50+ Gurus Share Secrets On How To ROCK Social Media Engagement

For our May expert roundup, we wanted to take a deeper look at social media engagement and how it affects businesses. We reached out to more than 50 experts in the space to tell us stories about how social media directly affected their businesses, what their best social media and content engagement practices are, what tools or platforms they used, how much time and money it took for them to see any results, and what their final recommendations are.

social media influencers

When we talk about search engine optimization—more commonly known as SEO—we mostly refer to optimizing for Google search. However, there is another, dynamic, more directly human search engine that we also need to optimize for, and that is social media.

Why?


Such is the breadth of social media's reach.

So despite Google saying that it may or may not use social signals (that includes social identity and social engagement) as a ranking factor, digital marketing influencer, Neil Patel, maintains that optimizing for social is important regardless.

Social media can help you inject some personality into your brand, communicate with customers in a public forum, and tap directly and more personally into a large pool of social media users that won't be shy to do free advertising for you if you treat them right.

Looking at how certain social media stars have gotten rich and famous through social media, it does go to show how it can be a truly lucrative platform if you use it right, and optimize content for its own search engine algorithms.

So for this expert roundup, we chose to gather stories about social media engagement and how it affects businesses. We divided the article into sections according to specific questions we asked each influencer source.

More than 50 experts in the space share with us their stories about:


Read on to see what they have to answer to the following questions:

Table of Contents
Content Marketing

Adam Connell

Owner of BloggingWizard.com and Content Marketing Consultant

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

Social media engagement doesn’t impact my business much at all — at least, not in a direct sense.

The traffic I get from my email list, search engines and mentions on other sites typically convert far better than social.

However, it does have an effect — an indirect one.

Social media helps me to get more eyeballs on my content, and drive more traffic back to my website. In turn, this helps me grow my email list faster, which does directly impact my business.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

When I first started my business, my focus was mostly on Twitter and that’s what earned the most engagement.

And still today, my content still gets a lot of engagement/shares on Twitter.

That said, I’m not a big fan of some of the recent decisions that Twitter has made. And I’ve begun focusing more of my time on other networks like Pinterest and LinkedIn.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

In the early days, I spent nothing on social media. I made do with the free versions of tools that were available at the time. Soon after, I upgraded to a Hootsuite Pro account but that was it.

What about time spent on social?

It was probably less than 2 hours each week. Can’t say for sure as it wasn’t something I kept good track of.

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

My focus tends to focus more on the content engagement, rather than the social engagement (although that’s always part of my content strategy).

Here are a few that come to mind:

> Write more compelling headlines — The easiest way to get more eyeballs on your content (and social updates) is to use more compelling headlines. Just make sure that your content always delivers on the promise you make in the headline.

> Add share buttons to images — This can easily be done with tools such as Sumo Image Sharer or Social Warfare.

> Add tweetable quotes within posts — Social Warfare or ClickToTweet.com are good options.

> Schedule multiple shares across your social networks – Just hitting share once isn’t going to cut it. You need multiple shares scheduled over the next few months. If it’s evergreen content, consider sharing it more after that. Try variations of your headline and pull out various excerpts from the post to shake things up a bit.

> Quote industry experts & let them know when you’ve mentioned them — This is just one way to leverage the influence of others but it's an easy way to get started.

> Repurpose existing content into other formats & publish it on other platforms — A good example of this in action is how I repurposed one of my blog posts into an infographic and asked TweakYourBiz.com to host it for me. This resulted in an extra 2K shares & 35,000+ more page views..


Adam Connell used to manage the content marketing efforts for brands earning well over 8 figures in annual revenue. Now he teaches bloggers how to create a blog that thrives in a noisy online world. Check out his lessons on BloggingWizard.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamjayc

Content Marketing

Adam Houlahan

International Keynote Speaker and CEO of boutique agency, Web Traffic That Works

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

Through the engagement we have created on our profiles, we have been able to enter into Influencer contracts with a number of high profile companies like Microsoft, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, B1G1 to name a few.

Companies are now approaching us and willingly paying to add guest posts to our blog due to the reach we achieve.

All of the clients we work with come to us from either direct connections via LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. So essentially, our social media activities have a huge impact in a positive manner on our business.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

No question, LinkedIn is the number one platform for us. However, it would very much depend on whether you operate in the B2B space like us, or B2C.

If your clients or customers are consumers, then Facebook would be a better place to concentrate your time and energy.

If like us your clients are other businesses, then LinkedIn would be an essential platform for you.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

In terms of money, practically nothing when we started. That was back in the days when you could do a lot on social media for free.

These days, that is not the case, so it is essential to have some of your marketing budget dedicated to your social media presence. This would vary in many ways depending on the size of your business or the available cash flow you have to invest. The companies we work with generally spend between $2,000 to $10,000 per month.

Time is money, so as a general rule, the less cash flow you have to engage social media specialists, the more time you would need to spend yourself.

I believe you can be quite effective if you know how to spend your time wisely if you allocate 10 hours per week.

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

Contests are often one of the best ways to create engagement and to incentivize shares, etc. With contests, there is always something of potential value to your audience to get involved and promote you through their social profiles.

The contest has to be of value to your ideal clients and followers and be structured in a transparent and ethical manner.


Adam Houlahan is an International Keynote Speaker specializing in Social Media for business, and CEO of the highly successful boutique agency, WebTrafficThatWorks.com. You can find him on Twitter at @AdamHoulahan

Social Media Specialist

Adam Gray

Social Media Specialist and Co-Founder of Digital Leadership Associates

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

Social media engagement is usually not a goal, but a signpost.

Clicks, likes and shares are not of themselves valuable to a business, but often what they signify is.

Clearly, an increase in engagement can mean that what you’re saying is resonating more with your audience and that’s usually a good thing, but the crucial element is how you pick those fans up and take them to your shop to spend some money!

So, because the (usually) website is the “conversion engine”, it’s important to be able to measure the results you get then try to understand what works and what doesn’t.

Usually, at Digital Leadership Associates, we focus more on what we achieve for our clients rather than our own social successes, but in January, I wrote a LinkedIn article which spread far more than usual. Usually, I would expect to get between 500-1500 views, perhaps 50 likes and 10 comments.

Anyway, this piece I wrote in January has had 14,000 views and 700 likes, 110 comments and well over 100 shares and this has driven an uplift in traffic to the website and one new (small) client already and perhaps another two more soon.

I think they key thing is that drafting a quick (short form - 50 words) article took about 40 minutes and has delivered significant coverage and visibility and already many thousands of dollars in revenue, which makes it a valuable use of time and effort and we still don’t know the extent of the benefit.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

Because we operate in the B2B space invariably the biggest engagement, and benefit, we get is on LinkedIn.

We get engagement on the other major platforms too, but mostly LinkedIn because what we do is not particularly interesting to consumers.

Recent changes to the interface may make it less straightforward to track the in-LinkedIn engagement but as long as there’s a shortened-link to an article on the website, we can not only track the number of clicks within the LinkedIn environment, but also the behaviours that visitors exhibit when they come to the website.

The trick with all engagement is to make sure that you are front-of-mind. A brilliantly written article posted once per month that doesn’t get seen or read is of little or no value because people simply don’t notice it.

So, I’ve found that a steady stream of comments, likes, shares, and status updates means that people don’t forget who I am and what I do, so then when I write an article people do see it…and with luck they read it too.

Also, making sure that you pitch the thing you’re writing at the right level. A 60-second video or a 50-word article is much more likely to get viewed/read than a much longer one, so I would always suggest shorter is better.

If you have three things to say, write three articles.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

I, generally, believe that Facebook (and the other network) paid campaigns aren’t social media—they are advertising. Earned is significantly more valuable to you than paid, so we tend not to spend marketing budget on paid media (although there are instances when we might).

But we do invest a lot of time. I mean a LOT of time in creating, refining and distributing content.

Most of our clients are, like Digital Leadership Associates, in the B2B space, and in this arena, it is a case of winning the trust of clients and prospects. This is very difficult to do with paid media so it tends to be a drip feed of articles and thought-leadership pieces which gradually establish you as someone who should be listened to and engaged with.

This takes time, but if it’s done well, not as long as you might think. We would expect to get significant measurable and repeatable financial results within a 3-month window and if it looked like we weren’t going to achieve that, we would be re-visiting the initial strategy and asking ourselves whether it was the right one.

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

My favourite tactics are always “make it as good as possible.”

I know that this is less of a tactic and more of a positioning statement, but having the authenticity in what you do and remembering that every post you write or comment you make could be the first time someone sees anything you’ve written, and you can only make a first impression once…

So you absolutely have to make sure that everything you do you are prepared to be judged on.

If you stick to this strategy then you will gradually build a base of good content distributed all over the internet and this will ultimately lead where you want it to.


Adam Gray has been in social media for over a decade. Last year, he co-founded Digital Leadership Associates a specialist social media consultancy employing some of the best social media brains in the world. Prior to this, Adam was Head of Client Social Media at Oracle for the EMEA region. You can tweet Adam at @AGSocialMedia

Guest Post Tracker

Adam White

Adam Is The Founder of SEOJet and Guest Post Tracker

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

I wanted a way to make a splash on social media for my business. I knew that using pop culture was a great way to incite interaction (read: shares and comments). So I wrote a blog post about the business TV show "The Profit" starring Marcus Lemonis that airs on CNBC in the US.

Being a big fan of the show I wrote a tongue in cheek post about how it was the worst show on TV and how it was ruining my life. I did a $5 boost of the post on Facebook to fans of the TV show.

Within a couple of hours Marcus Lemonis himself had seen the post and shared it on his FB page to his 200k+ followers.

I got so much traffic from that one post that it shut my website down for several hours. Over the course of 3 or 4 days, I got 60k visitors to my site and a bunch of new customers.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

From my previous answer, clearly, I will say Facebook.

But I can tell you how surprised I was to see how little value there is in a Twitter share. I have had articles get shared hundreds and even thousands of times and it would result in almost no traffic. I think the real problem is that people follow as many people as possible and then their feed becomes unusable.

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

I like to write an awesome piece of content (usually 2000+ words) then share it on my FB business page. From there I boost the post or even set it up as an ad. I pixel all of that traffic so that I can remarket to them with a different ad on FB.


Adam White is the founder of SEOJet and Guest Post Tracker. He has been in the SEO world for 15 years and lives in Arizona with his wife and 6 children. Follow him on Twitter at @realAdamWhite

media specialist

Adel de Meyer

New Media Specialist, Author, Mentor, Speaker, and Brand Influencer

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

Thanks to social media engagement, I was able to quit my day job! By being active, growing my brand and community on Twitter and Instagram (to over 60K followers) I was able to grow my business and have the freedom of working for myself.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

The order for me is as follows: Twitter, Instagram, and then LinkedIn.

Through these platforms, I was able to generate about 70% of my business.

Engagement is tops on Twitter but that is because I spent a lot of time daily on building my community there. Not everyone has success in using Twitter and mostly due to the lack of attention given to the platform.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

I spent about 4 months, 2.5 hours per day on Twitter before people really started to engage with me on a constant basis and became part of my community.

On Instagram, engagement was there from the start due to the great reach Instagram had before the algorithm updates. Instagram hashtags still work well which is a good thing. Phew!

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

Graphic design!

You have to make your images pop. Your platforms must be a great place to visit and tell a story.

You must have a balanced mix of content which includes: Entertainment, Education and Information.

Understand user behaviour by analyzing your audience. Solve their problems — it is about them, not about you.


Adel de Meyer is a new media specialist, author, mentor, speaker, and brand influencer. Her expertise is in using Twitter and Instagram for business. She has been featured on The Next Web and Business2Community on influencer marketing, technology and social media solutions. Check out her blog, AdeleMeyer.com and tweet her at @AdeldMeyer.

journalist at SBT.me

Alex Yong

Journalist At SBT.me and Thomson-Reuters Compliance Research Desks

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

When you're in Slack groups and Skype groups, it's easier for people to get to know you. When comparing Slack and Skype to formats we define today as mainstream social (walls for FB, timelines for Twitter) the former often ends up proving itself much more effective, making standard social seem like a first step.

What I mean by that is that in order to get invited to groups on Slack, Skype, FB and Twitter, a mastery of mainstream, standard social (meaning public, non-group social media) is usually the way in. Friends are another great way in.

Groups I've been invited to don't have rules against hiring, and I've gotten consulting work as a result of being awesome and helpful in groups. Your wisdom and willingness to be helpful can be discerned by others in the group via your replies and questions.

As you might expect, groups don't appreciate shameless plugs.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

Twitter group direct messages, sometimes known as "DM rooms", have been shockingly effective.

On Twitter, what I've noticed is that because Periscope (the name for the livestreaming backend of Twitter which might or might not remain as a standalone app in 2017. We'll see) does not have a messaging feature, DM rooms on Twitter became the easiest way to coordinate real-life meetups and the easy way to give users of Periscope/Twitter web links which they could actually click on.

Why DM rooms and not one-on-one? Let me be clear — both exist, but I'm focusing on group DMs because of how congruent they are with the highly social community focus within Periscope and how this method often saved the day.

In a messaging sense, for a long time, Twitter was almost like Periscope's "secretary", but that might not be a fair description if the Periscope brand goes away soon.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

Without groups to help, I would say it's very easy to lose 10 hours a week or more on social media's standard operating procedures.

By standard procedures, I mean adding to your timeline or wall and piecemeal engagement. But if you view that as a necessary precursor to being invited into groups, then it's an investment that will open doors if done right.

If you don't get into groups, it can all feel like a dog chasing its own tail and a poor use of time.

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why? My go-to tactic would have to be groups, again. Know the rules of the groups you're in.

In one Facebook group, sharing of content you wrote or produced is encouraged on a specific day of the week. When that day rolls around, be sure not to miss it.

In contrast to that, I'm in a Slack group named Get Shares, where sharing of your own content is allowed all week. I'm in a group message room for Instagram, but it's on Instagram and it's basically for boosting comments.


Alex Yong is a PR industry-watcher and a journalist at SBT.me. He reports from social media events, Android unveilings, and 1-on-1 discussions in the style of Charlie Rose. He attends local press meetings held by IHS, Facebook, LinkedIn, Acer, etc. Alex worked Thomson-Reuters compliance research desks for 8 years. Connect with Alex on Facebook at SocialAlex.LIVE, or find him on Twitter at @SocialAlex

professional marketer

Alok Chitre

Professional Marketer, Digital Evangelist, and Budding Philanthropist

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

Social media , mainly Linkedin and Twitter, has helped me build my personal brand.

It has and continues to position help me position myself as an evangelist for 'Marketing in the digital world'. It has helped me earn meaningful connections from the right kind of people all over the world.

I now regularly get requests for speaking at forums/institutes. Brands provide me free access to use and review their saas products in the marketing space. Bloggers reach out to me for pushing their content.

Social media has really helped me build truly global audience.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

It's a combination of Twitter and Linkedin.Twitter more especially now that I have a following of over 20k people from around the world.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

Over the last 1.5 years, my following on Twitter went from 1500 to 20000.I used to invest an hour a day about two years ago.

Now, I spend about 3-4 hours a week on my personal social media ,consuming content and interacting with the community.

Over the last one year, I must have spent $200 to $300 on content curation and automation tools.

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

Giving back to the community and you'll get loads of love in return.


Alok Chitre is a Professional Marketer, Digital Evangelist, and Budding Philanthropist. You can find him on LinkedIn. and on Twitter at @alokchitre

Digital Marketing Consultant

Andrew Davis

Digital Marketing Consultant, Coach, and Owner of ThinkingOutsideTheBlog.com

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

I focus on the 'So what' factor behind social media.

What I mean by that is understanding the ‘why’.

As a trainer and consultant, I realized that networking and keeping in touch with decision makers was key to me, rather than building a large community. I focused on this from the start and it has led to me working with some amazing brands all over the world.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

Hard to say. LinkedIn has brought me the most money for my training business, but for my other services I would say Facebook and its advertising platform.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

I have been on social media since 2006 (I worked for MySpace. Remember that site?) so I got in early before people said it was a fad.

Because I got in early, I rode the wave. I have definitely spent a lot more time than money in this space though.

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

Ask questions and go for your low-hanging fruit first (i.e., friends, acquaintances and people you have worked with). These are your contributors, who then share and engage to the second level network, which comes back to you.


Andrew Davis is renowned for helping businesses transform through digital marketing. As one of the UK’s most prolific and sought-after digital/social media trainers, keynote speakers and consultants, Andrew has applied his unique approach to clients in multiple sectors. His high-end strategic workshops show how a digital lens can attract new business and improve relationships with existing customers. You can find Andrew’s writing at ThinkingOutsideTheBlog.com and can also tweet him at @andrew_davis

Strategic Director of Orbit Media Studios

Andy Crestodina

Co-Founder and Strategic Director of Orbit Media Studios

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

There is a long, but direct path from social media to lead generation. It looks like this...


Everything in marketing is based on relationships, including rankings. And social is the first step in the process.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

Any social network can be used as a phone book to find relevant influencers, but for our business (web design, a B2B service company) LinkedIn is the best. It's just a totally indispensable research and networking tool.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

Since my focus is online networking, I measure the investment in years. It took around 5 years to develop a level of thought leadership. Probably it was around 5000 hours of work in research, publishing, promoting, networking...and friendship.

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

Collaboration is the key to social engagement. Everyone knows that search optimization means including keyphrases. But not everyone knows that social optimization means including people. Fill your content with contributor quotes (even if it's not a roundup) and you'll find your shares and engagement grow.


But also, you'll need to obsess over headlines and visuals. Miss this piece and nothing will work!


Andy Crestodina is the Co-founder and Strategic Director of Orbit Media Studios, a web design company in Chicago. He's also a speaker, author and the host of the Content Matters podcast. Tweet Andy at @crestodina

Content Marketing

Arman Assadi

Owner of Assadi Media LLC and Co-Founder of Superhuman Labs LLC

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

The engagement I've cultivated on Snapchat has been remarkable. I've been able to connect with my target audience in a very intimate way that can't be replicated on other platforms. For me, Snapchat was the ideal medium because I thrive with video and I enjoy approaching it ad hoc.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

Facebook, and specifically, video has received the most engagement at ArmanAssadi.com. The key has been creating content that is either fascinating or actionable.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

On content marketing, most of my investment has been in production and creation, not the ads to promote each piece of content. I personally spend 5 hours a week or so on creation, plus my video editor and content manager's time.

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

First, it's about creating the content your target audience wants. My promotion strategy is sharing my content with specific influencers who I know will enjoy that specific piece. I've spent time cultivating these friendships so it's all very organic and a long game. Short term tactics don't work, and if they do, it's temporary.


Arman Assadi is the owner of Assadi Media LLC and CEO & co-founder of Superhuman Labs LLC. He helps people uncover their unique craft and create self-directed lives as solopreneurs. He is also a contempo philosopher, consultant, obsessive world traveler, and former Googler. You can tweet him at @armanassadi

Social Media Strategist

Benjamin Ustick

Social Media Strategist at Northcutt

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

My family owns a restaurant that opened a second location. To avoid major crowds and congestion on the first day, we never announced a set opening date.

The morning we opened, we sent out one tweet and one Facebook post letting people know. By the time the doors opened at eleven A.M., there was a two-hour long line and television coverage.

This wasn't a fluke. For years we had cultivated a real relationship with our followers, both consumers and media alike, building a real community. When we called on this social community, they answered.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

Working with a number of businesses, I have found that the best platform depends on the specific industry and business.

Another major thing to consider is — what are your engagement goals? While I find that Instagram and Facebook create more likes, much of the meaningful media contact that creates print and television opportunities has been made through Twitter.

Being on the right platform is important to earning the type of engagement you're looking for.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

To grow meaningful engagement takes time.

I would caution anyone to generally expect at least months, but based on your goals, a plan could easily look ahead years.

In terms of money, I generally try to spend very little, because the way social media works almost demands that your followers come organically and willingly.

A motivated and passionate group of 1,000 followers will always Trump 10,000 paid 'interactions.'

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

If you have a large following on Facebook, boosting a post to your followers (and friends of followers) is definitely a good way to give a post a little bit more of a push and reach those eyes that you know want to see your content, but are just being worked out by the algorithmic newsfeed.

With how quick Twitter's feed moves, the ability to RT your own tweets is huge now.

I also recommend sharing any valuable content on Twitter at least a few times at different times of the day so that you give as large a part of your audience a chance at seeing it.

Many times, it's the third or fourth share that gets the most interaction.


Benjamin Ustick is a Social Media Strategist at Northcutt. He enjoys writing and Chicago style hot dogs without ketchup. Tweet Ben at @northcuttHQ

Digital Strategist

Bill Aicher

Former IR Top 500 CMO Turned Digital Strategist

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

Absolutely positive, although I don't tie it back to one specific story. Rather, it's an ongoing strategy that drives results through awareness and trust.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

Personally, I see the best response from Twitter, but I believe Twitter is best for personality type brands. For business-specific, it's Facebook all the way.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

It's just an ongoing process. I don't spend a lot per day, but enough to drive whatever goal I have. It's part of an overall long-game strategy.

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

Quotes, especially tying into either current events or specific to my audience work best. Other than that I love to share valuable content, whether or not I created it.


Bill Aicheris a former IR Top 500 CMO turned Digital Strategist. Visit his website, BillAicher.com . Follow him on Twitter at @billaicher

Principal of Ariad Partners

Brenda Stoltz

Principal of Ariad Partners

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

Social media has had a positive impact on my business - specifically as it pertains to brand awareness and lead generation. Social media has been a source of a number of six-figure clients.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

LinkedIn for lead generation and Twitter for brand awareness.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

When I first started out, I did all my own social media and spent about 15 minutes a day. I obtained my first 6-figure client within two months.

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

I make sure to promote other people's content in addition to my own. There is so much great content out there. That's the power of social media - to be able to share that great content to help others and learn from others. .


Brenda Stoltz is Principal of Ariad Partners. which helps B2B companies improve their sales and marketing processes, technology, and results. You can tweet her at @bsstoltz

Content Marketing

Courtney Johnston

Chief of The Rule Breaker's Club

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

There's some kind of magic in going "deep" instead of "wide". When Periscope became a hit in 2015, I would hang out with my audience for long periods of time and answer their questions. I made countless relationships with colleagues AND found many customers from that app.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

Periscope was the best and I honestly don't think any of the current live video options compare.

I'm all about hopping on Instagram Stories makeup free and in my pajamas to offer business tips, though. It's important for your people to see the real + raw. It shows them that you're not special — they can do it, too!

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

In terms of time, I find that it takes a couple of months to get real traction on a new social media platform. You have to be willing to go through what Seth Godin calls "the dip". It might suck the life out of you for a short period of time. Once you get through that, people will be asking you for your tips 😉

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

Converse and preach. You've got to get on your soap box and speak passionately about your topic, but you also need to balance that out with one-on-one conversation. I think this is why Gary V does so well with Q+A. He's conversing by answering people's questions, but he does so in a "LISTEN UP!" kind of way.


Courtney Johnston is Chief of The Rule Breaker's Club. She teaches spunky marketing and sales copywriting to women entrepreneurs. You can tweet Courtney at @CourtBourtInc

Co-Founder and CEO of NinjaOutreach

Dave Schneider

Co-Founder and CEO of NinjaOutreach

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

Facebook is our top traffic referral source so far.

Recently, Facebook released data that on Facebook’s suite of owned apps alone (Facebook, Instagram and Messenger—excluding WhatsApp), its users are spending an average of 50 minutes each day and there are over 1.86 billion monthly active Facebook users worldwide. So there is definitely a huge audience that you can reach.

In general, social media is a great way to communicate with existing customers and find new ones. For example, the engagement we received from expert roundups that we’ve published in the past have led to some clients now. We also use social media to distribute content from the blog, remarket users who were interested in our product (but did not convert), find new customers via targeted ads, build brand awareness, gain customer insights, and deepen customer relationships.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

For us, it’s Facebook.

Though it’s recently become more and more competitive, with good optimized campaigns, you can still receive low CPC and low CPL. The key thing is to give your campaigns enough time to collect statistically valid data, optimize campaigns regularly, split test and implement different tactics.

Besides a huge number of active users, another Facebook advantage is that they provide a lot of great tools that make our marketers’ lives much easier, such as lookalike audience, custom audience, event tracking, audience insights, etc. More than that, they continue improving their advertising algorithms.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

It all depends on the campaign type, objective, and audience we target. Managing social media pages is all about consistent communication, split testing and optimization. There is no exact answer on how much time and money it'll take to succeed.

One of the key things that marketers usually forget is to not pause or optimize campaigns before you receive enough data to make a decision. There are a lot of websites that help to calculate this or evaluate split test results. Our marketers do not optimize any ad set before it reaches at least 1500 people, but it may increase for some campaigns.

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics?

Remarketing on social media is our current favorite. You can run remarketing directly to your sales page or create funnels with a pre-sell engagement page.

Another tactic that we like is to use video ads and then remarket to those people who watch 50% or 75% of video.


David Schneider is the Co-Founder of Ninja Outreach, an all-in-one Prospecting and Outreach tool created to streamline the process of connecting with influencers. He can also be found @ninjaoutreach

Daniel Daines-Hutt

Owner of Inbound Ascension

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

A few stories — we had a blog post do really well and some readers followed the steps and reported their results unprompted in the comments.

One reader had generated a 21.6% increase in sales and that led to multiple client requests.

Other times reader felt like sharing content on social which got picked up by influencers and helped generate 50,000 visitors.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

We primarily use Facebook as the marketing tools are so great, and so we build our channel through that.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

We normally see improvements in engagement after a few ad campaigns or after we do a big content push on our site.

After some split tests, we usually see likes and comments get up to a relevance of 9 or so for maybe $20 in split tests.

We do a lot of retargeting so the cost is very very low

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

Honestly, just trying to remember all the behaviour economics, copywriting and direct response principles.

If we can remember those, then our CTA is normally much better.

We also like adding a CTA to share content or comment inside the ads/shares so that even if they don't get as many high clicks , we can boost the relevance and get in front of more people for less.


Daniel Daines-Hutt is a retargeting nerd fascinated by human behaviour and uses that for nefarious purposes like selling surfboards. He owns re-targeting and conversion funnels training service, Inbound Ascension. Follow Inbound Ascension on Twitter at @InboundAscend

Content Marketing

Dennis Koutoudis

Founder & CEO of LinkedSuperPowers

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

Daily engagement on my long form posts and updates on LinkedIn positively affects my business since more and more potential clients get familiar with our brand, LinkedSuperPowers, and how we could help them achieve their professional goals through their professional LinkedIn profile makeover & optimization. This leads to more inquiries and sales of our services.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

The Social Media Platform that has earned the most engagement for my business is LinkedIn, followed by Twitter.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

You have to constantly invest (in both time and money) in order to keep your engagement levels high. This is an ongoing process.

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

My favorite Social Media and Content Engagement tactic to boost shares and comments is to monitor the type of content that did very well in terms of engagement in the past, and place my efforts to create more of this type of content in the future, since it consists of a proven recipe of what my audience loves to like, comment and share.

Targeting individuals who have liked, commented & shared your content in the past is a solid tactic as well since they are most likely to enjoy a piece of content you share in the future as well!


Dennis Koutoudis is an entrepreneur, recognized LinkedIn expert, Certified Social Media professional, and speaker. He is the Founder & CEO of LinkedSuperPowers. a Social Media consulting company specializing in optimizing the LinkedIn profiles of its individual & corporate clients. Find Dennis on Twitter at @denniskoutoudis

Content Marketing

Dom Wells

Owner of Human Proof Designs

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

I've been active in Facebook Groups related to my industry for about 2-3 years. Time and time again, I've seen people recommend me, my business, and even competitors to other people in the group. A large part of this is because of my own activity in those groups.

Once you build up credibility and some friends, it's very easy for them to start referring others to you.

I can't put an exact number on it, but I would guess that anywhere from 20-40% of my monthly sales came from social media engagement like this back when I was first starting to great traction, and even now it is still a significant amount.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

Facebook.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

Money, zero. Time, probably an hour per day on average.

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

Asking people to tag their friends is always a good one, especially if you're discussing a contentious issue.


Dom Wells owns Human Proof Designs. a company that helps beginner affiliate marketers get started with a niche, website, and down the path to success. Tweet Dom at @human_proof

MarTech publisher

Douglas Karr

MarTech publisher, Author, Speaker, and CEO

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

I wouldn't have a business if it weren't for social media.

I started my blog and built a social following a decade ago. A few years later, there was enough demand to start my agency, DK New Media!

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

By far, LinkedIn.

We're a B2B agency so our engagements on LinkedIn have generated all the revenue. Tweets and Likes are nice, but they don't keep the lights on.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

If I put a solid hour in each day, I see engagement. Incrementally, any minute more produces more.

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

We actually launched our own social media network using Mightybell and it's produced incredible results.


Douglas Karr is a MarTech publisher, author, speaker, and CEO. For more on his writing, visit Martech.zone, where he is a contributor. You can also tweet him at @douglaskarr

Senior EDesign Consultant

Dr. R. Kay Green

Senior EDesign Consultant of EDesign Consulting Ltd., CEO, and President of RKG Marketing Solutions

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

Social Media GREATLY influenced my book launch and overall exposure as a writer for Huffington Post.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

Twitter has been the most influential from a personal branding perspective.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

2 hours per day, 100 per month.

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why? Hashtags, Contests, Promotions, Questions of the Day.


Dr. R. Kay Green is the Senior EDesign Consultant of EDesign Consulting Ltd., CEO, and President of RKG Marketing Solutions. She is also a recognized author and speaker on marketing and business topics. Check her website at drkaygreen.com, and follow her on Twitter at @DrRKayGreen

Owner of Bluebird

Frithjof Petscheleit

Founder and Owner of Bluebird Business Consulting

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

I coach small business owners on how to use their social media platforms better.

One of my last clients was a hardware store in rural Canada. A few weeks after starting to post personal stories, video, live video and far fewer "sales" posts on the Facebook page, customers started talking about it in the store, staff got excited, and sales could be directly related to the social media activities.

We focus so much on hard metrics and direct ROI when the human connections resulting from authentic social media posts and engagement are the real gold in social media.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website? It used to be Twitter but Facebook took over quite a while ago. I'm a strong believer that this engagement is directly related to your own efforts and time spent on each platform.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

To answer this question, I would like to go back to my coaching practice.

I have noticed that it can take about 6 months of frequent, authentic quality posting on a Facebook page until more fans feel comfortable engaging with the page. This is especially true if the page was poorly managed before.

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

I have noticed that participation numbers for contests shoot up if people are encouraged to nominate others to win the prize.

For example: "Nominate the best mom you know to win our Mother's Day prize."


Frithjof Petscheleit is the owner of Bluebird Business Consulting. He is a digital strategist, Social Media coach, community manager, blogger, podcaster, and speaker. He lives on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada, and loves helping small business owners discover the power of connecting with their customers online. Tweet him at @bluebirdbc

Business Startup Specialist

Gary Bizzo

Business Startup Specialist, Social Media Influencer, Author, and Partner at Equifaira

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

I changed Canadian Law (BillC470).

I read an article on the Toronto Globe & Mail newspaper about the salaries paid to CEOs of Canadian charities. It was an eye opener because some charity CEOs earned millions.

I started tweeting about them. CTV news picked it up from me. I know, because a member of Parliament told me and asked if I would speak to Canada's parliament about my experience on social media and the engagement I had with real people.

They flew me to Ottawa and we changed the law to make charities’ finances transparent.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

Twitter earns me the most repost and money, LinkedIn has given me great opportunities

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

I used to spend 2 hours a day (zero money). I now work on Twitter about 30 minutes a day to maintain my 500,000 followers

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

I share quality business knowledge and I know my following are entrepreneurs. I also like giving people quotes, it seems, to drive engagement.

I also don't use Hootsuite, etc. because when I post I can be there to engage with people.

People have been surprised because they think I am using Hootsuite and not around to chat.


Gary Bizzo is a Social Media Influencer with more than half a million followers on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. He helped change Canadian Law through Bill C-470 that made charities more transparent. Gary is a Weekly writer for Equities.com (largest platform for emerging growth companies) and Stockhouse.com, one of North America’s largest small cap investor communities. He is also a Partner at Equifaira - Liquidity Event Planners, specialists in strategy & execution, corporate finance, capital formation & investor relations. Visit Gary’s website at GaryBizzo.com, and tweet him at @garybizzo

Social Media Manager at E2M

Hiral Rana

Social Media Manager at E2M

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

Most of the social media work that we execute at E2M is for big brands. They all have big budget and opt for both paid and organic promotions on social media channels.

But I have experienced that video marketing helps boosting visibility tremendously. With more options like Live Videos and 360 videos, marketers can get as creative as they want to increase the engagement.

A few months ago, I was handling a brand's social media campaign where I was looking after promoting their Hair Regrowth Tonic through Facebook and Instagram.

While Instagram is pretty straight-forward, Facebook has a very active and real audience that keeps connecting with you to ask questions/queries and the same thing I experienced during this very particular campaign.

Every day, I was answering at least 50-55 comments/DM/emails to make sure that the audience has the right understanding about the product they were going to buy. This practice itself resulted into creating so strong an awareness that eventually helped making sales right after I was answering the queries.

So the real-time engagement with the audience was of greater benefit and it made me learn so many things along the way.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

Facebook tops the list followed by Twitter. I have been also experimenting with Instagram lately. It is very interesting and helps reach out to larger audiences if you select the right type of content (of course, in the form of images) to be shared.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

Being a social media manager, I always look at spending the maximum time on strategizing the campaigns to ensure that the campaign is aligned with the goals client wants to achieve.

To be specific, I did spend about 6 to 7 hours a day before I could find the right source to increase the engagement but now I focus more on how the quality can be increased.

In terms of money, I don't have any specific number as this totally depends on which industry you're looking at.

I have seen engagement by only spending $10 and I have had to wait even after spending $1000 as well.

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?


Why? Because I can be as creative and direct as it requires to generate maximum engagement. Especially in the case of contests.


Hiral Rana works as a social media manager at E2M. She has over 5 years of experience in the field of digital marketing and social media marketing. She wants to play an intrinsic role in the evolution of social media marketing by exploring its wealth of possibilities and opportunities. You can tweet Hiral at @IamHiralRana

Founder of Seriously Social

Ian Anderson Gray

Founder of Seriously Social; A Blog on Social Media Tools

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

I wrote a rather long and detailed article on how to broadcast to Facebook Live to your computer. When I shared it on my social channels, it immediately received some attention.

In fact so much so, that my website went down due to all the traffic I was receiving after influencers such as Mari Smith, Kim Garst, Joel Comm and Guy Kawasaki plugged it.

Since then, the article receives over 300k page views, has over 1,000 comments and is on page 1 of Google for the phrase "Facebook Live".

It really does show the power of social engagement!

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

In general, Twitter is my top referring social network. However, I have found that Facebook can sometimes drive big spikes of traffic.

I am convinced that if I invested more time in Pinterest, that I'd get a lot more traffic from there.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

It has taken a huge amount of time and effort to build up my engagement and social media presence. For the first 3 years I had very little engagement and a low number of followers.

However, I was in it for the long term and was interested in building strong relationships and growing my audience with the right people — the right way.

I've also invested in quite a few social media tools over the years to help be more efficient, such as Buffer, Manage Flitter, Agora Pulse, IFTTT and more.

I have spent some money on social advertising such as Facebook and Twitter ads, and the Stumble Upon Paid discovery service."

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

Create really valuable content that actually helps a problem that people are looking for. Then, as well as sharing it on social media, find people who are looking for help and help them!

People are far more likely to share your content if you are seen as both an authority on the subject and someone who is genuinely trying to help!


Ian Anderson Gray is founder of Seriously Social; a blog on social media tools. He’s an international speaker, coach, web developer and consultant. He has a passion for making the techno-babble of social media easy to understand. You can tweet him at @iagdotme

MarTech publisher

Ian Cleary

Digital Strategist and Founder of RazorSocial

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

When you get engagement on your content through social, more people hear about your content. This means you have increased brand awareness, you build relationships with relevant people for your business, and you end up with more links to your content.

Social doesn't affect SEO directly but indirectly, as more people hear about your content, you get more links.

You do need to careful about the type of content you write, however. Some types of content get more links than other types of content.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

Twitter

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

I spend at least 4 hours a week and creating great content to drive the engagement.

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

One of my favorite tactics is to do pre-promotion of content.

Before I publish the content, I reach out and ask key influencers for their opinion on a topic. I then include that opinion in the article and reach out to tell them when the article is published.

One simple mistake that a lot of people make is not making it very easy to share when you do get visits to your content. I use social warfare to help with this


Ian Cleary is the founder of RazorSocial and a digital strategist with a strong passion for marketing technology. He’s also a keynote speaker and writes for Entrepeneur and Forbes. Tweet him at @iancleary

MarTech publisher

Ivana Taylor

Ppublisher of DIYMarketers.com A Resource for Entrepreneurs

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

Social media engagement was and is the key to implementing my small business marketing influencer strategy.

Specifically, Twitter was the key component of the campaign.

Because I was an early adopter, I was able to personally connect with other influencers, help them promote their books, programs and events as well as being available to contribute and answer questions for small business owners.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

Twitter is my favorite platform, by far.

I think it's earned me the most engagement because it's my favorite platform. I'm basically shy and I love the ability to "touch" someone with a quick compliment or question. It's not as "in-your-face" as LinkedIn and Facebook is more personal in nature.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

I didn't start spending a lot of money on social media campaigns until I actually started gaining traction and had a strategy and an offer.

But now, I'm investing in sponsored Facebook primarily.

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

My most recent strategy has been to do "like campaigns" to countries who appreciate my content AND are not popular i.e. Serbia, Romania, Poland, etc.

There are small business owners and entrepreneurs there who have an interest in my content and yet, who aren't aware of my content and could benefit from it. My cost per "like" is about $0.15 versus something like $5.00 here in the US.

This is a great strategy if you have an online website, product or service that can be consumed worldwide.


Ivana Taylor is the publisher of DIYMarketers.com, a resource for entrepreneurs who want do less marketing and make more money. She’s listed as one of the most influential people in small business by D&B and in 2010 she ranked 21 out of 30,000 of Fast Company’s Influential people on the internet. She is the book editor for Small Business Trends, a contributing author to AMEX Open Forum and has appeared on MSNBC. You can tweet her at @diymarketers

CEO of The Entourage

Jack Delosa

Founder and CEO of The Entourage

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

Investing in social media has significantly increased our brand’s reach, while also enabling customer acquisition.

We’re Australia’s leading educator of entrepreneurs, and in the education industry, consumer trust plays a really key role in the purchasing decision.

We developed trust with our audience through our weekly online segment and podcast for entrepreneurs, #AskJackD.

We find that those who have engaged with our brand on social and consumed content like #AskJackD have a much deeper brand affinity with us and are more likely to join one of our programs.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

Facebook has definitely been the most beneficial platform for us. We’ve found that it’s the most effective way of reaching customers and moving them through each stage of the buying cycle.

We’ve built an engaged following and increased reach by being tactical about the kinds of content we produce for Facebook.

These days, it’s not enough to just develop valuable content and assume your audience will see it. You need to craft content that’s optimized for Facebook’s newsfeed if you want to generate organic reach.

Once we'd built that following, we started to see a lot more traction on any paid ads and direct promotions we do. People are so much more likely to buy from you if they already trust and know your brand.

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

The brands that perform well on Facebook are those who constantly stay abreast of any changes to Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm and has a strategy flexible enough to change as the environment does. That’s why at the moment we focus on two kinds of content:

One: Facebook Live

Right now, live streamed content is outperforming anything else on the platform, as it’s optimised by the Facebook algorithm. My weekly Q&A segment #AskJackD, reaches over 200,000 people each week using Facebook Live.

I generate more shares doing this simply by asking people to share the live feed and letting me know in the comments when they have done so - I always make sure to give those who do share a shout out.

Two: Video micro content

This is the other top performer for us. Generally inspiring or entertaining performs the best. A couple of tips if you want to give this a try

Create videos in a square format: A recent Newswhip study found that 90% of the most shared videos on Facebook were square-shaped, plus they increase completion rates by about 67%.

Add captions to your video: Around 75% of people consume videos with no audio. Adding captions is a simple way to capture this group of people’s attention, who would otherwise scroll pass your content in the news feed.


Jack Delosa is the Founder and CEO of The Entourage, Australia's largest educator of entrepreneurs and innovators. He's also an investor, BRW Young Rich List Member and bestselling author. Find him on Twitter at @JackDelosa

Founder of Just Creative

Jacob Cass

Founder of Just Creative, an Award-winning Graphic Design & Branding Firm

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

Twitter got me my first job out of University.

I received a Tweet from a NYC design firm offering me a job, while I was still in University. I accepted the offer, graduated 6 months later, then moved straight over to start work.

I ended up staying in NYC for 5 years, working for various firms and that built up my experience.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

Email marketing, then Facebook gets the most engagement, followed by Twitter and Instagram.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

I have never spent money on advertising in 10+ years due to social media and search engines.

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

Asking questions and being active in the conversations helps boost engagement on a short and long term level!


Jacob Cass is a prolific graphic designer who runs the popular design blog, Just Creative, which doubles as his award-winning graphic design & branding firm. Follow Jacob on Twitter at @justcreative

keynote speaker

John Hall

Keynote Speaker, and The Author of Top of Mind

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

Social engagement is an integral part of our content marketing strategy.

While vanity metrics like article shares, likes, and retweets are great the most impactful result that we've seen social engagement bring is revenue.

There have been a few instances of people discovering our content via Twitter or LinkedIn and then going on to enter our sales cycle and ultimately becoming a client.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

For us it is LinkedIn hands down. We generate the most leads from that platform.

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

We not only share content from our company accounts, but we have employees help promote content too.


John Hall is the CEO and co-founder of Influence & Co., a keynote speaker, and the author of Top of Mind. Find him on Twitter at @johnhall

trainer in direct sales

John Lowery

Internationally Recognized Trainer In Direct Sales & Network Marketing

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

I have had multiple experiences where social media has led me to opportunities that paid me large sums of money over a period of time. I would have never found these opportunities had I not built relationships with people on social media.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

So far, it would have to be Facebook. YouTube would be a close second. I have lots of followers on Twitter, but with so much going on 24/7 it’s a little more challenging to connect. However, I’m getting much better at it.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

I used to spend 1 to 2 hours per day with 0 money spent on advertising and that seemed to work well.

Now I spend closer to an hour per day and spend anywhere from $5 to $20 per day on advertising between Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other sites mainly to promote my new blog and book which I just launched last month.

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

I love to share quotes and jokes, politics will get you good engagement, but not that worthwhile — ha ha.

Seriously, I think if you make sure to like other posts and comment back to people who comment on your posts you can make lots of connections.

The key is to connect early and often and always be on the look-out for good content to share. If something sparks your attention, there is a good chance it will spark others.

I also keep my posts to a minimum on Facebook of just 1 to 2 times per day and go up to 6 to 10 times per day on Twitter and Pinterest.

So how often and what you post is very important.


John Lowery is an internationally recognized trainer in direct sales & network marketing. He is an internet marketer, a social media branding expert, and has worked with many great leaders in online marketing like Ann Sieg. You can check out John’s blog at JohnLowery.biz, and tweet him at @homebiztrainer

Professional Trainer for SEO

Jon Tromans

Professional Trainer for SEO, Social Media, Email Marketing & Content Writing

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

Being able to take things social at events is really helpful for me.

I talk in quite a few shows and expos and there's never enough time to answer everyone's questions, so being able to move things to social media has really improved engagement.

Taking private DMs on Twitter has been a huge plus as not everyone wants to share their question publicly.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

Twitter gives me more engagement, but LinkedIn gives me more leads. 🙂

I think the very nature of Twitter being public means you get more engagement. It’s also really easy to retweet or like something.

With LinkedIn, professionals tend to spend a bit more time reading what you say, which leads to more genuine interest.

Twitter is like a soap opera and LinkedIn, a documentary. 🙂

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

Money-wise, I have a budget for Facebook and LinkedIn and I'm usually quite dynamic with how I run my ads.

I provide marketing training and most people want to book within 2 weeks so if I'm fully booked for 3 weeks, I'll pause all advertising to avoid disappointing people and wasting money.

Time-wise, I have no idea. I've built social media management into my daily workflow so it’s a part of my job, just like opening the post or writing quotes.

Instead of saying "I'm going to spend an hour a day on managing social media", just build it into your normal workflow. Answering a work Tweet is the same as answering the phone.

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

Answering questions and solving problems. My work revolves around training and education so most people come to me with problems or they need to learn something but problems can be anything.

'What do I wear to the wedding' is a problem and if you sell formal wear then you have the solution.

'How do I fix the washing machine' is another problem and if you sell spare parts, you have the solution.

A problem can be anything, small or large, and you spend all day solving your customers’ problems and answering their questions anyway so do THIS on social media as well.


Jon Tromans has been training individuals, SMEs and global enterprises in Search Engine Optimisation, Social Media, Email Marketing & Content Writing for the last 10 years. Jon also travels the UK speaking at trade shows, conferences and business events. You can find Jon’s blog on jtid.co.uk and Tweet him at @JonTromans

CEO at Growth Hackers

Jonathan Aufray

Co-Founder and CEO at Growth Hackers

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

There is a saying: "You don't have a choice whether you do social media, the question is how well you do it".

To find what worked for us, we tested many strategies: what kind of content to share (Articles, visuals, quotes...), how often, at what time, on which platforms, etc...

We started to be successful on social media because we experimented a lot, improved what worked, and got rid of what was not working. So, I'd say that experimentation and optimization are key to social media.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

Twitter. We get great engagement on Twitter and approximately half of our free traffic comes from there.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

We didn't spend any money on ads, just on social management tools.

At the beginning, it took us several hours a day before mastering Twitter (because of all the experiments we were doing). It took us 3 months with intensive testing to see great increase in engagement.

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

Finding and using the right hashtags is necessary.

Tagging influencers (When relevant) is also a great way to boost engagement.

Following people in your niche works very well too, of course.


Jonathan Aufray is the co-founder and CEO at Growth Hackers. We help startups, SMBs and entrepreneurs grow by implementing inbound marketing and growth hacking methods. We also accompany them with fundraising and product development. I personally love meeting new people and discovering new cultures. Find him on Twitter at @GrowUrStartup

Social Media Marketing Expert

Jonathan Gebauer

Owner of The Social Ms, Social Media Marketing Expert, and Blogger

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

When I started my first business — a social business content publishing site called exploreB2B, we struggled getting signups at first.

At some point, we simply started inviting users via direct messages on Twitter, and it turned out that people really wanted the service we provided and did NOT see our messages as spam.

We then scaled this strategy up by using automatic direct messages and people started swarming the site. In the end we had 50,000 articles on the site, 80,000 users and massive traffic. When we had to shut down, it wasn't because our marketing failed.

Even when using full scale automation, you will not get downvoted, regarded as a spammer, or regarded as intrusive, as long as what you send to your tribe is something they really want. The key is to work out what they want, and then provide it!

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

Up to this day, our greatest successes still come from Twitter.

While with recent press about Twitter's problems this may come as a surprise to some, I see Twitter as a perfect tool. Here are my reasons:

It's not that I despise other networks — they all have their uses.

LinkedIn has been great for acquiring highly interested leads, Facebook is great for almost everything if you are ready to at least spend a little bit of money. Personally I love Instagram, although it is not a main part of marketing my business.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

I'm used to not spending money before I know how to increase the engagement. Therefore the answer is 0 (although we often spend money on a few tools to save us time).

However, this is not always doable. Sometimes, the amount of time needed to reach success without investing at least a little into advertising doesn't allow for this approach to always be successful.

Especially on Facebook, the time investment needed in a competitive niche is often too high, but a minimal budget can go a long way.

That said, a minimal investment can go a long way: 5 - 10 Euros per day can lead to a massive increase in reach and engagement!

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

There are many different tactics I enjoy using.

For me, social media marketing is made up of little tweaks and small scale strategies that you combine into a larger scale strategy.

Examples would be:

On Twitter we are using recurring queues of tweets, sending out links to our hundreds of blog articles. We keep these queues under control, regularly removing blog articles that are not relevant any more from the queues. But since our Twitter accounts are constantly growing, we can always be sure that there is still an audience waiting to see these posts.

For blog engagement and comments, we found that it really helps to answer every comment you get. And I do mean EVERY comment. The more comments you answer the more comments you get on your blog.

I'm originally a content marketer, and I love building content strategies that are time optimized. One strategy that has worked wonders for us in the past is the interview strategy: Research influencers and other content producers in your field and send them interview requests (for simple, text based interviews).

Most of these people will feel honored and willingly participate — especially once you have built a bit of a profile. All you have to do then is send them questions, and edit the interview for publication. This also helps enormously with SEO, as many sites will link back to your interview.

Another great way is to employ guest posting as a strategy for growing your own social media audience. (Yes, guest posting is not just an SEO strategy.) It needs to be applied with care though.

Even when I apply some of these strategies purely for SEO reasons, I still treat everything l do as a social media activity. I use guest posting to build my network as well as my links, I comment on blogs when I have something meaningful to say and not when I hope that I can place a link, and so on.

I believe that the key to online success lies in remembering that the web itself is a social network where anyone can (and does) publish and interact with others.


Jonathan Gebauer is an entrepreneur, social media marketer, blogger, and sometimes called a marketing influencer. He’s been part of the social media marketing world since founding his first business, in 2010. Today he runs The Social Mswith his sister and fellow marketing influencer Susanna. He is also a rescue dog handler, runner, and coffee lover. Find him on Twitter at @jogebauer

Social Media Manager

Katyan Roach

Social Media Manager, Consultant, and Coach at K-Leon Media Marketing

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

My growth on Social Media i.e the type of engagement I've seen, like many others have been slow and steady, no viral campaigns yet...

However, I have seen increased engagement through making the right connections online. Once you find people in your space whose work you love, once you are willing to show that love, by engaging and sharing their content, they reciprocate and your visibility online increases.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

For me it's been Twitter but recently, hands down, it's an awesome new platform called bebee.com. The engagement is crazy. I love it.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

Too much to mention and all on the wrong things. I'm a big fan of building relationships online and that’s where I prefer to put my effort these days. It's a lot cheaper.

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

Well, people come online mostly for fun or to relax and catch up, so asking a fun, thought-provoking question or providing a solution to a common problem is a great way to get a conversation started and increase the engagement.


Katyan Roach is a Social Media Strategist, account manager & writer who loves helping small & medium sized businesses wade through the sometimes overwhelming world that is Social Media Marketing. Newbies & side hustlers also have a special place in her heart. She is a coach at K-Leon Media Marketing and can be found on Twitter as @KatyanRoach

Twitter marketing specialist

Keith Keller

Twitter marketing specialist

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

I have loads of stories to share about how Social Media increases engagement.

I find that it is an excellent way to go deeper with the conversations.

In reality, I have almost a daily experience with this idea.

Engagement is the essence of my networking model and I am constantly meeting interesting people via Social Media and then translating that into a phone call or an in-person meeting.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

Twitter is by far the best platform for engagement, hands down.

I have tried the other platforms but just don't get the same level of depth with the conversations.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

I spent years trying all the available options out there before finally settling on Twitter as my main networking channel.

It continues to deliver amazing results — even now.

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

I like the “follow first - share first” approach.

I actively seek out interesting people to connect with and follow on Twitter.

This has generated enormous benefits over the years.

When I establish good quality friendships, I then share my connections’ content first before ever asking for anything in return.

It's a cool thing to do and also has the added bonus of boosting your engagement.

Even without the engagement idea, it is still a great way to strengthen online friendships and that is the essence of how my business model works.


Keith Keller is a Twitter Marketing Specialist based in Melbourne, Australia. Visit his website at KeithKeller.com.auand follow him on Twitter at @KeithKeller

Director of social media

Josh White

Founder and Director of social media marketing software company Knackmap

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

We've seen social media engagement provide real value to businesses. Through a social media engagement campaign with Knackmap, we were able to drive almost 2x the traffic through to our site from social networking sites alone.

For Knackmap, being in the social media software industry, there are a lot of questions being asked about best solutions and what marketers need to get out of their software.

By spending time looking for questions to answer, problems to solve and discussions to get involved with, we were able to provide clarity to our users and potential users, which led to more visits to our site and more sign ups!

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

Facebook has brought in by far the greatest engagement for our business. It's got a fantastic targeted ad platform which I would argue is the best ad platform in the world, and given usage stats and the number of users, it's the natural winner.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

It's not an overnight miracle.

It takes time and hard work to start growing your engagement. Set realistic expectations, actions and make sure that you are doing things that are providing returns.

I highly recommend putting some money aside to increase the visibility of your content on Facebook, beyond who your content is initially shown to in your community.

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?


Josh White is Founder and Director of social media marketing software company Knackmap, which helps businesses better tell their story online with it's smart social media marketing tools. You can tweet him at @knackmap

Owner of WPBlogging360

Manidipa Bhaumik

Owner of WordPress Blogging & Passive Income Ways blog, WPBlogging360

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

I did few experiments with Facebook ads. That did well, but not to a great extent.

The organic traffic on social media is much more engaging.

I share others' content on a regular basis while sharing my own occasionally. And that helps me to get more shares of my content in return.

Also, nowadays many bloggers have started their problem solving and question answers groups on social media. I try to remain active and solve the queries. This does help to engage with new people while grabbing some extra eyeballs.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

It has been Facebook, till now. Facebook enjoys the highest share of social media audience base. However, the choice of the platform is not dependent on that.

The audience on Facebook is much more engaging. It helped me to engage with many awesome bloggers and internet marketers from all over the globe. And we all know how important it is to connect with others in this industry.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

During my initial days, I used to spend quite a long time in Facebook and Twitter. My intent was to check through what other people are sharing while sharing my own content.

It did help to connect with the fellow bloggers and getting some audience. But gradually it became an addiction as I ended up scrolling through my news feed and wasting a lot of time.

Since then I have reduced my time on social media and trying to use the medium in a more effective way.

I am not saying social media is time wasting. But one needs to understand how much time they need to allot so that it can yield the best outcome.

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

Not all type of content get shared on social media. So it is essential to understand the psychology behind content sharing and produce what the audience is looking for.

Sharing schedule plays an important role in engagement. My target audience is not specific to a single region, rather they are spread all over the world. So it make sense to share the content in different time zones. Different social media tools are available that can automate the process while making your job easier.

Also many people like to share images, if they find them interesting. The image sharing option of SomuMe makes it easy for them to share the individual images in different social platforms.

Above all, finding the right social networks where the target audience is hanging out, is the first step towards getting success in social media.


Manidipa Bhaumik is a blogging enthusiast who writes about WordPress Blogging & Passive Income Ways on her blog, WPBlogging360. You can find her on Twitter at @wpblogging360

CEO of Social Quant

Mike Kawula

CEO of Social Quant

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

If you’re an entrepreneur using social media to drive sales, you need to have a strategy and a way to measure its success (or lack thereof). Too many entrepreneurs jump on all platforms and randomly push out content in hopes that business will fly in.

Though I share a ton of content, I also actively listen and engage. In the past, I used Twitter advanced search to listen for keywords my target customers were likely to use. When I owned an online office supply store, if I heard someone say a competitor’s name or words like “moving office,” I’d reach out.

This strategy was measurable and drove sales daily. Two examples were:

1) Someone at Staples, unable to get an answer on some furniture they were buying, complained on Twitter from inside the store. We immediately tweeted back and they stepped outside to call us. End result: a $27,000 order.

2) Gary Vaynerchuk went on Twitter and said Vaynermedia was moving their “office.” I immediately replied back, started a dialogue and shortly thereafter we landed an order of several thousand dollars.

When you listen actively on social media, you can easily engage and drive ROI for any business. Today, we use Brand24 for the listening and are notified immediately about discussions we know can drive sales.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

I might come across biased owning a Twitter marketing tool now, but honestly, Twitter has always been my favorite platform for achieving ROI for my businesses.

Even when I owned a cleaning company with a staff of over 50 employees, I’d use Twitter to engage with the local community.

Cliché as it sounds, people really do business with people they know, like and trust.

I knew parents in South Jersey were busy running around and had no time to clean their home. How would one look for “parents” on Twitter? I’d engage with people talking about local high school sports or events.

More times than I can count, my managers would return from estimates and tell me the new customer follows me on Twitter.

Today, I use it actively to engage with influencers and the media. Twitter is the easiest way to strike up conversations with anyone. Because of Twitter, I’ve been interviewed on CNN, Forbes and other media outlets, just by starting conversations in a non-promotional way.

In fact, on the Social Quant blog, we’ve shared the stories of two entrepreneurs that connected with Sir Richard Branson on Twitter. One spent the weekend on his private island, while another received an investment from him.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

The beautiful thing about Twitter is that you don’t need to spend money to see it’s benefits.

Sure, you might use a few Twitter marketing tools to get more followers or share content, but the power of Twitter comes from engagement.

Anyone can engage with anyone on Twitter and whether you have one follower or a million, it doesn’t matter. Obviously, you want as big a following as possible, but it’s not necessary to get started.

That said, the first thing you need to do is spend 30 minutes and optimize your Twitter profile (the good news is that it’s free).

Set up a good Twitter cover, put a nice profile picture (preferably you instead of a logo), craft a great and personal Twitter bio, link to your website and, above all, have a Pinned Tweet linking to your most valuable piece of content.

If you do this well and start to follow relevant people interested in your niche for 10 minutes a day, you’ll build a strong Twitter following that will engage with you — and you can do all this without spending a dime!

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

The best way to boost shares and comments on social media is by sharing and commenting on others’ content. Pay it forward. If you want others to engage with you, engage and share their content first.

One individual that does this extremely well and has built an amazing personal brand in a short amount of time is Sam Hurley. You’ll notice that when Sam shares something on Twitter (and he shares a lot), it always gets tons of engagement.

Why? Sam consistently engages and shares other people’s content. He also employs other strategies that boosts shares, such as tagging others in a post who would either be interested or are mentioned, using emojis and including a great image or, if you know Sam well, most likely a GIF.

Following Sam’s example will get you shares on any platform


Mike Kawula is the CEO of Social Quant top ranked Twitter tool by HubSpot that helps you find the most relevant followers on Twitter. Michael’s last 3 businesses each hit 7 figures in under 3 years with his past being ranked the 144th fastest growing company by Inc. in 2012. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeKawula

MarTech

Mordecai Holtz

Co-Founder and Chief Strategist of Blue Thread Marketing

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

I used Twitter to bring the largest travel blogger conference to Jerusalem and yielded over 7.1 million reach in less than a week. This one short conversation with one person has singlehandedly changed the perception of the city to a very influential segment of people.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

Twitter for my personal and for all of clients.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

Always have done it organically.

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

I view each piece of content (blog post) like a newspaper article. This way I find multiple headlines and soundbites that can be used as intros on social media.


Mordecai Holtz is the Co-Founder and Chief Strategist of Blue Thread Marketing, a boutique digital agency promoting brands through strategic content marketing and effective management of digital platforms. Mordecai is a key opinion leader for Huawei and has also recently been invited to serve as the first international board member of the National Institute of Social Media. You can find Mordecai on Twitter at @mordecaiholtz

CEO of InboundJunction

Nadav Dakner

Founder & CEO of InboundJunction

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

A few of the bloggers I keep in touch with were kind enough to include me in their posts that list the top marketing influencers worth following in 2017.

These posts, which were published at the end of 2016, saw some massive shares across social media — some in the thousands. It was awesome to see, especially since I didn’t even ask to be included.

These mentions helped a great deal to increase the audience of my own social presences, which, in turn, helped drive a spike in traffic to my agency’s website. Many of these visitors even converted as captured leads.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

We’re in the B2B space, so we do a lot of promotion of content on LinkedIn and Twitter.

It seems that everyone talks about Twitter as being dead nowadays, but in my experience, it isn’t at all. We actually see the most engagement there.

In my experience, your ability to drive engagement on Twitter all comes down to how you use it — connecting with the right people and identifying the right opportunities.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

It’s hard to quantify, but I’d say roughly that it took us about a year and a half, which is forever in internet time, to figure out how to drive good engagement numbers on social media.

We do very little social media advertising, so nearly all of the money we’ve spent on these efforts to date have gone towards human resources — finding the right talent that can open doors with the right influencers.

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

Upvoting platforms for content promotion like GrowthHackers and Inbound.org are powerhouses in this regard.

Most people think of them as being useful for discovering content for personal consumption and professional development, and they’re great for that. But many industry thought leaders use them as content curation feeds.

If an item of content is popular on these platforms, then it’s already in a sense proven to be share-worthy.

We also use a lot of monitoring tools. Cyfe is awesome for providing an overview of what’s happening across all of our social profiles, so we can track what’s working and what isn’t, without having to log in and out of endless platforms to see just one part of the picture.

And we also use Brand24 a great deal, so we can respond to relevant conversations in real time, before they go cold. Response time is critical for social engagement in my experience.


Nadav Dakner is a veteran online marketer and the Founder & CEO of InboundJunction, an Israel-based content marketing company. Nadav helps well-known brands in boosting their online visibility through PR, SEO and Social Media. Tweet Nadav at @NadavDakner

MarTech publisher

Natasa Djukanovic

Chief Marketing Officer of domain.me

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

We became active on social media back in 2008, when it was still unthinkable for a domain registry (company that operates domain names, in our case .ME) to do so.

We were the first in the industry to do so with a goal of communicating directly to consumers, and it payed off really quickly. We saw great results right away. People from all over the world started reaching out and engaging with our story and our content.

A truly invaluable experience.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

For us, it was always Facebook and Twitter.

We have a strong blog following and we are often present at blogging and startup conferences, so these two platforms proved to be the most rewarding. Also, both platforms are investing heavily into adding features that makes providing customer care much easier.

Best example here are Facebook Messenger Links — M.ME/yourfacebookusername, that allows people to go straight to your inbox by clicking on it, and Twitter’s new button that allows people to DM you from your website.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

Even now, we have a community manager whose main job is to turn our blog content into sharable and snackable content for social media.

We have a monthly budget for various campaigns and content promotion and a special budget for experimenting. The ratio is 80:20, and it works.

For a moment there, we got into a trap of investing more as Facebook’s organic reach decreased, but then we decided to shift our strategy and try other distribution tactics.

The thing with social media is that you don’t need much. It’s important to give that initial boost to content you create, but other than that, you don’t need much to achieve great results.

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

Based on our almost decade-long experience with social media, there are four things that prove to be of utmost importance.

1. Try everything but choose where to focus your efforts. Every company has a different audience. Your task is to find where your audience gathers, and adjust your company narrative and way of communication to that platform.

2. Create valuable content you can base your social media presence on. Just having a profile on social media means nothing if there is no “meat” behind your posts. These days, that valuable content is mostly in video format.

3. Be conscious that social media is primarily a distribution channel. Direct people to your company website, turn them into leads and, eventually, customers. Don’t lose the traffic.

4. Measure, measure, measure, and make adjustments along the way.

No matter the latest trends (of which you should definitely be aware of), these four things are the key to social media success. Engagement metrics, shares and comments, don’t mean anything if you are not making your business profitable.


Natasa Djukanovic is a marketing executive and tech enthusiast. She is the Chief Marketing Officer of domain.me, and is in charge of making the companies and teams she works with grow and flourish. You can find her tweet her at @natasad

MarTech

Nathan Chan

CEO of Foundr Magazine

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

Social media has been a big part of our business. Our biggest and most powerful channel on social is Instagram, and since starting on it 2 years ago, the platform has allowed us to generate hundreds of thousands of leads and attract millions to our brand.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

Instagram by far. Engagement is very strong.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

Few hours daily by our team. Over $10k in the early days.

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

Posting content that your audience loves.


Nathan Chan is the CEO of Foundr Magazine, You find Nathan on Twitter at @NathanHChan or check out Foundr on instagram at @foundr

MarTech publisher

Neil Sheth

Founder of Only Way Online

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

I provide online marketing coaching to a number of small businesses at Your Brand Found and am always interested in finding out what sites/profiles of mine they have reviewed before booking a session.

I was recently teaching an entrepreneur SEO and I asked her at the end of the session, what sites she looked at before booking a session and her answer was:

It was great! My client's answer validated the effort I put into social media. I primary use social media to help me build credibility online which in turn reduces my sales cycle.

That's what I love about social media. Not only does it expand your reach, but it helps you to build your influence and show you as the expert, WITHOUT, you being there.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

Facebook hands down! To take it slightly further, Facebook Groups.

Being part of relevant local and global Facebook groups has allowed me to build up my network online and attract potential customers to my business.

Recently, I was asked by the owner of a large local Facebook Group with over 30,000 to hold a workshop on online marketing. That opportunity is directly because of Facebook.

But it's not about popping into groups when you feel like it. You need to engage, comment and genuinely help others out. Overtime you get to know people and people get to know you.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

Around 6 hours per week.

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

I'm a huge believer of being strategic when it comes to content promotion by being very selective in the places you choose to share your content.

Promoting content in groups your target audience exists in can be a very powerful strategy.

But there's two big rules:

1. Your content must be remarkable. 2. You must be an established person within that community and have the right to publish your content.

This is where understanding the rules of the group and even establishing a relationship with the owner is a must.

Once I've shared the content, I respond to comments as quickly as possible, ask questions, and get to know people deeper. It not only builds upon our relationship, but I get to better understand the problems they have.


Neil Sheth is the founder of Only Way Online, which specialises in providing SEO Services in London. Neil also provides online marketing coaching to smaller businesses and entrepreneurs and is launching a free SEO course, Your Brand Found Follow him on Twitter at @OnlyWayOnline

Philippa Willitts

Owner of PhilippaWrites and Freelance Writer

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

I pinned a tweet advertising my business to the top of my Twitter feed.

Because a lot of people who follow me on Twitter will then automatically retweet the first few tweets in my timeline, that tweet promoting my writing services has now been retweeted over 500 times.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

Twitter.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

Lots of years!

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

Pinning tweets (as above), setting up polls, interacting and helping others when they need it rather than expecting others to help you.


Philippa Willitts is a freelance writer who specializes in writing about digital marketing, women's issues, and health and disability. Check more of her writing on her website, PhilippaWrites, and follow her on Twitter at @PhilippaWrites

Pratik Dholakiya

Co-Founder of E2M and Preceptist

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

It has definitely helped us in a lot of positive way. I'd talk about how sharing updates very actively on our (E2M's) Facebook page has helped us bring in talented team members and gain trust of the clients.

At the beginning, we weren't too much focused on clicking pictures of our monthly/quarterly activities and sharing it on Facebook, but later we realized that it has two-way benefits.

1. It will help showcase to the Facebook audience/followers that E2M is a happening place to work with and 2. If any of the prospects visit our Facebook page to validate that we're the real team who communicates or talks online, then it would make them trust us more. And both the assumptions fell right in place.

We saw resumes coming in from potential candidates and many of them did mention that they have been following us (and watching our activities too) on Facebook since long. Plus, the prospects did also feel comfortable doing business with us because sitting in India and doing business with some of the big players from the US isn't as easy.

But by seeing our regular updates/activities on Facebook, and then meeting the same team members over Skype gave them more confidence.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

It is definitely Facebook.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

During the initial period, we did spend a few hundred dollars to acquire likes and increase engagement on Facebook, but later we didn't spend much. But yes, we spent a lot of time to create quality content and engage with the audience.

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

They are:

These three are my favorite because these type of posts are usually interesting and the audience does feel comfortable to share such posts with their friends/followers.


Pratik Dholakiya is the Co-Founder of E2M, a full-service digital agency and Preceptist, a content marketing agency. Visit Pratik’s website at PratikDholakiya.com, and follow him on Twitter at @DholakiyaPratik

MarTech publisher

Rafi Chowdhury

MarTech publisher, Author, Speaker, and CEO

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

My whole business is built off of social media. We sell and promote Organic Allure's products via Instagram through creative imagery. It spikes our sales on Amazon.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

Facebook.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

Around $1000

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

Asking people to comment, share, like and tagging their friends. Contests.


Rafi Chowdhury is the founder of Chowdhury’s Digital, and co-founder of myCampusHacks. He helps companies like Vapetek, Shapes Brow Bar, Win Hyundai, Wound Care Surgeons, and Easley Transportation grow their revenue. He was recognized by the University of Memphis for creating one of the most innovative start-up websites for the students. Rafi is also an advisor to the British Young Asian Entrepreneurs. Check out his website, RafiChowdhury.com and follow him on Twitter at @rafichowdhury

Roy Povarchik

Co-Founder of Stardom.io and Humans Of Startup Nation

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

My most valuable social media tactics involve doing one-on-one engagement and reaching out to my audience.

By going to my Facebook audience and simply asking "How can I help you today?" — one of the answers was actually by a big brand manager asking me to give a talk for his company. I did that talk and earned a major client.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

Twitter and Facebook groups are the two most valuable social media channels that have worked for us in terms of bringing leads.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

My engagement is 100% organic. Around 2 months.

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

Conduct experts roundups and mention relevant people on my content — it involves other people in the conversation by providing value. It also empowers them professionally.


Roy Povarchik is a growth hacker and content marketer. He is Co-founder of Stardom.io and Humans Of Startup Nation. Check out his website at RoyPovarchik.com, You can tweet him at @roypovar

Sam Hurley

Digital Marketer and Founder of Digital Consultancy, OPTIM-EYEZ

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

I built my personal brand on Social Media… without a fully-functional website! It's been the core of my growth online, earning many industry accolades while allowing me to quit employment and run my own business based on influencer promotion.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

Twitter + LinkedIn in unison = #BeastMode

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

£ before engagement increased = 0

Time before engagement increased = 1 day (you truly get out what you put in)

You should aim to really 'level up' each month via many smaller wins and at least one large win i.e. a popular interview or website feature.

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?


Sam Hurley is a lateral-thinking digital marketer and Founder of Digital Consultancy: OPTIM-EYEZ, He has achieved success for SMEs, national to international blue chip organizations while being ranked as the world’s #1 digital influencer by Webinale, #2 most influential digital marketer by Onalytica and #3 content marketing influencer by ScribbleLive. Find Sam on Twitter at @Sam___Hurley

Steve Burge

CEO of OSTraining

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

We planned a massive YouTube campaign around the launch of a new Drupal product (Drupal 8).

Starting with a Kickstarter campaign, we released free training for the product. The videos went viral, with over 2 million views in a year. It completely transformed the way in which we thought about business possibilities.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

As a tech company, our audience is split between Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Almost all of the developers in our industry are heavy Twitter users, and almost all of the end-users are on Facebook or YouTube.

Not only are they different platforms, but they have very different engagement styles. The Twitter users are more conversational, and almost never click on links. However, they will respond to dumb jokes, which we have a lot of.

The Facebook and YouTube users will click and share freely, and they're very conversational, leaving lots of comments.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

Facebook and Twitter don't require much time or money, but YouTube is a substantial investment of time, energy and money.

Videos need to be well produced, fresh, topical, lively and educational. That's a difficult and expensive combination, but it pays off in terms of audience reaction.

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

We now focus heavily on YouTube as a way to connect.


Steve Burge runs OSTraining, a training company, plus several software companies, including @Joomlashack, @PressShack and @upstreamplugin. Follow Steve on Twitter at @stevejburge or OSTraining at @OSTraining

Steve Chou

Founder of MyWifeQuitHerJob.com

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

I've had a few posts go viral as a result of likes and shares primarily on Facebook and Pinterest.

These shares have led to email signups which have then led to sales of my courses and physical products.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

Facebook

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

I always have paid ads going to my highest engagement posts. It's difficult to quantify the time spent.

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

Anytime I see that a post has legs, I'll rewrite the post to incorporate an inline email signup form that blends with the content. Then I'll boost it on Facebook to boost signups from the post and retarget with another landing page for my products.


Steve Chou is the founder of MyWifeQuitHerJob.com, a blog with millions of readers interested in ecommerce and selling physical products online. He also runs a top business podcast of the same name, an online training course with thousands of students and an annual conference specially catering to ecommerce entrepreneurs called The Sellers Summit. You can tweet Steve at @mywifequit

Sunu Philip

Founder and Chief Strategist at Get Found Online

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

It was in 2013 that I started a new website, ClothedinScarlet.org,​ with a passion to help women start online businesses using their talents.

To boost the visibility of my website, I initially focused on SEO, that being my core proficiency, and two social media channels - Facebook and Twitter. But traffic and engagement were still pretty low.

It was during this period that Facebook slowly started killing organic reach. I had to rethink my marketing strategy, and shifted my focus from Facebook to Pinterest. Within a couple of weeks, I got a huge leap in website traffic. I can say that's one decision that's still reaping benefits, even without much effort from my end now.

My website’s target audience was women, and Pinterest was then primarily a women’s hangout place. I tapped into that segment with lengthy images that were also pretty. The number of site visitors from Pinterest started to grow exponentially, literally tripling my overall website traffic.

The overwhelming reach from Pinterest helped me with a successful book launch soon after. Some of the pins related to my book are still bringing in traffic and sales.

A background in SEO is what helped me explore, or rather exploit, Pinterest to the maximum. Pinterest has a search algorithm, and having my pins come up on Pinterest search results for popular terms was a game changer. It helped me get viral traffic month after month. Pins I added three years ago are still getting repinned and saved!

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

For me, Pinterest is the winner! That platform grew my website like none of the other social media websites.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

During the initial days, I spent one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening on Pinterest. Then it trickled down to 30 to 40 minutes at different time frames during the day. I pinned roughly 40% of my own content, and 60% from other sources.

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

As I said above, Pinterest SEO and using popular group boards/tribes made my posts go viral many times. The beauty is that the Pinterest reach keeps growing, even without me having to do much in the long run.

Pinterest SEO is not rocket science, by the way.

Here’s what worked for me, and what you can also do to get your content found on Pinterest:

1. Optimize your Pinterest profile. Include your business name, a detailed description, and a link to your website.

2. Optimize your Pinterest boards. Add keyword-rich board names and descriptions. Please don't stuff keywords.

3. Pin articles to the relevant Pinterest boards. i.e., Don't pin social media articles on travel or cooking boards!

4. Make sure the filename of the image on your website contains the main keyword of the article. For example, “start-online-business.jpeg”.
Using proper file names, rather than random characters, can greatly enhance your visibility on Pinterest searches.

5. Ensure that the title of the blog post/page on your website contains the main keywords.

6. Make sure that the image alt tag on your website is filled in with the respective keyword or article title.

7. Write a catchy pin description that includes your target keywords. You can add keywords as hashtags as well.

8. To get an initial boost, ask your blogging friends and followers to save the pin onto their boards. Also pin your articles to group boards that you are part of.


Sunu Philip is the founder and chief strategist at Get Found Online, a digital marketing agency based in India. She is a Certified Internet Marketing Consultant with over 8 years of industry experience. Find her on Twitter at @sunuphilip

Syed Irfan Ajmal

Owner of SEO and content marketing consultancy service SyedIrfanAjmal.com

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

Initially, I was mostly posting links and doing retweets on Twitter which negatively impacted engagement. Then I realized our followers mostly want to be 'infotained' in those 140 characters rather than having to click on a link and leave Twitter.

This made me change my strategy which led to positive developments including me being asked by a good few podcasters to be a guest on their show.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

In terms of ROI by winning quick projects, Facebook has been the most beneficial (believe it or not). In terms of metrics like Traffic, Social Shares etc Twitter has been most engaging.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

The only money I spend is on some VAs and on creating relevant social media banners which is minimal (under $1,000) so far.

In terms of time, I probably spend about 3 hours a day on it.

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

Adding my own insights to whatever I share.

Using relevant, brief, crisp statistics, graphs etc, never EVER using auto-DMs, and putting more focus on 'the human element' rather than trying to automate everything.

At the core of social media marketing is our ability to build relations and just as making a robot take your wife on a long drive hasn't the same feel to it as you taking out time to go on a journey with her, you gotta put time into understanding under people on social media instead of trying to automate EVERYTHING.


Syed Irfan Ajmal is a serial entrepreneur, content marketing & PR consultant, author, and speaker. He has bylines in Forbes ME, HuffPost, Business.com, SEMrush, along with citations in Entrepreneur.com, TNW (The Next Web), Tech in Asia, SERPed etc. He regularly does keynote speaking and workshops in Pakistan and Dubai, apart from guesting on various podcast shows. His blog is SyedIrfanAjmal.com, and his Twitter is @syedirfanajmal

Tim Hughes

Co-Founder of Digital Leadership Associates, and Best Selling Author

Can you tell us a story, from your experience, about how social media engagement — positive or negative — affected your business or website?

Social Media provides us with the ability to build relationships and and tell our story.

As a relatively small company, we are able to "punch above our weight" compared to big companies.

What, from your experience, is the social media platform that earned the most engagement for your business or website?

Social Media is central to our sales and marketing strategy we tend to focus on LinkedIn and Twitter.

How much did you usually spend, in terms of time and money, before your engagement increased?

We don't spend money, we only spend time.

What are your favorite social media and content engagement tactics to boost shares and comments and why?

We work hard to stand out. We provide (for ourselves and clients) engaging content that will stand out. After all, 95% of content is not read.


Tim Hughes is the Co-Founder of Digital Leadership Associates, the only Social-only agency in the world. He is also the author of the best selling book, Social Selling — Influencing Buyers and Changemakers, available on Amazon. Follow Tim on Twitter at @Timothy_Hughes