Social Media Marketing: The Beginner’s Guide
What is social media marketing?
It represents the process of increasing awareness for your personal brand, products or services you offer to customers through various social media channels. The ultimate goal of any social media marketing campaign is to generate website traffic, increase product visibility, increase the average number of followers or the number of customers. Today’s most popular social media networks are Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube and Tumblr.
Why is social media marketing important?
It’s the fastest way to spread the word about the launching of a new product, service or news.
It is a modern trend because millions of people spend a long period of time on these social media networks. More and more studies show that social media is turning into a real business, as many companies have confirmed that many of their clients were found on Facebook or Twitter.
Social Media Marketing Tips for Beginners
How can you harvest the benefits of social media? How can beginners build a social media presence adequately and quickly? These are the questions for which you will find answers in the lines that follow.
1. Decide which social media platform/platforms you will use
As a beginner, you will need to choose one or two social media platforms and focus on them, rather than trying to work on all platforms possible, at the same time. Unfortunately, this is a common mistake that many beginners do, and in the end will not get any benefit expected.
A successful way to identify which platform best suits your niche is to find influencers and analyze cases that have been successful. For example, find out which are the leaders in your niche and check the number of fans on Facebook, the number of followers on Twitter, Google+, etc. Pinterest. In case they have 100,000 fans on Facebook, but only 10,000 on Twitter, then this is a good indication that Facebook is more appropriate for your niche. Also, it is a sign that you have more chance of success on this platform than others, so you can use this time effectively.
2. Optimize your social media profiles
Once you have decided which social media tools to use, the next step is to optimize your profiles on these sites. The optimization will significantly increase your chances of getting more followers and also is a great way to boost your SEO efforts.
There are some general rules that apply to all sites:
- use a real and appropriate picture, avoid using photos of animals, places or anything that is not real. Social media is to establish relationships with people, and if you want to be a reliable profile you need to show yourself;
- make an excellent description about yourself or your company. What is your expertise? The things you’re proud of? Mention all this on your profile;
- offer users an indication of what type of information you share. Although this is not necessary, personally I like to read in the profiles what kind of information can I expect. For example, the profile can specify social media marketing advice
if appropriate, include a link to your site. On Facebook, you can include in the “about” on Twitter and Pinterest in “website section”.
3. Connect website or blog with social media pages
Since you have prepared your social media profiles, the next step is to connect your website with the social media page. There is a certain procedure to be followed for each platform and is very important to do it correctly.
A correct correlation between the two means implies that search engines and social media sites know whose site corresponds to a social media page.
4. Add social media buttons on your site
Besides the website link to your business pages on social media, you need also to add social media buttons on your site so readers can easily share your content.
Depending on the platform, there are several ways and plugins for was this. As a general rule, keep the buttons at the top of the page to increase exposure.
5. Find and track influencers in your niche
So far, you have selected the most appropriate tools for your niche social media, optimizing social media profiles, connecting site to the pages and adding buttons on the website for greater interaction. The next step obviously is to identify people who will shoulder most importantly to gradually build your group of followers.
I would say that there are five basic steps to follow to get as many followers. Before proceeding to this, you first need to identify and track influencers in your niche.
It’s almost certain that they’re not going to follow, given that you have a new account, without followers, but their pursuit is important because you get new followers and meanwhile you can get important information and news in that niche that could help you.
6. Keep a balance between following and followers
Once you start to track social media activity of people, you should always keep in mind that it’s better to keep a balance between the number of people you follow and the number of people watching your brand. This is important on Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest, and the reasons are multiple:
Software products are using this follow/followers report to make suggestions regarding “who to follow” so if you have a very high report you are minimizing the chances to get new followers quality;
It is a matter of trust. Who do you think has a reliable profile: someone with 2000 followers but follows 3,500 people or someone who has 400 followers and follows a number of 360?
A balanced profile is useful for SEO.
7. Share interesting content (text, images, video)
This is the foundation to have a successful social media marketing company. When it comes to publishing content always say that it must be vital and relevant, especially for social media networks. If you share interesting and useful content you can get more re-share sites, more visitors and under certain conditions, more customers.
What is interesting content? It can be a combination of articles/stories/pages related to your niche but not necessarily only, from your website; interesting statistics on the field; motivational quotes related niche or specific research studies; images and videos; funny look on your niche, so to give a smile on the lips of those who follow.
8. Post several times a day, but not overdo it
A common question from a person that is a beginner is “How many times should I post a day?”. The answer depends on the network. There are many studies in this regard that examines the effect of frequency of posts and best practices certify the following:
- Personal Facebook page whenever you want;
- Facebook Business page – not more than 1-2 times a day and no more than seven times a week.
- Twitter- the more the better;
- Google+ Business page- whenever you want, but not overdo it as this may cause the opposite result;
- Pinterest- several times a day is enough.
9. Don’t forget to follow back
Most focus is on how to get new followers, but you forget to follow the social media pages that already have them. Every day you have to create the habit of checking the people who followed you and return the favor. If you don’t do this regularly, then most likely some of them will decide to unfollow you, resulting in a decrease of their numbers.
10. Respect the rules and be patient
Social media networks have rules to keep spammers away. For example, there is a limit on Twitter on the number of people you can follow daily, there is also a limit on Google+ on the number of people you can add/delete circles, your Facebook has its own rules and the list goes on.
That means it will take a while until you get thousands of fans/followers, so you’ll need to be patient and not try to rush outcomes, either by breaking the rules (your account will be suspended) or by spending some money for “buying some fans” or something similar.
Try to spend time creating a great social media profile that will last over time and, why not become one of the profiles of authority in your niche.