by saying “Be a member first, then a marketer.” She went on to say that even when posting as your business, your personality should be reflected. In the case of larger businesses that aren’t associated with a specific individual, the person who is making the posts on behalf of the company should include their own name or initials on their posts.
In other words, people don’t want to network with businesses, they want to talk to real people.
Even Kim Garst, in her session on visual content, stressed the importance of being real. As an example, people are more likely to engage with photos of you and your team on the job than with one of your vehicle with your business name plastered on the side – and your own images will nearly always be more effective than stock photos.
It’s all summed up nicely in the title of Bryan Kramer’s latest book, There is No B2B or B2C: It’s Human to Human: H2H, which he generously shared with summit attendees. I’m looking forward to reading it!
5 Free Tools for You to Try
So many fascinating tools were recommended, especially during Ian Cleary’s session, but these sounded particularly interesting:
- Digg Digg – social sharing plugin for WordPress that allows you to float your buttons at the side of the page, instead of (or as well as) at the top and/or bottom of your posts
- Click to Tweet – you’ve probably seen this on blogs, but have you thought of using it in other documents, such as PDF reports that you give away?
- New Old Stock – photos you can use in visual content, free of known copyright restrictions
- Buzzsumo – research tool for finding most shared content, influences and mentions of a particular brand or topic
- ContentGems – receive daily content suggestions on the topics that you choose
3 More Tools for You to Try
These all cost money, but they each offer a free trial, so you can see whether it’s something you’d find of value before investing in them:
- Spider – a social listening tool by oneQube to help you actively engage
- CoSchedule – editorial calendar plugin for WordPress that allows you to schedule your social media messages while you write your blog posts
- Pay with a Tweet – give people an incentive to share your content
The Summit runs until October 30, so on the next three Tuesdays I’ll be posting my key takeaways from the previous week’s sessions.
Other blogs are also covering the event, including Dinnertime Marketing, where you’ll find daily summaries.
For a smaller taste, just follow #smss14 on Twitter.
Image © vetkit / depositphotos