Social media marketing is constantly evolving, constantly changing, with new social networks popping up, new features being developed, new influencers changing the game. Not only that, but there is so much information out there about social media marketing, that you might not even know for sure who to really believe. In this blog post, I want to share with you 4 top social media marketing resources that will you become a pro.
So, whether you have some experience with social media marketing and simply want to improve your skills further, or whether you are a beginner who wants to get in the game, this list is for you:
The Social Media Lab, by Agorapulse
The Social Media Lab is a very interesting project put together by Agorapulse; the idea behind it is that every month, they pledge to shell out $15k or more per month to invest in testing different social media practices and then sharing the results with the world.
In short, they’re taking all of the headlines we often see online – “Here’s how you can get 100 real Instagram followers in 24 hours!” – and they test them out to see if they’re true, or feasible, or whatever that particular case may be.
In the past, apart from the aforementioned example, they’ve studied whether you can truly increase your Facebook reach by using hashtags in your updates, whether posting with third-party apps impacts your reach on Facebook, or whether you can get more engagement using Twitter cards, versus raw links with images.
You can read their results in the link mentioned above, or, you can listen to their podcast, and then use this knowledge to inform your own social media marketing strategy.
Another very useful podcast is SocialPros, hosted by no other than Jay Bear of Convince and Convert and Adam Brown of Salesforce.
It’s one of the top podcasts out there when it comes to social media marketing; it’s been around for a couple of years now and posting new episodes regularly.
This podcast is particularly useful to those who already have some experience with social media; however, even those with less experience can learn quite a bit. The reason why is because every episode has a top social media marketer taking part in the conversation. Basically, you get to hear from those who are handling social media at companies like Cisco, Ford, Krispy Kreme, and plenty others more.
Every week (more or less), one person is invited to discuss how their company uses social media to promote themselves, how they keep their social media accounts relevant and engaging, how they use social media ads, and much more.
Blueprint eLearning, Facebook
Facebook are constantly looking for ways to help businesses use their platform more effectively; one of the ways they aim to help, is through their Blueprint eLearning program.
It offers a plethora of different online courses and social media lessons on Facebook marketing, as well as a variety of courses that are free to take part in.
They offer courses for help with promoting an app, for learning how to use Instagram, how to make more online sales, and much more – and all created with businesses and marketing agencies in mind.
Alternatively, you can also try their live sessions – they’ve got workshops with Facebook experts in cities all over the world.
You can also get certified if you wish; you can take the exam, but it will cost you – and if you don’t get the certification, you’ll need to pay again.
Analytics: your best weapons
Statistics, and numbers in general can be incredibly helpful tools for social media marketers. Sometimes, it’s the little things that can hinder your success: posting updates at the wrong times, not using the right hashtags, not posting the updates your audience really wants to see, and so on.
But, much of this information is readily available to us; for example, on Instagram, the hashtags you use can make a huge difference – they can help you get more followers, quickly, they can help you get more engagement, a bigger reach. But, you need the right hashtags – the ones your audience is using, the ones they’re searching for or monitoring. To help, you can use a tool that lists popular hashtags, such as Top-Hashtags, or Hashtags for Likes.
The times you post are also quite important; if you’re posting something at 8pm, but most of your fans are online only in the morning, then you’re not going to reach them. Use your social networks’ analytics to see when your fans are online; for example, on Facebook, go to your Page’s Insights, click on “Posts” on the left-hand side, and then you’ll be able to see a chart with how many of your fans are online and any given time of the day.
You should try to use your social media analytics as much as possible; it’s pretty much one of the best educational tools we have at our disposal. When you look at your numbers, you gain a much better understanding of what works and what doesn’t – what gets you results and what brings you nothing in return.
Whether you’re a beginner, or you’re experienced with social media marketing, there’s always more that you need to know – what the latest tools are, what new social networks are teenagers currently using, what is the new trend in content formats. It’s an ever-changing process; but, thankfully, we have all the resources we need available to us, many of them completely free – and highly accessibly, from our phones and tablets.