Social media marketing is the “IT” thing right now for businesses around the world and it should be because literally everyone with an internet connection or a smart phone is on Facebook or one of the other social networks.

With nearly 1.5 billion monthly active users (MAU’s) Facebook is leading the charge, but there are other important social networks for businesses to consider such as YouTube (1 billion MAU’s), Google+ (540 million MAU’s), Twitter (300 million MAU’s), Instagram (300 million MAU’s), Pinterest (70 million+ registered users), SnapChat (100 million+ MAU’s), and several more (Vine, Tumblr, Stumbleupon, Flickr, Vimeo).

I’ll be leaving later this afternoon to speak in Hamburg, Germany at the annual Online Marketing Rockstars conference.

The conference will feature some pretty amazing talent such as Evan Sharp (Cofounder of Pinterest), Gary Vaynerchuk (Founder of Vaynermedia and WineLibraryTV), Marcus Tandler (Founder of, and Andre Alpar (Founder of AKM3, which he sold to Publicis Groupe) discussing topics facing the digital marketing space.

I’ll be speaking on the main stage Friday with Marcus, Andre, and Mike King on the topic of SEO.

However, on Thursday I’m leading a “Master Class” on Social Media Marketing on “10 Tips for Effective Social Media Marketing.”

Of course I can’t share the entire presentation here since I haven’t delivered it yet so instead I’ll simply share 5 social media marketing tips today and 5 more at a later date.

5 Social Media Marketing Tips and Strategies to Grow Your Business on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

(1) Stop Selling; Start Listening

– This tip is the most important of all. “Buy my stuff” selling tactics on social media doesn’t work. In fact, if you “sell” people will ignore you and won’t buy from you.

– Instead, listen carefully on social media to the problems facing your target audience.

– As you listen begin to ask yourself: Can I offer free (value added) advice immediately? What free resources are available that I can share? Do I have (or know of) any valuable information (white papers, how-to guides, news links) to share?

(2) Engage and Humanize

– Remember – social media conversations are just like the real world and include two or more people.

– Look for opportunities to answer questions from your followers.

– ALWAYS respond to direct and @ messages. The idea is to take every opportunity that comes to ENGAGE.

– Never ever deliver automated canned responses.

– Build real, authentic communications by sharing not only valuable information, but also personal experiences and real life experiences. Bridge the gap between personal and professional just like you would with friends and followers in the real world. For instance, if you ran into an old friend you are likely to catch up on how the kids are, any recent vacations you’ve taken, and what’s new and exciting with your business. Humanize and win. Be a robot and lose.

(3) Add Tons and Tons of Value

– Become a reliable and trustworthy resource.

– Constantly be on the lookout for valuable resources that you can share with your followers.

– Always look for opportunities to educate your audience with valuable information (links to articles, videos, books, other experts, etc.).

– Connect your audience to people outside of their network (introductions and referrals)

BONUS TIP – If you are serious about building your sales strategies around “adding value” instead of “sell, sell, sell” tactics that don’t work read the book “The Ultimate Sales Machine” by Chet Holmes.

(4) Build and Share Original Content
-If you need an extra helping hand, there are many multiple digital marketing services that can help you achieve growth rapidly.

– Create “How-to” content and videos that solve problems.

– Build infographics to make complex ideas or topics easy to understand and visual.

– Leverage market data to start conversations and educate.

– Create informational lists (i.e. Top 10 Reasons to Stop Smoking) to inform, entertain, and educate.

– Start a blog and a podcast; Socialize all of the content on your website.

(5) Share Lots of Engaging Pictures and Videos

– Pictures and videos tend to drive greater engagement than text-only. Always look for opportunities to include photos when Tweeting and make sure that you use engaging photos and videos when adding or sharing.

– Twitter allows you to include up to three images with any given Tweet.

– Make sure to mix-up your push communications between text, photo, and video.

– Entertaining pictures and videos allow you to “unarm” your brand make it more approachable and likeable.

There you go – 5 Social Media Marketing Tips and Strategies to Grow Your Business!

Feel free to ask questions below.