9 Social Media Marketing Tips From the Pros

social media toolsAre you looking for some new ideas to simplify your social media marketing?

Do you wonder how others use social media to attract customers?

We asked the pros for their hottest social media tips. Here’s their advice to help you power up your social media marketing.

#1: Draw Attention to Your Custom Tabs in the New Facebook Timelines

Andrea Vahl

Andrea Vahl @AndreaVahl

If you have a special offer on your website, why not use Facebook to showcase your freebie?

With the new Facebook Timelines fan pages, you can no longer have a custom tab as a default landing tab, so now you will have to draw attention to your freebie with the custom tab photo and the custom tab name.

HubSpot has done a great job of that with their custom tab photo advertising their free ebook and the Customer Case Studies title on one of their other apps.

hubspot apps

Notice the images on the four icons under the header image.

A Facebook custom tab is not hard to create with a Facebook application. You can find out about some of the best applications to create custom tabs here.

Applications like Lujure and ShortStack have templates to help you easily create your Facebook custom tab with your email capture form embedded into it. You can add a video, a picture of your freebie and some text. You can also link your email opt-in code within the custom tab to get people connected to your email list, as well as connected to you on Facebook.

Then once your custom tab is created, edit the custom photo and tab name by clicking on the pencil icon in the upper-left corner of the Application box and select Edit Settings.

You can also advertise your special freebie using Facebook Ads, drive the ad traffic to your Facebook custom tab specifically and hopefully capture the Facebook Like as well as the email address!

Andrea Vahl, co-author of Facebook Marketing All-In-One for Dummies.

#2: Add the LinkedIn Company Follow Button to Your Site

Michael Stelzner

Michael Stelzner @mike_stelzner

If you’re trying to connect with business folk, LinkedIn is clearly the social network of choice. They recently released a simple widget called the Company Follow button.

This nifty little button looks a lot like a Retweet button, but instead makes it very easy for people to follow your LinkedIn company page without leaving your site.

linkedin company follow button

See the LinkedIn Company Follow button in our sidebar.

Michael Stelzner, CEO and founder of Social Media Examiner.

#3: Use Bufferapp to Manage Your Social Media Marketing

dave kerpen

Dave Kerpen @DaveKerpen

One of my favorite social media tools right now is Bufferapp, a content management system. Bufferapp allows you to add content to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts prior to their being published.

Unlike HootSuite or TweetDeck, Bufferapp automatically spaces your content out for you. That way, if you post something spontaneously, your scheduled content moves around so you don’t end up spamming your followers’ feeds.

Another advantage Bufferapp offers is the optional toolbar add-on that allows you to post directly from another website, similar to the Pinterest Pin button.

Bufferapp is brilliant in its simplicity and is an excellent content management tool, especially for those of us who might not have time to sit down and tweet for a couple of hours each day.

buffer

Check out Buffer to manage your social media marketing.

Dave Kerpen, author of Likeable Social Media and CEO and co-founder of Likeable.

#4: Get YouTube Subscribers Just by Asking

Paul Colligan

Paul Colligan @colligan

Many marketers feel the most powerful feature of YouTube is that it will provide free video hosting. This is as strategic as reading Social Media Examiner for the cute cartoons.

YouTube’s value is that it is a very social network that wants you to interact with your audience (called subscribers).

If you use YouTube for nothing other than free video hosting, you’ll never have that audience or experience the community it can bring you.

How do you get subscribers? Ask anyone who views your videos to consider subscribing to your channel. They already like you, or they wouldn’t be watching your videos.

Do it right in the video if it makes sense and/or do it with a YouTube annotation. Don’t know how? Click on the “Edit Annotations” button to make an annotation on any YouTube video in your account. You can link any annotation to a Subscribe link. You must be logged into your YouTube account to do this.

Need more help? Below is a YouTube video that walks you through the process step by step.

Paul Colligan, CEO of Colligan.com, education czar for Traffic Geyser Inc. and executive producer for eMarketingVids.com.

#5: Create a Facebook Plan You Can Stick With

Amy Porterfield

Amy Porterfield @amyporterfield

My clients often ask me, “How many times a day should I post on Facebook?” Unfortunately, there’s not a magic number; however, research does suggest that 2-5 times per day is key.

Anyone can handle this posting schedule for a week or two, but the real winners on Facebook are the companies that keep it up—every single day (or at the very least, Monday through Friday). Consistency always wins on Facebook.

Because your fans visit Facebook at different times of the day, one post a day simply isn’t enough—most fans won’t even see it. Instead, post several different types of content throughout the day. These can include short videos, quick tips, links and questions, to name a few.

Stagger your posts at different times to reach more fans. And never forget to include a call to action—words like click, comment, share and like will increase engagement.

Plus, the more you post, the more feedback you’ll get on what kinds of posts work best, and use this information to post more of what your audience really wants.

One extra tip: For maximum engagement, keep your posts around 80 characters or fewer. A study by Buddy Media showed that posts with 80 characters or fewer received 27% higher engagement rates. That’s big!

short facebook update

Aim to post short updates regularly on your Facebook business page.

Amy Porterfield, co-author of Facebook Marketing All-In-One for Dummies.

#6: Be Consistent

Rich Brooks

Rich Brooks @therichbrooks

I know that sounds completely boring, but it’s true!

Too many people think that social media success comes when you set up a Facebook business page. Or they expect their YouTube video to go viral or believe that one blog post will generate hundreds of leads. It doesn’t work like that.

Because of the low barrier of cost to social media, everyone will have at least a Facebook page, one blog post and one video under their belts.

Success comes from being consistent—consistent with your messaging, consistent across your social media outposts, and most important, consistent in delivering quality content to your audience day in and day out.

Don’t flame out like a shooting star; be as reliable as the rising sun.

Rich Brooks, founder and president of Flyte New Media.

#7: Prepare Now for Tough ROI Questions

nichole kelly

Nichole Kelly @Nichole_Kelly

Measuring social media has a two-fold return. First, it will allow you to do more of what is working and less of what isn’t. Second, it will allow you to address the question management teams are asking: “What is our ROI?”

Successfully measuring your efforts will require some upfront work to make sure you can collect the data and that you have a framework for presenting the data in a way that executives care about.

Take a look at your daily executive report to find the metrics that matter most and then figure out how you can collect similar data for social media.

business financial metrics

Plan to calculate your ROI. Image from iStockphoto

Nichole Kelly, CEO of Full Frontal ROI Consulting.

#8: Focus on Dollars

 kipp bodnar

Kipp Bopdnar @kippbodnar

Followers, Klout and Sentiment are not the end-all, be-all metrics of social media marketing success. A staggering 73% of CEOsthink that marketers lack credibility and don’t drive revenue or business demand.

The best step a marketer can take in social media is not to chase the newest shiny object like Pinterest. Instead, build a strategy and measurement plan to generate cold, hard cash from your marketing efforts.

For B2B marketers specifically, this means having lead generation calls to action on your blog and being more conversion-focused. Use a like-to-lead gate on your Facebook page in an effort to increase your social media reach and generate leads directly from Facebook (see screen shots for example).

Counting followers isn’t enough. Start attributing social media marketing efforts directly to sales.

Kipp Bodnar, co-author of The B2B Social Media Book and inbound marketing strategist at HubSpot.

#9: Fix the Appearance of Your Links on Facebook

Kelly Lester

Kelly Lester @EasyLunchBoxes

Facebook posts will get a much better click-through rate if they include a picture. But what if the post link you are sharing fails to show a thumbnail, even if the post you’re trying to share is full of them?

Use the Facebook Debugger Tool!

Somehow, this handy tool clears the clutter and refreshes the page so that Facebook can grab the latest goodies. Here’s a much better technical explanation.

All I know is this thing works! Look:

before debugger tool

Here's what my post was going to look like before debugging.

after debugger tool

Here's a lovely thumbnail image I got after debugging.

Kelly Lester, creator and CEO of Easy Lunch Boxes and the host of the musical web series, Let’s Do Lunch!

Join These 9 Pros at Social Media Examiner’s Social Media Success Summit 2012

social media success summit 2012Social media has changed radically in the last 12 months,” acknowledges Michael Stelzner, (CEO and founder of Social Media Examiner). “Google+ entered the stage, Facebook introduced Timeline for pages, YouTube unveiled their new layout, Twitter got a complete revamp and then there’s Pinterest. It’s a completely different world and there’s a need to discover new strategies and new ways to market your business with these platforms.”

To equip you with the latest strategies for marketing with Google+, blogging, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter and Pinterest, the people you trust from Social Media Examiner have recruited 27 of the world’s most respected social media experts to share their newest tips and advice at Social Media Success Summit 2012.

If you’re not familiar with these events, they’re large online conferences (so you don’t need to travel).

Typically, thousands gather at Social Media Examiner Success Summits to discover new social media tactics, network with peers and discover how other successful businesses are using social media.

What People Say About Social Media Success Summit

Last year, 3,000 people attended the online summit.

Some of the organizations represented were Coca Cola, Visa, Microsoft, 3M, Honda, Kraft Foods, SAP, Wells Fargo, Disney, AutoDesk, LexisNexis, Four Seasons Hotels, Fuddruckers, EMC and thousands of small businesses.

Here’s what some of them had to say:

“Thoroughly wowed by the format and content. I will most definitely attend future summits,” Kim Kiefer

“Guaranteed to improve the way you approach social media. I’ll be back next year!” Derrick Sweet

“Phenomenal topics and knowledgeable speakers. The ability to ‘catch up’ on sessions thanks to recordings was a selling point for me due to scheduling,” Erin Caples

“This is the most comprehensive training I have yet seen on social media. The lineup of presenters was most impressive and the whole summit exceeded my expectations,” Suzanne Kiraly

Meet Your Presenters

Among the 27 social media experts who will be presenting at this summit are:

  • Jeremiah Owyang, Altimeter Group
  • Chris Brogan, author of Google+ for Business
  • Mari Smith, co-author of Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day
  • Brian Solis, author of Engage
  • Scott Monty, head of social media at Ford Motor Company
  • Frank Eliason, author of @YourService
  • Michael Stelzner, founder of Social Media Examiner and author of Launch
  • Jay Baer, co-author of The Now Revolution\
  • Jason Falls, co-author No Bullshit Social Media
  • Mark Schaefer, author of The Tao of Twitter
  • C.C. Chapman, co-author of Content Rules
  • Dave Kerpen, author of Likeable Social Media
  • Jesse Stay, author of Google+ for Dummies
  • Amy Porterfield, co-author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies
  • And experts from Dell, Ford, LinkedIn, Citigroup, Citrix and many others.

Why Attend Social Media Success Summit?

Here are a few reasons:

  • Learn the latest and best social media business-building tactics.
  • Learn about tracking and measuring social media return on investment.
  • Learn how to sell with Google+, blogging, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter and Pinterest.
  • Learn how content marketing fits in with social media.
  • You’ll have the opportunity to network via LinkedIn with thousands of people who are expected to attend.
  • You’ll interact live with experts from big B2B and B2C brands such as Ford, Dell, LinkedIn, Citigroup and Citrix.
  • Keep learning even after the summit is over—With the session recordings and the transcripts, you can keep studying the material for up to one year from the date of your ticket purchase.

Want to save some money? If you reserve your spot now, you’ll save 50%. Click here for details.

What do you think? What has worked for your business? Please share your hottest social media tips and questions in the comments box below.

Image from iStockPhoto.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

About the Author, Cindy King

Cindy King is the director of editorial for Social Media Examiner. She spent 25 years abroad in international business development and then built her own international business from scratch by using social business networking. Other posts by »




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  • Raul Oros

    Nice article! I am happy to realise that i am already doing almost all of this! since day one, socialmediaexaminer had me going on the right track! 

    Thank You,

    Raul Oros

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  • http://www.stuffedweb.com/ Sam Scholfield

    There are many great points here! Thank you :) I completely agree with #6 Be consistent. It’s no good starting out on social media to go quiet after a few months. By being consistent, you will grow over time and your fans will know exactly what to expect from you.

  • http://www.nearcoastmedia.com/ Matt Hamilton

    #9 is so awesome! I always get frustrated when thumbnails don’t show up since pictures are so key for click throughs. Thanks a ton.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/FelipeRodriguez81 Felipe ‘Flip’ Rodriguez

    I love number’s 5 and 6 because too often people think that “anyone can do social media marketing”, or that you just put a Facebook page up and it grows itself like magic! The truth is, no matter how many fans you have in the beginning, large or small business, the only way to truly grow your facebook page is with consistent content, and engagement. And it’s a process, it doesn’t happen overnight, it could take a couple weeks, maybe a couple months, but if you stay consistent, and your customers are an engaged audience they will start to feel pride in being your customer.  

  • LeoWid

    What an awesome post. Particularly thankful for #9 just like @mattjhamilton:disqus mentioned above, I sometimes get quite confused with it. 

    Also, huge thanks Cindy and @DaveKerpen:twitter  for the kind Buffer mention, much appreciated! Of course, if I can answer any questions, please let me know anytime. :)

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    Raul, that’s great to hear!

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    :)  This is a nifty trick!  Thanks to @EasyLunchBoxes for sharing!

  • T. Shays

    Lots of great tips! I didn’t realize that Facebook had a Debugger tool, and I will certainly be utilizing it now.

  • http://www.about.me/claudia_scherzinger Claudia Scherzinger CoachingEx

    great – thanks for the informations

  • HL Dalgleish

    Debugger Tool! Fantastic tip.

  • http://katiescharms.com/ Jenn Colgan

    The debugger tool is awesome, thanks!

    #5 threw me for a loop, though. I’ve read multiple articles that state that posting multiple times a day on Facebook can reduce your EdgeRank. This tip is saying just the opposite, though…can anyone talk to this contradiction? 

  • http://twitter.com/therichbrooks therichbrooks

    Thanks, Sam! I understand that Amy Porterfield came up with the same tip as me! So obviously she was cheating off my homework. As usual.

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    Very funny, Rich!  I was just thinking “great minds think alike” but you just took it to negative town! ;-)

  • http://twitter.com/therichbrooks therichbrooks

    Thanks, Flip. I am one of those people who believe “anyone can do social media!” However, as long as “anyone” is willing to put in the effort and be consistent with their marketing.

  • http://www.cloudkeyseo.com/ Eric

    Facebook advertising is such an easy way to stand out in this cluttered market. Don’t forget a timeline banner to complete the the professional branding. What a lot of people don’t realize, is that Facebook is also the single best tool for reputation management, after all, it is where you begin to tell the personal story behind the brand.

  • http://mariasconsulting.com Maria Snyder Consulting

    All of these tips are great! Many business and users alike will benefit from the easy to understand and read points.  Keep up the great posts.

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  • http://automobile.ejukeytur.com/category/car-images/ Adam

    Its really lucky to have discovered this website.  Even though I have a blog, I was not that enthusiastic about promotion via social media websites.  And I was not aware of how to.  After reading this post, I am sure that your posts will guide me through the way.  Thanks very much.  Nice theme.  I really love it.

  • http://aimeecarmichael.com/ Aimee Carmichael

    good article some great tips worth sharing! do you give press tickets for the summit?

  • http://www.nebulasdesign.com/ Nebulas Website Design

    Thanks for the useful article. I already use Buffer for Chrome which works a treat but wasn’t aware of Bufferapp will have a look at that as I use the scheduling feature in Hootsuite currently for other posts.

    Also wasn’t aware that with the new timeline layout on Facebook you can no longer have tabs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tecnomaco Tecnomaco Italia

    Great article and tips. thanks! I manage to post on Facebook,  and have the same posts repeated on linkedin and twitter, and it even works with wordpress, as I have linked them all, one to each other!  

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  • http://www.noflux.net John

    Great -great article. Though I, personally know how to to little bit on twitter – FB has always been a mystery to me.
    Bookmarked it – and will have to read the article several times for everything to sink in. :)

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  • http://twitter.com/apertur3studios apertur3 studios

    Some decent tips…. but where is the importance of integrating SEO into your social media marketing initiatives?

  • Alyssa Pascucci

    I guess I don’t understand posting to Facebook 2-5 times a day. Wouldn’t you just use twitter for that? If I was a fan of a page who posted 2-5 times a day, I would certainly unlike them.

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  • nathanlatka1

    Thanks for the shout out @andreavahl ! We love supporting all of our Lujurians and smb’s :)

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  • http://www.seo-plus.co.uk/ Hazel Jarrett

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

    I’ve been so frustrated about the appearance of my links in Facebook and had no idea how to solve it, so thank you Kelly Lester for Tip no.9. I’ve just posted a great looking link and am now happy! 

  • http://www.noflux.net John

    Thanks a lot Cindy for putting ideas of those great minds together. Been trying to find a way in the field for quite some-time, but after the initial stage -was going nowhere that led to frustration. Now I can re-shape my strategy and begin again.

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  • Lillie

    This is very helpful! While some of the tips seem obvious, one must remember that not everyone has the same experience and some are starting with zero experience.  Thanks!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/KevinSparksAzCashflowClubFounder Kevin Sparks

    With the Timeline Changes there are a lot of unhappy people who spent money having a custom Facebook Page made and they don’t know how to make a Timeline Cover so they will have to pay someone to do one or go without. I can’t help everyone but I am willing to have 1,000 Custom Facebook Timeline Covers made for FREE for 1,000 business owners. This is my way to “Pay It Forward” and help some people. I know 1,000 isn’t a lot in the grand scheme of things but I am just doing my small part to help business owners out. People can get their FREE Custom Facebook Timeline Cover herehttp://anyonecanpayitforward.blogspot.com/

  • http://www.facebook.com/fabricio.ottoni Fabrício Ottoni

    9 dicas importantes de Social Media.

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  • http://www.fanstap.com/ Meka

    that is very useful
    social media is the future
    we can’t afford to ignore it
    thank you 

  • http://www.bloggingfromparadise.com/ Ryan Biddulph

    Hi Cindy,

    #6 is the best lesson of all.

    Each tip is spot on. Now, follow #6, for each tip. Day after day. You market like a pro by showing up daily. Pros always show up: whether they feel good, bad, tired, whatever. Your message programs people to respond: a good enough reason for me to work daily.

    Thanks for sharing Cindy!

    Ryan Biddulph

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  • http://petechapman-internetmarketer.com/ Pete Chapman

    Excellent article!, reading this has made me realise I have so much more to learn about social media, and it is clear to me now that my journey into social media will be nowhere near as quick and easy as some so called ‘guru’s’ would have me believe !.

    Thanks for this…
    Pete Chapman

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  • http://www.sendgine.com/ Warren Wooden

     They say you learn something new every day, but I’m sure those of us online must exceed that number! LOL
    I’ve been using the LinkedIn share button (with others) but hadn’t heard of the follow button and it’s something I’d like to improve. Thanks for the great post and amazing tips!

  • http://www.intlock.com/website-optimization.asp website optimization

    Social Media’s are great place for marketing. All 9 tips are really outstanding for successful marketing.I must follow. Thanks for awesome share.

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