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Swift 6: Social media for beginners

By Matthew Butterfield - May 12, 2018

Social media is a great way to promote your business or organisation to people who are interested in what you do. But it’s hard to know how to get started. Which social media service should you use? What should your posts be about? How can I reach the maximum number of people? These are all questions you need to answer.

So, to help you get started – and to demystify the social media marketing process a little bit – I’ve put together a quick video that will run you through the basics. It won’t turn you into a social media marketing expert, but you will learn how your business or organisation can start to make an impact using social media.

Finally, you’ll notice I mention a lot of different resources in the video. Here are the links. I’d suggest bookmarking them so you can find them easily whenever you need them. For now though, you can just scroll down to the video and get started!

Guide to choosing the right social network.
How to develop a social media plan.
How to find influencers on Twitter.
How to engage with social media influencers on Twitter.
Getting started with (and installing) Google Analytics.
Some extra Google Analytics tips to help you along.
A free online training course that covers Google Analytics.
A free online training course on how to use Facebook and Twitter ads.

So you’re working on a business, a community project or even a hobby and you’ve decided that you want to spread the word on social media. But where should you start? Here are the absolute basics you need to know to get started on social.1.
First up, you need to focus your energies.With social media, it can be tempting to sign up to every site going in the belief that it’ll give you the most exposure possible.

In reality, you’ll probably end up being overwhelmed by the amount of effort you have to put in for what feels like very little return.

Instead, pick one or two social networks that are highly relevant to what you’re doing and focus on them.

Facebook is dominant, so it’s usually a good idea to set up a page on there.

Pinterest is great for arts and crafts businesses, as it’s a subject that really interests its users.

Instagram has strong leanings towards fashion.

Twitter is a favourite for bloggers seeking more exposure.

I’d say start off with Facebook, and perhaps another social networking site that suits what you’re doing.

That way you can focus your efforts. You can always expand to other networks in the future.

If you’re not sure which social media platforms you should be using, I’ll link to a handy guide above the video.

The second thing to do is develop a social media plan.

Now it can be tempting to use social media to post whatever comes into your head whenever it occurs to you.

But really, any organisation that wants to use social media successfully needs to develop a plan and stick to it.

A social media plan makes you focus on posting things that will be of interest to potential customers, members, readers, or whatever group it is you want to interact with.

It also makes it easier for you to see what is and isn’t working, allowing you to make improvements to the way you use social media.

Developing a plan will take a bit of effort, but it’s time well spent.

I’ll link to a guide explaining how to come up with a social media plan above this video.

The third thing to do is target and engage with influencers.

What do I mean by influencers? They’re the people and organisations who already have the attention of the people you want to reach.
So if you’re running a business selling an innovative gadget, your influencers are going to be tech experts.

If you’re a youth football team looking to raise funds, potential influencers include local newspapers and even famous footballers.

You’ll probably want to include something on influencers in your social media plan, but it’s such an important part of success it’s worth thinking about on its own.

So how do you get the attention of these kinds of influencers? Well, it’s usually by doing something that makes you standout – such as creating a great piece of content.

But it’s a complex subject, so I’ll link to a couple of how-tos on social media influencers above the video.

The fourth thing you’ll need to do is make sure you can measure your social media results.

If you’re not measuring what you do on social media, then you’ll have no way of telling if the time and effort you’re spending on it is paying off.

Most social media platforms offer at least some form of analytics which you can use to track your progress on the site, so spend a little bit of time getting to grips with that.

But more importantly, make sure you have Google Analytics set up so you can track what happens when someone visits your website via things you post on social media.

It’s so important to know exactly what’s happening on your website and Google Analytics has the power to tell you exactly that.

If you haven’t got Google Analytics installed, I’ll link to a guide above this video. I’ll also link to a couple of guides on how to get the most out of this very powerful tool.

The fifth thing to try is paid social media advertising.

It’s getting increasingly hard to make an impact on social media without resorting to some form of paid advertising.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that social media advertising costs very little, and Facebook has a particularly powerful ad platform.

Avoid spending money on things like increasing your number of likes, and instead focus on things that really matter to you.

If you’re selling a product, you’ll want your social media ads to focus on boosting sales. If you’re fundraising, you’ll likely want ads to drive traffic to the donation page on your website.

I’ll link to some training material on getting started with Facebook and Twitter ads above the video.

But don’t be afraid to experiment. Allocate a small budget and see if you can find something that works. Just make sure you’re monitoring things using Google Analytics.

The final thing is to make sure you don’t give up.

Social media won’t give you miracle results overnight. It may take you months to start making serious progress.

At first, it may feel like you’re getting nowhere, but as long as you’re following a plan, and adjusting it if needed, you’ll eventually see real progress.

And remember, if you’re impatient, social media ads can act as a little bit of a shortcut to success.

Thanks for watching, I’ll see you next time.