social media tutorials

Let me preface this list by saying that I generally dislike “best” lists. I don’t care for people attempting to rank the best of the best of anything online. It’s not just based on a collection of faulty metrics or completely subjective (which people often don’t admit), but it’s ignorant at best. After all, no one is familiar with everything available, so how can they attempt to identify the best?

It usually turns into this back-patting, ass-kissing kind of thing. “So-and-so said something nice about me so I obviously think they’re one of the best or most influential people out there,” or “So-and-so is a more well-known blogger than me, so I should include them so maybe they’ll notice me.” Man, that kind of thing makes me cringe.

That’s not what you’ll find here. This is indeed a subjective list. I don’t mind admitting that. And I want to give you some background on how and why I chose the tutorials I chose.  Here you’ll find ten of what I consider to be solid social media tutorials. Ten “of the best” — not the ten best.

I limited them to tutorials that were published in the last couple of months, since so much in social media can change quickly. I also opted for text / post-based tutorials as opposed to videos. And I certainly have my own biases when picking things — my dislike of Facebook and the word “influencer” would clearly affect how I see social media tutorials in those areas for example.

That said, here you go. Here are ten of my favorite recent social media tutorials — ten of the best I’ve come across online.

1. How to Optimize Your LinkedIn


Of all the social networks available, I tend to prefer LinkedIn. But I’ve never really thought about optimizing my profile there. Heck, I don’t even use it as often as I should. If you’re a regular LinkedIn user, give this tutorial a read to learn how to make yourself easier to contact and make your profile easier to find via search. (Note: one tip about linking to your sites might already be a bit out of date, as per the first comment on the post.)


2. How to Delete Your Social Networking


Look. Just because you want a visible social media presence, it doesn’t mean you want to be permanently attached to any particular social media site. But some (you know which one I mean) have made it notoriously difficult to delete your account. This post is a great simple tutorial on removing your account from several popular social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, and Amazon. Whether you’re through with the site or you just want a fresh start where they aren’t sharing previously-given information with the world, this tutorial is for you.


3. How to Use Social Media to Recruit, Retain, & Recognize


Here’s a great simple social media tutorial for the do-gooders of the world. I used to work in the nonprofit sector. I know how difficult volunteer recruitment can be, even for large and well-known organizations. For smaller ones, it can be that much harder. This tutorial offers some great tips on not only using social media to find volunteers, but to keep them and show them you appreciate them.


4. How to Get the Social-Media Generation Behind Your


censorship - free speech

This is a quick and dirty tutorial, also targeting the nonprofits out there in social media land. If you’re interested in getting the social media savvy behind your cause, it’s a good read. Even better, there’s an interesting chart detailing some of the biggest causes that currently move young adults. Is yours on that list?


5. How to Build a Social Media


I have very mixed feelings on social media policies in general. However, I do understand their place. And if your company is thinking about implementing a social media policy for employees, this five-page tutorial is a good place to start.


6. How to Use Social Media for B2B


If you’re already a seasoned pro at social media marketing, this post might not offer you much. But I think it’s a good introduction for those business owners just starting to think about getting into B2B social media marketing. Sometimes an overview tutorial is what you really need to make decisions about how to move forward.


7. Musicians: How to Rock Up Your Social Media


Having started out in the social media game running a music PR firm, I still have a soft spot for independent musicians in the social media space. After all, the things most of us are doing now are things they helped innovate in the first place. They’re one of the most social media savvy groups currently out there. This tutorial is specifically for them. And it provides some advice I can really get behind and great actionable tips as well.


8. How to Calculate Your ROI with Social

This post offers fewer step-by-step instructions on measuring social media, and puts more of a focus on the social media tools that are available to you. But get past the list itself (which is valuable in its own right) and you’ll pick up a few great tips — like remembering to set up Google alerts to see who’s talking not only about you, but also about your competition.


9. How to Prep Content for Social


I’m sure some people will cringe at the thought of SEO advice in a collection of social media tutorials, but guess what. Here it is. SEO isn’t a “dirty” concept although some people treat it that way. And like it or not, it’s essential in today’s social media environment. So put these SEO tips to use to improve your content on social media platforms, from blogs to the micro-messaging world of Twitter.


10. How to Pitch Social Media to Your



This social media tutorial is a great one not only for employees in marketing or PR departments who want to bring their company into social media, but also for outside social media consultancies needing to pitch prospects on the benefits of what they do. Not only will you get some direct pitching tips to help you convince your boss to give social media a try, but you’ll also find feedback from a variety of professionals on their own processes for pitching social media.


I certainly haven’t seen every social media tutorial out there. Do you have a favorite or two? Feel free to share a link to them in the comments and let us know why you love them.


  1. Some really helpful stuff here. I like the way you took the time to present this and think the SEL how to prep content is especially valuable. Too many times we rush to share and don’t always think things through.

    • “Too many times we rush to share and don’t always think things through.”

      I can agree with that. Sometimes it feels like people are sharing out of instinct (so-and-so shared this so I must RT or “like” it by default) rather than taking things on the own merit. Half the time I doubt people have even read what they’re passing along. They just see a catchy headline and that it’s from someone they trust (even if they probably shouldn’t — like all the Mashable credibility issues we’ve pointed out in recent months), and they pass it along to others who do the same. I think it’ll either come down to increased responsibility when people get sick of it, or people will simply leave and pursue good old one-on-one interactions again if they start to feel social media is hurting credibility rather than playing off of it. I hope it doesn’t go there, but frankly nothing lasts forever, so it wouldn’t surprise me — although pretty distantly down the road at this point.


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