If you are new to marketing, social media can seem like a huge mountain to climb. Getting started with social is super easy, so we’ve compiled this primer on what social media is, and best practices for the major platforms.
What is social media?
You may be familiar with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You’ve probably also heard of Instagram and Snapchat. These are all examples of social media platforms including the most popular ones.
Social media, by definition, is the use of websites and apps that allow the user to contribute content and participate in social networking. It’s important to note that social media is not a lead generation machine. That’s not to say you won’t get a couple of leads from your social media platforms, but you shouldn’t consider social to be a huge source of leads. Social media is a way to boost your engagement with your audience and help boost both your authority and social proof while aligning with the overall brand.
Why do I want social media?
Social media is a fantastic way to not only engage directly with your audience, but to build social credibility. Building and enhancing your brand, as well as your authority as a marketing expert, is important — social proof is one method of doing so. Social proof is a psychological phenomenon where people look at actions and thoughts of others before they move forward with an additional action.
Social media gives you a way to share relevant, industry-specific content with your audience and build your brand and credibility. You also stay top-of-mind. Social media allows you to create a space for your thought leadership and be a resource to your audience. Just having social profiles also helps give you and your business legitimacy as people expect to find you on social. Not being there can make people distrust you. Regardless of the reason, you need social!
How do I use Social Media?
The real question is ‘how don’t you use social media’!? It’s important to remember that social media is free. Free advertising, free press, and free posting. While there are opportunities to pay and increase your social media reach, keep in mind that social media is generally not a solid lead generation platform. Social media can be an outlet for communication directly with your audience or another place for reviews. You can use your social media platforms as an additional place for information like your methods of contact, hours and location.
You can also help give the public an inside scoop of your company culture and showcase how awesome you really are. Use your social media platforms to advertise (sometimes at a lower cost than PPC), and gain insight on your audience as well.
How do I know if I am doing well with social media?
There are many benchmarks you can use to determine how well your social media platforms are performing, such as “likes”, “follows”, comments and engagement on posts. Depending on the platform we also look for “shares”, “and retweets.”
Now that you have an understanding of what social media is and why you should be using it to market your business, look out for the next blogs in this series as we cover best practices for each platform.