Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing
eBook - ePub

Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing

Eric Butow, Jenn Herman, Stephanie Liu, Amanda Robinson, Mike Allton

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eBook - ePub

Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing

Eric Butow, Jenn Herman, Stephanie Liu, Amanda Robinson, Mike Allton

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Über dieses Buch

Create Focused Social Media Campaigns Tailored to Your Business

Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing takes readers through a 360-degree perspective of social media marketing in businesses, from strategy to tactics, from organic to paid, from B2B to B2C, encompassing all of the current networks. Topics include:

  • Why businesses need to embrace social media marketing
  • Understanding today's social networks from big ones like Facebook and YouTube to emerging platforms
  • Learning how to craft your business's social media strategy using today's formats
  • How to leverage images and video in your social media outreach
  • Leveraging chat bots, paid social media, and influencer marketing
  • Building your business social marketing team
  • Measure your social media outreach progress and improve your performance over time

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Chapter 1
The Power of Social Media
The need for human connection is right smack in the middle of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and has been a psychological truth of our species for ages. Humans have a deep-rooted desire to be part of communities where they are accepted and have opportunities to contribute.
As far back as the 1960s and 1970s, with the advent of early computer networks, there were glimpses of how that need for connection would be transformed into digital relationships and online platforms.
Remember the days of dial-up modems? Those happily beeping 2400-bps magicians were incredibly slow by today’s standards, but their affordability and portability made it possible for even the most basic home computer to access online servers.
By the mid-1990s, the early social media platforms were born, starting in 1997 with Six Degrees, where you could create a profile and foster relationships with other people online. Friendster and MySpace brought new levels of features and capabilities in the early 2000s, and shortly after we were off and running, with LinkedIn and Twitter and Facebook. Figure 1–1 on page 2 gives you a brief look at just how quickly the social media companies you’re familiar with popped up.
FIGURE 1–1. Today’s social media landscape
All these platforms share two common traits:
1. They help individuals find and connect with other individuals, fulfilling a basic psychological need.
2. They were not designed for businesses.
Facebook and LinkedIn even have features called Groups where anyone can create a community around an idea, issue, area, theme, or brand, allowing members to connect and discuss common interests with one another.
And, of course, people today use social networks for news and entertainment as well. Gone are the days when they rely on a daily newspaper or the six o’clock news. The networks often provide trending news topics and stories, and people can rely on their friends and connections to share the most talked-about posts.
While most network founders intended to “monetize” their platforms in some way, be it through display ads or something else, their initial goal was to help people connect in some new and unique way.
YouTube, for instance, was created simply as a way for people to share videos with other people. At the time, other social networks did not support video playback, so YouTube was unique. Within a year, it was growing at a record-setting pace. Video advertising, which played before user-uploaded videos, is a monetization concept that launched more than a year after YouTube was founded.
This kind of post-launch implementation and constant evolution of social media is why businesses find it challenging to come up with a successful, clear social media strategy. It’s ever-changing and unclear and nuanced. In many respects, traditional advertising is easier. Take billboards, for example.
A business can work with an advertising company to identify one or more billboard placements that seem promising, due to location, traffic volume, or some other factor. They’ll hire a graphic designer to create the perfect vinyl artwork, which the advertising company installs, and then negotiate and pay a set monthly rate according to their contract.
That’s pure advertising. Your business, along with countless others, adopts a “Pick me!” attitude and hopes to get a potential customer’s attention long enough to make a lasting impression. And in many respects, it works. The right billboard (or radio spot, newspaper ad, or TV commercial) at the right time in front of the right person can absolutely drive business results. But it’s expensive, impersonal, and challenging to measure.
There’s no way to know how many people looked at your billboard, or even gauge with any certainty how many people drove past it. Traffic estimates are based on municipal studies, which are conducted infrequently. And of course there’s no way to have a conversation with the people who look at your ad unless they reach out to you first.
Contrast that with social media, where businesses can create profiles for free, share content and information for free, and freely review metrics and reports provided by those same social networks, which detail exactly how many people saw and engaged with their business online. That, coupled with the ability to use Google Analytics (also free) to measure referral traffic to a website from social media, offers businesses an incredible opportunity.
How to approach and leverage that opportunity is of course what the rest of this chapter and book will address. We’re going to cover the importance of relationships and creating connections on social media.
Because every social network is, first and foremost, designed for individuals, businesses are at a distinct disadvantage. Adopting the “Pick me!” broadcast approach isn’t just ineffective; it’s likely to backfire. While people have been conditioned to accept the existence of ads online, there is tremendous animosity toward businesses that want to interfere with the primary reason they’re on these social networks.
In other words, people use Facebook to connect with their friends and family, not your business.
Rather than present you with a list of technical requirements or some arbitrary definition to determine whether an online service counts as a social network, what’s important is that you understand the underlying meaning.
Does the online service facilitate the connection of individuals and the development of relationships? If so, even if it features a fraction of the users of Facebook or Twitter, it can safely be considered social media for your purposes. That means sites like Yelp or Flickr or Pinterest have their place, though some may argue over the nuances.
The important take-away is that people use social networks to connect with, talk to, and learn from other people. If, as a business, you can insert yourself into that process and help them fulfill that need, you’ll be on your way toward a successful social strategy.
As motivational speaker and marketer Jay Baer put it, “Focus on how to be social, not how to do social.”
This means that to be effective at social media, businesses need to know how to build relationships. That’s admittedly hard because relationships are formed one person at a time. Businesses that are already large, or in a hurry to become large, may be more enamored with ideas of scale and rapid growth.
Social media works very similarly. When someone follows you or comments for the first time on a post, it’s an opportunity for you to welcome them, virtually, to your storefront. Will you rush into your sales pitch, or take a moment to encourage some dialogue and attempt to build rapport?
Fortunately, Chapter 10 is going to help you tremendously: it is in fact possible to scale relationship-building by using influencers as a bridge and conduit for relationships with customers.
Before you get rolling with influencers, however, it’s critical that you and your brand establish your own presence, personality, and message. Because even if you’re using social media and communicating with people as your brand, it should still be clear that there’s a person behind the logo who’s talking.
The benefit is that through the use of social media in a way that is eminently social, brands can build relationships with fans, followers, prospects, and customers that lead them to know, like, and trust that brand. And that often leads to tremendously valuable relationships offline.
Take the 360 Marketing Squad, for example.
Jenn Herman, Stephanie Liu, Amanda Robinson, and Mike Allton, four of the authors of this book, have a private mastermind group for mutual support, as well as a paid membership group for students who wish to learn digital marketing. The four of them enjoy deep, supportive friendships and a tremendously successful business partnership—all made possible through social media.
Jenn and Mike became acquainted on Google+ back in 2012, where Mike had established nearly a quarter-million followers and Jenn was launching her career as an Instagram expert. Over the years they supported each other and developed a friendship. They met in person for the first time four years later at Social Media Marketing World.
Stephanie and Jenn first learned of each other through Instagram and Facebook. They both had developed tremendous reputations as internet marketers, finally meeting in person at Social Media Day San Diego in 2017. That same year, Mike and Stephanie connected on Instagram, and were later introduced in person at Social Media Marketing World 2018 by Jenn.
Amanda and Jenn have shared many mutual connections in their respective spheres of influence on Facebook and Instagram. The two of them would carry on their online conversations in real life each time they saw each other at Social Media Marketing World and eventually became great friends.
While at the Midwest Digital Marketing Conference that year, Mike and Stephanie talked about the importance of having a support group, a Mastermind, and thought it would be a great idea to start meeting with Jenn, both as online marketers and as the parents of young girls. Out of that trio was birthed the idea to create a paid membership group with rotating experts, but they needed a fourth person to complete the group. That’s when Amanda was brought in, and the rest is history!
A strong support group and lasting friendships, a business partnership that generates five figures of shared annual revenue, a live show, a podcast, and now a book—all made possible thanks to social media and building relationships both online and off.
Your results may vary.
Here, these four experts on social media marketing, with established expertise on every platform, are joined by co-author Eric Butow, who has written dozens of books on marketing and technology. Together, we represent decades of experience in every facet of online marketing and are bringing it all to bear for your benefit.
Throughout the rest of this book, we will be diving deep into specific networks and offering strategies and tactics that you can employ and adapt to your own business. Take notes, develop tests, and always consider how what you’re doing can help develop relationships and contribute to the online experience that your fans are participating in.
Chapter 2
Understand Today’s Social Networks
Social networking websites are much like any other human social constructs—each website requires different behaviors and has different expectations of its participants. Visiting each social network can be like being in a different country. People on Facebook will expect you to behave very differently from people on LinkedIn. (If you’re looking for a different analogy, you may find Jenn’s comparison of social networks to martinis amusing in her article at https://bit.ly/2uZdHZe.)
The risk of including a list of social network websites in a book is that one or more of them may have vanished by the time you read it—lost in the ether or bought by another company. Do you remember Friendster? Vine? Google+? Yes, even large, competent companies like Google can get social networking wrong.
We decided to include ten social networks not only because ten is a nice round number, but we also thought these social networks had the biggest and fastest-growing user demographics when we wrote this book in early 2020.