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Social Media Marketing : The Ultimate Guide for Small Businesses

Social media marketing can be hard to do when you’re a small business.

You don’t have the same resources as larger companies, which means you need to get creative with your social media strategy.

This course will show you how to use social media marketing in a way that works for small businesses and is affordable. I’ll teach you how to create a brand, people will remember, find your target audience, and make sure that your message is heard by the right people.

Social Media Marketing Free Course x

Introduction

One shocking fact about social media marketing is that 88% of people say they consult social media before making a purchase. -From Mashable.com

What a statistic! This shows how influential social media is to the public and can be to your business if you use it properly. People spend hours on their social media websites every day, so this makes it a perfect place for advertising your products or services. A lot of businesses have not yet incorporated social media marketing into their marketing plan, and that is why this course was designed to teach you everything you need to know about social media marketing.

Course Outline:

Chapter 1: Importance of Social Media To Your Business

Social Media Icons xYou have probably seen the word “social media” pop up on your news feed. Whether you’re scrolling through Facebook or Instagram, watching videos on YouTube, or checking out tweets from a favorite YouTuber, social media is everywhere. But what does that mean for your business?

Social media marketing can be tricky to navigate at first (especially if you don’t know how to use it), but once you get the hang of it and learn more about its benefits, there are plenty of ways to use this type of marketing strategy in order to grow your small business.

In this chapter, we’ll be going over some key things that will help get your brand noticed while also teaching you how best to engage with customers so they keep coming back. Along with that, we’ll also be looking at some of the pros and cons of using social media.

1.1 What is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing is essentially a strategic way to use social networks in order to promote your business or a product, and it’s used across many different platforms with the goal of targeting potential customers. Many small businesses turn to social media marketing in order to help their company grow and get noticed, but just like other forms of marketing (think: TV commercials, billboards), social media has some pros and cons.

Social Media Pros & ConsSocial Media Platforms x

Pros – helps share content with a wide audience quickly and easily; it’s free!; easy way to connect with customers; can help improve your search engine optimization (SEO) – just make sure you use good, well-written content

Cons – easily accessible by competitors (or anyone that has a computer); easy to waste time on social media platforms (i.e., Facebook); other users may not always be interested in your products so it can be hard to target a specific audience

So what are the different social media platforms that you can use?

Well, there are plenty of them! To name a few, the most popular ones include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and YouTube. There’s also blogging or just posting on forums but those aren’t as widely used as the ones listed above.

But what do all of these sites have in common? Sure, they’re social media platforms that let you post images and videos or comment on photos, but they also share a lot of similarities when it comes to using them for your business or brand. Whether you use Facebook to connect with friends and family or other social media platforms to promote your business, you’re putting yourself out there and making it easy for customers to find you.

1.2 Why should you use social media marketing in your business?

social icons xThe answer is simple: using social media in marketing your business will help you reach more customers who actually need what you’re selling or offering. In decades before, businesses used to rely on news reports, newspaper ads, and commercials just to let people know that they are there. Nowadays, the use of social media for promoting a business has become a tool for every business owner to promote their products and services.

The growing trend of social networking websites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc., has opened up a number of opportunities with so many people getting online every day. As of today, over 80% percent of the population is already connected to the internet (Edwards & Philips, n.d.). The number of people who access the internet on a daily basis has increased dramatically in only a span of few years (Interactive Advertising Bureau, n.d.). Social media marketing is now considered one of the best ways to make your business stand out, reach more customers, and increase a loyal customer base.

Many business owners are still skeptical about social media marketing because of the false information circulating on the internet. Yes, there is plenty of false advice about “free” or “instant” money-making techniques online but you should understand that it will take time to develop and grow your business through social media marketing. The best way to determine whether social media marketing is something that you should try is to set a budget for it and then reach the right audience.

History has shown us that no other marketing method had the same enduring power as social media marketing. From television advertisements to newspaper ads, it brings about more customer engagement and increases the sales volume of a business.

1.3 How to use social media marketing in business?

So how can this be used as a way to grow your small business? Well, if someone sees your post on Twitter or Facebook, they’ll likely share it with their friends (and those friends could also share it with their friends and so on). This can help create brand loyalty and can also make it easier to target potential customers based on interests. For instance, if people like the type of products your business offers (maybe you sell movie memorabilia) then they may be interested in seeing what else you have to offer – once they’re following your page or account on social media, you can post updates about new products or upcoming sales.

Social media marketing can also be used to create a positive public image for your company.social media apps xWhile negative comments on social media can quickly ruin your online reputation, it’s important to note that most people will only post good things about you if they’re impressed with the service you’ve provided them. If you consistently provide excellent customer service and products then people will generally talk positively about you – and if you make it easier for people to do so, they will generally be happy to spread the word.

Most social media marketing strategies are fairly easy to set up and don’t require much of a time investment on your part; however, there are many different things that can be done in order to find success.

It’s important to think about what you’re hoping to gain and then determine which methods will work best for your company.

There are many different ways that you can use social media marketing; however, it is advisable to understand the underlying principles of this method in order to achieve a higher level of success. You should be more focused on engagement rather than sales, as it is the engagement that will lead to increased product sales and more conversions.

Summary:

You should make social media marketing an essential part of your business plan. Social media offers a way to reach more people and connect with them in the digital age, while also building brand equity for your company. If you don’t have time or expertise to manage this yourself, hire someone who does! An experienced social media manager will help take care of all these tasks so you can focus on running the rest of your business.

Chapter 2: Content Posting Strategy for the Real World

Content Posting xWith this chapter, you will learn how to make the most out of social media posts by creating content that drives traffic back to your website. This chapter will cover: what types of content work best for different social platforms; understanding which platform works best for your business; when posting is appropriate; how often you should post; tips on captivating visuals (images); and much more!

2.1 How to create an effective content calendar ?

To create a content calendar for social media, simply take into account the important days of the year that are celebrated. Create a list of these days and then cross-reference them with your list of topics to determine which days to post on.

For example, if you run a pool company, there are key days of the year that are important for your business. These can be holidays or even the summer vacation season when it’s warm and people spend time in their pools. When creating your content calendar, you can plan out when you want to post about pool parties between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

content calendar xThe next step is to take these dates and figure out what days are best to post on for each topic of interest. It might be that certain topics are only relevant in the summer, while others may have seasonal relevance. Additionally, you may have some topics that can be reposted and others not. For example, a pool party that is held in May might also be relevant to post about in July. However, if the event was for an engagement party on April 1st, it probably won’t be as relevant once the date has passed since most people won’t be thinking about the party in April.

By creating a content calendar, you can keep up to date with what’s relevant and when. You’ll be able to get your business in front of people who are interested in seeing it without the risk of posting irrelevant information. This is particularly important if you have multiple social media profiles that share the same topics. For instance, if you want to post information about your company’s pool parties and you own both a Facebook page and a Twitter account, it would be important to make sure that the same content is posted across all of them.

There are many tools for creating social media calendars. One that we recommend is called Hootsuite. With this tool, you can plan out your content for the entire year at a time and post it to multiple social media accounts.

You can choose your topics, pick a date that’s best for each topic, add images, videos, or links to your website, and then share it across all of your social media networks. This makes it very easy to repost information on other profiles as well.

The best part about this tool is that you can also use it to share your content with people who aren’t following you on social media. This means more people will see what you post and you’ll be able to increase the number of followers who are interested in your business.

2.2 Different types of posts that work well on different platforms

Facebook: Images are the best type of post to use when marketing to Facebook for your business, while links and videos also work well too. Facebook is a great place to share quick updates about specials, new store openings, or items in the store.

Twitter: Mostly posts with photos and videos do very well on Twitter because it limits text characters. With 160 characters, sometimes Twitter users will leave out those who don’t follow them or want to advertise but only have a few words to go with it. You can also use GIFs on Twitter as long as they’re under 10 seconds long.

LinkedIn: LinkedIn is more for professional, more serious topics that you want to share with other people. You can use a lot of text and links in posts on LinkedIn because the audience there is typically more interested in long-form content.

YouTube: YouTube is one of the most popular social media sites available and therefore it’s a great place to post videos about promotions, special deals, events like grand openings, and so on. People are looking to watch videos about whatever they’re interested in, which gives a business owner the chance to share their story with everyone who watches that video.

Pinterest: Pinterest is another great social platform that business owners should start using. With over 100 million people on the site, businesses can attract their target audience by posting eye-catching images (with links) about topics that interest them.

Instagram: Instagram is a relatively new social platform, but it’s growing quickly. Business owners can use Instagram as an advertising and marketing tool, by posting eye-catching photos and short videos (15 seconds or less) of products they’re selling or events that they’re holding.

Summary:

The content strategy you use on social media should be a reflection of your business, and what it does. It is essential that you create the right content for each platform in order to get engagement with customers and followers. The more engagement you have, the higher likelihood there is of increasing sales or leads for your business!

Chapter 3: The Best Ways To Engage Your Audience

social media tips xThis chapter is about how to engage your audience in social media marketing.

There are many ways you can do this, but there are some that work better than others. You need to know which ones they are and why they’re effective. You’ll learn what best practices for engaging your audience in social media marketing really are, and find out how to use them effectively as well. There’s no point in wasting time with the other methods unless you want to be ignored or even worse: unfollowed!

3.1 25 Tips for posting engaging content that will get results

Tip #1: Always Posting High-Quality Photos, Videos & Blog Posts

It is also important to always post high-quality photos, videos, and blog posts. You can attract more people to your page if you’re able to show them that you have a good amount of editing skills. For example, if you’re a fashion blogger and post all of your images on Instagram, it will be more likely to get reposted on other accounts such as Polyvore if they are high quality.

Tip #2: Posting the Right Content at the Right Time

It’s important that you figure out what time your audience is the most active, and then post at that time. You can do this by using a tool such as Iconosquare to track how many likes your posts are getting each day and what times of the day those likes are coming in.

Tip #3: Use Engaging Titles with Emotional Content

Titles are important for posts because that is what will catch the eye of the viewer and make them click on them. Nowadays, people are used to seeing a lot of hashtags and emojis in posts, so you should try to incorporate those into the title of your post. This will help draw people over to check out what your post is all about.

top social media tips x

Tip #4: Content Curation

In addition to posting content that you make yourself, it can be useful and interesting to curate other content as well. When you post other people’s content, it gives them more exposure and can be a great way to get followers for your page. You want to find the best photos around that capture what you’re trying to promote in your business.

Tip #5: Entertaining Content

It may seem obvious, but if you want your posts to go viral on social media, then they need to be entertaining. People want an interesting story to click on and share; something that will make them laugh or feel some sort of emotion.

Tip #6: Choosing Posts That Inspire

It is important for you to choose content for your social media accounts that inspires people rather than everyday posts that don’t require much effort or thought.

Tip #7: Incorporating Short Videos to Present Your Brand Value

It may be difficult for people to get a good feel of your brand if they’re only seeing photos, so one way you can improve this is by including short videos in your posts. This is easier and more cost-effective than it may seem, especially if you’re able to make your own videos.

Tip #8: Team them up with content curators in order to increase the posts you get and thus, traffic.

Tip #9: Make it personal, make it fun and make it interesting! Don’t be afraid to post stories from your life, insights, or funny things that happen at work. People love those kinds of posts. 

follower x
Tip #10:
Make sure you have a creative and engaging design for each post. The picture needs to catch the follower’s attention and then get them interested in what your post is about. This includes videos also as it will be seen as a thumbnail when shared on social media.

Tip #11: Make use of videos in order to display how products are made, how a certain service is done, etc. Humans love seeing things being made/produced! 

Tip #12: Make a call-to-action in every post/tweet/status update that you publish on any kind of social media platform. This is the most important point! 

Tip #13: Make sure to never post the same link on one single social media account! It will make your strategy look like a scam and it looks unprofessional. 

Tip #14: Create posts that are evergreen (content that is relevant in 2 years, 5 years or more!). This could be industry-related stats or facts, for example.

Tip #15: Do not push sales all the time, instead use social media as a place to connect with your audience. Post articles that are relevant, and keep the conversation going this will help you grow your followers. 

Tip #16: Don’t use the same images in your ads on every platform as this looks spammy and unprofessional. 

Tip #17: Don’t post only about yourself! People do not want to see that anymore, they are tired of it and it is boring to look at. 

Tip #18: Use social media to share industry-related information, facts, figures or stats. This will help position yourself as an expert in this field and it is interesting for your followers to read about things that they wouldn’t have known before. 

Tip #19: If you’re just starting out on social media, focus on engagement before you start promoting anything. Focus on providing value first, and then think about promoting your product or service later when you have a solid base where you can build upon it! 

Tip #20: Always write quality content, but be careful not to go on a rant about why your product or service is awesome, instead focus on providing real value for your customers. 

Tip #21: Don’t just post the same content on all of your social media accounts. Try to create specific posts for each platform so that you can cater to different people who might be on them.

Tip #22: Posting the same stuff over and over again will not help you with building up a solid community, instead focus on engaging with others and solving their problems.

Tip #23: Ask questions in your posts that are relevant for your audience, and they will be happy to answer them.

Tip #24: Give useful things as rewards to those who share your stuff on social media – make sure that the reward is really worth it so that people will actually want to share it with others!

Tip #25: Take note of what works and what doesn’t. If something gets no engagement then try to find out why and if there is any way that you can improve or change the content for next time.

3.2 How to increase engagement with followers?

First, let’s talk about responding to comments. Responding to comments is not seen as an engagement tactic by many people on social media. However, I find that it has been one of my most successful methods of engaging with followers. Retweeting or liking what someone has said is also a nice way to show appreciation for their contribution and also help to increase their follower count too.

Another great way to increase engagement with comments is to ask questions. Questions are often responded to more than statements as people want others’ opinions on things, especially if it’s something they’ve not experienced or don’t know much about.

influencer xThis leads me on nicely to my next method of engaging followers which is asking for feedback/opinions. One of the great things about social media marketing is that people are very open to giving feedback as they feel that their opinion matters. If you ask a question or make a statement and then follow up with “what do you think?” etc… it helps to start a conversation that can lead to new followers, customers or friends.

You can also gain new followers by simply asking people to follow you. This could be done in the form of “please try my product/service, I’ll give you a discount if you like it” or “I’m going to do xyz soon and would love for you to join me!”

Another great way to engage with others on social media is by following them. If you follow someone and they notice, they are more likely to respond to you, which in turn could lead to a new follower for your account too.

One of the biggest reasons why people don’t engage with social media accounts is because it’s just not interesting enough for them and that can be very difficult to overcome. If you’re going to engage with someone on social media, try to make it as interesting and engaging for them as possible or they probably won’t bother responding.

3.3 How to make your content stand out from the crowd

One of the best ways to make your content stand out and to make people remember you is by being straightforward, conversational, and authentic. You’ll be amazed at just how much attention you will get when you take the time to focus on sharing with your readers exactly what they want.

That may mean sharing entertaining anecdotes, pictures of your pets or kids, real-life tips for success in business, or something else that is unique to you and helps people connect with you. The great thing about social media is that there are no rules when it comes to the actual content of your posts. If someone takes a moment to comment on one of your posts, interact with them!

You can also join relevant groups, which can help give you some ideas for content that will also resonate with your target audience.

Another way to stand out in the crowd is by creating graphics that will capture people’s attention and get them excited about what you’re sharing. Just posting text on a page isn’t enough to stand out from the crowd, and it will rarely generate a large amount of interest.

If you really want people to pay attention to what you have to say on social media, it’s important that you learn how best to get their attention.

When you’re posting content on social media, there will always be plenty of other posts popping up that can potentially get in the way, especially if you aren’t capturing anyone’s interest right away. It is also important to remember that not everyone is going to read your content from start to finish, so it’s a good idea to include some interesting snippets throughout. These are great opportunities for you to share helpful tips, ideas, or advice that will catch the attention of your followers and spark their interest.

You should also make sure that your post is easy enough for someone to scan over in just a few seconds. If it takes too long to read through all of what you have to say, your followers will likely lose interest and move on to something else.

Therefore, it’s important that you keep everything short and sweet. You can also take advantage of social media scheduling tools if you want to get even more effective with your time.

The main idea here is that people are busier than ever today, so you need to make it easier for them to get the information that you’re sharing.

You should also remember that most people will probably be skimming over your content quickly, so it’s important that you don’t use any words or phrases in too much of a complicated way. You want everything to come across as simple and easy if you want people to take the time to read.

Use your skills in storytelling to craft content that people can identify with and make it interesting enough for them to really pay attention.

If you want your content to get noticed on social media, you need to get a lot of views for it. You should aim high if you really want people to see what you’re doing.

If you want to get a lot of views for the content that you’re sharing, it’s important that you make it relevant and interesting to everyone who will be seeing what you have to say. So ask yourself if your audience is really going to care about what you’re sharing before posting anything.

Another key tip when it comes to using social media for your business is that you need to keep the content fresh. You can do this by updating it regularly, either daily or several times a week.

It’s also important that you’re posting content on the proper social media sites if you want to get results from your work.

It is also a good idea to set up some additional ways for people to connect with your business so that they don’t have to just rely on your social media accounts to get everything they need.

If you do this, then people will be more likely to come back in the future, and also spread the word about your business to their friends and family as well.

This is especially true if you’re posting content on various platforms that aren’t very popular right now; doing so can really help to build up some engagement for your business in a way that you wouldn’t be able to get if you were only posting on the big social media sites.

You should also consider creating a blog of your own and stick to posting things there, as opposed to just using social media accounts. This can be a great way for people looking for information to find you, and it can also be an effective way to show off your expertise. Plus if you’re interested in doing a lot of writing for fun, then it’s a great place for you to share that work as well.

If you want to get people really engaged with your business on social media, then it’s important that you’re doing things that are fun and lighthearted.

You should also be ready to address any issues or problems that people have with you, which can all be avoided by simply making sure that your business is a reputable one from the start.

If you’re careful about these kinds of things when it comes to social media marketing for small businesses, then you can be sure that you’ll have a more successful brand to show off.

All of this information will help you use social media marketing in business in a way that helps your small business grow and become profitable. Keep these tips in mind when posting content or creating your own blog, so that people will really take notice and find your business useful.

 

Summary:

The best way to engage your audience is by providing them with quality, valuable content. If you find it difficult or don’t have the time for this task yourself, consider our copywriting service and benefit from professional writing that will get results!
You should also be careful about what you post and how often you post it because if too many people are following you, they may unsubscribe from your account or stop paying attention altogether. Make sure that the posts that you share on social media will resonate with your followers- this means more than just posting pictures of happy hour drinks. If all else fails, think outside of the box! There’s no one right answer for engaging an audience; as long as it works well in line with who YOU are then there’s nothing wrong with it.

Chapter 4: Creating Viral Posts

social media viral posts xIn this chapter, we will discuss how to create viral posts. This is a crucial component of social media marketing for small businesses because it helps them grow their customer base and get more customers in the future. 

It’s important that you use both creativity and analytical skills to make your viral post as good as possible so that it goes viral. We’ll go over some strategies on how to do this below. Let’s dive right in!

4.1 What is a viral post and how do they work ?