Social media can seem like a lot of hype and no substance. But if you learn how to do it right, it can be very effective as a marketing and communication tool. Social media gets a lot of flack because it doesn’t directly result in sales for many businesses. And because it doesn’t product sales, what’s the point? I think that logic is wrong, because social media isn’t really a sales channel, it’s about communication. You don’t go on Facebook hoping to buy something. But if your favorite clothing brand happens to be running a sale and they post about it, you may head to their site and check it out.

Social media marketing is still a huge part of digital marketing and it’s important to learn how to do it right. Below you’ll find tons of resources and tools to help you learn how to effectively communicate with your audience (or a business’s audience) with social media and convey a message.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

My Social Media Marketing Story

Social Media Basics

How to Pick a Platform

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Pinterest

Snapchat

LinkedIn

Content Creation

Analytics

Podcasts

Tools

Case Studies

MY SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING STORY

I got my start in marketing by doing social media. During my internship, I was doing the basics like creating a month of posts for clients and queuing them up in Hootsuite. The problem I found was that, although I felt the posts were good, they weren’t getting much engagement. Another issue was that many of these companies didn’t really need social media, and we were posting on EVERY platform rather than focusing on the right ones.

Pretty quickly I realized that it’s a flawed idea to just post on every channel and see what sticks. It’s a huge time suck! It’s best to really understand who your audience is, where they congregate online, and what they’re interested in. It’s not about posting about yourself all the time, it’s about giving users something valuable. Most businesses fail at social media because all they post is about themselves. They don’t want to invest the time in creating great content that’s native to the platform. Create stuff you’re proud to post.

I hope this guide helps give you an idea of how to get started with doing social media the right way and helps you avoid the mistakes I made early on.

SOCIAL MEDIA BASICS

The Beginner’s Guide to Social Media
Moz
12 chapters on everything social media

The Essential Guide to Social Media Marketing
Dara Fontein at Hootsuite
A very basic guide to social media with templates, tools, strategy, and more

HOW TO PICK A PLATFORM

The Top Social Media Sites That Matter to Marketers
Dara Fontein at Hootsuite
Stats about each social media platform to help you pick which one to try

FACEBOOK

Facebook Blueprint
Learn how to use Facebook ads and master the platform

We Tested All the Best Advice to Get More Clicks on Facebook. Here’s What Worked.
Kevan Lee at Buffer
See what the team at Buffer tried when it comes to Facebook marketing

10 Little-Known Facebook Marketing Features and Hacks You Can Try Today
Brian Peters at Buffer
Master Facebook with these tips and tricks like “liking” as your page

The Simple Facebook Posting Strategy That Helped us 3x Our Reach and Engagement
Brian Peters at Buffer
See what strategy Buffer used to increase their reach and engagement (Spoiler: They posted less!)

How to Use Facebook Insights and Analytics to Boost Your Social Media Marketing Strategy
Alfred Lua at Buffer
How to use Insights to learn what’s going well and what to improve for your Facebook strategy

A Video Marketing Guide On Creating Epic Content for Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, and More
Brian Peters at Buffer
How you can start making video content for your social media channels including apps, software, etc. 

TWITTER

How I Grew My Traffic By Almost 50% in Just 30 Days Using Twitter
Tami Brehse on Buffer
How Tami used Twitter (and Buffer) to increase traffic to her site

How to Use Twitter Analytics: 17 Simple-to-Find Stats to Help You Tweet Better
Kevan Lee at Buffer
How to use the data from your Twitter account to improve your Twitter strategy

How to Grow a Twitter Chat to Reach 1 Million People: Learnings From Two Years of #bufferchat
Arielle Tannenbaum at Buffer
How Buffer uses Twitter chats to grow their audience

How to Get Verified on Twitter (If I can do it, you can too!)
Kevan Lee at Buffer
Title is self explanatory. Not sure how much verification will do for you, but it doesn’t hurt to have it. 

INSTAGRAM

The Complete Guide to Instagram for Business
Buffer
Super long, very in-depth guide to IG for businesses. A good starting point. 

Beginner’s Guide: How to Build a Killer Instagram Following and Increase Your Sales
Neil Patel
Once you learned the basics, now you can focus on growing your following and sales. 

The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Stories
Benjamin Chacon
Learn how to create appealing Instagram stories for your business.

PINTEREST

A Step-by-Step Guide to Pinterest Marketing
Adspresso
If your business is visual and appeals to Pinterest users, you’ll want to learn how to create ads for Pinterest. 

Pinterest Tools
These are tools from Pinterest including rich pins, analytics, a widget builder, and save button. 

8 Pinterest Marketing Tips Tested By Buffer
Vizified
Not sure how to get started with Pinterest? Use these tips like pinning at least 5x a day. 

SNAPCHAT

The Ultimate Guide to Snapchat Marketing
Adspresso
Learn how to use Snapchat effectively to market your business like using settings, filters, and testing content. 

Everything You Need to Know About Snapchat Geofilters (And How to Build Your Own)
Ash Read at Buffer
Create custom Geofilters for your business or event

LINKEDIN

LinkedIn for Business: The Ultimate LinkedIn Marketing Guide
Lisa Jenkins at Social Media Examiner
See how to use LinkedIn effectively. This guide has links to other articles for how to use ads, generate leads, and more. 

SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT CREATION

How to Create a Social Media Marketing Content Plan in 7 Steps
Warren Knight at Social Media Examiner
Defining KPIs, understanding your target customer, and picking the right platform. It takes time to create a content plan but it’ll save you a lot of unnecessary headaches in the long run. 

10 Ways To Create Contagious Content for Your Social Media Marketing
Jeff Bullas
A little of the psychology behind why posts spread. 

How To Develop A Winning Social Media Content Strategy (Free Template)
Ben Sailer at CoSchedule
How to create a strategy from doing and audit to analyzing your competition. 

How to Create a Social Media Marketing Plan From Scratch
Kevan Lee at Buffer
Great for the newbies out there looking for how to get started. 

SOCIAL MEDIA ANALYTICS

Hootsuite Analytics

Know What’s Working on Social Media: 26 Free Social Media Analytics Tools
Kevan Lee at Buffer

How to Use Google Analytics for Social Media Measurement
Dallas McLaughlin at Simply Measured

SOCIAL MEDIA PODCASTS

Social Media Examiner Podcasts

The Science of Social Media
Buffer

The Art of Paid Traffic Podcast
Rick Mulready

Perpetual Traffic Podcast
Digital Marketer

SOCIAL MEDIA TOOLS

19 Tools to Create Social Media Content
Alex Navarro at Social Media Examiner

Hootsuite
One of the best tools for managing social media accounts. Especially useful for agencies (I’ve used it)

Canva
Create graphics for your social media posts…..super easy to use

CASE STUDIES

200+ Case Studies: Social Media and Content Marketing Examples
Christine Whittemore at Simple Marketing Now

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