The basics: 30 social media marketing tips for beginners

Just getting started with Facebook or Twitter, or just launching a blog (or know someone in this situation)? Here’s a primer with a handy ‘cheat sheet.’

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I love when I see friends and co-workers hopping aboard and starting to embrace social media as a regular part of their work or personal lives. Because many people are still learning, some insider tips are helpful and crucial to their effectiveness on their social media channels. Here is a bevy of tips, plus a bonus “cheat sheet” SlideShare deck. Facebook 1. A fan page is for your company Facebook page; a profile page is for your personal page. Remember the difference, or Facebook will shut your page down. That would be a major “fail.” 2. Use the real estate available to you: Put up a great profile pic, have a bio, and add links to your other sites. 3. Add pictures. Pictures enable people to see what your brand is about and realize it’s more than just a “logo.” Upload pictures from events, conferences, demos, and just the regular everyday awesomeness in your office. 4. Be human! Don’t just post, post, post. No one wants to hear all about you, all the time. Ask questions, reply, and talk as you would in everyday life. 5. Share other people’s posts. Engage and demonstrate that you value content and opinions from others, too. 6. Connect your platforms. Did you write a blog post? Have it automatically post on your Facebook page so others can have access to it easily and quickly. 7. Have contests or other exciting giveaways or events, which encourage both online and offline participation with your brand via Facebook. 8. Update regularly, not occasionally. Fans grow accustomed to the regularity of posts; they will fall off your loyal fan wagon if you don’t keep up. 9. Use Facebook Insights to monitor your success with your fans and to see why and when your fans’ activity increases or decreases. It’s helpful for future campaigns and promotions. 10. Be relevant. Post content that provides value to your target audience, but also add some fun stuff, too. The 80/20 rule is a great way to start out: That’s 80 percent relevant content, 20 percent fun stuff. As seen below, Laughing Cow Cheese is always a great example of engagement, being human, and providing great relevant content on a consistent basis. Twitter 1. Get a Twitter handle as simple and close to the name of you or your brand as possible. Refrain from names like Tommy9373, because no one will remember it. 2. Again, use your real estate wisely. Have a relevant 140-character bio that catches the eye of your target audience; use a great picture for your profile, and because some people use versus Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, etc., make sure your Twitter background is up to par as well. 3. Be polite. Don’t just blast out information. Twitter is a place for all of us to share, listen, chat together, and engage with one another. Remember: The words “please” and “thank you” are just as welcome in this space. 4. Listen first; talk second. Set up columns in your Twitter apps, such as Tweetdeck or Hootsuite, to listen to your target audience easier and better. For example, have separate columns for clients, prospects, competition, etc. 5. Use hashtags for events, conferences, products, etc., to promote more and listen better to the things people are saying about your brand, product, event, and so on. 6. Retweet other people’s updates. It’s not all about your own content and opinion. 7. Give credit where credit is due when curating other people’s content. 8. Use a link shortener. It’s there to help you say more in this 140-character world. 9. Share links, photos, videos, and more. Don’t limit yourself to articles and blog posts. 10. Follow back! Don’t be too cool to follow, because on Twitter we’re all a little nerdy. Lululemon is a great example of a brand that knows how to retweet, ask questions, engage, and truly show its followers that it cares about each of them and what they have to say. Blogging 1. Create a strategy for the content you would like to cover in your blog. Focus on your marketing strategy and the value you would like to provide your target audience. This will help you avoid many of the common blogging mistakes. 2. Have an editorial calendar to keep track of topics, bloggers, and deadlines. 3. Invite guest bloggers to write posts. They will add some spice to your regular content. 4. Post regularly or people forget you have a blog. 5. Make sure your “share” buttons are easily visible so people can tweet, share, and like your posts. 6. Put the “subscribe” buttons in a place where they won’t get lost. That way people can click and subscribe quickly and easily. 7. Allow people to comment on your posts. Monitor them closely if you want to approve the comments before they’re made public. 8. Including headings, subheadings, and list posts capture people’s attention. They’re easier to read than long paragraph after long paragraph. 9. Add visual stimulation with videos, embeds, pictures, graphs, and the like. 10. Show off your voice. Make it yours. Don’t be afraid to add a little pizzazz! The Purse Blog is unique and visually stimulating with its pictures and posts. Worried you’re going to forget some of these useful tips? Don’t fret. Check out my “cheat sheet” below and feel free to download, print, and keep handy while you share, tweet, and write your awesome blog posts!

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