Social Media Marketing: 101
If you had to guess how much time the typical person spends on social media, how long do you think it might be?
Go ahead, guess!
Did you guess one hour and forty minutes?
After all, we tend to run our businesses, answer our emails, order food, watch movies and even manage our bills and bank accounts on-line.
Social media marketing is one of the most important channels that internet marketing has. It is endlessly profitable and the majority businesses understand the importance of investing into social media marketing. Many, however, struggle to understand where to start out. In our social media marketing 101 guide, you’ll learn everything you need to understand about how to set up a social media strategy, where to get started, and more.
What will Social Media Marketing Help Me Accomplish?
Some people make social media marketing appear shallow and superficial, however actually it should be the exact opposite. With legitimacy and transparency (or at least the illusion of it), social media will help you accomplish the following goals:
Community building and relationship building, fueled by generating discussion
Brand awareness & discovery (particularly if you’re using social ads)
Announce new product and business developments to your passionate audience
Promote events and increase both registration and attendance
Increasing website traffic as a result of referral clicks
Driving leads and sales (though the latter should never be the immediate priority on social media)
Providing price to your audience and establishing your experience in your field
Social media, in contrast to different marketing platforms, depends on the transparency we mentioned above so as to accomplish any of those goals.
People don’t just need to see some ad copy—they need to visualize what makes the wizard tick behind the green curtain, so to speak. they need to feel like they’re getting to understand you and your business, because social media is just that: social. If you’re ready to place the connection building first, you’ll be off to an excellent start.
Social Media Platforms to Consider
There are a large variety of various social media sites that you will join to promote your business. There’s such a large amount, in fact, that this list doesn’t even cover all the obscure ones.
Regardless, these are the platforms with the biggest and most engaged audiences and they’ve all been around long enough that it’s a safe bet to invest time into them now. Here are the platforms that almost all businesses should take into account joining for promoting purposes:
Would it even be possible to have any website other than Facebook at the top of this list? After Myspace’s temporary stint in the early 2000s, Facebook dethroned them and has controlled the crown ever since.
More than ten years later, Pages for brands on Facebook are extraordinary. Clients will see your business hours and store location on a map, write reviews, and look at all of your latest content. They’ll even see incredible CTAs designed to help your business accomplish all of your social media marketing goals.
Many businesses use Facebook as the “center” of their social media marketing. It’s the platform they focus the most energy on and also the one they’re most dedicated to maintaining. This is often a decent strategy, although it’s worth noting that declining reach from the latest algorithmic rule is simply going to continue. So, as to combat this, share ample amounts native content (including videos), attempt to generate discussion on platform, and avoid sharing a great deal of outgoing links in the meantime.
If you would like to achieve a brand new audience quickly or give your posts some help within the newsfeed, you'll be able to use Facebook’s incredible ad system to do all this and more.
Twitter appears to have it’s moments, dipping up and down in quality as a marketing tool. Despite that, it’s managed to stand its ground and plenty of businesses are still happily using it with nice success.Twitter will solely be effective as a marketing tool, however, if it’s used to generate discussion. Too many businesses use it to dump links to their blog into the empty void that's a Twitter newsfeed while not really attempting to create engagement. If you aren’t having a conversation with different users, your marketing simply won’t be effective on this platform.
You can produce thought-provoking content, polls, and question-based posts that are designed to induce additional retweets and responses. Twitter chats, just like the one pictured from SEMrush above, are an excellent way to nurture a community and jumpstart conversation that centers your business.
Instagram is owned by Facebook, however it’s undoubtedly still pretty much its own platform. It’s a predominantly visual platform, with esthetically beautiful and fascinating videos and photos reigning supreme.
In addition to having a large variety of diverse followers and being a rapidly growing platform, Instagram also has some of the very best engagement rates out of all social platforms. And whereas they do have an interest-based algorithmic rule rather than a chronological one, it still won’t interfere with business profiles nearly as much as Facebook’s new algorithmic rule does.
For best success on Instagram, use all of the features that are available to you. Produce stories and newsfeed posts, and make a significant use of hashtags to get discussion, encourage user-generated content and help attract new followers.
LinkedIn should be one of the first profiles you create if you’re in a B2B industry, and you must create profiles for both your personal page and your company. Whether or not you wish to recruit new staff or promote your business (or both), LinkedIn is a valuable resource. It’s where professionals visit to share industry news, and you'll see a rather higher caliber of debate on LinkedIn posts than you'll see elsewhere (cough…Twitter…cough).
To get the most out of LinkedIn, you should be posting content that both peers and potential customers would find valuable, actionable, and thought provoking. This is often the content that’s shared most frequently, and what generates the most discussion, and discussion is usually a good thing.
Pinterest is a little different from all the other social media platforms, where the main focus from users is on saving content rather than distributing it outright. Think about Pinterest as something halfway between a private wish list and an inspiring vision board. Here you'll find everything from recipes to how to create gourmet cupcakes for dogs to instructions on a way to paint your bathtub grey, should you be so inclined.
Jokes aside, Pinterest won’t be the correct choice for every business, except for those in certain industries it’s a must have. By placing the correct keywords in your profile’s description, and also the titles and descriptions of both your boards and pins, you'll attract traffic and share your content, products and ideas with an exceptionally engaged audience. Just how engaged are they? Let’s take a look:
87% of pinners have purchased a product as a result of Pinterest
93% said they used the site to plan a future purchase
83% of Pinterest users would rather follow a brand than a celebrity
Pinterest is big for people wanting to research what to buy, with several users actively looking for new products through the site’s native program. This makes it a huge force to be reckoned with.
YouTube is as old as Facebook and it’s the biggest video sharing platform around. Whereas YouTube is packed with cute panda videos and teenagers doing dumb things, it’s additionally a wonderful platform for marketing if you know the way to execute it properly.
Like Pinterest, keywords are an exceptionally vital part of YouTube marketing. Place them in your video’s title, description, and tags. you'll produce video that gives value to your audience through tutorials, how-to demonstrations, Q&As and informational content that your audience is actively searching for. Advance auto parts, as an example, shows the way to do basic automotive repairs on their channel and they link to their products within the descriptions.
YouTube may be approached as a combination of a content marketing and social media marketing platform. Keep in mind to always send traffic back to your main website when doable, as that’s a vital part of finding success on this platform.
I’m not a huge Snapchat fan and thanks to Instagram and Facebook aggressively running their "only-there-for-24-hours-before-it-disappears" feature, the platform’s usage has declined significantly. That being said, it’s still an exceptionally popular platform with users below the age of twenty five, thus if your market is young Millennials (and younger), this might be an excellent platform for you.
Snapchat works for brands that may be a bit unconventional and have a sense of humor. Like Instagram, it’s a visual platform, however in contrast to Instagram, the pictures don’t need to be particularly top quality. This makes it a little easier to create mass amounts of content quickly. While Snapchat can be valuable if your audience is on the platform, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket with this one.
How should I get Started?
When you’re ready to start along with your social media promoting, there’s a couple of steps that i like to recommend taking. In order, they are:
Choose what goals you’re optimizing for. Do you need to find new staff and establish thought leadership? Generate discussion to build relationships and nurture leads? The goals you choose will lead you straight into step 2.
Identify which platforms would benefit your business most. Remember, you want to start out small so you'll be able to maintain the communities fully on every site. With this in mind, choose one or two platforms that will benefit you most. Most businesses should choose Facebook first, however the second platform you decide on will depend upon your business. Are you in the B2B industry and looking to build thought leadership? Go LinkedIn. Do you have a product that will do well with visual marketing? Jump on Instagram.
Create a Content Schedule. I actually use publishing software like Hootsuite for all of my social media clients. A content calendar helps you plan what types of posts you want to share, and having it all done in advance means that you’ll never miss any opportunities.
Find Streams of Curated Content. The sheer quantity of content that you simply need is sort of unfathomable, and curated content is the way to go. I’d suggest finding totally different non-competing influencers and businesses that share content your target market would love and following them. Plan on frequently sharing their content on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
Monitor everything constantly. Watch your on-platform analytics to visualize what types of content users are engaging with, and your social trends over time. And, even more importantly, watch your pages for opportunities of engagement. Answer questions users have as soon as possible. Thank users for his or her reviews, and interact with comments and responses as often as possible. This is often essential for community and relationship building, which is what social media marketing is all about.
Social media promoting has a vast and diverse audience, and it’s free and accessible. It’s an excellent chance to nurture relationships and build an online community, solidifying your place in your customers’ lives. Just keep in mind that for social media to benefit your business, it should be rigorously maintained and monitored. Start slow and small, and scale from there.
What do you think? Do you use social media marketing for your business? What strategies benefit you most? Share your thoughts, knowledge, and questions in the comments below!