THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING: HOW TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING TO GROW YOUR VISIBILITY & REACH YOUR GOALS
So, you’ve got this brand you’ve been building for the last few months, hell, maybe even years. But no matter what you do you just can’t seem to figure it out when it comes to social media marketing and using that to turn your brand into a success.
What’s even more annoying is other people in your space seem to have no problem growing their visibility, reaching their goals and getting endless opportunities, all through social media marketing.
Cue the urge to pack it in altogether!
I mean, let’s be real here…
The online space is getting bigger and noisier, and it can be hard to make a splash and use social media marketing to increase your visibility when you’re first starting out.
Fortunately, it’s not impossible.
And since one of my main jobs here at ABOH is to help you get that next “breakthrough”, I’ve learnt a thing or two about how to use social media marketing to grow your visibility and reach your goals.
Sound like something you could use more of?
Good, because in this guide I’m going to lay it all out for you, A to Z style!
From what is social media marketing to how to set social media marketing goals that are right for you and your brand…
The social media trends to watch out for in 2019 to make sure you stay ahead and the importance of monitoring your audience…
How to choose the right social media platforms for you and getting to grips with social media advertising…
I mean, we’re covering it all!
PLUS I’ve got a ruthlessly-effective strategy (and a rockin' FREE Blog It Boss It Workshop) that gets your content ranking on Google, engages your audiences, and gets the word out there on you and your blog or business in a big way. Click the link to access it or enter your details below.
So pour yourself a glass of your favourite beverage, grab a paper and pen (people still use those, right?) and let’s dive into all things social media marketing!
Chapter 1: What Is Social Media Marketing?
Social Media Marketing Definitions
When it comes to the question “what is social media marketing”, Wikipedia is a disappointment. It simply says, “Social media marketing is the process of gaining website traffic or attention through social media sites.”
Pretty obvious, right?
I personally think Neil Patel nailed a social media marketing definition:
Social media marketing is the process of creating content that you have tailored to the context of each individual social media platform in order to drive user engagement and sharing.
You gaining traffic is only the result of social media marketing. So what do you do to get that result? Create content that works well on each platform.
There are no surprises, however, in that each platform is different. On one, blog content is the master. On another, video dominates. And on another still, pictures always win.
But as you’ll see later on, each platform requires a different strategy.
Because here’s the thing: everyone wants their content to go viral.
And in order to do that, your content must be engaging so that people want to share it. Your content must be so good that it makes the user want to tell all of their friends about it.
Otherwise, your social media marketing strategy will fail.
You’ll have no shares, no viral content, and no traffic back to your site.
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING: AN OVERVIEW
We hear about the same social networks all the time, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any others out there.
Wikipedia alone lists over 200 of them.
There’s also a great graphic called “The Conversion Prism” that gives a good overview.
While this list is faIrly up to date, it may come as a surprise to you that it’s entirely different from the first version of this graphic from 2008.
All versions aggregate around 200 services, but from version to version (which they usually update every 2-3 years), the creators remove over 100 social media platforms and add another 100.
The world of social media marketing is changing incredibly fast. So when you’re just starting out, start with the ones that have been around for years.
Betting on “the next big thing” can pay off if you’re right. But if you’re just starting out when it comes to how to do social media marketing, you can’t afford not to have a Facebook page or a Twitter account since we’ve already seen how effective they are.
Now for some basic social media marketing tips and let’s start by looking at some key social media terms.
Content is whatever you are posting. It can be a Facebook status update, a photo on Instagram, a tweet, something to pin on a board on Pinterest, and so on.
The graphic already showed you that content comes in many different forms and that you need to custom-tailor it to each platform. What’s even more important than content, though, is context.
Gary Vaynerchuk said that if content is king, then context is god. You can have a great joke, but if you place it somewhere inside a 3,000-word blog post, very few people will see it. On Twitter, however, that same joke as a tweet might crush it.
The opposite is also true. Packaging your entire blog post into one tweet is hardly possible, so try a good call to action with some relevant hashtags instead. That brings us nicely to hashtags.
At this point, they’re a very common form that people use to add meta information on almost all social media channels. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest all use hashtags to let you describe the topic of your content or make it a part of current trends.
Hashtags make your content easy for users to discover and therefore more likely that they’ll share it.
Shares are the currency of the social media world. Shares are all that matters on social media.
People will keep telling you the importance of impressions, click-through rates, and potential reach. But none of these tell you whether people actually pass on what you have to say.
When people engage and interact with your content, that’s good. But, when they share it, that is the time when you celebrate.
The more shares, the more people love your content. It’s the best form of engagement that people can have with it.
This is a general term that means that people interact with the content that you produce. It can be a like, a recommend, a comment, or a share. All of these are good, but the shares are where it’s at.
(Not thrilled with your stats? Want more traffic? Register for this FREE Blog It Boss It Workshop!)
HOW ARE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING RELATED?
You might be wondering why, as a blogger, when SEO is going to be a big part of your strategy, why you should care about social media. The two are very closely related.
Social media often feeds into the discovery of new content such as news stories, and “discovery” is a search activity. Social media can also help build links that in turn support SEO efforts. Many people also perform searches at social media sites to find social media content.
Social connections can massively impact the relevancy of some search results, either within a social media network or at a ‘mainstream’ search engine.
Now that we’ve covered some definitions, let’s look into some social media trends for 2019.
Chapter 2: 2019 Social Media Trends
IN-THE-MOMENT CONTENT WILL WIN OUT OVER HIGHLY PRODUCED CONTENT
Stories and the rise of ephemeral content across social networks, which I’m sure we’ll see a lot more of in 2019, is capturing the hearts and minds of audiences everywhere.
Stories could well become the primary way to share content on social media, overtaking the News Feed. But this is why bloggers and business owners have to continue to pay close attention to the rise of Stories and how it impacts how people consume content.
It’s why I talk about it so much. We’re witnessing a fundamental shift in media.
Mobile usage and even shorter attention spans will continue to increase the popularity of short-lived content in 2019. Especially with Millenials and Generations Z’ers, who thrive on their relationship with brands being authentic and meaningful.
That’s exactly why it’s crucial that bloggers and business owners establish a solid video strategy for ephemeral content.
More and more brands will embrace this persona, authentic and in-the-moment style content vs. overly produced, pre-packed content.
That means an increased focus on the people and personalities behind your brand. Think about how you can use video, Stories, and images to connect your audience with the human - maybe even, dare I say, the vulnerable - side of your online presence.
You can accomplish a lot of this by taking your audience behind-the-scenes and showing the work of your business or blog day-to-day.
Imagine at one end of the spectrum, there’s the old social media with pre-packaged, very produced content. At the other end you have in-the-moment, super raw content. For brands focusing on 2019 social trends, there are millions of untapped miles of opportunity in the middle of those two ends to try new things.
AI-DRIVEN PERSONALISED CUSTOMER EXPERIENCES
Next up for 2019 trends is artificial intelligence. From chatbots to ad optimisation, platforms like Google and Facebook have been continuing to adopt artificial intelligence to enhance customer interaction.
But it remains a huge opportunity and is under-utilised by many brands.
Where we’re seeing this develop particularly fast is in the form of online customer service.
In 2018, the growth in AI-driven communication was undeniable, with tools like Intercom and Drift starting to appear on websites everywhere.
Many experts predict that by 2020, more than 80% of all customer service interactions will be powered by AI bots.
Millennials are the quickest adaptors of chatbot-based customer experience. According to Huffington Post, 60% of the millennial population already uses chatbots and 71% of millennials have implied that they would like to try using one.
As long as you are respectful of personal privacy, personalisation is a solid way to go for marketers to boost campaign performance in 2019.
BRANDS CAN NO LONGER AFFORD TO IGNORE SOCIAL MEDIA ADS
We’re already seeing so many businesses jump on board with social media ads. Marketers increased social ad budgets by 32% in 2018 alone and produced more ads than ever before.
In fact, one of every four Facebook Pages now use paid advertising as part of their strategy. All of these numbers are set to increase in 2019.
But what happens when we see this trend emerge is that it gets more competitive and more expensive to advertise.
To counter this, you need to make sure you pay your ad money with equal time investment and creativity.
In other words, you won’t be able to just create any old ad and have it work. You have to invest time into creating great content. One of the easiest ways to do this is to boost your top performing organic content.
It’s the brand awareness type ads that are really thriving. Even if you’re selling something, you can do it in a way that doesn’t feel intrusive to other types of authentic content in the news feed.
I wanted to give you a few tips on creating better ads (there’ll be plenty more on this later):
Understand your target audience: Each ad campaign should target a focused group based on interests, jobs, relevant competitors, and previous interaction with your brand.
Define your goals and metrics up front: It is important to show that social media has a positive bottom-line impact on your online presence. For example, awareness campaigns might focus on impressions, while conversion campaigns should put more value on click-throughs.
Invest in high quality content: With more brands competing for people’s attention on social media, ordinary posts aren’t going to cut it.
At the heart of great content are compelling visuals, which are essential for clicks and high conversion rates on social media. Even some video basics or hiring a freelancer can make a difference.
But one thing every brand can and should be doing is repurposing ideas from top-performing organic content.
Creating high quality social ads takes time and money. Test your ad concepts as organic posts first to see how they perform. Once you see what’s working, you can adapt and repurpose your top performing organic content for ads.
Doing this will help increase the ROI of your ads right from the beginning.
RISE OF SOCIAL MEDIA TV
One of the biggest social media marketing trends since 2018 has been the launch of IGTV by Instagram.
This along with other developments from social networks points to the rise of what can be known as “social television” lead by the vertical video format.
For me, this is one of the most exciting social media trends 2019 and is going to fundamentally shift the way that brands and marketers create content.
Plus, Instagram is going to continue to grow exponentially.
I hope at this point you are starting to realise that these trends for 2019 are all connected. Personalised experiences, advertising and vertical videos are all a part of the overall way the social media industry is heading.
Each platform is working hard to create experiences that people want to return to every single day. Which is exactly why things like IGTV are so compelling - that content sits right there at the top of the feed, and is top of mind each time someone logs on.
This is a daily authentic content creation approach that brands will inevitably take advantage of in 2019.
The way I see it blogging bosses and brands will create content for each type of consumer:
The daily consumer that Stories really helps to attract
The shoppers and scrollers that the News Feed is perfect for
The power users that longer form content, like what’s found on IGTV, is perfect for.
If you think about your target audience as these types of personas and then match your content to their intentions on social media, this will lead to the biggest engagement.
THE EVOLUTION TO OMNICHANNEL MARKETING
Now, this one isn’t solely about 2019 social media trends, but social media plays a critical role in your overall marketing strategy.
I’ve spoken about this before, but if you’re wondering what omnichannel marketing is and why I’m talking about omnichannel, Omni is based on the Latin word Omnis, which means ‘all or every’. This obviously emphasises the importance of reaching and interacting with users in all channels.
There’s a quote floating around out there from John Bowden, VP at Time Warner Cable, and I think he explains omnichannel marketing perfectly:
In other words, you have to think about the digital experience as a whole.
A user has so many touch points with your brand along their journey, but what we do know is that today nobody shops or communicates exclusively through a single medium. It all makes up part of a bigger picture.
The best part about thinking of marketing like this is that paid ads, social, content, and email channels don’t have to compete against each other to get results.
You can grow your online presence strategically by integrating all these channels together.
So while email may not convert someone immediately, readers might visit your website from your newsletter. Then you might use that traffic to re-target visitors with a special offer on social media.
And that originated with a single email. I’d consider that a win.
THE RISE OF MICRO-INFLUENCERS
In the past couple of years, social media influencers have become a major trend.
We now have Instagram stars, Twitter influencers, YouTube millionaires. These people have millions of followers - their every post, or vlog, or tweet is instantly seen by more people than TV ad makers could ever hope for. It was grand and revolutionary when the power of social media influencers became clear to everyone - and it still is.
But, as the number of social media influencers has grown over time, prices for their services have also skyrocketed. That's lead more businesses to look at other alternatives, including micro-influencer marketing.
As opposed to major influencers, micro-influencers exist in every marketing niche. They have followings of fewer than 10,000 people, but most of their followers are genuinely interested in what they have to say. And they're very engaged - micro-influencers are often considered experts in their niche.
These smaller names are not massively targeted by advertisers, so they are trustworthy and down-to-earth. The marketing potential is very high and marketers are about to recognise this in 2019.
Want to make the most of these trends? Register for this FREE Blogging Workshop!
Chapter 3: Creating Social Media Marketing Goals
The first step to any strategy is to understand what you want out of your efforts. Social media isn’t about flipping a switch and calling it a day. Instead, a social media strategy plan should be created as if you were cooking your favourite dish.
Once you have your ingredients, you follow and a recipe and hey presto! But that’s not always the case.
What if you have extra guests and need to feed more people? What if someone is allergic to one of the ingredients? Suddenly, your goal goes from making a meal to ensuring it will feed enough people and be edible by all.
That’s why creating goals is so critical to the first part of your social media strategy. At the same time, it’s best to set goals that you know are attainable. With achievable goals, you’re more likely to stick to the original plan and continue to take on new hurdles as you complete old ones.
WHAT IS THE VALUE IN SETTING SOCIAL MEDIA GOALS?
Just in case you haven’t done this before - YES, it’s important. Think of it as creating a roadmap to get where you want to go.
Without that detailed roadmap for success, it’s like trying to get to an unknown destination without a GPS. It’s no fun - and it’s very ineffective! You might eventually get there, but it will take a lot more time.
Setting goals allows you to determine your strengths and weaknesses. From there, you can easily tweak your social media marketing strategy and make quick improvements. Remember successful brands set goals. Without them there’s no clear purpose so embrace it!
Not only is it motivating to see your progress, but you’ll also find yourself pushing to achieve your goals faster.
UNDERSTANDING SOCIAL MEDIA GOALS
Before I get into the specifics, let’s review what a goal is (in case you need a quick refresher):
Businessdictionary.com describes it perfectly: A goal is “an observable and measurable end result having one or more objectives to be achieved within a more or less fixed timeframe.”
Setting social media marketing goals is a critically important task when it comes time to determine progress for your efforts.
Are you wondering how to set the right social media goals? Here’s how you can do it.
(P.S. We go into how to set specific goals for each post in way more detail in this workshop).
You’re always thinking too broadly if your goal is simply, “sell more”, or “get more followers”. Commit to setting goals for social media with achievable attributes that include:
The ability to be measured
A clearly defined objective
A timeframe by which they should be achieved.
Consider the Facebook goals examples below:
Weak: Sell 10 products to Facebook fans.
Strong: Convert 10 sales within 30 days by posting once a day on Facebook with clear CTA (call to action) and a $50 clicks-to-site advertisement.
Talk about detailed, right?
But you can clearly notice how the “weak” goal is vague. What’s more, it’s pretty unmotivating.
The “strong” goal is highly measurable, very specific and associated with an end date. This type of goal helps guide every decision you make in an effort to achieve positive results.
SOCIAL MEDIA GOALS 2019: WHAT TO CONSIDER
Here are some social media marketing tips to help you set your goals:
Increase brand awareness: To create authentic and lasting brand awareness, avoid a slew of promotional messages. Instead, focus on meaningful content and a strong brand personality through your social channels.
Higher quality of sales: Digging through your social channels is nearly impossible without monitoring or listening to specific keywords, phrases or hashtags. Through more efficient social media targeting, you reach your core audience much faster.
Drive in-person sales: Some retailers rely on social media marketing efforts to drive in-store sales. Is your brand promoting enough on social media to reward those who comes to you? What about alerting users to what’s going on with your brand?
Improve ROI: There’s not a brand on social media that doesn’t want to increase its return on investment. But on social, this goal is specific to performing a thorough audit of your channels, ensuring everything stays on track.
Create a loyal fanbase: Does your brand promote user-generated content? Do your followers react positively without any initiation? Getting to this point takes time and effort with creating a positive brand persona on social.
Better pulse on the industry: What are your competitors doing that seems to be working? What strategies are they using to drive engagement or sales? Having a pulse on the industry could simply help you improve your efforts and take some tips from those doing well.
Chapter 4: Social Media Monitoring For Your Audience
Most ecommerce platforms today use social media listening to engage with current and prospective customers, and you should be using it too whether you’re a blogger or business owner.
Why social media monitoring is important is because these networks give businesses the ability to communicate with consumers in real time. You can use social monitoring as part of your social media management strategy to gauge how people talk about your brand online.
WHAT IS SOCIAL MEDIA MONITORING AND HOW DOES IT WORK?
A basic social media monitoring definition is: the process of identifying and determining what is being said about a brand, individual or product through different social and online channels.
Similar to search engines that send crawlers to the far reaches of the internet, social media monitoring is an algorithm-based tool that crawls sites and continuously indexes them. Once sites are indexed, they can be searched based on queries or strings.
Understanding your audience is 100% necessary.
First, your brand should look into the demographics of your most valuable social channels. Like we mentioned before, you should have a goal in mind for your social media marketing strategy. This is why you need to research the channels that correlate the most with your goals.
To help you find your focus channels, let’s take a quick look at the essential demographics data for each major network.
Facebook’s Most Popular Demographics
Women users (89%)
18-29 year-olds (88%)
Urban- and rural-located users (81% each)
Those earning less than $30,000 (84%)
Users with some college experience (82%)
Instagram’s Most Popular Demographics
Women users (38%)
18-29 year-olds (59%)
Urban-located users (39%)
Those earning less than $30,000 (38%)
Users with some college experience (37%)
Twitter’s Most Popular Demographics
Women users (25%)
18-29 year-olds (36%)
Urban-located users (26%)
Those earning $50,000-$74,999 (28%)
Users with college experience or more (29%)
LinkedIn’s Most Popular Demographics
Men users (31%)
18-29 year-olds (34%)
Urban-located users (34%)
Those earning $75,000 or more (45%)
Users with college experience or more (50%)
Snapchat’s Most Popular Demographics
Men users (24%)
18-29 year-olds (56%)
Those earning less than $50,000 (27%)
Users with some college experience (27%)
Identifying Customer Demographics
While the demographics data above gives you insight into each channel, what about your own users? Further analysis has to be completed before you can truly know your customer demographics on social media.
That’s why many brands use a social media dashboard that can provide an overview of who’s following you and how they interact with you on each channel. Most brands today are using at least some sort of dashboard.
Chapter 5: How To Establish Social Media Metrics
Did you know that when it comes to social media metrics, there are hundreds you could be analysing? But the real question is, do you know where to find them and are they all necessary for your brand and online presence?
What Are Social Media Metrics?
Social media metrics are data and statistics that give you insights into your social media marketing performance. Social media analysis should be a key part of your strategy.
While some social media marketing metrics are universal, there are also platform specific metrics you need to learn. Plus, some data is calculated differently depending on the platform and social media metrics tools you’re using.
But don’t worry, I have you covered. I’m going to break down the platform specific metrics that you need to learn.
Here are some social media metrics examples.
Official Social Media Metrics
Facebook offers the most comprehensive metrics for business pages when it comes to social media insights. You can start by going to the Platform Insights pages to see a list of all of your Facebook Pages currently tracking metrics.
When you click on the Page you want to analyse, you will be taken to the Facebook Insights report for that specific Page. Here, you will find an overview of your most important metrics, followed by detailed sections on your Likes, reach, visits, posts and people.
Here are the most important sections of Facebook Insights:
Page likes: the number of unique people who like your Page
Post reach: shows the number of unique people who have seen your Page posts
Engagement: the number of unique people who have clicked, Liked, commented on or shared your posts
Competitor total page likes
Competitor number of new posts
Unlikes: Number of people who have unliked your Page
Organic likes: Number of people who have Liked your Page, not as a result of a Facebook Ad campaign
Paid Likes: Number of people who have Liked your Page as a result of a Facebook Ad campaign
Net Likes: The number of new Likes minus the number of unlikes on your page
Impressions: The number of times a post from your Page is displayed, whether the post is clicked or not
Engagement Rate Percentage: The percentage of people who saw a post that Liked, shared, clicked or commented on it
People Tab: On the People tab, you will find a breakdown of demographic metrics for your fans, the people you’ve reached with your Page posts and the people who have engaged with your Page posts.
Facebook Video Metrics:
Total views: The total number of people who saw your video(s)
Average completion percent: The average amount of time people watch your videos
Peak live viewers: The highest number of viewers you had during a Facebook Live stream
Video engagement: The number and types of engagement your videos receive.
While not as detailed as Facebook, Twitter offers its own analytics for all account users. When you arrive at your analytics dashboard, you will be greeted by a 28-day summary of metrics and highlights for your activity by month.
Included are the following metrics.
Tweets: The number of Tweets you’ve posted to your account
Tweet Impressions: The number of people that have seen your Tweets have been seen by
Profile Visits: The number of people who have visited your profile
Mentions: The number of times your username has been mentioned by others
Followers: The number of followers on your Twitter account
Tweets Linking to you: The number of Tweets attributed to you in Twitter Cards with URLs.
On the Tweets tab, you will see a 28-day summary of metrics for the Tweets you’ve shared.
These metrics include the following:
Engagement Rate: The number of total link clicks, Retweets, favourites and replies your Tweets receive divided by the number of impressions
Link Clicks: The number of times links within your Tweets were clicked. This includes links to hashtags and other users mentioned in your Tweets
Retweets: The number of times your Tweets were retweeted by others
Favourites: The number of times your Tweets were favourited by others
Replies: The number of times people replied to your Tweets.
On the Audience tab, you will get a detailed breakdown of demographics, organised by:
In the early days, brands had very limited insights into how their Instagram posts performed. But with the introduction of Instagram Insights, you now have a lot of helpful information at your disposal.
If you switch from a personal account to an Instagram business profile, you’ll be able to see an overview of your posts’ performance and demographic information about your audience:
Impressions: The total number of times your posts have been seen
Reach: The number of unique accounts that have seen your posts
Profile views: The number of times your profile was viewed
Engagement: The number of likes and comments on your posts
Saved: The number of unique accounts that saved your posts.
Instagram Insights gives you a “top posts” section, where you can see your best performing posts sorted by these specific metrics.
When you visit your LinkedIn Company Page you can click on the Analytics tab to learn more about your post performance and audience. First, you will see metrics for individual posts made by your Company Page.
These metrics include the following.
Impressions: The number of times the update was shown to LinkedIn members
Clicks: The number of clicks on your content, company name or logo
Interactions: The number of likes, comments and shares on your update
Followers: The number of followers you acquired when sponsoring an update
Engagement: The number of interactions divided by number of impressions.
Next, you will see information about your followers and how you compare to similar companies.
Finally, you’ll see metrics for your page views, unique visitors and visitor demographics.
If you have a Pinterest business account, you can access Pinterest analytics to learn more about your profile activity, audience and Pins. You will start on the Overview screen where you can see key metrics for your profile, audience, activity from your domain and most popular Pins.
In the Your Pinterest Profile section, you will see detailed metrics for your profile’s impressions, daily viewers and Pins. You can use the tabs at the top of the report to see top Pins based on number of impressions, Repins, clicks and all-time favourites.
In the Your Audience section, you can see metrics for your average monthly viewers, average monthly engaged and specific demographics and interests.
In the Activity from your domain section, you can see pinning activity from the website you have verified for your page using the Pin It button. You can use the tabs at the top to see top pins from your domain based on impressions, repins, clicks and all-time favourites.
5 Essential Social Media Metrics You Should Be Measuring
The first – and easiest – social media metric to measure is volume. What is the size of the conversation about your brand?
Volume is a great initial indicator of interest. People tend to talk about things they either love or hate, but they rarely talk about things they simply don’t care about at all.
While volume can seem like a simple counting metric, there’s more to it than just counting tweets and wall posts. It’s important to measure the number of messages about your brand, as well as the number of people talking about your brand, and track how both of those numbers change over time.
Learn when volume is higher – are there days or times when more people seem to be talking about your brand? You can use this information to focus more of your own posts during these times to get more engagement, which we’ll talk about in a minute.
Reach measures the spread of a social media conversation. On its own, reach can help you understand the context for your content (remember what we said about context?)
Reach is a measure of potential audience size.
Now, a large audience is good, but reach alone does not tell you everything. Reach becomes very powerful when compared to other engagement metrics. Use reach as the denominator in your social media measurement equations.
Pick important action or engagement numbers like clicks, retweets, or replies (more on this in a second) and divide them by reach to calculate an engagement percentage. Of the possible audience for your campaign, how many people participated? Reach helps contextualise other engagement metrics.
This is one of the most important areas to measure for social media analytics. How are people participating in the conversation about your brand? What are they doing to spread your content and engage with the topic?
In most social media settings, content can be both shared and replied to. Twitter retweets (RTs) and Facebook shares and posts are helpful to know who is spreading your content, while comments, replies and likes are helpful to see who is replying to your content.
Think carefully about your goals with social media. Are you focused more on generating interaction (replies, comments) or on spreading a message (retweets and posts)? Be sure you’re using metrics that reflect what’s important to your brand right now.
And are there types of content that generate engagement? Start paying attention to what messages generate the most replies and RTs. It might surprise you what people interact with; it’s not always what you expect.
Who is talking about your brand and what kind of impact do they have?
Influence is probably the most controversial social media metric; there are so many tools that measure social influence, and they all do it in different ways. But one thing they all agree on is that audience size does not necessarily relate to influence.
Just because someone has a lot of friends or followers, that does not mean they can encourage those followers to actually do anything.
Based on past actions, we can make assumptions about how influential someone might be in the future. This type of potential influence is useful to decide who to reach out to when you’re preparing for a campaign. Tools like Klout and PeerIndex assign people an influence score. Tools like these measure online social capital and the (potential) ability to influence others.
Share of voice
To really understand how well you’re doing on social media, you should consider a share of voice metric. How does the conversation about your brand compare to conversations about your competitors?
Determine what percentage of the overall conversation about your industry is focused on your brand compared to your main competitors. And learn from your competitors’ successes; since so many of these social media conversations are public, you can measure your competitors’ impact just as easily as you can measure your own.
Chapter 6: How To Choose The Best Social Media Platforms
With all this in mind, it’s time to look at the best social media marketing platforms.
For each social media marketing platform, I’ll give you a short history of how it came about, where it’s at right now, what the context of the platform dictates, and how to come up with great content for it.
We’ll start with the biggest beast of all: Facebook.
Like the movie name suggests, this is the social network. When Mark Zuckerberg and his co-founders created the site in 2004, they only made it accessible to Harvard students.
But they quickly realised the site’s potential.
After expanding to Ivy League colleges and a few others, they opened Facebook to everyone in 2006. And as you saw above, it completely exploded.
Now, it’s the biggest social media platform out there. It offers marketers the most data and the most targeted ads. You can be as specific as defining your customer down to the socks she’s wearing.
Facebook gives you a lot of freedom when it comes to content. Images, videos, and text posts all work. What matters, though, is that you integrate your content into the platform as much as possible.
For example, instead of just posting a link to a YouTube video, upload the video to Facebook’s own platform natively.
Try to keep your user on the platform as long as possible. People trust Facebook, and they don’t want to leave the comfort of “their homes.”
People love Facebook live. For a while now, marketers have stood in awe of the power of video marketing. At least, they did until live video came on the scene.
There’s just something about live video that makes it more appealing.
Maybe it’s the chance that people will mess up. Maybe it’s the transparency. Maybe it makes us feel more connected.
Whatever the reasons, the fact is the same.
People enjoy live video far more than they do traditional videos.
That’s particularly true on Facebook.
Users spend three times longer watching live videos than they do pre-recorded videos.
In other words, live video might be well worth your marketing time and money on Facebook.
It quickly engages people, and they watch it for longer than alternative video content.
And since it’s still early in its development, live video isn’t crowded yet. That means that it’s ripe for the taking.
These guys did everything right. They had the perfect app and released it at the perfect time. Within three months of releasing Instagram in the app store, it had reached 1 million users.
Their growth was entirely organic. The app was so good that it dominated the app store charts for months. And, it still does.
When the app came out, Apple had just unveiled the iPhone 4. That brought a major leap forward in the quality of pictures that users could take with their smartphones.
Seven years and 800 million users later, the way the app works is almost entirely the same. People post pics, tag friends, insert hashtags, and double tap to show they like what others share.
It might seem like nothing has happened, but let’s not forget the fact that Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012, only 24 months after they started, for a whopping $1 billion.
And in 2015, they rolled out the use of ads for everyone.
Pictures. Instagram is and was always about pictures. Out of all of the big networks, Instagram has the highest engagement rate.
Since liking is so easy (you just double tap on a picture as you scroll through your feed), people tend to do it more on Instagram than on Twitter or Facebook.
You can also release 15-second videos on Instagram, but very few accounts do that successfully. People tend to like and comment more on pictures.
However, posting video on Instagram can certainly work, too
But, if I were to start a new Instagram account from scratch, I’d focus on pictures. Here are a few categories that work well:
Questions in text form (they engage your followers)
Photos of items from luxury brands (like Louis Vuitton handbags, cars from Ferrari, Coca-Cola, etc.)
Sparsely clothed women (who would have guessed?)
Of course, you must also make use of hashtags, give a call-to-action with each photo, and make sure that you’re using your bio right (it’s your only chance to link back to your site). But, we’ll talk more about that below.
You can also focus on Instagram influencer marketing.
Influencer Marketing On Instagram
If there is one social media platform that represents the pinnacle of influencer marketing, it’s Instagram.
But we don’t really understand the reason for that.
Maybe it’s because the platform is so visual. Or maybe it’s because advertisement overloads haven’t yet annoyed the userbase.
Or perhaps the influencers enjoy sporting their content more on Instagram than on Facebook or the like.
Whatever the case, Instagram is winning big.
It’s no surprise, then, that 65% of brands participate in influencer marketing.
You might want to consider joining them.
Instagram Stories Are Stealing Users From Snapchat
Instagram Stories is a feature that lets users create a coherent series of pictures, videos, or gifs.
And the feature exploded the moment that Instagram created it.
In fact, in 2017, the number of people using Instagram Stories flippantly passed the number of users on Snapchat, which is a similar platform.
In other words, if you’re going to use Instagram, then you should probably create a Story of your own.
How Brands Are Using Instagram
So Instagram is amazing, and it’s growing in power.
But all of that raises an important question.
How, exactly, are brands using Instagram? What do they use it for?
Well, the answer to that question is quite simple. They are using it for engagement.
Instagram is the best social media platform for engagement. It beats Facebook and Twitter.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that you can’t sell on the platform and market your products as well.
But trying to push for audience engagement is your best bet.
Then, once people learn to love your brand, they’ll buy from you.
On Instagram, though, engagement must come first.
Can you believe that the old player, Google Video has blown up to over 1 billion monthly users in fewer than 10 years?
This social network has changed the way we consume video since it has made it easy (streaming is super fast) and free, and it gives us a way to express our opinions instantly (thanks to comments).
Users watch about one billion hours of video on YouTube every single day. That’s 114,000 years of time!
YouTube has spawned entire industries and kickstarted thousands of careers.
Thanks to YouTube, people can now build a nice, small business teaching things, sharing makeup tutorials, doing funny pranks, or sharing their athletic abilities (or lack thereof).
For marketers, it’s a great way to share long-form content with your audience, especially if they’re not avid readers. For instance, you could turn your blog posts into video tutorials.
Pro tip: Use other social media channels as a gateway to drive your followers to YouTube by giving excerpts, snippets, and previews of your videos. The little, bite-sized teasers will spark curiosity and make people want to see the whole thing.
There are two ways to succeed on YouTube. You can either entertain or teach.
There is no limit to how long your videos can be. But don’t overcomplicate this. You don’t need high-quality recording equipment or fancy editing. The chances are good that you are a few steps ahead of most people in your niche, so just get in front of your webcam and start teaching.
The Rise of DIY Video Filming
With social media, anyone can become a star.
And that truth is no different on YouTube.
Sure, since YouTube is video-based, it requires a bit of videography knowledge and a bit of the right equipment. But already, tons of different online phenomena are DIY-ing their way to becoming YouTube sensations.
With just a decent light, microphone, and camera, your business can start using YouTube to drive traffic and generate leads.
Even your iPhone will do.
Post-Production And Editing
It’s not just video filming that the DIYers are taking over. It’s also post-production and editing.
In fact, every year it seems, new tools come out that allow people like you to edit your video content with ease.
I use iMovie to edit my videos but I also recommend WeVideo. It’s free and easy to use.
You might also want to consider using ads on YouTube.
Depending on the type of ad you choose to use, viewers will either be able to skip your ad after a few seconds or YouTube will make them watch the entire thing.
Naturally, different strategies will work for different businesses.
Don’t be afraid to try different things. A/B test to see what works best and what doesn’t work at all.
In the end, your advertisement on YouTube will only be as good as your determination to find out what works.
LinkedIn is older than Facebook. Reid Hoffman, one of the early members of PayPal, founded it in 2002.
But initial growth was slow. On some days, he only had only 20 sign-ups.
LinkedIn’s growth never exploded as much as Facebook’s, but they’ve been around for 15 years and have grown to over 467 million members.
The strategy that got them some traction was focusing on what worked well. For example, they gave a lot of attention to their homepage, which accounted for 40% of their sign-ups.
What they always had going for them was being profitable very early. Thanks to premium subscriptions, a paid job board, and a few other freemium options, they were making money after only three years of being in business.
On LinkedIn, it’s all about being professional. The casual writing style that’s used to make some blogs so popular, doesn’t work as well on LinkedIn. People are there for one thing only: business.
They want to learn about what’s new in their industries, who’s hiring, who’s firing, and how to optimise their performance at work.
If your content helps people expand their networks or conduct business in a better way, it has a place on LinkedIn. If not, you might want to focus on other channels first.
If you’re familiar with Facebook Groups, then LinkedIn Groups shouldn’t stretch your imagination too far.
Just think of Facebook Groups but for business people.
Basically, LinkedIn Groups are a place for like-minded professionals to gather and discuss topics of interest or establish their expertise.
You might want to consider joining one to establish your business as an expert on certain topics.
After all, the more people that believe your business knows what it’s talking about, the more people who will work with you in the future.
It’s an easy strategy for making connections and growing your content marketing audience.
As with all social media platforms, you can also use LinkedIn to run your advertisements.
And if your business falls into the B2B category, LinkedIn might just be the best place for your advertisements.
In fact, marketers rate LinkedIn as the most effective social media platform for B2B companies.
Evidently, since people on LinkedIn are there to talk business, they also don’t mind interacting with businesses.
Advertising might be the way you choose to do that.
Snapchat has 178 million daily active users. While the majority of those are girls (about 70%), the boys who share on the platform have one thing in common: They’re young.
71% of the users are under 34 years old. The hacks and spam and naked selfie scandals might easily distract the average adult from the fact that this is one serious platform for marketers.
Though the app has only been around for a few years (since September of 2011), it is already worth around $33 billion (though there is some disagreement amongst sources).
If your products are targeting 14-year-old girls and you’re not on Snapchat, you are doing something wrong. However, even if you’re on the platform, it’s easy to do a lot wrong.
Since all images and videos disappear after 10 seconds max, the context suggests that all content on the platform is fleeting and short-lived.
Naturally, it makes sense to provide content around that same theme.
For example, you could let them behind-the-scenes. Show them the happy hour on Friday at the office, and even how you act when you’re alone at home.
Snapchat is all about sharing those precious moments that we all have so few of in life, so make sure that you use it for just that.
B2B Marketing On Snapchat
Can you market your B2B company on Snapchat?
Some people think you can’t.
After all, a large portion of the current Snapchat user base consists of those who are teenagers or younger.
But don’t let that young audience deceive you. As the platform finds its footing in the digital world, older populations are flocking to the platform as well.
In fact, one entrepreneur uses the platform to offer regular advice to other entrepreneurs.
So yes. You definitely can use Snapchat to market your B2B company.
Plenty of other businesses are doing it, and you can do it too.
Of course, Snapchat requires a bit more creativity on your part than other platforms. Keep in mind that users can only view your images and videos once.
That should at least partly define the type of content you put out.
Plus, that restriction can also work in your favour.
Since all your content is temporary, people might be more inclined to view your snaps while they can and fully take in the content.
Pinterest is the number one social media platform for marketers who want to target women. 81% of their 150 million monthly active users are female. You can think of the site as a giant digital scrapbook.
Leads from Pinterest are high quality.
Even though Pinterest doesn’t yet make any serious money except for a few ads for famous brands, they are definitely one of the top ten most influential social platforms right now.
Always, always, always remember that 81% of the audience are women. They collect, they curate, and they share. Topics like decorations, interior design, cooking, and clothing do extremely well.
Due to the nature of the pin boards, Pinterest is also one of the only platforms where images look best when you display them vertically. Keep in mind that your pics need special formatting to look good on Pinterest.
Influencer Marketing On Pinterest
If Instagram is the king of influencer marketing then Pinterest is definitely the Queen.
Since Pinterest allows users to market within whatever niche they like, influencers flock to the platform.
But that’s a good thing for your business.
Since you’re a marketer within a specific niche, you can use those influencers to advertise your product to their existing audiences.
Growing your own audience takes a ton of time. And maybe, just maybe, you don’t have a ton of time.
In that case, influencer marketing is your answer.
There’s a niche for everything on Pinterest. That further means that there’s an influencer for everything.
Do you want to market clothing or tiny toy dogs or Harry Potter attire?
Believe it or not, there’s a board for that.
Ads and Buyable Pins
Of course, not everyone will want to go through the hassle of finding, talking with, and hiring influencers.
Some of you will simply want to run advertisements on the platform and get on with your lives.
In that case, remember that the vast majority of people on Pinterest are women.
For some of you, that’s a good thing. Pinterest is a remarkable platform for getting people to buy your products.
93% of users use Pinterest to plan their purchases, and 96% use it gather product information.
You’d think by now that there are enough blogging platforms out there. But nope, apparently there aren’t. Somehow, within five years, Medium grew into one of the largest blogging sites on the web with an Alexa ranking of 328.
A big reason for this success is its sleek and simple design.
Similar to some apps, such as Hemingway, the user interface is incredibly simple. The difference is that users can press publish directly instead of copying the content to their own blog.
Before Ev Williams founded Medium, he also created Blogger, which he eventually sold to Google. Clearly, he has a thing for blogging platforms.
Thanks to its numerous big publications, Medium can be a way to build an entire audience without ever creating your own website
The most popular topics are design, startups, marketing, and social or political matters.
Since it’s a blog platform, Medium naturally does well with long-form content. However, posts also shouldn’t be too long.
Medium shows the estimated reading time for each post right at the top of them.
If people see that it’ll take 20 minutes to read your post, you’ll scare most of them away. Most users aren’t willing to make such a big time commitment.
7-minute posts do best, so it makes sense to break up longer articles into a series of posts.
If you have a big following already, you can use it to catapult your articles to the top since the posts that users recommend the most land in the featured stories where most users will see them.
Medium Audience Demographic
In December of 2017, Medium received nearly 150 million visits.
This offers a lot of potential for you to get yourself and your business in front of new prospects. Also, keep in mind that the majority of visitors to the site are men with an above-average education.
What does this mean for you? Well, if your social media strategy revolves around posting cooking recipes or cat videos, then Medium may not be the right site for you.
Similar to LinkedIn, Medium is ideal for posting content that’s more professional in nature. For example, the most popular tag in 2016 was politics.
Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to post political content. All I’m saying is that the gap between politics and business is a lot smaller than the gap between politics and DIY crafts.
Take, for instance, the Marketing and Entrepreneurship section on Medium. It has 146,000 followers. There’s clearly an audience for this sort of content.
In a more niche-specific section like this, you may not attract the attention of as many people as you could on Facebook or a larger social networking site.
But because the following is narrower, you’ll likely get a higher percentage of the right people to interact with you and your brand.
Marketing Content On Medium
If your content is relevant for Medium users, then using the platform for marketing is a no-brainer.
In fact, using the platform to benefit your business will require almost no additional effort.
All you have to do is take blog posts that you’ve already written and repost them on Medium. Since you still own the rights to the content on Medium, you can do with it as you like.
And it’s an easy way to get additional eyes on all your hard work.
Two former Facebook employees created it in 2009 and made it public in 2010. They thought that Q&A was one of the great formats of the Internet, but up to that point, no one had built a solid platform for it.
It turned out that they were right. With a comparatively low $80 million in funding so far, they have built Quora up to over 190 million users in eight years.
Users can ask questions, and if they’re popular, users can re-ask them. Users can also upvote answers to make sure that quality answers show up first.
People have built entire platforms from answering questions on Quora, and some answers boast more than 1 million views.
This platform centres around one thing: questions. You can get the most out of it by providing quality answers to popular questions that users have re-asked lots of times.
Thanks to the voting system, quality answers make it to the top. And, they usually stay there for a long time.
Try to give answers that will still be valid in a year or two or even five. Some of the most popular Quora answers came from years ago.
You can double your benefit from Quora if you use it to come up with content. For example, you could write a blog post that gives a very detailed answer to a popular question.
Not only will you have a great blog post then, but you’ll also be able to republish it as the answer to that question.
This will also help you build a reputation as an expert on your topic. If someone likes an answer that they read from you, they’ll often browse through the other answers that you’ve given.
Quora and content marketing
Quora is a great place for establishing yourself as an expert on a certain topic.
And that can happen in two different ways.
It can happen on Quora or off Quora.
Either way, the question-and-answer platform helps.
How, you ask, does it help?
Well, first, you can answer your target market’s questions. Imagine, for instance, that you’re a digital marketer and you want to start establishing yourself as an expert in the digital world.
You can go to Quora and answer questions like these.
Then, if your answer is remarkable, people will upvote it, making it a winner in the Quora SEO system.
But in case that’s not good enough, you can also use Quora to find topics for your own blog.
After all, your audience has a lot of questions. And finding out what those questions are can be seriously tedious.
Fortunately, Quora makes it easy.
Simply go to Quora and type in your niche. Browse through the questions people are asking.
Then, all you have to do is take those same questions and create your own website content around them.
It’s an easy way to come up with content topics that your audience is actually interested in digesting.
So that was a lot! But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Of course, if you're still not sure what social media platform is right for you and how to utilise a social media promotional strategy, be sure to grab your FREE spot at the Blog it Boss It Workshop and let me walk you through it step-by-step.
Chapter 7: Social Media Advertising Tips
While there are hundreds of different social media marketing strategies, only one can bring in consistent sales from day one: social media advertising.
Social media advertising, or social media targeting, are advertisements served to users on social media platforms. Social networks utilise user information to serve highly relevant advertisements based on interactions within a specific platform. In many instances, when target market aligns with the user demographics of a social platform, social advertising can provide huge increases in conversions and sales with lower cost of acquisition.
Benefits Of Advertising On Social Media Channels
Why is social media advertising your best advertising bet for quick ROI? Because:
Most channels require significant lead time to yield an ROI. For example, content marketing works best over time after it has been able to yield backlinks and SEO traction.
Some channels yield quick results but not day in and day out. For example, influencer marketing can earn you quick results in terms of sales for low effort (though high cost). But those results don’t continue occurring over time. Instead, you earn sales on a per post basis, and often less each time it is posted.
Some channels are consistent but time consuming to dial in. For example, AdWords can produce consistent results for your brand, but it takes a while to master and earn specific placement.
Advertising on social media sites means you can have consistent sales coming in from the first day your website is live.
Best Networks For Social Media Advertising & Their Types
Facebook ads are designed to help you achieve one of three broad types of campaign objectives: awareness, consideration, or conversion.
You have several ad formats to choose from:
Photo ads (also including 125 characters of text plus a headline and link description).
Video ads (options range from short mobile video ads up to 240-minute promoted videos designed to be watched on desktop).
Carousel ads (lets you include up to 10 images or videos, each with their own link, all in one ad).
Slideshow ad (creates a video from several static images).
Collection ads (highlight your products directly in the Facebook feed).
Messenger ads (placed on the home screen of the messenger app).
Lead ads (mobile-only that include pre-populated contact forms).
Since Facebook owns Instagram, it’s not surprising that Instagram ads support the same three broad categories of campaign objectives as Facebook ads: awareness, consideration, and conversion.
The specific Instagram ad types also mirror three of the Facebook ads types: photo, video, and carousel. You can create each type of ad for either the main Instagram feed, or for Instagram Stories.
Photo & Video Ads: Your Instagram photo or video will look like a regular Instagram post—except that it will say Sponsored in the top right.
Carousel ad: viewers tap the arrows or swipe to scroll through different images.
Instagram Story Ads: can use photos or videos up to 15 seconds long. These ads display in full-screen format between people’s stories.
Twitter ads work towards six different social media and business marketing objectives:
Website clicks or conversions: Promote Tweets to people who you want to visit and take action on your website. You’re charged per click.
Tweet engagement: Promote Tweets with the goal of starting conversations about your brand. You pay for the initial engagement.
Gain followers: Promote your Twitter account and pay per follower gained.
Increase brand awareness: Promote your Tweets to a broad audience and pay for impressions (CPM).
Video views: Promote your videos to a targeted audience and pay per video view.
App installs or re-engagement: Promote your Tweets and pay per click to open or install your app.
Twitter offers two ways for brands to create Twitter ads: Twitter Promote, which automatically promotes Tweets for you, and Twitter Ads campaigns, in which you set up campaigns yourself based on your marketing objective.
Snapchat ads can help you achieve three types of marketing objectives:
Awareness: Reach and engage a large audience
Consideration: Drive visits to your website, video or other content
Drive action: Drive newsletter sign-ups, app installs, foot traffic to your offline business, and more concrete actions
With Ads Manager, you can create photo or video ad campaigns that appear between stories on the app. The ads are full-screen, vertical format, and can include attachments for app installs, lead generation, video views, and website visits.
Snap Publisher is a do-it-yourself ad creation tool that lets you build your Snap ad from scratch from your browser. It’s a great resource for small businesses that don’t have a large marketing team, since the provided templates mean you don’t need graphic design skills, and you can create your ads in just a couple of minutes.
This ad format takes the form of a branded tile in users’ Discover feed. The tile leads to a collections of 3-20 Snaps, so advertisers can provide a deeper dive into new products, special offers, movie releases, etc. You can also add Attachments with a call-to-action, so that users can swipe up to watch a trailer, install an app, or buy a product.
LinkedIn ads help your business with three types of objectives when it comes to marketing with social media:
Build brand awareness
Drive website traffic
Generate leads and convert prospects
Sponsored content ads appear in the news feed on both desktop and mobile. They’re used to get your content in front of a larger audience and showcase your brand expertise.
Sponsored InMail is similar to email marketing, except that the messages go directly to users’ LinkedIn inboxes. A unique feature of Sponsored InMail is that users only receive ad messages while they are active on LinkedIn—so messages don’t sit around getting stale.
Text ads are small ad units that appear at the top and the right of the LinkedIn news feed. They only appear to desktop users, not on mobile devices. Despite the name, text ads can actually include a thumbnail image of 50 x 50 pixels.
Pinterest ads are designed to work with five types of business goals:
Build brand awareness
Create audience engagement
Drive traffic to your website
Drive app installs
Drive video impressions
Pinterest ads are called Promoted Pins, and they look and behave just like regular pins—the only difference is that you pay to have them seen by a wider audience.
Promoted Pins are identified as ads with a small “Promoted” tag. However, if users save your ads to their Pinterest boards, that promoted label disappears, earning you bonus organic (free) exposure.
There are a couple of options for promoting your Pins.
Pinterest Ads Manager
Using the ads manager, you begin by selecting a goal for your Pinterest ads campaign. This means you can target your advertising strategy to align with your business goals, including whether you pay per click or per impression. You also have the option to choose where your ads appear on the network: browse and/or search.
Pinterest claims you can use the promote button to create a Pinterest ad in only nine seconds. All you have to do is go to your profile, select the Pin that you want to promote, click the button, and set your daily budget. Promoted pins are always pay-per-click, so you only pay when someone clicks through to your website. Then, add some keywords, click Promote again, and your ad is up and running.
As you can see, when it comes to how to use social media, this ain't a one-and-done approach.
Instead, it's a powerful strategy that when done right can catapult your brand in ways you never anticipated.
It can add scale to your online presence.
It can help you position yourself as the go-to in your space.
It can help you build mad affinity with your audience.
It can add some much-needed mental white space to your life.
And it can give you the time and financial freedom so many of us bloggers and business owners crave.
Now, I don't know about you, but when it comes to building a online presence.
I want to build one that works FOR ME instead of the other way around.
Want to know how to make this system work in your online presence?
Click this link or enter your details below, grab your FREE spot at my webinar training and get the strategies and system you need to create an online presence that works for you and boss it!