Top 10 Social Media Blogs

Are you looking for some good social media blogs to read? Look no further!

Our fifth-annual social media blog contest generated over 600 nominations.

Our panel of social media experts carefully reviewed the nominees and finalists. Each of the social media blogs were analyzed based on a number of factors, including content quality, post frequency and reader involvement.

With that in mind, here are 10 social media blogs to put at the top of your reading list.

#1: Jon Loomer

Jon Loomer consistently delivers long-form articles, videos and detailed educational content that share an impressive depth of Facebook marketing knowledge.

jon loomer blog

Jon Loomer’s blog is enthusiastic, helpful, detailed and well-illustrated.

#2: RazorSocial

RazorSocial explores social media tools and technology with well-illustrated, detailed posts written by Ian Cleary.

razor social blog

RazorSocial’s useful content is delivered with no-nonsense, practical, actionable, step-by-step instructions.

#3: Socialmouths

Socialmouths, authored by Francisco Rosales, gives readers down-to-earth social media advice that can be applied to practical and tactical uses.

socialmouths blog

Socialmouths publishes how-to articles with examples and case studies.

#4: Post Planner

Post Planner provides a witty yet intelligent and actionable collection of easily consumable Facebook marketing posts.

post planner blog

Post Planner’s well-formatted and easy-to-read posts include useful examples and images.

#5: Dustn.tv

Dustn.tv‘s Dustin W. Stout shows readers how to become better social media storytellers.

dustn.tv blog

Dustn.tv shares excellent case studies and how-to articles.

#6: Danny Brown

Danny Brown publishes timely, informative and in-depth marketing advice and SlideShare decks.

danny brown blog

Danny Brown’s easy-to-read blog posts are smart and thoroughly cited with third-party links.

#7: Boom Social

On Boom Social, Kim Garst provides conversational posts, advice and case studies on social media marketing.

boom social blog

The content on Boom Social is easy to read and speaks directly to the reader.

#8: Jenn’s Trends

Jenn’s Trends is where Jenn Herman uses simple, concise language to deliver personal perspectives on social media trends.

jenns trends blog

Jenn’s Trends has an engaging style that is easy to digest.

#9: Top Dog Social Media

Top Dog Social Media, the blogging home of Melonie Dodaro, focuses on what’s happening in social media.

top dog social media blog

Top Dog Social Media publishes tips in Q&A format and a mix of personal and professional posts.

#10: Simply Measured

Simply Measured focuses on trends and measurement in the social media space.

simply measured blog

The content on Simply Measured benefits any social media marketer.

Source –  Top 10 Social Media Blogs

The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide To Finding Your Audience In Social Media

Social media marketing platforms are constantly evolving, so newcomers are at a disadvantage compared to those who’ve been around the social media block over the last decade. There are more platforms to learn, more features to leverage, and larger audiences to engage.

For small or new businesses venturing into social media marketing for the first time, focusing on the fundamentals is key. In this two-part series, we’ll do just that.  Read on for a guide to getting started, including defining your target market and choosing the right channels to reach them.

Step 1: Defining Your Target Market

targeting-shutterstock

Before diving into anything, start by defining your target consumer.

Demographics are important, but key insights into the what type of person they are, their likes and dislikes, etc., will give you stronger direction later for creating engaging content.

If you’re like most small businesses, you likely don’t have a professionally developed marketing strategy with person as defined for your target consumers. The great news is, these don’t take a rocket scientist (or professional marketer) to create!

Start With The Easy Stuff: Demographics

Putting pen to paper and defining the more obvious characteristics of your audience is the best place to start. If you’re not familiar with these key characteristics of your target market, you’ll be lost in the long term. For an HVAC repair business, your target customer might be a homeowner. Homeowner: it’s a start, but wouldn’t tell a writer much about how to craft content your audience will appreciate.

To further define the demographics, ask yourself the following questions, thinking of the customers that currently drive most of your business today.

  1. How expensive is your product or service? Do your customers need to fall into a certain income class to afford you?

  2. Is your product or service specifically for men or women? If either, think about your typical customer. What is their typical age? Are they married? Do they have a family? Who makes the purchasing decisions?

  3. Where is your target customer physically located? Are they local to you? In the neighborhood or neighboring town? Do you have an online store and want to appeal to customers across the country? Do you have a storefront or do you travel to your customers to provide service?

  4. Is your product or service ethnically neutral? Does it appeal to people of a certain ethnicity?

By the end of this Q&A exercise, aim to have the following key demographics outlined: age, gender, location, income level, occupation, marital/family status, ethnicity and education level.

Now, What Makes Them Tick? Defining Psychographics

Now that you’ve nailed down the basic information about your target market, it’s time to start thinking about who they are as people. This is the key step to crafting appropriate content for your social media marketing, blogging strategy, and even your traditional marketing efforts.

I’ve found that many small business owners can get lost in the idea of psychographically defining their typical consumer. To guide this thought process, collaborate with your front-line employees — those who work most directly with your customers — and ask the following questions:

  1. What are your customers’ likes and dislikes and what does that tell you about them?

  2. What types of television shows do they watch? What magazines or website might they read?

  3. What are their values?

  4. What kind of lifestyle do they lead? How does your product or service fit into their lifestyle?

In this exercise, you should also look at your product or service. These questions can help you better understand your target customer:

  1. What features appeal to your current customers the most?

  2. When do they use the product (or hire you for the service)?

  3. Do they use it in a certain way?

Aspirational Customers: Not Today, Maybe Someday

If you’re looking to expand business (perhaps you’re more of a novice than a beginner), think about your “aspirational customers.” An aspirational customer is someone who may not buy your product or service today, but perhaps this is the kind of business you’d like to do more of.

Our original example of an HVAC repair company may consider business owners as aspirational customers because they would like to do more commercial business, which is more lucrative than residential.

Perform the same two Q&A sessions above for your aspirational customer. Remember to keep this separate. You might not use this target market in your immediate marketing strategy, but defining it is the first step to achieving your goals!

2 Pro Tips For DIY Defining Your Target Market

  1. If you get stumped at any of the above steps, take a look at one of your competitors that performs well. If they are already doing any social media marketing, review their content and strategy to look for clues as to whom they believe their target customer really is.

  2. Write it all down. Once you’ve outlined your demo and psychographics, you might realize you have several target customers. Give each of them a name and persona. This will help you (or whomever helps with your creative) relate to them and craft effective content.

Step 2: Choose The Right Networks To Reach Them

One of my favorite infographics of all time, puts a purr-fectly matched personality to each social network (pun intended).

social-media-explained-cats

There is a vast menu of social networks at a marketer’s disposal today. Truly knowing your target audience will help you select the proper networks to reach them.

BI Intelligence recently released a report on demographics of social network users. Business Insider reported on the results, including some of the key takeaways:

  • Fast-moving consumer goods will perform better on Facebook than luxury goods because the user base skews younger.

  • Twitter is primarily a news source for its users.

  • Pinterest is the place to be for food and drink related products or content, as well as family or parenting content.

  • Instagram’s audience is primarily female (with projections to even out by 2016) and between the ages of 18 and 44. Clothing, accessories and entertainment-related brands find Instagram attractive for this reason.

Coming up in my next column, we’ll review beginners’ steps to starting up your content strategy, best practices, and how to stay organized!

Source –Social Media Marketing Column

Everything You Need to Know About Facebook Page Apps [INFOGRAPHIC]

Social Media Marketers are always looking to “cut through the clutter” (really overused, I know) in an effort to get their Facebook marketing campaigns noticed. As community managers and social media marketers try to make their promotions, campaigns and contests come across as more professional, more personalized and more branded – they’re turning to third-party Facebook Page apps to help them acheive this.

Simply put, a Facebook App is a mini-website that sits on your Facebook page and allows you to give your fans an experience that goes beyond the realm of Facebook – but is still tied back to Facebook’s Open Graph allowing the contest or promotion in the app to stay connected to social media and go viral.

Yet, there are a fair amount of community managers and social media marketers who don’t quite “get” Facebook Apps or completely understand the concept. Circus Social put together an infographic titled, “Everything You Need to Know About Facebook Apps” that neatly portrays what a Facebook App is, what it helps marketers achieve and how they can put them to good use. It also debunks a fair amount of myths and questions about Facebook Apps that are often asked.Infographic - Everything You Need to Know About Facebook AppsVisit here original website link

Losing Control: 4 Potential Pitfalls of User Generated Content

ablysoft_imgThere’s no denying the upsides of a healthy influx of user-generated content (UGC). When your customers are posting glowing reviews about your business, sharing your marketing campaigns with brand-specific hashtags, or commenting frequently on your blogs, your business reaps the benefits of an engaged community, free copy, higher search rankings, and broader reach. Your target audience may feel a deeper connection with your brand. At first glance, having an abundance of UGC seems like an effective way to market your business and engage with your customers. But as with anything else, user-generated content has its downsides. Here are four potential pitfalls to keep in mind.

Inconsistent messaging
It’s important to remember that very few people apart from your team are intimately familiar with your brand’s messaging. This is one of the major drawbacks of user-generated content. Your customers may be well-intentioned as they’re posting updates and tweets with your campaign hashtags, but they may not be conveying your message in a way that you originally intended. Inconsistent messaging may leave your audience feeling confused about your business’ platform and services.

Campaign hijackers
Keep in mind when you’re managing a UGC campaign that things may take an unexpected turn. A handful of dissatisfied customers or vindictive competitors can quickly send your marketing effort into a downward spiral. A good example of this is the #McDStories campaign launched by McDonald’s in 2012. Originally, the marketing effort was supposed to put a positive spin on working for McDonald’s. The brand encouraged employees to share their experiences. Instead, disgruntled employees and customers used the hashtag to post negative quips about the popular fast food brand. Be aware that campaign hijacking is a real issue, and come up with proactive strategies to combat the problem ahead of your launch.

Lack of engagement
The most effective user-generated content campaigns are backed by a strong community. If your brand actively engages with your online audience regularly, you’re a candidate to run a successful user generated campaign. But sometimes other factors come into play that may affect audience engagement. A lack of engagement from your customers can be caused by everything from a confusing campaign structure to a poorly-timed launch. Whatever the reason, it’s important to have a back-up plan in place to make sure that your upcoming efforts don’t fall flat with your audience. Be flexible and willing to adjust your strategy if your customers aren’t engaging with your brand as you expected.

Too much engagement
Sometimes the problem isn’t a lack of engagement, it’s way too much engagement. But a lot of interest and discussion is a good thing, right? Not always. The result may leave your team feeling completely overwhelmed and unprepared for the amount of comments or submissions you’re receiving. A campaign can quickly spiral out of control and become impossible to moderate effectively. In this case, seeking outside help for content moderation can be helpful. Some businesses turn to distributed moderation services like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to manage the influx of UGC. MTurk, as it’s commonly known, relies on freelance workers to help moderate content. Other companies that aren’t necessarily comfortable crowdsourcing their content moderation for privacy reasons may choose to seek out specialty services. Platforms like WebPurify have dedicated teams of employees trained in the art of image and content moderation. There are a couple different approaches your business can take, but the bottom line is that effective moderation is critical when it comes to UGC campaigns.

The benefits of user-generated content are many, but there are also pitfalls to be aware of. If you’re launching a marketing effort that calls for UGC, be proactive about managing the process. Have a back-up plan in place in case things get off track, and come up with a moderation strategy ahead of your launch. Pre-planning can help you keep your campaign on track!

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Make your Social Media Presence ‘Special’ not ‘forced’- Successful brands do this

smo_ablysoftThere is a common misbelief that social media presence is all about creating a Facebook page or twitter handle. It’s just a step whereas to get social identification on web. Making your social profiles engaging is the actual technique to achieve desired goals.

Do you have a Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn profile but no Social Traffic?

The biggest reason why usually businesses lack the ability to get social traffic despite of their business page is their inactive mode. If you have made a page on Facebook but that shows no posts, no status updates on regular basis, then you may not even gets enough likes. The other reason can be the monotony of content sharing as social geeks hunt for newness & interesting stuff.

ablysoft_1To get social traffic one has to fight 2 of the following hurdles that all social media networks put across:

  1. Content decay– Content decay is the paramount reason why there is so much of hustle on all social pages. Whatever you share now becomes dead after few comments and shares. So, continuous activity is important to keep the essence live.
  2. Time decay– The trends keep changing every hour and you have to put up new stuff on board. Those who miss participating at right time; tend to miss the advantage. Every lapse counts for stagnation in your followers/fans list.

Ably Soft social media experts suggest businesses not to make it an obligatory action to share updates for the sake of it. Do it rather for keeping your page live just like an entertainer.

Successful Brands are those which follow consistent approach to engage their users and keep them involved with new & likeable content. You can utilize your social presence most by creating campaigns that encourage user participation. Read how these two brands made it happen:

Just Eat

A leading takeaway service that functions in 13 countries ran a multi-channel campaign and made a TV clipping for that first. Its next step was to engage the online users for which it chose social networks. The story was taken further by prompting people to follow Worrall Thompson’s (TV chef) plight while in confinement via Facebook & Twitter. The result was this: #JUSTEATkidnap got used 1,379 times over a week.

Times Now

The news channel took to twitter for creating user engagement and followed user sentiments carefully right before national election. The group created a buzz with hashtags like #MegaExitPolls, #May16WithArnab, #TimesNowatTimesSquare etc. and kept the conversation on for weeks. The results were unbelievable: 100+ hashtags kept trending throughout the polling season & the channel grossed 3.8 lakh more followers.

These are two different brands of difference scale & audience but both received great results but their reason of successful campaign is common i.e. they made their social presence special & not forced. You can also fetch maximum benefit from social media networks if your promotional strategy is user focused & engaging.

All the big results have some strategic planning behind it, so follow plans that meet your business goals. Send us your queries if you face hard time to use your social media pages for business.