social media marketing for business

What is Social Media Marketing? The Ultimate Social Media Marketing Guide

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Social media, although a relatively recent phenomenon, is becoming an increasingly important part of any business’s marketing and client base development platform. The perception of social media marketing has shifted quickly—no longer viewed as a trendy or passing fad, having a flexible and well-managed presence in each of the “big three” (Facebook, Twitter, and Google+) has become a must for any business seeking to secure a place in both the traditional and digital marketplace. What could once be accomplished by a traditional website now needs to be supplemented by a robust and responsive utilization of the tools social media offers. Navigating this strange, new world can be quite confusing at first, so here are some tips for those looking to bring their business up to speed.

So, What is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing refers to the process of gaining traffic or attention through social media sites.

Social media marketing, or SMM, is a form of internet marketing that implements various social media networks in order to achieve marketing communication and branding goals. Social media marketing primarily covers activities involving social sharing of content, videos, and images for marketing purposes.

Social media can be used for more than just connecting with friends or stalking ex-boyfriends. Use the resources on this page to learn how to use social media as a tool to help achieve your business and marketing goals.

Must Read

Before you access the below valuable social media resources I would highly recommend you to have a look to the Important Social Media Statistics you must know before starting Social Media Marketing.

Social Media Statistics

It is full of valuable information and includes answers to important questions such as, “How much time does social media marketing take?,” “What are the benefits?” and “Where are marketers focusing their energy?”

Social  Media 101 – Getting Started With Social Media

Before you begin creating social media marketing campaigns, consider your business’ goals. Starting a social media marketing campaign without a plan in mind is like wandering through a forest without a map—you’ll only end up lost.

Create a social media marketing plan and brainstorm about your goals: what are you hoping to achieve through social media marketing? Who is your target audience? Where would your target audience hang out and how would they use social media? What message do you want to send to your audience with social media marketing?

The Ultimate Glossary: 120 Social Media Marketing Terms Explained

Thus, while we’re all learning about social media and inbound marketing as well as teaching others about it, having a resource that quickly and clearly explains all of the basic terms and applications is critically important.

26 Tips for Getting Started With Social Media Marketing

Are you looking to get started with social media marketing?  Do you want to reexamine how you’ve been using social networks?  In this post, I’ll cover 26 tips, an A-Z guide, to help you understand the backbone of successful social media strategies.

10 Laws of Social Media Marketing

Leveraging the power of content and social media marketing can help elevate your audience and customer base in a dramatic way. But getting started without any previous experience or insight could be challenging.  It’s vital that you understand social media marketing fundamentals. From maximizing quality to increasing your online entry points, abiding by these 10 laws will help build a foundation that will serve your customers, your brand and — perhaps most importantly — your bottom line.

Social Media Strategy: Where to Start & Why

Whether you’re a bricks and mortar mom and pop business or a 100% online digital enterprise, NOT participating in social media is no longer an option. In many ways today’s social networks represent the new discovery engine. Consumers and business decision makers are sending their friends and colleagues to websites they like through their browsers and desktops and, increasingly, their mobile devices.

How to run a social media marketing campaign

The most inappropriate social media marketing is when a company comes in, pretends that they know who their audience is, thinks they do, makes assumptions, and then posts a real clunker on their Facebook page, or jumps in and starts trying to sell in a forum where people are communicating and engaging.

Social Media 101: A Required Course

The biggest barrier to entry into the social media world is education. It’s difficult to “teach an old dog new tricks” especially when social media and the internet in general, are always changing. There’s so much to learn and understand – What is it? Why do I need it? How do I get started? Who has time for this? How do I prioritize? How does this benefit my business?

8 Common Mistakes in B2B Social Media Marketing

According to a recent MarketingSherpa report , “two-thirds of marketers who work for organizations that have not used any form of social media marketing or PR consider themselves ‘very knowledgeable’ or ‘somewhat knowledgeable’ about this emerging strategy. Their overconfidence in unproven ability can doom social media initiatives to failure.”

11 Simple Ways B2B Companies Can Be More Social Today

This list serves as smaller steps that can help B2B companies better integrate social media tactics while applying larger online marketing strategies.

Choosing Platforms – Which Social Media sites should i target?

With so many social media sites available for you to market to your target audience, it can be difficult to know where to start. To make it even more overwhelming, there seem to be new social networks popping up everyday. It almost seems that if you’re not a social media expert, you could be missing out on key marketing channels to reach your target audience.

Follow the below amazing resources which will help you to choose the perfect social networks for your company

Which Social Media Sites Should You Target?

There are hundreds, if not thousands of social media sites. Because there are so many it can be difficult to figure out which ones to target. In an ideal world you would target them all but with limited time it’s important to prioritize. If you are wondering which social sites to target, wonder no more because these 5 steps should answer your question.

How To Choose The Right Social Media Platform For Your Brand

Brands need to be present wherever audiences invest their time and attention. Increasingly, that means social media. U.S. audiences spend a half-hour to three hours daily on social media. Social media is one of the largest time buckets on mobile.

How Brands Can Choose The Right Social Media Platforms For Their Goals [Infographic]

The different social media platforms available out there lend themselves to different goals.  This is what this infographic is all about: choosing the right social media platform for an organization’s goal and the type of content they produce.  Looking at it another way, organizations may look at what their goals are and then produce content to match the social media platform that is best for their goals.

5 Questions to Determine Which Social Networks Are Best for Small Business

One of the biggest challenges for any small business is time.  Between finding new employees, motivating them, building a winning team, and increasing productivity, there really aren’t too many moments to waste.  So you certainly don’t want to waste precious time on online marketing endeavors that might not offer a decent return on investment.  One major component in any online marketing strategy is social media, but it can also be one of the biggest time consumers as well…In this post, we’re going to go through 5 questions that can help you determine if a particular social network is really worth your time and investment.

Top Nine Social Networks for Business

Business owners know it’s important to engage with our customers and prospects online — but there’s an opportunity cost. It seems like new social networks are appearing every other week, so it’s important to choose wisely.

Setting up Accounts

Whether you’re a plumber or a graphic designer, a wedding photographer or food truck chef, you need to use social media to promote your business and connect with your customers. But even if you’re a long time user of Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, or FourSquare, you probably don’t know to use it effectively to help your small business. Here are some basic things you need to do in order to lay the groundwork for social media success.

HOW TO: Setup a Facebook for Business

A few years back, when Mark Zuckerberg came up with his notion of social networking site Facebook He had no idea what it would become in time to come. Facebook has literally revolutionized the way we view social networking. With over 700 million active users, is certainly the biggest platform you can get if you are looking to engage with many people at the same time. While Facebook is the premiere social networking platform, but also holds great potential for businesses. The fact that it can help businesses to grow and reach a new customer base has added to its popularity.

How to Set up Business Oriented Facebook Profile

Your personal profile is plugged into your business page and it is essential in making the first page of the business. Your personal profile is different from a business page because it can be established privacy settings to make specific posts, photos, etc.. Your personal profile is where you can communicate with your friends.

4 Easy Steps to Optimize Facebook Page to Boost your Social Media Presence

Your business is to its customers. Build relationships with them, reach new people and boost sales with Facebook.  More than a billion people who like and comment an average of 3.2 billion times a day. When you have a strong presence on Facebook, your business is part of these discussions and have access to the most powerful form of marketing word-of-mouth – recommendations from friends.

Top Facebook Marketing Tips and Best Practices You Must Know

Facebook allows marketers to keep in touch with people all day if they are on their computers or mobile devices, at home or at work, watching television or to go shopping with friends. This enables businesses to create rich social experiences, build lasting relationships and amplify the most powerful type of marketing – word of mouth.  Connecting with people is just the beginning. In the pages that follow, you will find the best practices to achieve their business objectives Facebook.

50 Best Facebook Marketing Resources That Will Keep You Updated

A few years ago, many of us were skeptical about how Facebook was going to get marketers to spend a significant amount of time and money on their platform, which is clearly not the case these days. One thing I’m sure of now is that Facebook advertising is here to stay.  There will never be a shortage of Facebook marketing advice, but when it comes from the social network itself, it merits paying attention to.

HOW TO: Setup a Twitter for Business

If you have a small (or large) business, do you need to be on Twitter? In most cases, the answer is yes. People go to Twitter to share what they know and learn in return. Twitter users are hungry for new ideas, opportunities, information, services, and products. If your business is not part of this exchange, you’re leaving two huge opportunities untouched: growing your business and improving it.  Business of all sizes use Twitter for a variety of reasons, from marketing to customer service. The way you use Twitter will vary based on your goal, discussed in more detail below.

How to Use Twitter for Business and Marketing

Is Twitter a part of your social media marketing?  Or have you let your Twitter marketing drop off lately?  In any case, with the latest Twitter updates, trends in multi-screen usage and real-time marketing, you’ll likely want to take a fresh look at what Twitter has to offer.  Here’s a checklist of everything your business needs to do to get on (or back on) Twitter and start seeing great results.

An Introductory Guide: How to Use Twitter for Business

Used successfully, Twitter can help you develop and promote your brand, interact with your fan base, monitor conversations about your company, promote thought leadership, and much more.  Download our comprehensive ebook to learn, step-by-step, how to tackle Twitter as a business tool.

37 Ways to Use Twitter for Business

These Twitter tips and tactics for business should be read in that context. It also important to keep in mind that creating a “Strategy for Twitter” is also valuable and essential.

16 Creative Ways to Use Twitter for Business

Is your Twitter activity feeling stale?  The good news is that you can easily revitalize your Twitter experience!  Here are 16 ways to bring new life and renewed business purpose to your Twitter efforts.

5 Twitter Tools to Enhance Your Marketing

Here are 5 lesser-known Twitter tools that your business should be using.  Each of these tools has unique capabilities that may help your business get an edge over your competitors. Oh, and all of these tools are free.

HOW TO: Setup a Linkedin for Business

LinkedIn is a popular social network for professionals. Check out the resources listed on this page for tips on how to use LinkedIn for business and marketing. For broader resources about using social media, check out our Social Media Marketing Hub.

Linkedin Marketing Guide To Boost Your Business Bottom Line

While Social Media is definitely the hot topic of conversation this year, most of the tools focus on consumer centric business, and improving communication. If you provide B2B consulting, services or products, your options for social media are fairly limited, let’s be honest you probably won’t find many fans for your Facebook Oil and natural gas page . For these types of businesses, LinkedIn is a much better alternative.

Open your business to the world’s largest professional network – Official Resource

Market your business to the LinkedIn community by creating a LinkedIn Company Page. Raise awareness of your brand, promote career opportunities, and educate potential customers on your products and services.

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Mastering LinkedIn

LinkedIn can be extremely useful — especially when you’re aware of all the little hidden tricks that don’t get nearly enough exposure as they deserve. To help you master LinkedIn, below is our ultimate list of 35 awesome tricks you may have been overlooking.

5 Simple Steps for Improving Your LinkedIn Visibility

Are you wondering how to get the most from LinkedIn? Over the last few months, the LinkedIn network has made upgrades and undergone changes.  If you already have a profile created on LinkedIn, it’s a great time to revisit and refresh your presence!  Or if you’re just wondering how to get started, these 5 simple steps will help you make the most of your time and effort!

HOW TO: Setup a Google+ for Business

Have you been searching for ways to learn more about Google Plus for business? Google Plus may be one of the largest and fastest growing social networks, but it is also one of the youngest. As such, most businesses are still trying to learn the basics.

Make your Business Social, Across the Web

When your customers search on Google, the results to the right may include relevant posts, photos, and videos from your Google+ page. Get found across Google, right when your customers are most interested.

How to Use Google+ to Expand Your Business Influence

According to GlobalWebIndex, Google+ now has 359 million active users, which puts it ahead of Twitter’s 200 million active users. With that jump in numbers, it’s clear that now is the time to use Google+ to promote your brand.  Here’s an updated guide on all of the things you need to take advantage of Google+ to gain more exposure for your content and your business.

An Introduction to Google+ for Business

It’s no wonder why. Google+ has attracted 500 million registered users. With its various redesigns, feature add-ons, and integrations with other Google products, Google+ is growing into a hub of marketing value.

8 Reasons to Consider Marketing with Google+

With most marketers comfortable with using Facebook for their primary social media marketing tactics they quite often don’t see the other opportunities.  Here are some compelling reasons to register and start using a Google+ page to complement your Facebook page, your social media and digital marketing activities.

HOW TO: Setup a Pinterest for Business

Pinterest has captured our visual fancy like no other network before it.  The image-driven network’s meteoric rise in only a few years shows the site is more than just a pretty community for people interested in fashion and lifestyle: Marketers are all over Pinterest’s lead-generation aspects, and online hits on products from the site have proved a marketing sensation. According to a study by Shareaholic, the site drives more referral traffic than Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn combined.

Pinterest for Business

Pinterest is today’s hottest new social media platform–and it’s perfect for businesses with small marketing budgets. Capitalize on Pinterest today, and you’ll build a devoted fan base that keeps you “pinned at the top”…driving more sales, revenue, and profits for years to come!

How to Use Pinterest for Business

Pinterest isn’t just another social media network.  What appears to be the fastest-growing social media site ever has become a huge traffic referral for all businesses. An increasing number of companies are leveraging the platform to reach a new audience, increase visits to their websites, and generate leads or retail sales. And guess what? It’s working.

Pinterest 101: 33 Ways To Create Engaging Content & Be More Pinnable

Many brands are still struggling to determine if Pinterest is a platform that will work for their business.  Companies that have taken the leap may be unsure of how exactly to use Pinterest and what their strategy should be.

64 Pinterest Marketing Tips and Tactics – Infographic

Here are 64 marketing tips and tactics that you can apply to your Pinterest account to get you started and refine your strategies.

HOW TO: Setup a YouTube for Business

A YouTube channel supplements your website by allowing you to market your site with online videos. In addition to adding character, depth, and an additional source for lead generation, having YouTube videos also gets you listed in one of the largest search engines online, YouTube Search.  With all those benefits, a YouTube channel should be a priority. If you’re ready to get started with your own channel, here is the beginner’s guide to YouTube marketing.

The Marketing Value of YouTube

YouTube is an interesting beast to varying degrees: a search engine, a hosting service, an advertising platform, a social network, and a community site.  Yet, it’s identity from a user perspective is that it’s much less convoluted. The main reason people go to YouTube: to find and watch videos on the internet.

Building a Video SEO Strategy

The core tactics of technical Video SEO are pretty easy to pick up. You can read through the bulk of what there is to know about getting rich snippets, optimizing for YouTube, and driving links back to your site within a couple of hours. While advice on these tactics will adjust and evolve as new technologies and iterations of the algorithm are released, there is an evergreen side to video marketing; one that both SEOs and creative marketers consistently fail to comprehend.

The Distilled Guide to Online Video Marketing

Distilled is the most renowned company in online video marketing world. And if they launched the guide is very much important to consider it as a bible of Video Marketing. Have a look their is lot we can learn from Distilled team.

Goals & Objectives – How to Set Social Media Marketing Targets

Creating Your Social Media Plan

If you enter into social media without a plan, you will fail. Period.  All the hours you spent will be wasted, you will receive no traffic bump, there will be no engagement, no one will care and you will learn nothing. Except maybe that you’re an idiot and that you should have listened to me when I told you to create a social media plan. You wouldn’t jump into a raging river without knowing how to swim, don’t create a Twitter account without knowing how to use it.

How to Setup a Social Media Business Strategy

Does your business have a social media strategy?  According to research conducted by Constant Contact, over 50% of small businesses need help with social media.  While many businesses have a social media presence, many are not engaging on those platforms and thus not meeting their goals.  With planning, your small business can use social media effectively.  Here are seven steps to a social media strategy for your business

Three Essential Components Of Successful Social Media Campaigns

When working in the world of social change, it’s easy to get excited about a new campaign when we’re inspired by hope or outraged by injustice. But in the scramble to make change happen, we can forget about the tactics and tools that actually help us implement our visions for a better world. Here are three sometimes-overlooked components of digital campaigns that are essential for success.

Social Media Policy

The Marketer’s Guide to Proper Social Media Etiquette

While social media etiquette might sound like a stuffy practice, this is really just about having good social manners online. How you conduct yourself on your social channels, thinking about how your behavior affects your fans and followers, that kind of thing. Below are the top etiquette tips for you to keep in mind on your favorite social media marketing networks so you can stay proper while building your brand.

How to Write a Social Media Policy

Whether your company is active on social media, your employees probably are. Here are some things to consider when creating a social media policy.

To Do: Update Company’s Social Media Policy ASAP

Employee use of social media has been a controversial topic over the past year, and one I’ve covered several times in this blog. While I oppose company policies that unfairly limit employees’ rights to express themselves online, employers must be smart about training employees on what they should and should not share online, especially in times of uncertain job stability.

10 Must-Haves for Your Social Media Policy

There are generally two approaches to social media policy making. Some organizations handle social media in an evolutionary way. Chad Houghton, the director of e-media and business development at the Society for Human Resource Management, told me that he thinks, “it might be beneficial not to create some arbitrary rules without first seeing where the opportunities and risks really are.”

5 Noteworthy Examples of Corporate Social Media Policies

So your company wants to implement a social media policy, but you’re not sure how to go about it. How lenient should you be? Will being too strict diminish social media’s effectiveness? Does marketing handle customer service? Should we even let customer service represent us on social media?

Social Media Marketing Strategies

Research Your Competitors’ Social Media Strategy (and Borrow Their Best Ideas)

Are you stuck in a social media rut? I’m going to let you in on a little secret – despite what you were told in grade school, it’s ok to be a copycat. This “copying” I speak of comes in the form of competitive research. In this post, we’re going to cover the steps to researching your competitors’ social media strategy, and how you should be “borrowing” their best ideas for your own social media campaigns. Don’t look down in desperation, look to your competitors for inspiration.

How To Organize A Social Media Content Strategy

Crafting a content strategy for social media is just as important as developing a strategy for what is published on the company blog and website. Social media is one of the main megaphones that a company uses to create its overall online presence, which in turn shapes brand recognition and sentiment.

Social Media Strategy in 8 Steps

Over the past four years at Convince & Convert, we’ve continued to refine our social media strategy process. Here’s one of the latest iterations, presented as a keynote speech to ESTO (Educational Seminar for Travel Organizations) last Fall.

Monitoring & Analytics – Tools & Metrics

How to Monitor Social Media in 10 Minutes a Day

Social media can be beneficial for your business, but monitoring different channels can take a lot of time. Where do you start?. This ebook will teach you the most important elements you should be monitoring across relevant social media networks. We will suggest a few practical habits you can execute while sipping your morning coffee.

Calculating Your Social Media Marketing Return on Investment

This guide provides practical advice for developing a goal-based approach to measuring your social media marketing return on investment (ROI)

How to Measure the Impact & ROI of Social Media Marketing

Measuring PPC and SEO is relatively straightforward. But how do we go about credibly measuring social media campaigns, and wider public relations and audience awareness campaigns?  As the hype level of social media starts to fall, then more questions are asked about return on investment. During the early days of anything, the hype of the new is enough to sustain an endeavor. People don’t want to miss out. If their competitors are doing it, that’s often seen as good enough reason to do it, too.

Best Social Media Metrics: Conversation, Amplification, Applause, Economic Value

Social media is evolving at an incredible pace. Most of us have no idea how to participate optimally in this unique channel – we are doing TV on Twitter (breaks my heart). The impact on the data side of the ecosystem is that massive amounts of data is being generated and much of what goes for measurement in “social media tools” is profoundly sub optimal (I’m being polite). We have IT-minded people engaging in massive data puking (one report with 30 metrics anyone?) and Marketing-minded people who are using lousy measures of success (“I got 158,632 Fans! Hurray!”).

5 Social Media Monitoring Tools to Simplify Your Marketing

Are you measuring your social media efforts?  Do you know what’s working?  Over the years, there have been dozens of social media monitoring tools launched, but not all social media monitoring platforms are created equal.  In this article I’ll show you five platforms that may work for your business.

Social Media Mishap

Which Social Media Mistakes Hurt Your Relationship With Consumers [Infographic]

By now it should be obvious that there are risks to not being active on social media channels. Not only do you miss out on opportunities to be part of the conversation, but consumers might interpret your absence negatively. Because of this, many businesses are eager to get more involved, but in some cases that eagerness can result in mistakes.

19 Reasons Your Social Media Might Not Work Out the Way You Planned

Social media is the most volatile and unpredictable marketing channel we’ve ever seen. Each network is constantly being innovated, redesigned, or updated. It’s also one of the most powerful tools marketers can have in their arsenal — if you know how to use it right.

10 Social Media Mistakes You May Be Making (Because I Did)

There’s no real guidebook for a perfect social media marketing career – or at least I haven’t found one yet. There’s no quiz you can take to make sure you’re covering all your bases, engaging your audience, timing everything perfectly and — on top of it all — delivering amazing ROI.

Prospects are now relying on social media to research and educate themselves before actually engaging with your company. But it is not enough to merely post on your Facebook and Twitter pages, instead you have to work social into every aspect of your marketing and create more peer-to- peer sharing opportunities. The more your audience wants to engage with your content, the more likely it is that they will want to share and ultimately convert to customers.

Forget what everyone else is doing. Choose the social marketing tactics that are right for you. Then get out there and engage – always in the spirit of experimentation. Not everything you try in social marketing will be right for you company, but stick with it and you’ll develop a powerful new source of revenue that costs a lot less than traditional media

And remember social is more than just a channel or tactic; it is a strategy that should be present in every aspect of your marketing.

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