Social Media Marketing 101: Your Comprehensive Guide for 2021

Social media icons as part of a social media marketing 101 course
  • James Notaris

    CPA, ESQ, Legal Editor

  • Steve Longo

    Digital Marketer

    In Brief:

  • Social media marketing can be a great way to boost your brand online.

  • It offers many benefits for businesses, but there are several key points to keep in mind when crafting your strategy. 

  • Our social media marketing 101 guide explores everything you need to know in detail!

Social media is used for much more than keeping in touch with friends and relatives and seeing what the latest dance craze on TikTok is these days. With social media marketing, you can boost your business in ways you never thought possible!

Truth be told, social media marketing can seem overwhelming and confusing at first. How do you go about choosing which channels to use, which audiences to target, and which strategies to use? Fortunately, our social media marketing 101 guide covers all that and more. We break down what it is, its benefits, which channels to consider using, and how to craft an effective strategy. 

Let’s take a closer look at the social media marketing basics below! 

What is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing is the usage of social media channels in order to build your brand awareness, increase traffic to your website, engage with your target audience, and boost sales. Specifically, it involves posting content on your social media accounts, running paid social ads, engaging with your followers and other social media users, and analyzing data carefully. 

What are the Benefits of Social Media Marketing?

There are many benefits of social media marketing for your business! A few of them include:

-Building brand awareness and increasing brand recognition for new audiences

-Generating conversions around your brand with consumers

-Connecting with your target audience and showing your human side 

-Increasing your brand’s sales

-Gathering data from audience research to improve your marketing strategy 

-Boosting customer loyalty

-Handling customer service issues

-Increasing your inbound traffic

-Boosting your brand’s authority on key issues

Building links for SEO

What are Some Social Media Channels to Use?

To better grasp social media marketing 101, it’s important to have a basic understanding of the primary social media platforms out there today. Although they all fall under the umbrella of social media, each one is unique in its own way and useful in different ways. Let’s take a closer look! 

-Facebook: The wildly-popular social media platform is a great place to post content, engage with your audience, obtain customer feedback, handle customer service issues, and convey useful information about your business, such as your business’ hours, locations, and services. 

-Twitter: Twitter can be useful for posting content for link building and brand awareness purposes as well as humanizing your brand and dealing with customer service issues quickly. 

-LinkedIn: LinkedIn is designed for professionals and can be a good option for posting long-form content and connecting with influencers in your field. 

-Instagram: This social media platform is an excellent way to convey your brand visually and engage with audiences. 

-YouTube: The second-largest search engine after Google, YouTube is a solid way to leverage video marketing for your brand, such as how-to guides, interviews with thought leaders, and the like. 

-TikTok: One of the newer social media platforms out there, this short-video platform can be used to engage with younger audiences and to humanize your brand in a fun, unique, and visual way. 

-Spapchat: A good platform for showcasing your brand’s visual stories and themed videos to boost audience engagement and generate a buzz around your business. 

-Pinterest: Can be useful for humanizing your brand and creating an engaged, interested audience over the long-term. 

Social media icons on a black smartphone background for a social media marketing basics course

How Do You Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy?

The next step in social media marketing 101 is to develop a strategy for your brand. Now that you better understand the social media marketing basics, let’s take a look at how you can leverage these platforms to boost your brand in just a few steps!

1. Research Your Target Audience Thoroughly

First and foremost, it’s important to research your target audience thoroughly and plan out how you want to communicate with them via social media. 

In this respect, which social media channels you choose is very important. For example, a restaurant may want to prioritize creating an Instagram page to showcase their food, while lifestyle brands may want to focus more on platforms like Pinterest. For local retail businesses, Facebook is probably your best bet.

2. Create Social Media Profiles for Your Brand

After you research your target audience and choose which social media channels you believe are best for them, it’s time to start creating profiles for your business. 

Remember to keep your language polished and professional and double-check for any spelling or grammatical errors. Make sure that all of your key information, such as address, contact info, and website, are there for users to see clearly.

3. Publish Quality Content Consistently

Next, you’ll need to publish engaging, high-quality content on a regular schedule. 

Decide on the type of content you want to share, how regularly you plan to publish posts, what time of day you want to publish posts, and how you want to interact with your audience. Then, develop a content calendar and start posting content!

4. Engage with Audiences

As you start publishing quality content, remember to start engaging with social media audiences just as regularly. 

Follow notable influencers in your field, share useful content, and respond to your followers’ questions and comments. Doing so can help you build up an engaged audience with loyalty to your brand over time.

5. Analyze Data 

Finally, take a hard look at the data and see what’s working and what can be improved. 

Keep a close eye on metrics like post reach and impressions, engagements, views, and followers and alter your strategy based on what the data shows. For example, if your Instagram page gets the most engagement, it should be prioritized for content, or that infographics have performed especially well on Twitter and Pinterest, meaning you should create more of them for those channels regularly. 

Understand Social Media Marketing 101 to Reap the Rewards! 

Now that you have a better understanding of social media marketing 101, it’s time to go out there and put it into practice so your business can reap the benefits. With millions of people the world over on social media nowadays, your business can grow in ways you never thought possible for years to come! 


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