I recently published What Social Media Tactics Are Most Effective? The article lists 59 social media tactics I dug up from top ranking posts on the subject.
It was no picnic chopping the list in half when I decided to create an infographic, 30 Effective Social Media Tactics.
Shortly after I created the post and infographic, guest blogger Jose Valles landed in my inbox looking for the answer to this one:
If you could only do 3 social media marketing activities what would they be?
Eek. Tough one, eh?
Following is my response and 25 other responses from the original post on ContentMarketer.io.
1. Write/blog—I’ve been a writer for 25 years, but a blogger for just 4. Not sure what I was thinking, but I know now it’s the most important thing you can do to develop your personal brand.
2. Share—This social thing we do is 100% reciprocal. Recognizing the talents and contributions of your peers is all-powerful for building relationships and opening doors.
3. Read/listen—Perhaps my third choice here seems kind of “no duh,” but it’s monumental. Are you really listening, really tuning into the wants and needs of your audience?
The best social media marketers don’t have to guess how to produce and promote meaningful content. Their audience tells them precisely what they need to know.
Chris Brogan is a renowned speaker and founder of Owner Media Group, a company that helps entrepreneurs grow their businesses through customized marketing plans.
Blog. Email. Podcast.
I could care less about the rest.
If I could only do 3 social media activities, they would be:
1. Communicating with other members – with the community aspect social media wouldn’t be as fun.
2. Posting status updates – by continually feeding new information to my network it will help show my value.
3. Help others – my favorite part about social media is helping out others. Whether it is Facebook or Twitter or any other network, people are turning to social media when they need help.
Jay Oatway is a professional speaker and author of the best-selling book “Mastering Story, Community & Influence”. Forbes says he is one of the top 50 social media influencers.
1. Create Fun/Valuable Content: probably best to do YouTube series, which can also be turned into podcasts and blog posts
2. Share links to cool stuff (including but not limited to the above)
3. Listen to the community: Answer questions, be helpful and provide support via Twitter/Pinterest/LinkedIn or wherever your community hangs out. (These conversations could then become topics for more long-form content.)
Todd Wheatland is a renowned author, speaker, and blogger. In addition, he’s Global Head of Strategy at King Content.
1) Manually cross-pollinate social accounts
This is perhaps the most beneficial thing for me in terms of generating new business opportunities. It’s also one that very few people or organizations seem to bother doing.
Basically, it’s ensuring that when people follow me on Twitter, for example, if they have professional relevance to me then I will reach out and send them a personal note on LinkedIn as well. That way I bring them into my most active professional network, and can access their email address as well.
2) Support community and influencers promote their content
Old-school social still works! If I had to cut back on everything, I’d stop pushing my own content on social and just focus on engaging and helping others make their own content successful.
As organic reach and engagement reduces, and social channels become more and more of a media play, going back to basics and what made social special in the first place is having even more impact. Demonstrating genuine interest and meaningful engagement with others’ content pays outsized dividends.
Michael Brenner is CEO of The Marketing Insider Group and Head of Strategy at NewsCred.
Response: If I could do only three social media activities for the rest of my life they would include:
1) Sharing all the great content from the colleagues and pros that I admire across Twitter and LinkedIn.
2) Finding the right audience for my own content and delivering to them the content experiences that help and earn engagement from them.
3) Understanding whatever platform my kids are using and how that might impact the future of social.
Social media, to me, is all about building relationships. Whether I’m working in a business capacity or just being human, I care about getting to know the people who touch me the deepest. Therefore, if I could do 3 social media activities for the rest of my life:
1) I’d make sure to follow how the people who affect me are living their lives. I’d celebrate their triumphs on Facebook and see how they continue to grow.
2) I find Twitter a superior customer service platform. I’d do what I’ve been doing (as a service provider): bitching and moaning to companies who find a disconnect with their traditional customer service and their social media service. All of the sudden, voila, things are fixed!
3) I can stop at 3 right now, but I know there’s a next best thing. We can’t possibly think that the social media landscape of today is going to be the same social media landscape that permeates the rest of our lives… so I’ll be waiting and seeing what it is and how to react to it.
Sue Anne Dunlevie
Sue Anne Dunlevie is the founder of Successful Blogging Tips, one of the most prolific blogging sites in the world.
The only 3 social media activities I would do are the ones I do right now.
1. Use the Social Warfare plugin so that the images I share on social media are the right size for each channel. In other words, I can use any size image for my blog image and then I upload another long and narrow image for Pinterest and a different image that will work for Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.
By creating 3 images, my readers can share my content on any channel they want and it looks great.
2. Pinterest is driving the most social media traffic to my blog. I just started using Pinterest earlier this year and it quickly became my #1 traffic source for any social media channel. I share pins and scheduling them with Tailwind.
3. Twitter is the 2nd best traffic source to my blog. By participating in conversations with my followers, I get more loyal readers.
Mana Ionescu is the founder, president and digital marketing director at Lightspan Digital, a unique agency that helps companies grow through Internet Marketing.
My three activities would be:
1. Being able to search and find people I want to connect with (like via Twitter and LinkedIn).
These social networks are a gold mine. They’re the largest people directories.
2. Tweeting with strangers about interesting news topics. The real-time nature of social networks is something I want to be able to tap into for years to come.
3. Playing with memes and gifs. These are powerful ways to send messages which can be digested in a split second.
1. Answer questions – Being helpful around your niche is super valuable to building your audience.
2. Share my blog content – Sales don’t happen on social. You need to entice people to you site.
3. Find influencers and build relationships with them on social channels.
Scott Monty is the owner of Scott Monty Strategies, a renowned marketing consulting agency.
I’d develop original content for my own site, expand my email database, and maintain relationships with thought leaders. I recognize that this probably isn’t the standard “Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn” answer you were looking for, so let me explain.
There are two reasons I’d focus on my own site’s content:
1) I control the site and the content; no matter what happens, I’ll always be able to determine what happens to it. The same isn’t true for Medium or Facebook Notes.
2) It allows me to take that content and repurpose it on other sites, whether it’s cutting and pasting the same material or dividing it up into other bits of content that lead people back to the original site. While it may not seem particularly relevant now, email is more important than ever.
Establishing a regular cadence with an audience – an audience that you own, not one that is presented to you only when you pay to access it – helps to build relationships.
And when you consider being able to take your email database and cross it with the likes of Facebook, Google, Twitter and others for a more targeted approach, it’s a must-have. Having good rapport with other thought leaders means that:
1) I’ll continue to be informed and educated about developments and trends that may go beyond my own sphere; and
2) I’ll have a network on whom to call if I need any kind of assistance. Staying on top of my game and having colleagues on the same level is critical as I do the work that I do.
Amar Hussain is the founder of Gap Year Escape, one of the best traveling blogs worldwide.
1. I would use buffer to queue up highly engaging content for my Twitter accounts.
I’ve found Buffer to be one of the best for this and as you can’t be on social media all the time, having something manage this for you is a great help.
2. Whatever social media platform you are using I believe it’s important to always analyze your data and repeat the activities which are bringing in the best results.
3. Engagement is a key aspect and I would also be sure to start or join conversations and always respond to comments.
Firstly, I would always to monitor Facebook groups. Some of the larger groups have great communities where you can not only help others but also learn yourself.
They are also great places to push content to really interested parties.
Secondly, I would stay engaged with all of my followers and make sure I responded to comments and tweets.
Lastly, I would make sure I’ve picked the correct platform for my niche. For example, if I had a fashion website, Instagram and Pinterest would be the platforms that I used. Be where your audience is.
Matt Heinz is the founder of Heinz Marketing, one of the best B2B marketing agencies in the world.
1. Curate and share great content via Twitter
2. Identify and respond to buying signals and trigger events via multiple channels
3. Keep listening and learning from others
Chelsea Hejny is the Marketing Director at TrainerRoad — cycling’s most effective training tool.
This is a tough question to answer because I don’t know what the social media landscape will look like later on. That said, if I had to choose three social media activities to prescribe to for the long haul, these would have to be it:
1. Commenting. There’s no easier or more modern way to quickly resolve issues, contribute to a relevant online conversation, or make a person’s day than commenting on a social media post.
2. Relationship building. This one’s huge. Thomas Friedman said it best. The world is flat and social media is often times the most frictionless way to connect with someone new. We should all be taking advantage of this — now and moving forward.
3. Creating and sharing high-quality video content.
Why? Video is here to stay. With YouTube being the second most popular search engine, great video content is only going to become more in demand. Especially as all those tech-savvy youngsters learning how to do everything via YouTube videos grow up.
Deirdre Breakenridge is an adjunct professor at New York University and CEO of Pure Performance Communications.
Here are the three social media activities that I would choose:
1. Using technology to “listen” to conversations in social communities. Professionally or personally, listening is the cornerstone of everything you do. When you listen, it helps to build stronger relationships and to truly understand what people like and care about, making it easier to connect with them.
2. “Networking” with colleagues and friends around the globe. The ability to have social community discussions, participate in Twitter chats, and connect to friends and peers via Skype video calls are all great ways to transcend geographical borders and boundaries.
Social media is also the best way to interact with people worldwide, experiencing and learning about different cultures.
3. News and information gathering. Social media allows me to be up-to-date on all the news I need with respect to my professional work with clients, as well as feeding my personal interests. Social media provides real-time news, information and commentary that you just can’t get as quickly from other media sources.
Janet E. Johnson
Janet E. Johnson is a Minneapolis-based digital marketing and social media strategist.
1. Engage with other’s content While it is important to post content and curate other content, the power of actually being ‘social’ on social media where it is fun. I think many forget social media is about conversations.
It is about the ‘social’, not the ‘media.’ You can really get to know someone and they can really get to know you through talking with them on any social platform.
2. Live streaming Yes, live streaming has been around for some time now, but with the latest convenience of having it right on your phone, it has become more used and more powerful than ever. It really shows your authenticity, builds community and creates trust.
That’s why there has been such tremendous growth recently with platforms, such as Periscope and Blab.
3. Browse Pinterest is truly the place to find what you are looking for and get ideas, whether it’s recipes, home décor or marketing tips.
It is really a social bookmarking site and a search engine. With the imagery that’s used on Pinterest and their search functions, it can be so addicting for all!
Dave Peck is Global Head of Digital, Influence & Social Media at PayPal. Response:
1) The use of analytics. If I can’t measure what we are doing on social, then it not only didn’t happen, it has no value. Analytics gives you a wealth of data, allow you to dig deeper into the campaign and hopefully show ROI.
2) Social Media Monitoring. There is nothing more essential than being able to hear what your customers think about your brand. In addition the ability to know what people are saying about the competition.
3) Engaging with your community. You have measured using analytics and listened using monitoring, now it’s time to engage.
In this day and age brands need to respond to their community. From offering customer support to being part of pop culture moments, brands need to engage.
Cynthia Johnson is a professional blogger, social media strategist and Director of Marketing at RankLab.
1) Twitter for PR, outreach, research and authority building.
2) Facebook for advanced targeting, ads, local SEO and video.
3) Reddit for content marketing and ideation.
Dr. Rachna Jain
Rachna Jain is a renowned author, speaker and CRO expert. In addition, she is CEO at Profitable Popularity.
If I could only do 3 social media activities for the rest of my life, I’d:
1) Focus on growing and engaging my Twitter community – this is a great platform to easily meet people.
2) Focus on growing and engaging my LinkedIn community – this is a great platform to build professional connections.
3) Focus on growing and engaging my Pinterest community – this is a great platform to see what engages people and catches their interest. Together, all three platforms give me a good foundation for using social media for business.
Frank J. Kenny
Frank Kenny is a digital marketing expert who provides solutions for chambers and chamber professionals.
If I could only do 3 social media activities for the rest of my life, here is what I would do:
First, I would regularly produce free quality content for my tribe. This creates awareness and establishes credibility, opening the door to a relationship. This content would be posted to my blog and then shared to the social media platforms.
Second, I would build a relationship with as many individuals in my niche as possible. I would do this by engaging with and helping my tribe through my Facebook group and the various social media sites.
Third, I would build my email list by exchanging some of the free content for permission to email my tribe. I would regularly provide more value and deepen the relationship with my list members. Every so often I would make an offer to my tribe for a valuable product or service that they want and need.
Kristi Hines is one of the most successful freelance writers within the business and marketing space.
If I could only do three things on social media, they would include the following:
First, I would research my competitors using tools like Rival IQ so I could see which networks resonate with my target customers the most.
Next, I would set alerts to new posts about specific topics so I could jump in the conversation using Mention.
Finally, I would engage with my audience as much as possible by answering questions, sharing content, and chatting in general.
Beth Kanter is a professional blogger that focuses on helping nonprofit organizations get the most out of social media.
1) Blog – great opportunity for regular reflection which is often missing in our face-paced, tech-filled days
2) Content Curation – keeps you learning and making sense of the world, plus helps your community
3) Listening/Monitoring — the most important skill in the world … both online and offline
Dave Kerpen is the founder & CEO of Likeable Local, a software that helps you automate some of the most tedious processes of social media.
1) Listen on Twitter
2) Advertise on Facebook
3) Post blogs on LinkedIn
Lisa Barnett is Social Media Services Director at Emoderation, a successful social media management agency.
For us at Emoderation, the three social media activities that we would do for the rest of our life would be:
* Respond to customer queries as soon as possible in a transparent and authentic way
* Develop new followers who like your brand and want to engage with you
* Keep on top of new developments in the social media industry by constantly measuring and analysing your social media presence
Kristopher Jones is chairman at Internet Marketing Ninjas and founder of KBJ Capital.
(1) Post pictures to Instagram and cross-publish on Facebook, Flickr, and Tumblr
(2) Livestream via Facebook
(3) Share my favorite content via Twitter
Answers from 36 experts are published in the original post. I omitted several here.