Internet marketing has come a long way in a few short years, and social media is, without a doubt, one of the fastest growing (and changing) areas of digital media.
There’s no denying that social media marketing offers the reach, tools and relationship building potential that modern businesses need to survive and thrive, but it can be daunting trying to get started when you’re completely new to the game.
The trouble is, it can be a lot to take in, and even more to learn! Figuring out how to leverage social media to create a tribe, establish a brand, and build relationships can be tough, and if you don’t have an endless budget to do it with, balancing the need for traction with ROI can be even tougher.
The best way to do this is to learn from people who already know! Fortunately, social media experts are a chatty bunch, and there are plenty of experts willing to share their best advice for free!
But time is limited, we’re all busy people, so how do we filter out the noise and focus on the really useful advice?
Well, that’s where this post comes in. We’re here to help.
If you scroll down, you’ll find two lists.
- Our top five individuals to follow.
- Our top ten companies to follow.
We hope you enjoy your new bedtime reading and you’re able to use the recommendations these experts make.
TOP 5 INDIVIDUALS TO FOLLOW
Neil Patel is not only a social media expert, he’s also a technology success story!
In just a few years, Patel has created numerous million-dollar digital marketing companies, including KISSMetrics, HelloBar, Quick Sprout, and Crazy Egg. Along with his co-founders, he created these companies out of nothing, and they now work with some of the world’s biggest brands, such as Amazon, General Motors and even Google!
While Patel is obviously highly skilled at the technical aspects of digital marketing, analytics and growth hacking, he still has the ability to explain these complex concepts in ways that even the complete novice will find useful and relatable.
It’s this ability to avoid jargon and make technical topics easier to understand that makes Patel one of the best in the business and the reason he’s at the top of this list.
Not only is Neil Patel one of the best people to learn from, he’s also won all sorts of awards, including several Top Under 30 and 35 accolades.
Moz, formerly known as SEO Moz, has been a go-to resource for all things search engine optimization and digital marketing for a long time, and social media expert Rand Fishkin, otherwise known as “the Wizard of Moz” is the man behind it all.
He’s also the co-founder of another massively successful digital marketing resource: Inbound.org, and he has written several books about entrepreneurship, SEO and marketing, including Inbound Marketing and SEO: Insights from the Moz Blog. He’s appeared in stories by The New York Times and Newsweek, and he’s also won several prestigious awards.
Like Patel, Fishkin excels in making complex ideas simple, and his Whiteboard Friday videos are one of the best resources around, bar none.
Digital marketing is almost entirely about building relationships, and social media expert Liz Strauss has been called “the most influential relational blogger on the internet”.
Strauss combines her skill at digital relationship building with real-world knowledge of business, publishing and teaching, to help businesses to improve customer relationships and build a fan base who not only support them but love them too!
Ann Smarty is a social media expert, marketing veteran and the brand manager of the Internet Marketing Ninjas. She founded Viral Content Buzz, MyBlogU.com, My Blog Guest, and ViralContentBee.com.
Blogging is the hottest digital marketing trend, and it’s not going anywhere! So, if you’re looking for tips on what works and what doesn’t, what better way to find out than to follow the blog of someone who has literally created a living out of teaching blogging. That’s so meta.
Ann Smarty is that person. She founded Viral Content Buzz. She is the brand manager for Internet Marketing Ninjas. She manages the SEOchat community, and most importantly, she creates detailed, easily actionable posts about the art and science of blogging, that you can borrow shamelessly from.
Learn how to master keyword research, write killer content, and get guest blogging right.
You will find Smarty’s articles on many other sites too, such as Entrepreneur, Lifehack, Mashable, Moz, and Social Media Examiner as well as her own blog, and you can find not one but three Twitter accounts by this busy lady!
Finally, there’s Ann Handley. She’s a social media expert who has been involved in digital marketing almost as long as it’s been a thing, she wrote the Wall Street Journal Best Seller “Everybody Writes,” and she is the chief content officer for MarketingProfs. She also does extensive work as a live speaker.
Handley’s speciality is teaching people how to improve their writing, and to get better marketing results from it. She breaks a very broad concept into manageable chunks and offers actionable advice for writers of every skill level, and she knows what she’s talking about. After all, she is one of Forbes’ Top 20 Women Bloggers!
TOP 10 SOCIAL MEDIA FOCUSED COMPANY BLOGS TO FOLLOW
Social Media Examiner is a huge website, that’s been around since 2009. They focus on how businesses can become social media experts, and they publish a host of articles, videos and podcasts about all things social.
Hootsuite is THE social media automation tool, so it’s no wonder their corporate blog is a treasure trove of fantastic social media tips, tricks and tools.
Buffer is another social media channel manager, that lets you consolidate channels into one easy to use application. Their corporate blog is about all things social and digital marketing.
Pete Cashmore turned a blog he started in his bedroom in Scotland as a teenager into a multi-million-dollar corporation. Let’s just say the guy knows a thing or two about social media!
Social Media Explorer takes a newsroom-like approach to social media. Great for the latest and greatest tips, tools and tricks.
Sprout Social makes software for social media marketing. Their blog shares insights into what makes social media marketing work.
Wersm.com offers social media, digital marketing and many other kinds of internet news. It’s not as much into the how to as it is bringing you the latest tech news.
Social Media Week is an industry conference and news site for social media experts. May be a little technical for newbies, but a great resource nonetheless.
Social Bakers is a social media analytics company. Subscribe for access to their tools or read the blog for social analytics information and trends.
Social Media Today doesn’t sell anything. It’s simply a social media news site. But it does feature contributions from some of the biggest names in the business. Well worth a visit.
The internet is a bottomless resource for social media marketing tips, tricks and tactics. There’s free information everywhere, and everyone can learn what it takes to succeed.
The learning curve is steep in the beginning though, and if you’re looking for immediate results, it may be simpler to outsource, either while you learn, or while you focus on the business of business.
Don’t reinvent the wheel! Take a shortcut, by learning from the experts, and if you still find yourself having trouble, you can always trust an expert like Polkadot Communications to take care of it while you master the basics.
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