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  Social Media 101

What is social media?

Social Media is a communications tool that allows people to engage with each other by sharing and consuming information. Popular social media platforms include Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Social media as a marketing tool is the practice of using those social media platforms to push out your brand in order to drive consumer interest. When done well social media marketing will encourage these consumers to like a page, click a link, drive a purchase, etc and thus dive into a deeper relationship with your brand.

The broader world of social media involves content creation, online social advertising, influencer marketing, and more. In essence, when we talk about social media now, we are talking about entirety of the system that revolves around the social media platforms. And, most people, just use the term "social" for short and you will see that I do so in much of this course.

If you are taking this course, you've probably heard lots of people tell you that social is the must do activity for your business. And, I believe it is but I also think it is isn't the only answer and if you are going to engage in social you must do so in a way that's smart and strategic. A strategic approach tied to your business goals is how you will save yourself time and money.

So how do you think about social media strategically?

You follow in the footsteps of great brands that are doing social media well. These brands are doing social media well because they inherently understand how they can use social media to drive SALES. Take a moment to look at:

  • Oreo: Notice how a brand about cookies stays culturally relevant and does so to drive cookie awareness and sales.
  • GoPro: Notice how this action camera brand puts their users in the spotlight constantly showcasing the amazing video that can be captured by their product. The result? You too want to buy their product and become your own action camera star.

This course is going to take your brand and make sure you understand that social media is about strategy. It about making sure that everything you post, everyone you engage with is strategically aligned to your business vision and goals. To do that, you need a plan.

Michael Hyatt in this great podcast talks about the role of goal-setting and planning in all parts of your life. It's imperative to avoid what he calls the drift i.e. the way that we and others move through life when we are letting the world flow around us rather than setting a direct intention about where we want to go. Time and time again, I have seen students failing at social media while spending tens of hours a week trying to get their business moving. They are failing not because they are not trying hard enough but because they don't have a directional plan in place to succeed. They are caught in the drift, and I don't want you to be there.

This class is a way to stop the drift and start seeing results.

What is Social Media.pdf

The PDF above is a reference for:

- A definition of social media

- Quotes about the relevance of social media.

- A dated (but still widely relevant) graph of which businesses are using social media).

- Look also to this link for additional data on top platforms. I will dive into this in MUCH more detail but the primer on sheer numbers and marketers use of the platforms is good context for you as you are thinking about and planning your business.

And finally, a chapter excerpt on social media from my book:

All the noise about the power of social media has blurred the point: social media is a tool. Like all tools you must learn to yield it effectively but, there have been few books or programs to help you do so strategically.

Instead, information has been chucked at you. Billions of blogs and books and social media channels have talked about how to do social media but in almost all of the conversations, experts talk about social media for its own sake.

For the purposes of this book, think of social media not as a particular platform (like Twitter or Instagram) but as a strategic process that will contribute to the success of your business. The last part of that sentence is intentional – social media is about business. Social media success is about business success.

Let me interrupt to say something controversial: You don’t need social media.

Social media is a tool. It’s a tool that must align to your strategic business and goals. It’s a tool that should help you to amplify and drive sales. If it is not doing those things, then you don’t need social media.

You don’t need to waste your time on something that is not providing you with business success. You don’t need to waste time liking and posting and commenting and friending. You might as well not be doing anything on social media if you are going to go out there and do it without a coordinated and connected strategy. So, if you do want to do social media, if you do want to use it to increase your sales and to drive business impact, you need to figure out how to do it strategically using it as the tool it is.