Social Media 101

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5 min read

Social Media: What Is It? Where did it come from? and how can it help us in business. Let's find out..

Gorilla with glasses using facebook on the grass

A Brief History of Social Media

::: (Above) Timeline of the most popular Social Media Platforms and when they were introduced

Social Media:
Websites and computer programs that allow people to communicate and share information on the internet using a computer or mobile phone:

  • Companies are increasingly making use of social media in order to market their goods.
  • The Cambridge English Dictionary

    Social Media is an ever-evolving form of digital networking designed to connect people and information through technology. The earliest recorded form of social media (as we know it today) was a Bulletin Board System or BBS (once called Computer Bulletin Board Service, CBBS, (Introduced in the early 1980’s).

    The CBBS was a computer server running software that allows users to connect to the system using a terminal program. Once logged in, the user can perform functions such as uploading and downloading software and data, reading news and bulletins, and exchanging messages with other users through public message boards and sometimes via direct chatting.

    Bulletin board system

    ::: Example of a Two-Line Bulletin Board System

    Websites and online services that we know today are in most case hosted by third-party companies, whereas BBS computers were operated from an individuals home. As a result, access was hard to acquire, and more often then not only one user could connect to the system at a time.

    Due to this fact, when the dial-up internet service and the Mosaic web browser came to fruition, which offered greater ease of use and worldwide access it in turn caused a rapid decline in the use of the BBS system circa 1994.

    With greater access and usability, came the rise of the companies and platforms we know and use today: (such as Google, closely followed by LinkedIn, Facebook, Youtube and so on)

    Many other companies took advantage of this explosion in connectivity and globally accessible information known as the World-Wide-Web. Whereas, A few adapted to the changes in society and technology (effectively growing stronger each and every day), others have thrived for a short while only to slowly fade away when the next big thing comes along. (R.I.P. MySpace).

    Fast Forward To Now

    Facebook on a mobile phone

    These Days…

    Everyone’s online; you need to be too.

    Having a strong online presence can really help your business gain exposure and skyrocket your sales and growth.

    Questions to consider when deciding which social media platforms to use for your business?

    “Why are we using this social account? 

    “Why do we want to use it?” 

    “What are our goals for this social media platform?

    “Are our target customers using it?

    Below is a quick easy checklist for social media.

    (It’ll give you some valuable tips on how to set up your social media and how to use each platform to your advantage.​)

    Your profile picture should be of your brand/company logo, or if running a personal page, a high quality portrait of yourself.

    This is so people know who you are when searching for you online.

    *Make it easy for people to recognise you and find you/your business online.

    Make sure your profile image (Logo) is the same across all the social media platforms you’re using. This creates consistency in branding.

    You’d be surprised how many people do this wrongly.

    Some questions to ask yourself: Is your logo blurry?

    • Is your logo cut-off?
    • Is your logo legible?
    • Is your logo consistent across all social media?

    Good Logo

    Bad Logo

    • Clean/Clear Image
    • Centred
    • Easy To Read

    • Blurry
    • Off-centre
    • Not legible
    • Cropped Image

    *Another bad example is using something that has nothing to do with your business i.e. a picture of your dog...

    Choosing the right cover photo is important on social media, as that’s the first thing people see right after your logo.

     

    Make sure the image you use is of high quality, the right size and appears legible on both mobile and desktop.

     

    Here’s a helpful image of Facebook dimensions that work the best:

    Sizing guide for facebook cover images

    And other social media platforms:

    • Twitter: 1500 x 500 pixels
    • Youtube: 2560 x 1440 pixels
    • LinkedIn: 1584 pixels x 396

    Cover photos should work for you, either add a Call To Action, Include your services, or create social proof through use of testimonials.

    *The best and most effective cover you can use is video.

    Video lets you tell a story, showcase who you are as a professional, you can put all your best services and testimonials in and it is also more visually engaging and effective.

     

    *Cover videos will always play with no sound unless the user clicks on it (Be sure to get creative with text use or subtitles if your video is dialogue heavy)

     

    *Facebook allows you to add a video length of between 20 and 90 seconds.

     

    *Be sure to put all the relevant contact info in all your social profiles (You want people to contact you right?)

     

    Again it's all about making it easy for people to find and contact you online.

    This means:

    • Phone Number
    • Email
    • Location/Address
    • Your Website
    • All other social media links
    • Opening hours

    It's amazing how many businesses forget to add/update some of these simple things.

    You should always have a clear link on all your social media pages to your website.

    And more specifically to a page that encourages viewers to give you their details (Name/Email)

    You need leads to call to get sales. This is an easy way to achieve this organically. (Meaning it’s free)

    *Tracked website traffic will also help you create audiences in the future of interested buyers/ sellers. (We’ll save a detailed explanation for another time)

    *Just make sure you always link all your social media/online accounts together so that they work together in harmony.

    Update or get a Google My Business account.

    Google My Business is an Internet-based service for business owners and operated by Google. It gives business owners more control of what shows in the search results when someone searches your business name.

    *Be sure potential clients see what you want them to see when they search your business name.

    Things you post on social media and your website can effect your Google ranking (How high you show up in the search). The more content you have online, the more favoured you’ll be to google.

    Things that help ranking:

    • Blogs
    • YouTube Videos
    • Facebook Activity
    • Keywords In Your Content
    • The Speed Of Your Website
    • Mobile Friendliness
    • A Secure Website

    The Core engine (of business online)

    When people search for your type of business (e.g. accountants) on Google, your webpage most likely will not be in the first 1-5 pages (which are the pages people see before they have to scroll), or maybe not even on the first page.

     

    If your business type (e.g. mortgage broker) want qualified people actively searching for your business type, and you want them finding you on Google, you need to be advertising.

     

    Depending on your budget and the keywords/ key search terms you use, you will almost be guaranteed to appear amongst the top three.

    *Drive potential clients to your website, and it will be an easier sale.

    Because they are actively searching for you.

     

    *Location is a great place to start with keywords to use. i.e. “Hairdresser in ______”

    Are you posting at least once a day on Facebook?

    Post a good variety (Images, Videos, Facebook Live, Collections, Galleries, Text etc.)

     

    Post helpful tips/blogs, people love useful information,

    Make your images eye-catching and unique

    Always attach a link to your listings and be clear with the action you want the viewer to take i.e. “Click Link In Description To Find Out Price”

     

    Showcase client review/testimonials, people love seeing reviews, helps build social proof/trust.

     

     

    *Facebook Live is a great, unique way to showcase your business (e.g. to host a virtual open house in Real Estate)

     

    Fill Out The ‘About Section’ on your page.

    Make sure you have a business page for your business.

     

    (You can also make a personal business page for you as a solo agent or team)

     

    All your posts need to be relevant to your business, eye-catching and have a purpose. Make use of the button on your homepage:

     

    This can be ‘Call Now’, ‘Book Now’, ‘Learn More’, ‘Watch Video’ etc.

     

    (Choose the right one for your business)

     

    Post Videos Often.

     

    Videos have the highest engagement rate on Facebook and are favoured more than text/ images. Which means they will be shown to your followers more frequently.

     

    *Make sure all your posts are valuable and hard to replicate (This will help them stand out)

    The Second Core Engine (Of Business Online)

    If you are not advertising on Facebook, you are missing out. It is by far the easiest way to reach new people cost-effectively.

     

    Facebook stores a lot of information about people here are just some things you can gain by advertising:

     

    • Hyper targeted (Location, Age, Interests, Behaviors)
    • Reach qualified customers quicker
    • Grow your email list
    • Grow your social following
    • Generate engagement/brand awareness

    *If you want to know more about Facebook Ads you can read more in depth about it on our other blogs for free here:

     

    https://www.SocialMediaSolution.com.au/blog

    Twitter is a great place to test what posts, images or stories resonate the most (Get the most likes/ re-tweet). Then you can move them over to other social channels.

    *Don’t be afraid to upload the same exact post on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

    Its works for brand congruency. Also you’ll reach more people. Do this especially if you have a winning post.

     

    *I would recommend posting 8 times a day minimum (You can’t post too much on Twitter)

     

    Twitter is a loud place, You can post a lot and generally not annoy anyone.

    *Twitter also helps you rank well on Google.

    Are you posting once per day minimum?

     

    *Posting once per day is considered being ‘active’ on Instagram.

    Quality over Quantity

    You should be posting high-quality content using not only photos, but videos and graphics as well.

     

    *Don’t use fake followers, post good content and the followers will come.

     

    Create a backlog of images to use in the future, get your company involved, take active, busy shots, natural shots of your staff.

    *Take amazing, unique HD photos of your products/services and team or hire a professional photographer.


    *To stand out you need to be posting relevant information/tips and unique content that adds value to your target market first.

    *Follow local competitors/businesses in your area, like and comment on their post, local people will see you (You’ll start expanding your brand awareness).

     

    #Hashtags are important for gaining exposure

     

    Research relevant hashtags in your industry and area. Plus any trending hashtags that apply. It’s great practice to stay up to date and relevant on social media.

     

    Use the Instagram ‘Story’ to promote promotions and offers etc

     

    *Marketing on Instagram is preferred over Snapchat for some products and services as Snapchat is generally for a Younger Audience (It really depends what you are selling)

    LinkedIn is a great place for networking.

    LinkedIn is specifically for professional networking.

     

    Make sure your profiles up to date, as when people search you professionally they may find your LinkedIn page.

     

    LinkedIn allows you to see your mutual connections with third parties. Which makes it easier to introduce yourself and do business.

     

    And you probably know that networking leads to referrals which are one of the easiest ways to gain new business.

     

    LinkedIn always increases the credibility of your business. It offers a great opportunity to receive recommendations from previous clients, employees etc.

    Video adds more dimension and personality to your brand.

    YouTube is Long-Form Marketing, (Brand Story, Long Videos)

     

    *People are not expecting long videos on FB. Insta etc... (But on YouTube they are ok with watching longer content)

     

    *YouTube is owned by Google, it’s the #2 search engine in the world.

     

    Google recognizes that videos are harder to create than just written content, so they weigh video differently when computing their web page rankings.

     

    This in turn help your ranking on Google. So if people search “Accountant in Sydney” and you have video that are tagged with these keywords, you’ll be more likely to show up in their Google search.

     


    Be sure to upload plenty of unique content regularly.

    If you are say, a real estate agent, This could be:

    • How-to Videos: e.g. securing a home loan, setting an asking price)
    • Market Updates: Buyers and sellers alike want to know if the market is likely to see growth in areas such as home values
    • Interviews: With people who have interesting stories, backgrounds or knowledge.
    • Listing Videos: This is probably the most common format for agents, so get it professionally shot and edited (hire a professional if you have to)
    • Neighborhood Overviews etc

    *YouTube is also a great place to tell your Brand/ Company story to let people know a little bit more about you and your team.

    You get the idea, find out what your target customers want or want to know, and give it to them.

    Email is the ‘Life-blood’ of marketing (in any business)

    You should be making the most of your existing email list.

     

    *Sending quality information to them has perceived value in their eyes.

     

    It’s no good just pushing out advertisements for your business or service every day (people are going to unsubscribe).

     

    Give them some tips related to your product or service, or offer a free giveaway.

    *You want to nurture them until they are ready to do business with you.

    Have a way(s) to consistently build your email list, through advertising or free offers on your website/ social media/blogs.

     

    Just make sure you give them a valuable reason to sign-up to your list. Not just a newsletter.

    There You Have It.

    In summary, your website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Google should have consistent messages that establish who you are as a brand and/or as a professional.

    These tips will help you start using social media to attract new clients organically and through advertising.

    Want to know more?

    Call us for any help on 1300 352 908 We are always glad to chat.

    or email us at: [email protected] With any questions.

    and check out our other posts here: www.SocialMediaSolution.com.au/blog

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