15 Simple Social Media Marketing Tips for Absolute Beginners

Do your social media updates get a lot of shares, comments, and clicks? And do they drive a lot of traffic back to your blog?

Perhaps not…

Maybe you get very few interactions and referral traffic from social media. Worse still, perhaps your social posts go completely unnoticed.

If you’re just starting out with social media or if you’ve been struggling with your social content’s performance, then this post is for you.

Here, you’ll learn how to optimize your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn profiles and content to get visible results. Not only that, you’ll also learn how to use these top social networks to drive more traffic back to your blog.

Ready? Let’s begin!

Facebook marketing

Facebook = King of social media?

Facebook = King of social media?

Facebook has 1,870 million active users, making it the most popular social media platform. Thanks to its enormous reach, Facebook lets you tap into a huge section of your target audience.

And it doesn’t matter whether you run a gardening tools business or a simple blog on gardening, you can use Facebook to drive traffic and leads to your website.

Here are 3 actionable strategies to turbo-charge your Facebook marketing:

Tip #1. Learn how to write a good Facebook post

This might sound like a really basic tip, but a lot of people don’t get how to write an engaging Facebook post. A ‘perfect’ Facebook post — as Buffer puts it — is:

  • a link
  • is brief—40 characters or fewer, if you can swing it
  • gets published at non-peak times
  • follows other posts on a regular schedule
  • timely and newsworthy

As you can see, writing a Facebook post that connects needs some thought and work into the content, timing, and length.

But if you put in the effort, you’ll notice your posts getting more clicks, likes, and shares.

If you’re specifically looking to generate more comments, use the following Facebook post formats from HubSpot (quoting HubSpot):

  • Asking a question. It can be relevant to your product, your audience’s profession or their lifestyle (such as “Blue/black or white/gold?)
  • Fill-in-the-blank statements. Posting a statement asking for a specific response (such as, “The one thing I can’t live without at work is ________.”)
  • Photo caption. Posting a photo (or video) and asking for a funny (or relevant) caption is a great way to get user engagement. (#captionthis #photocaption)
  • A, B, or C options. Posting a statement or photo and asking people which option they agree with. (“If your coworker misses a deadline that affects your delivery, would you rather: A) pick up the slack B) call him out on it C) tell your mom).

As you can see, these posts are aimed at drawing more comments.

So that’s about writing a great Facebook post. But that’s not all. When posting on Facebook, make sure that you don’t keep posting and re-posting stories just from your blog.

If you do this, you’ll soon run out of stories, and when a user checks your page, they’ll notice a lot of repeat content, which can turn them off.

To avoid this, you need to share a fresh stream of stories from not just your own blog but from various other related blogs.

To develop such a stream of fresh ideas:

  • Make a list of sites in your niche that publish great content
  • Follow them on Facebook
  • Reshare their content with your followers (who knows even they might start sharing some of your content)

This way, your Facebook followers will like you even more for curating and sharing useful, engaging stories from the best sources.

Now, sourcing stories could sound like a lot of work, but there’s help. You can use a free tool like DrumUp to curate interesting stories for you. DrumUp uses your keywords to find relevant stories that you can share.

But:

Remember to moderate the stories curated by such tools because they rely on algorithms for finding articles, which may not be 100% accurate. While a lot of stories would be relevant, some complete offs could also be suggested.

Tip #2. Fix your page

whsr-facebook-check

A rookie mistake that people make with Facebook marketing is NOT setting up their Facebook page properly.

A Facebook business page is just like your website’s homepage on Facebook. So, don’t keep it bare on content. Use it to inspire people to follow you.

To start with, you’ll need:

  • A great profile picture and a cover photo
  • A call-to-action
  • An engaging about section
  • A pinned post

If you don’t have these in place, add them now.

Further, to diagnose some of the high-level issues with your Facebook page, analyze it with a free tool like Likealyzer. Likealyzer analyzes a Facebook page and gives actionable insights for improvement.

When I ran the Facebook page analysis one of my other projects (Web Hosting Secret Revealed) through Likealyzer, I got optimization suggestions as you can see in image on your right.

As you can see, these are both suggestions that I can work on.

To get similar improvement recommendations for your Facebook page, run it through Likealyzer. And then act on the suggestions.

Tip #3. Test. Test. Test.

The best way to optimize your Facebook marketing results is to run tests.

And no — I’m not asking you to buy costly tools to do so.

Just test all the ingredients of your post.

For example, you could experiment with your post’s copy and it’s tone and timing.

You could even try an entirely different publishing frequency. So, if you currently post 3 times a week, you could try ramping it up to 6 times, and see if you get more likes, comments, or clicks.

Or, try a different style of images.

If you need inspiration for test ideas, check out the various tests Buffer performed with its Facebook marketing.

Twitter marketing

With 319 million monthly active users, Twitter grabs the third spot when it comes to social media.

Twitter might not be great traffic-generation wise, but it sure is a great platform for starting conversations with your readers and for connecting with influencers.

To get better results with Twitter, try the following Twitter marketing hacks:

Tip #4. Learn how to write a good tweet

Your success on Twitter depends on how well you twee, i.e., how you write your tweet, how often you tweet, and the times at which you post your tweet.

A basic tweet is simple to write.

In its post that gives 12 tweet templates, HubSpot describes the following tweet as the easiest template for tweeting:

[ARTICLE TITLE]: http://url.com #hashtag by @TwitterHandle

It’s pretty self-explanatory. But you might want to take care of the following:

  • Always remember to shorten a URL before sharing – this will save you several characters. Use a tool like Bitly.
  • Use 2 hashtags instead of 1; choose the hashtags carefully

Once you’ve learned the basics of writing a tweet, you should think about getting more retweets.

Unfortunately, there’s no template for writing tweets that get retweeted, but there are some simple tweaks you can make.

For example, Adweek found that adding an exclamation point to a tweet got them double the retweets than those without the exclamation point!

And according to Twitter, adding photos to tweets result in an average 35% boost in retweets.

Because there’s no definitive answer, you need to experiment with your tweets and see how your followers respond. If you notice a certain style of images or tweets doing well for them, then post more of those. You can only find out by trying.

Also, for every post you write, write at least 5 variations of tweets and schedule each for different times. This way, your tweets will reach more people and drive more traffic to your blog. You’ll also eventually learn what types of tweets do well.

Tip #5. Use the right hashtags

Think of hashtags as social media keywords.

On an average, tweets with hashtags get 2X more engagement than tweets without hashtags.

So use hashtags in all your tweets. But don’t overdo it because the same research states that using more than 2 hashtags in a tweet brings down the engagement rate by 17%. So, stick to 2 hashtags/tweet.

But that still leaves us with the question of finding the right hashtags to use in a tweet (or in any other social media network for that matter!). But Ben Teo has written an excellent guide for identifying the right hashtags. Basically, he suggests:

  1. Identify the Hashtags of Influencers
  2. Use Starter List of Hashtags to Identify Related Hashtags
  3. Gauge the Relevance of Your Hashtags

(Read the full guide for detailed implementation steps.)

Tip #6. Craft a great Twitter Bio

As I said before, Twitter is a great platform for connecting with influencers. So when they start noticing you retweeting them or engaging with them, the first thing they’ll see is your Twitter profile. Your potential followers too will check out your profile before deciding to follow you.

So work on your Twitter profile and make it amazing.

Just like Facebook, even here you’ll need two great images: a profile pic and a cover photo.

After the images, the next most important thing on your Twitter profile is your author bio.

When it comes to the bio, the best tactic is to keep it simple and to-the-point. Simply state what your business or your blog does. And that will do. Feel free to use a relevant keyword as a hashtag if it makes sense.

Syed Balkhi on Twitter (@syedbalkhi)

Syed Balkhi on Twitter (@syedbalkhi)

Michael Pozdnev on Twitter (@Mpozdnev)

Michael Pozdnev on Twitter (@Mpozdnev)

Tip: Avoid using a string of hashtags. It might read cute, but it doesn’t tell your story to the person reading your bio.

Also, if you’ve a very important resource, try pinning it on top of your Twitter profile. This is an excellent way to point visitors to your best content and motivate them to follow you.

To get ideas for making the most of the 160-character bio on Twitter, use these Twitter bio examples and tips that Christina Newberry from Hootsuite shares.

Instagram marketing

Facebook-owned photo-sharing media platform, Instagram has more than 600 million active users.

Instagram marketing is especially popular with online stores and B2C companies because they use it to get their customers/consumers/followers to snap pics or selfies with their products and share. This is a great way of generating some user-generated content.

But even you can share your blog photos and graphics to build a following on Instagram. Here are 3 ways you can supercharge your Instagram marketing:

Tip #7. Use lots of hashtags

Unlike Twitter, you don’t have to cap the use of hashtags to just 2 per post.

Research shows that the more hashtags you use, the more likes you get. In fact, Software QA Engineer, Max Woolf, found that:

“Instagram photos which have the maximum of 30 #tags receive, on average, about three times as many Likes than photos with only a few tags.”

Source: Maxtography

Source: Maxtography

TrackMaven too backs this finding. According to TrackMaven, Instagram posts with 9 hashtags get the best engagement.

Now I can understand if you balk at the idea of using so many hashtags. However, you could easily try for anything between 5-10, right.

To find the hashtags to use, go back to the method for the Twitter hashtag search. Most hashtag discovery tactics and tools work similarly for all social media platforms.

Tip #8. Create a branding guide (or post consistent images)

Because Instagram is a visual medium, it lets you express your brand personality with your posts. So make sure that you send out a consistent message.

Instagram specialist Ariel Rule has given some brilliant tips for creating a practical image guide for Instagram in this actionable post. Check it out and create a similar system for your blog.

Tip #9. Even if you run a B2B business, don’t strike out Instagram

B2B brands that are rocking Instagram.

Boeing and UBS – the two B2B brands that are rocking Instagram.

A lot of B2B companies discard Instagram. They think it’s too B2C to be of any use to them. But WordStream’s Margot da Cunha makes a great case for B2B companies to get on Instagram.

She tells that being on Instagram and posting pics from work helps in:

“[]…  strengthening the relationship with their customer, showcasing that their customer is indeed a happy customer (listen up leads!) and giving a personalized human touch to their business (yes, there are real people behind their marketing software machine).”

She quotes the example of a SaaS company, HubSpot, and tells how it offers engagement on Instagram despite being a B2B firm.

Pinterest marketing

With 150 million active users — with the majority being women followers— Pinterest is a go-to social media platform for lovers of the visual medium.

A lot of blogs now use tools like Canva to create blog graphics and posters and add it to their posts. Further, they make these graphics pinnable, so their blog readers can share it on Pinterest. Beautiful, pinnable graphics are a great way of growing a blog’s Pinterest footprint. Once you start growing a following, your Pinterest profile will start showing up at the top when people search for your target keywords on Pinterest.

To get more visibility on Pinterest, try these 3 savvy Pinterest marketing tips.

Tip #10. Learn how to write great pin descriptions

While Pinterest is primarily a visual medium, you do get to add text to describe your pins to make them search-friendly.

Pinterest suggests:

The best descriptions are positive, helping people imagine what they might do with the Pin while also providing extra information.

Whether it’s writing a keyword-rich description for your individual pins or your pin boards, take some time to find and use the words that people might use to search for your content on Pinterest.

Also, be mindful of how you categorize the pins, i.e., use pin boards thoughtfully. Branding specialist Lindsay Goldner categorizes her pins in a very systematic manner, so her followers can see a good sampling of what she shares on Pinterest:

lindsay

Tip #11. Create a style guide

Just like Instagram, Pinterest too helps your brand shine through the visuals or images that you share. Which makes it important to design consistent visuals – or your brand can lose its personality.

Pinterest marketing tool Tailwind gives the following 4 tips to make your Pinterest visuals consistent:

  • Add your logo and/branding to images so people can recognize your Pins
  • Stick with a tight color palette with two or three main brand colors
  • Use the same fonts each time
  • Find a style of photos that fits your brand

Tip #12. Offer a freebie (to drive email signups)

Melanie Duncan of Entrepreneur Academy uses Pinterest to get email subscribers. Duncan suggests a simple method of creating a freebie, pinning it, and then leading people from that pin to a squeeze page.

Duncan also goes ahead and suggests some freebie ideas:

Coupon codes

Ebooks

Checklists – Duncan says checklists are particularly effective on Pinterest.

Guides

Video series – If you’re camera shy, Duncan says to use ScreenFlow for a Mac or Camtasia for a PC

Online trainings

Google Hangouts – You don’t have to sign up for a Google hangout, but create a sign up page for it anyway!

Webinars

So, see if you can create one of these freebies and show it to all the people who discover you on Pinterest. If they like it, they’ll likely land on your blog, and there’s a good chance they’ll subscribe.

Related reading: Pinterest marketing guide to increase blog traffic.

LinkedIn marketing

LinkedIn —the biggest B2B (business-to-business) social media platform — has 467 million active users.

Generally, you won’t talk about LinkedIn in the context of growing your blog. LinkedIn is more about growing your business (rather than blog). This is so because LinkedIn gives you the platform for connecting directly with your prospects.

So if offer B2B services or a product and your target readers are specific positions in companies, for example, a company’s marketing director or VP of sales, then you can use LinkedIn to reach out to them.

Econsultancy reported that LinkedIn brings in “64% of all visits from social media channels to corporate websites,” Its study was based on the referral traffic to 2m corporate websites.

Notice that we aren’t talking about a ‘blog’ but a ‘corporate’ website.

visit-corp-blog

If you’ve a B2B business or blog, try these 3 tactics to amp up your LinkedIn marketing:

Tip #13. Create a great LinkedIn profile

When you start with LinkedIn, pay special attention to your profile because it’s your most important asset on the platform.

To entice more people to visit your website, follow the best practices for completing your LinkedIn profile. This infographic from True Conversion is a great cheat sheet for writing a winning LinkedIn profile (It’s the best I’ve seen!).

So check it out and follow each instruction to create a complete profile.

Tip #14. Join targeted groups

Traffic-wise, LinkedIn groups aren’t so effective now. But even though participating in them doesn’t bring much traffic, they’re still great means for connecting with your target audience.

So if you’ve a website speed analyzer/optimizer tool, you can check out various LinkedIn groups that care about website speed and optimization. All the members of such groups could be your potential customers.

Once you join a group, you can send direct messages to (about 15) people in it. Who knows one of these persons could convert!

Besides, if you’re connected with someone via a common group, you’re seen as a second connection to that person, which can boost your visibility.

Viveka von Rosen (author of “LinkedIn Marketing: Hour A Day”) shows some great search hacks for finding prospects in LinkedIn groups in this post.

Tip #15. Publishing (or republishing) on LinkedIn

With LinkedIn’s publishing platform, you can now post your content directly on LinkedIn. You can also re-publish the content you post on your blog on LinkedIn. If you look at the influencers in your niche, you’ll probably find that they’re already publishing on LinkedIn. That’s because LinkedIn helps people position themselves as thought leaders in their niches.

But not all posts do equally well. In fact, Search marketer, Paul Shapiro analyzed the top 3000 Linked posts and deconstructed the characteristics of a successful LinkedIn post. He found them to have:

  • Titles between 40 and 49 characters long
  • Lots of images (the most shared posts had 8 images!)
  • The classic ‘How-to’ format
  • 1,900 to 2,000 words (with about 5 sections)

Before starting to write, read up the full research findings to learn how you can write a LinkedIn post that will connect with your target audience.

What the experts say

Meghan Monaghan, a content, and marketing consultant points out the key on social media marketing, “Social media marketing is effective at building relationships online and nurturing the know, like, and trust factor with your audience.”

Monaghan, also the CEO and Co-founder at Smart Bird Social, shares with us the tips she wishes she knew when first starting out,

meghan-monaghan

These are the tips I wish I knew when first starting out:

 

  • Don’t try to be everywhere. Start with one platform to avoid getting overwhelmed.
  • Social media is really another avenue for content marketing. Create relevant and valuable content that attracts your ideal avatar.
  • People want authenticity. Get a little personal now and then! After all, it’s meant to be “social.”
  • Pushy, direct sales messages repel people. Instead, drive traffic from social media to your website and into your sales funnels.
  • Social media marketing’s biggest impact comes from consistency, awesome content, and engagement. Doing one of these three things works; doing all three maximizes your results!

 

If you expect social media to be the holy grail for your business, Monaghan shares her thoughts on the truth about social media marketing. You should have a look.

Maddy Osman, a social media content marketer, and blogger share with us her social media marketing tips for beginners,

maddy-osman

If you’re just getting started with social media marketing, the following can be useful in getting off on the right foot:

 

  • Pick 2-3 social networks to post on until you get things right. Keep it simple so you can establish good habits. That said, go ahead and claim profiles on other networks you eventually want to be active on, before anyone else!
  •  Post consistently. Once a day or a few times a week is enough to show people that you’re actually using your chosen profiles. Make sure to also answer consistently if people are using your profiles to communicate with you. A social media scheduling tool like Buffer, Hootsuite, or Sprout Social can help you batch out content creation and aid in consistency.
  • If you don’t have the time or energy to make original content, curate it. Share relevant articles with thought leaders in your industry. Make sure to tag them and you might get additional reach if they decide to share your posts!

 

You can find Maddy on www.the-blogsmith.com

I have reached out to the founder of IntNetworkPlus, Marina Barayeva, she mentioned that “When you are just starting out and want to have the outcome from social media right away, then create the ads. But then they will be more like the cold calls for people.”

Marina, also an expert in marketing for entrepreneurs, added “If you think about the long-term usage of social media, then focus on building the community. Your core is to become the source of useful information around your subject. Also, look for the ways to get in touch with people.” She suggests,

marina-barayeva

  • Engage with them with some creativity:
    • Start the conversations by asking the open-ended question.
    • Give two options and ask to choose the one they like.
    • Ask their opinion, etc
  • Another good way to connect to people is to tag them when you share their content. Be open to collaboration and give before asking for something.
  • Repurpose content between social media networks and use more visuals.

 

Do that on your account as well as on other accounts who have the same audience. Don’t spam trying to sell your stuff, look for the ways to be helpful.

 

The key point on social media is actually being social and useful for people there. It develops your authority and trust to you and your business.

“Ivana Taylor, the founder of DIYMarketer, has shared with us the essential tips to kick start your social media marketing, “Whether you’re a social media beginner or just a beginner on a platform that you’ve never used for your business, take the first 30 days to visit the platform at least 15 minutes a day. ”

Ivana also added,

ivana-taylor

  • Craft your profile description so that it speaks to your target customer in a warm, engaging and friendly way.
  • Be professional while letting your personality shine through.
  • Then take time to “Listen”. Listening means reading the posts, paying attention to what others are posting and which posts are the most successful.
  • Look for opportunities to engage in conversation and start searching people to follow in your niche.
  • Focus on conversations and converting your digital relationships into an email, phone call or face to face meeting.

 

You can find Ivana Taylor on diymarketers.com

Jacob Whitmore has a unique point of view in social media marketing tips, “My best tip would be just trying lots of different social media marketing techniques!”

Jacob, also the owner of BloggingTitan and WhitoMedia, believes,

If you experiment and try you are more than likely find a technique that will work very well for you. Also, read and watch lots, you are what you consume.

 

WhitoMedia – An influencer marketing and video production agency.

Wrapping it up

So there you have ‘em. All the tips you need to launch or take your social media marketing game to the next level.

But you’re probably wondering…

What’s the social platform I should start with?” Or “What’s the only social media platform I should focus on?

Great questions.

And the answer (to both of them) is:

Start with (or focus on) the social media platform where your audience is the most active.

So … If you run a B2B business, start with LinkedIn because that’s where your potential customers of C-suite executives hang out. Likewise, if you run a hand-made jewelry business, go for Pinterest, because Pinterest has a women-dominated following.

Understanding your audience demographic can be very helpful here. This resource lists some excellent social media audience demographic information and tells who uses the different social media networks. Just match your user profile against the social media user profiles, and choose the platform with the best overlap.

You can get remarkable results from social media if you only learn to write better social posts, share engaging stories with your followers, and adjust the posting frequency/timing.

But:

Don’t forget that the most important thing when it comes to social media is networking. So think networking and not sales. Sales will follow eventually. .

To post good stuff consistently, develop a social media content sharing calendar. HubSpot is giving away one for free here. Plus, sign up for a free social media scheduling tool like Buffer and Hootsuite. Also, add a browser extension of these when you sign up. This will help you share interesting stories with a single click.

Well, that’s it.

You now have all the tips, tools, and resources to start with social media. So get going! If you’ve any questions about any social media platform, just let me know in the comments, and I’ll be happy to help.