Top Social Media Tips Presented at Coastal Social

A day at the Coastal Social conference held in Baton Rouge revealed key insights into the best practices for utilizing social media for business. Following are just a few of many tips and tools social media gurus brought to the attention of over 300 attendees.

Win big but fail small

Tom Martin, @TomMartin
When beginning to using social media for your business, take small risks that have huge potential.

Markets consist of human beings, not demographics.

Jason Falls, @JasonFalls
When using social media to communicate with your audience, treat your market as human beings. Use a human voice. Become part of a community and listen to people. Build and earn trust among your community by providing value, being honest and participating in conversations. Conversational marketing success occurs when genuine participation not motivated by marketing goals earns your audience’s permission to share information that is.

Twitter Strategy: Share good “stuff”

Jason Falls, @JasonFalls
The best way to gain followers is to provide value to your audience. Share things that people would be interested in. Avoid pitching, illustrate your expertise (not a laundry list of services), over share content by others, and make your conversations about your customers (think consumer centric, not product centric).

Don’t run from negative feedback, respond to it appropriately

Jason Falls, @JasonFalls
When encountering negative comments about your company/brand in social media, respond by acknowledging their right to complain, apologizing (if warranted), asserting (if warranted), assessing what will make the person feel better, and acting accordingly (if possible). Sometimes all it takes is an apology. But remember, sometimes a turd is just a turd. Don’t let that person who repeatedly gives negative feedback without good reason stress you out. You can respond publicly to show you’ve made an attempt at resolving the situation, but move on.

The goal is not to be good at social media. The goal is to be good at doing business using social media as a tool.

Jay Baer, @jaybaer
Social media should be used to meet overall business goals. The number of followers and fans gained is not a key success metric. Look at how you’re reaching your goals. How much traffic are you gaining to your website through social media? Are you collecting Twitter handles in customer contact forms to see how many of your customers are following you on Twitter? Take a long term look at the results of social media (6-month intervals) to gauge trends over time.

Social media is less a role and more a job function.

Paul Chaney, @pchaney
Social media for business is best done when multiple people can be involved in the process of engaging and creating content.

Get into the content mindset.

Rick Burnes, @rickburnes
Look for content opportunities in everything you’re doing. There’s always something you can talk about, especially if you’re passionate about your product/service/industry.

Social media means real business

Greg Cangialosi, @gregcangialosi
Social media can bring business success. How do you measure it? Track links to your website acquired through social media, leads you’ve gained and customer acquisition and retention.

Construct a relevant audience

Caroline Barry, @TweetCaroline
Jump into social media by finding like-minded people talking about related topics to your company/industry, then listen and engage.

Have your network in place before you need it

Julien Smith, @Julien
Start building your social networks now so that when you need to tell your fans about something quickly, you already have everything set up and in place. Don’t wait until a crisis. Building tribes is critical.

Your Audience is an Asset

Julien Smith, @Julien
Create a network of people to support you. Be in it for the long haul. Relationships become stronger over time. Everyone wants to do business with people they like, so be likable.

The world will never need more advertising.

Julien Smith, @Julien
It’s not about advertising. It’s about connecting and communicating.

Save Time with Social Media Management Tools

Coastal Social speakers noted several useful tools for making social media management much easier.

  • – Free social media management tool (create keyword streams and schedule tweets/posts)
  • – Automatically feed a blog to social media outlets
  • – Real time search engine for Facebook and Twitter
  • – Web-based social media monitoring and engagement platform
  • – Real-time social media search and analysis
  • – Real-time social media analytics
  • – Social media monitoring tool

Mad props to the Baton Rouge Social Media Club and all involved for putting on a fantastic conference! So many tips and insights were discovered at Coastal Social that I’m sure I’ve missed some really good ones and some from the other really great speakers. In fact, as the day went on I took more in and and took less notes, so help me out. What great insights did you learn at Coastal Social? What was your favorite tip/comment? What did you take away from the conference that you plan to put into practice tomorrow? Please feel free to comment!

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Tom Martin said on September 30, 2010:


Thanks for the inclusion… glad you found something of value to take away from my talk.


Kristie Aylett, APR said on October 1, 2010:

This post captures the essence of the day’s discussion. Thanks for sharing. Coastal Social is now on my list of must-attend conferences. My brain is still stretched from all the great information and networking.

I liked Jay’s point that the number of followers and fans is not a metric of success and that the benefit of creating content never falls to zero, as it does with paid advertising.

And as Julien said, to stretch your limits, you have to “touch the burner.” Your audience is an asset; invest in it.

See you online.

Adam Culpepper said on June 28, 2011:

Great summary post! I wish I would have found this a little closer to last year’s Coastal Social. Will you have a booth this year too?

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