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must read articles social media marketing

Looking for sparkle and shine to mix into your social media strategy? Look no further. Here are seven articles by some of the best writers and researchers around. Once you’re through with these, you’ll know exactly what it takes to build a social media strategy that will shoot you to the stars.

Oh, and if you still want more, we’ve actually linked to over 25 articles and Twitter accounts. So you’re getting a banquet for the price of a value meal.

Now let’s get started…

Social Media Supremacy: 10 Experts Reveal Their Strategies (ViperChill)

Author: Glen Allsopp

What makes it unique?: The level of research and diverse range of opinions from experts.

Our favorite quote:

Be consistent, stick with it for the long-haul, write for a specific audience, always try to improve the quality of your content and have a plan – know what your goals are and constantly evaluate your progress towards them. Do all these things and blogging will be really rewarding for you.

Glen Allsopp of ViperChill is renowned for investing hours researching and writing in-depth articles. This post on social marketing doesn’t disappoint. It’s from 2010, so the advice on Facebook is a little outdated. The tips on Twitter, blogging, and forums are excellent.

See also: 9,000 Uniques in One Day: A Viral Marketing Case Study.

The Art of Writing Great Google+ Posts (Copyblogger)

Author: Demian Farnworth

What makes it unique?: This article brings a copywriter’s approach to using social media.

Our favorite quote: This is a copywriter’s perspective on what works with Google Plus.

A good opening will get your post read. A bad opening will get your post ignored.

Farnworth has studied what it takes to get your Google Plus posts read and to build a following. His formula is sound marketing applied to Google Plus. Follow the lessons learned, and you’ll improve all your marketing.

Also take a look at: Demian Farnworth shares his content strategy and more – like why he digs vacuums.

A Minimalist’s Guide to Using Twitter Simply, Productively, and Funly (ZenHabits)

Author: Leo Babauta

What makes it unique?: You’ll see how Babauta applies his minimalist approach to the chaos of Twitter.

Our favorite quote:

Twitter is like a river … you can step into it at any point and feel the water, bathe in it, frolic if you like … and then get out. And go back in at any time, at any point. But, you don’t have to try to consume the entire river — it’s impossible and frankly a waste of time in my eyes.

Although written in 2008 before Twitter entered the mainstream, Babauta’s advice still applies today. It’s also an example of Babauta’s excellent vision, as he expected Twitter would replace RSS feeds, which it largely has done.

You might also like: Leo Babauta’s Great Twitter Experiment.

Social Media and Storytelling Part 1: Why Storytelling? (HootSuite)

Author: Cameron Uganec

What makes it unique?: This article doesn’t just tell you why stories matter; it shows you – with examples of great stories.

Our favorite quote:

As storytellers we need to answer these questions. Who is the hero? What is the plot? What is the setting? And, a scary thing for some marketers, what’s the conflict? If you’re telling a story, there’s always a conflict. It’s not always unicorns and rainbows and the hyperbole that lazy marketers often resort to.

Cameron Uganec rightly points out that we can no longer “push” marketing messages out to a captive audience. Instead, we have to “pull” an audience in using a great story.

Check out part 3 of Cameron’s six-part series to find out the psychology behind why people share stories.

The Ideal Length of Everything Online, Backed by Research (buffer)

Author: Kevan Lee

What makes it unique?: The depth of research and the graphics illustrating every point.

Our favorite quote:

Solid research exists to show the value of writing, tweeting, and posting at certain lengths.

You want the have the most possible impact online, right? Taking that as a given, what’s the ideal length of a Tweet, a Facebook update, a headline, an email subject line, and a video presentation? Kevan Lee has scouted out the research and reveals all in this article.

Want to know how Buffer dug up all this juicy goodness? Then check out their post How We Research: A Look Inside the Buffer Blog Process.

17 Twitter Marketing Tips From the Pros (Social Media Examiner)

Author: Cindy King

What makes it unique?: Not everyone interviewed for this article is a social media big gun, so the tips are relevant whatever the size of your Twitter following.

Our favorite quote:

One way to get more efficient about using Twitter and other tools is to sit down with someone younger than you and ask him or her for a front-lines tutorial.

Cindy King reached out to 17 of Twitter’s pro users to find out their top Twitter tips. In every one of the tips, you’ll learn something about how you can improve your Twitter presence.

See also: 10 Social Media Tips to Enhance Your Marketing, From the Pros.

How Coca-Cola uses Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ (Econsultancy)

Author: David Moth

What makes it unique?: This is a deep dive into how a specific brand uses social media.

Our favorite quote:

Coca-Cola is one of those instantly recognizable brands that would rake in fans and followers without even trying, so it’s to its credit that it has active accounts across the social web.

Find out the pros and cons of Coca-Cola’s approach to using the four big players in the world of social networking. Of course, few businesses have Coke’s marketing budget, but we can all learn from their example.

For more ideas for your social strategy, Econsultancy has similar studies on Red Bull, Walmart, Cadbury, McDonald’s, Microsoft, Starbucks and Nike.

Facebook Like

We’ve said before that being a social media power user isn’t all about having the most followers.

Yes, your tribe matters. But what matters more is that you’re able to use social media to achieve your goals.

We’ve got tips from big players here, and from some with just a handful of followers. But they’re all useful.

As always, let us know your favorite tip in the comments.

1. Hang Out With Your Competitors

It’s amazing how there are still so many large brands who for one reason or another are not actively engaging with their customers on their Facebook Page. This is a massive opportunity to get likes. If there are pages in your niche where people are asking questions and not getting answers from the brand, be the one who provides the answers. By helping them out you will drive people to your brand’s page and appear more interested in your customers than the other brand.

Original Article: Ten Real Ways to Get More Facebook Likes

Tip from Marcus Taylor of State of Digital (2,000 Facebook likes)

2. Do the Boring: Fill Out Your “About” Section

After you’ve created your Facebook Page, make sure the About section of your Page includes:

  • An overview of what your business has to offer
  • A link to your website
  • Any other information that will help prospects understand your business better.

All of this content will be indexed by search engines, helping you attract more Fans to your Page.

Original Article: 5 Little Ways to Get More Facebook Likes

Tip from: Shannon Johnson of Hubspot (650,000 Facebook likes)

3. Be Hilarious, Sad, Beautiful, Interesting (or Simply Awesome)

Facebook Likes

Original article: How to get more likes on Facebook

Tip from: The Oatmeal (2.7 million Facebook likes).

4. You’re It! Tag Yourself

As long as you’re a fan of your own fan page, you can “@ tag” it on your own personal profile wall. From time to time, you can let your friends know about something happening on your fan page by writing a personal status update that includes tagging your fan page with an @ tag. Simply start typing the “@” symbol and the first few letters of your fan page name (this works whether you have your username registered or not), and it will appear from a drop-down menu to select. This then makes it a nice, subtle hyperlink that your friends can choose to click on.

Original Article: 21 Creative Ways To Increase Your Facebook Fanbase

Tip from: Mari Smith (135,000 Facebook likes)

5. Create Inspiring Content for a Win-Win

Create posts that inspire people to SHARE your content.

People love to share great content. And when your Fans’ friends see that great content, they too may share it — or even better, they may “Like” your page.

It’s a win-win situation.

Your current Fans share your content — and new Fans Like your page because of it!

Original article: Here’s a Quick Way to Get More Likes on Your Facebook Page

Tip from: Scott Ayres (32,500 Facebook followers)

6. Power Ahead with Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads are by far the easiest way to get more likes for your Facebook page. The difficult part is to effectively manage the Facebook Ads and make the most of a limited budget. Its really important to A/B test every single ad. You should closely monitor the following variables and make changes accordingly based on the ad performance:

a) Changing the target audience depending on the interests

b) Gender

c) State / Province – Geo targeting

d) Bidding for the price

Interestingly, I found that my Ads performed its best during early mornings and late nights!

Original Article: How I got 10,000 Likes for my Facebook Page in 4 weeks

Tip from: Nikhil Aitharaju, whose Garam Garam News Facebook page now has 20,000 likes.

7. Talk to Your Fans

On every social media site, engagement is the key to success and Facebook is no different.

In order to attract attention on your Facebook page, be engaging on your personal profile as well.

I always channel my new likes through the engagement I create on my personal profile.

Original Article: How to Get More Likes on Your Facebook Page

Tip from: Samuel Pustea on JeffBullas.com (29,000 Facebook likes)

8. Leave Tag Trails When You Comment on Other Pages

You can tag within a comment thread on another page to draw attention from a new audience. You can do this if you’re commenting as your page or profile. It will be visible on your profile (if you’re commenting as you), your page (if you’re commenting as your page), and whichever page or profile you post your comment. Plus, those who have also made comments in the thread will receive a notification by email. That’s potentially loads of new eyeballs!

Original Article: Get More Facebook Likes with Tagging

Tip from: Alicia Cowan (2,000 Facebook likes)

9. Get the Design Fairy to Wave Her Magic Wand

There’s nothing worse than a Page that has no Timeline cover photo or has one that’s poorly designed. If I came to your Page right now and spent five seconds on it, would I instantly know what your business is about? That’s the goal of your Timeline cover photo – it’s an introduction, a handshake. Make it count.

Original Article: How to Attract More Facebook Fans (Without Wasting Your Time!)

Tip from: Amy Porterfield (96,000 Facebook likes)

Facebook Mistake

So you’ve signed up for a Facebook page for your business.

Awesome! Seriously, great job.

Now let me ask you a question: do you know why you are on Facebook? Why did you create a Facebook page for your business?

“Everyone’s doing it” is not a good reason.

Before you get started with Facebook, you should know why you want to be on Facebook. If you don’t know why you’re using Facebook, you’ll never know if you’re successful. You need a reason to be a Facebook, so you can track whether it’s working for you.

Otherwise you’ll just be wasting time.

Let’s take a look at some good reasons for using Facebook.

To Help Your Customers

So you thought Facebook was all about getting customers for your business? Well, it can be. But the best way of getting customers is to help people.

Facebook makes you very available to your customers. They can contact you directly from their smartphones at the swipe of a screen.

Are you ready to help you customers on Facebook?

To Talk to Your Customers

Facebook’s a social network. Even you – as a business – need to be sociable. Yes, that means hanging out with your customers.

Sure, this takes time. You’ll need to carve it out from your day or allocate staff to it. But the good news is that it’s fun. Also, as you get to know your customers, you’ll discover more about what they want. That makes your business better able to serve them.

What’s more, when your customers talk to you, their friends will see it. That’s free marketing.

To Share Cool Stuff with Your Customers

If you use a personal account on Facebook, you’ll know that Facebook is all about sharing. As a business, you get to share cool stuff with your customers.

Here’s what you need to know: The stuff you share must be cool from your customers’ point of view.

Sure, you might think it’s cool that you hired a new team member or had the most successful month in your company’s history or that you have a new logo. But your customers aren’t interested.

They want stuff that’s helpful, entertaining, or inspirational. Start finding it so you can share it! There’s plenty of great stuff online you can share.

A bonus of sharing helpful stuff on Facebook is that your Facebook fans associate you with being helpful. That’s great news for your brand image.

How to Be Successful on Facebook

Facebook is ultimately a place to build relationships with your customers, clients, and prospects. When you build a relationship with them, they’ll have a positive view of your brand, and they’ll want to do business with you.

Facebook is not a place to shout about how great your business is or to be a pushy salesperson.

When you’re on Facebook, think, “How can I help my customers?” After all, that’s why you’re in business. And asking this question makes Facebook easy.

Why is your business on Facebook? Let us know in the comments below.