Lee Odden

Social Media Marketing Tips


Not too long ago I queried a number of online marketing and public relations peers ranging from Aaron Wall, Matt McGee and Neil Patel to Todd Defren, Triss Hussey and Peter Himler about sharing a few of their social media marketing tips. Out of that informal survey in combination with community specific solicitations came posts about marketing with MyBlogLog and Twitter.

However, there are many more social media communities and channels besides MBL and Twitter that I received tips on and from very reputable sources which you’ll find below. Enjoy!

Todd Defren from SHIFT Communications shared two of his own posts from a series on social media: Tips on using Twitter for finding and developing relationships and another post on using Del.icio.us for PR “edgework” or direct interactions with consumers.

Dan Perry from Cars.com offers a tip on using Flickr. “Since you have the ability to change your Screen Name, and it’s independent of your username OR your Flickr web addresses, use your domain [name]. For example, my Flickr Screen Name is danperry.com. When someone finds a picture of mine, they see my domain.”

Peter Himler, who runs Flatiron Communications and writes “The Flack” blog provides a few quick tips on Twitter: “Fun to follow thought-leaders and journalists who often tweet their forthcoming thoughts on the site” and LinkedIn: “Been on it for nealry two years. Still wish it had the functionality as FaceBook. Good for keeping tabs on former colleagues and college friends.”.

Bill Hartzer, who is my opinion one of the most talented SEO/Social Media marketers out there, offers a few insights on LinkedIn and Twitter as well:

LinkedIn: With LinkedIn, it’s important to put your email address in your profile name. That way you identify yourself as a “linked in open networker” and you’re open to having others add you to their network.

Twitter: Like a lot of other services, it’s important to add or follow other people first and then most likely they will reciprocate. Find your favorite Twitter profile and view who they’re following … and follow them. Follow people and they’ll (hopefully) follow you. Also, when editing your profile on Twitter, you can add more than one link in your profile. Turns out that http: link URLs are treated as links.

Aaron Wall famously writes SEOBook and is involved with many other business ventures and online marketing channels, offers tips on YouTube and Yahoo Answers:

If you have a well read blog and want to use YouTube make a number of videos all at once and then beg readers to subscribe to your channel. Also, make sure to syndicate the videos on your own site AND add background information to the videos there to keep your site as the destination rather than turning YouTube into the destination.

With Yahoo Answers make sure you partner with a few friends to ask and answer each other’s questions. Put enough context to what you do to make it look good, but use aggressive keyword rich titles, and point some external links at the pages you want to rank well.

Erica Forrette from Adapt SEM and who writes the Adapt SEM Blog offers her inside scoop into LinkedIn:

LinkedIn Questions & Answers can be useful in figuring out new angles to take in messaging or tactics that you can use for your product/service. Since my company has a product that’s relatively new to the market, we’re always trying different tactics for customer acquisition and/or exposure to our brand in general.

On a few occasions, I’ve wondered about whether or not I should do “tactic X” as a marketing effort, so I put a question out there on the LinkedIn Q&A to gauge opinion or get insights on what other people think of, or have learned from doing, “tactic X.” Peoples’ feedback and commentary has often been incredibly helpful on making the go/no-go decision. I’ve even asked questions that are related to product features we’re considering adding.

The LinkedIn Q&A is like quick and dirty informal market research! Granted, totally unscientific research 😉 but I usually respect peoples’ opinions and get good perspective from these Q&As. (p.s. watch out for those blatant shills who answer a question and shoehorn a plug for their own product or service into their response. Blech!)

Matt McGee from Marchex and writer of the Small Business SEM Blog plus the originator of the SEMMYs (vote for OMB!), gives us the goods on Flickr and Yahoo Answers:

Join active groups (activity is more important than size) and share your quality photos with the group. Comment on other people’s photos and join discussions. Tag your photos wisely; I’ve seen Flickr photos rank for phrases that only appeared in the tags. Link from your blog or web site to your Flickr photos to spread some link juice over there.

Don’t waste time trying to navigate to all the categories and sub-categories that interest you; sign up for RSS feeds, instead. Yahoo Answers offers RSS feeds for every category and sub-category on the site, and for any search you do on the site, too. Sign your name and URL on all answers you provide; spammers only leave a URL, so you stand out more with your name included.

Debra Mastaler, aka “Link Diva” or “The Link Spiel” sheds some light on Technorati:

If you’re looking for a list of highly relevant and authorative blogs to approach/use for link building, set the search options to “a lot of authority” and search on your keyword. Add the RSS feed from the results page to your reader to monitor each time new results show. Look for additional tags (keyword phrases) by clicking the Technorati logo on the results page and start the process over again.

Tris Hussey who is now with b5media and is a long time blogger at “A View From the Aisle” offers up tips on Twitter and StumbleUpon:

Twitter – Twitter is a great way to announced time-sensitive events like radio shows, etc. Combine with Twitterbar for Firefox and you can post right from your address bar.

StumbleUpon – SU is one of the best sustained traffic generators I’ve found. Make sure you Stumble your friends’ and your posts to add them into the mix of SU users. Great compliment to Digg!

Neil Patel from Advantage Consulting Services and who writes the QuickSprout blog, gives us the lowdown on Facebook:

If you want to be successful on Facebook you either need a viral application and/or you will have to spend thousands on advertising. An easy way to think of a viral application is what features does Facebook lack or how can you improve on their current set of features. If you want to go the advertising route, you can pay companies like RockYou 50 cents for every installation they drive.

Steven Bradley aka “vangoh” from YellowHouseHosting and The Van Blog offers general social media marketing tips for just about any platform or channel as well as specifics for Del.icio.us and StumbleUpon:

General Social Media Marketing Tips:
With all social media sites I think it’s important to spend some time getting to know the community and learning the unwritten laws of the land. It’s also always in your best interest to see a social media site as something you contribute to and not something you take from. The more valuable you are to the community the more you’ll get back from the community. It’s also important to pick and choose the sites you participate in based on your interests and their connection with your site. You don’t need to join every site. Choose the communities you most enjoy and the ones most aligned with your site.

One feature of del.icio.us I’ve only begun to experiment with is the ‘subscriptions’ feature. You might use it to set a subscription on your name or site name. Not everyone will use your name or the name of your site as a tag, but some might and it can be a way to keep track of who is bookmarking your content.

A better use is to track a topic you’re interested in, much the same way you would use Google Alerts.You can set up subscriptions around a keyword theme and see what is getting bookmarked. You can use those bookmarks as research for something you want to write or as a way to better understand what specific content on the topic is getting bookmarked and adjust your own content to make it more bookmarkable.

One area of StumbleUpon that I don’t think gets used to its potential are the Groups. You can join groups on subjects that interest you and ask and answer questions as you would on any forum. Most of the groups I’ve joined don’t seem to be particularly active, which is why I think they aren’t being used to their potential. Of course I might have simply joined some inactive groups.

Involving yourself in the question and answer should allow you to build relationships with other stumblers and allow you to build your network.

These are some great recommendations from tried and true marketers, public relations and blogging professionals. What “Social Media Smarts” can you share?

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. I think that you provide some excellent suggestions for people who are just beginning to look into social marketing sites as a unique marketing opportunity. A critical point, however, is that it is very important to become a valuable member of the social media site not just someone trying to benefit from it in terms of greater exposure. Definitely continue providing great suggestions like these!

  2. Absolutely rich content and deeply written at that. I like the candid perspectives from the insiders. Their suggestions that suggest that marketers entering social media domains behave themselves like good citizens should. Very nicely done….and appreciated.
    Doc Rich

  3. Avatar Paul Burani, Clicksharp Marketing says

    Well done. You really could make this a column… a lot of people would be thrilled to regularly contribute content about best practices for social media.

  4. Social Media and Real Estate are really starting to come together. The Active Rain blog site that I am involved with is a terrific vehicle to not only promote my expertise locally but to network with other excellent Realtors throughout the country. A few other sites worth exploring are naymz – another linkedin type site for reputable professionals, and Gooruze – A site that discuss social media marketing and the internet.

  5. Awesome tips. Picked up a few I hadn’t thought about, although I’ve been active with some of these sites for awhile. I second the idea of posting more like this.

  6. Thanks for the tips! I just joined LinkedIn, so it was good to see some info on it before I did too much.

  7. It’s important to remember that new people in non-tech industries are taking up the blog trail everyday. While this may be last year’s news to some, this post can provide hours of reading and learning to others. Thanks.

  8. Great tips. One great thing about many social media sites, like squidoo for instance, is that they often have a top viewed pages in category list. By simply promoting a new page (or lens) you can push it to the top of these lists where they will quickly take on a life of their own. If you use PPC to promote the new page, once you’ve reached the top ranks you can often redirect your PPC $ elsewhere and the authority your page has by being top viewed will often carry it, provided the content is good.

  9. the tips are great! thanks

  10. Hi Lee, this article spurred me to really think hard about the topic

  11. Awesome tips. Yes, some of us are already there, but newbies are coming on board everyday in the thousands — this will definitely be a great post for them to learn from!

    Great Post!
    Maria Reyes-McDavis
    Web Success Diva

  12. Very solid suggestions here; especially Steven Bradley’s call for marketers to become very familiar with the environments before launching in (sounds obvious but i’m constantly surprised by how this isn’t followed by marketers).

    I think that a discussion of social media smarts could also include how to abolish some of the myths of marketing within social media – my colleague has a good list at http://www.rtcrm.com/blog/2008/11/17/5-myths-of-social-media-marketing/

  13. Avatar Eric Sornoso says

    I found my the 2 best ways I’ve received social media traffic is from Yahoo Answers and YouTube.

    (1)My Youtube username is the as my domain: FormerTROJANcom and comment to 10-20 post a day.

    (2)As for Yahoo Answers, I comment 15 questions a day and attempt to answer the question in a well-written-thoughtful-answer. The key is to be selected for best answer and being a successful answerer in your field.

    My 2 Cent
    Eric Sornoso


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