Table of contents

Social Media

When you start exploring the world of digital marketing, it’s almost certain you’ll become a target audience for many marketing gurus and organizations who want to sell their knowledge to you. It’s not strange that every here and then, someone will try to persuade you to buy the ”success formula”, or to integrate the best solution for your business. The truth is, only a handful of actors hold valuable knowledge and experience, so be careful about who and where you spend your time and money.

Starting with the course on social media, we should, therefore, make a cautious approach and warn you that we are not perfect, but perhaps could show you how to approach social media and make the most out of it.

Introduction to social media

What is social media?

Let’s start with a simple definition. Social media is an app or website that allows users to create and share content to the social network. People use social networks to connect with others who share the same interests and values.

Why should you use it?

As you can see from the Hootsuite research, the number of active social media users is growing every year. Your customers are using social media, and so should you. It’s important to be able to communicate with them and to establish a brand. In the case of negative publicity, your brand could be irreversibly damaged, so without your presence on the social network, it’s impossible to take action or to anticipate problematic situations.

Furthermore, an average user has 5 social media accounts and spends nearly two hours daily. Almost half of the customers are more eager to purchase if they heard about the product or brand on social media. The social media landscape is vast with new players entering the industry every year. Everyone can find a suitable way to reach their customers, either by using popular or niche platforms. 

A social network is a useful way to:

  • find niche audiences,
  • build a relationship with customers,
  • get feedback, and
  • reduce your advertising and marketing costs.

Where to start?

As always start with the empathy maps and the customer personas. Defining your customers will help in identifying which social media channels they use the most. If for example, you operate in a B2B industry, consider business networks such as Linkedin, or if your audience is mostly Millenials, maybe Instagram or TikTok will be the right choice. By exploring the social media landscape, it becomes evident that much of the social media platforms fall into the six main categories, depending on how they are primarily used.

Social media landscape 2019

Carry out the competitive analysis to determine which platforms your competitors use. Follow trends to take advantage of new and emerging platforms, which can benefit you in the future if you manage to position your brand early on. Keep in mind that there is no point in being present on all social platforms if you don’t have enough resources to maintain the quality and consistency of the content. Choose carefully where to start and build your trust among the audience one step at a time. 

Another thing that can help to establish your social media presence is social media frameworks. One of them is the POST framework created by Forrester Research. It’s based on four steps.

What kind of people finds value in your product or service? 

What type of communication do they prefer? 

How do they behave online?

What are your marketing objectives? 

Are you interested in listening to gain insights or do you want your customers to generate more awareness?

What is your strategy? Meaning what do you want to get out of relationships with customers?

Which direction do you want to take them?

What is the underlying value proposition?

What kind of technology will you use?

How much time and resources will it take?

 

By answering the POST questions, it will become more evident which channels should you use and how to make the best out of them. Another useful framework is the TALK framework, which has been built upon the POST framework and provides a practical approach to putting a plan together. Once you create the plan, the process is straightforward:

  • start by doing social media and content research in your industry,
  • follow the conversation about your brand, products, and services,
  • find and contact the main influencers in your industry,
  • personally invite others to engage with your brand on social networks,
  • start creating engaging content,
  • promote the content,
  • monitor the performance, and finally,
  • analyze the results.

Social media channels & Content

With hundreds of available platforms out there, it’s easy to get lost. That’s why we’ll provide you with a useful statistic that will help orientate your activities on social media. We’ll focus on the biggest platforms that offer users the opportunity to publish, share, connect, message, collaborate and discuss. Namely, we’ll discuss more on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Twiter, and Linkedin. For every channel we’ll provide a basic overview (data from 2019) for audience demographics, advertising, content and useful sources to learn more about each channel.

Facebook

Facebook was started in 2004 in the USA, and by now it has become the biggest social network, owning Instagram, WhatsUp, and Messanger. Founder, CEO, and major shareholder of Facebook is Mark Zuckerberg. The company employs more than 43 thousand people.
Here’s why you should consider using Facebook.

Statistic: Distribution of Facebook users worldwide as of October 2019, by age and gender | Statista
Find more statistics at Statista

  • median monthly advert click per user: 8
  • average CPC (cost per click) for Facebook ads: 1,72$
  • average CTR (click-through rate): 0,9%
  • average CPM (cost per mile): 7,92%
  • potential reach of advertising is 1.9 billion people
  • images account for 75-90% of ad performance

average engagement rates:

  • for posts: 3,75%
  • for video posts: 6,03%
  • for photos post: 4,48%
  • for page link post: 3,01%
  • for page status post: 2,01%

Statistic: Facebook's annualized revenue per user from 2012 to 2018 (in U.S. dollars) | Statista
Find more statistics at Statista

    • every 60 seconds, 317,000 status updates; 400 new users; 147,000 photos uploaded; and 54,000 shared links.
    • over 8 billion average daily video views
    • 85% of users watch a video with sound off
    • 20% of videos are a live broadcast
    • 36% of Facebook top Stories are about politics

    Facebook best practices and tips:

    • Keep it short
    • Use big beautiful images
    • Share exclusive content
    • Tie content to special events & holidays
    • Post for the right audience
    • Avoid being overly promotional
    • Change up your cover photo regularly
    • Use calls to action
    • Let consumers know you are responsive
    • Use fun images
    • Use video o Run contests
    • List job openings
    • Engage with quizzes
    • Create custom tabs
    • Use Facebook Live

We recommend starting with Facebook’s official learning materials under Facebook blueprint.

Instagram

Facebook bought Instagram back in 2012 and since then it became one of the most popular social networks for sharing experiences and influence trends. 

Here’s why you should consider using Instagram.

 

Statistic: Distribution of Instagram users worldwide as of October 2019, by age group | Statista
Find more statistics at Statista

  • 4,2 billion likes per day on Instagram
  • the potential reach for Instagram advertising is around 800 Million
  • around 75% of businesses around the world are using Instagram
  • More than 2 million monthly advertisers on Instagram
  • 70% of shoppers turn to Instagram for product discovery
  • there are around 0,5 Millions of active influencers on Instagram
  • 1/3 of most-viewed stories are business stories
  • 0,67$ average CPC (cost per click) for Instagram Feed Placement  (Q2 2019)
  • 6,09$ average CPM (cost per mile) for Instagram Feed Placement (Q2 2019)
  • 0,88% average CTR (click-through rate) for Instagram Feed Placement (Q2 2019)
  • 0,76$ average CPC (cost per click) for Instagram Stories Placement (Q2 2019)
  • 3,96$ average CPM (cost per mile) for Instagram Stories Placement (Q2 2019)
  • 0,54% average CTR (click-through rate) for Instagram Stories Placement (Q2 2019)

Statistic: Number of brand sponsored influencer posts on Instagram from 2016 to 2020 (in millions) | Statista
Find more statistics at Statista

    • 100 million photos and videos uploaded every day
    • photos with faces get nearly 40% more engagement
    •  posts with a location get nearly 80% more engagement
    • 70% of Instagram’s hashtags are branded
    •  most engagement with content during week, on Thursday and Tuesday
    • 50% of Instagram’s post and comments contain emojis
    • 70% of users want to interact with the content creator

    Instagram best practices and tips:

    • Encourage the audience to use name & hashtags
    • Create contests
    • Partner with influencers
    • Re-gram
    • Use creative hashtags
    • Use compelling descriptions
    • Use your bio space well

We recommend starting with Facebook’s official learning materials under Facebook blueprint.

YouTube

YouTube is the most popular video streaming service. It’s part of the Google family of products since 2006. YouTube provides a great service to content creators, users, and advertisers. It serves as one of the biggest search engines alongside with Google Search.
Here’s why you should consider using YouTube.

 
  • 5 billion videos watched per day
  • 70% of YouTube watch time comes from mobile devices
  • 35+ and 55+ age groups are the fastest-growing segments
  • average CPC (cost per click) 2,33$
  • average CPM (cost per thousand impressions/mile) 8,00$
  • average CTR (click-through rate) 0,38%
  • 5+ billion videos shared to date.
  • 50+ millions of content creators
  • 40 min average viewing session
  • 500+ hours of videos uploaded every minute

YouTube best practices and tips:

  • Post high-value content
  • Use consistent content
  • Post multiple videos
  • Publish on a predictable schedule
  • Create a channel trailer
  • Use video thumbnails
  • Share & collaborate
  • Use short titles
  • Include channel description
  • Include video metadata
  • Consider a transcript

If you want to learn more about advertising on YouTube and get certified along the way, we strongly believe you’ll find Google’s lesson on video ads quite useful.

Twitter

Twitter was founded in 2008 by Dorsey and his friends. The company employs around 4300 people. Twitter serves as online news and social network platform where users exchange short but informative and engaging messages called tweets. It focuses on personal profiles and gives individuals the ability to effectively promote ideas, events, new releases, and updates.

 
Statistic: Number of monthly active Twitter users worldwide from 1st quarter 2010 to 1st quarter 2019 (in millions) | Statista
Find more statistics at Statista

Twitter CPC, CPM, & CTR for Q1 2019

  • Median CPC was $0.49
  • Median CPM was $4.20
  • Median CTR was 0.84%

Twitter best practices and tips:

  • Keep it short
  • Use visuals
  • Incorporate hashtags
  • Ask questions and run polls
  • Curate and connect
  • Send multiple tweets with the same content
  • Seize the moment o Match tone to the brand
  • Connect to trending hashtags

Statistic: Number of live broadcasts streamed on Twitter as of 1st quarter 2018 | Statista
Find more statistics at Statista

If you want to learn more about Twitter marketing and advertising, there are useful guides on HootsuiteHubspot, and the official Twitter page.

Linkedin

Linkedin was founded in 2002 by Hoffman and his founding partners from PayPal and Socialnet.com. Since 2016 it is fully owned by Microsoft. Linked is primarily the business network platform that offers users the ability to connect with people and businesses from their industry, get business news, find and offer jobs, and much more. For advertisers, it represents the most potent place for B2B marketing.

 

Statistic: Distribution of LinkedIn users worldwide as of October 2019, by age group | Statista
Find more statistics at Statista

  • 92% of marketers include Linkedin in their marketing mix
  • more than 50% of social traffic to B2B sites come from Linkedin
  • 80% of B2B leads come from Linkedin, in contrast to Twitter (13%) and Facebook (7%)

LinkedIn CPC, CPM, & CTA for Q1 2019 

  • Median CPC was $3.99
  • Median CPM was $7.85
  • Median CTR was 0.18%
  •  Linkedin is the best channel for B2B marketing
  •  60% of users look for industry insights
  •  professional content has the highest performance
  • 1 million users published the article on Linkedin
  • how-to and list post perform best on Linkedin
  • posts split in 5, 7, and 9 headings perform best on Linkedin
  • articles without video perform better than those with videos

Linkedin best practices and tips:

  • avoid long paragraphs, use one to two sentences per paragraph
  • use professional images
  • avoid inserting links into the post, rather insert it in a comment section
  • be informative and innovative
  • share helpful and valuable content
  • be consistent with the content topic, stay with your industry
  • don’t forget to show the humane side of the business
  • ask for opinion
  • set industry standards and trends

If you want to learn more about Linkedin marketing and advertising, there are numerous useful online courses. Look around on Udemy or Lynda to find one that suits you best.

Content creation

Now that you know more about each of the most popular social media channels, and the tips for writing engaging and quality content, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Understand the customer needs and habits. Always go back to your customer persona and update your information. Use it to adjust the content to specific customer and product needs. Keep the information up to date and experiment with the content format.

Create the content to meet the needs of your central online place (website, blog, etc.) first, and afterward transform the content format or repurpose it to make it more appealing to various media channels where you’ll distribute and promote it.

Create an editorial calendar to organize and track the content creation process. Remember to include important parameters such as title and description, author, deadline, supported links, and media channels.

Set up tools to help you monitor your social channels. Numerous social management tools help schedule, manage and report on your social media activities. One of the most popular is Hootsuite, but there are others like SocialbakersSparkcentralSproutsocialGoogle Alerts, to name just a few. If you manage two or more social accounts, you should do a little research and find the one that will save most of your time and energy.

Measure the impact

Your social media efforts can and should be measured. Get feedback on social activities and campaigns to keep your social media plan on track. Remember that social media marketing is part of your overall marketing strategy. You need to track and connect it with marketing objectives and KPIs. Google Analytics, UTM links, and analytics from social platforms are helpful tools to get this job done. The platform-specific metrics can help you understand which of your posts work best and with which audience. You can use that information to optimize the content of what, when, and how often you post. To learn more about Google Analytics and campaign tagging check our Marketing Analytics course.

Some of the most common social media metrics fall into one of the categories listed below.

Audience reach – The number of views for a specific post. For example:

  • Page likes, post reach (Facebook)
  • Impressions, followers, reach, profile views (Instagram)
  • Tweet views, followers (Twitter)
  • Video views, subscribers (YouTube)
  • Post view, followers (Linkedin)

Audience engagement – how many people interacted with your content. For example:

  • Likes, comments, shares, video views, engagement (Facebook)
  • Likes, comments, replies, exits (Instagram)
  • Favorites, re-tweets, replies (Twitter)
  • Likes, comments, shares, watch time (YouTube)
  • Likes, comments, shares (Linkedin)

Key takeaways

social media key takeaways

Congratulation on getting this far! Keep up the good work! Now that you know the basics of social media, here are some key takeaways to remember:

  • Social media give power to consumers and make marketing communication go in both directions.
  • It’s important to establish your brand on social networks so you can react promptly to new opportunities and challenges.
  • There are numerous social media platforms to choose from, the most popular ones are Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, YoutTube, and Twitter.
  • When choosing the right platforms, keep in mind your marketing objective, customer personas and the stage of the customer journey.
  • Keep your content relevant, informative, short, and engaging.
  • Constantly monitor your social media accounts with the help of social management tools.
  • Measure the outcomes of social media campaigns, and optimize performance.

Useful links

social media useful links

Content Strategy

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