9 SOCIAL MEDIA TOP PROS
to empower small businesses, entrepreneurs and startups
The world of social media can be overwhelming for a small business owner, startup or entrepreneur when you have a core business to focus on.
To my experience, it is not only the lack of time, but you also need hands-on advice, blog posts, and books. You need to see your particular challenges understood and addressed.
However, a lot of articles to not tackle everyday small business owners’ problems but are often written for social media marketers with an already in-depth knowledge. And as a busy entrepreneur, you just cannot screen through dozens of blogs every week to see which one might be a good fit for you. You need a handful covering all aspects you need, right?
Does this sound familiar? Then this post is for you!
The number of great social media experts is high. Great articles are published every single day, in particular for social media marketers & managers. However, there are also some of the best-known experts who deliver actionable content for you because they understand the world of small businesses and entrepreneurs very well. They address the problems and challenges you are facing on their blogs on a regular basis.
And today, I want to recommend 9 of these top hands-on blogs.
With limited resources, focus on the networks where your audience is most active
I make the assumption that you focus on about 3 platforms and that you need additional tips regarding productivity, visual content and social media strategy in general.
Facebook is still the number one when it comes to active users, as it is close to 2 billion (Q1 2017). This, combined with the opportunity of running FB ads for probably the lowest prices across all social media platforms, makes it almost a no-brainer to have a Facebook Page for your business/brand. This is the reason why I also include more than just one FB expert.
If you are doing B2B, LinkedIn is a must. But even for most of the B2C niches, you should at least still have a good LinkedIn presence and company page.
As a third social media platform, you might like to have something more visual, such as Pinterest or Instagram, depending on your product or service. In general, great visual content is indispensable for any social media platform.
In addition, you will need tools that help you to increase your productivity, as time is money. Overall content and strategic tips are important to define or redirect your social media strategy.
Before we start digging into the names, let me make a quick comment. You will find book recommendations in this article. The books I recommend are down-to-earth, bestsellers and can be digested quickly. They contain actionable recommendations and tips that are of high value for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Exactly what you need, right? [note: all have the links for buying in the UK and in the US]
You might ask, why I choose these 9 experts. What does make them unique?
Well, there are of course great experts out there, but many of them focus on speaking and one-to-one high-priced coaching sessions. Or their blogs offer more value to a social media marketer & manager. I selected those who, in addition to the aforementioned, also provide a great blog with tips that especially address small businesses so that you can learn from them on an almost daily basis.
9 Top Pros Hands-On Blogs for small businesses
MARI SMITH – Facebook general & Facebook Video
If you think about Facebook, you have to have the name Mari Smith in mind. She knows Facebook inside out and is on top of every new feature or change. She provides tips and tricks on her blog ’The Social Scoop’.
As Facebook Live Video is gaining more traction, she is also on top of this. In particular, if you haven’t tried it yet, because you are too shy or think your small business does not have anything interesting to share, her posts will be of great help for you. You can get tips how to dip a toe into the water and what to share with your audience.
She focuses a lot on speaking and often speaks in front of thousands of people. But she does not neglect her blog.
Her blog: The Social Scoop
ANDREA VAHL – Facebook Ads practical tips
If you are interested in hands-on tips in a very visual blog on Facebook Advertisement, Andrea Vahl is the expert you need. As Facebook has more and more turned into a pay-to-play game, valuable tips on Facebook Advertisement are indispensable. She is an internationally booked speaker on this topic, gives courses but also does FB Ads for her own clients. The has already worked for all different kind of niches and business sizes, that’s why she is always up to date with what currently works and what doesn’t.
Her blog posts are filled with screenshots, which makes it is easy to follow even if your level of experience is just building up.
Her blog: Andrea Vahl Blog
MELONIE DODARO – LinkedIn all aspects
Melonie is the founder of Top Dog Social Media and the outspoken LinkedIn expert in Canada, maybe even across the whole English speaking market. As she had a business herself (not a Social Media Agency) prior turning her career around and focusing on social media, she knows everything that a business owner needs.
Her tips on LinkedIn are always spot on and in particular helpful if you are in the B2B sector. Even in the B2C sector, you will find all information how to create an appealing and professional profile. She talks about how to find prospects and to build a relevant network and the etiquette that you should use on this professional site.
Her book ’The LinkedIn Code’ is an International bestseller. Although it does not take into account the recently updated User Interface design of LinkedIn (but this info is on her blog), it certainly shows you all you need for creating a great profile that is appealing to potential clients and how to build your network in a proper way.
Her blog: Top Dog Blog
Instagram & Pinterest
Visuals – nothing could be more important to match with a good content of your post or message. It is what people see first and how you grab their attention. But not only this, there are platforms that solely focus on visual impressions, such as Instagram and Pinterest. Which one is the right place for your business is really up to your niche.
DONNA MORITZ – general visual tips
Donna is the founder of Socially Sorted and located in Australia. Although she writes about all topics related to social media on her blog, the main focus is on visual content creation and best practices. She speaks about slideshows, infographics and everything you can image that needs visual content. Donna also provides good tips on how to use various production tools to get the most out of e.g. short videos.
Her blog: Socially Sorted Blog
SUE B. ZIMMERMAN – Instagram
Sue is a well-known Instagram expert. She is the face behind ‘@theinstagramexpert’. On her blog, you can find all information and strategies how to use Instagram beneficially for your business to increase brand awareness and even sales. The blog covers everything from Hashtag strategies to how to promote an event on Instagram. She also has a specific category called ‘Small Business Tips’.
Her blog: Sue B. Zimmerman Blog
PEG FITZPATRICK – Pinterest
Peg is an all-round social media expert but also focuses a lot on visual content and the corresponding tips. If you look for great Pinterest tips, her blog is the place to go to. She has a great eye for color styles and really understands what works best on Pinterest. Go to her blog category ‘Pinterest’ and you will find all you need to bring your Pinterest boards to the next level.
She is also the co-author of the international bestseller ‘The Art of Social Media‘ which she co-authored with the great Guy Kawasaki. This book gives fantastic tips how to improve your social media strategy and presence. An absolute must-read.
Her blog: Peg Fitzpatrick Blog
Content Marketing & Strategy
KIM GARST – a huge variety of aspects, an advocate for being yourself on social media
Kim is in the marketing sector since very long years. And she is an advocate of being social and yourself on social media. She is also the co-founder of Boom! Social.
She has worked with top brands, but still provides down to earth knowledge. Like she also mentions on her website, that she loves helping ordinary people to built extraordinary businesses, her blog posts reflect this philosophy. Her blog can help small businesses and even starters. In general, her blog offers tips for content marketing and content creation, as well as blogging tips.
Her book ‘Will the real you please stand up’ is an international bestseller in which she shows you the importance of finding the right voice on social media, but a voice that is still yours.
Her blog: Kim Garst Blog
LILACH BULLOCK – strategy, traffic & influencer marketing
Lilach is a social media marketing expert from the United Kingdom.
A lot of Lilach’s posts are directed towards small businesses or discuss problems in an easy to understand way so that you do not have to be a marketing professional. She talks about tools for small businesses as well as strategic aspects for traffic and lead generation and convention. So exactly what you need as a small business or start, right?
Another important aspect of Lilach’s expertise is influencer marketing. This is a very important point nowadays, as customers rely much on the opinion of influencers.
Her blog: Lilach Bullock Blog
Tools, Analysis & Productivity
IAN CLEARY – tools to make your marketing life easier and more effective
Even when you now know how to best act on the different platforms, there is still an important point left for busy entrepreneurs. It’s how to increase your productivity, be more efficient and save time on social media so you have more time to focus on your core activity. Besides being more productive, it is also indispensable to get a grip on analytics so that you can understand what your audience likes and which of your efforts need to be redirected or need a little tweaking.
The number one go-to source for me is Ian Cleary. He is the founder of RazorSocial and located in Ireland. If you are looking for any kind of tool for any part of your social media activity, from automation, payment collection, email marketing all the way to analytics, this is the place to go and look for recommendations.
His blog posts are always comprehensive, sometimes even epic, and will answer all your questions.
He recently started a YouTube channel which is really fun checking out.
His blog: RazorSocial Blog
Some final words
I hope you will get a lot of value out of these blogs and books.
You might wonder why I did not include Twitter? Twitter is, according to statistics from Q1 2017 with 319Mio active users just half as big as Instagram, and not growing as much as other networks these days. It is for sure a great tool and I personally like it a lot. It can be perfectly used for networking, real-time customer service. In Europe for example, it is a platform that is widely used by journalists, in case your looking into this type of influencer connection, you might want to consider it as well.
YouTube is a bit more complex, as it involves different aspects. There is the technical side, the presenting style, the content and the marketing of your channel. This would be a separate blog post.
There are, of course, pros and cons to all networks, the most important aspect is to understand where your audience and ideal customers are active. As a small business owner, startup or solopreneur you just cannot focus thoroughly on all social media channels and you also shouldn’t. Bottomline, be active where your ideal customer is active.
And please take into account that all platforms are different. Don’t make the mistake and cross-post on all platforms without any modifications that apply to the best practices for the particular platform. Content for visual channels needs to be different than for other platforms. Professional networks need to be addressed differently than more casual platforms.
There are of course also great social media entities, but within this article, I wanted to focus on individuals as an information source. Maybe it’ll come in another post…
How about you? I’d love to hear who is your person of trust to get hands-on social media tips.
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