Social Media and Marketing Strategy For Beginners
When a business owner, especially one who has not yet had the exposure to social media that is currently offered by so many companies, creates a social media and marketing strategy it is often an educated guess as to the success that they will enjoy. Often times it is based on a trial and error method. As each platform is studied from a different angle, businesses are able to learn what they need to know to be more effective at using their platforms. The problem with this is that some of the platforms being used are far too widespread and have very little to offer to an average business. There are some exceptions to this generalization. When a business can get into the social media and marketing arena, they have the opportunity to enjoy more targeted traffic.
The most popular platforms are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, FourSquare, LinkedIn, Pinterest, StumbleUpon and Instagram. Each of these platforms offers a different ability level that a business needs to fully take advantage of. For example, Facebook offers a very broad range of people and pages that one can connect with but the skill level needed to actually make things work from the perspective of a business writing for social media is quite high. On the other hand, many businesses writing about business writing about social media do not have a high enough skill level and end up either completely missing out on potential customers or, even worse, getting branded as “spam” by competitors who use the platforms as a tool to advertise their business.
This, of course, leads to the second limitation that many social media and marketing strategies face: the difficulty of sustaining a consistent strategy that works. While social sites are easy to join and relatively inexpensive to maintain many businesses find it difficult to consistently build a following and maintain a strategy that works for their market niche. In order to have success on the social sites, a company needs to focus on creating a solid following first and then work on building their strategy around that following. Without a consistent social media and marketing strategy a company may find itself quickly losing a majority of its following.
The third limitation is that many people do not have a sufficient skill level to be able to tap into the vast wealth of available social media and marketing tools. This includes the ability to tap into the basic functionality of the most popular social media and marketing tools like blogging. Many companies that start out on Facebook or Twitter fail to take advantage of the many free tools that come with the website in order to create a sustained following. In addition to the free services, some businesses are forced to pay for these more advanced and useful marketing tools, further limiting their ability to get started and maintain a sustained following.
The fourth limitation is a bit more difficult than the three previous limitations. In order to use social media and marketing tools effectively, a person must have an understanding of how to use them. The tools themselves are fairly easy to learn but understanding how to use them to generate a significant following can be far more complicated. When someone has no experience in social networking and social media, it can be difficult to tell if the effort is being worth it. There are many online courses offered to teach the basics of social networking.
Most are available for free and can be learned with just a few short hours of work a day. Additionally, the majority of these courses offer extensive homework exercises which are designed to help even the most novice of marketers look like experts after they complete their assignments. A solid marketing course will also include a number of practice exercises and quizzes that can be completed in a short period of time. Most of these online marketing courses are offered in multiple formats. One of the most popular and effective formats is the video format. Videos have been proven to increase attention spans and are among the most commonly used formats for self-expression.
Once marketers understand the basic limitations and understand the need to use a solid social media and marketing strategy, they can begin to develop a comprehensive plan. Most platforms offer a daily activity log, which can be used to track progress, daily tasks, and set up daily contact tasks. Some offer daily emails which provide tips and tricks to ensure maximum engagement.
Most platforms offer a number of apps, such as the ability to share videos, photos, and links with the chosen social media platform and the ability to post to multiple accounts. Daily activities such as browsing, sharing content, and following friends all remain constant throughout the day. Many marketers have found Instagram marketing helpful and have posted numerous images and stories using this platform. Overall, many online courses offered today teach the basics of Instagram marketing in an easy to follow format.