Social Media Marketing For Dummies book cover

Social Media Marketing For Dummies

Authors:
Stephanie Diamond ,
Shiv Singh
Published: February 11, 2020

Overview

Make friends and sell things to people through social media 

Social media technology is restlessly inventive, providing thousands of awesome ways for you to market your business inexpensively and on a large scale—often directly into the pockets of consumers. But in the proliferating, ever-changing world of tweets, influencers, handles, and alerts, it can be hard to know where to begin and then to evaluate what’s actually working for you. In the new edition of Social Media Marketing for Dummies, leading SMM voices Shiv Singh and Stephanie Diamond clear away the confusion and show you the smartest, most effective ways to plan, launch, manage, and assess your campaigns—and then iterate and optimize for increased success.

Incorporating the latest trends and presented in a friendly, easily digestible step-by-step style, you’ll find the ultimate blueprint for developing your best SMM strategy. In no time, you’ll find out how to line up with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Google, develop a unique and compelling voice, and influence your key audience all the way to the bank.

  • Choose the best SMM combination for you
  • Avoid common mistakes and pitfalls
  • Track your customers from awareness to retention
  • Try out the latest stuff that really works

Whether your organization is large or small, it simply doesn’t pay to be shy. Find your voice, get social, and chat your way to attracting and keeping new customers today!

Make friends and sell things to people through social media 

Social media technology is restlessly inventive, providing thousands of awesome ways for you to market your business inexpensively and on a large scale—often directly into the pockets of consumers. But in the proliferating, ever-changing world of tweets, influencers, handles, and alerts, it can be hard to know where to begin and then to evaluate what’s actually working for you. In the new edition of Social Media Marketing for Dummies, leading SMM voices Shiv Singh and Stephanie Diamond clear away the confusion and show you the smartest, most effective ways to plan, launch, manage, and assess your campaigns—and then iterate and optimize for increased success.

Incorporating the latest trends and presented in a friendly, easily digestible step-by-step style, you’ll find the ultimate blueprint for developing your best SMM strategy. In no time, you’ll find out how to line up with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Google, develop a unique and compelling voice, and influence your key audience all the way to the bank.

  • Choose the best SMM combination for you
  • Avoid common mistakes and pitfalls
  • Track your customers from awareness to retention
  • Try out the latest stuff that really works

Whether your organization is large or small, it simply doesn’t pay to be shy. Find your voice, get social, and chat your way to attracting and keeping new customers today!

Social Media Marketing For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, present unique marketing opportunities. To make the most of social media marketing, you should begin by exploring the online social media sites and see how things are done. Next, you need to zero in on your niche and target your market. After you've done that, you will be able to run a successful online campaign and measure the results. [caption id="attachment_268247" align="alignnone" width="556"] ©Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock.com[/caption]

Articles From The Book

5 results

Marketing Articles

Social Media Marketing Tips for Reddit.com

Reddit is a community discussion and rating platform where participants vote content up and down. It was founded by Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman in 2005. It calls itself the “front page of the internet” and lives up to that billing; Alexa ranks it as the sixth most visited site in the U.S. You can submit blog posts, images, audio, and original content. In fact, there is a separate link for original content on the front page.

According to Statista in 2017, the Reddit audience skews male (sixty-nine percent), and the majority were in the 18–29 age range (fifty-eight percent). If this is your audience, you need to look into what’s being shared here.

Marketing on Reddit

Should your company consider joining Reddit to become one of its “Redditors”? That depends on how much you want to spend time digging deeper and connecting with your niche audience. It’s likely that there’s an audience online that is discussing your topic. According to Statista, Reddit has:
  • Five hundred and forty-two million monthly visitors; two hundred thirty-four million unique users) as of March 2019
  • Over one hundred and thirty-eight thousand active communities
  • Almost 1.6 billion visits to their online forum (from February 2018 to April 2019)
Reddit has gotten the interest of brands because it has a mass audience and marketers are eager to grab their attention. But, not surprisingly, marketing behavior is virtually shunned on Reddit. Therefore, figuring out the best way to participate as a company takes time and effort.

Determine whether you have the time to spend learning the rules and determine the best way to join the conversation. You don’t want to associate your company with inappropriate content and be banned.

To avoid being banned from Reddit, think about the following:
  • You first goal is to understand the lay of the land. You want to find subreddits (threads) hat have content related to your business topic and determine how you want to participate in discussions.
  • Think about adding value by doing things like answering questions. If you act like a marketer who only talks about their products, you won’t be welcome. You want to develop a community and serve them well.
  • See how content is presented. Make sure not to use cheesy headlines or clickbait. The administrators can ban you.

Setting up on Reddit

To join Reddit, you have to register and verify your account. Here are a few important things to note:
  • Username: You can’t change your username after you pick one, so give careful thought to your choice ahead of time.
  • Rules: After your account is verified, you receive a welcome letter from Reddit that outlines acceptable behavior (reddiquette).
  • Subscriptions: Reddit automatically subscribes you to fifty of the most popular subreddits when you join. Communities on Reddit are called subreddits. You can keep or delete them as you choose. All subreddits names start this way: reddit.com/r/ name.
  • Premium: You can subscribe to a premium version of Reddit for $5.99 a month. This gives you an ad-free version, access to the r/lounge community, and seven hundred coins to spend each month. Coins are virtual tokens that can be used to show the writer of the content that their contribution is exemplary.
  • Account: To view your account as others see it, go to your account.
  • Search: To search subreddits type a term related to your business.

To keep up on the latest communities, you can find new subreddits as they are created.

Knowing Reddit lingo

When you join any community, it’s helpful to know the special terms used by its members. As a marketer, here are two you should know:
  • Karma points: Karma points are earned by upvotes to your posts or comments. This is your currency. Other users can judge you by this, so pay attention to this metric.
  • Shadow ban: If you violate the rules you may be shadow banned by the administrators. This means that no one else can see your account although you think your account looks fine.

Analyzing Reddit content

One of the reasons for participating on Reddit is to see the kinds of things others in your communities are writing about and how they’re using it. Here are two free/paid tools you can use to analyze subreddits users and determine how well your content is performing:
  • Snoopsnoo is a free tool that lets you look at other member profiles to see how they’re using Reddit. You can see such things as how long they have been on the site, how long it’s been between postings, and their karma scores.
  • TrackReddit is a tracking tool that lets you set up alerts for topics (two are free). For example, you can monitor what’s being said on Reddit about a brand name or person.

Marketing Articles

Social Media Marketing with TikTok

Looking for something new in social media? Are you a brand hoping to attract attention from a teen audience? If so, you may want to check out TikTok. In 2017 ByteDance, a Chinese Internet company, introduced a new social media video-sharing app called TikTok. In 2018 ByteDance bought Musical.ly that had a substantial U.S. based audience and merged it with TikTok and gaining a presence among Americans. Forty-one percent of TikTok’s audience is between the ages of 16 and 24 (Global web Index, 2018).

Getting in on the TikTok action

Although the platform may be new to you, TikTok was the most downloaded app in the Apple App Store in the first half of 2018 — one billion downloads (CNBC Sensor/Tower) worldwide, which surpasses downloads of platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook. Currently, it has more than five hundred million monthly active users.

Interested in exploring the app? You can download it free from the App Store and at Google Play. You’ll want to look around and see the types of content that are successful.

So, what is TikTok? It’s a video sharing app on which users create fifteen second videos that play on a loop with music tracks. The videos are largely made up of lip-synching, stunts, pets doing tricks, and other humorous music-backed content. The app supplies tools to create something unique and fun.

Experimenting with TikTok

If you think that major companies aren’t interested in an app such as TikTok, you forget that five hundred million monthly users are a lot of eyeballs. Companies like Guess, Chipotle, and even the Washington Post are experimenting with this new social media app. Of particular interest to brands is the Challenges tab. Companies are trying out challenges that relate to their products. A challenge asks the reader to participate in a themed action. For example, in 2018, Guess a fashion brand, partnered with TikTok to create TikTok’s first branded content challenge using the hashtag #InMyDenim. Guess asked popular fashion influencers on the channel to create content and asked users to take photos of how they looked in their new denim line. So how did it go? Guess considers the campaign a great success with thirty-four million views and lots of attention to their product.

If you want to reach this Gen Z audience, research carefully and see what others are doing. This is an audience that will let you know if you’re missing the mark!

Marketing Articles

How to Practice Socially Responsible Marketing on Social Media

In addition to thinking about your commitment to different stakeholders beyond your customers, consider what it means to be a socially responsible marketer. Fundamentally, socially responsible marketing is defined as taking moral actions that encourage a positive impact on all the company’s stakeholders from the customers and the employees to the suppliers, shareholders, and communities in which your company operates. The American Marketing Association (AMA) has designed a statement of ethics that govern marketers’ actions. The statement includes six ethical values that marketers are expected to uphold:

  • Honesty: Be forthright in dealings and offer value and integrity.
  • Responsibility: Accept consequences of marketing practices and serve the needs of customers of all types, while being good stewards of the environment.
  • Fairness: Balance buyer needs and seller interest fairly, and avoid manipulation in all forms while protecting the information of the consumers.
  • Respect: Acknowledge basic human dignity of all the people involved through efforts to communicate and understand and meet the needs and appreciate contributions of others.
  • Transparency: Create a spirit of openness in the practice of marketing through communication, constructive criticism, action, and disclosure.
  • Citizenship: Fulfill all legal, economic, philanthropic, and societal responsibilities to all stakeholders as well as giveback to the community and protect the ecological environment.
For more details on the statement of ethics, visit the American Marketing Association Statement of Ethics.

Making a commitment to the truth in your social media marketing campaigns

If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that the truth can be highly controversial. Whether it’s politics, business or even within local communities, sometimes separating fact from fiction, truth from lies, and information from falsehood has gotten incredibly difficult. Finding the truth feels like searching for a needle in a haystack. Sadly, those challenges exist across the business world. Put simply, companies aren’t always truthful with their customers. It can be a CEO speaking about the company’s future, a marketer talking about a product’s benefits, or an engineer responding with data to a government ask. Companies, too, suffer from stretching the facts when it suits their interest. This is a problem and in a social media driven world where lies can spread like wildfire across the Internet, being true to the facts and honest at all times takes on even greater significance.

This puts a special responsibility on the marketers in a company or anyone practicing social media marketing. Marketers are in the persuasion business using stories to convince others to change their opinions and purchase specific products. Furthermore, through advertising budgets, the marketers also fuel other industries that depend on advertising revenue streams.

Misinformation is rampant in our world and by virtue of providing the revenue stream for social media platforms that may inadvertently allow for the spreading of the lies, marketers carry unique responsibilities too. As a marketer, you can easily fall prey to furthering falsehoods and misinformation when it supports a business’s objectives or directly influences online sales. This is especially the case in social media where the way a product is positioned and marketed may not be visible to regulators or informed third parties who can call out misleading advertising. You may find yourself unintentionally marketing your own products in a way that may not be completely ethical and without the checks and balances that come with mass advertising, it may go unnoticed for a while.

5 ways to encourage truthfulness in your social media marketing campaigns

Few marketers intentionally try to mislead or cheat their customers. And social media marketers are typically even more careful because they want to please their customers, being fully aware of the real-time feedback loops of social media. Those feedback loops serve as a natural checks and balances. However, something can always go wrong when you’re publishing a lot of content quickly. Here are five ways to encourage truthfulness from your team and yourself too.
  • Ask for facts. When you have a team member reviewing their social media marketing plan with you, ask that person whether he or she has all the facts verified. Look for the facts and encourage the team member to keep opinions to a minimum.
  • Use reflection to override bias. You rarely mean to intentionally perpetuate lies. However you’re human and you may accept certain opinions as facts. One way to address this problem is by consciously choosing to delay arriving at your judgment. Let all the available information sink in and deliberately reflect on it before approving the direction.
  • Engage openly with dissent. When the facts are contested, one way to find what is the truth is to engage with those that disagree with you. Actively engage with all parties involved in a particular disagreement. Try to get as much of a 360-degree view of the issue as you can, before you form any judgments.
  • Appoint people to play the “devil’s advocate.” When tasked with making a major decision, set up an alternative team whose responsibility is to justify the opposite conclusion. It leads you to better solutions.
  • Be open to criticism. Find trusted people who can provide you with feedback in a way where the message is heard without it feeling like an attack. It’s important to have people surrounding you who don’t agree with everything you say all the time.

Marketers have unique and important responsibilities in any company. Knowing how to separate fact from fiction and truth from lies is supposed to be common sense — something that you learn as a child. However, in the social media world, it’s hard to separate the two. Bad actors twist the truth, play at your weaknesses, and use psychology tricks to confuse you. As a marketer, you have to be extra careful both as a potential victim yourself and as an unintentional endorser of those lies.

It may be retweeting a news headline that validates a product, and not realizing that the headline isn’t true, or it could be taking a fake endorsement of a product and putting it in a piece of advertisement, and anything in between. The point is that in a social media driven world where information spreads like across the Internet, it’s extremely important to only be a purveyor of truth and not to be lazy in what you communicate and how.