After several years, it has become apparent that social media marketing works and is here to stay.

However, despite thousands and even millions of posts relating to social media strategy, there still remains a great deal of confusion on what exactly are the best practices to use social media to grow and market one’s business and ideas.

This often stems from conflicting ideas on social media strategy, and the emergence of many so called ‘social media experts’ that often confuse and provide unhelpful information in an effort to make money.

That’s why I decided to find some of the top emerging social media experts who are having REAL success with social media marketing to discuss and share their answer to the question “what is your top social media strategy this year?”.

The following responses come from social media experts with real, large, and responsive followings on social platforms that are helping build their brand and increase ROI everyday.

These guys and gals are the upcoming superstars in social media marketing, and I hope you find value on what they consider their most important strategy to social media marketing this year.

After reading, try implementing some of these top strategies into your own campaigns and see if you get better results.

That being said, let’s dive into the answers to “What is your top social media strategy this year?”

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Jeff Sheehan

Monetization and ROI are the most important factors for me in 2015. I’ve been heavily involved now with social media for 5 1/2 years and in the marketing and sales arena for well over 3 decades, so I’ve observed many things. One of my pet peeves are people who continue to hype  the warm fuzzies regarding social media, as if we’re all here at a huge cocktail party doing nothing but creating relationships that are going to do tremendous things for us overnight. What I’ve found and my clients have, as well, is that it’s not necessarily the case, Yes, it does help, but it’s not a panacea. It takes much more than that to be successful.
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As an example, just yesterday, I received a comment on my Twitter feed indicating that relationships are where it’s at and that ROI comes from relationships you establish. They were partially correct, however, not all relationships result in an ROI. They have to be the right ones.They have to be in your target audience or be ones that have the ability to introduce you to people in your “sweet” spot.
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It’s been often stated that Likes, Followers, and the like don’t mean much. Yes and no. Certainly the larger your following the more credible you are perceived to be in your respective space. The problem is that credibility and the relationships you have don’t necessarily translate into sales for you either immediately or over time. This is the most critical factor. Without revenues, and profitable revenues at that,  you can’t survive. You can’t take relationships to the bank!
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In aligning this what I’m doing, I’m advising others to take a similar path. Social media is no longer new, but something which has now been around for a number of years, but which continues to evolve. The focus of any enterprise needs to be on generating revenues, so, therefore, activities need to be pr,motoed that will facilitate this and not just meeting social media vanity metrics. Continue to establish relationships and nurture them, but make sure that they are the right ones and not just another point on a scoreboard.

To learn more from Jeff, visit his site at http://sheehanmarketingstrategies.com.

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Donna Mortiz

This year, other than consistency of content on my blog and social platforms, I will be focusing on strategically driving traffic using visual content. Last year involved some successful results around the use of shareable images, infographics and slideshare presentations to drive quality traffic back to my website, webinars and programs (and for clients). This year is about getting serious and implementing the strategies that worked into my regular editorial calendar, and ensuring that visual content is considered across everything I do in order to drive traffic and get results. 

To learn more from Donna, visit her site at http://sociallysorted.com.au.

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Mike Allton

There are many factors that I use to help clients evaluate how they should proceed with their social media marketing in the coming year. Audience. Resources. Platform format. And I’m sure others will be addressing these considerations.
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So one unique perspective I’d like to offer is Personal Preference. What does your client, or what do you, as the business owner, prefer to do or use? In other words, which social network do you actually enjoy using?
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If you hate Facebook, but love the fast-pace of Twitter, that should weigh heavily in your deliberations. Virtually every social network can be adapted to suit most any business. Of course, your industry, resources, and other factors need to be considered. But if you absolutely hate a social network, it’s probably best to pick a different one to focus your efforts.

To learn more from Mike, visit his site at http://thesocialmediahat.com.

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Kiera Stein

Perhaps the most important component of any social media strategy is the commitment to not losing the forest through the trees. There are a lot of “shiny objects” you’ll find on social media like impressions in the hundreds of thousands, engagement metrics and exciting new followers. 

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While all of these metrics matter, they are not the end result. The end result is how your social media is driving your bottom-line business goals like sales, revenue and lead generation. Are these impressions being served to the right people? Are the engagements and conversations establishing your brand as an industry leader? And finally, over time, is your business growing as a result?

To learn more from Kiera, visit her site at http://kierastein.com.

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ian2Ian Cleary

The most important part of our social media strategy is to continue to build our audience with a strong focus on ensuring we deliver the best content possible and drive the best engagement.  We sell online training products through webinars and our best way of getting an audience to this is through our community.  The more engaged and relevant our community the more revenue we will generate.

To learn more from Ian, visit his site at http://razorsocial.com.

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Neal Schaffer

I believe the most important factor to making your social media strategy successful this year will be a strategic approach to leveraging the visual. Whether it is engaging in purely visual social media like Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat (and let’s not forget YouTube!), or simply leveraging visuals to appear more prominently in the news feeds of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google, a visual approach to social marketing will help you be more effective in social media through greater differentiation, a deeper emotional impact with your posting, leveraging the growth of some of the new social networks, and creating a visual voice for your brand which will only reap you benefits in your future social media program.

To learn more from Neal, visit his site at http://maximizeyoursocial.com.

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Stan Smith

Understand that social media is just an efficient distribution vehicle for your content.  A successful social media plan starts with crafting helpful content that is intimately relevant to your audience.  Once you’ve built the content, distribute it using the social media channel best suited for the content.  For example, daily tip content could achieve better results packaged as a podcast and promoted via iTunes. Savvy marketers know that the tools (social media) never trump the message (content).

To learn more from Stan, visit his site at http://pushingsocial.com.

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Warren Whitlock

The single more important thing to do in 2015 is to truly try to understand the real people you are connected to. Real connection, person to person. The way you treat people you care about. Automation and tools are great for organizing and scheduling your work. Use those tools to enable you to get personal when you talk to people.
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We’ve been talking about “customer first” and “customer centric” for decades. But I propose we not use the word “customer” and not replace it with some other term like “guest” and start thinking how we can do business the way peopled did before mass media, mass production and mass distribution made the big companies of the 20th Century big.
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Trading among individuals has existed as long as there have been humans. Now that we have the means to collaborate and communicate without intermediaries, brands must empower and enhance experiences or become irrelevant to customers who can deal directly with each other.

To learn more from Warren, visit his site at http://warrenwhitlock.com.

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Andrea Vahl

The most important factor this year is to focus your energy and marketing budget wisely.  Now that there are so many places you “could” be and so many places you “could” advertise online it’s more important than ever to focus your efforts on what moves the needle for you.  Video is going to be much bigger this year with all social sites so consider your video strategy across the platforms.  Use Ads to make the content you create more visible to attract the right clients to you.  Social ads can be highly targeted to your perfect client so test your keywords and each platform to see what brings in the most conversions.  Focus your content and your advertising to bring people to your e-mail list.

To learn more from Andrea, visit her site at http://andreavahl.com.

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Ian Anderson Gray

The most important factor for me social media strategy this year will be writing high quality blog posts specific to a few niche areas of my business. I’ll be concentrating on producing content that will be relevant this year and also next- content that doesn’t change with time (known as evergreen content) and can continue to deliver traffic to my websites and generate leads. I’ll be making sure that each article has a really clear call to action that will focus the reader on what to do next- hopefully contact me and become my next customer!

To learn more from Ian, visit his site at http://iag.me.

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Mark Schaefer

We have all heard that “content is king” on the web but in a world of increasing information density, we need something a bit more. One focus for 2015 will be finding new ways to cut through the clutter so my content ignites with readers. We will all need to be considering paid options, promotion, influencer outreach, audience development and other tactics.

Mark Schaefer is an educator, marketing keynote speaker and author of Social Media Explained.To learn more from him as a marketing keynote speaker please visit http://www.businessesgrow.com/social-media-speaker/and to get his book, Social Media Explained, please visit http://ow.ly/GTzWx.

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Lisa Kalner Williams

Consistency of messaging. Many times we as marketers queue up tweets and posts in preparation for product launch, live event, or new service. While that is certainly a healthy practice, we should also plan out social messaging *after* such exciting events — and even when times are downright slow.
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I plan to take a broader look at my 2015 calendar, identify holes, and determine what content I can use to fill those holes. “Recycling” messages that you’ve previously posted, if still applicable, is an easy way to beef up your content calendar. Remember: you get new fans and followers every day. A fan who “liked” your page last week most likely your great content from three months ago. Why not get them acquainted on what you’re all about on this social channel?
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If you see the merits of this approach, but worry that you’ll “bug” longtime fans — don’t worry. If you don’t know, an average of only six percent of all your Facebook fans see each of your posts. And with more real-time channels like Twitter and Instagram, your posts and tweets are usually being pushed downstream by more recent messages. Because of this, you *might not* have gotten your fans the first time you posted a particular message. Or when you did, your fans weren’t interested in it. So why not try to pique their interest once again?

To learn more from Lisa, visit http://sierratierra.com.

Zoe Cairns

The most important factor of making sure your social media marketing strategy is successful this year is making sure that you know who your target audience are and where they are hanging out! Think about and brainstorm who are they, what are their interests, who are they already listening to, what TV/Radio shows are they watching and listening, what events do they attend etc. Once you know this then use this to find them on the social media profiles and see where they are already engaging!
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And the key to 2015 is to engage with your audience, do not broadcast to them. Its all about building a know like and trust factor with your community. Get involved in conversations, answer their questions, build rapport. People buy from people and you will see that your return on influence will then turn into a return on investment!

To learn more from Zoe, visit her site at http://zcsocialmedia.com.

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There you have it. The top social media marketing strategies rising social media marketing stars are using and suggesting to their own clients.

As you can see, there is a lot of similarities between the answers so I hope you can can value and use this on your own social media marketing this year.

What do you think?

What did you think of these answers… do you have something you want to contribute yourself? Also, who do you want to see interviewed or asked regarding marketing or social media? Let me know in the comments below!

 

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