Social Media Marketing Basics (Not Just for Dummies)

Social media marketing doesn’t come easy for everyone.

It’s different than curating a personal account. There are times when it feels like it takes a doctorate to make social media work for business. Figuring out who your audience is and what your audience wants can be difficult. It takes work, consistency, energy, strategy, and time. And by time, I mean many months to a year or more to truly understand your audience and begin a flow of natural community engagement.

I’m not an early adopter. My motto is to learn one platform and get comfortable before moving on to the next one. Give the new platform time to grow and be consistent. Give it the attention it deserves for you to learn it well. And know that all platforms measure differently. I know not everyone works this way, but it works for me.

Social media is constantly updating and the algorithms change all the time, too, keeping you on your toes. Facebook will change its whole format (as it recently did!), leaving you lost and confused. Where did Page milestones go? How do I get to my Page’s wall again? Oh… so my Page’s wall is now called Feed? What’s up with the circles at the top of Instagram? Where did my favorite filter go?

It’s worse than going to the grocery that was “revamped”. The organic section is gone and they switched the aisles around. Some days the changes are fun like hide and seek. Other days? Not so much.


Metrics: Paying attention to your metrics will help you determine when and what to post. The best days and hours are different for everyone, but understanding your target market and what excites your fans by reviewing your metrics helps to narrow that window down. Also keep in mind the type of content you post. Based on my own experience and several experts, typically, from worst to best, it’s text, link, photo, gallery, and killing it is video.

Things to look at when reviewing your posts:

• Why did one post do better than another?
• Was it timing? Topic? Clever wording?
Did you remember to tag people, locations, or businesses? (You have a better chance of your post being seen or shared if you do this.)
What type of post did you put out? (text, link, photo, gallery, video)
What’s in your post content? (educational, entertaining, celebration, random, etc)

Because Facebook wants your money these days, they continue to make it increasingly more challenge to reach your fans/supporters naturally. Sharing your Page’s content to your personal feed greatly increases your chance of getting seen and natural (unpaid) interactions taking place.

Sharing Posts: Remember to add a comment when you share to your personal page, too (whether it’s from your page or somewhere else on Facebook). A quick “This is awesome” or “What do you think about…?” will not only draw people into your posts and allow for conversation, Facebook likes it better when you do, too. Is the post also relevant to a group you’re a part of? Share it there too. Please remember to follow the rules of the group! Testing out these sharing methods before throwing money at your posts can positively impact your visibility and interactions without spending money. (That said, there are times when you will need/want to put fund behind a post. Remember to think about the purpose of what you’re promoting.)

A Note on Videos: Share videos directly to Facebook, not as a link. Sharing a link does not allow for autoplay. Autoplay is the secret to being eye-catching because it’s flashy on an otherwise static screen. You add a video to a Facebook post the same way you add a photo. Videos that work well with and without sound do better than videos that require sound. Facebook allows you add captioning and this is strongly recommended. Some people are unable to hear or never turn the sound on for their videos. (Warning: If you turn the volume on for a video and do not turn it off when you are done, videos can autoplay one after the next and the following video will start with the sound.)

Reposting: Don’t forget to wrap shares of your posts into your content calendar. When you create your page post, you can share it right then, but you can also share a little later, too, and you will reap the benefits of the repost. Doing this will keep interest in your post over the course of a few days or maybe even a few weeks, bringing it top of mind for people who already liked it and also getting into the feeds of others who may be interested but didn’t see it the first time around.

Use Your Events! You’d be amazed at how many companies create events on Facebook and then don’t continue to feed the excitement for the event. They make the event and then nothing. Be excited about what you’re hosting! Interaction is best.


Your Metrics: Do you know how to find your analytics/metrics on Instagram? From your smartphone:

• Make sure your account is set up as a business account (in settings). Personal accounts do not have metrics.
• Go to your profile.
Click on the bar graph icon (top right for Android, bottom right for iPhone).
View your metrics for impressions, followers, posts, stories, and any promotions you may have.

Use the data gleaned here to help market to your demographic and post at your peak times and days. There is no point in posting on Sunday at 2 p.m. if your audience isn’t present. Also make sure your account is public! If your account is private, the only people who will see your posts (even when you use hashtags) is people who already follow you.

Analyze your data.

• Why did one post do better than another?
Was it timing? Topic? Quality?
A particular type of post (quote, photo, video, meme)?
Which hashtags were used?
• How was the commentary on the post?
Was is personal, very basic, informative, or funny?
Was is shared across other social media accounts?

Crossposting: If your Instagram post isn’t quite getting the results you wanted, try sharing the image with a different caption on Twitter or Facebook. Maybe your audience isn’t on Instagram, which is why your post didn’t perform well.

When crossposting from Instagram to Facebook Pages, make sure you have the correct Facebook account selected. Technology is (as we know) not infallible and Instagram can get confused and post on your personal Facebook profile from time to time. You will know if you are posting to your Facebook Page because your page’s name will be next to the Facebook Share button. If the Page name doesn’t appear, it will post to your personal account.


Build Relationships: It’s easy to get lost in the shuffle on Twitter. I see Twitter as a great resource for learning and building relationships. Participating in chats allows me to learn from others and build relationships. When participating in a Twitter chat, your reach becomes so large it’s mind-blowing! I learned that by participating in two Twitter chats in the same week my impressions can go up to 140,000. As a solopreneur, that’s HUGE. The value of those conversations is worth so much more than many of the news or inspirational posts I see clogging my feed.


• Don’t be a robot
• Add value
Participate in conversation
Interact with others (like, comment, retweet, follow)

Reposting: On that same note of how to not get lost in the shuffle, Twitter is a great place to share content multiple times. It is so full of chatter, that your previous post can easily get lost. Setting your site/blog up to post on Twitter is great. I get the most interaction after hours, not including chats. There are also some social media management tools like HootSuite, Buffer, and TweetDeck. Or, if you have a CMS, many use an addon or plugin that will post for you. Not only do you get interaction on Twitter, viewers click through and return to your site. YAY for viewer increase! The key here is to be engaging – with people liking/commenting/sharing your own posts and the same with your interactions for the posts of others.

Be Bold

Don’t worry about trolls or mean comments. (Unless you’re famous or create hateful posts, you probably don’t have much to worry about.) Most trolls are looking for a fight because they are unhappy in life. It’s not personal. Use judgment to determine the difference between a difference of opinion and trolls. If someone gets too rude, all of the social media platforms I use have a magic “block” button.

Be bold! Share! Post! Interact! Like! Don’t be a robot!

Don’t stand at the back of the line. Interact with others, build relationships, and get in front of future clients and friends. Social media will get you great exposure and is the best way to build connections. Social interactions across platforms strengthen relationships that you can later tap into as resources when the time is appropriate.

Is anyone else singing “A Whole New World” from Aladdin?

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