You may not know that social media was actually started in 1997 with a website called Six Degrees. And here we are, 20 years later, unable to imagine our lives without social media.
Well, at least for the most of us.
Over the past 10 or so years, social media has taken over the world! Okay, maybe that’s a bit dramatic. But if you don’t have a social media account by now, then you are one of the rare few that haven’t caved into this online world.
Social media is great in many ways!
It allows you to stay connected with friends and family by sharing statuses and images of things that you enjoy. But social media is also a great tool to help entrepreneurs, business owners, movers, shakers, and more importantly dreamers, to promote themselves or their business!
With social media, you get the opportunity to connect with your audience on a personal level. You get to create an image for your brand. And you get to make yourself personable and rememberable so that your audience sticks around for more!
And today, I want to talk to you about all of that and then some.
So settle in because this post is filled with high-quality information about social media for beginners, like YOU!
Whether you want to admit it or not, your audience is on social media. Plain and simple.
It doesn’t matter if you want to target young teens or retired couples, they are active on social media. Maybe not on the same channels, but they are still using social media on a regular basis.
Let me throw some quick facts your way:
Social media is a powerhouse and is impossible to ignore! So if you want to reach your audience then it’s time to take a step on the wild side and dive deep into the world of social media.
But before you run to your favorite channel and set up an account, make sure you keep reading so you can set yourself up for success.
One of the common misconceptions about social media is that you need an account on every channel, but that is far from true!
When you have this mindset, you aren’t setting yourself up for success. Actually, you set yourself up for almost instant failure!
Because the thing is, your audience isn’t active on every social media channel. They are more likely to only select a few that they enjoy. For example, Instagram and Snapchat have a higher population of younger users, while Facebook is used by a wide variety of age groups.
So before you decide to dive all into social media and set up an account on each channel, think of your audience.
Now, your audience is extremely important! But it is also important to think about what content you want to create. Your audience could have a strong presence on YouTube but if you don’t have the right filming equipment or interest in making videos, then what the heck is the point?!
It would be smarter for you to pick another channel that fits your content needs.
And in the end, you should only be present on 2 or 3 social media platforms! If you are really good, and understand a wide variety of platforms and create unique content for each, then go ahead and create an account on 4 different channels. But don’t overwhelm yourself.
Once you get overwhelmed, you are most likely to stop posting. And when you do this, you let your accounts turn into a social media ghostland! And this is by far the last thing you want to do!
Once you know what social media channels you need to be present on, you need to create an account that will kick some major booty!
Setting up your social media account is super easy, no matter what platform you are on. But there are some important areas that you need to focus on once you have an account created.
Each social media channel is different. And that includes the images that are attached to your profile. For Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube, you get to set a profile photo and a cover photo. But for Instagram and Pinterest, you just have a profile picture.
So when it comes to each channel, they are all slightly different when it comes to their best standards and sizing for photos.
But a general rule is to have your profile picture the same on each social media channel! So your photo on Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram should all be the same! And then what you do with your cover photo option is up to you!
Always make sure that both of these photos are high quality and are the appropriate size for the platform! There is nothing worse than a grainy image or a cropped of head/logo.
Your account name and account handle is extremely important! And like I said before, it changes for each social media channel.
For your account handle, it should be the same across the board. So for my Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter, you can find The Content Bug @thecontentbug. Super simple! And guess what, my profile pic is the same across all channels too.
When you do this, there are no questions about if an account is owned by you or not. Making it easier for users to find you!
Now, when it comes to your account name, this changes for each social media channel. Some say that you need to include your name and your specialty. While others only want you to include your name.
So pay attention to the different standards! The best thing to do is to check out other accounts. What are they doing? What works and what doesn’t work?
This is a great base to get you started!
And before we wrap up this section about your account set up, I have 1 more thing to tell you: Don’t be afraid to change your account settings from time to time.
Social media changes on a regular basis! And the standards of what is acceptable and what works changes frequently. So feel free to change your account bio or profile picture to meet those standards. But DO NOT change your account handle! You should only change your account handle if you go through rebranding. Otherwise, keep it the same!
Whether you are a blogger or business owner, it might be a good time for you to consider a business account. Now, not every social media channel has a business option.
If you want to use Facebook, then you need to get a Facebook Page specific to you or your business. Not your account profile!
If you want to use Twitter, then you need to set up a Twitter account that is specific to you or your business. This needs to be separate from your personal account! If you are a blogger, then you can get away with your personal account. But if you own a business and want a business account, then you need to create a new account! Don’t just try to transition yours into your business account. That doesn’t work out well.
If you want an Instagram or a Pinterest account, then you can either create a personal account or a business account! But I would highly recommend that you get a business profile on either or both of these.
There are many benefits to a business account. But the main difference is that you gain access to your analytics. So you can see who your audience is, what posts they engage with most and more on both of these channels!
With access to these analytics, you gain access to a lot of information that you need to better understand your audience and how to create more content that they will love!
Plus, coming soon to Instagram, if you have a business account, then you will be able to add links to your Instagram Stories! This is currently only available to verified accounts, but it’s coming!
Social media may seem like it is all fun and games, but you can really use social media to your advantage! You can use it to drive traffic to your website or promote a recent product launch. And this can be done by simply posting or by creating ads on social media platforms!
But how do you measure your return-on-investment in your social media efforts?
Well, that’s where you analytics come into play.
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and other social media channels give you analytics with your account! This means that you can track what is working and what isn’t working.
If you notice that all of your engagement comes from similar posts, then continue to create that type of content! And if you notice that other posts fall behind in engagement, then stop sharing them!
It’s that simple. And once you get into the flow, then you really understand your ROI.
But the key is that you understand what your goal is. Do you want to drive more traffic with your Twitter account?
Well, then you need to amp up your Twitter efforts and watch your Google Analytics to see if there are any leads from Twitter coming in. If there isn’t, then you need to rethink your strategy.
Measuring your ROI in your social media efforts is unique to you and your business. So set a goal from the beginning and determine what analytic measures will determine if you are getting a return on your efforts.
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Why, hello there! I’m Cathrin, the creator of The Content Bug. But since we are already virtual best friends, you can call me Cath. After working in the digital marketing industry, I decided it was time to share my love for online content creation, social media, and SEO with the everyday hustlers of the world… like YOU! You can almost always find me at a local coffee shop writing, reading and working on new things for The Content Bug. But when I have some free time, I love hanging out with my dog, going to a yoga class, and being outside. Stay connected with me on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter to see what I’m up to!