social media how toDo you wonder how to go about exercising good social etiquette and managing your social networking communities, all at the same time?

Social media community management has expanded into a growing field and there’s a lot to think about.

In this post, I’ll cover 26 tips, an A-Z guide, on ways to manage your companys presence.

#1: Answer Questions

With more and more of your customers participating on social networking platforms, businesses need to be doing much more than posting their own updates. Companies must also be willing to answer questions.

A recent survey organized by InSites Consulting found that eight out of ten American companies answer client questions and complaints via social media. The survey shows that US companies are very successful in answering questions via social media: “83 percent of companies indicate they always deal with questions or complaints sent to them via social media. Still, only 54 percent of the companies in this survey also talk to and actively participate in online conversations with consumers.”

What about your business? Are you answering or avoiding questions?

#2: Bring People to Your Website Through Social Media

Sometimes with all the talk about social media, businesses may briefly forget one of their original goals for initiating a social strategy—namely, bringing customers and prospects to your company website.

Silvia Pencak writes, “If you are a small business owner, social media will be greatly beneficial in attracting customers to your website… Very few consumers make a purchase the first time they view a website. The initial visit may be enough to capture their attention, but you also need to gain their trust and convince them that your product is a better buy than that of your competitor.”

Silvia offers two recommendations: 1) keep your customers informed by updating your information regularly and 2) communicate with your customers. “If a consumer posts a comment or question on your page, be sure to answer back as quickly as possible. Not only will this show them that you can provide them with excellent customer service, but speaking to them directly will also help to gain their trust, showing them that there is a person behind the business.”

#3: Cultivate Stories on How Customers Use Your Products and Services

You’ve followed the advice on monitoring your social media activity. You see that a customer tweeted about your product or posted a photo on Pinterest. They like you! They really do! Well, that’s all really exciting. And maybe you’ve even retweeted the message for the world to see. But why stop there? Why not be more of a brand storyteller and share those experiences further?

Karen Lyon, vice president of brand marketing at IdeaPaint, says her company not only retweets and reposts blogs and social mentions from customers, staff members also share customers’ photos of their products that they’ve culled from social media sites to use as success stories. “We are much more interested in talking about who our customers are and how they use the product than we are about just talking about ourselves.”

How can you use social mentions to tell your success stories?

idea paint

IdeaPaint's blog post about how Skiver Advertising was using their product after coming across an article online.

#4: Divide and Conquer

Depending on the type of products and services your business provides, you may actually benefit from maintaining more than one Facebook page or Twitter profile.

Wakefly points out the benefits of social media segmentation in their whitepaper with a discussion about candy manufacturer Mars.

“Mars manufactures the candy brands M&Ms, Snickers, Dove and Mars… all of the brands are positioned together on the same corporate website, creating branding that is confusing because the subpages are each dedicated to a single brand. Consequently, the overall message is also confusing because the Mars corporate brand overrides all the others.

“The good news is that M&Ms, Snickers, Dove, and Mars can each have a page on Facebook and Twitter that is completely independent of the others with its
own branding as well.

“Web 2.0 has created a marketplace that is highly segmented and marketers are well advised to take this into account. As a result, B2B companies have an opportunity to optimize their online marketing strategies by not only creating a page for the umbrella brand, but also by creating individualized social networking pages for each of the products and services that they offer.”


Companies with diverse products can use social media to segment and target the communication for their brands.

#5: Elicit Responses

We’ve all probably heard it said a zillion times that engagement is key to social media community management. But the question we may find ourselves struggling with day in and day out is: What will be most effective? Conversen sums it up very nicely with this advice: “A social campaign should ask questions that cause consumers to stop, reflect and respond.”

When you look back at the questions you’ve posed in articles, tweets, or Facebook updates, which were the ones that generated not only the most responses in numbers, but also qualitatively, the most reflective and insightful answers? Can you do that again tomorrow? And the day after that?

#6: Fans and Followers, Really?

Someone may have once told you that having more fans and followers should be one of your key goals for managing your online communities. After all, numbers matter, don’t they?

Jay Baer hit the nail on the head when he wrote, “Your customers don’t innately want to follow your company on Twitter or friend you on Facebook, or read your blog, or watch your videos. There are mountains of great content online unencumbered by a corporate dynamic. Thus, embracing your company and its content is not a high priority.”

Jay says it’s about rationale. Companies that can create compelling reasons for their customers to connect with them will succeed on the social web. And those that don’t emphasize helpfulness and relevancy will fail.

How can your company be more helpful and more relevant? What can you say that will give your customers good reasons to connect with you?

#7: Generate Your Content Strategy Over Time

Let’s say your team sat down three months ago and created your content strategy to take you through the rest of 2012. And your analytics and demographic reports from recent weeks all look good. End of story? Not so fast. Your community may be moving and reacting to something that happened yesterday or better yet, tomorrow.

As Rich Brooks writes, “A keyword analysis and social media demographics will only take you so far. You’ll need to evolve your content strategy over time, based on what’s going on in your industry, with your audience and in the world around you.”

Revisit your content strategy frequently and be flexible about what and when you post.

#8: Honesty is Still One of the Best Policies

Deborah Ng writes, “Your community members invest a lot of time in your brand. You owe it to them to treat them as equals and to be honest with them.”

Deborah offers three best practices for being transparent with your community:

  • If you’re not sure how to respond to something or don’t know whether you’re even allowed to address it, discuss it with your team and your superiors first.
  • Address criticism and rumor head on without sweeping them under the rug.
  • Respond to questions and inquiries honestly. At times, you may have to reveal information that hasn’t been released to the rest of the world in order to rectify a situation.
deb ngs book

Deborah Ng's book is a valuable resource for smart community managers!

#9: Ingenuity is Memorable

In Phil Mershon’s article about creative social media marketing case studies, he shows how seven companies have used their ingenuity to create memorable community experiences.

The eight key lessons we can learn from these businesses are:

  • Take advantage of photos and videos.
  • Showcase your customers.
  • Enable social sharing on all of your content.
  • Google+ will impact search results.
  • YouTube is far more advanced than you may realize.
  • Optimize your content for mobile readers.
  • Give people a reason to engage.
  • Think about starting a LinkedIn group for your industry or niche.

Sharpie was one of the seven companies profiled for creativity in Phil's post.

#10: Joke in Good Taste

Jason Miller offers tips for using humor in your social media activities. As he says, “Humor can be a great way to get people’s attention.” But humor can also be a little tricky.

Jason writes, “The target market must always be considered. Running tests and focus groups to gather feedback is always a great idea. Try to use an online survey to test your attempt at humor against an internal audience before you send it out. Comedy is subjective, so don’t expect to please everyone.”

#11: Kick-Start with Good Content

Getting started on a new platform? Still testing the waters to see whether it’s the right place for your business to be?

One suggestion that many seasoned social media marketers will tell you is to come out of the gate with loads of good content before you start promoting your new presence.

Let’s say your blog is shiny and new. Wait until you have a respectable number of good-quality posts (e.g., 3-5 thoroughly researched and well-written articles) before spreading the word. Take some time to generate momentum.

#12: Leverage Your Networks

Community managers need to know what’s happening on all of their networks. Even if you’re not the Twitter manager, for example, you should have a good idea of the conversations, tweets and hashtags taking place that involve your company and industry. At this point, social platforms work hand-in-hand with one another.

Conversations flow freely from one network to another and in order to be effective, social community managers need to be able to leverage their networks and bounce off one another.

#13: Marketing Isn’t a Bad Word

Community managers often have to work extra-hard to avoid marketing faux pas—being perceived as using social networking platforms exclusively for business marketing purposes. But let’s call a spade a spade. When social media marketing is done right, it’s not a bad word nor out of line. Ultimately, it’s how businesses need to communicate in the 2010s.

When Jeff Bullas was asked, “What should be the ultimate goal of social media participation for businesses? Is it to create awareness, drive traffic to your website, sell product, branding, or something entirely different?”

He answered, “Businesses have different goals they want from each element of marketing. It’s no different for social media, as it is just another marketing tool and medium. Marketing fundamentals still apply. For some, brand awareness is paramount. For others, it’s increased sales.

“Any marketing strategy and the resulting tactics should keep in mind the two key fundamentals: 1) the target audience and 2) the goals. Social media is not a magic bullet and should be used where appropriate just like television, radio or email marketing.”

Remember your target audience and goals, and you’ll be fine!

#14: Never Say Never

Some days the proliferation of social media feels as if it happened overnight. One day many businesses were claiming social media wasn’t the right strategy for them.

In a few short years, businesses of all shapes and sizes have active presences on multiple platforms. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, etc., went from not making sense to being commonplace destinations. Who knows what will come down the pike next? With that in mind, it’ll serve you best to stay open, flexible and go with the flow.

#15: Originality vs. Saying What Everyone Else Says

Vicki Flaugher writes, “A great content marketing strategy is key for social media success. You’ve probably seen people sharing others’ content, sometimes via RSS feeds, pages, retweets/shares, or by direct linking. Those are great strategies to provide useful content to your audience. They can be an adequate stop-gap measure while you build your own content, but it’s very very important in social media to provide original content.”

Vicki recognizes that not everyone feels that they have the time or expertise to create original content and offers these suggestions:

  • Review a product, book, movie, event, research study or website.
  • Interview an influencer.
  • Create a video from a PowerPoint presentation.
  • Be quotable by learning to say meaningful things in short blurbs.
  • Don’t make it harder than it is (e.g., keep blog posts to single ideas, 150-300 words, keep your videos 30 seconds to 3 minutes tops, keep your interview to 15 minutes). Just start. You’ll get better as you go and you’ll be original.

#16: Power to the People—Write On!

OK, so maybe this isn’t what John Lennon meant when he wrote the lyrics to the song, “Power to the People.”

As a social community manager, you walk a fine line—being in charge of the content that your business posts and maintaining a number of presences, responding to and cleaning up inappropriate comments all the while, working your hardest to listen and respond to your community.

At the end of the day, after you’ve handled all of the necessary responsibilities, the company still needs to continue to develop content on an ongoing basis.

Pamela Vaughan provides tips for stellar social media community management and offers this sound advice regarding content: “Share remarkable, targeted content based on needs/interests of individual communities.

“Without remarkable content, your brand will have nothing valuable to share, and your community members will either dwindle, flock elsewhere, or not even bother to participate in the first place.

“This content should not only be remarkable, but it should also be easily shareable so your community members can expand its reach by sharing it with connections in their networks.”

#17: Qualified and Experienced Decisions

Marc Meyer points out that social media has matured. He writes, “Yes there are still lots of nuances to be learned and still lots of totally unqualified people screwing things up, but that’s in every industry, right?

“The difference between five years ago when I first started and now is that there are more and more qualified people out there who are able to make educated and qualified and experienced decisions on what to do with social media initiatives. And the results speak for themselves.”

Are the most qualified and experienced people involved in the day-to-day operations of your social networking communities? If not, how can you get them involved?

#18: Respect Cultures

Several months ago, National Public Radio (NPR) gave its journalists new ethics guidelines that included social media policies.

Jeff Sonderman wrote about his impressions of the policies and how they can serve as a blueprint for other news organizations.

As community managers, there’s a valuable takeaway message for all of us in this passage from NPR’s social media policy:

“To get the most out of social media we need to understand those (social media) communities. So we respect their cultures and treat those we encounter online with the same courtesy and understanding as anyone we deal with in the offline world. We do not impose ourselves on such sites. We are guests and behave as such.”

npr ethics

Great social media advice from NPR!

#19: Shout-Out and Give Thanks

Lightspan Digital has provided an insightful social media cheat sheet with loads of important daily social media workouts, including this one for Twitter:

“Give thanks—If someone retweets one of your tweets don’t forget to give thanks. Example: thanks for the shout-out @manamical :)”

Check out their cheat sheet for more great advice.

social media workouts

Daily workouts for Twitter and Facebook.

#20: Things You Should Know About Your Audience

Pam Moore writes that many businesses have the problem of using social media tools without first doing their homework to understand their potential audience.

She says, “You must plan before you act in social media if you want to have a positive return on your investment. Random acts of marketing (RAMs) and social media (RASMs) will get you nothing but in the red come month-end!”

Pam suggests eight things you should know about your audience to create content that inspires:

  • Who is your audience?
  • What are their pain points?
  • What does your product or service do to minimize or mitigate their pain?
  • How can your product or service inspire and help them personally and professionally?
  • How is your product or service positioned?
  • What is your zoom factor? (We’ll discuss more in #26.)
  • What is your competition up to? (We’ll explore further in #24.)
  • What’s your audience up to, both online and offline?

#21: Update Frequently

We touched upon this point briefly in #2 about the need to update and create new content frequently.

If you ask ten people about what the right frequency of updates would be, you’ll likely receive ten different answers. What works for one business may simply not work for another due to a number of considerations such as staffing, type of products/services and a host of other reasons.

Bottom line here is that we all need to find what works best for us to keep the content fresh and the conversations going.

Ask yourself: What does your schedule consist of? Is it working? If not, what could you be doing differently? Have you looked at the frequency of updates your competitors are making?

#22: Verify Information

As social community managers, we often share information that others have published and pass it along to our readers.

It’s important to be careful and discriminating about the information we share; after all, it’s our reputation too that’s at stake. You’ll want to verify social media content.

Patrick Meier offers tips for how to do this by checking out the:

  • Bio on Twitter
  • Number of tweets
  • Number of followers
  • Number following
  • Retweets
  • Location
  • Timing
  • Social authentication
  • Media authentication
  • Engage the source and ask for the source of the report

Patrick states too that speed is often vital and trying to filter and triangulate (looking for multiple reports from unconnected sources) can be helpful.

#23: Wonder Out Loud

In the preceding tip, we talked about the necessity of verifying information. But at times, social media lends itself to wondering out loud. Speculating. Making educated guesses. Asking questions. Harnessing opinions. And, yes, as Dragnet Detective Joe Friday might have said, “Just the facts, ma’am. Nothing but the facts.”

There is a time and a place for making conversation, just as long as you don’t misrepresent it as fact!

#24: E(x)amine How Your Audience Engages With Your Competition

Pam Moore suggests that you can learn much more about your audience by understanding how they engage with and react to your competition.

She poses these questions:

  • How is your audience engaging with your competition?
  • What is your competition doing that you aren’t?
  • What type of response are they receiving online and offline from your target audiences? Is it different than how your audience is engaging with you?
  • Does your competition have a consistent tone, message and brand? If not, how can you enhance yours to zoom faster?
  • Is your competition engaging in a way their audience expects them to? Casual when they’re expecting professional or opposite?
  • Why are they doing such things differently? Do they have a competitive differentiator because of this or do you have the leg-up? Remember, different isn’t always better. You may be on the right track.

What are the weaknesses in how your competition is engaging and leveraging social media that you can use to your advantage?

#25: You vs. Your Customers

Steve Caputo says, “Sometimes we overlook the fact that brands and companies have a totally different perception of the role of social media—and how it can help their business—from that of their customers.”

He refers to the infographic of a survey conducted by the IBM Institute for Business Value that shows the top reasons consumers interact with companies via social sites vs. why businesses think consumers follow them.

Consumers interact for:

  • Discounts
  • Purchases
  • Reviews and product rankings
  • General information
  • Exclusive information
  • Learn about new products
  • Customer service
  • Event participation
  • To feel connected
  • Submit ideas for new products/services
  • To be part of a community

Steve whittles the message down to what he calls the “golden rule”: “The secret to marketing with social media is to always provide value.”

perception gap

From the survey conducted by the IBM Institute for Business Value.

#26: Zoom Agents Lead the Way

We touched on this tip in my last article about integrating social media activities, but it’s worth repeating here.

The social zoom agent, as described by Pam Moore, is “someone who takes on the responsibility for the success of becoming a social business. They will own the success of the engagement, content, approach, strategy and integration.”

As a community manager, you may be the sole zoom agent or one of many for your business. In any event, you’ll need to care deeply about your social communities.

Ideally you will feel invigorated and inspired and will have a sense of pride about the value of your work and what you’re able to contribute. Community management is a relatively new field and it’s an accomplishment to be in this role. Go on and lead the way!

What do you think? Leave your questions and comments in the box below.

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  • rodeenas

    Excellent tips! Thank you for sharing. 

  • Pingback: 26 Tips, Again « all the news that's fit to blog, tweet & post()

  • deb1221

    Thank you for reading! 

  • Very detailed and informative article. Thank you so much for going into all that detail. Never even thought to follow my competition and see what they are doing.

    I know a lot of people I follow or like, spend a lot of time advertising. I’m almost thinking of unsubscribing them because I feel they aren’t really building their brand…it’s almost like they keep spamming me with the same things they are trying to sell.

    I think it’s important to find your voice with original content, and once you have that voice, to maybe gently nudge people, but not spam them everyday over and over.

    Thanks again.

  • Dede Watson

    Excellent article! Even the pros can learn from this!

  • deb1221

    Hi Tressa,

    Thank you for your comment.
    You make excellent points…no one wants to be bombarded by repeated sales pitches all the time. Give people something that really helps them and they’ll be happy to see your updates.

    Best, Debbie

  • deb1221

    Thanks, Dede! Appreciate your feedback.

  • These are all great tips. Building on #20, another great way to get to know your audience is by looking at their  interests on their profile. Maybe there’s a big number that likes sports, then you can incorporate that into your next blog post or maybe post an interesting news article. It will get your audience even more engaged.

  • deb1221

    Really nice tip!

    Reminds me of a story a friend told me many years ago when she was applying for a job. She had Tennis on her resume as one of her hobbiies/interests. And turned out that the person interviewing her was a big Tennis fan. The interview completely turned around at that point and they were discussing racquets, etc. She always felt that the Tennis connection helped her to get the job!

    Thanks for reading!

  • Great list of tips! I especially love number 15.  So often, we see the same information posted over and over. Saying something different, even if it is about the same topic, can really help your brand stand out! 

    I also love the “learning to say memorable things in short blurbs”.  I feel like Twitter has me thinking in 140 characters now!

  • Jan Wong

    Those are 26 power (yet simple to understand) tips you have there! Great work 🙂 I think many businesses tend to overlook #19 in which they may have lost out on a great opportunity for relationship building.

  • Mario

    Great Information !!
    Thanks Debbie

  • @twitter-15587499:disqus , what fantastic tips! I LOVE tip #3 about how you should cultivate stories. If you can tell a story well, people will listen. Stories inspire and really enhance your community tenfold (at least!). What we are starting to do internally at our company is share photo albums of fun trips we take as a team and things happening at the office. The photos and their captions speak more than just words ever could. Thanks for a the great post!

  • Great Post.

  • I have become addicted to socialmediaexaminer article posts!. Just when I think all is said, another brilliant and practical post appears. Thank you for more insight into an important component of small business marketing (or lack thereof)   

  • You mention about content over time, how many posts do you recommend a week?

  • deb1221

    Hi Megan,

    Yes, I love the brevity of 140 characters, too. Of course, you wouldn’t know it from the length of this article, but sometimes there’s just so much to say about a topic!

    Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.

  • deb1221

    Hi Jan,

    In the spirit of #19, THANK YOU! Very nice connecting with you and all the other readers who comment here on SME.


  • deb1221

    Thank you, Mario! Appreciate your feedback.

    Best, Debbie

  • deb1221

    Hi Laura,

    I really love the idea of storytelling, too. And really great to hear about your company’s use of photo albums. People really do like seeing photos. Great way to let your customers learn more about you.

    Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

    Best, Debbie

  • deb1221

    Hi Michael,

    Thank you! Appreciate hearing from you!

    Best, Debbie

  • Kelly DeCourcey

    really good article Debbie. i like the idea that once you “get on board” and decide you need a strategy–you have to be mindful to then re-evaluate and change that strategy every so often!
    oh yes, and love the comment about “why” people engage with you. in real estate i find this very much a “slippery fish”, sort of topic.  we don’t’ have anything to give away, or a product to win or get for free. so people seem leery to follow/like you.

  • Jon Visaisouk

    Hi Debbie,

    Very useful and easy-to-understand tips. #18 respecting cultures especially hits home for me, and I agree it is more important now than ever to be aware of cultural differences.

    I find that names often point to cultural heritage, and if there is a particular person(s) or culture(s) that you will be interacting with, it never hurts to do a little research to inform yourself about some of their major beliefs and standard practices.

    Thank you for sharing.

  • deb1221

    Thank you, Kelly.
    Re-evaluating is good practice…things change so quickly these days. What works one month may be completely replaced a few months later. Pinterest became a player practically overnight.

    Why people engage with businesses is pretty fascinating. Especially since a lot of the time companies will miss the boat.

    Thanks again for your comments.

    Best, Debbie

  • deb1221

    Hi Jon,

    I think it was in the Yahoo! Style Guide where I had once read that web writers should “write for the world.” We’re communicating daily with people all over the world, in different time zones and very different cultures.

    Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment!

  • Goran Jovanovski

    Hi Debbie,
    Everithing what you tell is grate. For me unestly, most important thing is first ,,Answering question”, in this field you can help to all your cunsomer and customer. But my question is what is the structure in company what I must have to answer, follow, read and write remarkable contents? As all of us know all our companies do not have employed people more than need in one moment. Thanks in advance!

  • Jwp4376

    Thanks! It’s a great Tip! gonna be a good check point for our platforms.

  • the tip about cultivating stories about how your clients use your product is such a good one.  Telling a story is always better than listing benefits and features.  Telling your clients’ stories is a great way to bring more personality to your brand.   Great article!

  • deb1221

    Hi Goran,

    Thanks for your comment. Answering questions that people have is really integral as you point out. I think if I understand your question, it’s akin to the way FAQ’s, frequently asked questions, got their start on websites a number of years ago. But now, people have the ability to customize their questions and in many ways, expect a customized response to their questions. Where you can answer questions, take the person to the next step, may play an integral role in how they perceive your company/products/services and your customer service when they need you most.

    This may be tough for the small business, the family business, where there isn’t someone designated in this role, But where we’re able to do this, whether it means narrowing our choices of social networking platforms so we can most suitably monitor and respond–will be key. 

    Hope that helps!

    Best, Debbie

  • deb1221

    Thank you. Very happy to hear that the article will be helpful for you.

    All best, Debbie

  • deb1221

    Hi Deborah,

    Yes, that tip has definitely resounded for many people which I think speaks to the power of storytelling!

    Thanks for your feedback. I appreciate hearing from you.

    Best, Debbie

  • Debbie:

    You have demonstrated the 26 tips by writing this post in a succinct, understandable and engaging manner. It is long in detail but broken up nicely with graphs, bullet items and enticing pictures. You obviously practice what you teach!


  • deb1221

     Hi Anneliz,

    Thank you. I really appreciate your comment. I try 🙂

    Best, Debbie

  • Jason Verdelli

    Great article Debbie! I think another factor to seriously consider is the platform that you use in order to engage your community. I have found that creating one location where your community can engage, share and connect for a specific reason creates a sense of community around your brand and not just around you. This is incredibly important if you are trying to create a sense of loyalty around a company brand. Applying the factors you covered in this type of location can really help make a location like this successful.

  • This is great stuff, thanks! I have an online business and I use project management software Bitrix24 to keep in check with my out of state employees. This is more of an active intranet than anything and it does help me and keeping in contact. These tips are awesome for marketing and managing my company. Customer service is always a concern for me. 

  • deb1221

    Hi Jason,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Sometimes less is more, especially if you can create one location, as you suggest, where your community can engage, share and connect. Sometimes brands spread themselves too thin, thinking they have to be everywhere in order to be effective. It may be trial and error for awhile to see where your community’s preferences are.

    Thanks again.

    Best, Debbie


  • deb1221

    Hi Kristine,

    Glad to hear that these tips are applicable for you in terms of company management, too. 

    Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!

    Best, Debbie

  • Trond Skundberg

    Great article. Thanks.

  • Yiannis Kalafatis


    Great job. We’re implementing most of your tips already in a new community here in Greece. We’re going to try all of them. Feel free to ask for case studies.

    Yiannis Kalafatis

  • K_hussain69

    Q. do you agreed that now a days ”Social factors exert the broadest and deepest
    influence on buying behavior ”vs Cultural factors, as Kotler (2000) emphasized  that Cultural factors are

    the most fundamental determinant of a person’s buying behavior.Karamat UK

  • K_hussain69

    In my opinion Social factors are more broadest and deepest than cultural because people on social media connect to people arround the world and get product recommendations from others.

  • Thanks for the excellent A-Z….

  • Pingback: 26 Tips for Managing a Social Media Community | Social Media … « Social Media Sun()

  • deb1221

    Thank you, Trond!

  • deb1221

    Hi Yiannis,

    Glad to hear!

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

    Best, Debbie

  • deb1221


    Thank you for sharing these insights. I agree. Social has a huge effect on product recommendations.


  • deb1221

     Hi Matt,

    My pleasure!

    Best, Debbie

  • Ali Peterson

    Wow! So much good stuff! Definitely bookmarking this so I can come back again & again 🙂

  • Jennifer

    Thanks so much for this article and for your daily tips. With all the options and opportunities out there, I can get overwhelmed quickly. Every morning I read your daily update and feel confident that I’m staying in the “know” with just one news source.

  • deb1221

    Thanks, Ali.

    Glad to hear that it will have a longer shelf life!

    Best, Debbie

  • deb1221

    Hi Jennifer,

    Thanks for reading and I agree with you that SME helps to keep so many of us in the “know” and on our toes!

     Best, Debbie

  • Jane

    Great tips here, and #25 is especially interesting! We are an ecommerce startup that’s trying to launch our beta site in a couple of months. Before we have discounts to offer and products for people to talk about though, what would be some good content to grow our audience and engage people in conversations?
    Thanks for sharing, Debbie!!

  • shashi kumar

    Really one of great post. I think why people read our article whenever  they will not get something interesting and knowledgeable they will not want to read or come again. As you told above we should have to write something aggressive which have convincing power or compelling content that would be better writing. 

    Thanks for sharing such a informative article

  •  Hi Debbie, great and very helpful article. There is only one question: How we can find time for it 😉 ?
    BR, Chris

  • deb1221

    Hi Jane,

    Interesting question!

    What do you know about your target audience (#20),  check out #15 too, reviewing a product, book, event, research study, etc. Set up google alerts on topics related to your business/industry. Read links that people who you’re following on Twitter, Facebook, etc. are sharing. You may need to spend considerable time reading and observing the topics that matter most to your target audience.

    Hope that helps!

  • deb1221

    Thanks for reading and commenting.


  • deb1221

    Hi Shashi,

    Glad you found the article helpful!


  • deb1221

    Hi Chris,

    Ah, the old time conundrum. I think we need to prioritize, accept we can’t do everything, pick and choose the parts that matter the most to us. And, if we’re fortunate to have others who are willing and able to help us, accept and encourage their help.

    That still may not make it feel like there’s enough time in the day but I hope that helps a little 🙂


  • K Gimson

    Hi Debbie, Very easy to understand all the points you make. I am new to social media. I have to say, I don’t really understand how facebook works. But I love Twitter and am amazed to have 800 followers already! I work as a garden designer from home, so don’t have anyone to ask about social media. I have to work it out myself. So thanks for such a well written article.

  • deb1221

    Hi Karen,

    I’m glad to hear that SME is helping to fulfill your social media education needs. That’s one of the greatest things about social media and web content in general is that we can be anywhere at any time of day and have access to a wealth of information that in other times would have required a lot of leg work and time researching ourselves.

    Welcome to social media and I hope it proves to be helpful for your garden design business.


  • Hi Debbie! Great post and well compiled list of points and certainly using social media channels to get the traffic on to your site is great resource if used in proper way and strategy.

    Thanks for sharing great tips 

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  • Guest

    This is ridiculously back to basics…..understand if you haven’t been involved in any social media but surely in this day and age if you don’t know what had been explained above then you really have been naive enough to be living in a non digital existent world…..

  • Guest

    This is ridiculously back to basics…..understand if you haven’t been involved in any social media but surely in this day and age if you don’t know what had been explained above then you really have been naive enough to be living in a non digital existent world…..

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  • A terrific post with relevant, actionable recommendations.

    When it comes to self-promotion, I’ve found that an 80/20 rule has worked out really well for us where we share videos, pictures, helpful information, etc 80% of the time and focus on our brand 20% of the time.

    Thank you!

  • A terrific post with relevant, actionable recommendations.

    When it comes to self-promotion, I’ve found that an 80/20 rule has worked out really well for us where we share videos, pictures, helpful information, etc 80% of the time and focus on our brand 20% of the time.

    Thank you!

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  • Thanks so much for mentioning the Daily Workouts cheatsheet! I’m tickled pink! Would love to hear what you think after giving it a try! Always looking to make them better! 🙂

  • Amit Ghosh35

    This is excellent tips. It is relay give a brief idea about social media and this  all tips really help any social media marketer improve their business. 

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  • Managing a social media community is a tedious task. One needs to contribute continuously to the community in order to acquire a good reputation. One can contribute interactive learning ideas. If one is creative and interactive enough then only can build a good online reputation. One can have interactive whiteboards for interactive learning and ideas.

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  • Very Very informative article Debbie. These tips are really simple and easy to understand. Directly connects what we want.

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  • Mary

    Great information and tips. I have been having difficulty getting more likes and people visiting my blog. I will try some of your suggestions in improving my social community. Thanks.