The Social Media Networks to Be on & How to Use Them


Social media is a valuable resource for people who are looking to build credibility and position themselves as thought leaders within their industry. With the use of social media, you can stand out from the crowd and create opportunities by highlighting your expertise. But, how can you use social media to shine online and increase brand awareness? And which networks have the most benefits for your industry? We asked 10 experts to share their advice on which social media networks help professionals shine online and best practices for each network.

1. Network on Twitter

David Mercer, SME Pals, @SMEPals Twitter is a great platform for reaching out and building relationships with important influencers in your niche - especially using compelling, visual data.

Identify a list of target influencers who have great reach and the right audience for your business. Then, find out what products and services they offer (many influencers have their own books, for example). Monitor the sales and price performance of their books or products online and receive alerts when they experience changes in pricing and sales (using an accurate hourly Amazon sales & price tracker, which has easily shareable charts and stats). Sharing good news about how well people's books are selling is a great way to establish a relationship with them (and their audience).

It works particularly well on Twitter because influencers readily monitor mentions of themselves on that platform. Twitter is also succinct and makes it easy to share attractive sales and price charts, making it a very compelling, bite sized read. Basically, you are offering them a shareable way to promote themselves - which is what everyone, even established influencers, are after. This works to your benefit because you create goodwill and establish a relationship with them quickly.

2. Create and share Facebook content on a regular basis

Carrie Seibert, Soap Commander, @SoapCommander Facebook is a great platform for brands that want to share their work and connect authentically and consistently with their clients. Engagement is key in today's media world and is what sets certain companies apart. The best way to do this is to create and share content on a regular basis and then follow up and interact with those persons that make a response. Although many popular companies will insist that you schedule your content for automatic posting, I suggest the opposite. Be present and engaged, and you'll know what your tribe needs to see and hear and when is the appropriate time to do so.

3. Position yourself as a thought leader on LinkedIn

Patrick McFadden, Indispensable Marketing, @IndispMarketing To make a real impact on LinkedIn you need to position yourself as a thought leader in your industry. Provide value and establish yourself through articles, educational status updates and your profile, as having an in-depth understanding of the problems your clients are looking to solve. From all this you will start to attract a following, and as long as you have a structured sales process, you will be able to convert the followers/fans into paying customers.

4. Showcase authentic and meaningful experiences with live videos

Luke Watson, Roker Labs, @RKRMedia Brands and professionals should consider Facebook Live and Twitter’s Periscope. In an age of social media artificiality and ubiquity, live video is as honest and transparent as it is scalable and immediate.

Identify viewers by name, respond to comments, and follow their cues. Go behind-the-scenes, give exclusive access, and embrace spontaneity; when little things go wrong, it’s endearing.

Effective streams have an audience of participants and create an authentic, meaningful experience that generates affinity and restores the type of relationship we enjoyed before social media.

5. Choose the social networks that fit your target audience

Lucas Renfroe, Phoenix Consulting and Management Choosing the appropriate social network depends on your brand's target market. It is more important to pick a social network that fits your target market and focus on developing great content for that one social network than trying to juggle 5 or 6 different platforms. Choose one that matches your target and be great at it! If you have a younger (under 40) demographic, we recommend Instagram to build brand recognition. Instagram crushes other platforms in terms of engagement (what really matters!) and can really boost a brand's identity.

6. Join a publication on Medium

Michael Quoc, Dealspotr, @MichaelQuoc Medium is obviously a huge social network which is popular with marketers. However, the secret to getting 10x more out of Medium is to join a publication. Think of a Medium publication as a blog, but connected to the Medium community. A popular publication can drive thousands of views your way, and I've found that editors on Medium tend to be very receptive to pitches.

7. Take advantage of Reddit

Nili Zaharony, Penguin Strategies, @PenguinStrategy To start, marketers must understand which social network best suits their audience. Facebook is great for B2C but LinkedIn is more effective for B2B. One platform we've had great success with (for B2B Tech) is Reddit. The big challenge, however, is that if there is one thing Redditors hate, it's marketing. So here are tips to take advantage of the 7th most popular website in the US.

  • Create Good Content - this is a basic premise of any effective marketing campaign. Solve problems, educate, give people what they want/need.
  • Consider Karma - this is your score in Reddit awarded according to your actions (up votes/down votes). Post and comment wisely.
  • Choose Subreddits Wisely - find relevant subreddits that are populated by subscribers and have active discussions.
  • Don't be a Rebel - breaking the SubReddit rules is the fastest way to ruin your Karma and negatively impact your company's brand.

8. Share your blog posts across your social media channels

Danielle Kunkle, Boomer Benefits, @BoomerBenefits Take a weekly blog post and share it on your social media accounts. Then chop it up into smaller bits and share them as single tips on the social media accounts across 12 months. List posts are very easy to do this with, for example. Only a small percentage of your followers see your posts, so sharing content again is effective and will almost always reach new people. Now you've also managed your time wisely by writing a single piece of content that works for you for a whole year.

9. Capture the attention of your audience with compelling Instagram visuals

Kevin Lindon Ryan, KLR Instagram enables brands to shine in meaningful ways. Capture the attention of your audience with a visual, tell a story, provide 1-2 benefits, and deliver a call-to-action. Contrary to popular practices, lengthy captions perform well on Instagram. When a . . . appears, it creates a mind gap, and users want to read more. Think about when you hear part of a catchy song on a commercial. You either seek out the rest or your mind fills in the omitted lyrics.

10. Gain exposure with Pinterest

Max Robinson, Scotland Shop Pinterest has been absolutely invaluable for us, and has exposed our brand to millions of people across the world. Unlike many of the other image based social media networks, users actually seem to use the platform not just to browse, but when they're ready to make a purchase. But the main reason we love the platform is for the boards, which is surely one of the best ways to display your products on any social media network. You can create an easily accessible and shareable board that users can access, and which they'll see every time they visit your profile. For us, it's the ultimate exposure.