Social media has come a long way. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google Plus, Linkedin, Reddit (you get the point), there’s bags of opportunity out there to penetrate the consumer periphery.
These now immensely sophisticated platforms are being exploited by marketers. Why? Well, why not? They offer up a playground for networkers, engagers and distributors.
A place to network and engage in conversation.
But first you’re going to need an audience. Using a social account without a following is like screaming into a pillow. Exhausting and no-one hears you.
Get it right, and you’ll generate leads and develop real authority within the online community. It’s not about sinking all of your time into vanity metrics. It’s about using social media in a canny way. Be gregarious, network efficiently and use all the right tools along the way.
To kickstart your journey, we’ve pulled together some of the most useful resources we could get our mitts on (click the titles for further deets). To create a go-to social media manual that’ll help you to hit the ground running and accelerate your efforts in the long term...
If you’re going to start anywhere - start here. The Moz Beginner’s Guide to Social Media is chocka with hints, tips and lessons on the why and how of the social scene. This 12 chapter juggernaut covers everything from the dead-simple to the downright fiddly stuff.
Take some time out to get well acquainted with this guide and be sure to use it as a point of reference if you get stuck in future. Clue yourself up on specific social media channels, best practices, metrics and ROI, blogging and more!
What are the unadulterated, bare bones demands of the average Facebook user? What triggers mass discussion on Twitter? And how can you spark real interest on Pinterest?
Starting from scratch on any social media channel can seem daunting. It’s important to understand the audiences you’re trying to appeal to long before you start posting.
Make sure you know what you’re up against before diving into the dragon’s den. Refining your activity and overall productivity on social media is an ongoing process. But it doesn’t need to be an uphill task with this How-To from Social Media Examiner.
Whether it’s original or curated content, as long as you throw the link into the mix, people are going to give it the attention it deserves, right? Think again. Turns our sharing content on social media is a bit of an art form.
Each network comes with different expectations. If you want your content to catch fire, you’re going to have to deliver diverse copy that adheres to the unique characteristics of each platform.
Get a headstart in writing social media content that attracts the eye and complements your content, with this post from Convince and Convert. Learn the best ways to use hashtags, images and videos in your posts, to optimise engagement, traffic and - let’s face it - gratification levels.
You want to reinforce your arsenal by exploring every crook and crevice of possible communication. But the enormous potential that social media has to offer can actually feel a tad intimidating. With so many options, where do you start?
Coschedule have boxed up the top 21 social media engagement tactics. Use it to reinvigorate your activity over time. Each tactic can bring a new dimension to the way you use social media. Even if you’re trying some of them already, there’s always room for improvement!
The DIY approach to social media is admirable, albeit it counter-productive. Why not take the weight off a bit? There are tons of tools out there that you can enlist to supercharge your strategy. From interaction and outreach to content research and priceless analytics.
Likelihood is that the influencers and competitors around you are taking advantage of them. So, why not you? Get ahead of the pack and differentiate your brand from the convoluted crowd of companies in your industry.
Join marketing maestro Neil Patel as he takes you through 27 tools that can do just this. Don’t sit on your laurels. Use anything and everything you can get your paws on to boost your accounts.
Chuck Twitter chats into the boiling pot and you’ll really be onto something. Join the conversation. Be loud and proud. Learn from what others have to say. Get acquainted with the chat blueprint and - when you’re ready - organise your very own online chinwag.
The Content Marketing Institute has put together its own guide to running a Twitter chat - complete with neat little Google Sheets templates. Store your contacts, topics and questions all in one place!
Holding regular Twitter chats will help you grow authority within your social community and install you as a reliable source. What’s more, you can take user-generated answers, collaborate and transform them into an insightful series of blog posts that give credit to your audience.
Researching industry influencers or social media ‘gurus’ is a crucial part of any social media strategy. Not only are they experts at what they do - it’s never a fluke - but they have massive audiences that are thirsty for content just like yours.
If only they knew where to find it.
Somewhat of a wildcard, reaching out to influencers is one of the most difficult things to do on social media. But it can also be one of the most rewarding. You want people to share your content? Well why not get it shared by someone who has 100k followers?
This approach can generate instant, unparalleled exposure for your brand and can help to boost your following 10-fold. But it’s easier said than done.
Learn how to get your content up in lights with this awesome outreach guide from Jeff Bullas' blog and, who knows, you might end up rubbing shoulders with the best of them!
So you’ve got yourself a wicked piece of content that you’re just itching to share with the world. You’ve crafted up with some pretty snappy copy and the image to go with it isn’t half bad either. Relevant, quirky and a little bit provocative. You’ve really nailed this one.
All that’s left to do is hit the share button, sit back and watch the praise roll in...
But wait. What? When you go to check the post later that day, things suddenly aren’t looking so rosy. Part of your image has been cut off!
It could be the top of a person’s head, their ear or even the last letter of a word, either way, it’s diminished the quality of the post and left you feeling red faced.
Optimising your images for social media needs to become a habit. Awkwardly, each social media channel comes with its own recommended dimensions. But resources such as this one from Sprout Social, are regularly updated to keep you in the know, so you can avoid future calamities.
Trying to grow a meaningful following on social media can feel like bashing your head against a brick wall. The important thing to remember is that you need to be prepared. You need a battle plan with an uber specific focus and the weapons to smash through the noise.
Whether you’re struggling to gain any real momentum or haven’t even taken the plunge yet, your essential first step is to pinpoint relevant networks. Wasting precious time trying to conquer all? You could be just as, if not more, effective on just one or two channels.
Choose your stomping ground, educate yourself and own your space
No-one can deny that social media is a force to be reckoned with. Not only does it play host to billions of people everyday. It’s also an ever-moving, ever-evolving creature. Which is why marketers and agencies simply cannot sit still. It’s essential that we continue learning and researching tools and trends that help us raise our game.
Resources such as the ones covered in this article are a great place to start. But there’s still so much more out there! Keep reading, keep watching - keep getting better!
Got any questions/suggestions about this article? Or anything else for that matter! We want to hear what you think. If you have your own resource to recommend or just want to say hello, drop a message in the comments box below and we’ll get back to you pronto!
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