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Step-By-Step Social Media Marketing Crash Course!

 Step-By-Step Social Media Marketing Crash Course!  

Step-By-Step Social Media Marketing Crash Course!


Content Makes the Web Go Around

If you want to be successful online, then you need to familiarize yourself with great content. This is especially true for any social media campaign, which will entirely hinge on the strength of its content.

Content of course is writing, images or video. It is what visitors to your social media pages and website alike will consume and it is likely what will bring them there in the first place.

But what makes for great content? And how to you make sure you have content like that?

Great Content is Well Written

For written content, it is of course highly important that it be well-written. This means that you need to create content that is easy to read and that is entertaining and comes across as professional. You wouldn’t believe how much it can undermine a brand when the content is written in pidgin English or filled with typos and poor spelling.

Good writing should first and foremost complete the objective of communicating the point to its audience. That means you should avoid unnecessarily flowery language and instead focus on getting the message across in as few words as possible. This means the reader will need to spend less time reading, which in turn means they get better ‘value’ for the time they invest.

Great Content Has a USP

This is what a lot of people miss the point of: great content needs a USP. In other words, it needs to be different from other content on the web in some way.

Just being ‘proficient’ is not enough. If you write content on working out, or if you write content on making money online, then your audience has hundreds of other sites where they can find that exact same information. So then, why should they get it from you?

Instead, make your content objectively different. Make it stand out in some way and be unique so that your audience has never seen anything like it. That might mean covering a new subject right away, it might mean posting on a combination of two different subjects (and finding common ground between them) or it might mean finding a new angle on an old subject.

Good Content Improves Lives

Finally, dramatic though it may sound, good content improves lives. In other words, your audience needs to be better off for having read what you’ve written. This means you should post content that is entertaining, informative or both!

How to Beat Writers’ Block on Twitter

Twitter in many ways seems like the simplest tool possible for building an audience. This is a platform that has great ROI written right into its DNA. By it’s very definition, Twitter can’t require a bit investment of time. The posts are limited to being just a sentence or two long!

But herein also lies the problem. With so few words, you actually have to be quite creative if you’re going to keep coming up with interesting and useful content. Remember, your aim here is to provide value in some shape or form.

Some people take to this like a duck to water. Some people will post on Twitter regularly and always with something witty, interesting and new to say. But the rest of us can find ourselves with writers’ block when we’re trying to be witty. So how do you get around this?

Keep a Backlog

One tip is to keep a backlog of Twitter posts that you can dip into when your creative pool is running dry. Some days you’ll feel particularly inspired and be firing on all cylinders and those days you might find that you can fill an entire 2 pages with unique and fun Tweets.

So, do it! Then just post these regularly. You can even use something like Buffer in order to schedule those Tweets so that they go out at regular intervals.

Have a Personal Brand

A personal brand is a brand that is linked with your name. This means that you are a part of the brand, in that people associate you with the company. Think of Tim Ferriss, Richard Branson, Tony Robins or Pat Flynn. Even someone like the Hodge twins.

This is powerful because it liberates you to start posting about your daily life and your day. Everything becomes interesting in this way and everything lets you share content with your followers. And if you don’t have a personal brand, consider sharing insights into the daily workings of your business.

Share Tips

Stuck for ideas? Then just share a useful tip. If you’re in the right niche/industry then you should have tons of advice for your audience. So just share something useful in a couple of lines. This is guaranteed value because it’s advice that they can act on. So it’s a great way to have a bottomless supply of useful and interesting Tweets!

How to Create a Successful Brand on Social Media

Theory is all good and well and we could talk about the keys to social media success until we were blue in the face.

But that is very different from practice. That is very different from taking the concepts and using them to build a successful brand and then build a large, targeted audience.

And so with that in mind, let’s go through a hypothetical social media campaign for a new brand. You’ve bought the site, now it’s time to get word out.

Step 1

Step one must be to create a brand. That means coming up with a logo yes, but more important than that is to come up with the right mission statement and the right goals. In other words, what is your website and your brand about. Who is it for? What do you stand for?

This is very important because your brand should speak specifically to a particular kind of person. If it does not, then you won’t be able to attract their attention the way that you should and you won’t be able to build true fans and loyal, engaged followers.

Of course, this also means building a website that reflects that brand.

Step 2

Step 2 is to do some research online. Check out your competition, see where they’re posting, see what people are asking for in your niche, see where there are gaps and opportunities. Why is this step 2 and not step 1? Because you shouldn’t make a brand because you think there’s a business opportunity – you should make one that matters to you and that you’re passionate about.

Step 3

Step 3 is to choose which platforms you’re going to be present on. You want to be on as many as possible but at the same time, you need to be realistic about the amount of time or energy that you can commit to this.

Choose one platform to be your ‘primary platform’ and at least two more to back that up. Then use your branding across all of these and be consistent.

Step 4

Step 4, finally, is to post your content regularly and to make sure it provides real value. To do this, it must be unique and original and it must be well written. Do all that and you’ll be on to a winner!

But it’s a lot harder than it sounds…

How to Post Better Images to Instagram

Do not ignore Instagram!

Instagram is often overlooked as a social media platform due to its nature being entirely ‘images’ based. However, this fact alone is actually what makes Instagram very powerful – it allows you to convey much more emotion and to really make a product or a lifestyle look desirable. Not only that, but Instagram is actually the second largest social network behind Facebook. That’s a pretty impressive stat, so you really shouldn’t leave it out of your plans!

To be successful on Instagram though, you need to be at least somewhat good at posting images. What if you weren’t blessed with this skill? Here are some tips.

Use a Good Camera

While a good camera can’t completely mask a bad eye, it will certainly improve the quality of all your images to some extent.

Using a good camera might mean using a better smartphone camera. Smartphones make it very easy and convenient for us to take images and this means you can easily integrate your social media efforts into your daily routine. Alternatively, it might mean investing in a better mirrorless camera or DSLR and then uploading via an SD card.

Use the Right Software

The great thing about Instagram is that filters and post-editing are expected. Instagram has a bunch of filters that can add a lot to your images but this is taken to the next level if you also do a little editing in some other software. The best part here is that there are a lot of apps available for your phone that let you do this right from your pocket!

The Lightroom app for instance is particularly excellent for this. Another good one is Pixlr, which also allows you to make some great looking collages uses multiple images.

Consider Composition

Most important of all though, is to take a great photo in the first place. This means considering composition – just taking an extra moment to think about the angle you’re taking the photo from and what else is in the shot. A good photo doesn’t just keep the subject matter front and central and take the photo head on! A great photo might use foreground and background elements in order to create a sense of depth or it might use an unusual angle in order to create a sense of drama or dynamic movement.

Consider lighting too and wherever possible – tell a story.

How to Use Facebook Ads to Grow Your Brand

Social media marketing means building a social following by providing constant value to your audience. At the same time, it means communicating with your audience, building your network and letting people feel as though they are getting to know you or your brand.

But it can also mean advertising. Social media advertising is a particular form of advertising with a lot of unique advantages. In this case, we’re going to look at Facebook Ads in particular and why this is an incredibly powerful tool when combined with the right social media campaign.

Facebook Ads: An Introduction

Facebook Ads is what is known as a PPC marketing platform. That stands for ‘Pay Per Click’, which essentially means that as an advertiser, you only get charged each time someone actually clicks on your ad. If someone sees your ad but doesn’t click, you pay nothing.,

What’s more is that – like other PPC platforms – it allows you to choose how much you are willing to pay per click as well as setting an upper limit for when you have bottomed out. This is great because it allows you to work with any budget but it also allows you to decide how much you are willing to pay for each click. If you know your rough ‘CLV’ (Customer Lifetime Value) then you should know how much each visitor and each customer is worth to you over a long period of time. You can then make sure you are only paying that amount!

Better yet, if you use CPA – cost per action – you will only pay when someone likes your page, or perhaps downloads your ap. Now you are only paying for new, engaged audiences.

Targeting

What makes this truly powerful though, is that PPC also allows you to target your specific audience. This means that you can pick who it is that you want to market to and then ensure that only they see your adverts. 

You can choose this based on all the information that they have given Facebook – such as their age, their sex, their location, their hobbies and interests and more. That way, you can ensure that not only do you only pay for new Facebook likes, but that all those people you are paying for are guaranteed to be people who are likely to be interested in reading your posts and buying from you!

How to Use the Best Hashtags

There is an art and a science to choosing the right hashtags for your tweets and your Instagram pictures. Get your hashtags right and you can quickly grow your audience and get hundreds of likes for every single image.

Get them wrong and you can be posting into the void and getting nothing but tumbleweed in return!

So how do you go about using the best hashtags? Let’s take a look!

The Basics

So, the main objective with using your hashtags is to make sure that you post things that people are looking for. At the same time though, it is also very important that you make sure you use tags that aren’t already saturated.

So, for example, let’s imagine that you have a post of the sunset. The temptation here might be to use #sunset. This seems logical because people like sunsets and it will get a lot of searches.

But the problem is that it won’t take long at all until your post is buried. There are so many photos with these hashtags that it will only take minutes for your post to be driven to the bottom of the searches.

To get around this then, you need to post images that have hashtags people are going to want to search for. For instance, this might mean a hashtag like ‘dusk’ or ‘twilight’. Or maybe ‘golden hour’ (a photographic term referring to this kind of light). These terms get searched but they aren’t so common as to face huge amounts of competition.

Other Strategies

When looking for these kinds of terms, you can also think about particular niches, as well as things that are currently in vogue. For example, you should consider posting images and Tweets that respond to what’s currently in the news and what’s currently trending. If a big event happens, this will likely get a lot of searches and you can get in on that action before the market is saturated with related posts.

Another strategy is to think about a particular niche or market. I often post images with the hashtag #laptoplifestyle or #digitalnomad which appeals to a particular type of person.

Finally, consider using hashtags that relate to an event or local news. These will be very popular but the total number of people posting those images will be limited geographically or by attendance. Just been to an Expo? Perfect opportunity for some related Tweets!

The Secret to Success on Social Media Is…

And the secret to success on social media is

Being social in real life!

This might come as a surprise. It goes against conventional wisdom. But it is entirely true and it will help you get ahead much quicker. Are there other ways you can build a massive audience on Twitter and Facebook? Sure, but they all take much longer and are far less guaranteed.

Think about the people who are most successful on social media already. Who are they? Most of them are celebrities. This is obviously because they are in the spotlight already. But is it? Because if you look a little further, you’ll find that producers, executives and others in that world are also big on social media.

So why is that? Simple: it’s because they’re rubbing shoulders with the massive influencers. They’re in that world. And if you’re in the in crowd, it is very easy to see your content explode as it gets shared and liked by all the right people, or as your channel gets recommended by other top producers.

That might sound cynical. It might sound like it echoes the somewhat cynical notion that the easiest way to get ahead in life is to go to a university like Harvard where you make the right contacts and the opportunities just throw themselves at you.

Maybe, but it’s also true.

But here’s the good news: if you’re not already ‘in’ that crowd, there are still ways you can get around it.

Right now, if you message Richard Branson and asked for him to promote your latest product he would not answer you. He might if you were friends with Bill Gates, but you’re not, so that’s a different story.

But if you knew Richard Branson, then he would almost feel obligated to at least respond to your Tweet. If he had met you in person, it would be different.

Now, you’re not going to find it all that easy to meet Richard Branson in person or to begin moving in those circles. But what you can do, is to start moving in the outer circles. You can rub shoulders with people who are little bigger than you.

How? You do this by going to social events. You do it by going to networking events and events thrown by Facebook for its smaller influencers.

Socializing in real life builds real connections. And real connections are worth much more – even on social media!

Using Social Media for Research

Social media is not just a platform that you can use to shout at the world. If you’re thinking of this as a foghorn, then you’re going about it in completely the wrong way.

Social media in fact has much more in common with a telephone. It is two way tool that allows you to communicate with others. Never forget the ‘social’ in social media!

This means it can be used for many more things than just getting word out. Here are a few powerful examples.

Check Out the Competition

Before you begin trying to market your products, it’s a good idea to start by doing your research. That means checking out the competition and seeing what they have to offer and how they’re performing in terms of numbers. You may find that there are some brands that you wish to emulate: brands that have managed to build a very big and engaged audience. Look for these and make sure that you learn from them.

Another thing to look out for is opportunities. Spot the brands you want to emulate but also ask yourself what they’re doing wrong and more importantly – who they’re missing out in their marketing! Are their elements of their demographic that they have forgotten? Are people asking for something particular on their wall and going unheard?

Learn the Lingo and the Audience

Another tip is to try and spend some time immersed in the ‘world’ that you are entering into. That means contributing to the social groups that you will later be promoting in and it means reading the content that is being shared. What’s popular? What’s not? Are there different groups within this niche? Are their controversial topics and things that you should try to avoid mentioning?

This is also a good time to build your own reputation and to establish yourself as something of a leader in the niche and an authority. Let the community get to know you before you start ramming your content in their face!

Find Partners

This is also a good opportunity to scout for partners. That means looking for influencers that might be willing to give you a shoutout, it means looking for brands that you could potentially do cross-promotions with and it means generally finding people that you can work with. You’ll be surprised just how many opportunities are there if you’re willing to look – so just spend some time doing that critical research.

 Why Video Needs to be Part of Your Social Media Campaign (And How to Get Started)

When you think of social media, you probably think of written content. You’re probably thinking of things like Twitter posts or Facebook statuses. Maybe at a push, you’re thinking of Instagram images.

But the reality is that video is also a big aspect of social media and it absolutely should be a part of your own strategy.

Why Video is Critical

In case you’re not sold on this idea, consider that video is much more engaging than other forms of social media. That’s at least partly because video assaults all the senses. It contains movement, imagery, music and gesticulations and all this makes it far more captivating, far more persuasive and potentially much more emotionally stimulating. This is everything you need to sell to someone and it makes social media a considerably more powerful tool for selling and persuading – or just getting someone to care about and be interested in your brand.

At the same time, video helps to elevate your status. Video is something that not anyone can create and that often requires specialist equipment, editing tools and more. Video with high production values looks like something that a bigger company with more resources must have made and that in turn makes it very effective at elevating your brand, your authority and your trust.

How to Get Started

The best way to get started with video marketing is with YouTube, which in some ways is similar to a form of social media. At the same time though, you can also be successful by using live video on platforms like Facebook, by uploading very short videos to Instagram etc., or by using videos through other social media channels. Even paid Facebook Ads let you incorporate video!

To get started creating video, then conventional wisdom is that you will need a good quality camera, some basic lighting equipment, a sound recording device etc.

All this is true to an extent, but it isn’t strictly necessary if you’re shy to go on camera or don’t know how to create that kind of content. In fact, a ‘video’ can be much more of a podcast with a static image and you talking over the top. Or it can be a slideshow with no talking at all! There are lots of ways to create video and the only thing you absolutely need is some basic editing software.

Why You Should be Doing Live

It is easy to look at advice surrounding social media marketing and to feel as though it is a little stale. You get a lot of the same stuff regarding hashtags, frequency and providing value and it tends to all be focussed on the same three platforms it always has been: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

But social media marketing like so many other things is constantly moving forward and upward. If you want to make a big impact, then you need to move with the times and adapt to the changes. That means, in this case, being on live platforms in order to enjoy the unique advantages that they offer.

What is Live?

Going live is a feature that is available on Facebook (Facebook Live), on YouTube, on Instagram and on dedicated platforms such as Periscope and Meerkat. In each case, this allows you to stream live video to anyone who wants to log into the feed and watch. Not only can they watch, but they are also able to post comments, which you can then respond to in real time.

Why This is a Big Deal

There are a lot of reasons that doing live is a good way to gain more followers and is something that you should be investing it.

We could go into a lot of detail now about why Live might well be the ‘future’ of social media in many ways. For now though, suffice to say that for you, it offers a unique way to communicate with your audience without the limitations of having to wait for a post or a message to be delivered. Your audience will feel as though they’re getting real insight into your lifestyle, your business and your personality and you will be able to answer their question directly.

This is a fantastic format for a whole range of types of media, from AMAs (Ask Me Anything), to interviews, to product reviews.

The other reason you should be on live is that it is new. That means it’s exciting. And what’s more, is that it means that there isn’t so much competition there. Struggling to gain traction on traditional forms of social media? Try going live and your whole audience will be notified (this is something that Facebook and other platforms are trying to promote) and you’ll find that there aren’t all that many other channels doing the same thing. It won’t be that way forever, so act quickly!

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