An Introduction to Social Media

My guess is this … you’re already familiar with social media.

You’re a Facebook user, heck, maybe even you dabble on Instagram and Snapchat … oh and of course Pinterest.

You’ve started your own business, and now you find yourself wondering … what is social media marketing?

As a casual social media user, you’ve likely never thought about your social media marketing strategy. But, as a social media user for business, your social media marketing strategy is critical.

In this post, we go into a basic introduction to social media.

Ready to get started?

Why Social Media

Look around you, how many people do you know that don’t use social media at all?

Facebook alone has roughly 2.23 billion active users.

You read that right, 2.23 BILLION.

Whether you’re looking to sell a product or build your personal brand, your audience is on social media.

For the purpose of this discussion, it’s not even about advertising on social media. Just think about all the connections you can make. On social media, you can find, connect, and start conversations with like-minded individuals.

How cool is that?!

On networks like Twitter and Instagram, a simple hashtag search can lead you to someone who also loves Sour Patch Kids.

Social media is the great connector and the one tool you need to build relationships.

If you’ve just started your business, you might be wondering exactly where to put your time and energy — maybe even budget.

SOCIAL MEDIA is your answer.

If you’re looking for a low-cost way to get the word out about you, this is it.

Through social media, you can:

  • Increase traffic to your website
  • Build your brand
  • Increase awareness
  • Generate leads
  • Start conversations
  • Provide customer service
  • Boost your sales
  • Source content ideas
  • Establish yourself as a thought leader

The list goes on and on.  

Knowing all this, I have to ask — what’s holding you back?

Social Networks

Ready to move forward? Let’s break down the main social networks.

We can talk a lot about demographics on these networks and who is where and how they use each network, but I have one question for you first.

Which social network do you spend the most time on?

Choosing Your Network

The secret to your social media strategy isn’t necessarily “what network you use.” I see this mistake a lot. Take the following scenario

An avid Facebook user comes to me wanting to reach a specific demographic. They decide they want to use Instagram to reach their audience. They create a business profile and start trying to figure it out. They use the same tactics that they use on Facebook and see no growth.

When choosing a social network, don’t worry about the “right” network. Start with a network where you are comfortable. For example, if you love Instagram and log in every day and have successfully built personal relationships there, this is the same social network where you should start building your business.

Generally speaking, start with just one social network.

This might feel counterintuitive.

After all, isn’t everyone on every network!?

The important part here is that you master the network before moving onto another. Or maybe you never move on to another. It’s ok to not be on every social network.

It is ok.

You’ll find more success with your social media marketing strategy by starting where you are comfortable.

Post Frequency

You’ve got your network locked down; now it’s time to figure out your post frequency. In my experience, this is probably the second most frequently asked question. To suffice the need for a standard answer, here is a quick recipe for you.

  • Facebook: 1-2 times per day
  • IG: 1-3 times per day
  • Twitter: up to 10 times per day
  • Youtube: Once per week
  • Stories (IG or SnapChat): ALWAYS
  • Pinterest: 3-8 times per day
  • LinkedIn: 2-5 times per week

However, the key when it comes to posting frequency is that you remain consistent. No amount of posting is going to help you grow your profiles, but consistent posting and strategic posting will help you grow.

Keys to Success

In addition to post frequency, here are a few other keys to help you succeed on social media.

Post High-Value Content

The best social media accounts are the ones that provide value to their followers. Whether you make them laugh, educate them, or motivate them, your social media profile should have a goal. If your goal. Keep this goal in mind and only post content that supports your goal.

Brand Your Profiles

Whether you’re on one network or five, your profiles should have a similar look and feel. Use the same profile picture on each account, so users can easily recognize you.

Be Human

If you’re representing a brand, you don’t have to “talk” like a brand. If you’re representing you, you don’t have to pretend to be something you’re not. Instead, aim to be human and don’t worry so much about if someone “won’t like you.”

Make Connections

Social media without connections is pointless. Half the battle might be posting, but the other half (and more than half) is about building relationships. That means you need to be in there every day. Thoughtful comments, likes, and responses can go a long way toward helping you build relationships.

Respond to Positive and Negative

It’s easy to respond to the positive stuff, but not always the negative. However, I strongly suggest you always respond. Don’t get too heated, think about the message you want others to see. If needed, take a few hours to craft the right response.

Don’t Spam

If you’re selling a physical product, don’t focus on SELL, SELL, SELL. Put together thoughtful content that focuses on telling a bigger story.

Use Visuals

Whether you prefer video or images, visuals are the key to stopping social users mid-scroll and getting them to really see you on social media.

Use Hashtags

Hashtags are the lifeblood of networks like Instagram. Always make sure you’re using them. For more info on how to use hashtags, read Hashtag Like You Give A Sh*t.

Fill Out Your Profiles

This might sound like a no-brainer, but take the time to go through your profiles and make sure all information is filled out.  

So to wrap up, what is social media marketing?

Social media marketing is a way for you to develop a strategic social media plan that helps you connect with your target audience, grow your brand, and increase sales.

 

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