Social Media Marketing for the Individual
Social media marketing is a powerful way to reach prospects and customers. Your contacts are already interacting with brands through social media, and if you’re not speaking directly to your audience through social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, you’re missing out! Great marketing on social media can bring remarkable success to your business, creating devoted brand advocates and even driving leads and sales.
What Is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing, or SMM, is a form of internet marketing that involves creating and sharing content on social media networks in order to achieve your marketing and branding goals. Social media marketing includes activities like posting text and image updates, videos, and other content that drives audience engagement, as well as paid social media advertising.
I’ve created this guide to provide you with an introduction to social media marketing and some starter social media marketing tips and training to improve your personal or business social presence.
With these tips, you can begin developing your own social media marketing expert plan.
Start with a Plan
Before you begin creating social media marketing campaigns, consider your goals. Starting a social media marketing campaign without a social strategy in mind is like wandering around a forest without a map—you might have fun, but you’ll probably get lost.
Here are some questions to ask when defining your social media marketing goals:
- What are you hoping to achieve through social media marketing?
- Who is your target audience?
- Where would your target audience hang out and how would they use social media?
- What message do you want to send to your audience with social media marketing?
- Your business type should inform and drive your social media marketing strategy.
Social media marketing can help with several goals, such as:
- Increasing website traffic
- Building conversions
- Raising brand awareness
- Creating a brand identity and positive brand association
- Improving communication and interaction with key audiences
- The bigger and more engaged your audience is on social media networks, the easier it will be for you to achieve every other marketing goal on your list!
Here are a few social media marketing tips to start your social media campaigns.
Social Media Content Planning
As discussed previously, building a social media marketing plan is essential. Consider keyword research and competitive research to help brainstorm content ideas that will interest your target audience. What are other people doing to drive engagement on social media?
Great Social Content
Consistent with other areas of online marketing, content reigns supreme when it comes to social media marketing. Make sure you post regularly and offer truly valuable information that your ideal customers will find helpful and interesting. The content that you share on your social networks can include social media images, videos, infographics, how-to guides and more.
A Consistent Brand Image
Using social media for marketing enables you to project your brand image across a variety of different social media platforms. While each platform has its own unique environment and voice, your personal core identity, whether it’s friendly, fun, or trustworthy, should stay consistent.
Social Media for Content Promotion
Social media marketing is a perfect channel for sharing your best site and blog content with readers. Once you build a loyal following on social media, you’ll be able to post all your new content and make sure your readers can find new stuff right away. Plus, great blog content will help you build more followers. It’s a surprising way that content marketing and social media marketing benefit each other.
Sharing Curated Links
While using social media for marketing is a great way to leverage your own unique, original content to gain followers, fans, and devotees, it’s also an opportunity to link to outside articles as well. If other sources provide great, valuable information you think your target audience will enjoy, don’t be shy about linking to them. Curating and linking to outside sources will improve trust and reliability, and you may even get some links in return.
It’s always important to keep an eye on competitors—they can provide valuable data for keyword research and other social media marketing insight. If your competitors are using a certain social media marketing channel or technique that seems to be working for them, considering doing the same thing, but do it better!
Measuring Success with Analytics
You can’t determine the success of your social media marketing strategies without tracking data. Google Analytics can be used as a great social media marketing tool that will help you measure your most triumphant social media marketing techniques, as well as determine which strategies are better off abandoned. Attach tracking tags to your social media marketing campaigns so that you can properly monitor them. And be sure to use the analytics within each social platform for even more insight into which of your social content is performing best with your audience.
Social Media Crisis Management
Things don’t always go swimmingly for brands on social media. It’s best to have a playbook in place so you’ll know how to handle a problem when it arises. You must be willing to accept that problems will appear and usually at the most inconvenient times. These times are for learning and problems shouldn’t be able to shake your resolve to be the best marketer that you can online.
How to Choose the Best Social Media Platforms for Marketing
Here’s a brief overview about how to use social media for marketing according to each platform’s unique user base and environment. Different social media marketing sites require different approaches, so develop a unique strategy tailored for each platform.
Using Facebook for Social Media Marketing
Facebook’s casual, friendly environment requires an active social media marketing strategy. Start by creating a Facebook Business Fan Page. You will want to pay careful attention to layout, as the visual component is a key aspect of the Facebook experience.
Facebook is a place people go to relax and chat with friends, so keep your tone light and friendly. And remember, organic reach on Facebook can be extremely limited, so consider a cost-effective Facebook ad strategy, which can have a big impact on your organic Facebook presence as well!
Using Pinterest for Social Media Marketing
Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social media marketing trends. Pinterest’s image-centered platform is ideal for retail, but anyone can benefit from using Pinterest for social media purposes or sales-driving ads.
Pinterest allows businesses to showcase their product offerings while also developing brand personality with eye-catching, unique pinboards. When developing your Pinterest strategy, remember that the social network’s primary audience is female. If that’s your demographic, you need a presence on Pinterest!
Using Twitter for Social Media Marketing
Twitter is the social media marketing tool that lets you broadcast your updates across the web. Follow tweeters in your niche, and you should gain a steady stream of followers in return.
Mix up your ad tweets about specials, discounts, and news with fun, brand-building tweets. Be sure to retweet when a customer has something nice to say about you, and don’t forget to answer people’s questions when possible. Using Twitter as a social media marketing tool revolves around dialog and communication, so be sure to interact as much as possible to nurture and build your following.
Using YouTube for Social Media Marketing
YouTube is the number one place for creating and sharing video content, and it can also be an incredibly powerful social media marketing tool. Many people try to create video content with the aim of having their video “go viral,” but, those chances are pretty slim. Instead, focus on creating useful, instructive “how-to” videos. These how-to videos also have the added benefit of ranking on the video search results of Google, so don’t under-estimate the power of video content!
Using Reddit for Social Media Marketing
Reddit, or similar social media platforms such as Stumble Upon or Digg, are ideal for sharing compelling content. With over 2 billion-page views a month, Reddit has incredible social media marketing potential, but marketers should be warned that only truly unique, interesting content will be welcomed. Posting on Reddit is playing with fire—submit spammy or overtly sales-focused content and your business could get berated by this extremely tech-savvy community.
If you have content you believe the Reddit community (majority is young, geeky, liberal, and internet-obsessed) would enjoy, you could reap tremendous benefits and earn valuable traffic.
Using social media in marketing does more than improve site traffic and help businesses reach more customers; it provides a valuable venue for better understanding and learning from your target audiences.
Paid Social Media Marketing Tips
I love paid social advertising because it’s a highly cost-effective way to expand your reach. If you play your cards right, you can get your content and offers in front of a huge audience at a very low cost. Most social media platforms offer incredibly granular targeting capabilities, allowing you to focus your budget on exactly the types of people that are most likely to be interested in your business.
Creating Effective Facebook Ads
If you know how to use it properly, Facebook can be one of the most powerful advertising platforms for driving your business forward. And it’s not just for raising brand awareness. In this guide, you’ll learn how to create effective Facebook ads that generate real leads.
How to Create Twitter Ads
Many businesses aren’t quite sure how to tackle marketing on Twitter from a paid perspective. It’s certainly not a one-size-fits-all endeavor, and if you don’t quite know what you’re doing, you could wind up wasting a ton of money. Learn how to master Twitter advertising in this guide.