A Guide to Social Media Marketing 101

on May 8, 2018

It seems like everyone from pop stars to presidents has mastered the power of social media marketing. People post, like, share, tweet, ping, poke, create videos—anything yielding innovation. Social media has entered a stratosphere of global recognition that goes far beyond a “buzz word.” Entrepreneurs worth their salt know that social media marketing is critical to success. But it isn’t about just scoring new likes and followers. Popularity alone won’t drive your business. Only conversions can do that.

Social media has grown faster than the internet, according to social media marketing icon Neil Patel. Where access to the web has shot up to 1 billion users in a decade, Facebook alone tallies about 2 billion users. It’s by far the most effective and efficient way to turn a site visitor into a paying client. So, what’s been stoppin’ ya?

You can access the dominance of digital marketing and fully take advantage of that global reach by:

  • Listening to your audience.
  • Sharing your message and encouraging others as well.
  • Increasing your reach with multi-channel social marketing.
  • Automating as much of the process as possible.
  • Using progressive analytics to make engagement predictions.

Stellar social media marketing doesn’t exist without content. It’s the type of stuff that gets shared and re-shared like it’s going out of style. Each time, your audience widens and subsequently, the scope of your reach. Once your site is locked and loaded with Promo videos, blog posts, and engagement, you’re ready. Here’s how to scratch that first itch:

Social Listening and Social Marketing

Stick your digital feelers out for what folks are saying about you and your brand. Not just your brand but your industry too. Then leverage what you learn to scout out opportunities or create something original with the audience in mind.

According to a survey of 300 businesses by B2B research firm Clutch, 25% of users who practice social listening do it specifically to gain important feedback and improve their products. Social listening means moving away from measuring social campaigns with vanity metrics. In its place, use social data to inform your strategy. Who needs hollow figures anyway?

There aren’t enough hours in a day to sleuth around every time your industry gets mentioned across the entirety of the internet. But with the right set of tools, you’ll save yourself time and catch wind of any buzz swirling around your business.

It only takes a few simple tools to get started so forget about making excuses!

Setting Up Your Google Alerts

Google Alerts detects changes in content. It shoots out an email when it finds new results on websites, articles, blog posts, or published research.

Start off by typing in your industry or product into the search field and hit enter. Once you’ve done that, you’ll have a short list appear with alerts you’ve set up. What’s more, it’s totally free!

Use Mention to Monitor Social Media

Mention is a neat tool with a clever name. Online mentions of you or your brand are monitored in real time allowing a user to respond immediately.

Why would that matter? Roughly 30% of tweets posted about a particular brand don’t use the brand’s Twitter handle. Tools like Mention read through Twitter’s massive feed while consistently searching for your mentions.

Mention works on more than just Twitter. It’s a full-service, online sleuth tool. It also lets you scroll through social media analytical data and spy on the competition. Start by signing up for an account using your email address.

After you’re signed up, you’ll see a prompt. Click the button and start building your list. Once you know who’s talking about your brand and what they’re saying, interact with them directly and build a relationship.

Choosing Your Social Media Channels

Building a new social media channel takes little more than a laptop and an idea but it’s not rocket science either! So, don’t treat it like the black plague. The ease of use means new social media sites pop up all the time. Choosing too many or the least productive ones for your business can turn into a gigantic waste of time. Resources ill spent don’t do anything to bring a return on your investment.

Multi-Channel Reach

Social listening narrows down your options. It lets you know who’s talking about what, when and where. It gives you an idea of which sites to focus your attention on by helping you predict who’ll be engaged. Multi-channel reach expands the size of your audience and increases your pool of qualified leads. It pulls all the separate parties onto the main dance floor.

Your approach to each channel should be different. A masterfully effective strategy takes into account the different ways in which people interact with the platform. No two are alike. And even while creating advertisements and engaging with your target audience, you’ll want to consider how users tend to respond to ads on each channel. Remember, people are individuals, not robots!

Facebook

Facebook is arguably the king of them all with over 2 billion worldwide users. Forbes reports, “…men and women between the ages of 25 – 54 make up 32% and 29% of Facebook users, respectively.” They go on to say, “…44% of users check Facebook several times per day.” That’s the bulk. For many companies, that’s their prime target market.

Since Facebook is the leader in the market, it’s a great place to start working your social media strategies. It also provides the most tools for a business to analyze their efforts. From the Facebook Ads Manager to your business “Insights” page, you can consistently access metrics that will drive revenue. The platform should be an obvious first start.

Twitter

Twitter is a micro-blogging platform that exists in its own universe. It doesn’t fit into the typical social media landscape the way Facebook and others do. Businesses tend to use Twitter to:

  • Connect and network with similar businesses.
  • Spread information about themselves and content.
  • Promote their brand through advertising.
  • Drive engagement in promotions.
  • Answer customer questions.
  • Address consumer issues.

Twitter is built on thriving through communication. It encourages strangers to openly share their opinions. Capitalize on this by making tweets and ads conversational and easy to engage. Don’t forget Gifs can be your best friend too. Ug like when things move!

Hashtags

They’re the unsung heroes of social media marketing. By creating a type of label for your content, using them makes your content searchable. Generating exposure to your posts through engagement with the platform brings in potential buyers who are prepared to respond, critique, or simply “click here” with very little work on your part.

Be bold, specific and unique. Generic hashtags get lumped in with the thousands or millions of other posts using them. The hashtag business is similar to conducting a keyword search for SEO purposes. Whenever possible, use trending hashtags. Just shy away from super political or religious stuff. That’s gonna get you burned!

Automation

An estimated 94% of social media marketers automate their process. They focus on getting out content that’s:

  • Highest value
  • Most re-sharable
  • Top converting

It’ll take a few steps the first time. Nothing difficult. After analyzing your website, share what gets clicked. Social media management tools are your best bet if you are a busy business owner that can’t commit to posting consistently throughout the day/week. Make the robot do the remedial work. He won’t mind.

Hootsuite

Narrow down your meatiest content and have it automatically posted with Hootsuite. Setting up an account is painless. Next, use their “Compose Message” tool and select the platforms you’d like to share it to. Schedule it by adding a date and confirm. That’s it. Painless, right?

Have Progressive Analytics

Last but not least, adopt a proactive response to interpreting your results. Few marketers use analytics and automation to broadcast their most killer content in the most efficient way. No social media strategy is complete without analyzing data. Once you have a system in place, it will be easier to predict future business outcomes and mitigate potential risks.

Your automation application should provide you with engagement reports. If not, Google Analytics is a free tool that does that and even helps calculate your conversions. It also shows you the incoming sources of your site visits. Fewer conversions through Twitter could mean your posts aren’t conversational enough. Maybe you need to up the ante and go to town!

Social media marketing is about paying attention to your audience and meeting them at the water cooler. In other words, you must know where people congregate to best communicate. Once you understand your who’s talking, it will be easier to create content with valuable thought leadership.

Lastly, don’t forget to automate whenever possible and take advantage of the big social data you collect. Social media marketing is so much more than simply posting online. It’s a valuable strategy that not only drives revenue but brings you closer to the people that truly matter. Your brand will be viewed as a social entity, and you’ll become the coolest kid on the block.

 

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Author


Content Lead at Slide.ly

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