Learning the Basics – A Social Media Primer

social-networks-rightEveryone has heard of social media, but not every company is taking advantage of it.

Social media is an incredibly cost effective way to market your company. However, if you don’t know that much about social media marketing, then it’s kind of hard to get started. The following are a few of the basics that you should know about social media and how to use it so that you can begin implementing it into your marketing strategy.

Why you should you be using social media?

The first thing you should know is why you should be using social media to market your company. Besides the fact that it cost very little to run a marketing campaign, there are a number of other reasons as well.

  • Take advantage of huge user bases – You’ll be able to potentially reach more people through the use of social media than any other platform. Just look at the user bases for some of the biggest sites – Facebook alone has 845 million users (and counting).
  • Increase brand loyalty – Social media helps to cut out the middle man in the sense that it allows your company to engage directly with your consumers, thereby helping to establish brand loyalty.
  • Increase brand awareness – When one person follows your page, everyone in their social circle will be able to see. When you provide content via your page, your followers will be able to share it with their social circles. Anyone from their social circle will then be able to share it with their social circle – and so on and so on.

What are your social media options?

There are tons of social media platforms to choose from, which can be a little overwhelming if you’re just starting out. Different platforms will work better for different brands. For example, a more visual-based company will want to use a visual-based social media network, such as Pinterest or Instagram, while a more business-oriented company will want to use a more professional social media network, such as LinkedIn. The following are some of the social media options to be aware of.

  • Blog – The blog is the one social media platform that absolutely every company should have no matter what products or services they offer. Your company blog is the platform on which you release content for your consumers, which in turn helps to establish your company as an expert in its field. You can allow readers to comment on your blog’s content in order to engage with them in discussion as well as allow them to share your content on other social media sites via share buttons, which in turn helps to increase brand awareness.
  • Facebook – If you’re going to pick just one social media network for your company, it should be Facebook. It has by far the biggest user base, one that visits Facebook on a daily basis as well. You can engage with consumers, share content, have content shared, have your business page shared, and use Facebook’s analytic tools and GPS check-in feature, as well as much more.
  • LinkedIn – LinkedIn is the most professionally oriented social network available. It’s a great way to make connections with like-minded individuals and businesses that you might want to work with, or to find highly skilled employees.
  • Twitter – Twitter is the best way to stay up to date with news in real time as well as keep your followers up to date on news involving your company as it happens.
  • Youtube – Youtube is an excellent site for providing video content to consumers. Videos can be commented on and can be shared throughout your other social media platforms. Videos are an excellent way to provide content due to the fact that more people are willing to watch a short video than they are to read content.

Getting Started

The first thing you have to do before launching into your social media options is to establish a company website. On that website, you’ll want to build up your blog. Once you’ve done these two things, you can create company profiles on the social media platforms of your choice. One of the most important things to remember, however, is to keep everything consistent. All company information, from the description of your brand, services and products to the location and contact information of your company, need to be same on every platform. Additionally, your brand’s look needs to be consistent as well, meaning you need to use the same logos, colors and type across all platforms.

These are the basics of social media marketing that you should know before beginning to work on a social media strategy.

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