Social Media Marketing 101

February 21, 2019 · 27 min read

In case you’ve missed the memo, social media marketing is kind of a big deal. It’s one of the few ways in which small and medium-sized businesses can compete with larger competitors on a relatively equal playing field.

Your customers, like most people on planet earth, are on social media 24/7. They’re looking at family photos, chatting with friends, and yes, they’re even looking for products to purchase as well. After all, the average person spends well over an hour a day on social media.

If current trends continue, that will add up to over 5 YEARS of time spent on social media over the course of a lifetime. This is a marketing opportunity that everyone needs to take full advantage of.

Social media marketing covers a lot of platforms so it can get a little overwhelming. To make things easier, we put together a comprehensive guide of ALL things social media.  You are definitely going to want to bookmark this one. The world of social media is never ending so if you’re familiar with some platforms more than others, you can skim through the index and skip forward and backward to tackle any topic.

What is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing is the exposure of your brand or business on digital marketing channels, such as Facebook and Instagram. These platforms are utilized as marketing tools to highlight your offerings and brand voice.

By developing a social media marketing strategy, you can effectively reach your target audience by appearing in their newsfeed as they scroll online. With a strong social media presence, your messaging will remain top of mind for prospective customers and this will increase awareness and sales.

Why use Social Media Marketing?

Social media is a key opportunity to connect with customers from near and far. You can target your customers with high-quality social media content, engage with customers on a personal level, provide support, and more.

Social media marketing is also a proven tactic to keep your brand relevant and up-to-date by monitoring the latest marketing trends. You can gain insight into your target audience’s likes and dislikes and discover valuable information that appeals to your target market and how to best reach them.

So, yes: social media can help you promote your business. The question isn’t whether or not you should invest in SMM. You already know how important it is. The question is whether your current online marketing strategy is paying off. Are you doing all you could be? What could you be doing better?

Strap in. We’re about to take a ride through the most comprehensive guide to social media marketing available. Take note (and pause to bookmark this puppy)!

How much does Social Media Marketing cost?

The cost of social media marketing is truly dependent on the amount of time and effort that you put into it. For the best return on investment, or ROI, you’ll want to incorporate insights about your target audience when building your social media strategy.

By focusing your efforts where potential customers are most likely to engage with your efforts, you will generate the most effective ROI. For a comprehensive breakdown of all social media metrics and your own, free social media scorecard, check out our “Decoding Social Media Metrics” Guide.

How to start with Social Media Marketing?

When you’re ready to get your brand active on social media, you can’t just jump in and hope for the best. The first thing to know about SMM is that it’s not something you simply “do.” This isn’t like buying an ad in the local paper. In a sense, social media marketing is a way of life for businesses and should be a part of your regular business activities and marketing efforts.

Your social media presence is almost entirely dependent on how well you organize your messaging, posts, images and ideas in advance. In short, it’s important so you need a plan.

Your plan should include everything you intend on doing with social media marketing for at least the next month. You can certainly map things out long in advance. It’s never too early to prep your next Christmas, Easter, of Valentine’s Day promotion. Having a plan helps organize your content and lets you know what, and when you need to get ready.

Your target audience will be more receptive of posts that appear well thought-out rather than something quickly put together that doesn’t seem as “on brand” or engaging.

Your plan should include the type of content you’re intending to post along with when it’s being posted, who’s responsible for creating and publishing the content, and more. Include your budget as well as any other relevant information.

One of the most important tools you’ll need for this is a Social Media Calendar, where you’ll create a roadmap of your strategy throughout the year.

Choosing the Right Social Media Platform

The first part of any social marketing plan is to select the right platform for your business. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, the list goes on. Aside from the main social media channels, there are also dozens of smaller as well as industry-specific social media platforms as well.

Many businesses feel pressure to be on all channels. If you’re Apple, you can swing it. If you’re a small to medium-sized business, it gets a little more difficult. For that reason, you should select one or two main social media platforms to concentrate your efforts. As time goes on and you feel more confident, you can always expand.

Each social media platform has its own pluses and minuses. Which one is correct for your business may depend greatly on the type of business you run, the industry you’re in, your customer demographics and the type of content you’ll be creating.

Facebook

Facebook may seem like an older social media platform but it’s still the most popular and influential platform, boasting over 2 billion active users. Posting content of all types is easy and their ad targeting feature is head and shoulders above any other social platform.

Most businesses should be marketing on Facebook even if it isn’t their primary social account. Simply put, it’s the most user-friendly, well-established social media platform available and supports almost any type of content you want to post. You may not be sure if your customers are on YouTube or Twitter, but we can pretty much guarantee they’re on Facebook.

Twitter

Twitter is a fast-paced, micro-blogging site with a limit of just 280 characters. It’s great for quick bursts of information or to post links to content that is housed elsewhere (ie your blog or press). Most businesses can certainly find success from marketing on Twitter; especially if their content is capable of sparking widespread discussions. However, it’s not the best place for lengthy engagements or building a community.

Instagram

Instagram marketing is essential for any business that plans on posting aesthetically pleasing media-based content, such as photographs or videos. Owned by Facebook, Instagram’s ad targeting features are not as good but still powerful and the high engagement rates are certainly a plus!

Keep in mind that Instagram is a mobile-specific platform so any content you post needs to be optimized for mobile viewing.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a great place if you operate in the business to business arena or are interested in networking with other professionals within your industry. As social channels go, LinkedIn is more of a professional networking tool and not intended to connect you with customers without a nice ad budget to back you.

However, marketing on LinkedIn can still be beneficial for recruitment purposes, attracting influencers or, again, if you deal heavily in B2B. Not to mention, the air of authority and reputation a well created Linkedin profile can bring to your business.

YouTube

Of all the social media platforms, YouTube is the least social media-like. It’s more of a place to host, post, and browse video content which is ideal if you’re creating professional videos. In fact, hosting your marketing videos on YouTube is easy, free, and helps with SEO in the long-run.

It’s no secret customers prefer video to written content, particularly when learning about new brands or products, and according to Hubspot 83% of customers prefer YouTube for their video viewing. If you are keen to make a visual splash, Youtube is a marketing opportunity that should not be missed!  

Pinterest

Pinterest is a different kind of social media site. Instead of being a place for distributing content, it’s more of a place to save and organize it. Think of Pinterest as a giant, digital corkboard ready to be pinned with stunning images to accentuate your brand and you’ve got the right idea.

However, that doesn’t mean Pinterest isn’t the place for your business.

Pinterest isn’t right for every business. However, if your brand thrives on visuals, it may be worth a look, especially if you are searching for a largely female gaze!

SnapChat

SnapChat is a different kind of social media channel altogether and it’s one that’s being overshadowed by larger players, such as Facebook and Instagram, in the small business arena. However, there are still quite a few people on SnapChat and disseminating content quickly is a bonus.

SnapChat can be effective for building brand awareness, offering limited-time deals, or providing promotional codes to followers. There’s value to be had here, especially if you are targeting the younger end of the population, with the majority of users 34 and under.

So, which platform is right for you?

As you can see, not all social media platforms are the same. Depending upon your business, you may find more value in one over another. If you’re stuck, consider this: Facebook is the most popular social media platform on the planet right now. At the very least, you should probably focus there. When in doubt, go with Facebook.

Let’s take our social media marketing 101 a little further and dive into exactly what goes into a great Facebook page as well as how to be successful on some of the other networks.

Ready?

Facebook

An awesome Facebook business page should be top of your list when it comes to focusing on your social media marketing. Regardless of whether you look to other platforms as well, Facebook is where it’s at.

There are a few main elements to your Facebook page. 

Profile and Header Photo

The first thing most people will see when encountering your Facebook page is your profile photo (left) and header photo (middle).

In many cases, your profile picture should simply be your company logo. If you’re a small business without an official logo, pick an image that is uniquely yours. Your flagship product, a photo of your store, etc. This small photo will pop up on every post and comment you make, so be sure it’s something recognizable that uniquely reflects your brand.

The header photo is a larger photograph or video that captures the heart of your brand. This element is larger than your profile photo so it should be eye-catching and interest-piquing. If you can make it a video, it will be that much more enticing and impressive to your viewers.  Your products in action, a video of the production line, customers enjoying your business, a fund ad or little story etc.

Consider your header photo to be prime advertising space. Because it is. The more attention-grabbing and high quality, the more likely your viewers will scroll.

About Section

The “about” section is similar to the “about us” page on your website. Like your website, visitors to your Facebook page will click here to learn more about your business. Populate this area with brief, factual information about your business, for instance, adding your mission statement is a great way to introduce yourself and communicate to your customers why they should choose you. The “contact info” section is a great place to drop your website link and any relevant contact information, such as store address and hours. The “story section” is an opportunity to give your customers insight into your business. What exactly do you do, what is your specialty, what is the culture of your company? These are all valuable questions your customers will want to know, so putting them somewhere they can’t miss is a plus.

Using Messenger

Facebook has a built-in messenger which allows customers to contact you directly. You can set up auto-response messages when contacted, which can direct customers to your website, email address, FAQ, or more. However, Facebook does rate your responsiveness to customer questions so it’s important that someone is paying attention.

Having a method for people to contact you and ignoring that method is no different in the modern age than not answering a ringing phone or ignoring your email. But, remember just because it’s over facebook messenger doesn’t mean you can be casual, ensure you are checking for mistakes before hitting send, and remember everything can be a screenshot.

When to Post (posting frequency)

The biggest question most businesses have is when to post and how often to post on their Facebook business page. The basic answer is this: post regularly. If that’s once a day, that’s great. If that’s twice a week, that’s fine as well.

Generally speaking, you’ll want to post at least a couple of times each week and stick to a regular schedule. The reason for this is to spread your message, cultivate fans, and to have them get familiar with seeing consistent updates from your page.

The best times to post will vary based on a number of factors such as the type of content, your industry, and more. However, a general guideline to follow is to post Mon, Weds, Thurs, and Fri between 12-3pm. However, this is a guideline so don’t be afraid to experiment a bit until you find a posting schedule that works for you.

If you are finding coming up with new post ideas frequently is far too time-consuming,  try a content calendar, designed to make posting quick and easy with premade ideas and video templates. Check out Promo’s monthly content calendar with ideas, hashtags and even video templates here.

Commenting

Half the point of owning a Facebook business page is to engage with your fans. Don’t forget this crucial component. As your followers engage with your content, they will ask questions, have ideas, and yes, even complaints.

You will want to acknowledge and address comments in a timely fashion. Even, and especially, the bad ones. If the comment is positive, you will want to “like” the comment and respond. Your response can be a simple, yet enthusiastic “thank you!” or it can be more glowing.

If the comment is negative, such as a complaint about a recent purchase, you’ll still want to respond. However, rather than try to hash it out “in public” on your page, politely apologize for the inconvenience and ask the customer to contact you via email or messenger so that you can look into their concern and assist them further.

Consider your Facebook page to generally be a public space. If customers have legitimate concerns, it may be appropriate to address them publicly in a way that can also help educate other customers who may have similar questions.

Facebook Dimensions

A quick guide to posting the right sized content on Facebook:

Profile Photo: 180 x 180 pixels. Displays at 160 x 160 best results when uploading a square image (360×360, 720×720 or 960×960).

Facebook profile picture frame size: 183×183 pixels.

Facebook cover photo size: 828 x 315 px

News Feed link image size: 1200 x 900 px

News Feed link image ratio: 4:3

Desktop news feed display: Up to 470 x 470 px

Mobile news feed display: Up to 626 x 840 px

Right column image size: 254 x 133 px

Text: Desktop news feed displays 500 characters, mobile 110 characters, right column ad 90 characters.

Video: The ideal file formats are MOV or MP4. Whether posting native video or video ads, the preferred dimension is 720p (frame size of 1280px wide by 720px high). 

Facebook Image SizesCheck out our Free Image Resizer to easily resize your photos to fit the dimensions of all social platforms.

Best Type of Content for Facebook

Another common question about Facebook business pages is “what type of content do I post?” For best engagement, videos have been trending upward. Media-driven content receives nearly twice the engagement as text-based posts.

According to an experiment conducted by Buffer, video content had the highest reach and engagement of any type of content posted.

Organic vs. Paid

The goal with your Facebook page is to generate awareness, drive traffic to your website or app, and ultimately to create customers. There are two basic ways to do this. Organic traffic and paid traffic.

Organic traffic is an activity that comes to your page through non-paid means. This can be customers searching for your page or coming across it because they saw a friend sharing your content. The richer and entertaining the content, the more likely viewers will share it among their circles. However, the organic reach of your content is limited to your existing followers and anyone they may have shared it with. That’s great if you have a large following. Not so great when you’re just starting out.

For that reason, paid traffic is required to enhance your reach and spread your content beyond the bounds of your existing follower count. Paid traffic comes from boosted posts as well as ads, which is critical in reaching new and larger audiences. Adding to this, changing algorithms and the increasing number of businesses utilizing Facebook’s paid options means that newsfeed space is now at a premium. As a result, an organic feed is unlikely to reach a broad audience.

Source: Hubspot

A successful Facebook strategy will use both methods to attract followers. Organic may seem more natural, however, the reality is that it is limited. For that reason, Facebook Advertising is also necessary to ensure you reach the most people.

Facebook Ad Types

Facebook allows for several different ad formats. Photo, video, and carousel ads. Each ad type allows you to select campaign objectives such as generating awareness, driving traffic to your website, or conversions.

Video ads range from short, mobile ads to long-form presentations. It’s important to understand both your goals and your audience when deciding which ad type works best for you. In general, short, direct videos are the most successful.

Carousel ads allow you to include up to ten pictures and videos, each with their own link.  This works well if you want to walk customers through a step-by-step process or show off different features of a product.

Facebook Live

Facebook Live is a video function that allows you to stream live video to your fans and presented on your page. This is great for live events, countdowns, or special promotions. A new feature, Facebook Premieres allows you to present pre-recorded video content as a Live video event.

Facebook Events

Facebook Events allow you to create, schedule, and invite people to an event. This can be a grand opening, a special event, a sale, or even a regular event such as Happy Hour. Facebook Events is capable of synching with the calendar on your smartphone. This means that when customers show interest, Facebook will remind them.

Facebook Groups

Facebook Groups are private or public groups where individuals “meet” to discuss and engage around a specific topic. For your business, it can be a customer support group (useful for tech brands), a place for fans (great for entertainment businesses), or really anything you can think of.

Facebook groups provide a forum for like-minded people to interact with one another as well as the brand. Think of it as a gathering place for brand enthusiasts. If you choose to create one, make sure you appoint someone to monitor and moderate the group. 

Defining Goals and Measuring Success

To determine a successful brand presence on Facebook, you can look at the number of page likes/followers you have and the level of engagement driven by your posts. With a larger audience on Facebook that has expressed an interest in your business, your reach will expand organically. These followers are more inclined to interact with your content as they have already “liked” your business page.

In addition to the number of fans your Facebook page accrues, you can also determine the success of specific posts. A Facebook post’s performance can be analyzed by looking at both engagements and reach:

  • Engagements on Facebook include any interaction taken by your target audience, such as: shares, likes, comments, photo and link clicks. More relevant and interesting content will produce higher engagement rates as your target market will be more inclined to interact.
  • Reach is how many people are exposed to your post. To determine your engagement rate, you divide the sum of engagements/the post’s total reach. You can then multiply by 100 to turn this decimal into a percentage. As a rule of thumb, an engagement rate of 1% or higher on Facebook is considered successful.

Ready to begin? Check out our Facebook Advertising Guide!

Instagram

Instagram is owned by Facebook and so many of the tools and principles which are applicable to Facebook also apply to Instagram. However, keep in mind that Instagram is a mobile-first application. There is no native desktop interface so all of your content needs to be optimized for mobile viewing.

Instagram Dimensions

Instagram will allow you to post photos and videos in many sizes. However, the ideal dimensions are as follows:

Profile picture: Optimum size : 110px x 110px, maximum resolution: 180px x 180px

Published Photos:

  • Square size recommended: 1080px x 1080px . Max resolution: 2048px x 2048px.
  • Landscape size recommended: 1080px x 566px.
  • Portrait size recommended: 1080px x 1350px

Videos:

  • Timeline video: Recommended resolution: 640px x 640px and the duration should be between 3 and 60 seconds.
  • Video to Instagram Stories: 750px x 1334px.

Video Ads:

  • Square ad:  1080px x 1080px. Note: it will appear as 640px x 640px.
  • Landscape format:  1080px x 566px. Will also  appear as 640px x400px.Instagram Image Sizes

Functionality

Instagram’s prime focus is on media content, namely in the form of pictures and videos. Instagram Stories are quick collections of content that disappear after 24 hours. These are useful for special promotions, flash sales, etc.

Best Type of Content for Instagram

Remember that Instagram is a media-focused platform. Unlike Facebook, you can’t just post *anything* on Instagram. You’re limited to primarily photos and videos. Photo content is Instagram’s bread and butter. However, video usage and engagement has risen by 40% over the last year.

Adding to that, 25% of Instagram Ads are single videos, meaning video is carving out a large chunk of the Instagram ad space.

Organic Vs. Paid

As with Facebook, you can boost your content and run ads directly on Instagram. Also like Facebook, a solid strategy is to both push content naturally and organically while also supplementing it with paid advertising options. Since Instagram is owned by Facebook, the same algorithmic changes and crowded newsfeed issues apply.

Instagram Ad Types

The primary option for Instagram Advertising is video ads promoted on Instagram stories. Like Facebook, there is also the opportunity to boost a post to further its reach. By advertising on Instagram stories, you have the opportunity to reach individuals who are actively using one of the most popular features of Instagram.

Instagram allows you to set an ad budget just like Facebook so you don’t have to worry about overextending your budget.

Just how much can paid advertising make a difference? The John Lewis clothing retail company launched a paid advertising campaign to promote their autumn and winter fashion collections. The results? An increase of 10,000 followers and elevated purchasing intent.

Obtaining that type of increase can happen organically, though it will take far more time. This is why in most social media environments, a combination strategy of organic and paid reach is most effective.

Using Hashtags on Instagram

Instagram’s hashtags work in the same way that Twitter hashtags do; to organize content. By marking a post #videomarketing you organize that content with the rest of the content that uses that hashtag. So if you’re interested in #Christmas you can organize all posts that use that hashtag for easier viewing.

Hashtags are great for businesses and marketers who want to align their content within their industry. It also works to take advantage of trending topics such as special events, holidays, and more.

However, you don’t want to get too crazy with your hashtags. First, you want to make sure the hashtags are relevant. This doesn’t mean you can’t jump on the #Christmas hashtag during the holiday season, but you’ll want to make sure the content you’re posting is at least relevant to the Christmas-browsing audience. Don’t just stuff any popular hashtag into your content hoping to elevate its visibility. 

Linking from Instagram

Instagram does not allow you to post clickable links with your content. However, you are able to post a link in your bio. Use this space wisely and link directly to your website or app download page.

In addition, verified Instagram accounts and brands do have the ability to post links in Instagram Stories and tag video posts with links. Additionally, you can always type out a link and display it; however, it will not be a clickable link.

This does not apply to advertising, of course. Instagram ads do allow you to include links – otherwise, what would be the point, right?

Defining Goals and Measuring Success

Similar to Facebook, you can look at both follower count as well as engagement when determining success. To increase your presence and reach on Instagram’s platform, incorporate videos and images that align with your target audience’s interests and taste. A strong post on Instagram is truly dependent on the type of content produced.

The engagement rate of an Instagram post is also calculated by dividing the number of engagements by the total reach. Once you determine this number, you can multiply by 100 for a percentage. This will reflect how many people interacted with your post out of the total number of people who were exposed. The nature of Instagram’s platform promotes higher engagement and this results in a target engagement rate of 3%.

Ready to begin? Check out our Instagram Advertising Guide!

YouTube

When it comes to video marketing, YouTube is probably high on your list of sites. Although YouTube isn’t usually thought of as a true “social media” site, it still has significant benefits for your marketing and SEO.

YouTube Dimensions

While you can upload almost any kind of video to YouTube, here are your recommended dimensions for best viewing.

  • 16:9 Aspect Ratio
  • Max resolution and quality: 2160p (4K),  3840 x 2160 pixels
  • Lower Resolution: 1440p (2K),  2560 x 1440 pixels
  • Max resolution for High Definition: 1080p (HD) – 1920 x 1080 pixelsYouTube Sizes

Functionality

YouTube is a great hosting site for your video marketing content. Regardless of how you plan to use your content, hosting on YouTube is free! It also allows you to save space on your own website. Video content embedded directly on your website may cause slower page loading times which is a major no-no.

YouTube is, therefore, a great hosting spot for all of your video content. What’s more, the description fields of each video allow you to explain your product, link to your website, or provide other necessary information such as social media links and more. This helps widen your reach and assist with your site’s SEO.

YouTube and SEO

Search Engine Optimization is turning into a catch-all term that encompasses any number of online activities and strategies.

When you create your video, select keyword-rich titles and descriptions. How do you determine the best keywords? Sure, you can hire an SEO researcher, or you can do it yourself by searching directly on YouTube.

Head on over to YouTube and begin searching for terms in your niche. For example, let’s search for “video marketing.” See the results? These are popular search terms being search BY YOUTUBE USERS. You don’t need to wonder if a keyword or phrase is popular, it’s right there.

Using this method, a video marketing agency that offers video marketing tips for small business has three popular terms they can use. Use these terms in video titles and descriptions to maximize your reach.

A great title for your next video might be “video marketing tips for small business.” The description might read:

“In this episode, we discuss the need to hire a video marketing agency to help your small business achieve your video marketing goals. Check out our other videos for more video marketing tips.”

Creating Playlists

YouTube also allows you to create playlists to further organize your content. Create playlists around special events, specific product lines, and more. Viewers will be able to view your videos as a whole or by playlist to find content that best appeals to them.

Defining Goals and Measuring Success 

Marketing on YouTube is a must for any organization that is going to make use of video marketing. However, success may come in different forms. As with any platform, defining what success looks like is the first step towards defining your goals and more importantly, knowing when you’ve reached them.

Success on YouTube may come in the form of growing your channel or driving traffic to your website. The first can be determined by tracking your followers as you grow your channel. The latter can be seen through Google analytics or similar programs.

Whatever your aim; set clear, definable goals and work to achieve them. If your goal is to increase your channel subscriptions, set realistic goals for how many subscribers you’d like to gain each month. Then, create a plan to increase subscriptions by posting videos consistently throughout the month.

If your goal is to drive traffic to your website, set a similarly realistic goal and track traffic through Google analytics. What percentage of your traffic is coming through YouTube? How can you increase that number? By creating and posting content with regularity, you can achieve both objectives.

Ready to begin? Check out our YouTube Advertising Guide!

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is often thought of as the younger sibling of the larger social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. However, if you operate in the B2B sector, it may just be the most important site of all.

LinkedIn Dimensions

LinkedIn allows for an array of content types including text-based posts, photos, and videos as well. Here are your ideal dimensions:

  • Images to Company Page or profile: 1,104 x 736 pixels
  • Links with an image to Company Page or personal profile: 1,200 x 628 pixels

Video ads should be as follows:

  • Length: Three seconds to 30 minutes
  • Layout: Horizontal (vertical videos are not supported)
  • File size: Between 75 KB and 200 MB
  • File format: MP4
  • Frame rate: Less than 30 FPS
  • Pixel and aspect ratio requirements:
    • 360p (480 x 360; wide 640 x 360)
    • 480p (640 x 480)
    • 720p (960 x 720; wide 1280 x 720)
    • 1080p (1440 x 1080; wide 1920 x 1080)LinkedIn Image Sizes

Best Type of Content for LinkedIn

LinkedIn content comes in several forms, including video, images, and text updates. The one thing to keep in mind with LinkedIn is that it is a B2B platform so your content should speak on that level.

Inside industry information, industry news and current events, quick tips, and company information are all important types of content to share on LinkedIn. This is not the place for silly cat pictures or photos of your nephew’s birthday party (unless your business is renting cats for children’s birthday parties).

The Basics

As a networking platform for B2B marketing, LinkedIn excels over other social media platforms. It is a great place to position either yourself or your company as a thought leader within your industry.

LinkedIn is also a great place to promote your company and recruit talent. Recruitment videos, job ads, and more can help you source the talent you’re looking for.

Ad Types

LinkedIn recently started allowing video ads for brands. These ads take the form of sponsored content that is promoted to your target industry. LinkedIn ads provide the opportunity to advertise your product or service to the businesses you want to reach. You can also source talent with recruitment videos, with over 560 million active professionals on board. 

Twitter

In the world of fast-paced microblogging, Twitter reigns supreme. It may seem a little intimidating at first, but Twitter can be a great place to grow your following and drive people to learn more about your business. 

Twitter Dimensions

Twitter allows for a number of different content types; text updates, images, and video. Your ideal dimensions are as follows:

  • Twitter text posts: 280 characters (less if including a link)
  • Profile Photo: 400 x 400 (Displays 200 x 200)
  • Header Photo: 1,500 x 500
  • Horizontal Video: 1280 by 1024 pixels, 512MB max, aspect ratio between 1:2.39 – 2.39:1
  • Vertical Video: 1200 by 1900 pixels, 512MB max Twitter Image Sizes

While Twitter does give you some room to play with in terms of video size, it is important to remember that Twitter videos, like Instagram, are optimized for mobile viewing. Make sure your videos are intended for mobile viewing.

Functionality

Twitter is a fast-paced channel for sharing opinions and easily digestible content. As such, it is not the place for forging deep, personal relationships with customers. Rather, think of Twitter as a scrolling news feed for important information. It’s great for increasing brand awareness and driving traffic to your website or other social pages. It’s not the greatest place for selling directly or for lengthy engagements with customers.

Like Instagram, Twitter uses hashtags to organize conversations. Check out our tweet below advertising our February #PromoCalendar. Anyone searching the hashtag “#PromoCalendar” will see our post.

The Basics

One of the best things about Twitter is its relatively clean and uncomplicated interface. From your main profile page, simply select the “Tweet” button at the top right and you’ll be presented with a box just like the one below.

Simply type your message (or add a link) and you’re good to go. At the bottom left you’ll see icons for adding images and video, gifs, Twitter polls, or your location. Don’t forget the hashtags!

Defining Goals and Measuring Success

Defining success on Twitter should be measured by two key metrics: follower count and engagement. There are other metrics to pay attention to as well such as your average engagement per tweet, the makeup of your audience, and more.

Remember that Twitter is not an ideal platform for selling things directly so you’ll want to use your Twitter page to push customers further down your funnel – aka to your blog, landing page, press, website and so on. Twitter analytics can measure all of the above metrics and more so you’ll have plenty of data to draw from.

Set reasonable goals for growing your following and driving engagement. Success is not truly measured by how many followers you accrue; but rather the quality of their engagement and whether or not they’re following your content on to the next step.

Ready to begin? Check out our Twitter Advertising Guide!

Pinterest

If you’re interested in reaching some of it’s 200,000,000 monthly active users, Pinterest is the place for you. More of an online corkboard than a place for engagement, there are still many benefits to being on Pinterest for brands, especially if you can create eye-catching content.

Pinterest Dimensions

Your ideal Pinterest content dimensions are right here:

  • Profile images: 165 x 165 pixels.
  • Pins in feed: 238 pixels x adjusted to height.
  • Expanded pin size: 735 pixels x adjusted to height.
  • Pin boards complete size: 238 x 284 pixels.
  • Cover image: 217 x 146 pixels.
  • Tiny thumbnails: 51 x 51 pixels.

Video ads:

  • Minimum size: 240p
  • Recommended size (square videos): 600 by 600 pixels (1:1 aspect ratio)
  • Recommended size (vertical videos): 600 by 900 pixels (9:16 aspect ratio)Pinterest Image Sizes

The Basics

Pinterest functions as a placeholder for content you’d like to save and share with others. This content can come in the form of images or videos. For many, this is a place to share recipes, product info and recommendations, vacation dreams, and more.

For brands, it’s a great opportunity to showcase your product images, how-to videos, live events, and more. Pinterest is another platform that isn’t the greatest for engaging directly with customers, but rather moving them along through your funnel and spreading your content.

Content is shared (or “pinned”) to specific “boards” that you set up. Your “board” can be anything but the point of them is to stick to a theme. A “car board” would include information about automobiles, pics, and videos of cars you love, etc.

As you post content, followers discover and “re-pin” it to their own boards. When this happens, you’ll receive credit as well.

Ad types

Like other networks, Pinterest offers advertising opportunities in the form of “Promoted Pins.” This is similar to boosting a post on Facebook. When you promote a pin, your content is promoted to a relevant audience based on targeted demographics.

How effective is it? About 50% of Pinterest users have made a purchase after seeing a promoted pin.

Curating Content

A common question of all social media business users is “where do I get content?” Of course, the easiest answer no matter what network you’re on is to create it yourself! However, there are other options. Sharing, re-tweeting, or in this case, re-pinning content is a quick and easy way to share relevant information with your followers.

Of course, you don’t want to accidentally promote a competitor so make sure you know where that content is originating from. Still, industry news and insights, current events, and user-generated content from your fans are all fair game.

Pinterest allows for easy re-pinning of content. You’ll wind up crediting the original creator but you’ll also populate your own boards with content.

Defining Goals and Measuring Success

Since half of the users make purchases after viewing promoted pins, defining success on Pinterest can be closely connected to sales. The great thing about promoted pins is that they continue to drive sales after the initial promotion has ended. Unlike other forms of social media advertising, promoted pins don’t disappear at the end of the campaign. Rather, they live on. Users who have re-pinned the content continue to have and share it, exposing it to a new audience.

SnapChat

SnapChat is thought of as a communication app rather than a true social network. However, with over 170 million active users and a very video-heavy platform, the conditions are ripe for brands to make a statement.

SnapChat Dimensions

SnapChat is a mobile-first application so all content should be optimized for mobile viewing. Here are your ideal dimensions:

Long-form video ads:

  • Recommended size: 1080 by 1920 pixels
  • Supported aspect ratios: 9:16 or 16:9

Short-form video ads:

  • Recommended size: 1080 by 1920 pixels (9:16 aspect ratio)

Functionality and Content Types

There are a few different ways to post content to SnapChat. The most effective for brands may be the Snap Ad. Snap Ads are full length, vertically oriented (mobile first!) videos of no more than 10 seconds long. This is right in your video marketing wheelhouse!

Viewers of the ad can swipe to see a longer advertisement or be directed to your website, app download, etc.

Geofilters

Another promotional tool for SnapChat is geofilters. Geofilters are small bits of artwork that users can use as a background or frame to their snap. When a user takes a snap at a location of your choice, they’ll have the option of adding these geofilters.

Geofilters will identify the location the photo was taken in or frame a custom image (that you create) around the picture. Starbucks, for example, created the geofilter below in connection with a Frappuccino promotion.

Whenever SnapChat users took a snap (picture) of themselves in or near a Starbucks, they were given the option to use this geofilter to accompany it. The benefit? Everyone they share that snap with will see the branded imagery from Starbucks.

It doesn’t just have to be in connection with an in-store or company-wide promotion either. Starbucks has been extremely active with SnapChat geofilters; creating several to promote any number of special events and holidays.

SnapChat Best Practices for Business

SnapChat is a “cool” platform that is utterly dominated by the coveted under 35 crowd. As such, you want to keep your snaps short, sweet, and to the point. At the same time, be playful and funky with your content and don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone to jazz things up a bit. With Snapchat you are targeting young adults and teens, so create messaging accordingly.

Since snaps disappear after 24 hours, there may be a learning curve for businesses. Don’t get discouraged. You’re likely to see more traffic and traction with sponsored content as opposed to native, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be successful and grow a following.

SnapChat functions similar to Instagram Stories in terms of the short lifespan of content. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t still tell a story in multiple snaps. Storytelling is a key part of content marketing. Drive customers to want to learn more by enticing them with your content.

Other Social Networks

This may sound unbelievable, but did you know that there are several more social networks out there? The big ones on this list get all the attention, but in actuality, there are dozens more to choose from.

While they may not be as big or popular as some of the networks above, there’s still some marketing gold to mine with these channels. Here’s a list of a few more niche networks you may not have heard of.

FourSquare

FourSquare focuses on local search and discovery; great for businesses with a fixed location. Though it’s been overshadowed somewhat by Yelp, FourSquare still boasts a few million members who are always looking for local businesses to frequent.

Reddit

Reddit is popular in its own way, though it is best thought of as a user-generated message board rather than a social network in the Facebook sense. Still, it’s a great way to build a following and interact with customers. If you can gain traction on Reddit in an area that appeals to your business, there is success to be had.

Tumblr

Tumblr is kind of like Twitter but with more customization and better support for media content. However, it isn’t as popular as Twitter and not as widely used by influencers. Still, Tumblr has been around for a while and the level of customization is nice to have for brands.

Everything you need to know

The above information should help you get started on any and all of the popular social media networks. Make social media a focal point of your online strategy this year and see how successful you can become with the right tricks and tips.

If you need additional help, try these resources for more social media marketing 101 assistance:

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Author


Head of Content at Promo.com. * * * Storyteller by day. Content consumer by night. Habitually inspired.

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