Social Media Marketing: A Simple Guide For Beginners

Edwin Warui

Social Media Marketing: A Simple Guide For Beginners

Picture this:


Internet users worldwide spend an average of two hours and 25 minutes per day on social media.


And with people having this much screen time, social media marketing is no longer an option. It’s a necessity.


Notably, since social media marketing is accessible and relatively cheaper, it has allowed small businesses to compete with large companies. Gone are the days when you had to pay lots of money to gain popularity through TV advertising and billboards.


The best part?


In this guide, we will cover the six most popular platforms and also some valuable tips to get the most out of each social site.


But first, let’s start with the basics.



What is Social Media Marketing?


It’s simply using social networks to build relationships with existing customers and also reach a wider audience.


By opening up a new world of possibilities, social media enables you to better understand your consumers and create remarkable customer experiences.

That said, what are the...



Social Media Marketing Terms You Need to Know


With technological advances and new social media networks cropping up, you’re bound to come across new terms. To keep you up to date, here are some fundamental definitions:


#1. Algorithm


It’s a set of rules used to solve a problem. For social media, it’s a couple of formulas that automatically decide which posts appear first in your feed.



#2. Avatar


This is the image or username that represents you on a social network. Whether it’s your real photo or a company logo, It’s how your followers identify you online.



#3. Average response time



This is a metric that measures the average time it takes an enterprise to answer questions or complaints on a given social network.

#4. Chatbot



This is an artificial intelligence software that allows a company to automate its customer interactions. The program handles customer service by answering questions or even automatically setting up appointments. Also, the technology can be implemented on different social media apps such as Facebook messenger.



#5. Clickbait



It’s a term used to describe online content with a sensational headline that’s often misleading. By withholding or exaggerating information, it tricks people to click on the content.



#6. Clickthrough rate (CTR)



It’s a common metric that measures the effectiveness of your social content. In other words, it’s the number of times visitors click your content divided by the number of people who see your message.


#7. Conversion rate (CVR)



This is the percentage of users who complete an intended action. It could be signing up for a newsletter, filling out a form, downloading an ebook, following a social media account, or any other act.



#8. Engagement rate



This is a popular metric that measures the amount of interaction a piece of content receives. It could be likes, shares, comments or more.


#9. Hashtag



Invented by Twitter, it’s now a feature of every social media network. A hashtag is also an invaluable tool to enhance your discoverability and engagement on a platform.


#10. Impressions



It’s a measure of the number of times your content appears on users’ feeds whether they click on it or not.


#11. Meme



This is an image, video, text or any other material that’s widely shared online and is used to tell a joke or describe a thought or idea.


#12. Promoted post



Also known as a boosted post. Usually it’s a Facebook post where people pay to increase its reach. A promoted post is similar to Facebook ads in that you target a specific audience and set the boost duration and budget. However, a boosted post is different from Ads because it starts as an organic post and then your budget determines its reach.


#13. Reach



This is the total number of people who see your content.


Now that you’re familiar with some of the common social media terms...



How Do You Start Social Media Marketing?


Before you get started, here are some basic things you need to consider:


#1. Your goals and objectives



Just as in life, it’s critical to understand what you want to accomplish before you get started. Maybe you want to create awareness. Maybe you want to build a community. Maybe you want to boost your sales.


Whatever the reason, stay focused and you will increase your chances of social media marketing success.

#2. Identify your target audience



Social media is diverse and it’s impossible to relate to everyone. In other words, not having a target audience is like standing in the middle of a busy street and shouting your lungs out. Yes, you may attract a few curious onlookers but that’s just about it.


On the other hand, finding your tribe is like a member’s club. You will have common interests. All in all, it’s important to find your tribe and tailor your content accordingly because it increases engagement.



#3. Start small


If you have the resources, it’s easy to get started with multiple platforms. Yes, that can work sometimes but in most cases, there’s a huge dose of luck.


A better strategy is focusing on one platform at a time. Once you’re successful with a single one then you can start building a presence on the next site. The goal is to try and avoid spreading yourself too thin and increase your chances of failure.



#4. Track your performance


For social media marketing, the set-and-forget approach doesn’t work. You have to analyze your performance. For instance, the only way to tell if a certain type of content is resonating with your audience is through data. If you don’t track, then you will keep feeding your tribe the wrong content diet.


The solution?


Test, track and tweak. It’s the only way to find what works for your brand.

So, what are some of the...



Social Media Platforms to Consider


The most common social media sites are:



#1. Facebook


It’s the world’s largest social network with over 2.8 billion people using the platform every single month. Putting it differently, that’s about a third of earth’s population. Also, two-thirds of Facebook users report visiting a local business page at least weekly.


For better results with Facebook, here are some valuable tips:


●  Facebook’s algorithm penalizes link-based content. In other words, keep those posts with outside links to a minimum. Instead, focus on sharing great content that builds trust and connection.

●  In the ‘About’ section of your page, fill the description with searchable information but don’t overstuff it with keywords.

●  Avoid buying likes because there’s the risk of getting your page shut down without warning.

●  Respond to messages quickly and interact with the comments on your posts.

●  Posts with images get 2.3X more engagement than text without visuals.

●  When sharing a blog post, include a compelling meta description. You can do this by quoting statistics in the post or crafting a teaser that draws people to click on the content.

●  For live video, keep the viewers engaged by asking questions and requesting them to respond in the comments.

●  Don’t post too often and overwhelm your audience.

●  Besides using an image for your cover photo, you can also use a slideshow or a video.



#2. YouTube


The platform has over two billion users or almost a third of the internet users. It’s also the internet’s second largest search engine after Google. Lastly, people watch one billion hours worth of content daily on YouTube.


Here are timely YouTube marketing tips:


●  Before you can apply for monetization, your channel needs at least 10,000 views.

●  Choose carefully your account’s image and the art because these are the first things that users notice about your brand. For credibility, make sure it matches the profile pictures of your other social media accounts.

●  Add links and contact information to your profile.

●  Craft a compelling YouTube channel description. This helps increase views and subscriptions to your channel.

●  Add a short and sweet featured video of about 30-60 seconds. It allows you to introduce yourself to users and also shows how you will help them.

●  Choose the right tags for your videos. This enables them to show up in relevant search engines.

●  Include keywords in the video description.

●  For SEO purposes, use the highest-ranking keywords for the video title.

●  Organize your videos into playlists. This acts as a funnel to drive conversions since prospects are unlikely to convert after watching a single video.



#3. Instagram


The social media site has over 1 billion global users and 500 million active daily users.

To get started, here are some helpful Instagram marketing tips:


●  Share regularly to avoid losing followers.

●  Use popular and relevant tags in your posts. This helps increase your content’s visibility.

●  Avoid too many tags because the algorithm recognizes it as spam.

●  Connect your instagram and facebook accounts to help improve interactions.

●  Make sure you have an Instagram business account or instagram creator account.

●  Use sharp, well-lit and in-focus photos and videos because instagram is a visual medium.

●  Ensure consistency among your posts. For example, photos should have a consistent colour, scheme, look and feel.

●  Use relevant, compelling, entertaining or informative captions.



#4. Twitter


On average, Twitter has 330 million active users monthly. Also, over 75 percent of B2B content marketers used Twitter for organic marketing in the past one year.


To get started, here are some valuable Twitter marketing tips:


●  Tweets with images get 3X more engagement.

●  Tweets with videos get 10X more engagement.

●  Adding GIFs to your tweets leads to a 55 percent increase in engagement.

●  Make sure your videos are optimized for mobile.

●  Use hashtags that are related to your industry and niche.

●  Create a branded hashtag. It’s ideal for promoting campaigns and also useful when collecting and organizing content related to your brand.

●  Avoid many hashtags. One or two per tweet is okay.

●  Ensure your content is shareable.



#5. LinkedIn


The platform has more than 740 million active users. Originally a networking site for professionals, the site has expanded to include advertising making it one of the top channels for B2B marketing.


Again, in a survey of over 5,000 businesses, it was found that LinkedIn traffic generated almost three times visitor-to-lead conversion rate that of Facebook and Twitter.


To get started, here are some important LinkedIn marketing pointers:


●  Customize your public profile URL. It makes it look professional and easy to share.

●  Optimize your LinkedIn profile for search engines.

●  Take advantage of LinkedIn’s publishing platform to share content.

●  To bolster credibility, LinkedIn recommends 5-10 published posts on your page.

●  To build your credibility as a leader in your field, you can start your own group.

●  InMail is incredibly effective. Infact, it’s 3X effective than traditional mail.

●  Pick hashtags that are commonly used in your industry.

●  Choose an image that showcases your business.

●  If you have a multilingual audience, you can have the name, tagline and description in over 20 different languages.

●  Posts with images have 98 percent more comments than plain text.



#6. TikTok


This social media site has about 689 million users and beats all other platforms when it comes to engagement levels.


To get started, here are some beneficial TikTok marketing tips:


●  Use relevant hashtags to improve the discoverability of your video.

●  Use a cover that represents the top highlights of your clip. It increases the likelihood of someone watching your video.

●  Since most people use TikTok to have fun, sometimes create humorous content that your target audience can relate to.

●  To make your informational videos more engaging, you can use specific filters or songs for all your videos.

●  Even if there’s no limit to the number of hashtags you can use in your video, it’s best to focus on about two to three so that you can have enough space to write the video description.

●  When starting out, you can partner with relevant creators on the platform. It’s a numbers game, but as you grow your following it becomes easier to find people who are willing to partner with you.

●  For best results, make TikTok ads run between nine and fifteen seconds.

And in case you’re wondering...



How Often Should You Post?

You may have seen them. The different studies trying to show what the optimal posting frequency is. Should you believe them? It depends.


What you need to remember is that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. What works for one brand may not work for you. In other words, there’s no magic formula when it comes to posting frequency.


Here’s what you need to do instead:



#1. Aim for consistency


You’ve probably heard that failure to plan is planning to fail. But, there’s a lesser-known cause of failure. Failing to stick to your plan. You can have the best strategy but if you don’t stick to it then you’re bound to fail.


Similarly, devise a posting schedule (for instance daily or twice daily) and stick with it. Next, as we mentioned earlier, track your performance to measure effectiveness. If it works, keep going. If it doesn’t, make adjustments and post consistently. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.



#2. Aim for quality over quantity


Posting just for the sake of it doesn’t cut it. It’s not just something to strike off your to-do-list.

For this reason, spend less time crafting lots of posts and more time creating more engaging content. Simply, focus on publishing valuable content for your audience because anything less, and consumers will jump ship to your competitor never to come back.


So...



What’s Stopping You?


In short, social media has changed marketing for good. It’s accessible and cheaper than traditional channels. No, it doesn’t replace them. Traditional avenues still have their place.


And as evidenced above, social media offers a lot of potential eyeballs for your enterprise.


Yes, it’s a lot of work because there’s constant listening and responding. But that’s how you better understand your prospects and consequently enable you to create remarkable customer experiences.


Now go out and do it.

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Social Media Marketing: A Simple Guide For Beginners

Social Media Marketing: A Simple Guide For Beginners