The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Social Media Marketing

The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Social Media Marketing

We all know how to use social media. Some of us use it to connect with friends and family, others use it for marketing purposes. Regardless, it has emerged as a universal medium that both brands and consumers need it.

Social media is a broad channel that goes beyond Facebook and Twitter. LinkedIn is growing in popularity, as well as Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, and others. How do we implement these channels into our social media marketing?


What is social media marketing?

Social media marketing is a branch that changes the way brands advertise their products. Marketers reap the benefits of social media because it has led to the materialization of a new industry: digital marketing. Read on to find out more.

1. How do I choose the best channel for my brand?

If you’re new to the world of digital marketing, you should know that choosing the channel that best fits your brand is fundamental. Set up a strategy before settling on Facebook, and answer yourself this: How can Facebook help me get more quality leads and increase ROI? The purpose of every company active on social media is to boost productivity. Here are some tips to get started:

  • Set up a Facebook/Instagram/Twitter page for your business
  • Consult with a web design company to help you craft the best website
  • Have a blog section on your site
  • Start writing (make sure quality is a top priority)

Many brands wrongfully assume that they need to link to every possible social media platform out there. Wrong! The smartest approach is to choose the channels that best match with your business goals.

choose-social-media-for-your-brand

If you’re selling clothes, for example, Instagram and Facebook are your best bet; there’s no real use to signing up for LinkedIn because you’re in the e-commerce niche, where the purpose is to sell.

Don’t add social buttons on your site just because everyone else is doing it.

Whatever the purpose of your business is, consider platforms that keep your audience engaged. Catchy content that is qualitative and consistent works the best when doing social media marketing.

2. How do I increase engagement (e.g. likes, shares, comments)?

As a brand, you need to find ways to foster engagement on social media. Interact with users with questions, comments, and mentions. If you’re just starting out, and are currently looking to develop a community, you should be active and present on social.

Respond to questions in a timely fashion, and cater to your prospects needs. Move on to building a strong data-driven strategy. This is where quality content comes in. What would your fans like to read on your page? Do they like visual content better, or do you think GIFs are a must suited approach?

3. How do I get started with social media stories?

Social media Stories is an embedded feature originally developed by Snapchat. Instagram and Facebook use it too. Stories can be a powerful social media marketing strategy. Brands can use them to compel their audience by providing content that only lasts 24 hours; then it disappears. On Instagram, Stories can be used to market a promotion.

social-media-marketing-platforms

Your fans will have to act fast if they want to benefit from the discount, as your story is live for a limited amount of time only. Apart from promotions, you can add behind-the-scenes content, make a boomerang video to market a certain product that is on sale, and a lot more.

4. Social media monitoring (e.g. metrics and analytics)

Social media monitoring is a key piece of social media marketing. There’s no point in providing excellent content on social sites, if you’re not gathering information about your audience. With monitoring, you can use analytics (e.g. Google Analytics) to track traffic, engagement, sentiment, and analyze exactly what people want to see on your page. With Analytics, you can use this feature to better define your audience.

5. What social media management tools should I use?

For your social media marketing strategy to render the best results, businesses should use the right tools to boost engagement. BuzzSumo, for example, is a platform that helps you find the best content on the web. Heavily-shared content should give you an idea of what people want to read and share on social media.

competitor analysis with buzzsumo

All you have to do is enter a website URL or keywords to get a list of the most relevant and popular blog posts that contains the keyword. BuzzSumo is more like a news website that helps you get inspired, and come up with topics that your targeted audience might actually want to read, and engage with.


Benefits of social media marketing

Social media and blogging go hand in hand. They complement each other, making sure your social media marketing campaign renders the best results. Leverage social media and use it to promote your brand and business. Liking and sharing generate leads, but analytics and metrics are what truly matter. By monitoring who sees what on your social pages, you can segment your list and build a

Settle on content that sticks on social media the most. It’s tough to make a decision at first, but if your audience is targeted correctly, you shouldn’t have any issues. The best type of content on social is:

  • Tips and tricks
  • Industry news
  • How-to guides
  • Know-how articles
  • Infographics
  • Company insights
  • Reviews
  • Q&A type of content

Keep in mind that some type of content may not perform well, and that’s ok. Do an A/B test to see whether industry news or know-how are a better fit. Testing is an excellent strategy because it helps marketers understand their followers. A social media calendar is more than recommended. It will help you organize and program your content, and posts, so that everything goes live as organized as possible.

1. Brand & business uniqueness

Your brand and business should have a voice of their own. It’s on to get inspired from other popular businesses out there, but your strategy should be unique. Have crystal-clear goals in mind, and settle on social channels that actually relate to the goals and mission of your brand. The purpose of any social campaign is to add tangible value. If you don’t pay close attention to quality, it’s literally impossible to grow your business, and implicitly your ROI.

2. Originality

build-original-brand

A lot of companies today wrongfully believe that they can compete with the world’s biggest and most famous brands. Why would you want to build a brand that mimics other brands? Originality is fundamental when using social media marketing to help your company go viral on the web. Buzzfeed’s Tasty, for example, was a genius idea. Because the concept was new, different, and unique, it caught on extremely fast. People fell in love with Tasty’s addictive video; which basically helped Buzzfeed craft a virtual food empire.

The website got 50 more million fans because of Tasty, thus proving that when people get content that they actually want to read or view, they actively participate in online campaigns by liking, commenting and sharing a lot.

3. Reputation

For your social media marketing campaign to render results, brands must work hard to build themselves a reputation. Focus on connecting and interacting with your audience, thus building strong relationships. Value your followers, and be active on social media to cater to their needs and wants. Since social media has completely changed the way we market our companies and brand, we must look after the demands of our customers and prospects. Online, connecting is challenging; negative reviews affect your reputation, and often times it takes a lot of time to get back on your feet.

4. Consistency

It’s not uncommon for brands to define their social media personality, and develop a voice. However, the key is to keep things consistent. Boost engagement, reliability, and trust by providing pertinent information your audience would love to read. If you’re not consistent when publishing content on social media, people might get confused. As a brand, you can’t afford to confuse your audience.

43% of all social media users choose to connect with brands to receive direct responses to queries. This means that almost 50% of users turn to you to get clearance on a specific matter, or it could mean that they have a concern, and they need you to help them fix it. In a report published by contently, it was mentioned that 66% of users are skeptical when using social media; as a brand, you should be crystal-clear about how you can help them. Do not attempt to deceive them, and use sponsored content to convey a real message.

track-performance-analytics-content-marketing

That’s why replies to queries and educational articles matter so much. Monitor insights and track sentiment on social media to get a feel of what people want from you. Brand mentions are equally important; the right tool can help you find out what people are saying about your companies on social platform and channels. Don’t underestimate the power of social media, and leverage its potential to see your ROI skyrocket.


Conclusion

Bottom line is, as a brand you need social media to market your products. For your campaign to stand above the crowd, it needs to cater to the needs of your target audience. It all begins with choosing your social channels.

Are your prospects spending time on Facebook? Or do they socialize on Instagram more? Make an informed decision and you’ll reap all the benefits of social media marketing. Consistency and originality are the keys, but it’s equally important to take good care of your reputation with stellar customer service on social media.

Author Bio

Charles Goodwin is the writer to this article. He is a regular contributor to many sites and mainly focuses on business related topics. He also recommends Datadial offering digital marketing services.

(This is a guest post. View guest posting guidelines.) 

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ThemeGrill Author

We are a team of SEO copywriters and editors who work both individually and in the team. ThemeGrill author is where one of the editors here is working on one project personally or editing the guest posts. Write us @themegrill_blog in Twitter and +ThemeGrillBlog on Google+.

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