What is Social Media and How to Master it
Social Marketing can be really difficult for brands and businesses. Where do you begin with creating a strategy? How do you know when fans are online? How do you even chose a platform to post on? That is why we are here, to take the difficulty out of it so you can get back to what you are good at!
Let it begin
As a millennial, I've grown up with Social Media as a regular part of life and have been slightly befuddled when clients, or even peers, have asked what exactly social media is. After all, how could anyone with a pulse not know the different purposes and nuances of Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and all the rest? However, upon doing the preliminary research for this post and taking the time to write the outline, I realized that I have had a huge advantage over most of the population at large. I research a knowledge of social media marketing and keep up with as many of its trends as I can for my job.
Don't get me wrong, when I initially started my training, I thought it would be more than a little boring. I mean, come on, I'm a child of the digital age, I could spend a week on Facebook and not bat an eyelash. However, I quickly found out there was a whole lot more to it than cruising walls and liking posts. Not only is each platform different and requires special attention in it's posting strategy, length, content type, and targeted audience, but every platform is constantly changing. Last year best practice was to post at least twice a day on every channel. This year best practice is to post once on Facebook and boost it throughout the day, three or more times a day on Pinterest and the list goes on and on.
All in all, I quickly grew to have a new level of empathy for the characters of the Starwars series (a family favorite). They were all thrown into a situation they thought they could handle, trying to work with a nebulous force with intricate and confusing rules. Even now that I've learned everything I need to get me going and developed several years as a social marketing manager, I still very much feel more like an apprentice than a master. Especially with fluctuating standards for post lengths, times for posting, graphics, etc, the more I experience the industry, the more I realize I need to learn and it's all too easy to get to a point where you're chasing the heels of passing trends rather than riding out the waves on the forefront of the action.
Regardless how frustrating this profession is on any given day, it has given me an in depth understanding of social media and how to manipulate it to be an effective marketing tool. All of these intricacies are exactly what makes social media such a great marketing opportunity. Though you may pay for boosted posts, rich pins, and tools (don't worry, if you have no idea what I just said; there will be blogs explaining all of those in depth), most of the platforms themselves are free. Due to their variety there is not only a way to optimize various methods of advertising, but also a way to get your business in front of the eyes of nearly every type of consumer. However, before we start breaking down all the various platforms and their basic functions, content types, unique slang, etc, let's take a beat to explain what exactly social media is.
The Break Down
Websites and other online means of communication that are used by large groups of people to share information and to develop social and professional contacts (from dictionary.com)
Initially a means of communication, however it has evolved into a means of advertising and communicating with clients to maintain loyalty, promote events and sales, as well receive feedback to maintain satisfaction.
The specific social media medium you make an account through (e.i. Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc…). These words are interchangeable for one another.
Images. That's it. Just pictures (no junior high jokes, please).
For example, the graphic above to illustrate the definition of Channel/Platform is comprised of several graphics put together into one collage.
Advertisements you or a third part create, determine a focus group for, and pay for (usually a rate per day)
Graphic or Written material mean to increase client loyalty, promote your business, or drive clients to your website.
For example, this blog post you're currently reading is primarily written content with graphic elements.
Content promoted on your social media page.
The type of appropriate/successful posts will depend largely on the channel you're using. We will have several more posts delving into how to optimize your posts in general as well specifically regarding each of the major channels (or platforms, if you prefer).
Click Through Rate (CTR):
Common metric used to measure the number of times a new visitor "Clicks Through" from an add, post, or image on your social media account to your site/page that you're advertising.
The Nitty Gritty
Let's have a real moment; one caffeine addict to another. Social media marketing is time consuming and highly stressful more days than not. Trying to wrangle social marketing is not unlike learning how to maneuver a mystical source of bottomless power and constantly shifting current of trends. While there are ways to manage the basics of your social media as a marketing tool yourself, the best way to really be a viral online presence is to at least have a consultation package with a professional. The best case scenario is to have an in-house or out-sourced social media manager that is specifically invested in your company.
Trends are constantly changing, posts always need monitoring, and messages and comments always need replying - it's a burden most people can live without (especially when in addition to running a business). Regardless of what your social media needs are, we at Social-Caffeine like to think we have a solution. Whether it's seasonal consultation, instructional courses, or managing your various platforms for you, we know that you want your business to thrive and we can help you achieve that.
If you are looking for something to help you learn everything you need to know about social marketing check out our awesome courses below: (be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest to get our special deals coming soon!)
Happy marketing and may the trends be with you!