Social Media Marketing 101

You’re probably already one of the over 1 billion Facebook users, or maybe even one of the 200 million Tweeps there are on this planet, and hopefully you are on LinkedIn, but can you use these platforms to market a brand? Can you create a creative, optimized, successful campaign using social media?

Perhaps you can, but chances are there are a few things left to learn – because let’s face it, we’re all still learning about this social media stuff! Combined with my regular posts, the following steps should cover the basic topics that might be covered in Social Media Marketing 101.

Step 1:  Familiarize yourself with the top social media platforms and determine which ones will provide the best benefits for your purposes.

a. How many are there? Which channels are the top social media networks? Here is a great article to get you started: Social Networks: How to Keep Up Like a Pro

Also, when in doubt, check Wikipedia right? Well, I’m not sure if all of this information is correct, but if it is, it’s certainly useful: Wikipedia’s List of Social Networking Websites

b. Each social network is a bit different, with each of them trying to offer attributes that the other doesn’t, so it’s important to know the differences. Here are some resources for comparing social media sites:

c. So, which ones should you use? Personally, I would stick to what has proven successful for most – Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.  And then if you have the resources, absolutely add Pinterest, Instagram and/or a Corporate Blog to the mix!

Step 2: Learn how to use and set-up the social media accounts you would like to utilize. Here are some resources for learning how to use and set-up those popular social media sites I’ve been talking about:

a. Facebook – I know you probably already have a Facebook profile, so here’s how to set-up and use a Facebook Fan Page, something that is completely different (wink, wink):

b. Twitter – Twitter accounts are “one size fits all” – so you just have to create a standard Twitter account – check out this all-inclusive guide by Mashable, or this YouTube Video to get set up on Twitter.

c. YouTube – Like Twitter, YouTube accounts are universal – there are not currently different accounts for personal use or business.  For help on how to get started on YouTube, use this video or check out this article.

d. Pinterest – Pinterest accounts can be used for personal or business use. Learn more about Pinterest and personal vs. business accounts on their site.

e. WordPress – Keep in mind that WordPress is just one of many blogging platforms.  However, in my experience, it’s one of the best! Use this site to get started: Getting Started with WordPress

Step 3: Immerse yourself in information about how to best use these platforms to market a brand or business. There has been an explosion of information about how to use different platforms as successful marketing tools, how to efficiently manage social media channels using different tools, how to measure their effectiveness, and much more. Here are some resources for learning more:

After these three steps, all you need is practice!  Try branding yourself using social media in your job search, or ask a small business if they would let you manage their social media just for the experience!
Did I miss something?  Ask me or add it in the comments!
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