How to Learn Social Media Marketing: 15 Blogs for Beginners

Are you blogging, Facebooking, tweeting, or pinning? If not, you’re missing out.

Social Media Marketing 101The Internet has become the primary means for prospective buyers to evaluate products or services. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest can take your marketing to the next level. However, many businesses aren’t using social media at all — they aren’t aware of what’s being said about them online and they don’t know how to start conversations with their target audience.
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Facebook, Twitter, YouTube: Strategic Marketing Best Practices

Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are, without doubt, the Big 3 of social media. They are important avenues for building brand engagement and influence. If your company has a presence on all of  them, you’re on the road to creating a name for yourself on social networks.

5 marketing strategies to rock Twitter, Facebook, and YouTubeBut these 3 platforms are very different from one other. Do you know how to effectively approach each one to achieve the best results?

Social media software firm Awareness has researched best practices for these dominant networks. 5 Killer Strategies to Dominate Social Media’s Big 3: Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, a new white paper from the company, looks at the 3 social media platforms and examines 5 strategies marketers can use to grow brand awareness, foster brand advocacy, and generate leads and sales.

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What Types of Social Media Ads are Most Effective for Brands? [Stats]

As new ways to engage consumers and market products on the social Web keep multiplying, it’s important to stay abreast of best practices for brands. Research firm Psychster partnered with Allrecipes.com to find out which types of advertising yield the best results.

The study tested 7 different types of ads on two different publisher Web sites, Facebook and Allrecipes:

  1. Banner ads
  2. Newsletter subscription ads
  3. Corporate profiles with fans and logos
  4. Corporate profiles without fans and logos
  5. Get widgets
  6. Give widgets
  7. Sponsored content

Participants were shown a video of an ad type and an interaction and were asked to rate how likely they were to interact with the ad as the video did. They were also asked what their opinion was of the brand sponsoring the ads (either a car brand or a soup brand).

Results:

  • Banner ads and newsletter links were the most successful at encouraging purchase.
  • Sponsored content produced the highest interaction ratings, but the lowest purchase intent and viral recommendations of the 7 ad types. So this type of ad may be a good marketing strategy for raising brand awareness and generating positive associations/brand engagement, but isn’t the best choice for increasing sales.
  • Corporate profiles caused higher purchase intent only when people could become a fan and put a logo on their own profile.
  • Give and get widgets were more engaging than banners and newsletters, but they didn’t increase purchase intent or the likelihood of recommending a product to a friend. Since widgets are pricey, tweets and links may be a better choice.
  • The success of an ad was increased by matching the brand with the Web site (e.g. a soup ad on a recipe site).

Takeaways:

  • If your goals are brand awareness and positive associations, sponsored content may be your best bet.
  • If you’re trying to increase purchasing and loyalty, go with profiles that allow people to become fans and add logos to their own profiles.
  • If you’re targeting purchasing and the best ROI, good old banners and newsletters rule.

Download the study results (PDF)

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NHL: Great Use of Twitter Lists for Branding, Outreach

Wondering how to use Twitter Lists to support your marketing strategy? Let’s take a look at the National Hockey League’s use of this new feature to engage its fans.

National Hockey League
Image via Wikipedia

As I described recently, Twitter Lists enable you to easily follow a group of users who have been grouped together by other Twitter users. Selecting people to include on a list is an endorsement of the value of their contributions.

The NHL has taken this concept one step further by leveraging lists as a crowdsourcing tool. Here’s what they did:

Yesterday morning, they tweeted

nhl-twitter-lists

Tweets flooded in from their 115,000+ followers. There are now 20 lists for users to check out, which is unfortunately the upper limit. (Twitter may want to rethink this in general, but especially for brands trying to reach out to their customers.) While the NHL waits for approval from Twitter to add more lists, some can be found here at the account of Michael DiLorenzo, Director of Social Media Marketing and Strategy for the NHL. In addition, the NHL’s Twitter account is now part of more than 800 user-created lists.

Quite a success story. The NHL’s effort has enabled it to collect customer data and helped its fans to connect with each other. The response from fans definitely shows how Twitter Lists can be a major resource for companies and organizations seeking to reach out to their constituents.

Related articles:

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9 Must-Read Posts About Social Media

Here are some great recent blog posts on navigating the world of social media:

The 4Cs Social Media Framework
Image by Gauravonomics via Flickr

Mapping Your Way Through Social Media
To enable any kind of social media strategy, you need a door opener. An entry point to help you reach the people and places you need to be. A social map can help you with this.

Tips from the Trenches: Using Social Media in Business
Although many businesses know how to use social media to connect with others and build relationships, plenty still struggle to see how social media will benefit them, especially business-to-business companies.

Use Social Media to spot issues before they hit the Contact Center
Firey laptop batteries, defective chips, tainted foods, toothpaste that stains teeth – these are just some real examples of issues that struck companies recently that might have been headed off at the pass by social media.

Is Social Media Marketing a New Requirement of SEO?
The goal of social media marketing is to communicate with a community of humans. Indirectly, the goal of SEO is the same. But with SEO the attention is focused at the search engines with the assumption that humans will be reached through the engines. So while the eventual goal is the same, the initial one is not and, as marketers know, that makes a difference when it comes to strategy and tactics.

Social Media Time Management: Resource Allocation
Organizations that are embarking on social media are going to be at different levels of maturity. That’s okay. What’s most important is that you recognize where on the spectrum you sit, so you can plan your efforts accordingly, and focus on how to get to the next level.

Integrating Social Media- A Middle Up Down Approach
In talking with Jess Krywosa yesterday, I realized that I hadn’t explained much about my take on how I get traction on social media projects in companies. The way we do it at New Marketing Labs more often than not is with what I call the middle-down, middle-up approach. Okay, that might take a few sentences to explain for some of you.

Leveraging SEO and Social Media for Maximum Results
Broadly approached as a great standalone marketing strategy, social media marketing is integrated more and more with search engine optimization (SEO).

Redefining social media
I sat on a panel at SUPERCOMM’s Digital Media Forum in Chicago on Friday called, “Redefining Social Media.” (Eric Forst of Visible Technologies and Edward Moran of Deloitte & Touche spoke with me, ably moderated by Patty Brown of The Content Strategy Group.) The name of the panel initially threw me, because it feels like anything old enough to be redefined seems a bit passé, which social media most decidedly is not. But I think there is a point to be made about social media and how it is maturing.

Is Your Office Youngster the Social-Media Whiz?
Business owners are trying to figure out what difference a tweet or Facebook post can make to their bottom lines. Younger employees frequently lead the way.

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