Social Media Marketing Basics

by Lacey Gattis
Forecasting, SEO, & Growth

Key Takeaways

  • All social accounts are visitor acquisition & retention tools
  • Every post should have a purpose
  • Decide how much each network is worth to you
  • Avoid zombie posting
  • Never ignore friendly commenters
  • Re-promote posts from your archive
  • Reach out to users you admire
  • Use analytical tools to understand your audience

For all the time we spend looking at & talking about social sites, there’s surprisingly little straightforward information around on how — or even why, exactly — people should use those social platforms to help their site & business grow.

Everyone has their own methods, but here are a few of the basic ideas that have made a big difference for me. Hope they help, & as always let me know if you have questions!

Think Of Accounts As Tools
Specifically, tools designed to acquire & then retain new readers &/or clients. Social networks are supposed to work for you, so it can be helpful to view them just like Microsoft Word or Google Docs — as pieces of software that serve a purpose.

Always Know Why You’re Posting
Posting to a social network is a little like cold-calling a potential sales lead: You need a good pitch to keep people on the line.

Most social media users just want to relax, learn, & keep up with friends, so posts that feel useful & low pressure are more likely to be well received.

Avoid Zombie Posting
Zombie Posting is what happens when people feel pressure to post frequently but don’t actually have the time to write something strategic. An undead social account is usually easy to spot because it pumps out tons of spammy-looking posts that get few or no likes & comments.

Everyone inadvertently zombie posts occasionally, but as a rule, it’s better to create a few clever, engaging posts rather than wear yourself thin trying to fill up your feed.

Learn Whether You’re Getting Good Returns On The Time You Invest
Your time has value, so think of every post you create as costing $5. If you don’t feel like you’re getting your money’s worth at the end of the month, it’s probably time to re-evaluate that social investment.

Keep in mind, though, that if a network isn’t performing for you it may not be because that social platform is inherently bad. Instead, it might require a different approach or simply not be a great tool for your particular business.

Make Friends With Your Fans
The people who follow you & comment on your posts are some of the most important humans in the online world. They’re the people most likely to share your posts, tell their friends about you, & help you when you ask. Plus, they’re probably pretty awesome individuals!

Always thank them for their comments, answer their questions, & in general act the same way you would with any friendly acquaintance.

In the same vein, when there’s someone in your industry whose site & social presence you really admire, don’t be afraid to drop them a line to tell them so. Everyone appreciates recognition, & they may give you some helpful tips, too!

Social Sites Are The Perfect Place To Re-Promote Posts
Old posts don’t need to disappear into the mists of internet history; social media is the easiest way to give your archive new life!

The key to re-sharing old articles is picking a relevant time. So if, for example, you wrote about planning a barbecue last summer, consider re-sharing it with your Facebook followers a few weeks before the Fourth of July. Even if someone read that post a year ago it’s still helpful now, & you’ll be giving newer followers a chance to read something they haven’t seen before.

Just make sure all the links in your post still work & replace any sold-out products you mentioned!

Utilize Free Analytical Tools
There are a ton of apps out there designed to provide helpful info about your social accounts, from Iconosquare (for Instagram) to TweetDeck & Facebook Insights. You can find out everything from what times of day your posts get the most likes to which image sizes & filters your followers respond to best & even what hashtags you’ve used got you the most new followers.

With all the new info you can gather in a few minutes of looking over analytics tools, you’ll be able to start getting the most out of every picture, quote, & link you post.

PS. Drop me a line in the comments if you want extra clarification, info, etc. I’ll answer anything that isn’t a zombie post ;)

  • Dee

    Such good information. Thanks for being so free with it.