Social media marketing seems to be all the rage in the marketing world these days. Where else can you set up a free account, connect with thousands of customers, and launch any marketing campaign you want? Instead of launching an expensive tv commercial, you could hypothetically reach more people, engage them in more creative ways, and do all this for free! And to make matters even better, there are many social media platforms to repeat this equation.
For marketers themselves, it’s ultra appealing because we use social media every day for fun… so if you can work a hobby into your career, it’s great. And since everyone is a user of social media these days, the learning curve is very small to enter the industry.
While Reverse Tide agrees that social media is a great place for businesses to market and a great opportunity for marketers to launch a career, we do urge a little caution. Being a user of social media and using these platforms for business is very different. And the learning curve is a lot bigger than many realize (although still small compared to most other career options). Too few jump into it with the right training and skills and we’re here to change that. If you’re a social media marketer or thinking of getting into it, we want to be the go-to page on the internet for learning most effectively.
Since there is a lot of junk in learning social media, we restrict content to the best sources only. Each tab has a different social media platform. Rather than trying to learn all at once, we recommend specializing in a few and then building from there. Nobody can be an expert in everything after all.
Since Facebook is the biggest social media platform, it makes sense that marketers flock to this site. Pretty much everyone uses Facebook but a much smaller number can make it work in a business context. It’s not enough to simply set up a page and gather ‘Likes’. You need to do better.
There are thousands of sites offering Facebook marketing advice. A lot are clickbait type articles that offer no real learning value. Many others don’t give a coherent path to truly learn best practices within the platform. Of these thousands, we’ve tried to narrow it down as much as possible. We’ve come up with 3 that will teach you comprehensively from true Facebook experts. Then beyond that, learning marketing fundamentals and general social media should do the trick.
Facebook Ads & Facebook Marketing Mastery Guide is amazing for a comprehensive course, while Jon Loomer’s Facebook Blog and Mari Smith’s Facebook Blog are great sites to learn additional best practices.
Compared to Facebook, we believe Twitter marketing is a bit more straightforward. However, it’s a totally different platform, different audience type, and thus requires a different strategy and execution.
Rather than waste time and money on a really detailed course or site with hundreds of articles, we would keep it easy with one of these free guides: The Ultimate Twitter Marketing Guide or Moz Twitter Guide.
For a more comprehensive course, we like Twitter Marketing Masterclass.
Instagram is another social platform that is pretty easy to learn and get started marketing on. If you’ve already learned Facebook marketing, a lot of the strategies can be replicated here. The difference of course is that everything is visual. Again, we don’t recommend doing anything excessive in learning Instagram. In fact, we’d suggest focusing more on design related topics, as that’s how you’ll get people’s attention. Good photography and photo editing, good product visuals, art, etc are all valuable. And learning good video skills can help as well.
With that said, we have two sources to consider in learning Instagram and getting started. Those are The Complete Guide to Instagram Marketing and 30 Tips to Grow Your Marketing and Stand Out on Instagram
LinkedIn is a very underrated source of marketing, however, is primarily used in a very different way than the other social networks. This is because the profiles, usage, and information gained from LinkedIn is all B2B and aimed at a professional audience.
There are really two main ways to market on LinkedIn. First is using your company page, where you can do all the things you do on Facebook or Twitter. However, the much better use is for direct sales and prospecting. We’ll show you how to learn this optimally, as LinkedIn is an ultra-powerful tool.
YouTube has become one of the biggest sources of social media marketing in recent years. It’s one of the biggest search engines in the world. Its users are highly engaged. Creative capabilities are super high for marketers. The content can be embedded in other channels. And people generally respond to visual stimulus much more than other communication methods.
While the benefits for using Youtube are clear, it’s also one of the more challenging channels to market effectively in. Video takes a lot more time and expertise to effectively produce. You need special equipment and proficiency in editing, production, and communicating on a camera. You have to be entertaining and engaging (even in informative videos). And you still have to produce content that performs well in search and ultimately converts the customer. A lot more training is required to get good at this. However, once you do it, the rewards are plentiful.
As luck would have it, we found two courses that teach you all of what we just mentioned. Rather than this being a giant curriculum, we can make it nice and efficient. A little more expensive than we’d prefer but worth it in terms of quality, comprehensiveness, and great reviews. Here’s what we’d do to learn Youtube Marketing: Master Video Marketing and Grow Your Business with YouTube Marketing.
Pinterest, while smaller in user base than the other social platforms, has a very different audience and is a tremendous opportunity for differentiation. We’ve heard from many businesses that despite getting less followers and impressions on Pinterest, the conversion rates are much higher. So this can be a great niche for you as a marketer to develop expertise in.
The learning for Pinterest is actually pretty simple as well. It’s not different enough to go through a lengthy and expensive course. We can learn this for free (and through experience)! And the good news is, there are a few good guides that can get you off to a great start. We like Pinterest for Business, The Ultimate Pinterest Marketing Guide, and Pinterest: A Guide for Marketers
Snapchat has emerged as one of the most popular social media networks with the younger crowd. And what started as a mere video sharing app is increasing its game by adding business offerings, hardware, and other cool features. This company looks like it’s here to stay and only increase its share of the social world.
Not many businesses add Snapchat to their social arsenal. So this is yet another differentiation you can offer as a marketer. You can build perspectives, expertise, and testimonials and help businesses not only build a Snapchat presence but attract new customers as well. Experience is the name of the game but start with Snapchat for Business: The Ultimate Marketing Guide and How to Use Snapchat for Business: A Guide for Marketers
This is a funny case study because Reddit as a community has been relentless in resisting advertising. While they have recently tried to monetize the site (through advertising), it’s so much more discreet than other social media sites because the users are quick to censor or disallow ads.
For those less familiar with Reddit, it’s an extremely loyal message board type site that has sub-boards organized by topic. Its users are extremely passionate about their respective communities and would be a marketer’s dream if they could successfully reach them. However, as we mentioned, that’s a bit tricky.
Some brands have done it successfully. And marketers are at the beginning stages of catching on to being successful. Reddit Marketing 101 can help you catch on too.
We at Reverse Tide use Quora quite a bit and it can be useful for many business types. It’s really as simple as a Q&A site and has a few attached social features. We use it to help people out (after all, that’s the service we offer on site as well). However, that enables us to refer askers to our site for additional resources.
Quora is simple so no need to spend a ton of time learning it. Quora Marketing: The Definitive Guide does the trick.
Tumblr is a bit underrated on the social media marketing scene, which is good news for marketers looking to establish a niche. It’s still a widely used site and with Verizon recently acquiring it (as part of Yahoo), there’s potential for them to invest in making it bigger.
Like many of the social media sites here, more of your time should be spent on good content skills, persuasion, and other fundamentals. However, we also like The Complete Starter’s Guide to Tumblr Marketing and Tumblr Marketing: 10 Effective Brand Doing It Right.
We talk often about how effective marketing is less about the channel and more about the fundamentals. Skills like persuasion, pricing, sales, and analytics are much more important than anything else.
So if you haven’t already, we strongly suggest getting a core marketing education. We provide a learning path at Learn General Marketing
The only way to truly learn these marketing channels is to get out of the theory and try it for yourself. Experience is what creates a good resume and a good marketer.
So we’ve put together a nice article listing all the ways you can build more experience. Whether you’re just starting or have done this before, these methods help anyone.
Check it out at Get Social Media Marketing Experience
We commend you for your choice learn marketing skills. This will help you take the next step up in your career. But how can you turn skills into real job outcomes?
The following guides will help you apply your new skills and see significant career benefit…
It’s pretty tough to differentiate yourself in the job market. But now that you’ve learned a valuable new skill, we think you can do it with your resume.
For more information and to sign up, visit our Building a Top Resume Guide Page
Cover letters are the first thing employers will see when you’re applying to them. So you certainly want it to look good and make a strong case for you to get the job!
For more information and to sign up, check out our page Writing Amazing Cover Letters Guide
Now that you have better qualifications, it’s time to PROVE it to employers. This is what they love even more than resumes! Portfolios are your edge compared to other applicants.
The Portfolio Guide will help with…
For more information or to sign up, visit our page – Creating a Professional Portfolio Guide
The interview is the equivalent of closing the sale. This is when you’re getting more personalized and thus requires substantial preparation.
Here’s what this guide covers…
For more information or to sign up, visit our page Owning the Interview Guide
Everyone should know how to do a business proposal but few do! Yet it’s so important to advance in your career (job applications, bidding on work, proposing ideas, etc).
For more information or to sign up, visit our page The Business Proposal Guide
Sales can be a freelancer’s biggest challenge. But it doesn’t have to be so bad. We’re here to help! This guide will help you improve with:
For more information or to sign up, visit our page – Increasing Freelance Sales Guide
Rather than go from gig to gig, you can do better. Your freelancing can be built into a full business and earn much better, more consistent revenue.
This guide helps the freelancer:
For more information or to sign up for this guide, visit our page at Freelance Gigs to Lucrative Business Guide
Now that you’ve improved your marketing skills, it’s time to focus on how to write them specifically. What do employers look for when hiring marketers?
This guide is one of a kind… we don’t know of anyone else providing such specific advice! And best of all, it’s super cheap! For more information or to sign up, check out our page:
We want to work with YOU directly. What can we focus on?
For more information or to sign up for a time slot today, visit our page Reverse Tide Personalized Career Services
Like any other subject, you want to always stay up to date with the latest news, perspectives, trends, strategies, and technology in your field. By now you should a good social media learning background and a bit of experience. However, learning definitely doesn’t stop there.
The first way we recommend staying relevant and gathering great new ideas is to subscribe to the top social media blogs. The good ones we listed have news, perspectives, case studies, tips, and more for all the social platforms we’ve mentioned in our Learning Path. So once you get the education from our prior sections, these are sources you can subscribe to for continuing education.
Even though these are blogs, you can choose how you subscribe. Pick one of their own social media pages. Subscribe to their RSS (we use Feedly to aggregate all our favorite blogs). Subscribe to their email list. Whatever works. Here’s what we’d choose in the blog category…
We love podcasts because you can learn while multi-tasking on something else. We do it at the gym. However, others might do it in the car, on public transit, or when you’re bored at work (wink). The podcasts we’ve linked here are the best in social media. Through interviews, strategy advice, and other formats, they can really help you improve your marketing awareness and skills.
One of the best ways to learn is by relying on peers as a resource when needed. While you’d be well served to develop a network of trusted colleagues, it’s also valuable to have a place to turn to online. Forums are great places to ask and answer social media related questions so you can bounce ideas off others or discover something that Google can’t answer. The best social media community is on Warrior Forum.
If you’re going to invest in social media, finding the right management platform is absolutely essential. These applications can help in so many ways: scheduling posts, managing multiple platforms or accounts at once, analytics, community management, and so much more. Any marketer not only needs to use these well but be familiar with the many options. As a starting point, Hootsuite, Agora Pulse, Buffer, Sprout Social are some of the top names. However, don’t stop there, as there are so many options with each having their own features, strengths, and price points.
Analytics is another must-have for any marketer. We would encourage you to think about analytics in two ways: how to track your social media results specifically but to also have analytics that capture performance for your marketing efforts as a whole. That way you know what is working, what needs adjustment, and what to invest further in.
If you utilize one of the good Social Media Management platforms, it will have many analytics tools built-in. You may wish to go a step further than seeing how many people see your post, like it, follow you, etc. Analytics tools might help you assess the financial impact of social media. They might offer insight in how you’re performing in your niche. There’s a lot of possibilities. Some names to consider are Simply Measured, Socialbakers, quintly, and Oktopost. However, there are tons more depending on platform and what features you’re after. You can also opt to outsource your analytics to a specialist marketing firm.
Consistently engaging your social media audience with relevant material can be tough and time-consuming work. If you’re writing material, you may be short on ideas. You may not have the time or resources to produce frequent original content. And of course you want to take advantage of all the wonderful stuff elsewhere on the internet for ideas, best practices, research, motivation, or simply to share other great content.
Rather than manually searching for good content, you can use technology’s power to automatically search and aggregate content. You can search for certain topics, limit it by source… whatever you want. Sites like Curata, Feedly, Storify, and ContentGems are popular services. However, like every tech category, there are plenty more worthy of investigating
This one is huge. Every study we have ever seen has said that visuals (photos, videos, infographics, etc) gain more attention and have greater conversion characteristics compared to text. However, not every social media manager can necessarily create amazing graphics from scratch. So if you want to take advantage of a visuals strategy, you’re going to need help.
Luckily, there are so many applications that help standard users create great visual content. Some of the well known tools like Canva, Snappa, Pablo, and Adobe Spark are all highly rated. However, depending on your need (photo editing vs. infographics vs. something else), you should investigate the options available.
The last piece of technology worth investing in is social research. It is always helpful to customize your content to what you think your audience is looking for or what is likely to be successful. Sure, you can survey your audience or test to see what works but it’s also nice to have some research tools in advance.
There are many applications and services that help with this. Some might focus on data mining your industry or subject and reporting key insights. Others might locate good influencers to contact. And others might take a pulse of your own audience and give you some brand level intelligence. Some of the well known tools to get you started are Social Clout, Nuvi, Keyhole, and Brandwatch . Like all the other tech tools, plenty more as well.