Social Media Marketing: The Inside Scoop From 6 Experts

21 Social Media Marketing Insights

While social media is a staple of most 2013 business plans, many marketers and business executives are still trying to figure out how to use it effectively to drive measurable results.

To help put your social media marketing efforts on track to succeed, we asked six top social media experts three questions to get their insights into how the social media landscape is evolving and what it means for business. Among them, they’ve written eight books on the topic and are sought after consultants and speakers. (BTW, you can meet and hear them in person at Social Media Marketing World on April 7th, 8th and 9th.)

The experts:

1. If you could only have one social media platform, which one would you choose and why would you choose it?

  • Jay Baer: Twitter because it forces brevity and is the easiest to keep up on in short spurts and when mobile.
  • Ric Dragon: Google+ – Because love it or not, Google is still the 900 pound gorilla, and is the driving force behind digital marketing.  Facebook is fun, LinkedIn is gaining momentum, and I’ve had great success with Twitter – but since I’m in the digital marketing industry, I’ve no choice but to throw my chips in with Google.
  • Derek Halperin: The only social media platform I rely on is my website Social Triggers. While I enjoy Twitter, and Facebook, in the end, I prefer to control everything I create. And nothing gives you more control than your own website. The NEXT platform that I would choose would be my email list because there’s no better way to interact with your prospects and clients.
  • Dave Kerpen: I’d choose LinkedIn because it includes my most valuable career connections and is also where I get the majority of my professional content.
  • Joe Pulizzi: I would choose SlideShare. SlideShare is a sleeping giant and still most marketers aren’t using it, which presents more opportunity for those who are using it.
  • Michael Stelzner: Facebook because I find it has the best engagement and personal expression takes place on this platform.  And it doesn’t hurt that everyone I know is there too.

Actionable Marketing Insight: While Facebook has the numbers in terms of users and marketers, only one of these social media experts chose it. I strongly agree with Ric Dragon’s logic regarding the use of Google+. (Here’s our Google+ tips.)  That said, like Derek Halperin, I’d choose my blog. BTW—Many of my clients agree with Joe Pulizzi that SlideShare drives business.

2. What is your favorite new social media tool and why?

  • Jay Baer: Little Bird, because it allows me to research and monitor topical experts quickly and easily. (Disclaimer: Jay is an investor!)
  • Ric Dragon: I’m sorry to say, I don’t have a favorite tool. But that might be saying something, too.  Any of the cool tools that has arisen in the past two years hasn’t continued to become part of my daily routine, say the way Pulse on iPad has for reading blogs.
  • Derek Halperin : My favorite social media tool would be my email service provider AWeber —the company that allows me to send emails to everyone who subscribers to Social Triggers for updates.
  • Dave Kerpen: My favorite new tool is Brewster because it allows me to house all of my social contacts in one place and catch up in person with them during my travels.
  • Joe Pulizzi: Little Bird…for building social media influencer lists.  Priceless.
  • Michael Stelzner: I love TweetBot.  It makes managing my Twitter accounts from my iPhone a pure joy.

Actionable Marketing Insight: While not considered a social media entity by many, having your own email list as Derek Halperin recommends is worth its weight in gold. An email list, hosted by a savvy ESP such as AWeber,  can keep your business going if social media goes away or search changes because it’s a form of communications you control. 

3. What is the biggest mistake most businesses make when they use social media and what should they do to fix it?

  • Jay Baer: Focusing on social media as a customer acquisition tool, instead of using social to listen to and encourage your current customers.
  • Ric Dragon: Many businesses enter into doing social media without any real aim. It’s imperative to have a deep understanding of the whole landscape of desired outcomes – everything from your organization’s purpose, the vision of leadership, goals, objectives – right down to specific metrics.  What outcome would induce the boss to go out and buy the marketing manager a bottle of $1,000 champagne? After all of that is understood, an action plan can be created that maps to those outcomes.
  • Derek Halperin : The biggest mistake businesses make when they stumble upon social media is sharing anything that’s unrelated to what they’re trying to do. I see many companies sharing images with text over it (those silly viral images you see on Facebook), and starting forced conversations by asking fill in the blank questions (Yes, things like that get high interaction, but what does it have to do with business?).
  • Dave Kerpen: The biggest mistake business make is to promote themselves too much – too much talking and selling, and not enough listening and engaging. Slow down, listen, build relationships through great content, and then sell.
  • Joe Pulizzi: That the employees using the channels may not know the underlying goals for why the company is using a channel (i.e., Facebook, Twitter).  The fix…training, and lots of it.  Employees need to know why, the goals, and how what they do with those channels will help (or hurt) the business.
  • Michael Stelzner: They over invest in the social networks rather than building their own platforms with content.

Actionable Marketing Insight: Each response provides a different aspect needed for marketing success.  (BTW, you may want to check out: Social media – the one thing 70% of businesses do wrong.) Also, here’s how to create your social media strategy in five steps:

  1. Listen to the social media conversation first.
  2. Set goals for your social media activities that relate back to your business goals.
  3. Engage with others on social media to build relationships.
  4. Create a content marketing strategy that’s integrated with your social media activity.
  5. Track results back to your business objectives.

As the insights from these six experts reveal, there’s no one road to achieving social media success. It’s critical to tailor your social media marketing to your offering, target audience’s needs and business goals. 

Do you want to take your social media marketing to the next level? If so, please join these six social media experts (and over forty other of the Who’s Who of Social Media) live at Social Media Examiner’s Social Media Marketing World. This event is selling out so grab your ticket now!

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen


Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies. You can find Heidi on , Facebook and .

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  • http://twitter.com/patricia_haag Patricia Haag

    Great post! What a fascinating look into expert opinions on using social media. I am going to check out LittleBird, but I have to admit that I just don’t see the appeal of SlideShare.

  • Chad Stewart

    Patricia,

    I agree with your skepticism completely. The buzz for Social Media tactics can be a bit misleading because there are plenty of companies (really whole industries) that are trying to reach such a focused audience that something like a Facebook campaign would just be a waste of time, money and effort. Regardless of your business model, it all has to come back to ROI.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bnkg99 Ben Green

    I’d like to add oktopost to the list of social media tools. We recently launched our product in order to help B2B marketers:

    Easily manage multiple LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter profiles

    Post messages to social networks with an emphasis on LinkedIn Groups

    Track clicks AND conversions from social media

    Synchronize inbound lead data with CRM and Marketing Automation products

    Consolidate comments on public and private LinkedIn groups in the form of a “social inbox”

    Provide simple and clear social media analytics and how they relate to lead conversions
    Check us out: http://www.oktopost.com or email me: bgreen@oktopost.com