When I first started writing this post, it was called “25 Social Media Blogs Everyone Should Read.” Then, I realized something. There are a lot of social media blogs out there that are awesome, but not right for everyone’s tastes. After some further work, I realized something else – there are a lot of really smart people out there writing about social media even though they don’t necessarily have social media blogs.
So, instead, I want to present to you 25 Social Media Posts Everyone Should Read. These are posts that make you think, written by some of the smartest minds in our industry, in my opinion. These are the posts that have really affected the way I think and, in some cases, have changed my life. That’s a bold statement to say, I know…but some of them are truly that good.
If you like what you read here, you might also want to check out Brilliant Bloggers, our weekly link round up surrounding more specific new media topics. Also, these posts are in no specific order…except alphabetical!
1. Are Authentic Social Relationships Overrated? by Pam Moore from The Marketing Nut
“Just because we may not have the “same” relationship with each person, doesn’t mean it’s a fake or that either one of us is being un-authentic. We all connect in different ways. We share different onion layers with one another, differeent layers of transparency.
Do I want to see and smell every onion layer of every Twitter contact and Facebook friend? Heck no! Do I want every client to dump their closet of personal skelatons on my table? No! However, do I have existing clients, partners and Twitter friends I share tears of joy, laughter and sorrow with? Absolutely! Are there people I have met on Twitter who live across the globe who I know better than the neighbor across the street? You betcha!”
In the social media world, there’s a lot of talk about authenticity, but this isn’t a cut-and-dry concept. As Pam covers in this post, “authenticity” doesn’t mean the same thing in every social media relationship – and that’s okay, believe it or not. You can find Pam on Twitter @pammktgnut.
2. Definitive Guide to Becoming Likable Online by Glen Allsopp from Viper Chill
“I’m far more likely to link to my best friend in a blog post than a random blogger and I’m far more likely to send my favourite cousin a copy of my new product for free than someone I don’t know.Of course, those are offline relationship examples, but online isn’t really any different.
You don’t talk to people you don’t like. Unless, of course, you love drama.”
Glen is seriously one of the smartest bloggers I know. I have a total blog crush on him, and this post is a prime example of why I enjoy his work so much. It’s where I feel some “rising star” bloggers have gone wrong – have you ever noticed that the truly great, a-list bloggers are all also very likeable? After you check out this post, you can follow Glen on Twitter @viperchill.
3. Do You Really Communicate, or Do You Just Tweet? by Dave Murray from The Way of the Murr
“Do you try to connect, or do you just broadcast?
Are you creating content, or are you just blogging?
Do you tell or show someone what you like, or do you just hit the button?
Are you sharing, or are you yelling?
Are you helping, or are you telling someone what to do?”
Dave Murray is one of the best people I’ve gotten to know through working with BlogWorld Expo, and this is one of my favorite posts from his personal blog. If you get the chance to see Dave speak, do it – you won’t be let down. After checking out his blog, you can follow Dave on Twitter @DaveMurr.
4. How to Lose Friends and Tick Off People on Facebook by Scott Stratten from UnMarketing
“An open letter to all my friends in the social media consultant/guru game,
You’re steering people the wrong way.
You sell yourself as social media consultants, the ones that can show you the way and then fark it up.
I beg of you to stop.”
Scott Stratten’s keynote at BlogWorld 2010 is one of the best I’ve ever seen, online or off, and his blog is more of the same – smart ideas that lots of people are thinking but few have the hutzpa to put into words. He’s also a lot of fun to follow on Twitter too – @UnMarketing.
5. If I Started Today by Chris Brogan from ChrisBrogan.com
“Okay, so you’ve heard from someone that this social media and social networking stuff is great and you should get involved, and it’s really going to help you out. Maybe it will help you in the economic downturn. Maybe you have heard how you can use Twitter for business. But there’s a lot to it all.Where would you start? What would come first? How might you think about getting out there and joining in on the experience?”
To me, this post is invaluable. Chris Brogan is by far one of the most successful people in the new media world, and in this post, he shares with us the advice he’d give himself if he were starting out completely new to the game. Even if you aren’t 100% new yourself, this post can give you some insight as to what you’re doing right and where you need improvement. Chris is on Twitter too @ChrisBrogan.
6.If You’re Not Making Enemies, You’re Doing It Wrong by Adam Singer from The Future Buzz
“As strategists we can’t be closed off to a certain approach because it carries certain risks or taboos. Just the opposite, we need to be open to any and all possibilities.
If you are truly passionate about your category your opinions about it will naturally be strong. This will run counter to what others think and that’s perfectly OK. Don’t shy away from it. I’m not saying to be disingenuous or not true to yourself. I’m not saying to lie or make things up. I’m saying to let your raw passion for what you do shine, whether that runs in opposition to others or not.”
I’m not a fan of making enemies for the sake of it. In this post, Adam talks not about going out there and writing posts to intentionally piss off other people, but rather about the need to check your fear at the door when voicing your opinions. I wholeheartedly agree, and to me, this is one of the most important posts out there. In addition to reading Adam’s blog, you can also fin him on Twitter @AdamSinger.
7. It’s Personal – My Thoughts on Communication in This Digital Age by Erika Napoletano from Redhead Writing
“Fans. Admirers. But for those who seek them, Johnny-Come-Latelys/Bandwagoner/Tagalongs. I put out my content and am confident that people will find me through friends who follow me and share my schizz or by stumbling across my blogs. THOSE are the followers I want. I’m violent in my opposition to those who use auto-DMs and sales-pitchy words on Twitter because they’re taking what can possibly be the most *personal* of all social networks and instantly making it as impersonal as possible.’
Erika is another of my favorite bloggers for her dedication to telling it like it is and interesting ideas, and what I really like about this post in particular is that it is not just another rant about the need for us to connect in real life and get away from the computer. Twitter (and other social media platforms) can be personal – but it’s up to us to make it that way. Erika is on Twitter @RedheadWriting.
8. 21 Killer Ways to Increase Your Influence Online by Mars Dorian from Spread Your Influence
“This word becomes so much flak it’s unbelievable. Even inspiring superstars like Will Smith use it. Being delusional means you are seeing something that doesn’t exist (yet). You are fantasizing about a future that yet has to be manifested. It means you are having big goals. Very big goals. And even if you don’t reach them, you will get very far.
How’s that saying ? Reach for the galaxy. Even if you miss, you will land in the sky.”
Every time I read a post by Mars, I feel like I’ve been punched in the face with inspiration. There’s really no other way to describe it. The above quote is just one of Mars’ awesome tips – check out the read at his blog and find him on Twitter @marsdorian.
9. The Medium and the Message by Catherine Caine from Cash and Joy
“You don’t need a Facebook strategy. What you do need is a strategy to spread your message to the right people, which might involve using Facebook.
The same applies to logos, free e-books, fliers, website designs, email autoresponders, prize giveaways, plugins, taglines, social media platforms, gimmicks, competitions, branding and every other marketing activity you complete.”
I love Cash an Joy because Catherine always tells me what I need to hear, but packaged in posts that are interesting to read and often, like this one, accompanied by a story to illustrate the point. After you check out her blog, you can find her on Twitter @CatherineCaine.
10. The Only Two Rules of Twitter by Jordan Cooper from Not a Pro Blog
“Every other day, theres a blog post published somewhere telling you how to use Twitter. Some will show you the correct ways, some will show you what youre doing wrong.
Did you even realize how many rules there are to use such a simple platform? I wasnt even aware there was a police force to regulate how people can use Twitter. In fact, I’m surprised you havent been locked up already for breaking one of the 14,788 bylaws. (trust me, this is the exact number of actionable offenses)
I guess I’m a misinformed idiot. I always believed there were only two fundamental laws of Twitter.”
Okay, I’m cheating a little because this isn’t really a post – it’s a video. But of all the videos Jordan’s recorded and posts he’s written, this is my favorite and the one I most often send to other people when their Twitter practices annoy me. Not that you would ever do something like that…but just in case you need to send it to other people, you better check out the video and find Jordan on Twitter @notaproblog.
11. PSA: Remember, Social Media is Serious Business by Amber Naslund from Brass Tack Thinking
“Do not laugh. Do not use silly hashtags with abandon. Do not have insipid conversations about your dog or share pictures of cats. Do not discuss your weekend plans or your vacation or your interests and hobbies. Do not tweet about your favorite TV show.
Do not taunt Twitter.”
I’ve been a fan of Amber’s since I saw her speak at BlogWorld 2010 in Las Vegas. I was stoked to hear that she was one of the keynotes for BlogWorld LA 2011, and I’m unashamed to say that I stalk her on Twitter. You can too by following @AmberCadabra after checking out her tongue-in-cheek PSA.
12. The Real Secret to Getting 12K Followers on Twitter by Elizabeth Potts Weinstein from Live Your Truth
If you want twitter to work for you, if you want to develop real relationships with your followers, if you want any of this to actually mean something … that’s all you have to do — treat people on twitter like you would treat friends in your regular life.
Act like you care about people you know on twitter.
Better yet, actually care about people you know on twitter.
You don’t need a guru or expert or A-list blogger or even me to tell you how to be a human being.
EPW has, in my opinion, a real talent for writing posts that make me feel like I’m having a conversation with her as I’m reading them. This post talks about her Twitter success and all the ridiculous practices that people use (unsuccessfully) on social media. Check out the post and follow Elizabeth on Twitter @ElizabethPW.
13. Social Media is Dead; Love Live Word of Mouth by Pace Smith from Connection Revolution
“You need to be remarkable to get people to make remarks about you. You can’t pay for fake remarkableness anymore, because the only remarks that people listen to these days are remarks that come from trusted sources. To be remarkable, you must be valuable and you must be worth talking about.You need to be authentic to get people to trust you. People have been burned too many times by fake viral marketing campaigns and corporate blogs that preach transparency while actually lying through their teeth.”
Connection Revolution, run by Pace and Kyeli, is a blog filled with awesome writing, and although they don’t specifically cover social media, the topics they do discus have relevance whether you’re connecting with others via Twitter or face-to-face. This post is an older one, but there’s a reason I bookmarked it. Check out out, and then follow Pace on Twitter @PaceSmith (and Kyeli is on Twitter @Kyeli).
14. Social Media is not Going to Save your Business by Brian Solis from BrianSolis.com
“Companies must now be engaging and worthy of connection now and over time. And more importantly, businesses must embrace a culture of change to become adaptive and survive Digital Darwinism. Social media will not save business, but it will challenge them to evolve, to adapt…to do better.”
In an age where everyone seems to be embracing quickly-scanned blog content that can be digested easily by the masses, Brian Solis writes longer magazine-quality posts that take time and careful thought to read. Personally, I feel challenged to be a better writer every time I visit his site. This is one of my favorites from a sea of awesome posts he has written. You can find him on Twitter @briansolis.
15. Speak No Evil – Why Trust isn’t a 4 Letter Word in Social Media by Jay Baer from Convince and Convert
“The more companies I talk to, the more I recognize that once they have the official company social outposts humming, organizations want to socialize other parts of the enterprise. This is gratifying, as this is the core premise Amber Naslund and I put forth in The NOW Revolution – that social media is about people not logos, and it’s everyone’s job to represent the company on the social Web.
But there’s a huge obstacle preventing many of these companies from executing on this plan. In short, they don’t trust non-marketers to represent the brand appropriately.”
I’ll be honest; I had a hard time choosing just one of Jay’s posts to highlight here. He’s the kind of blogger that continuously writes posts that make you want to jump from your seat and applaud the computer screen. Not that I’ve ever done that. Okay, maybe once or twice. Check out this post and follow Jay on Twitter @jaybaer.
16. Thoughts on Klout and Psychology by Peter Shankman from Shankman.com
“Here’s the main reason I believe Klout will thrive and dominate: In my opinion, Klout also marks the first time that a company is actively mining us for our activity, and not only don’t we care, but we actually welcome it!
Fact is, we all want to be recognized. It’s one thing to have something assign an “online” number to you, without the added component of offline – The added component is where Klout rules – I have no problem being assigned a number if it means I can cut the line at a hotel and get a room upgrade. I doubt you would, either.”
If you come to BlogWorld Expo this fall in LA, you’ll get to hear Peter Shankman speak in real life as a keynote. For now, check out his blog, including this great post, which talks about Klout and social influence. I really like the examples he gives about how marketers can – and probably will – be using this tool in the future…and why that’s a good thing for all of us! After reading this post, you can also follow Peter on Twitter @petershankman.
17. Time to Change Your Social Media Plan – Are You the Rifle or the Shotgun? by John Paul Aguiar from Money Dummy
“I love Social media and I think every blogger and business owner should have a social media plan in place.
I wrote a post on social media learning at – The 5 Fingers To Social Media Learning
I been doing the social thing online a long time and it has been a HUGE boost to my business and the friendships I have made online have been great.
But when is it to much?
At what point does social media take more then it gives?
When do we have enough social sites to visit?”
I love this post because it asks some of the same questions I ask myself – and John Paul outlines the two approaches he sees to making this all work. Whether you choose the rifle approach or the shotgun approach to social media, check out his blog and follow him on Twitter @JohnAguiar.
18. The Truth Behind Why Social Media “Hates” You by Lisa Barone from Outspoken Media
“Sometimes it feels like social media is out to get you. Like if it’s not actively plotting your demise, it’s certainly giggling at it. You give it everything you’ve got and it never calls, never sends a gift and you’re constantly hearing whispers that it’s out canoodling with your biggest competitors. They’re getting retweets and media mentions, while all you’re seeing is frustration and a boss who wonders if this tweeting is costing everyone more than it’s making. What do you do? I mean, other than break out the bat and beat the world into submission?”
Remember when I told you that I have a blog crush on Glen Allsopp? Well, I regularly cheat on him with Lisa Barone. The Outspoken Media blog is one of my favorites online, not just because Lisa gives great advice, but also because she makes me laugh at the same time. This post is one of my all-time favorites, and after checking it out, head to Twitter to follow Lisa @LisaBarone.
19. Was it Trial by Fire? by Kirsten Wright from Wright Creativity
“Currently, we are the recipe makers, suffering trial by fire with social media. There are ingredients (and lots of them), but no matter if we have the exact same ones as our neighbor, we all combine them a little differently and add little extras of our own. We each develop our own recipe that tastes the best, cooks the smoothest and delivers a very amazing meal to our families. But, just as the first recipe makers didn’t get it right the first time, these social media recipes are constantly shifting, growing and improving.”
In this post, Kirsten touches on one of my core social media beliefs – that this industry is so new that nobody out there can say, with complete certainty, what we should or should not be doing. Check out the rest of Kirsten’s blog for more thought-provoking posts and follow her on Twitter @kirstenwright.
20. 3 Ways to be Nice Online (Or, Everyone Just Wants a Good Nuzzle) by Marian Schembari from MarianLibrarian.com
“Honestly, I’ve been lucky enough to find some amazing, friendly, creative, charming people online. They’re doing spectacularly. So when I come across someone who just doesn’t have an online soul, isn’t particularly nice to people or just doesn’t own their voice, I want to shake them a little and say, “Listen, dude, it’s not going to work unless you make it about your people. BE NICE and you’ll get it back in spades.””
Listen. I get it. For some people, their personal brand is “edgy” and “controversial.” To some extent, that’s my brand. However, there’s a difference between branding yourself as someone who isn’t afraid to speak his/her mind and just being mean. You don’t have to be rude or even unfriendly to get your point across. I think that’s the point Marian makes really well in this post – and the cute pictures of her puppy certainly get the thumbs up from me as well. Marian is on Twitter @MarianSchembari.
21. Why Social Media Purists Won’t Last by Jason Falls from Social Media Explorer
“The social media purists have laid down the law and, so, to participate in social media as a business, you must do things like, “participate in the conversation,” “engage your customers,” and “talk with us not to us.”
I’ve got news for you. In the world of business, all that talk will get you exactly nowhere. Conversations do not ring the cash register. Engagement does not sell more product. Talking with people just means you have to take time to listen which prevents you from spending valuable time selling more product.”
I like Jason Falls for the same reason I like most of the people who have written posts on this list – he’s not afraid to write posts that go against the norm, but he doesn’t do so for the sake of sensationalism and driving traffic. Set aside some time for this post – in addition to the post itself, you have over 1000 comments to read! Afterward, you can find Jason on Twitter @JasonFalls.
22. Why You Need to Focus Less on Social Media by Francisco Rosales from Social Mouths
“The social web will only amplify the fact that your company sucks. But if you focus on your “real” business and on building something that people will not only love to consume but will also help you spread, then your social media will be less of the headache it is today.
Awesome spreads because people love spreading it. Everybody loves talking about Zappos or Apple for a reason.”
Francisco’s post is one that I love so much because it gets to the heart of a problem I seeing running rampant across the Internet – people not delivering on their social media promises. Your business needs to come first. If that isn’t awesome, your social media profiles won’t matter. Francisco definitely delivers on that promise. Do you? Check out Francisco’s blog and follow him on Twitter @socialmouths.
23. You are a Social Media Product by Jay Dolan from The Anti-Social Media
“I recently joined a new social network, Path, and I cannot find a single person I know. I like the idea of Path. I like the limit of 50 friends and its simplicity, but if I cannot find a soul on it, then what’s the point of using Path? I want to share moments with people, not with myself. I do that all day long, and trust me, I get sick of my crazy self.
The goal of any social network is to connect people. If a social network can’t do that, then what’s the point?”
Jay Dolan is hilarious. That annoying kind of hilarious you just want to hate because you can just tell that he’s not even trying to be funny. And as annoyed as you are, you still find yourself snorting milk out your nose when reading his posts – and you don’t even remember drinking milk. Or at least, that’s my experience. Maybe that’s just me…
Anyway, don’t be fooled by the funny. Beneath his humor is a whole boatload of smart, so check out his blog and follow him on Twitter @JayDolan.
24. You Don’t Need ALL the Tools, Just the Right One(s) by Ricardo Bueno from RicardoBueno.com
“How do you manage your time with all of this (new) tech and still have time to focus no what’s important (you know, like those revenue producing activities)?
It starts by defining what you want to accomplish. Then, and only then, can you set out to determine what tool is right for the job. You don’t need all of them, just the ones that are right for you (after all, there’s only so much time in the day)…”
Social media can easily get super overwhelming. In this post, Ricardo talks about how important it is to figure out your own goals and then find the tools that are right for you. After checking out his blog, you can follow him on Twitter @Ribeezie.
25. Your Social Media Goals are Half Way There by Jason Keath from Social Fresh
“Without a compass, a ship is lost.Social media can suck you into a time wasting spiral if you do not navigate toward a specific destination. It is easy to get sidetracked in the distraction heavy world of Youtube and Twitter and Facebook.
Every business knows to set clear goals, and it is no exception.”
If you know me at all, you know that setting and reaching goals are topics that I’m passionate about in my personal life. I think this post by Social Fresh’s Jason Keath is super smart because he goes over the two types of goals you business needs if you want to succeed in social media. You can follow Jason on Twitter @JasonKeath.
So there you have it – 25 posts about social media that I consider to be some of the best published across the web. It’s your turn – what are some of the social media posts you’ve read that have changed how you think about things? Or, if you write about social media, what is the post you’re most proud to have authored?