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Social Media 101: Understanding the Basics

Digital marketing is akin to a perfect blend of a well-aged fine wine and a tech-savvy influencer – it only gets better, yielding more robust results with time and personal engagement. Keep in mind that it's not about the size, but anything from the efficacy of the engagement strategy to the originality of the content that matters. Modern platforms like Pinterest, Snapchat, and TikTok, play a significant role and have added a new depth and array of opportunities to the digital marketing landscape. Based on the number of engaged users, these platforms form a dynamic section of the marketing mix. These ideas create a unique combination that tailors campaigns to each platform, immensely aiding in beating competition with tailor-made marketing campaigns. Of course, this complements traditional advertising and leads to more business opportunities.

The internet, particularly through social media marketing, continues to evolve as an optimal platform for engaging your audience, initiating dialogues in comments sections and bolstering overall engagement. It serves as a site where meaningful relationships are forged between brands and consumers. Undertaking a regular social media audit can provide valuable information about the progress of your branding efforts. Its impact is profound as it provides the unique advantage of connecting without deploying overt sales tactics, focusing instead on relationship building. On this timeline, by creating genuine interactions and interest in your brand, it's a place where brands and consumers become things more than just names - they become friends.

Also standing out among digital communication tools is social media, which companies leverage efficiently for promotions. This becomes a viable option considering that an impressive 37% of consumers draw purchase inspiration from these channels, be it from a Pinterest board or a TikTok viral video with a popular influencer. Metrics from such platforms provide invaluable insights into consumer behavior trends, lending ways to understand something as complex as consumer behavior.

When done right, harnessing the potential of social media can yield significant results, fostering consumer reliability for your brand and propelling your branding to soaring heights. Once this is achieved, your account could wield an influential impact on buyers' choices, thus shaping market dynamics. Your brand will proudly stand at the top in the minds of consumers, regardless of its size.

It takes careful strategizing to navigate the social media terrain successfully. There are two power-packed strategies you can employ to grow your brand on social media: leveraging page algorithms for organic reach and investing in paid promotions to disseminate your messages. Both approaches have their distinct merits and can be integrated to create a comprehensive marketing campaign for maximum impact. They're more than business strategies, they're steps in the course of doing things differently.

But if you're new on the site and find the idea of using social media networks to enhance your visibility, reach, and conversions slightly daunting, worry not! The process may appear complex initially, but with the right understanding of algorithms and analytics, every person can master it just like a pro! Developing this skill is about finding something you're passionate about and staying true to it.

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In case you’re new to the realm of social media, we decided to provide a quick overview to help you understand its basic structure and functioning. This will help transform your approach towards your brand pages, their colors, and the overall credibility they carry, influencing the reach. It's like learning a new language, you just have to start somewhere. In fact, absorbing this new means of communication can seem overwhelming at first, but many adults, making up approximately 80% of viewers, have dived in and successfully transformed their marketing strategies utilizing this medium.

What is social media?

Social media networks are essentially online sites people use to communicate, engage with each other and even voice their complaints. Over the past decade, they have witnessed unprecedented popularity among both consumers and businesses. They are the new 'town square', a gathering place for friends, families, and businesses. Accounts on a variety of sites such as Snapchat have shown significant growth in user engagement in recent times, largely owing to their effective advertising algorithms. On another level, these platforms have introduced a new type of interaction that allows advertisers to reach a broader audience, almost 80% of potential viewers!

Social media, as a term, encapsulates how these platforms are employed. They facilitate publishing diverse media types, including blog posts, videos, and photographs for social interaction. The purpose is to ensure engagement, not just for individuals but with others too, maintaining it as a social exercise and sparking interest and leads for your business. Even better, with the right mix of colors and content, your posts can draw viewers and retain their attention.

People can react to your posts (aka media), share them, and engage in conversations through comments - this is essentially an evolving type of social trial. This not only allows for direct interaction with individuals but also facilitates understanding their individual interests, providing an organic approach to advertising. Users can also opt to follow your profile to stay abreast of the posts that align with their interests. Such user engagement and feedback offer valuable metrics that can drive your social media strategy, a plan that everyone in your team should have an understanding of. The success of this strategy sets the goal that everyone in the industry is striving to achieve. Remember, viewers trust the credibility of profiles they follow.

Those with the most engaged followers tend to enjoy maximum visibility and thus, higher conversions. But achieving this outcome requires a well-planned strategy and fine-tuned execution. Utilizing analytics to comprehend your target audience and adjust your strategy accordingly can make a sea change, heralding good news for your business venture. The insights gained from these analytics can shed light on what clicks with your audience and how best to engage them. You will gain credibility in providing suggestions based on your audience needs.

Despite many businesses reaping enormous benefits from social media, there are entities still on the fence about its utility. One thing to remember is that credibility is a crucial element on social platforms. So, build your brand's credibility by sharing relevant and engaging content - and don't forget to update your bio regularly!They often view it as a time and money sink, or even as a passing trend, influenced by various factors. But in order to refute such misconceptions, this article provides sound insight that will shed light on the true value of social media.

Why should businesses use social media?

Such a perception is far from the reality, as the industry has proven time and time again. The surge in popularity and utilization of social media platforms in millions of households and businesses is the answer to those harboring any doubts.

Over the past 15 years, the world of social media has done nothing but grow and evolve. From the days of Myspace's novelty to the current TikTok craze, we've seen a host of platforms sprout, grow, and revolutionize the social media landscape. This evolution has transformed the area of digital marketing, with each platform catering to specific interests— a testament to the platforms' versatility and appeal to a wide array of users.

The only trend we see besides the ever changing landscape is users switching platforms that better meet their needs. By following certain guidelines and focusing on brand awareness, it's evident that traditional social networks like Facebook and Twitter are still holding strong in the industry's race for consumer attention. Their performance indicators show these channels continue to generate significant traffic, further underscoring their relevance. A helpful tip to remember is to keep an eye on your competitor's social media profiles, as this can provide valuable insights for your organization.

With the wealth of helpful tips and resources available today, it's easy to see why businesses are scrambling to order their social media marketing strategies and enhance their performance. Just to give you some perspective, Facebook has over 2.2 billion users, YouTube has 1.5 billion users, Google+ has 111 million users, and Instagram has 1 billion users. And let's not forget the viral brand awareness surge that TikTok has speedily orchestrated, a true testament to the platform's success. Observing improvement in followers count and engagement on these platforms can guide your own strategy.

Social media channels are not just a preserve for the younger generation. Significantly, adults between 55 and 64 years are 2x more likely to engage with branded content than someone 28 or younger. This demonstrable trend calls for meticulous calendar scheduling, ensuring regular content updates across the various platforms to cater to everyone's interests. By having a proper plan in place, it guaranteed the delivery of a dynamic flow of content to their diverse range of followers. This is vital for any organization aiming to maintain a stronghold or gain an edge over its competitor.

Creating a captivating social media brand awareness campaign necessitates careful planning, meticulous execution, and a thorough analysis of your target market. The potential benefits are immense. With billions of active and engaged users on these social platforms, it’s no wonder why companies spent $8.3 billion on social ads in 2015 which jumped to a robust revenue figure of $153 billion by 2021. By 2026, social media content, like images, polls, family updates, and even personal challenges, is expected to contribute in hitting over $252 billion on ads— a goal that clearly illustrates the industry's anticipated growth.

But does investing in social media work?

Non-customers are 3x more likely to visit a retailer after seeing their engaging social media ad, denoting tremendous potential in driving traffic to your sites or physical locations based on thoughtfully constructed timelines and activity flow.

Next, as part of your marketing strategy, consider how to use social media to grow your online presence. In this digital era, channeling resources into expanding your brand's social media footprint might be the answer to your business' growth needs.

Approaching social media with a traditional mindset, you might wonder whether platforms like Pinterest, Snapchat, or TikTok - each bearing a unique name - are indeed the right venues for your company. But remember the hashtag, a simple yet powerful tool that can enhance your brand's visibility. As you'll uncover through data analysis, businesses across all industries use social media channels as an essential tool to promote their product or service in varying forms or fashions. This article, much like a forum for content creators, is designed to provide deeper insight into this ever-evolving industry. The resources and the sheer amount of possibilities offered by social media apps are indeed limitless, extending a voice to both businesses and individuals alike.

Social media's uniqueness lies in its ability to allow brands to participate actively in the customer experience. Most of today's consumers spend a significant part of their lives online, creating tremendous opportunity for businesses. Encourage your organization to maintain active social media profiles, according to a well-planned schedule, to engage with this captive audience. In this thriving digital landscape, a complex network burgeons, threaded with numerous connections. These connections can prove to be a vital component that businesses can tap into as viable options for client engagement. Social media marketers can steer this direction, creating a potent impression on potential customers.

Harnessing the available resources, you open up pathways into your audience's stories, allowing your brand to become part of their online journey. As you grapple with challenges that crop up, expressing your brand's sentiment through meticulously planned blogs or visually compelling graphics is key. These elements in your content will resonate with content creators and your audience; without them, the audience may ignore your content and information.

The linchpin to success on social media is cementing the trust of your audience. Not just friends and family, but also garnering a broad customer base that advocates for your brand with fervor. This loyalty germinates with an exceptional performance on your social media channels, but the journey doesn't conclude there. Staying attuned, gaining wisdom, and adapting is crucial to keeping your content relevant and engaging. User-generated content, such as customer reviews in the form of photos or video reviews, is a formidable tool in social media marketing. This content not only garners high engagement rate but also drives shares and community mentions, often marked by a genuine tone. Therefore, incorporating such social media posts into your calendar is imperative.

Social media gives you a wide spectrum to play on: engaging directly with your audience through posts and comments; gleaning insights into behavioral patterns through data analytics; and sharing your brand narrative through diverse content forms, including photos and videos. These practices play a pivotal role in directing your marketing strategy and boosting your website traffic.

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How can I use social media for my business?

Next on the list is examining some of the prevalent social media types and networks. Understanding the unique features each offers can be conducive to achieving your goals. A successful engagement can often be quantified by the number of shares, mentions, and subscribers, adding to the significance of including these metrics in your social media calendar. Regular audits of your social media platforms are also necessary to ensure your strategies align with your set goals.

With a staggering number of active users and thriving communities, Facebook emerges as a platform that all businesses should consider using. User profiles teem with invaluable data offering insights into consumer behavior that can guide your marketing strategy, and measure both, your engagement rate and website traffic. A dynamic social media agency can effectively leverage this SEO data to enhance your brand visibility.

Think of Facebook as a favorite hangout spot for consumers; an engaging community where they can socialize, share their experiences, and stay updated with people and brands they follow. It serves as the perfect platform to narrate your brand story or share product videos through social media posts. Regular social media audits can help you decipher your subscribers better and curate more captivating content.

It’s also safe to say that people trust the information they find here. By managing the tone and quality of engagement in your social media posts carefully, you can influence not only the mentions and shares but also shopping decisions positively. A professional social media agency can assist you to meet your social media goals effectively.

The most popular posts on Facebook tend to be those with visuals. So if you can consistently publish content with images and videos, this is a great platform. Regularly updating your brand page with photo and video content will help engage your customers, boost communities, increase website traffic, and tell your brand's story.

It’s ideal for B2C companies. However, there are some B2B companies effectively using it also, creating informational videos or detailed photos of their services to catch the eyes of other businesses and their online community. Reaching social media goals like increased subscribers amount requires a well-thought-out strategy implemented by a competent social media agency.

You can create a brand page on Facebook that people can like and follow, converting them into fans of your brand. These details add a much-needed tone to your brand story as well as contributing to the activity on your social media calendar. Achieving social media goals becomes easier with regular audits and maintaining vibrant communities.

Some brands go as far as connecting their online store so consumers can shop directly through their Facebook page, while keeping track of vital KPIs. You can add a photo series of your products or an attractive video that showcases your product's features to garner more impressions, shares, mentions, and subscribers.

  1. Building relations: Not only do you establish and build relationships with consumers, but with influencers as well. This is important for getting a social proof to grow sales and followers.
  2. Getting feedback: Many people use social media platforms to reach out to brands to complain, praise, or ask questions. This feedback can improve your product, service, and/or customer experience.
  3. Integrating with other marketing efforts: If you’re blogging, creating YouTube videos, hosting webinars, and doing other forms of marketing, you can integrate it with social media. This will help build awareness for your other content and branded happenings.

Then, you can promote your posts, which is an action that involves paying to have one of your posts advertised to target audiences. Combined with attention-grabbing Facebook ads, promoting your posts is a great way to gain visibility for your brand page, boost your engagement rate, increase consumers, and get one step closer to your social media goals.

Facebook 101

If you’re in the market for selling to other businesses, then you’ll find LinkedIn to be an optimal choice. This platform allows you to create detailed profiles that other businesses can peruse for specific needs and include informative social media posts in your social media calendar, giving potential partners a glimpse into the mind of your business. Regular social media audits carried out by a reliable social media agency can ensure your SEO strategies are hitting the mark.

Businesses from all over the world (200 different countries) use this platform. Altogether, LinkedIn boasts more than half a billion users providing a massive pool of potential prospects. This broad community can drive significant engagement rates, impressions, mentions, and website traffic. Planning your social media goals carefully and implementing them effectively can lead to a steady increase in subscribers.

Like Facebook, LinkedIn lets you publish various forms of content, including images, blog posts, and videos. These tools help bring your content and your brand story to life, while maintaining a consistent tone across your social media calendar.

The difference lies in the profile's focus on your business. On LinkedIn, you can integrate social media strategies that cater to customer engagement, outlining details about your job history (akin to a resume), schools attended, and intriguing topics tied to your skills and hobbies. This approach can help create an enchanting and personified image of your brand, sparking activity and conversation about your brand and its unique offerings on different social media platforms.

Plus, your clients can leave recommendations (aka reviews) to help win over more businesses. Those in your connection circle can endorse your skills to help further promote your expertise, reinforcing the narrative of your brand story. Constant interaction, with fans and potential clients alike, promotes a positive brand image and emphasizes the power of social media strategies.

This isn’t to say that B2C companies can’t use LinkedIn. You can use it to recruit influencers, perform market research, and more. Data derived from consumer profiles yield valuable insights that can guide these actions. This methodology fosters greater customer engagement on trending topics and issues.

You can also kick-start LinkedIn ad campaigns to help expand your reach and visibility. Whether you choose to use an appealing photo of your product or an enlightening video as your ad's primary content tool, it is bound to enhance the effectiveness of your ad by stimulating conversation around your brand.

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LinkedIn 101

Suppose you’re in a highly visual business. For instance, you own a floral shop, a real estate business, a fashion design company, or the like. You have a brand image to maintain and project to your potential customers. This gives you a fantastic opportunity to utilize certain marketing platforms to broadcast your message across.

In this case, Instagram (a visual social media platform) is great. This is because it’s 90% visual, much like Google's attention-grabbing image search. You can include text with the images and videos you post (plus, you should do so), facilitating discussions around relevant topics. This platform has major benefits which many marketers have already tapped into.

This platform is for those who find visual content appealing vs. text. It provides a wall of images posted by all the members you follow, giving users the opportunity to express their likes and preferences which can impact your social media strategies.

As a business, you can use this to promote your brand through visual storytelling, intensifying customer engagement. Through this image-focused messaging, for example, you can showcase your products or services in action. You can create moving pictures to demonstrate your product or service.

Or you can create Instagram Stories, videos you publish that are only visible for 24 hours. This makes this effective because it creates a sense of urgency to watch them, grabbing immediate attention from your followers, all while sparking conversation around your brand.

Social media users don’t like missing out, so you can play on this fear to get more visibility for a post. Make sure it counts, though. For example, use it to promote a flash sale, a new product/service, or behind-the-scenes access.

Also, include hashtags in your posts to help non-followers find your content; a simple process that has powerful benefits when it comes to defining the trending topics within your scope and increasing your reach on social media sites.

Instagram 101

Twitter is a lot like a hot press feed. This platform gives you the opportunity to deliver a quick, clear message–a feature preferred by many marketers–thus expanding your brand image, enhancing your customer engagement, and streamlining your social media strategies.

This platform was previously limited by its short character count. Before, it was only 140 characters per post, making it vital to perfectly capture your message in just a few words and necessitating a fitting conversation between brand and consumers.

Social media users don’t like missing out, so you can play on this to get more visibility for a post. Just make sure it counts. For example, use it to promote a flash sale, a new product/service, or behind-the-scenes access.

Also, include hashtags in your posts to help non-followers find your content; a simple process that has powerful benefits.

Twitter is a lot like a hot press feed. You use it to get information quickly and in as few words as possible. This opportunity to deliver a quick, clear message is preferred by many marketers.

This platform was previously limited by its short character count. Before, it was only 140 characters per post. But they recently doubled this to 280 characters, providing a larger capacity for messaging.

To make the most of Twitter, you must master the art of being clear and concise. You can use this to make company announcements, start conversations, and comment on events in real-time.

Twitter 101

You can also include links to blog posts and videos and share images and infographics. It’s a more fast-paced social platform, so your posts quickly become irrelevant.

This is why you’ll find some brands tweeting consistently throughout the day, every day. Much like a marketer's daily task to keep the attention of their followers.

If you’re tweeting high-value ever-green posts, you retweet these for those who may have missed them days, weeks, or months ago.

Now you understand social media basics. You need a marketing strategy to make social media work for your brand. This will detail which platforms to use based on your business goals and target audience.

This will include analyzing your customers to learn everything possible about them. For example, their demographics, pet peeves, problems, favorite platforms, age range, location, etc.

It’s also critical to look at your competitors. Analyzing their social media presence will give you an idea of what you must do to compete.

Creating a social media strategy

Maybe it’s to offer better customer service or implement better features, such as chatbots, “shop now” buttons, etc.

One mistake many businesses make initially is trying to be in too many places at once. Or worse, being on platforms their audience doesn’t frequent.

With the help of social media marketing experts, you can ensure you’re only marketing on the social channels that will benefit you the most. It’s ideal to use a handful of channels your audience uses the most.

At gardenpatch, we conduct thorough research to develop a solid social media marketing strategy. If you’d like to get started developing a campaign to establish your brand as a trusted authority, reach out to us today!

One mistake many businesses make initially is trying to be in too many places at once. Or worse, being on platforms their audience doesn’t frequent.

With the help of social media marketing experts, you can ensure you’re only marketing on the social channels that will benefit you the most. It’s ideal to use a handful of channels your audience uses the most.

At gardenpatch, we conduct thorough research to develop a solid social media marketing strategy. If you’d like to get started developing a campaign to establish your brand as a trusted authority, reach out to us today!

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