Social Media Marketing 101

(Last Updated On: January 15, 2018)


social media marketing


This is an overview of social media marketing. To find more information, go to the social media marketing index.

Social media marketing goals

Before you start making posts to any social media, decide upon your goals:

Brand awareness

social media marketing

  • Create communities who know what your brand is all about and what it is doing.
  • You will be the one who helps decide how people are going to see and feel about the brand
  • Help people know, like & trust your brand.

Traffic & sales

  • Get people off social media and into the page you want them to be.
  • To make that happen, you must first build trust within your social media audience.
  • Sales usually happen from more direct forms of communication such as email.
  • It is your job to create so much trust that people will do things like give you their credit card number or email address.

Service & support

Single goal

When starting your social media marketing, focus on only one goal — probably brand awareness.

Next step

social media marketingAfter your social media marketing goals have been written down, do in depth research about how your client’s industry uses social media. Get to know their standards.

There are two quite different approaches you will take depending upon the nature of your client’s existing marketing situation. Which one of these scenarios represents their present social media situation?

  • A totally fresh account with virtually no social media presence.
  • Existing and active social media presence.

No social media presence

If you are starting from scratch, you will

  • Get logos & pictures so that you will have consistent branding.
  • Research how the competition is using social media.
    • Decide, should you be doing the same thing, something different or can you improve upon what they are doing?
  • Choose the right platforms.
    • Start with one such as Facebook, get it working smoothly and then go on to the next one.

Existing & active presence

Examine which platforms the previous social media marketing person was using. Decide which ones if any you wish to add.

Start with an audit

  • How many social media platforms do they use?
  • How active are they?
    • Number of followers in each platform.
    • Number of shares in each platform.
  • Which platforms are serving which goals?
  • Compare their social media marketing to their competition.
  • Is the branding & imagery consistent among all platforms they are using?
  • Which platform has the greatest reach?
  • Which platform is serving which goals? For instance, some companies use Twitter for customer support and company news & updates.
  • What is the tone of the posts on the various media. Even if you don’t like it, you could confuse the audience by making drastic changes right away.

Different platforms

  • social media marketingThe point is to establish a community.
  • You want to be nurturing a Facebook group that will be self sustaining.
  • Look at their pages, profiles & groups.
    • Point of a group is to have people talking to each other.
    • You MUST have a page.
    • Purpose is to present new information & get it out there.
    • A page is also where you place an ad.
  • Must create a sustainable group of followers who will sustain each other.
    • Measurable
    • Attainable
    • Relevant
    • Time-specific
  • Each month
    • Get metrics.
    • Revise goals.
  • social media marketingFor conversation & promotion.
  • You can organize your posts into topic-based lists
  • Big difference between Facebook & Twitter: Facebook is for community; Twitter is for conversation.
  • social media marketingFor lifestyle & product information using eye-catching photos & photo collages.
  • Lots of people use it to create their shopping lists. They will create boards for things they are interested in.
  • Of all the social media search engines, the Pinterest one is probably the best.
  • Unlike Facebook & Twitter, people buy things from Pinterest.
    • If you have a product that can be purchased online, make good use of Pinterest.
  • social media marketingImage-based platform
  • Not quite as good for selling things as Pinterest
  • Amazing for brand awareness.
  • Learn how to upload Instagram from your desktop computer.
  • If you are on Instagram, connect with others and comment on their posts.
  • The more hashtags you use in a post, the more likely that post is to be found.
  • social media marketingProfessional networking.
  • Posts to help with business growth & find jobs.
  • B2B.
  • Learn more about your industry.
  • Good place for thought leadership. Rewrite clients blog posts in abbreviated form.

social media marketingCan help with SEO. Google Plus did not take off the way Google was hoping. Don’t bother using it unless your client has an active, robust Google+ account already.

  • social media marketingQuick message or photo to ONE person.
  • You are hoping that one person will forward the message or photo to their connections.
  • Best way to get people to share is to ask them: Please share if you like this post.
  • Read Social Media Examiner article about 5 Ways to Use Snapchat for Business.

Goals of various social media

Each platform can represent different company goals. Each platform you use should have its own goals & its own mission statement.  Below are types of goals that could be used in each of 5 different social media.


Human &/or funny side of organization.


Important news & updates.


Thought leadership & business networking with potential business leaders.


Amazing features of a product.

Tone of your posts

  • Posting content alone is not enough. Using the right tone is important.
    • Remember the social part of social media. You should be engaging with people.
  • Is the tone dry, boring, funny, consistently informative, professional, edgy, folksy…?
  • Tone will vary a bit from platform to platform.
  • Be consistent.

Engagement with your audience

One of the best ways to engage with your audience is to ask a personal question relating to the business. For instance, suppose you are the social media manager for a new ski resort. You may ask people what their favourite intermediate run is. Then you can tell them that yours is such and such because you can cruise for 5 minutes without any moguls.

Metrics & tracking

  • If you are not tracking your social media statistics, you may as well not be using social media for a business.
  • Track at least once a week; perform a major tracking at least once a media marketing
  • You must regularly measure audience size, shares & likes.
  • Look at the responses & conversations.
  • Tracking will help you identify problems.
  • It will help you decide what to change.
  • Read Sprout Social article called All of the Social Media Metrics That Matter.
  • The above article neglected to say how to get to your Twitter Analytics page:
    • Open your Twitter account and then, using another tab, go to

Social media plans

  • Does not stand alone.
  • Look at everything that’s happening in the company in regards to marketing, sales, service & what changes are coming up in the company.
  • Each post should have a purpose.
  • It’s better to have a small number of very high quality posts than to have lots of fluffy posts.
  • You have to know the company goals, events & product launches.
  • Goals should be SMARTER:
    • Specific
    • Measurable
    • Attainable
    • Relevant
    • Time-specific
    • Evaluated &
    • Revised

Content ratios

The rule of thumb uses 30:60:10 ratios to decide content.

  • 30% is content client owns
  • 60% is content curated from other sources
  • 10% is promotional or CTA (call to action) based content.

Virtual assistant checklist

If you are a virtual assistant about to handle a client’s social media marketing, you need a checklist that contains:

  • Your platform & their missions.
  • Your goals on each platform for the next 3-6 months.
  • Notes about tone & engagement standards for each platform.
  • A calendar of important things going on at the company that social will need so support.
  • The frequency of posting on each platform.
  • Information about where to find metrics & tracking. Clients like to see it.

Related page

How to Build a Social-Media Strategy That Works



Peter Enns has been developing websites since 1996. He is a social media blogger and author of a free YouTube tutorial. It’s called 7 Day YouTube and will teach you how to make entertaining videos & animated GIFs.





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