Social media marketing has become one of the most utilized ways of advertising today. Businesses big and small have established a presence on a medium like no other. But how well do we understand social media? Which outlet works the best for our purposes? This social media guide will dissect each application and how it can benefit a well-established business as well as an up-and-coming one. We’ll also take a look into what metrics actually matter when analyzing our social media presence.

Facebook 101

Facebook has many connections to other sites and uses this to its advantage. Most sites offer a button to sign up for it using a Facebook profile. No other social media site has influence like that. And it’s no wonder considering Facebook is home to 2.27 billion active users. So what can we do with this tool that can connect us with so many potential customers?

The leading use for Facebook from a growth marketing standpoint is to increase brand awareness. While this is an exceptional format to do so, some don’t know the right data to track in order to measure success.

Naturally, the perceived metric to interpret would be your likes per post and the number of people who like your page. Instead, check your Facebook Analytics to track the length of sessions and the number of impressions. Sessions are the amount of time a user spends on your page. The amount of impressions is determined by the estimated number of people who have seen the ad or page. Make sure Facebook ads are worth the cost and put out the right message to direct traffic to the page. For a guide to spending on Facebook ads, check out our article here.

Twitter 101

Twitter is one of the most innovative social media sites to date. From daily trends to the world of politics, Twitter has become a hub of information on current events. We can use this layout to keep in touch with consumer habits and build a brand identity. While most social media sites are used by businesses to build awareness, Twitter is arguably the best and easiest. Who we follow can be essential for generating leads. Follow your competition as well as other businesses in your area. Also, follow the big companies that influence your industry. What are other businesses doing that you’re not? Is it benefiting their efforts or dragging them down? Learn from other businesses in order to optimize your marketing strategy and increase your following.

Again, follower counts don’t accurately measure success. There are so many ways for Twitter users to view content. An account can see posts from other accounts just because of who they follow or posts they’ve interacted with previously. The search section headlines multiple posts that pertain to a certain designation such as sports or politics no matter the user’s follower count. Hashtags can also be searched so that a user can see every “tweet” that includes the former.

Instagram 101

Although Twitter coined the hashtag movement, Instagram uses hashtags in a way that can make your business easy to find. Promoting your products using key images under the right hashtags can help to quickly apply brand awareness. 80% of Instagram users have at least one brand on their feed. Use that trend to streamline your product straight to a potential customer and build a recurring pipeline to your website.

Promoting a product through images is a lot more appealing and displays your brand clearly. The captions below help to describe the product and who you are as a business. Connections from your profile to your site also improve SEO and keep smooth traffic between platforms.

Instagram offers a story tool as well as a live streaming feature. Adding product pictures to your story along with some hashtags and a link to buy a product provides a one-stop for your followers. Live streaming is also something that business owners big and small have utilized well. Sending out a live video to your followers can showcase your personality and what your business is all about. Give a tour of your new bakery. Show off your new shipment of designer clothes. Providing a human aspect to the brand is something Instagram can help with.

The number of views and interactions with your posts are most important on Instagram. While commenting and likes are great motivators, they aren’t representative of how many people are actually seeing the content. Look for how many people are checking your Instagram page or story when you post. Also, keep track of how many views you get when you go “Live” for a day. If engagement and views decrease, adjust your content accordingly and keep consumers interested and interacting. 

Snapchat 101

Instagram took a page from Snapchat’s book when they added the stories feature. Snapchat’s features revolve around timed pictures that you can post for everyone to see. They also provide ways to customize each picture like captions, filters, interactive games, stickers, and free-hand drawings. These customization tools can help make your posts stand out and keep consumers interested. Post videos when new shipments of products arrive. Allow an employee or brand liaison to take over the account for the day and provide a behind the scenes look of everyday operations.

Snapchat appeals to the younger generation, seeing as 90% of all 13-24 year-olds and 75% of all 13-34-year-olds in the U.S. used the app in March. The consumers are there and businesses are just now learning how to utilize it, although it can be difficult to gain a following if you don’t advertise your username or Snap Code. Displaying the Snap Code wherever you can place it is the best way to attract followers. All it takes is for a potential customer to aim their phone camera at it to add you. Keep track of how many views you get per snap on your story. In a chain of snaps on your story, see if the number decreases as the snaps progress; this is a good indicator that your content is either too lengthy or too boring.

Social Media 101: The Social Media Guide Disclaimer

Social media platforms are great for establishing a following for your business. But don’t put too much stock in them. Budgeting for this should be minimal and should not carry the weight of your marketing campaign. Noah Kagan, the creator of AppSumo and entrepreneur, explains how social media sites can stack the odds against you when it comes to getting noticed. The platforms lead you to believe that some metrics are held at a higher standard so that you continue to pay for ads and shovel money into their pockets. For an in-depth showcase, check out Kagan’s video on Social Media Marketing. Paying attention to the right data and acting accordingly will provide the results you want.

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