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Social Media Marketing: Starter’s Guide

Social Media Marketing Starter Guide

Today’s society has seen a huge push towards social media use with billions of people using various platforms. This means using social media has become a popular way for businesses to stay relevant and interact with their customers and clients. Having an up to date social media presence allows people to look up your business and find out more information such as times you are open and pictures of products. Advertising on social media such as Facebook or Instagram has also become one of the most effective ways to sell products or gather leads at a good price. Below we will go over all of the different platforms, with their benefits, as well as some specific tactics that can help your business be more effective on the individual platforms.


Instagram

One of the most popular social media platforms right now is Instagram which has a billion monthly users according to the company. Visual content is the most engaged with content and Instagram is based on visual content. Instagram has the highest amount of engagement of any of the social media platforms which means have a presence on Instagram will allow your company to engage better with its community. Also, Instagram can be utilized to see what your customers are saying. Many people use Instagram to post about products they have bought or services they have used. Keep an eye on hashtags that are relevant to your company as well as checking what people have tagged your page in. This will be useful to get honest feedback from customers. From engagement to feedback, if done correctly, utilizing Instagram can be very useful for your company.

Starter Tips

Switch to a Business Page

The first thing you need to make sure you do to get the most out of Instagram is to make sure your account is a business page. One reason this is important is that by using a business page your followers and anyone else who comes across your page can easily get in touch with your business. This is because business pages can have a contact button in their bio. Second, using a business page allows you to take advantage of Instagram Analytics. This tool is useful so that you can track the responses to different posts and campaigns so you can tell what is working and what needs work. Third, having a business page allows for easier use of Instagram Ads. Using these ads is crucial to growing your presence on the platform so having a business page is useful so that you can use the ads easier.

Sponsored Ads

Speaking of ads this is something that should be utilized on Instagram. Using sponsored ads allows you to reach more than just your followers. You can customize an audience who fits your ideal customer. Instagram will then show your advertisement to these specific individuals and they also place them within the app depending on how you set. This means you can choose whether you want your ads to be shown in the newsfeed while someone is scrolling or within the stories functions (or both). Having a sponsored ad is also useful because you can link the post to your site and people can easily click on the post instead of having to look up your website on their own.

Hashtags

Now that you have made your Instagram a business page and you are running sponsored ads you should also use hashtags. Using hashtags may seem obvious but they are important. Do some research and figure out what hashtags are relevant for your company and also how much volume they see. It may also be helpful to create hashtags specific to your company for your followers to use. This way when people look up certain hashtags they will see your company.

Sponsorships

Also, for certain categories of companies, it can be useful to find individuals with higher followings and initiate a partnership with them. This is very big with gym wear brands. They find people on Instagram who are considered fitness influencers and sponsor them. The influencer posts about the company and shows off their clothing and in return the influencer may make a commission and free clothing. Other companies may pay influencers to sponsor specific posts instead of having a long-running sponsorship. Depending on what your company sells this could be a good way to gain a bigger following.


Facebook

Facebook is another major social media platform and can be extremely beneficial for businesses. The platform sees 2.7 billion monthly users. This means that it is the largest audience on any one social media platform. Facebook is used for a whole handful of reasons from posting pictures to interacting with long-distance friends and family. Another big reason people use Facebook is to search for different businesses. When trying to decide what company to use for a service or product people tend to search the company on Facebook to gain info. They can see reviews left by others who have used the company, see hours of operation, and look at photos from the company. Having an active page on Facebook allows the public to see that your company is real and to get a feeling for your company’s brand and values. Utilizing Facebook is a major part of marketing your company.

Starter Tips

Use a Business Page

Just like on Instagram you are going to want to make sure you use a business page on Facebook. Again there a few different reasons why this is beneficial and a few different pieces you should make sure to use. First, use a call to action button. When you use a business page you can have what is called a Call to Action button. This can be used to get people to sign up for a newsletter or contact your company etc. Second, make sure that your business is in the correct category. When signing up for a business page you can choose the category of your business for example a local business. This allows your page to show up easier during searches. Third, make sure to have a customized URL for your page for easy access. When utilizing a business page you can create a custom URL. This is very helpful so that it is easier for people to find your page.

Utilize Facebook Ads

Again similar to Instagram it is also beneficial to run Facebook Ads. You can either run an ad to a very broad audience or you can get as specific as you want. You can target specific areas, age groups, genders, interests, etc. which allows your ad to only appear for those who are most likely to interact with it. Facebook ads are also beneficial because they tend to come at a low cost. For example, we recently launched a FB ad for one of our clients for massage therapy and within less than three days they had 17 leads that cost them less than $2 each. Of those 17 leads, 5 of them booked appointments and submitted their payment information. This means the ad cost the company less than $34 to produce over $250 in revenue (and that’s not counting if those new customers bought additional services or booked another appointment).

Engagement

Setting up and running ads is crucial to be successful on Facebook but don’t forget to engage with your followers. If you are a local business one way to do this is to post about relevant events that are happening in your town. This way you are posting about what your followers are interested in and you keep your page in front of people. Another way to engage is to run specials that are only for those on Facebook. This will encourage people to follow your page so that they don’t miss out on deals. Any positive way you can find to engage with your Facebook followers allows your company to stay fresh in their minds.


LinkedIn

LinkedIn

For those that are not familiar with LinkedIn, it is a similar platform to Facebook where you can share posts and connect with others. However, it is built for networking with other professionals instead of being for your friends and family. Since LinkedIn is for the business side of the world, it does have some capabilities that the above platforms do not offer.

Key Features

For one, LinkedIn allows you to write articles and have them published like a blog post. A second feature LinkedIn has is the LinkedIn Profinder, which allows freelancers and businesses to submit proposals for project requests that other users submit. The third feature we wanted to mention in this blog post is LinkedIn Talent. With LinkedIn talent, you can post job openings to recruit talent right within the platform and since the users on LinkedIn use their account for professional purposes, it will double as a resume for when you look to schedule interviews. Although these are not all of the capabilities that LinkedIn offers, they are some of the top ones that differentiate them from other platforms.

Starter Tips

The first thing to do when getting your business set up on LinkedIn is to set up a LinkedIn Company Page. A company page is a separate page from your personal LinkedIn page that you manage from your personal page. This page should have your company logo, website, industry, employee count, contact info, specialties (services), and a full description/background on what makes your company different. Once you have your company page set up, you will want to have all of your employees to set up their LinkedIn profiles (if they haven’t already) and then add your company page as their current employer. The reason behind this is so whenever your employees post or interact on the platform, your company page will be seen on their profile – more attention = more potential.

Once your company page is all set up, the next thing to do is to start “networking”. Think of LinkedIn as a 24/7 ongoing networking event where you are “rubbing elbows” with every professional in the world. Granted yes, when you post on LinkedIn the majority of the users on the platform are not gonna see your post (even your connections won’t see every post), but every single post you make will be seen by other professionals and have the potential to make a Good or a Bad impression on them. The reason why this is a key concept to understand is that like networking events, with LinkedIn you can form lasting relationships with individuals that can greatly impact your success.

The key to “network” effectively on LinkedIn is to stay away from selling. At a networking event, you would never walk around to people handing out flyers and trying to sell everyone on your product as soon as the conversation starts. Instead, you would engage in conversations with others about different common interests. The only way you would pitch your business to someone else in the room is if they ask you about it first. Well, the same goes for LinkedIn. Instead of posting all of the time about your deal of the month, post about interesting topics within your industry (or any industry that matters) and consistently engage in other’s posts. What this will do is keep your name in front of others and allow you to create relationships with different people from all over the world. On top of all of that, join different LinkedIn groups that your potential customers may be in and continue to GENUINELY network with those people as well.

Proper Etiquette

Nowadays, LinkedIn is one of the most talked-about platforms in the business world, specifically in the B2B (Business to Business) industries. There are plenty of Digital Marketers that swear by LinkedIn as being the number 1 way they grow their business and it is the method “everyone should use”. Though LinkedIn can be very effective for growing your company’s online presence, it does have a particular etiquette one should follow to maintain a solid reputation and reap the benefits this platform has to offer.

See on LinkedIn, there is a general mispractice that is being used a lot and that is SPAMMING. At the beginning days of LinkedIn, there were all types of software and “bots” that people would use to send out mass connection invites and messages to others on the platform trying to sell their product/service… and it worked! Even though this practice is still being widely used, it has burned itself out. Yes, people are still making sales from this “churn and burn” approach, but the downsides of ruining your reputation or even possibly being BANNED from LinkedIn far outway those few sales you might get. So make sure when you do use LinkedIn, use it as if your client base is always watching you.


Other Social Media Platforms

While Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn are three major platforms that are key pillars to your success on social media, below we have some beginner information on some of the other “big players” as well. Depending on your industry, these three below may be just as important as the ones above, but we didn’t want this blog post to take 6 hours to read 😂.

Youtube

Youtube

Youtube is a great platform for teaching and creating educational content. You can create How-To videos that are relevant to your company’s specialty or videos that explain different processes involved in your job. Another way to use Youtube is to start a video podcast. One of our clients is a health-related company so they started a video podcast on Youtube where they interview professionals in the health field. Having a video podcast is a great way to gain new subscribers. You can also then share your Youtube videos on Facebook and 60-second snippets on Instagram to incorporate multiple platforms.

Since Youtube is the #1 platform for video content, a big thing to succeed in the platform is to invest in quality equipment for making your videos. That being said, when you are just starting you do not want to spend too much money on your start-up equipment.

twitter

Twitter

Twitter has become a more casual platform to interact with your audience on. Posts are shorter and some companies have found success using their accounts to joke and have fun with their audience. One thing about Twitter, that can be very effective for your business is to use it as a running commentary. Whether you are a Software company that uses Twitter to talk about updates or a roofing company talking about the recent hail storm in the area, this platform can be great for all types of updates.

Twitter can also be a good place for giveaways. Have your followers retweet one of your posts to be entered in a giveaway and then their followers will see your posts as well. With giveaways on Twitter, if the giveaway is big enough, it can truly go viral.

The best part about Twitter is that anyone can see what you tweet and what others tweet, so therefore it allows for a level of engagement that can’t fully be matched on other platforms. With this level of transparency, you can see conversations on different topics from all across the world. What can be powerful for your company is engaging in these conversations. If you are a local business that does not sell globally, then engage in the local conversations and keep your business always present in your community. If you are a worldwide or national (internet) business, then engage in all conversations having to do with your industry. What this will do for your business, is keep your company name relevant and always in front of those interested in your industry.

Pinterest

Pinterest

Pinterest tends to be a social media platform that many companies forget about when trying to promote their business; however, it can be extremely powerful. Whether you are selling physical products or posting about How-To’s Pinterest can be a useful piece of your marketing strategy. The best target audience for this platform has shown to be women 25 years and older so if this is also your company’s target audience check out Pinterest.

The way Pinterest works, is it allows you to upload content similar to the other platforms, but what makes it extremely different is that you can save content from anywhere on the web and “pin” it onto Pinterest. On the consumer side, and this is the big reason why Pinterest has gained so much popularity is that you can collect other people’s content that you see on the platform to your own collections (within Pinterest) for your future use. This can be extremely helpful when you are looking to gather ideas for all different types of interests, whether it is clothing ideas for the winter or car part ideas for your next fixer-upper.

What makes Pinterest very powerful, is its e-commerce side of the platform. In the beginning, Pinterest was mainly used by hobbyists or trend followers to see what the latest trend was in their field. Nowadays, Pinterest has one of the biggest marketplaces on the internet. So if your company sells goods online, you NEED to be on Pinterest.

Conclusion

As society becomes more and more digitally focused marketing needs to as well. While classics such as TV commercials and mailers still prove to be beneficial for many companies they can still see a boost in customers by having an online presence. Start by creating a business page on the various platforms that you feel work best for your company and then engage with your audience.

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