On Mondays I post an interview with a social media marketing expert. My blog focuses on using social media to promote books (particularly self-published books), and I believe authors can really learn a lot about successful social networking by following the experts.
This week we meet Michael Stelzner, founder of SocialMediaExaminer.com, author of the books Launch: How to Quickly Propel Your Business Beyond the Competition and Writing White Papers: How to Capture Readers and Keep Them Engaged, the popular Social Media Marketing Industry Report, and the man behind large summits, such as Social Media Success Summit.
KS: Tell me about your company – how it was created and what you do.
MS: I started Social Media Examiner in October 2009. I partnered with 3 social media leaders to address a gap in the social media marketing world; few were providing clear guidance on how to use social media tools without a marketing ploy. In around 18 months we have grown to over 80,000 daily subscribers and are ranked as the #1 small business blog in the world (Technorati).
We basically do two things: a) provide a daily online magazine with useful articles on social media marketing; b) deliver online educational summits on social media marketing.
KS: Who do you feel can benefit from a social media marketing strategy?
MS: Almost any business can benefit. If you’re trying to build a loyal fan base for your products and/or services, social media can help you find and engage those customers.
KS: How long have you been blogging and what is the primary focus of your blog?
MS: I’ve been blogging and/or writing for blogs for at least six years. Socialmediaexaminer focuses on all aspects of social media marketing. My own expertise is in the areas of content and relationship marketing. I regularly write on these topics for our blog as well as in a guest blogger capacity for blogs like: copyblogger.com, briansolis.com and others.
KS: What is your favorite social networking site? Why?
MS: I don’t have just one favorite site. Each site has a different focus and corresponding strategy. I use Twitter to provide quick updates and to instantly engage with friends and followers. I use Facebook to engage in more lengthy discussions that can be enjoyed by crowd. I use LinkedIn to connect with my business associates.
KS: What is your #1 piece of advice for social networking newbies?
MS: My first piece of advice to a newbie is to answer the why question before you ever select a tool. Don’t get enamored by the bells and whistles or all the news reports. Figure out why you’re going to get into social media and what you hope to accomplish. Then do your homework on which tool(s) will help you accomplish those goals. Finally, make sure you know how you’ll measure whether you’ve achieved your goals. We’ve posted a number of useful articles for social media newbies on our blog at: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/getting-started/
KS: You are the author of Launch: How to Quickly Propel Your Business Beyond the Competition. Tell me a little about your book.
MS: Launch provides inspiration and a guide for building a content and relationship-based approach to growing your business. In the book I describe and unpack the Elevation Principle which says: Great Content + Other People – Marketing Messages = Real Growth.
KS: Why did you decide to write it?
MS: Many of my readers on socialmediaexaminer.com wanted to hear the story of how I started the blog. Instead of just telling the story, I decided I would unveil some of my secrets for how I built two powerful businesses that established me as an industry leader in both sectors. Specifically, I’ve noticed that many businesses do one or two of the things I mention, but rarely do they put them together in a way that will achieve significant growth.
KS: What makes your book different from other social media/marketing books?
MS: Launch is not your typical marketing book. In fact, I purposefully debunk some of the common marketing beliefs. Social media has transformed the way people access information and people. Businesses must adjust. This book provides the strategy and tactics I used to start two successful businesses.
KS: Do you plan to publish more?
MS: I’m a writer and I love to write. I definitely plan to write more books.
To find out more about Michael Stelzner and Social Media Examiner, visit: