In this installment of a series on top digital marketing podcasts, I’ll focus on top social media podcasts. To make this list, a podcast can’t be too-commercial, now can it be just a news digest that skims the surface of all things new in social media. These podcasts boast lengthy discussions of social tactics that marketers have applied with success.

Here then, in no particular order are the top Social Media Marketing podcasts:

Social Media Examiner, Michael Stelzner
Format: Host interviewing guests
The Social Media Marketing podcast and its briefer companion, the Social Media Examiner Show, are very well-known in the space. In 2009, Michael started the Social Media Examiner blog, which now boasts 90-odd contributors. Add the podcasts and an annual conference and you now have a social media publishing empire. Episodes cover recent changes on social networks well; if it’s important, you’ll hear about it on Social Media Examiner. What I like about the podcast is that it also covers some of the lessser-known social media platforms like Slideshare, Imgur and Pinterest.

Marketing Agents Podcast, Rich Brooks
Format: Host interviewing guests
Rich lives in Portland Maine (which he mentions at every opportunity), where he runs a marketing agency and has hosted a conference called Agents of Change for the past few years. The past 80 episodes have featured talks about how to use Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Word of Mouth marketing and strategic-level topics ike social media ROI. Despite the fact that he’s a social media expert, Rich has a self-effacing style which puts people at ease regardless of their knowledge-level. Rich is highly likeable, which is the ideal trait for anyone using social media for marketing.

Content Marketing podcast, Rachel Parker
Format: Host, occasional guests.
Rachel runs Resonance Content, a Houston-based agency devoted to helping companies create and market themselves through content. With over 100 episodes to date, the podcast has extensively looked at the many ways content can work for B2C and B2B businesses. True to the tenets of content marketing, rather than pitching Rachel’s agency, the podcast focuses on the content issues we all encounter…and Rachel gives helpful advice on how to overcome them. Another thing I like about the podcast is that Rachel’s shows are broken into several well-defined segments, including news, interviews and a personal observations segment – she packs in a lot!

Social Media Unscrambled, Chris Curran, David Deutsch
Format: Two Hosts, occasionally guest interviews
This podcast’s aim is to “make sense of social media,” so the hosts steer clear of jargon. They have episodes about integrating social with other forms of marketing, how to share content, how mobile changes usage of social media. The show isn’t quite two years old yet, but the hosts speak the truth about successes and frustrations they’ve had with social media. It’s a nice departure from social media people who have clearly ‘drunk the Koolaid.’

Duck Tape Marketing Podcast, John Jantsch
Format: Host interviewing guests
John Jantsch’s forte is providing the essentials of marketing for non-marketers. Besides his podcast, he has a bestselling book by the same name, which has been followed up by three books that ‘cover the basics’ of small business sales and marketing. Being based out of Kansas City must have something to do with John’s low-key, practical style, which he uses to great effect. The origins of the podcast can be traced back to audio interviews John started posting to his blog as early as 2009. The Duct Tape podcast is about marketing in general, but it draws so many social media authors, experts and thought leaders, I’ve chosen to slot it as a top social media podcast.

Digital Marketing Radio, David Bain
Format: Host interviewing guests
David lives in Britain and runs a web agency; he founded and has been hosting this podcast for close to two years. His topics include: PR and social media, email drip marketing, audience-building, attributing leads to social media, creating e-books. What I like about the podcast is almost all the online entrepreneurs he interviews have built businesses using the tactics they discuss; posers need not apply. David ends his interviews by quizzing every guest with the same questions like ‘what software couldn’t you live without?’ Guests also face his lightning round, to which they must state their marketing preferences E.g. Twitter or Email. Much like how one could quickly scan Personal Ads in newspapers, this gives a quick but good feel for what the guest is like.