Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that social media is no longer an optional form of marketing. It doesn’t matter whether you are running an online or an offline business, social media marketing has become a necessary form of marketing. And because of that, learning social media marketing has become a necessary thing as well.
But the question is: Where do you start learning?
And that’s a great question because there are literally hundreds of thousands of resources that you can choose from to learn. From paid courses to free resources, you have a ton of options to choose from. And it can become confusing.
You want to make sure that you are learning from the best and gaining the cutting edge knowledge.
And quite honestly, there are very few businesses that manage to do social media marketing really well.
And if you’re thinking that it is all about placing links to content on your website, then you should know that that is not going to work.
Because Facebook has updated their algorithm in a way that penalizes pages that share too many links. So good luck with that. Also, you don’t want to be one of those brands who are all about promoting themselves. Just line after line and post after post of self-promotion. That’s just hurtful to your brand.
And it is next to impossible to share a link on Instagram.
So what do we do to get the traction you deserve?
How do you go about doing this in a way that gets your business the positive social traction that you deserve?
Well, that’s what we are going to talk about in this post. Let’s dive right into it.
Learn How To Master Social Media Marketing Online
Let me just start by saying that it is not absolutely necessary to master all social media networks to be successful. All you need is total mastery in 1 network and you will easily be able to transfer that success to other networks.
It’s all about choosing which one you like and then focusing on it.
The secret here is not being overwhelmed by the number of social media networks. They are just there to help you.
But before we start about the learning and mastering part, let’s find out why social media marketing is so important for your business.
Why Does Your Company Needs Social Media Marketing?
Let’s assume that you have a donut shop in Los Angeles. And John just posted on Facebook asking his friends for the best donut shop in Los Angeles.
His friends give him a couple of great options and then you post a reply in the comments. You describe in detail how your donuts are better than others and you also give him a 10% discount just to check you out.
Where do you think John will be going to buy donuts?
Definitely to your place.
Not only that, when you regularly keep posting amazing information on your Facebook page, people start liking it. And also keep mentioning your page in other places.
Remember, social media is all about interaction. And people are constantly interacting with each other.
That is the true power of social media marketing.
And if you’re not doing it, you can be sure that your competitors are.
Now that we know how crucial it is for your brand’s success, let’s dive into the best places where you can learn social media marketing.
The best part about these resources? They are all free.
10 Places To Learn Social Media Marketing Online for Free
If you have spent a bit of time in the internet marketing field, you might have already heard about Social Media Explorer.
This blog provides with amazing information that has everything to do with social media marketing (SMM). It is considered as one of the top resources to find cutting-edge information.
Not only that, some of the contributors to this blog have also written popular books about different aspects of digital marketing.
If there was only 1 blog that I would choose from the entire list, this would be the one.
Social Media Examiner is one of the top sources when it comes to information about SMM. They provide social media reports that other marketers swear by. And on top of that, their blog is a goldmine when it comes to valuable information about SMM.
So just grasp everything that this blog has to offer.
This is an in-depth eBook and I must also say a step-by-step guide about how you can either create a business from scratch on Instagram, or you can drive results to your existing business.
This information is valuable because you can already see new brands succeeding on this platform.
This is also an eBook that focuses on how you can drive traffic from Facebook to your website and get more customers.
Last but not least, this is another eBook that focuses on getting more followers on Twitter. This will help you get off the ground quickly and start building a following that are loyal to your brand.
The Best Social Media Marketing Strategy
If you’re a small-medium sized business, you need to make sure that you are not doing too many things at the same time. And also not being too impatient.
I always see businesses make the mistake of trying too many things in so little time. And that just doesn’t work.
So to avoid that, make sure that you are following these strategies that I mention below.
I still to this day, follow these strategies to deliver results for my client websites. So, here we go.
Schedule a Block of Time for Each Social Network
I cannot put more emphasis on this. A lot of people spend a majority of their time only on one social network. Where instead, they should be dividing their time up into smaller chunks where they can focus on all the networks and easily maintain them.
This will not only help you keep things in order, it will also make sure that you are not slacking on any social network. Remember, slacking looks bad for your brand. So use this tip to avoid that.
Be Crystal Clear About Your Social Media Marketing Goals
Creating short and long-term goals is essential for any strategy. And this one is no different.
Make sure that you are absolutely clear about what you want to achieve with the time you are putting in. And how you want things to look 6 months down the road.
Does that mean collaborating with others? If yes, then do that. Once you set the goals, you need to make sure that you are going all out to achieve them.
Create an Outline
This goes without saying that when you decide on your goals, you will need an outline on how to achieve them.
The daily tasks you will have to do for that. And the monthly/yearly evaluations of your progress.
Not only this will keep you from procrastinating, it will also help your strategies in check. If you think that your current outline is not working, you can tweak it and test a new outline. See if that works.
Not only that, you can also consult other marketers for outlines and strategies. That is how you grow as a whole.
Stalk the Pros
The best thing you can do is start stalking the pros on their social media accounts. See how they do things differently on each social media network. Remember, each network is different. And that calls for a different outline and a set of moves to become successful.
So take note of what the pros are doing on those social media networks and give it your own personality while applying it.
Benefits of Social Media Marketing
You could spend as little as 7 hours a week on increasing recognition, traffic and sales for your business. How would that sound? Exciting right?
That’s how beneficial social media marketing is for you. The other benefits you might already know, like increased brand awareness, more traffic, etc.
But here are 4 mind blowing benefits that your brand will receive from social media marketing that you probably did not know.
- Improved Rankings in Search Engines
Yes, you read that right. Your website will rank better in search engines if you are actively engaging on social media.
It is true that social media does not directly influence the rankings in search engines, it is considered as one of the factors. To have even more concrete proof of this, according to Social Media Examiner, 58% of the marketers who have been actively engaging on social media for more than a year, have seen improved rankings in the search engines.
I’ll let you be the judge of that.
- Better Customer Satisfaction
Where does your customer go if they have a question to ask or something to complain about?
The social media.
Now think about the opportunity you’ve just got to clear the doubts that customer might have. Not only that, you also have the incredible opportunity to solve the issues that customer might be having. And possibly turn them into a valuable customer.
Remember, you only need one negative customer to put a dent in your brand. With social media, you reduce the chances of dents getting there.
This type of engagement also makes you human. Because they get personalized attention, they are more likely to recommend you to their friends and family. Even if you charge more than your competitors, you get their loyalty because of that personal touch.
Which leads me to my next benefit.
- Increased Brand Loyalty
Ask any successful business owner, and they all will tell you the same: brand loyalty is everything.
If you have loyal customers, you will never go hungry. That’s just the fact.
And with social media marketing, you are developing a personal connection with your audience. A personal connection that they will remember for a long time.
And even if they do not purchase anything from you, you can be assured that they will recommend you in their private circles. Just because of the connection and trust you built through simple interactions.
Millenials are famous for being one of the most loyal customers of all time.
Heck, there are studies showing that millennials that interact directly with a business on social media are 62% more likely to be loyal to that brand.
- Mind-Blowingly Cost Effective
Social media is one of THE most cost-effective ways of advertising in this world.
Signing up for an account is free. Your only investment will be your time and energy. And for that, you will most definitely be getting an ROI.
And if you do happen to decide that you want to go for paid advertisement on these platforms, you can start with shoestring budgets to see how things go. And based on the results you can start scaling your campaigns.
There has never been in the history of human history, a better advertisement model than this. Not only is it cost-effective, it is highly targeted and can be fine-tuned to such an extent that only people who want your product/services, see your ads.
The Difference Between Digital And Social Media Marketing
Many people are confused as to whether they are engaging in digital marketing if they do social media marketing.
It is true that social media marketing comes under the umbrella of digital marketing. But there are a lot more aspects under that name.
What is Digital Marketing?
The basic definition of digital marketing is building awareness about your brand through all the channels that can be digitally accessed by the common folk.
Under digital marketing, there are 2 sub-categories: Internet and non-Internet marketing.
Internet marketing includes Search Engine Marketing (this covers everything from SEO to Pay per click advertising), smartphone, email marketing, online banner advertising and social media.
Non-Internet marketing channels include radio, SMS, television, etc.
So now do you see the difference between digital marketing and social media marketing?
By mastering the art of social media marketing, you are essentially mastering a small portion of the digital marketing aspect itself.
Now go out there and get yourself some skills that will take your brand to heights you never thought were possible.