Becoming a Hybrid Marketer: Increase Your Social Media Marketing IQ with These Intelligent Resources

May 5, 2015

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Editor’s note: This post is part of an ongoing series in 2015 in which we provide B2B marketers with skillset development resources that can help them advance their careers. In last week's post, we provided a plethora of valuable sites that can help marketers gain a command of coding. In this post, we compile insights marketers of all experience levels can use to move the needle with social media marketing.

U.S. companies are expected to dedicate nearly $10 billion to social media marketing this year, an increase of $2 billion over 2014 totals. That’s more than a quarter of digital marketing budgets, making it critical for organizations to see a return on their social spend.

Enter the hybrid marketer, who brings a strategic understanding and tactical insights to social media planning, execution, and measurement. To help you round out your social media marketing skills, here are ten super-smart resources on all things social media. You’ll find three categories meant to help marketers of all experience levels, from aspiring experts to seasoned social media savants.

Getting Started

Whether you are relatively new to social media or if you’ve been around the block, the posts in this section are great for setting, or revisiting, your social media strategy.

1. The Beginner’s Guide to Social Media A ground-level resource from Moz, this eBook covers social media best practices, evaluation metrics, and blogging. LinkedIn is given its own chapter, and within it you can discover how to generate B2B leads, establish thought leadership in your industry, and build brand advocates.

2. The Best (and Worst) Times to Post on Social Media [Infographic] When should you post content in order to drive the best results? Get a breakdown of peak activity periods for each of the major social networks. Then, post accordingly to give your content the best chance of being noticed and shared.

3. The Ultimate Guide to Using Images in Social Media Your social updates are far more likely to be consumed and shared when you include an image. Take the mystery out of image sizing with this resource from the Jeff Bullas blog. You’ll find optimal image specs for populating banners, profile photos, and many other visual marketing opportunities.

4. 58 Social Media Tips for Content Marketing Just as with all marketing messaging, quality and relevance should be considered when posting social content. This SlideShare deck from the Content Marketing Institute showcases the type of content that performs well on specific social platforms, along with amplification recommendations.

58 Social Media Tips for Content Marketing from Content Marketing Institute

Evaluate and Optimize

Knowing how to plan and execute social media campaigns is an excellent start, but what about evaluation, optimization, and streamlining workflow? These posts show how to gain next-level results:

5. The 15-Minute Social Media Audit Everyone Can Do Regularly auditing your social media marketing strategy is a critical exercise. And like exercising, auditing isn’t the easiest to-do list item to tackle. Fortunately Buffer’s Kevan Lee offers this quick and easy social auditing process “everyone can do.”

6. 5 Ways to Optimize Your Social Media Content to Combat Content Shock More than 90 percent of B2B marketers use social media, which means standing out often requires a sound strategy and a few clever tactics. This post from the Content Marketing Institute provides actionable suggestions for enhancing your social media marketing.

7. 12 Free Social Media Tools Getting better at social media is not only about creating better content, but also making your process more efficient. The tools on this listicle from Search Engine Journal can help you do just that. Review resources that can help you setup workflows for creative, analytics, reporting, and other areas of social media marketing.

Stay Current on Social Trends

Social media is evolving rapidly with new platforms and tools springing up all the time. Staying on top of trends can help your brand balance best practices with experimentation, while also avoiding what no longer works before it consumes the best of your budget.

8. Social Media Today Here’s an an excellent source to stay on top of social media developments. Social Media Today provides regular news updates about LinkedIn and other social platforms along with a healthy dose of how-to features. Content is contributed by members, meaning that you can encounter a wide range of perspectives on the issues, personalities, and platforms shaping social media.

9. Social Media Examiner Benefit from practical, how-to information on LinkedIn and other social networks at Social Media Examiner. In addition to providing helpful written posts, the site is home to two invaluable podcasts. “The Social Media Examiner Show” provides “daily social media know-how” and the “Social Media Marketing Podcast with Michael Stelzner” covers topics in more depth with expert interviews.

10. Social Pros Podcast With the tagline, “Real people doing real work in social media,” the Social Pros Podcast features interviews with prominent social media strategists from around the industry. Give a listen to individual episodes, or subscribe to the podcast to glean strategy and tactical insights from some of the most innovative social media marketers.

Building your brand with social media marketing is an exciting challenge, in part because of how regularly we see advances in the social landscape. While the pace of change can seem intimidating, if you are familiar with the essentials and stay current on best practices, you’ll forever maintain the social component of your hybrid marketer status.

In a list of social media resources, how can we not include this one? Our newly enhanced The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn provides all the insights you need to get the most value out of LinkedIn.

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