social media how toAre you looking for some creative ideas to enhance your social media activities? If so, look no further.

To help you lay down tracks for social media success, here’s a solid list of strategies from eight top social media experts. Take a look, ask yourself what tips you can use and start reaping the rewards of real success.

#1: Offer live events on Facebook

mari smith“To provide additional value and fresh ways for your fans to interact with you, periodically conduct live chat sessions or live webinars or teleseminars. My co-author of Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day, Chris Treadaway, and I recently conducted what we called a ‘flash chat’ in order to crowdsource content for version two of our book,” explained Mari Smith.

“We used the awesome webinar platform Linqto and within a few minutes we had a large group of people interacting with us. Linqto allows presenters to be on webcam and mic and take turns ‘on the floor’ while participants interact via chat,” said Mari.

mari linqto webinar
Mari also said you can keep it real by simply conducting a live Q&A right on your Facebook fan page wall. You’ll get extra visibility in the news feeds of your fans!

#2: Help others who aren’t necessarily famous

erik qualman“Don’t try to build your personal brand or company brand alone. Go out of your way to look for opportunities to help others and give others credit. This may seem like a lot of work in the short term, but it pays off in the long run. Plus, it’s the right thing to do,” said Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business.

“Easy ways to do this include recommendations on Twitter of others’ work, retweets and hot tips on the comment section of blogs,” Erik added.

“Heed Guy Kawasaki’s advice and select those not on the A-list. The Mari Smiths, Chris Brogans and David Meerman Scotts already are showered with love. Select an up-and-comer, as you will stand out more to that person,” explained Erik.

#3: Don’t over-focus on marketing

hollis thomases“All too often, businesses overlook the ‘social’ part of the phrase social media marketing and jump straight into the ‘marketing’ part… to their detriment. They forget that social media is dominated by a community of people who have expectations of the various social networks to which they belong. Very often, these expectations do not include having marketing messages jammed down their throats,” explained Hollis Thomases, author of Twitter Marketing: An Hour a Day.

Hollis cites INGDirect, L.L. Bean and Ben & Jerry’s as good examples of authentic brand voices that ‘get’ the Twitter community.

ingdirect tweet
llbean tweet
ben & jerry tweet
Notice the engagement in their streams.

Hollis added, “If you plan on delegating your social media activities to someone, ask yourself, ‘Does this person really understand our brand, the image we want to present and does s/he have the ability to communicate properly about these attributes?'”

#4: Research what your customers are saying

brian solis“Stop reading the success stories and best practices to model your social media strategy. Use them for inspiration, but my best advice to you is to go figure out what your opportunity is first,” said Brian Solis, author of Engage: The Complete Guide to Building, Cultivating and Measuring Success in the Social Web.

“Every business case is different. Your customers’ needs are different. Use a tool such as to learn more about what your customers and prospects are saying, looking for and sharing. It’s here where you will find the insights necessary to inspire a campaign that’s relevant and meaningful,” said Brian.


Publish your time-stamped stream as an intelligent link.

#5: Meet people in real life

steve garfield“I’m from Boston and we used to have a huge user group here called the Boston Computer Society,” says Steve Garfield, author of Get Seen: Online Video Secrets to Building Your Business. “They had monthly meetings where people could go out and meet each other and get help and learn about new products. Then, people started getting answers online. So the Boston Computer Society disbanded, thinking that people could just go online to get all their answers.

“The most critical thing that the Boston Computer Society forgot was how important it is to meet people face to face. That’s why I have monthly meetings in Boston with a group I founded called Boston Media Makers. At these meetings every person who attends gets to meet every other person. That’s the secret,” said Steve.

boston media makers

You can meet people online, but solidify these online relationships face to face.

“The meeting is set up to allow for mingling at the beginning, then we have a round table where everyone gets two minutes to talk about who they are and share some news or ask a question. Then the meeting ends with more mingling. What’s very important is that the meeting is free, and happens at the same time every month no matter what. We never cancel. Everyone is welcome,” explained Steve.

#6: Get your content read by being controversial

dean hunt“We all know that ‘content is king’,” says Dean Hunt, a leader in high-impact buzz and viral content. “This is especially true when it comes to social media and social bookmarking. But what happens if nobody reads your masterpiece? There’s nothing worse than spending hours on an article, blog post, etc., only to see it gather dust in the Internet caves.

“So here’s a strategy I created to ensure that your content WILL get noticed… In fact, people will do a double-take when they see your content title, and will not be able to resist reading it. I call it the ‘negative slant.’ It’s very simple to do, and works best with informational or how-to content,” said Dean.

“An example is a recent post I wrote, ‘How to Work Really Hard and Make No Money.’ It was a big success. Now, I should stress that the content in that blog post was informative, positive and actually showed people how to make money, but I put a negative spin on the title, which gave it shock value,” said Dean.

dean hunt

“Imagine if the title had been ‘How to Make Lots of Money’ instead. We see these kinds of promises every single day, and we’re trained to not believe or trust them. So put a negative slant on your social media content, and watch it create buzz and get shared faster than ever before,” explained Dean.

#7: Invest in social media after you do your research

jeremiah owyang“Just as you would invest your personal finances based on your family size, age and market conditions, you should be spending in social business with the same industry knowledge,” said Jeremiah Owyang, partner of customer strategy at Altimeter Group.

According to Altimeter’s recent report, How Corporations Should Prioritize Social Business Budgets, “Corporations should gauge their own social business maturity and prioritize spending decisions based on the industry benchmarks. Novice programs must focus on getting their internal teams in order; intermediate programs must scale customer-facing initiatives; and advanced programs must integrate social business throughout the enterprise.”

altimer group

This chart matches spending priorities with an organization's social business maturity. Take a look and see where your business fits best.

#8: Share the knowledge of experts with your audience

mike stelzner“Get experts involved with your content. Determine who the experts are in your industry. Then go to them and offer to interview them about their hottest new project. During the interview, be sure to ask plenty of questions your audience would like to know the answers to. The result will be a great article, audio or video that provides valuable information to your audience AND forges a relationship with the expert,” said Mike Stelzner, founder of Social Media Examiner.

To see an example of this strategy, check out Mike’s recent interview with bestselling author Seth Godin.

seth godin on sme.

Want to Learn More About Social Media for Business?

If you’re not fully leveraging the power of social media, don’t worry. You’re not alone.

There’s one easy way to take your social media efforts to the next level. By attending the web’s largest online blogging conference, Social Media Success Summit 2011 you’ll become empowered to use social media to gain more exposure, better engage customers and grow your business.

The great part is you’ll be learning from 22 blogging experts. Join  Jeremiah Owyang (Altimeter Group), Brian Solis (author, Engage), Frank Eliason (Citigroup), Mari Smith (co-author, Facebook Marketing), Erik Qualman (author, Socialnomics), Michael Stelzner (founder, Social Media Examiner), Dan Zarrella (author, The Social Media Marketing Book), Andy Sernovitz (author, Word of Mouth Marketing), David Meerman Scott (author, Real-Time Marketing & PR) and experts from Verizon, Boeing, Intel, and Cisco as they reveal proven social media tactics at Social Media Success Summit 2011.

Check out this video from Michael Stelzner

It’s the web’s largest online blogging conference. Go here for a free sample and to learn more.

By the way, all eight of these experts cited in this article will be joined by 14 other social media pros at this year’s Social Media Success Summit 2011. Go here to learn more about this online social media conference.

Now it’s your turn! Which of these expert tips are you going to model for your own social media strategy? Share your comments with us in the box below!

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  • Amy..Brains hits the should always listen to the customer..becasue they are the one’s who you need to answer to..they are your business..

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  • I am currently taking a SoMe bootcamp and have learned soooo much! I like the perspective in this blog. I just try to remember to be a Go-Giver. Someone who is more focused on helping others and educating with fun tips from my area of expertise- fashion!

  • Hi JuliAnn – I think you have figured out a key to success – giving and helping others.

  • Tips 1 and 2 are the main ones here for me. #2 is something I do every day but #1 is something that I’ve been hesitating to start…maybe now is the time.

  • Excellent tips from all the sources. It is important that you actually know what your followers are looking for and know what they want to be able to give it to them. Using time discover metrics and actually running polls and even strait asking them what they want you to discuss next are great ways of doing this. It also give them a stake in what is going on and is a way to really interact.

  • Starfish Principle: “#2: Help others who aren’t necessarily famous”

    Miss Saigon, 6th and Market, today, after 1pm: “#5: Meet people in real life” Anyone in The City By The Bay, feel free to stop by. I may move court to The Summit SF a little later in the afternoon.

  • I started my blog to help others. I’m a web developer by trade, and many of the issues that I see people struggle with are things that to me are really, really easy. So I reached out to a bunch of seniors and tried to help them out with my posts. It worked, but what I found was that I gained the attention of those that aren’t so much into learning anymore, and just want to blog. Not all, but many of them were like that.

    I’ve learned much and have shifted focus to write more general topics that would apply to a wider variety of people since then.

    I think helping others is the best thing we can do as bloggers. If you do that well, money will follow naturally. Money isn’t everything. It’s nice, but it shouldn’t be the focus in my opinion.

    Enjoyed reading this, good stuff!

  • Thanks Wayne!

  • Amy,

    Thank you for the review! These are all great ides that help us focus on our audience to provide information people are after.

    I particularly like Mike’s point, #8: Share the knowledge of experts with your audience. There are so many great resources and I always appreciate when someone I follow introduces me to someone new. So, I try and do the same.

    Thank you again – Theresa

  • Tim Sanders would be grinning from ear to ear! Thanks for your great work here. I keep pointing people back to this site because of the wealth of info I find here. Keep up the good work!

  • Whistler Heather

    Nice one… Most certainly taking courses and sharing are my top picks from this great list… Not selling another big one Thx

  • When all this social media craze started people were worried about relationships becoming too dependent on the “online” platforms (e.g. internet, phone, email, etc) thus losing the need for physical interaction

    Actually the opposite has occured. Social media has enabled us to broaden our reach strengthening existing relationships and creating new ones…………..Social media has actually allowed us to take our relationships to another level……… to offline.

  • This is great information, Thank you – Thank you

  • This is a wonderful resource of information you have here Amy. Social media has not only opened doors for entrepreneurs, but it is a huge open door for “up-and-coming” business professionals that can take a resource like yours above, and start right away in learning how social media is an important piece to your online and offline business success.

    Thank you for taking the time to collect and organize this information onto your blog. You rock!

  • Longear

    Thanks for your tips. I am a social media new comer. Can you recommend an experienced group that discusses the instrumental use of social media in politics?

  • drjosephnemeth

    Thank you for the great advice! What I struggle most with along this social media journey is getting to that level of engagement with my followers/fans/etc. I seem to be able to get people to “like” me or “follow” me, but I cannot get them to engage. I wish somebody could give me that one pearl of wisdom that could help me with this problem. I pose questions, I run polls, I blog constantly, I try to have contests, I ask for opinions and I get zero feedback. I just don’t know what I’m doing wrong. But again, thank you sharing your wisdom. Your blog has been a fantastic resource for me!

  • Thanks very much Jeff!

  • Joseph,

    Try doing a search on our site for engage or engagement and you will find resources

  • I’m a big believer in tip number two. I do it simply because others helped me get to where i am. Sometimes you just have to invest in people because you believe in what they are doing, and their work strikes a responsive cord in you. I don’t think you should do this necessarily so that they will”remember you” when they”make it”, a relationship like that is fake. For me there is a reciprocal element involved in doing this that always rebounds back in a good way. Sometimes it comes in the form of increased traffic and visibility, other times it’s monetary, and most times, it just feels good to know you’ve played a part in helping someone get to a place they wanted to go to. That’s what SOCIAL media ia all about, to me.

  • I think no. 3, 4,5 are the most important to me. “don’t over focus on marketing”, absolutely, social media is not just about “marketing”, meeting people in real life is a critical step of building solid relationship. i love doing that 🙂 I haven’t really tried, will do that. Thanks for putting those useful tips together.

  • Hi
    This is so true! social media is an effective tool to get exposure and for creating brand awareness. the best part of social media is that you can have others opinion about your product.. i guess this is the only reason why we are seeing such a huge turnouts of companies in media’s like FB & Twitter

  • Amy,
    Like Dean I tried the negative slant and I posted on Facebook and I was able to get a a lot of comments which is tough…. with my crowd. What I would like to see is more people promoting hope is that someone with good heart will promote me..we will see

  • Amarnath

    This is great source of Idea from the Sociaql Media Group . Peple will learn more and creative ideas

  • RL COMM l Social Media Expert

    Thank you for posting this great article; yeah expert should share their knowledge to everyone whose interested to learn. In social media sharing and helping each other is the best key to success..

  • Gadnynj

    Great stuff, logical, and primal.

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  • hey, number 2, 3, 4 and 6 are really helpful 🙂

  • drjosephnemeth

    Thanks Michael, I found some great stuff that I’m excited to try. Thanks again. I’m a big fan of you and your site. Jodi (for Dr. Joseph Nemeth)

  • drjosephnemeth

    I decided to look into hosting a live facebook event (see hint #1) and followed the link to the webinar platform Linqto. The product hasn’t been launched yet according to the website. The link led me to a website that was the equivalent of an “under construction”. That is totally frustrating and as much as I am a fan of Mari Smith, I think putting that link up on your blog was a bad idea. I for one will now be researching other such platforms to use for a live event. It’s unfortunate because it sounds like this “linqto” is supposed to be a good product and a nice solution for hosting live, interactive facebook events. Unfortunately, if a link leads to a dead end, I don’t give it a second look. There are too many other options available.

  • Jonathan Kidder

    Great points – 3, 4, & 5

  • Hi Amy,
    Great tips and ideas. Mike and the team your site is awesome, full of great info, tips and ideas. Gets my brain whizzing with ideas every time I read. Keep it up.

  • customer relations and feedbacks also plays a important role in any marketing 🙂 and thanks for your precious tips

  • Thank you so much for your information. You need to know what your prospects and customers are looking for inorder to offer them what they need.

  • Thanks again for great information. It’s so hard for my offline clients to understand #3. They just don’t get what is really happening in the marketing world: building trust, helping people, instead of shoving sales down their throats.

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  • Joseph,

    We researched this as well and I will reach out to Mari to find out if there is an app link.

  • Go for it, Michelle!! Peeps will love to engage more with you. Try the Vpype app for a great Facebook webinar platform – unfortunately, I think Linqto is not quite out of private beta. 🙁

  • Dave in the house!!! (hehe, just a wee virtual wave). 😉

  • Hi Dr. Joseph, my humble apologies for jumping the gun. Linqto is a terrific platform and was initially developed for Stanford University. They were due to be out of private beta by now; this is a better link to try:

    Please feel free to send me an email to and I can introduce you to my contact at the company who can get you set up with your own room.

    And/or as a great alternative Facebook webinar platform, try Vpype – I reviewed that app on my site at

    Hope this helps!!

  • Paul Stelljes

    And always use your spell-checker and watch that grammar!

  • This was a great article! It mentioned a lot of experts to watch for and gave some good insight.@adamLsimmons

  • I think #1, #2 and #5 are most useful.

    #1 At uberVU we’ve been doing live chat with users and customers for about a year and the effects are incredible. The level of understanding and engagement you get through this are only surpassed by face to face meetings

    #2 Most people starting out find the influencers and try to suck up to them. This is not really authentic and also not practical. Everyone tries to get the attention of influencers, so there’s a lot of noise out there. Also, if you want to be perceived as an expert yourself, you need to help out people that know less than you

    #5 The Internet was supposed to make connecting easier. I don’t think it’s done that. You can’t really connect with someone until you’ve met them. So yes, these days we’re exposed to many more people than before, but meeting them in real life is key if you want to build a relationship.

    So thanks, very useful tips.

  • @Micheal: Great post, very useful content here! Guys any tips for Social Media engagement for the hospitality sector? Need more FB fans & followers on Twitter – only relevant people though – who would actually like to come to our place and from near our city. We don’t intend to use the ‘you follow me, I follow you’ trend going on currently on Twitter.

  • Nakul, the way we’ve been doing it is as follows:
    – find people you can help with your expertise. It you have a hotel somewhere, there will be many people asking around where’s a good place to eat in the town, where’s cool to go out, etc. Answer them and help them out. A lot of them will follow you.
    – Get people you do business with to follow you. Give your customers a small reward for following you on Twitter, Facebook, etc.
    – promote other people’s content by replying, retweeting, etc. Some of them will follow you

    There are other ways but these are great to start with.

  • John Green

    Is it just me or are there other followers out there who feel they are at the tip of the Social Media, Iceberg ! Great points here

  • @dragosilinca: Thanks for your post! Truly helpful guidance. Will initiate now and go along these steps. We maintain a blog where me & my team frequently update our experiences, hurdles and solutions we find in promoting brands on Social Media. Do give it a look in your leisure time:

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  • Hello,This is a great place to be as I really do want to learn a lot more about it as I am new to the Internet and the social media and I like to be social , I really do like this site and maybe I will be able to learn something from it,As it has some good info. on it.

  • antoinepgrew

    Wow. I’m surprised Mari Smith is actually answering something here. She must consider this a website that will benefit her.

  • Thanks for this post, found these tips to be very helpful.

  • Antoine – I asked her to address a question that only she could answer

  • Davidse123

    For my business Brian Solis thoughts were most relevant. May try Dean Hunts idea also.

  • I like the “be controversial” approach. The more wacky the idea, the more attention it seems to garner most of the time.

  • Nice! Thanks! Follow me on twitter if you like models!

  • I just came across your website through Twitter. I am a current college student studying Marketing, Communications, and Entrepreneurship. I love your website! I am really interested in learning more because I plan on starting my own business some day and I am really interested in focusing on social media for marketing. Thanks so much!

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  • you info help me promote my site. thanks for sharing such news.


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  • Mlnowak

    Point #6 is useful but a dose of satire sometimes is needed 7 Things Your Dog Can Teach You About Social Media

  • I was looking for the best social media tips in Google and I found this blog post on the second page. This was a very interesting blog post – so much information to absorb, however it was well worth it. Truthfully I found all your “8 HOT SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS..” very helpful, I had to read it twice just to get the information to stick in my head ha ha! Thank you Amy this is truly the best social media tips I’ve read so far. All the points you had made are simply the most obvious tips, however people like me have other thoughts whether it will work or not so we’re all like that “running our thoughts as a tape”. Thank you, for clearing my thoughts on whats the best way to improve social media.

    SPECIAL THANKS TO: , Mari Smith,Hollis Thomases, Erik Qualman, Brian Solis, Dean Hunt, Jeremiah Owyang, Michael A. Stelzner, Steve Garfield, & Amy Porterfield FOR WRITING AMAZING POSTS.

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  • Regarding tip #6, Controversy is attention grabbing for sure but it doesn’t seem to help unless you have some sort of explanation for creating the title.  In other words, every title needs to have reasoning behind it.  

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  • Erik’s advice in #2 was exactly right. Those A-list people mentioned all practice what he says. That’s how they got to be A-list.