If you’re looking to learn the social media marketing basics, I’ll cover social media marketing for beginners below. This article will teach you the things you need to know to get your start on social media, and how you should be looking at your campaigns. If you’re a more advanced social media marketer, this article can also serve as a good refresher of the basics.
It’s important to have a strong understanding of the social media marketing basics because social media is always changing. What works today on Instagram might not work tomorrow, and – more importantly – what works for me is not going to work for you. You need to understand why everything is being done, so that you can figure out how to do it.
Social media marketing for beginners tends to focus on the details, which is great. It’s good to know what your post frequency should be and what the best practices for each platform are. But if you don’t know why you’re doing all of those things, you’re going to make mistakes.
A lot of entrenched marketers don’t understand why they’re doing what they’re doing either. Even if you knew why when you started, you can get lost on that after a few months of performing a task. How often have you iterated on a process to the point that you forgot what it was supposed to do in the first place?
Social media marketing is like a sport: you need to know the fundamentals to succeed.
I’ve spoken on some of the things I’m going to talk about here before in my article, “Facebook Marketing from Beginner to Advanced.” In that article, I dived deep into how I use Facebook specifically, which can help you move on with on platform marketing. If you’re looking to learn the social media marketing basics for every platform, watch out for more articles and videos like that one to come.
The Social Media Marketing for Beginners Checklist
When you’re heading into a new campaign, or starting up with a client, there are three things I think every social media marketing for beginners course should tell you to do. The first is to perform an audit; basically, you need to figure out what you actually need to fix. The second is to figure out what platforms you want to use, and the third is to plan what you’re going to do.
Social media marketing basics boil to strategy and tactics. You need to think about what you’re doing. Obviously. If you barrel in head first to working with a client, you’re going to fail. When you stop to think about what your client needs and how you can fulfill that need, you will succeed.
Performing a Business Audit
So, if you’re a social media marketing beginner, the first thing that you need to do is audit the client you’re working with. Performing a marketing audit is something I’ve talked about extensively, and cover in my Digital Marketing School, but this is the basic version.
First, look at the businesses customers and products. Who is the business selling to, and what is it selling them? Are they communicating that effectively? Are they reaching that audience? How are they reaching that audience? You need to know what the business is, and what it is to people.
Then, look at what resources they already have or are using. Have they been using HootSuite? You can look at their analytics to figure out what’s working or what’s failing. These resources can also be traffic that they already have – if they’re getting a lot of people to their website, maybe you can leverage that.
Consider their revenue, as well. Are they selling their services for $10? You need to cast a very wide net. But if they’re a lawyer or a doctor charging $100 an hour, you don’t need to worry so much about quantity.
Finally, look at their competitors. Figure out what’s working in their niche, what isn’t working in their niche, and what doesn’t exist in their niche. That’s where you want to build from.
Social Platform Approach
The next thing you need to consider when learning social media marketing for beginners is what platforms you’re going to use. A lot of beginners default to being on every platform, or at least every popular platform. But do you really need to be there? Is an attorney really pulling clients from Snapchat?
Instead, look at their audience and what their audience is using. Consider what kind of content is going to perform and what content you can create. If you’re working with a lot of photos, Instagram can fit. If you’re selling mostly to millennials, give Twitter a shot.
Social Media Marketing for Beginners Campaign Planning
This one gets its own heading because it’s the most important by a landslide. Once you know what you’re doing, it’s time to start planning. The first thing you need to do is make goals – tangible, measurable goals. Work on metrics that you can measure, that will impact the business, and that will show you if what you’re doing matters to the business. Don’t worry about followers, worry about link clicks and comments.
With your goals in mind, create the basic message of the brand. Boil down what you’re selling to its simplest form, and then figure out how to share that message through content. Come up with a few ideas for what you can do, and start building out your content calendar. When are you going to post blogs? What are you doing on social media every day? Your calendar should include a plan for everything you’re going to post – even if it’s posts you’re making in the moment.
Then, create an ad plan. Map out the funnel that you’re building, and where people will be at every step. Start with awareness, then with lead magnets, then with sales. Map out what kind of ads you’ll be using – do you want to use video? Messenger ads?
Also, consider what needs to be worked on before you get going. You probably need to optimize the client’s website. Do it now – you don’t want content going out before you’re ready for people to land.
What Does a Successful Campaign Look Like for Social Media Marketing Beginners?
A successful campaign is a campaign that met all of its goals, and preferably exceeded them. At least when you’ve got it done. But before that, a successful campaign should have plans for meeting those goals and impacting the business. A good campaign will plan for production of content that the audience will respond well to, and a solid ad plan that you can implement.
When it comes to social media marketing for beginners, there are four things you should be looking to cover. The first is awareness – how are you going to make people aware of the brand? Then, you should be looking for a way to make them care about the brand, to come back. Next, turn them into leads. Make them want to buy.
And, finally, you should have a plan for getting them to buy or do whatever else you want them to do. Your plan needs to cover the full marketing process so that you always have an idea of the next step. When you do that, you can move along and optimize without having to build a new plan for the future at the same time.
So, those are the social media marketing basics. If you want more of my thoughts on social media marketing for beginners, be sure to check out Facebook Marketing from Beginner to Advanced. Of course, you can also find more of my thoughts on my YouTube channel, where I’m always discussing social media marketing topics. Whether you’ve just started in social media marketing or you’ve been around for a while, I’ve done a video that can help you take the next step.