There are so many opinions on what works and what doesn’t when it comes to social media.
I decided that it was time to take a look at my favorite marketers that I feel have successful social channels and see what it is they do to get ahead.
I boiled it down to eight marketers – all of whom are doing their own thing to create an engaged following and successful business.
1. Dr. Ai Addyson-Zhang Uses Platform-Specific Content
Dr. Ai Addyson-Zhang is a digital education expert.
When you Google “Dr. Ai Addyson-Zhang” the top 6 results are as follows:
- Twitter (with tweet cards).
- Inside Higher Ed.
- Her site (Classroomwithoutwalls.ai).
It seems as though Dr. Ai has done a remarkable job of building authority on her social sites.
As I went through her profiles, I noticed something right off of the bat – all of the platforms have their own type of content.
Addyson-Zhang goes live on LinkedIn on Wednesdays and Fridays.
On Twitter, she jumps in Twitter chats, shares news around current events, and posts about her kids.
Facebook is a bit different; she shares photos of her children and square video recaps of her LinkedIn live shows.
Medium is really where Addyson-Zhang got her start. Just like everyone else, she uses Medium for long-form, blog-like content.
These blog posts incorporate media from all of her platforms such as screenshots of Tweets, embedded videos from LinkedIn and photos that she shares on Facebook.
By differentiating the content you share on each platform, you are prepping the audience for the content you are going to be sharing.
2. Sarah Evans Does PR
Sarah Evans is a Digital Correspondent and the owner of Sevans Strategy.
Upon visiting her Twitter profile, you’ll learn right away that Sarah does PR and she does it well.
Her handle is @PRsarahevans – PR is right in her name!
And when you look at her bio, you’ll learn that she’s been featured in CNN, Mashable, and Forbes.
So yeah, she’s probably pretty good at what she does.
Not only does her name and bio clearly state that she does PR and is good at it, but all of her posts point to that as well.
If you follow Evans on LinkedIn or Twitter, you will see that she is always putting out calls for resources to cover certain stories.
To go a step further, she also shares out the tools and resources she uses on a daily basis.
Through sharing your resources and letting others know what you do upfront, you could be in the perfect position to be seen as a thought leader.
3. Barry Schwartz Gets It Done
Barry Schwartz is probably best known for his work on Search Engine Roundtable, a personal-blog-style search engine optimization information hub.
He consistently puts out credible information concerning search.
He is the epitome of getting stuff done.
There are so many roadblocks people face when it comes to creating content that it is often easier to just walk away from creating altogether.
Schwartz doesn’t do that though.
Despite being an agency CEO, he still publishes blog posts every day Monday-Friday and publishes video blogs just about every other day.
Nothing is super fancy or super time-intensive, but it is always done and that is what is important.
If you commit to getting things done and always showing up, you will build trust within your community.
4. Brian Fanzo Builds Community
Brian Fanzo is a digital futurist and keynote speaker (disclosure: I work with him).
If you take a peek at his social platforms, you’ll likely see a mix of things ranging from photos of his daughters to thought leadership type videos.
His feeds are very human.
Fanzo shares the more intimate portions of his life.
He doesn’t just show the good, he’s also transparent about the bad.
When you join in on the conversations he takes part in, you’ll see that he goes out of his way to relate with others and keep the conversation going.
By being human, Fanzo builds a community rather than a following as his “followers” feel connected with him.
Be human on social media through transparency, authenticity, and conversation.
5. Dan Knowlton Is a Storyteller
Dan Knowlton is the co-founder of Knowlton, a Kent-based digital and social media marketing agency.
Truly, this comes as no surprise as you move through his social feeds.
All of the content Knowlton puts out is well made and tells a story.
From time to time, he posts clips from his latest podcast (in which he tells the story of being a business owner), tells stories of content he creates for his clients, and shares some fatherhood anecdotes.
No matter what piece of Dan’s content you stumble across, it’s almost a guarantee that it is a piece of a much larger story.
Your timelines should paint a picture of who you are.
Not all of them have to tell the same exact story, but you should always keep in mind the bigger picture before you post.
6. Julia McCoy Creates for Others
Julia McCoy is the CEO of Express Writers and a content marketer by trade, so it isn’t surprising that she publishes a lot of content.
I counted, on average:
- 2 posts daily on LinkedIn.
- About 10 on Twitter daily.
- Around 6 Facebook posts daily.
- 4 to 6 articles a month on Search Engine Journal.
- Occasional posts to SEMrush, MarketingProfs, and Huffington Post.
And she’s written three books.
The woman is a content machine!
Here is the thing though:
She doesn’t only create content for herself.
As I mentioned earlier, McCoy is also a contributor to multiple publications (both in and outside of the marketing industry).
She uses her abilities to help others and does it often.
Instead of constantly selling her service, she helps others by creating for them.
Through helping others, you broaden your network and position yourself as an expert – so help often!
7. Ross Simmonds Has Conversations
Ross Simmonds is a Digital Marketing Strategist at Foundation Marketing and he’s also the co-founder of Hustle & Grind.
When it comes to Simmonds’ social media activity, the majority of it is based around conversations.
Looking through his LinkedIn activity, I mostly see replies to comments and comments on others’ posts and on Twitter, his tweets and replies are full of threads.
Simmonds is 100% behind the idea of giving more than receiving (he straight up told me that!).
This must be why he is constantly looking to join in on conversations.
He answers tons of questions as well as most of his mentions.
By giving more information than he asks for, Simmonds is able to build a network without even trying!
Leave LinkedIn In-Mail in 2019 and focus on creating true connections through meaningful conversation.
8. Mari Smith Mastered Curation
Mari Smith, the Queen of Facebook, is known to most in the industry for her extensive knowledge of both organic and paid Facebook strategies.
As I was navigating through her social profiles, it was very apparent that Mari is always learning.
Mari Smith is a master content curator.
She shares regularly on all of her social platforms, but the majority of the time her feeds are a curation of the content she is learning from.
She doesn’t simply copy and paste links though, she goes out of her way to add her opinion and strategies as it relates to the article.
By curating content, you ensure your feed is always fresh while also exercising your expertise.
What Works for You?
It’s nearly impossible to think through all eight of these lessons every time you go to publish a piece of content, but it is important to remember the ones that work best for you.
Take into consideration the goals of your social channels, then select the lessons you feel are the most applicable to your and your social strategy.
- 10 Top Social Media Marketing Experts to Follow
- 10 Important Social Media Trends You Need to Know
- How to Dominate Social Media: A Complete Strategy Guide
All screenshots taken by author, March 2020