Ten Things You Can Do Now To Maximize Your Social Media Expertise


Moderator: Stacie Tamaski, theflirtyblog.com, @theflirtygirl
Nora DePalma, @noradepalma
Chris Lam, www.whatiruninto.com, @thechrislam

1. Brand Yourself: Be appealing and recognizable across all social media platforms.

Chris: What I'm looking for is a package. As a blogger you want to be packaged so that you can be ready to talk to media. Two resources, www.maincheck.com, and you don't have to be on all the channels, but the ones you are on, be sure they are branded well.

2. Choose Your Platform

Stacie: Try everything. Sign up and test each platform. See what you like and what works. Don't try and juggle 20 platforms that aren't working. Test and use analytics.

Nora: Who are you interested in and what platforms are they using? Use the platform that best fits the media. food, you're gonna want to use pictures, pinterest may be good fit.

3. Manage Your Time

When is your audience online? when are they clicking and when are they conversing?

Nora: How many in the room spend at least an hour online each day? (all hands raise)

My blog is personal. You have to understand with metrics. A big time for social media is weekends. Small businesses are all online on the weekday and not on weekends. I have one friend who spends 4 hours per day, 3 hours for blog and commenting, 1 hour on social media.

Chris: My job is social media, so I'm using social media more than one hour!

Are you familiar with www.timely.is will track clicks for your social media.

4. Measure Your Efforts: How to stop worrying and learn to love data. (google analytics,

Nora: Google Analytics is it when it comes to metrics and traffic. I look at percentage of new versus returning. I also look at how they came into my site. Search? Keyword? Referral? My blog gets people from search because I blog about current events.

What platform is right for you? The one that gets you the most traffic!

Stacie: How often to you track metrics?

Nora: Once per month is fine. That's what I do. I also use facebook insights. I look at the shared posts. I also use hootsuite using their own link shortener. I spend maybe two hours a month on metrics.

5. Tag Your Target: Identify brands you wan to work with. Then talk about them. People pay attention when you talk about them.

Chris: tTag the brand when you talk about them on facebook and so on. You want to be sure you link is visible to that brand. From tweetchat to facebook, tag the brand you talk about.

Stacie: If there's a company you want to be involved in, ask if they have a media list and if you can be invited to it. This way you'll be invited to events that aren't on social media necessarily. Just send them an email and request to be on their pr list. It's like a shortcut for brands that you really want to work with.

6. Your Personal Versus Professional Voice:

Stacie: This depends on what you're going for with your brand. sometimes you can straddle the line between both.

Chris: For me working with brands was more informal and through twitter. For instance, working with restaurants. I tag on LinkedIn but not on facebook now that I'm more on the professional side with my financial blog.

Nora: I try to keep my personal separate from my professional. I don't have my name on my blog just to keep things separate. Remember on your personal and for twitter, tequila and twitter don't mix!

Chris: If you mom wouldn't like it, don't post it!

7. Know Your Influencers

Nora: The people you're following. Who do you learn from? Share their information. Start the conversation. I read Mashable and marketing blogs. Conferences influence me.

Chris: www.wefollow.com is what I use for keyword and topic searches. I want to follow the things and people talking about the things I like.

Stacie: sometimes you can be influenced by bloggers that are less well known. think about what makes you like it. consider how you might implement for your blog. look everywhere for interests, not just the popular.

Nora: I search topics in Google.

8. Listen to Your Audience

Stacie: Why is listening important?

Chris: You shouldn't just be pushing content out. Engage! Ask questions. steer your blogs to fit your audience. Poll your audience from Facebook polls for topics to write about. Tweet with your own hashtag for topic ideas. Remember to comment on others' blogs and tweets. Be in the conversation and consider how you could contribute to what people are already asking for.

Nora: Use things like www.surveymonkey.com to poll your audience.

9. Understand the Fine Print (Terms of Service, TOS)

Stacie: When you're a professional, you don't want to be pulled for bad content.

Chris: Attribution is key. Read the fine print and understand what they are trying to protect. Be sure you're contributing the image to the right person. Use www.flickr.com or contact the actual photographer for the use of the image. Read the promotion guidelines for Facebook and use the correct disclaimers. Facebook has specific promotional guidelines, know them. But each platform has different guidelines regarding promotions.

Stacie: If you are using copy-right images, the moment you pull the content or image, it is copy-righted. Read the TOS of all things. When it comes to advertising, there are guidelines you need to know before you get to deep into blog.

Nora: Use a public press room for public domain content from news outlets for your content.

10. Teach...and Keep Learning

Stacie: There's no faster way to establish yourself as an expert more than teaching. Overcome your fear of public speaking and create an outline and teach from a certain topic that interest you. Present yourself as a professional and that's how you will be perceived.

Nora: This goes for writing and speaking. It doesn't mean on just speaking.

Chris: I got my first social media job from social media. Teach about what you know. I work a lot with job searching and helping non-profits because I got my job through social media and using the basics of social media. This increases your expertise. Get on www.socialmediaclub.com and find your chapter. Attend events, learn and meet people in the industry.

Stacie: If you're a blogger, you can teach others how to blog. Volunteer. Find non-profits who aren't in the social media space and volunteer your time. Help them and it looks good on your resume! You're helping your community and yourself!

Audience Member: Regarding analytics, what changes have you ever made after you looked at metrics? Examples?

Nora: I changed the length of my blog posts. I found that shorter was better. I've changed titles of posts but never content. I've learned to re-share old content. Go back to 2009 and re-post.

Stacie: If I'm talking about going to BlogHer or another event, I tag a banner to the post. I also link to past blogs that are "like" the current post. Place and ad or call to action on high trafficked pages.

Chris: If I see a spike in views, I'm looking at whether that was the actual posts or was it the post the day before.

Stacie: Analytics will show who's linking to you and about you. Comment or email to say thanks to people who are talking about you.

Audience Member: (Blogs at www.teenlounge.com): Is there a way to get educated on how to use Google Analytics? what software would you use for automating responses to social media comments?

s2NoraGoogle Analytics help page is good. Read the articles or watch the videos. But keep it simple. If you don't care about conversions, don't bother.

Chris: I use HootSuite for social media to schedule tweets and measure links and metrics for tweets. I look for keywords that seem popular. I may use the same link in a tweet, but I reword and rephrase each post to test. Tweetdeck is also helpful. With Facebook, you can schedule things on Facebook, use that instead of aggregators.

Audience Member: how do you engage with subscribers through email? number of posts per week? philosophy?

Stacie: I include an image in my signature. I use the signature in my email for links to my other content.

Nora: Be sure your RSS feed is in your email signature.

Chris: Shorter is better. Short headlines. Segment audiences if you can.