For those who don’t have a lot of experience with social media, getting started can feel pretty overwhelming. Especially when there are so many people out there doing it so well.
Even after you’ve begun to gain some traction, you can have moments of mind-boggle. We’ve managed to grow our agency’s following on Facebook to over 37,000, yet I still look at amazing Pinterest graphics and cool interactive Facebook posts from other businesses sometimes and feel like we still have much to learn.
Like anything, the key to mastering social media is to just start and improve little by little.
If you feel intimidated about getting started with social media, here are four easy marketing tips to help you get started:
Social Media Marketing Tips for Newbies
Limit Yourself to Two Platforms
I think where many people go wrong is by trying to do too much at once. They decide to start a blog, Instagram, Facebook page, Twitter, Pinterest account, and LinkedIn profile all at once. Then it’s a huge hassle to maintain all of that so they give up before they see any real progress. Womp, womp.
My advice is to start with a maximum of two platforms — any more than that will be overwhelming unless you have a team of people to assist you.
What two platforms should you use? The platforms your customers are most likely to be on, of course! This may take a little digging on your part.
Do some research and find out what social media platforms your customers are the most active on and then you can get started on your top two. You can find demographic information online for various social media platforms with a few simple Google searches.
And because you aren’t spreading yourself too thin, you’ll be able to engage with your audience more and create better content for them.
Optimize your Social Media Profiles
Now that you’ve chosen your two platforms, it’s time to optimize your social media profiles. What do I mean by this? Simply that you need to give yourself the best chance possible to gain more followers.
Write a really engaging description of yourself and your company and use keywords to help you appear higher in the search engine listings. This will help your audience can find you when they search online.
If you don’t know much about search engine rankings, I would recommend checking out this article at Social Media Examiner on how you can improve your rankings by optimizing your social media profiles.
You can let your audience know in the description what kind of content to expect from you. For instance, if you are a photographer, you could say, “I share useful tips on exposure, lighting, and mastering time-lapse photography. “
Be sure to connect your website to your social media accounts and include social sharing buttons.
Share Interesting and Helpful Content
Do you ever wonder what the difference is between people who grow huge social media following and those who can never seem to gain any traction? Relationship building.
You want to build relationships with your followers, not just spam them with advertisements. Sharing interesting and helpful content is a great way to do this.
Unfortunately, this is where it can get tricky for many people because now you have to produce great content for your audience.
This can be time-consuming, but I promise you, it’s worth the effort. Useful content will get more likes and re-shares, bring more traffic to your website, and will help you build your following.
So, what is useful content? Here are some ideas to get started:
- Stories related to your industry
- Motivational quotes and stories
- Images and videos
- Humorous content (It doesn’t always have to be so serious!)
My own target market is Baby Boomers, and something that’s really worked well for us is nostalgia. Our fans love posts about the good old days. So instead of spamming out Medicare insurance content every day (which is not exciting at all), we instead share lots of fun posts that have absolutely nothing to do with our business.
I’ve noticed, however, that when we do share a Medicare-related post, we get a lot of engagement because our fans appreciate everything else we post. They feel comfortable to engage with our videos and ask questions because they feel like they know us from everything fun that we post.
This can lead to great results for your business. Recently we were included in an article naming the 20+ best Facebook pages for Midlifers and Baby Boomers. I’m certain that this was in no small part due to our willingness to let our page be more about our audience than about ourselves. So definitely give this a try!
The takeaway is: when you are planning out your content, ask yourself what your audience most needs or enjoys, and develop interesting graphics, posts or videos to deliver that.
Also, make sure that not everything you are sharing is coming only from your own website. Sharing other people’s content is a great way to gain credibility with your audience. Also, be sure you add hashtags to your post as this makes your content easier to search for.
When it comes to any type of marketing, consistency is more important than anything else. Anyone who has built a substantial following likely had a period of many months or even years when they heard crickets every time they shared a Facebook post.
It can be frustrating to put in so much effort and not feel like you are seeing an immediate return on your investment.
This will be a lifesaver when you aren’t racking your brain trying to figure out what to post for the day.
Lastly, many people also wonder how often they should post on social media — when does it go from helpful to irritating? This really varies depending on what platforms you are using.
If you’re on Facebook or Instagram I would aim for only a couple times per day at most. Any more than that and your risk annoying your audience. However, if you are on Twitter, you can post much more frequently. Try out posting 1 – 3 times a day on your chosen channels and watch your engagement levels to find the sweet spot.