increase-social-media-ROI”There are so many articles on using social media for your business that it’s easy to go into information-overload. This white paper offers up our best of the best in terms of social media research and best practices; be sure to bookmark it for the next time you need some guidance, direction or inspiration!

If you’re running into trouble figuring out what to post on your social media accounts, see my other white paper “100 Killer Ideas for Your Social Media Content.”


    1. Find and connect with influencers in your niche or industry using a tool like Social Crawlytics.

    2. Don’t start a tweet with an @ mention. If you do, only yourself, the person mentioned and those who follow you both will see the tweet in their feed.

    3. Recycle old blog posts on social media: Don’t be afraid to share the same blog post more than once…when you do, you accumulate new likes and shares, and increase the post’s social credibility.

    4. Remember that you don’t own your social media followers: Wherever possible, move them into your online marketing funnel by enticing them to opt-in to your email list.

    5. Try posting to social media at different times and days to see when you get the most interaction.

    6. Take a social media monitoring tool for a test drive: Stop trying to manage and monitor all your social media manually, and try out a free tool like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck.

    7. Research the best hashtags for your business, and incorporate them into your posts. Try a tool like to find the best hashtags, and know how many hashtags to use for each social media platform.

    8. When you feel yourself getting burnt out on social media, taking a minute to think about what your online community needs can help you recharge and get back to what really matters.

    9. Take some time to come up with your social media personas: It will help you focus and streamline your efforts.

    10.  Create a Facebook Interest List to monitor what your competitors are posting: Just be sure to keep the list private!

    11. If you haven’t already, learn more about how rich pins on Pinterest can help your business (hint: if you use a product pin, pinners will get a notification if you lower the product’s price).

    12. Find out who you’re competing with on Facebook with the Graph Search query Pages liked by people who like ______________ (your page name).

    13. Using up to 5 @mentions in your tweets will lead to more retweets: However, research shows that using more than that will lead to a decrease in retweets.

    14. See who’s talking about you on social media using a tool like Mention.

    15. Be sure to include a website link in your YouTube video description: This is the primary way you’re going to drive traffic back to your site.

    16. Offer just enough info in your Facebook posts to entice your fans to click through: If you provide too much information, they may be content with simply reading your Facebook post.

    17. Having trouble understanding what your Google Analytics data really means? Use’s Google Analytics Infographic creator to see a graphical representation of your data.

    18. Use a tool like Rapleaf to find out which social networking sites your email subscribers use.

    19. When using YouTube or Vimeo, make sure you have video embedding enabled: Otherwise, you may be losing out on a whole lot of free exposure.

    20. We know that high-quality Google+ posts tend to rank well on Google: So don’t be afraid to post keyword-rich, longer-form content on the platform.

    21. Make a point of endorsing colleagues and connections on LinkedIn: And ask them to do the same.

    22. Avoid asking your fans to ‘like’ your posts on Facebook to move them up in the Newsfeed: Due to Facebook’s recent crackdown on Like-Baiting, this practice may result in your posts receiving less prominence rather than more.

    23. Create a Facebook Interest List of Industry Influencers: And be sure to add yourself to the list!

    24. Use a call to action in your videos: Let your viewers know exactly what you want them to do next. For help with this, see my article, “The Definitive Guide to Crafting Winning Calls to Action in Your Content.”

    25. Post as yourself, not your brand: People want to know they’re communicating with real people.

    26. Post excerpts of your blog posts with a link to read more: This is a great way to significantly increase the reach of your website content.

    27. Keep your branding consistent: Make sure your images, colors and voice are consistent across all the platforms you use.

    28. Use Facebook Graph Search to find out what your fans are interested in: Use the query Favorite interests of people who like _____________ (your page name).

    29. Find out what’s been pinned from your site by going to this URL (obviously replacing with your URL):

    30. Make sure every single one of your blog posts contains at least one image: Otherwise you don’t have a chance of getting it pinned!

    31. Have your social media team sign their posts with their name: You don’t have to pretend you do it all.

    32. Be conversational: This is social media, not an advertisement.

    33. Remember that it’s not the number of followers you have that counts: It’s better to have 100 targeted, engaged followers than 1000 who don’t actually care about your business or products.

    34. Create original graphics for your social media and blog posts using a tool like Canva or Recite This.

    35. @ mention influencers on Twitter when you mention them in a blog post.

    36. Find out which topics are trending on Facebook and incorporate them into your Facebook posts.

    37. Investigate the optimal number of times you should be posting to each platform: For instance, did you know that businesses who post to Twitter 30-35 times per week outperform those who tweet 10-20 times per week?

    38. Keep your tweets short enough that others can retweet them without cutting out important info like your username.

    39. Create a live Google+ Hangout on Air, and then promote it to the rest of your audience (either as a free opt-in incentive or as part of a paid membership program).

    40. Have a plan in place for responding to questions and complaints on social media: Up to 42% of your followers are expecting a response within 60 minutes.

    41. Shorten your links on Twitter: will get you the most retweets.

    42. Avoid using human faces in your Pinterest photos: Images without faces get shared more often.

    43. Perfect the art of the selfie using a tool like Facetune: It will let you take even the most unflattering selfie and turn it into a profile picture you’ll be proud to display!

    44. Tag other pages in your Facebook posts (where relevant) as a way of reaching out to influential businesses in your niche.

    45.  Use vertically-oriented images on Pinterest: They tend to outperform horizontally-oriented ones.

    46. Find the most popular posts, videos and infographics on social media using a tool like Swayy, and then share with your audience.

    47. Join a Facebook group in your industry to find and connect with potential customers: Just be sure to become a valued member of the group, not just someone who constantly self-promotes.

    48. Be realistic about what you should expect from your social media efforts: In Social Media Examiner’s 2014 Social Media Marketing report, respondents noted the 3 main benefits as increased exposure (92%), increased website traffic (80%), and developing loyal fans (72%). Only 50% reporting improved sales as a benefit.

    49. Be present consistently: Don’t be like the annoying relative who only shows up when he needs something!

    50. Consciously decide what you want your social media voice to be: Casual? Funny? Corporate? Be consistent across platforms.

    51. If you haven’t already set up Google Authorship….do it. Now. It’s only going to get more important for online visibility and SEO. Here’s how to do it.

    52. Investigate who your most engaged fans and followers are, and acknowledge them publically.

    53. Integrate your Twitter activity with your content marketing strategy: One way to do this is to ask yourself how you’re integrating super-short form content into your strategy. For more on this, see my post How to Build a Winning Twitter Strategy in 2014.

    54. Optimize your social media profiles by incorporating keywords into your business bio and description.

    55. Use links within your tweets for the best chance of getting retweeted.

    56. When posting to Facebook, be aware that you don’t have to use the default image, headline and subtitle: Simply click on them to edit before posting.

    57. Using emoticons in your social media posts has been shown to increase engagement.

    58. Don’t be afraid to retweet your own tweets: It can help you reach followers that didn’t see them the first time.

    59. Use Twitter Cards: They can help to significantly increase engagement. For more on this, see my post The Definitive Guide to Using Twitter Cards.

    60. Ask your Instagram followers to share photos of themselves using your product, and then vote for the best picture.

    61. Did you know Google+ allows you to add some formatting to your posts? You just need to know how: * bold *, _ italics _, – strikethrough – (just remove the spaces).

    62. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel: Don’t be afraid to incorporate content curation into your social media strategy.

    63. Received a positive comment or testimonial? Share it with your social media followers (just do it sparingly).

    64. Participate in other people’s social media conversations, rather than always starting your own.

    65. If you want to connect with influencers in your niche, be sure to share their content…it’s one of the best ways to get on their radar.

    66. Schedule your posts from your mobile device using a free app like Everypost.

    67. Clearly define your #1 social media goal: Is it engagement? Website traffic? Sales? Make sure everything you do on social media is helping you accomplish this goal.

    68. Use a tool like Spredfast to see how many people you’ve reached with your social media efforts.

    69. Remember that social media is about building a community: This is the best way to build long-term, profitable relationships.

    70. Use an RSS reader to track trending topics in your niche: Then create social media content based on what you’ve found.

    71. Monitor how much time you actually spend on social media…you may just be surprised. A tool like Rescue Time can help with this.

    72. Focus on what your followers need to hear, rather than on what you feel you need to tell them.

    73. Use a social media calendar to plan out themes and posts for the upcoming month.

    74. Make a plan for your social media efforts: Where will you post? How often? Then be consistent.

    75. Be a listener: You can get a lot more accomplished when you actually listen to what people are saying, rather than pushing your own agenda.

    76. Realize that social media can be a long-term endeavor: Don’t expect immediate results. Once your followers begin to really trust you, that’s when your efforts start to pay off.

    77. Keep your tweets short: Research shows that tweets with 100 characters get the most engagement.

    78.  Look through the social media profiles of potential employees: This will give you real insight into their character and level of industry knowledge.

    79. Employ the art of storytelling in your social media efforts.

    80. Make sure all your images are watermarked, so that if they get pinned without attribution, you still get credit.

    81. Have a social media crisis plan in place: Who will be responsible for dealing with major social media mistakes? How exactly will they respond?

    82. When possible, keep your Facebook posts to 40 characters or less: Jeff Bullas’ research found this is the magic number for eliciting the most engagement.

    83. Use fill-in-the-blank posts on Facebook: They receive 9x more comments than other post types.

    84. Post to Instagram around 3-4 pm EST: This is when most users are checking their account.

    85. Try posting to social media ‘after hours’: Some businesses have reported that their highest engagement levels occur in the early morning or late at night.

    86. Resist the temptation to use your personal Facebook profile for business: Not only is it against Facebook’s guidelines, it’s a great way to annoy your friends.

    87. If you’ve been paid to write or promote a post on social media, be sure to disclose it, or risk violating FTC rules.

    88. Respond quickly and professionally to negative feedback: Use it as an opportunity to shine when it comes to social customer service.

    89. Give your customers a reason to like you on Facebook: Offer coupons or discounts for liking your business Page.

    90. Monitor popular and relevant hashtags across multiple social media channels using a tool like Tagboard.

    91. If you want to remain competitive, plan to use social media for a minimum of 6 hours per week: A recent industry survey shows 64% of marketers are using social 6 or more hours per week, with an additional 37% using it 11 or more hours.

    92. When using Instagram, try using one of the 3 most effective filters: Normal, Mayfair or Inkwell.

    93. Understand the main factors Facebook currently uses to determine post visibility: Interest of the user in the creator, the post’s popularity, the creator of the post, the type of post and the recency of the post.

    94. Don’t feel like you always have to talk to be involved in a conversation: Sometimes just knowing what your customers think or feel is enough to help you make informed business decisions.

    95. Post job openings on social media: You never know who’s listening!

    96. Use humor, but do it wisely: In other words, don’t do this.

    97. Ask your social media followers for help: They’ll love to offer suggestions for product ideas or give honest feedback.

    98. Cross-promote your social media accounts: This is one of the best ways to grow your fan base with targeted followers.

    99. Promote other people’s posts: Share what’s valuable and relevant to your audience…even if you didn’t come up with it.

    100. Incorporate images into your Twitter strategy: They receive 150% more retweets.

For 2014 And Beyond, Investing in Social Media
Marketing Has Already Become a Necessity
And Is No Longer a Luxury!

With 92% of business owners recently indicating that social media is important to their business (up from 86% in 2013), this prediction appears to be on track. Businesses are continuing to re-allocate budgets away from traditional methods of advertising towards social media and other inbound marketing strategies.

A major concern among business owners remains measuring the ROI for their social media efforts. Other issues that may be hindering the effectiveness of social media for some businesses include a lack of education and trained personnel – making it difficult to efficiently carry out day-to-day social media tasks (never mind strategizing or tying social media into wider business goals).

If you would like to read my free 100 Social Media Ideas To Boost Your Audience Engagementreport click here.

This white paper was taken in part by a post from Jayson DeMers a contributing editor for Forbes. Jayson DeMers is the founder & CEO at AudienceBloom, an SEO link building firm specializing in white-label link building for internet marketing agencies.
Google Search: Ways to improve social media engagement
Bing Search: Ways to improve social media content.

green-white-paper-stampPlease consider the environment before you print this document.


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