social media guide

The Ultimate Social Media Guide

I know this topic has been talked about a billion time over the past decade, as social media has become a marketing norm for businesses of all sizes. I myself have gone through tons and tons of blog posts, guides, podcasts, etc. trying to learn as much as I can. While trying to grasp the ins and outs of social media marketing and strategy, I realized there is so much knowledge being thrown at you that ultimately you’d just feel overwhelmed without the knowledge resonating with you.
Thus, I thought why not create a guide (which I will be regularly updating) that has all of the tips and tricks I have learned and tested along the way to give you all the information you need to succeed in your social media endeavours.
So without further ado… Let’s get started!

Instagram

 

I am going to be completely straight up right from the start that Instagram is my main channel of interest when it comes to social media marketing. This is why this section will be somewhat longer than the rest… oops!  

Instagram is a great tool that has a ton of features to help grow your brand without the complexity and fussiness that other channels may have. Let’s start off with the features this channel offers:

Stories:

Similar to Snapchat, this feature allows you to post a picture that would be up for 24 hours before completely disappearing from your page. This is a super cool feature to make announcements, show BTS, or even create an entire campaign if done right. The stories have a lot of features in itself such polls, stickers, GIFS, doing live streaming, boomerangs, etc. It also has the ability to link the stories to a webpage (if you have over 10k followers). What’s even more cool is the fact that you can keep your stories past their expiration by adding them to your highlights. This way you can create playlists, categorize your stories and have them displayed on your page for your audience to watch them whenever they want. Pretty rad, eh?

Albums:

In addition to posting a single image on your feed, you can also create an carousel album with multiple images and videos. This is a pretty great tool to use if you’re doing before and afters, or perhaps doing a product reveal. I have seen brands and influencers use this feature in such creative ways, its crazy.

Hashtags + Location:

Perhaps one of the most known features, Instagram allows you to tag your posts with uptown 30 hashtags and a single location that will be displayed on top of the post. You can also tag accounts on the post itself, as well as the caption. What’s new is that you can now have hashtags and accounts tagged on your profile bio and it will be clickable for whoever visits your page. If done right, this is an awesome tool to utilize!

Archives:

This is a very helpful tool for when you want to get rid of a post from your feed but not be entirely gone from your account. I use this tool a lot to do A/B testing on posts. It also gives me more confidence to play around with my feed, knowing that I can make a post vanish for sometime and bring it back when I please, without losing its position or relevance.

Explore Page:

This is the page where accounts that seem relevant to your taste and interests but are the ones that you’re not exactly following. It is a cool space to explore and connect with other accounts. It is also where you’d wanna strive to show up as well as it helps gain you exposure you need to grow your page.

DMs:

Instagram gives you the ability to directly message any account on Instagram, as well as create group chats. In DMs you can send pictures, links, as well as Instagram posts and stories. Just like many other social media channels, your Inbox is divided into two: one is for displaying messages with people you are already acquainted with, while the other is for displaying messages sent by accounts you are not connected with. This helps filter out messages that may be more relevant to you.
Now, that we have covered the main features of the channel, lets talk about basic strategies and tricks. Instagram’s primary mode of communication is visual. Photography is the main medium used and so that should be considered when creating a social media marketing plan for your brand. Instagram is the fastest growing social media channel and has the highest engagement rate compared to the rest. This in itself is the key reason why it should be considered as a major part of your social media strategy. It is a great outlet to connect with your audience, the only thing to understand is the tone of your message and how you convey it. I talk more about this in my post on Instagram Strategy.

Pinterest

 

Pinterest is a gold mine when it comes to getting traffic for you blog or website. It is the channel when it comes to building a stellar audience and visitors for your business. Some even argue that Pinterest should be considered as a typical social media channel, but rather as a hybrid search engine site. The main reason for this is the fact that pins on Pinterest are primarily ever green in nature. As long as the pin itself stays relevant through engagement and traction, it will continue to display on people’s feeds.
Here are some of the features to help you get familiarized with the channel:

Boards:

When you sign up for Pinterest you will be asked to create some boards and follow some interests. The boards are basically categories in which you will be nesting the pins that you collect while browsing through the channel. This really helps organize your page and when done right, could be an amazing tool to utilize to elevate your brand and build a following.

Group Boards:

Group boards are basically boards but with multiple contributors. They are almost like Groups on Facebook whereby several accounts, that given are the privilege, pin their pins to the board for everyone following to see. This is a great way to expand your reach, as well as connect with individuals in your niche.

Sections:

This is a new feature that allows you to create sections in your boards. Before, we’d have to create several boards to categorize our pins even if they were similar in nature. For instance, I had to create 4 different boards for my blog to categorize the different subjects. Now, I have all those 4 subjects as different sections in the board that harbours my blog posts. It is pretty neat.

Tries:

This is a neat feature that displays the pins that you have tried. This is quite handy when it comes to building credibility of DIY/Informative pins as it builds rapport of the pin and indirectly the brand. It also helps you stand out as someone who tries other pins and provides feedback to the community.

Featured Boards:

This feature allows you to display five of your boards as a large carousel  on your profile page. This is a great tool to utilize to display your brand, as well as your interests to gauge your viewers’ attention.

Secret Boards:

Just like the name suggests, this feature allows you to have a board that is a secret and is hidden from the public. You can add multiple contributors to the board and only the ones added to the list would be able to see or access it. This is very handy when working on collaborative projects that require collecting information, creating moldboards, etc.

Rich Pins:

A normal pin is just an image that may have a link directing to a webpage. It may also have a caption depending on whether or not the user who posted added one. However, a rich pin is a pin that has additional information that it ripped off of the webpage linked to it. This may include the Webpage’s meta data such as post title, description, and even instructions if it is a DIY or a recipe post. You do have to set up your site so when someone pins your post it is added as a rich pin. Here are the instructions to help you set it all up.
Pinterest is an awesome tool to utilize if you want to create an engaged audience for your brand’s website. It is, at least in my opinion, the most effective tool a brand can use to increase traffic for their website as well as establish themselves in their respect niche’s communities. If you want to learn more about the strategies and tips, I have dedicated a post to just that here.

Facebook

 

Still the largest social media channel of all, Facebook is a channel with countless features and tools and so I will only be talking about the ones I feel are the most helpful in this post. I will, however, be creating a dedicated post talking more about the channel and the strategies that can be deployed to help elevate your brand’s online presence.

Pages:

Facebook gives brands the opportunity to create a dedicated business page that acts as your brand’s main profile on the channel. It has various features in itself that connects other features like groups, events, etc. There is so much that you can do from adding products to your page, to hosting events.

Groups:

Groups is a great way to create a community for your brand. Facebook allows you to link your groups to your page so people can easily join the discussions.

Events:

This feature allows you to create a dedicated page for you event that allows people to RSVP and get more information about the event.

Marketplace:

Much like craiglist, this is the place where people post goods for sale. Now, usually this is where people post/find used items for sale. However, a lot of brands use this channel to advertise their services and offerings as well. You can also create groups that act as a marketplace.
This is all for now, I know I have only covered three major channels. That is because these three are the main tools that use for my brand and so have the most knowledge about. I have started dabbling into Youtube and as I continue to gather more information about the channel I will be adding to this post, so stay tuned!
I will be creating dedicated posts for each channel to provide more in-depth knowledge and strategies to help you succeed in the respected outlet. Each channel has a different behaviour norm and so it is important to be aware of that when creating a strategy. A lot of times we assume that social media channels are merely distribution stream, that is incorrect. I myself am guilty of treating my social media channels as such and I have begun to view them differently by creating different strategies for each channels which I will be sharing soon.
Hope this post was a helpful guide to get you started on your social media endeavours. I know this can all seem overwhelming, especially with the algorithm and features being changed all the time, which is why I decided to create dedicated posts here to help gather and simplify the information so we can all get the best out of our efforts 😃

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