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Social Media 101: The Ultimate Guide to Growing Your Business with Social Media Marketing

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Social Media 101: The Ultimate Guide to Growing Your Business with Social Media Marketing

Table of Contents

Key Social Media Terms You Need to Know

How to Get Started With Social media

Basic Rules of Posting

The Best Social Platforms for B2B and B2C

The 6 Key Social Media Platforms to Grow Your Business

YouTube

LinkedIn

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

TikTok

Conclusion

 

If you’re looking to get insight into how different social media platforms work or grow your business’ social media marketing strategy, you’ve come to the right place!

In this post, we’re going to take you through everything you need to know to build a presence on these 6 social media networks:

YouTube

LinkedIn

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

TikTok

This beginner’s guide will provide you with the steps necessary to build your digital marketing strategy by learning about the algorithms for each of the social media sites.

If you’ve ever wondered what goes on behind the likes, comments, and posts, this guide will answer those questions. 

By the end, you’ll have the insight needed to build a smarter social media strategy to grow your business or brand.

But before we begin, let’s start with the basics and review key terms, how to get started with social media, and how to post

Then, we’ll explain the difference between a B2B and B2C social media presence and which social media platforms are best for each. Let’s dive in!

 

Key Social Media Terms You Need to Know

Hashtags (#) serve as keywords and help create a community within any social media platform, connecting a large number of users together who share similar interests. For example, a popular hashtag is #trendingnow.

Likes show interest in post content which benefits users trying to gain a larger audience. Usually, you can double-tap a post, click on the heart shape, or thumbs up button to like the content.

Comments show further interest in a post because the user feels strongly enough to comment and strike up a conversation rather than simply liking the post. 

As a business, you can get some really interesting feedback from comments. Overall, a user will learn a lot more from comments than likes.

Tags allow social media users to mention another user in a post or comment through a tagging icon. This further brings folks into the conversation and increases engagement for a post. 

Engagement or Activity is the action of users on your social media page. These actions include liking, commenting, sharing, and reactions.

Impressions are the number of times users have viewed your profile or post.

A Story is a photo or video that is shared with users. Multiple photos and videos or both can be posted and each last 24 hours from when you shared it.

Pillar Content is/are the long-form piece(s) of content, such as an informative blog or video about a certain topic, that can be broken down into smaller content pieces. Typically social media is used to drive traffic to pillar content located on your website.

Micro Content is the short-form pieces of content posted on social media to bring awareness to the pillar content. 

For example, if the pillar content is a blog post, a piece of micro-content could be an Instagram story showing an image related to the blog and a caption that links the viewer to the pillar content. 

This way the micro-content brings the pillar content to the viewer in a faster, more informal way, leaving the viewer eager to read more.

 

How to Get Started With Social media

There’s always a starting place when it comes to building your platform on social media. Here are a few key tips to help you get started on social media and give you a firm grasp of what you need to know before sharing your first post.

Study the competition

Learning from others, especially in your industry, is a great way to reduce your learning curve. 

Ask yourself, “what content are my competitors sharing on their social media?” See what content of theirs is receiving more activity and apply that to your posts with your twist.

Set goals for your social media account

It’s important to leverage analytics and post when activity is at its highest, as well as to post content that your followers enjoy most. Using analytic tools native to each social media platform, such as Twitter Analytics if you’re trying to track metrics on your Twitter profile, is a great way to start. Once your following and brand grow, external analytic software and tools are a great way to gain more insight and details.

These goals should be attainable, detailed, fit your target audience, and competitive with others in your industry. Set small but substantial goals at first and then expand from there!

Create a social media plan and calendar

This will not only help you to post when your target audience is most active but will also share the appropriate content to the right social media channels at the right time. 

You can start with the rule of thirds: ⅓ to promote business, ⅓ to entertain your audience, and ⅓ to focus on influencers in your industry. 

Or try the 80-20 rule: 80% of your content to educate your audience and 20% is to promote your brand. 

Trying both is important to gain a sense of what works best for your platforms but eventually, you should make a set plan of what gets posted where what times, and how much content you’re producing.

Take inspiration from the success of others. 

At Interrupt Media, we often look at the entrepreneur, Gary Vaynerchuk’s, successful social media content strategy to gain insight. Here’s one of our favorites from Gary.

Head to the business section of most social networks and you’ll find useful case studies. 

It’s also a great idea to ask existing followers what they want to see more of, then give them exactly what they ask for. 

Basic Rules of Posting

You want to keep your audience engaged with the content you post, so it’s important to know when to post, how often to post, and what content to share. 

You’ll also want to be careful not to over-do it on posting because there are also many disadvantages to posting too much. 

Since every post is not going to be that significant to your audience, it’s important to post what you feel will be most relevant to them. If uninteresting content continuously gets posted, followers might divert their attention elsewhere, or worse, unfollow you altogether. 

To help, we’ve compiled some basic guidelines that will help you know how often to post when to post, and how to craft a good post to keep your audience engaged.

Rule #1: Post at least 2 times a day

This number varies based on social media platforms, but in general, engagement thrives off consistent posting. 

Your audience wants to see posts every day, multiple times a day. At a minimum, we recommend posting 2-4 times per day. 

Keep reading to learn the specific amount of times to post for each of the six social media platforms.

Rule #2: Post in the morning, afternoon, and evening

Again, this is different for all social media platforms, but generally speaking, users are most active when they first wake up, in the afternoon, after work, and around dinner time. 

These times apply to every social media platform but the specific times do vary. Learn the specific times to post on each of the six social media platforms below.

Rule #3: All you need is text, a visual, and hashtags

There are a lot of ways to craft a good post, but when you’re getting started, just keep it simple. 

The main ingredients you need are: 

  1. A caption of descriptive, intriguing text. 
  2. A picture, gif, video, or another type of visual to grab attention.
  3. Hashtags (a.k.a. keywords) to make your post searchable.

These are the base requirements for a skillfully crafted social media post that elaborates on and thoroughly describes the content 

The Best Social Platforms for B2B and B2C

B2B companies focus on the “big three” which are LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. They typically post micro-content to promote white papers, eBooks case studies, infographics, webinars, and blogs. 

Their main goal: lead generation and ultimately, new business. 

To achieve this, they often use social media as a marketing platform to build brand awareness, attract leads and drive and track website traffic to pillar content or a landing page.

B2C companies focus on visual content and virality. The “big three” can be used but the more casual content platforms are Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and TikTok.

They have shareable content across many social media platforms, often cross-post, and focus on community engagement and awareness. 

Virality is the keystone as they want to increase awareness about their company through social media in the most extensive way possible.

So now that we’ve covered the basics of social media, let’s move into our in-depth analysis of the 6 key social media platforms

The 6 Key Social Media Platforms to Grow Your Business 

YouTube

YouTube’s algorithm is a real-time feedback loop that tailors videos to each user’s individual interests. It’s specific to the viewer and decides which videos will get suggested. 

There are two main goals for this algorithm. 

  1. to find the right video for each viewer, and 
  2. keep them updated and continue to watch relevant videos. 

Overall, the more content there is, the more intrigued users are.

How to Build a YouTube Following

Create engaging content that’s memorable to the viewer. 

As a starting point, provide value by creating problem-solving videos such as “How To” tutorials. These are some of the most searched for and viewed videos on YouTube.

Brand your YouTube channel to establish your identity. 

Create your unique thumbnails so that your video stands out compared to others who may be in your industry. 

Use high-quality pictures, edit images with filters and colors, overlay elements with texts or cutouts to attract viewers to your video. 

This not only helps you to establish your identity as a creator on YouTube but also lets users instantly recognize your brand.

Add a subscription button in videos. 

Remind viewers to subscribe by stating that in your videos introduction and write it in the caption. 

Subscribing to a creator’s YouTube channel allows the subscriber to receive notifications when the creator posts new content. The more subscribers you have, the higher you’re likely to appear in the search results.

Add hashtags, mention tags, keywords in title, or description. 

This helps YouTube better understand what the video is about. 

If a user is looking for a makeup tutorial, for example, and a creator uses the keyword “makeup” in their description, the user is more likely to find that video than a similar video where the creator did not use the keyword. 

In general, you’re more likely to show up in search results if more keywords and hashtags are used.

Link your social media accounts, website, or blog in the video caption.

Doing this will guide your viewers or subscribers to check out your other social media platforms which lead to more followers, more activity, and more popularity.

Link your YouTube videos from other social media platforms

Not only should you link your other social accounts from your YouTube, but it is important to do the opposite as well. 

When YouTube micro-content is produced on other social media platforms, users from those platforms are more likely to view the YouTube content directly. 

It’s important to promote your videos on your other accounts to get followers to view your YouTube content and vice versa.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn’s algorithm has two primary goals: 

  1. to prioritize relevant content, and 
  2. to increase their engagement rate.

It shows members’ posts from individuals they know and content that relates to topics they care about. Each news feed is specifically designed to what each user’s interests are and what goes on in the industry you’re a part of.

How to Build a LinkedIn Following

Connect with people from your industry

The first step is to always connect with users from your company, industry, friends, and even family. 

You want to gain a good basis of followers before moving on to the next step. You can find people to connect with through searching active users, pressing the follow icon, or linking your email and letting LinkedIn search your contacts.

Create a powerful profile with a recognizable bio

Stating your background, any awards or achievements you’ve had, past and current job experience, schools you attended, etc are all important to make a good first impression on those who want to follow you and are your target audience. 

The more descriptive and detailed you get these sections of your profile, the more likely you are to gain better connections specific to the industry you’re a part of.

Use keywords and hashtags in your posts.

Including these elements will make your posts more searchable.

Take advantage of LinkedIn’s publishing platform. 

You can post long-form content within LinkedIn itself through their publishing option. This is a great way to share your thoughts and showcase your industry knowledge.

Utilize the LinkedIn Pulse Content Platform. 

Tweet the LinkedIn editorial team about an article you’ve written, and you may be able to get it featured in content from LinkedIn. This can help you get noticed by other people in your industry.

Facebook

Facebook’s algorithm ranks posts so that a user is likely to enjoy them. It’s based on a variety of factors called ranking signals. 

Facebook focuses on data points about a user’s past behavior, meaning whatever content a user specifically has looked at in the past, will show up on their Facebook feed. 

The goal of Facebook’s algorithm is to: 

  1. determine what types of content matter most to users, and
  2. show users more of that content.

How to Build a Facebook Following

Identify your target audience

This first step is the most crucial to establishing the base of your account and profile. 

Reach out to other users who will be fans of your Facebook page and people who are in your industry. From there, you can create a saved audience and utilize the Facebook ads platform to fully identify your audience.

Fill in all the information on your Facebook profile. 

List recognizable keywords such as your name, profession, where you went to college, and add photos to your timeline to give your profile a personal touch.

Connect your Facebook to your Instagram

If you have an Instagram account, you’re in luck! With this feature, you can connect your Instagram account to your Facebook account by going to “Connect to a Facebook Page” on Instagram. 

This will allow you to reach more users on both platforms.

Find out what your audience is engaging with

What types of posts do they like? What content do they enjoy from other people in your industry? What can you do to make similar content but add originality? 

Study what’s going on in your target audience’s world closely and get a good understanding of what receives the most activity. Observing other companies and adding your own twist is a great way to gain leverage.

Post 3-6 times per day. 

If you have enough great content to post this often, go for it! Users like to see when a content creator is active and providing a substantial amount of valuable posts every day.

Invite people to your page

Add admins to your page to help you manage it and invite others to like your page.

Boost posts

Start by setting aside a small portion of your marketing budget, about $5 to $10, and watch to see which content performs best. This insight will help to inform future content and ad strategy

Twitter

Twitter’s algorithm prioritizes recent content and engaged users. The ranking symbols include recency, relevance, engagement, rich media, and other factors. Recency is when a tweet is published and relevance is the keywords in the tweet. 

Engagement is based on how many retweets, clicks, favorites, and impressions a tweet gets. Followers and rich media, a form of digital advertising for social media that can include gifs, videos, pictures, and more also play a role in engagement.

Twitter suggestions are based on what topics they believe are most popular at the time.

How to Build a Twitter Following

Brand yourself

Have something in your profile that makes you distinctive and will make individuals recognize you.

Post three to seven times a day

Keep posts short. Write a caption for posts, add links, pictures, videos, or another visual. Visual content receives more activity.

Post when the target audience is most active. 

Brands should schedule tweets to hit the times where users are more active and tweet in real-time at intervals throughout the day as well. 

Usually, the most active times are 9 AM, 11 AM to 1 PM, and peak at noon. In general, Wednesdays and Fridays typically have the most activity. Be sure to study your target audience and their most active times.

Study your target audience

More specifically, study when your target audience engages with other users within your industry. 

As stated before, the more you observe from other users in your industry, the more you can learn and modify to improve your content and strategies.

Use keywords and hashtags

Posts with a hashtag receive 12.6% percent more engagement than those without a hashtag. It’s important to incorporate a lot of these into your tweets in order to attract more users who might search a word you used or who follow a user you tag.

Retweet other users in your industry

This helps you gain more followers from their profile and vice versa. It’s really as simple as that.

Instagram

Instagram’s algorithm has ranking signals that are based on the relationship, interest, and timelines of the user. It bumps up posts from accounts that a user already interacts with.

For brands and creators, this means specifically focusing on community engagement which is key to that brand. 

Overall, the algorithm gives people what they want to see in their feed. It’s based on what the user is specifically interested in and it wants to give users content that is related to that type of a topic. 

How to Build an Instagram Following

Post consistently. 

The recommended number of posts to have per week is about seven, or once per day. If you maximize posting videos, live videos, responding to followers, and posting to your Instagram stories, you’re more likely to gain followers. 

Use quality, trending hashtags. 

Again, this is key to gaining more followers or users checking out your page or post content.

Collaborate with other users or influencers

When two users get together and post content with tags, followers from each of those users are going to look at each of their profiles and follow if they like their content. 

This can happen on your feed or stories but either way, you gain followers, likes, and comments either way.

Study when your target audience is the most active

As stated above, get a general idea of when to post and what good times are to post to get the most activity and engagement on your pictures.

Use your analytics

Leverage Instagram analytics to know what you should do more of, do less of, and engage more with your fans in an intriguing, smarter way.

TikTok

TikTok’s algorithm ranks videos based on a combination of factors: 

  • user interactions, 
  • video information, and
  • the device and account settings on your specific profile. 

The feed shows up on what is known as a “For You” page (#fyp). This makes the feed specific to each user so you only see the videos you’re interested in. Everyone’s feed or FYP is different. 

Also, you don’t need millions of followers to go viral. It all depends on what shows up in your feed, your location corresponding to other users in your area, and what type of content is produced.

How to Build a TikTok Following

Create a lot of videos and keep them on your feed

Keeping old TikTok videos on your profile could help provide leverage for you to go viral.

Have clean videos

This includes good lighting and simple backgrounds to attract more viewers to your page and videos.

Use recommended and viral songs or sounds. 

When you use a trending sound, users can click on the song and a feed of videos using the song that shows up. It’s almost like a hashtag! This is an easy way for users to find influencers or other users to follow or duet with.

Use trendy hashtags

Use hashtags in your captions or descriptions, especially for the sound, filter, or effect you used. An example could be #greenscreen if a user used the green screen effect on TikTok.

Participate in trends

While participation is key, it’s also important to add a new, original twist to those trends to brand your own TikToks.

Post in the morning, mid-afternoon, and late at night. 

Posting times for TikTok vary quite a bit more than any other social media platforms as the most active times are 6 AM, 9 AM to 11 AM, 3 PM to 7 PM, 9 PM to 11 PM, and 2 AM.

Have a recognizable username

It’s not only important to brand yourself by adding originality to your TikToks, but you also want to create a username other users will recognize if they search for you or come across a piece of your content on their FYP. 

You want individuals to remember you and your interesting content!

Conclusion

These six platforms share many similarities when it comes to each algorithm and maximizing your marketing efforts, but it’s important to remember what features make each platform unique so you can maximize your strategy. 

Each distinctive algorithm can help you leverage your social media profiles by knowing what happens behind just posting, captions, and likes. 

Now you can apply this knowledge to your social media marketing plan and maybe try out a new platform you don’t already have.

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