Our Blog

Social Media Marketing World: 21 Best Tips from the Experts

Last week, I wrote a blog post about Social Media Marketing World entitled Why South by Southwest is Dead and What Just Arrived to Replace it. In the article, I talked about what made Social Media Marketing World such a special event.

The post proved so popular that I decided to reach out to many of the speakers and experts who attended to get their favorite tips. These included folks like Chris Brogan, John Janz, Melanie Duncan, Mitch Joel, Jeff Bullas, Joe Pulizzi, Jon Loomer, Ekaterina Walter, Sarah Robinson and Dave Kerpen.

But it also included some of the participants in the audience including Amy Cole, Vincent Orleck, Crystal Munro, Kimberly Reynolds, Elena Verlee and others.

With all that said, what follows are the best tips from Social Media Marketing World presented by some of the leading experts in the field.

Schedule Your Social Media Updates: I use BufferApp to schedule tweets, Facebook posts and LinkedIn posts. I typically share my favorite quotes and links to articles I’ve written and great articles I find on the web. Since a lot of what I share is timeless, I can use the analytics from BufferApp to take the most popular content and schedule it again for another time.

— Dave Kerpen, CEO, Likeable.com and author of Likeable Social Media and Likeable Business

Integrate Your Efforts: My tool du jour is “integration.” I know that’s not a tool per se, but I’ve been getting more from some of the tools I use when I get them to work with each other. For instance, HootSuite integrated with Nimble Social CRM allows me to build lead lists in Twitter based on profile and advanced search. I open up HootSuite to the this list and with one click add potential prospects to Nimble for a unified messaging, follow-up, and conversation experience.

— John Jantsch, DuctTapeMarketing.com, Author of Duct Tape Marketing, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine

Mobile Marketing Tools: One of the great tools that I heard about at Social Media Marketing World was Mogreet Express. Pat Flynn mentioned that he used it to text his listeners after his podcast with follow-up links. I plan on using it in both my product and service based businesses to market promotions and follow-up with mobile users after my webinars.

— Melanie Duncan, MelanieDuncan.com

Create a Content Marketing Mission Statement: This means clearly defining the “why” behind the content you create to attract and retain customers.  Every content marketing mission statement includes:

  • The core audience target
  • What will be delivered to the audience
  • The outcome for the audience

This is the kind of thinking needed before you create any more content.  Every person in your organization needs to have a copy of your mission statement to make sure we have a consistent customer experience that ultimately meets our marketing objectives. For more on how to create a content marketing mission statement, feel free to download our free e-book.

— Joe Pulizzi, Founder, Content Marketing Institute, Author, Get Content, Get Customers and Managing Content Marketing

Use AgoraPulse for Metrics and Measurement: I have a few favorite tools, but since I’m a stats guy the main one is AgoraPulse. If you’re serious about your Facebook marketing, it’s a requirement that you look beyond the surface level metrics and monitor them closely. This is not easy to do using only the Insights exports. But AgoraPulse makes it easy with graphs, tables and ratios to better organize this data and make it easier to digest.

— Jon Loomer, CEO and Founder, JonLoomer.com

Don’t Forget the Power of Email Marketing: Don’t be distracted by the shiny new toy of social media to the neglect of building an email list from day one of launching your blog or website. Subscribe to an email platform such as Aweber, Mailchimp or Exact Target and make it easy for people to subscribe to your newsletter and receive your articles. You own your your email list and it is an asset worth building from day one.

— Jeff Bullas, JeffBullas.com and author of Blogging the Smart Way – How to Create and Market a Killer Blog with Social Media

Use Buffer App to Coordinate Your Efforts: Lately, I have been enjoying Buffer App. Buffer App let’s you creature tweets, Facebook posts and more and then it allows you to stagger them over time. It also learns when it’s best to post and can make recommendations based on your community. I am bit of a social media purist, so I’m typically not a fan of tools that automate, but on the other hand, I do most of my reading curating early in the morning and do not want to litter my Twitter and Facebook feeds all at once. Buffer App allows me to share a lot more of what’s interesting to me without me feeling like I am doing any form of automation.

— Mitch Joel, President of Twist Image, author of Six Pixels of Separation and CTRL ALT Delete

Use Pagelever for Facebook Analytics: My favorite tool is Pagelever – one of the best Facebook analytics tools I’ve seen on the market. Not only does it offer a wide variety of metrics, it also serves them in an easy-to-manage format. The real-time data allows you to see how well your content performs, adjust it on the fly and optimize your content and paid media in the most effective and impactful way. This tool is critical in the Now! economy.

Ekaterina Walter, Social Media Innovator at Intel and author of Think Like Zuck

Invite First, Sell Later. Use the social channels to invite people into your media empire. Use the media empire to invite people into business. In that order, it’s magic. Where most people go wrong is that they don’t engage on the social outposts, and try, instead, to sell. Tweak this, and you’ll have gold.

— Chris Brogan, CEO & President, Human Business Works, author of  The Impact Equation, Trust Agents, Social Media 101, and Google Plus for Business.

Feature Members of Your Community. When you are building and growing a brand community, make your community members the stars of the show. Showcase them, co-create with them, publish their content and put them in leadership positions. This invests your members in the success of the community, creates a deep sense of connection and belonging and deepens loyalty to the community and to the brand.

— Sarah Robinson, President Sarah Robinson and author of Fierce Loyalty

We also had some great tips from people who attended the event. Check ’em out below!

Hide Your Social Media Icons. There are multiple revolutionary takeaways — too many to tell but one undervalued and impactful tip Chris Brogan recommended was to hide you Social Media Icons. Put your Website in your signature and on your front pages and hide your Social Media icons off the beaten path in your Contact page. He states – the minute you encourage a visitor to click your Twitter icon –you’re encouraging them to leave your site into the abyss of Social Media mayhem often never to return. Goal is to get them to your website where they can submit their Email address and buy your goods and services. Leave it to Chris to turn our thought process upside down!

— Amy Cole, Make Linked In Powerful

Embrace Honesty. My tip came from Marcus Sheridan, and that is to embrace honesty when blogging because then you control the conversation. Answer your customers’ questions – even when it involves pricing. Stop worrying about the competition. Become the thought leader in your industry, and the business will follow.

— Gloria Rand, SEO Copywriter for travel industry and others, Social Media Consultant, Speaker

Supercharge Your Use of Facebook. Two Facebook-specific tools I’m trying out are, 1) PostPlanner.com — knowing what to post is the hardest thing sometimes and this app gives you thousands of status ideas; and 2) GetPostRocket.com which helps optimize your posts “timing” to reach fans based on a smart algorithm (no need to think about when to post, it does it for you when it thinks the time is right). Plus, it helps with photo editing to create more engagement! I’m sure there are more features for both, but that’s what stood out.

— Elena Verlee, Founder, Cross Border PR

Email Marketing Matters. Chris Brogan gave a great presentation on what actually “adds value” to his bank account. Anything that doesn’t add to the bank isn’t worthy of being a tracked metric. Bottom Line: Email matters. Your email list is gold. It reaches people, and those people buy. Chris wasn’t the only one to say this. One of my key takeways is the ongoing importance of email marketing and list building.

— Mike Gingerich, Co-Founder TabSite, Social Media Strategist, Facebook Marketing Speaker

Create In-Person Relationships. My big takeaway, which can be seen as traditional in the face of social media, is creating in-person relationships via networking. Those online connections we make can be strongly reinforced by attending a conference such as Social Media Marketing World. Larry Benet’s networking exercise enabled me to get introductions to many of the key speakers. This wouldn’t have been possible from siting behind my desk back in the UK.

— Tracy Stonard, CEO, Magenta eMedia.

Don’t Feed the Trolls. A key takeaway came from Douglas Karr on how to handle PR crises on social media – don’t feed the trolls by staying on your own turf. Truthfully and succinctly state your position on your company’s social media sites only, not on other sites.

— Kristen Moore, Communications Champion at Regency Centers

Use Do Share, and Replies and More Extensions. There were a lot of big philosophical messages delivered or reinforced for me, but I also appreciated the specificity in the sessions. For example, I immediately started using two G+ extensions (Do Share for scheduling, Replies and More for engagement) thanks to watching Guy Kawasaki step through his own posting process. A seemingly little thing like clipboard buffering (Guy uses Jumpcut) can make a significant difference when you’re in the trenches of your day-to-day.

— Adam McKibbin, Content Marketing Manager, Central Desktop

Find Your Voice. One of my biggest takeaways from the conference is basically summed up by: Find your voice. Use it. Own it.

— Kimberly Reynolds, Website Developer, Mobile Social Media Strategist, Consultant

Pinterest Contributor Boards. One take-away that I will be implementing with clients ASAP is the idea of contributor boards for Pinterest. A great way to create/build alliances, build followers and keep content fresh.

— Crystal Munro, Marketing Consultant, Creating Excellence

Share Your Social Media Wins. One big tip was to make everyone aware internally of social media “wins.” In companies where not every employee feels comfortable or sees the value in social platforms, it’s a great way to exhibit to them and others the power of social. For example, look at the way Dave Kerpen used the screenshots of tweets (both complaints and resolution) in his presentation….if the social media marketer for a company did a similar thing on the internal communications (whether its intranet or email), it would generate internal buzz and confidence, and potentially drive more engagement externally. I believe this tip came from Kerri Holden with the 4 Seasons Hotels (@fsaustin).

— Vincent Orleck, Social Media Specialist, IO

A special shout-out goes to everyone who participated by sending me your Social Media Marketing World tips. There’s a lot of great stuff here and we’re flattered and honored that you shared it with us.

Jamie Turner is the CEO of social media and mobile marketing firm 60 Second Communications and is the Founder of the 60 Second Marketer.  He is the co-author of “How to Make Money with Social Media” and “Go Mobile” and is a popular marketing speaker at events, trade shows and corporations around the globe.

  • This one really jumped out at me:

    Invite First, Sell Later. Use the social channels to invite people into your media empire. Use the media empire to invite people into business. In that order, it’s magic. Where most people go wrong is that they don’t engage on the social outposts, and try, instead, to sell. Tweak this, and you’ll have gold. – Chris Brogan

    • Great point, Mike. It’s true — Chris really has a gift for saying simple yet profound things.

      • Mosharraf

        I am agree with you ,Jamie. God gives some people extraordinary power and Cris is one of them.


        social media expert

        • Sounds great, Mosharraf! Thanks for stopping by.

    • Agreeed. Selling needs to be smarter. Social media has created (returned us to) an environment that requires building relationships and providing a service, helpful advice and information and once that relationship is established people will want to buy

  • Thanks for sharing these great tips.

    • Thanks, Elizabeth! Much appreciated. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Great tips! I’m bookmarking this to revisit later! Honestly, I’m not sure that I agree with Chris Brogan on the social media icons. Ideally, we want readers to stay on our website, but making it difficult for visitors to connect with us on other platforms could backfire. Not every visitor wants or has the know-how to search for social icons. If someone want to communicate with you on a platform they feel more comfortable on, make it easy for them. If you offer quality & value, they’ll know how to get back to your site to purchase.

    • Glad to see you’re bookmarking it, Kimberly. We’re honored. And we’re even more honored that you’re opening things up by playing devil’s advocate to Chris’s point-of-view. I’m a big believer that the best learning happens when assumptions are challenged and debate ensues. Thanks! — Jamie

    • I think a key is not making the social icons take center stage. I’m of the view to keep them there so that there is access easily if they want to go there but I’m not trying to push them away from my site either!

      • I agree with that, in principle. For instance, I would never encourage someone to build their business on “borrowed” land because they have no control. However, you walk a fine line when using tactics such as hiding social icons. To me it almost hints at arrogance. If I go to a website and cannot readily see their social footprint, I am going to make one of three assumptions. 1. The entity has no social presence ( which immediately lowers their value/credibility in my mind). 2. They are purposely attempting to cloister visitors on their site (causing me to feel devalued because they act as if I’m not capable of making a decision as to how I should consume their content/product/service). 3. They have something to hide.

        That being said, the average user is going to assume #1, that they are socially inept.

        Chris’s idea is titillating and certainly disruptive, however it’s practical application would be best served on sites like his own, where he is an established thought leader and his social savvy would never be questioned. For the rest of us, we need to be easily accessible.

        • This dialogue reminds me — I need to make the social media icons more prevalent on our blog. I took them off 2 months ago because I was trying to speed up the load time of the site. I never put them back on. Gotta get around to that. Thanks!

  • Awesome tips Jamie and it’s especially useful to get a glimpse of what the experts are using or what they thought was valuable. Thanks too for sharing tips from attendees like myself 😉

    • It was a lot of fun gathering the tips, Elena. We were really honored that so many people participated. Thanks!

  • Great roundup, Jamie. I’ve been using Buffer recently, and definitely relate to Mitch Joel’s point about using it to keep the reading (cramming) time separate from the sharing time. Of course, I’m also a fan of the email points from Jeff Bullas and Mike Gingerich. 😉

    Cheers — Hunter

    • Thanks, Hunter. Great to hear from you. I’m in agreement about the email tips — it’s a secret weapon!

  • Colin Williams

    Great list. I’m a big fan of Nimble combined with Hootsuite. I believe the challenge most people have is converting a social following into real opportunities and that Nimble and Hootsuite combo helps to make it happen.

    • Hi, Colin — I’m going to have to check out Nimble. Lot’s of people have mentioned that. Can it be used with TweetDeck? I’ve never liked the HooteSuite user interface, so I’ve always used TweetDeck.

    • Nimble is new to me too. I will have a look at that

  • Thanks for this great roundup! And thanks to Jon Loomer for mentionning us! Social Media Marketing World has been a blast for us all and that’s great to see some of the experts met in San Diego give us some tips. And of course, thanks @jamieturner:disqus for making that happen 🙂

    • Thanks for circling around, Emeric. Your service, AgoraPulse, is a terrific tool and it’s one of the top recommendations from people I met at SMMW. Congratulations!

  • I really love AgoraPulse, I have yet to use PageLever. Which is better? It was the lack of trial which oprevented me finding out more about Page Lever

  • igor Griffiths

    Well hello A collection of great tips and the one key takeaway is to keep everything in synch and coordinated such that your content and marketing work together to encourage your prospects to move in the one direction you desire.

    Had not heard of nimble before but will certainly be giving it a look

  • Thanks
    for the post. Social media marketing has simplified the concept of promotion
    because of its easy accessibility, mass appeal and low investment, it has
    generated great results.

  • Brilliant read! Another point I wanted to add to what you wrote about ‘Integration’ is that it’s important to cross-promote your social networks to maximise traffic on all of them. For example, Apps Mav offers an app suite which contains all Facebook Apps a brand needs to jumpstart its page, keep the engagement going and integrating your other social media profiles with Facebook.

  • jezel

    great tips.. we also have tools for using facebook to your business check this


  • Adam Paul

    Nice summary! The tips you collected are really helpful. Concerning
    social media analytics I’d suggest you to add the tool quintly to your
    list. It gives you more opportunities and more “freedom” then any other
    tool I know.

    • Thanks, Adam. I’ll have to check out Quintly.


  • I think the tips here are great, and certainly relevant for pushing out a message through social media. A couple got into the real power of social media.. connecting with real people and having a two way conversation.

    Social media is more social than media. Connecting with people, listening more than talking, and good personal communication skills will trump any broadcast campaign.

    • Glad it was helpful, Warren! Thanks for stopping by.