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Social media marketing 101: A beginner’s guide

Social media, those words will evoke different feelings in everyone. However, it cannot be denied that it is an excellent marketing tool for businesses. With the rise of Instagram influencers, TikTok influencers and vocal Twitter users, social media has become one of the biggest forms of expression and self-promotion in the modern age. 

Most social media is interactive, meaning your audience is able to like, follow, subscribe and comment on your posts to show their appreciation and interest and to engage with your business.

But we know that coming up with social media marketing ideas can seem daunting when you are new to the idea. So to make sense of it all, we have put together our very own social media marketing guide.

This is a marketing beginner’s guide that will help get you started on your journey to promoting yourself online whilst understanding how different platforms can be used to grow and expand your business.

So, without further ado, get ready for My Learning Online’s social media marketing guide for 2022!

What is social media and what platforms are available?

Social media is an online platform in which a person or business can create posts, videos and other content about their services or products. 

These profiles are often then linked to an online shop or a booking page, making it easy for potential customers and clients to access whatever the business is offering. 

There are numerous social media platforms that have been created over the past few years, each with a different style, vibe and level of popularity. Some businesses choose to set up accounts on several platforms in order to gain greater traction for their business from a variety of sources, while others choose to focus their effort and investment on one or two.

However, you want to present your business online, here are some of the best-known platforms to do it on:

  • Instagram – Possibly the biggest and most popular platform used for social media marketing, Instagram boasts a wide range of content options, from main feed posts and daily stories to keep people up to date on news and business happenings, as well as the recent introduction of Reels – which are videos with a similar vibe to TikTok and can be a fun way of showing off different elements of your business.
  • TikTok – TikTok gained huge popularity during the coronavirus lockdown of 2020, where dance trends and baking videos helped to keep us all sane during isolation. Since then, the short video platform has gone from strength to strength and has become a fun, creative way to market products and services.
  • Twitter – This is one of the best platforms to use for call-outs and if you want the news to travel FAST. Tweets are short but sweet; snappy sentences, interesting hashtags, links, funny gifs, and videos go down a treat on this platform and are easy to circulate.
  • Facebook – Some might say it is “the” original social media platform, but although Facebook is less popular than it used to be, it is still widely used and an excellent platform for building easy-to-locate business pages and posting more extensive posts and written content. With most customers expecting businesses to have a Facebook page in this day and age, Facebook is the ideal option for a social media beginner.
  • LinkedIn – Aimed at working professionals, this platform allows you to follow and connect with other professionals in the industry. It helps you to build your network and gain a following whilst also putting out insightful and informative content about your business.
  • YouTube – Similar to Facebook, YouTube has been around for quite a while and is still a very popular content-sharing platform. YouTube is a video-focused platform that is one of the best for posting clear, contained and well-thought-out videos that are more likely to be seen by the masses. People can like and comment on your videos and subscribe to your channel to receive updates when you post new content.
Social media platorms

Social media marketing introduction

When starting to promote yourself and your business online, there are a few important things to consider before you dive immediately into creating content:

  • Your identity – Having a clear view of who you are as a business, what your values are and what services or products you offer is the first step to effective online marketing. Consider what sets you apart from other businesses in your industry, what your ethos and message is, as well as how you want customers and clients to receive your content.
  • Branding and aesthetic – Social media is BIG on aesthetics, with colour-schemed feeds, brand and housing styles attracting considerable attention. In other words, how do you want your business to look online?
  • Content – With so many different types of content to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start – posts, stories, reels…the list goes on! The first thing to do is to outline and plan what kind of content you want to put out online. Does a neat, aesthetically pleasing Instagram feed appeal to you? Are you comfortable in front of a camera and would like to try your hand at making some Reels and videos? Or are you a wordsmith and prefer to write longer posts or articles about your work and what you have to offer? The world is your oyster, and it is completely up to personal preference how you wish to promote your business online – don’t be afraid to get creative!
  • Know your audience, and get them involved! – One of the most important things when it comes to social media content creation is knowing your audience. What clientele group is your content aimed at? Who else do you want to reach through your content? Perhaps engaging your audience with interactive posts such as polls and Q&As could help gain some attention from a wider customer base.

The 7 P’s of social marketing

  1. PREPARE – Prepare your content: What do you want to make? How do you want it to be perceived? What ideas do you have for fun and engaging posts?
  2. PROMOTE – What types of posts will best promote your business? What message do you want to get out there for the world to see? What do you have that other businesses in your industry don’t? Think about this when creating your online content.
  3. PLAN – Work your preparation into a solid content plan, utilising templates, colour schemes and organising weekly or monthly post idea schedules.
  4. PLAY – Get creative! Just because you are professional doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun! If your business seems friendly and approachable, people are more likely to engage.
  5. POST – Get your content online! Don’t worry about getting every single post “perfect” either, as it’s better to have something on your profile than nothing at all.
  6. PLUG – Promoting your content across other platforms or sharing to your social stories can be a great way to reach more people. It’s a great way to increase the visibility of the content that you worked so hard to create.
  7. PROVIDE – Now you’ve promoted your business, you’ve got to provide the goods. Maintaining excellent products and services, as well as an efficient and open communication between yourself and your customers, will help you to build a solid client base. Word-of-mouth recommendations and online reviews will help your business soar to new heights!
Marketing yourself with social media

Want to take things further?

While it might be worth looking into a certificate in social media marketing if you really want to upskill your online presence, a lot of social media content creation can be learnt by online tutorials and dedicating time to exploring the platforms. With the right support and guidance, you can create a thriving social media profile that professionally promotes and expands a business.

With this in mind, here at My Learning Online, we have an abundance of courses in various career sectors to choose from:

All of our comprehensive, professionally curated courses are completely online, which means that you can access your learning 24/7, at whatever time suits you and your schedule.

Each course comes with a downloadable brochure, offering more info about course content, module breakdown and assessments, accessing your learning online and tutor support. We also have course fee payment plans available to make financing your future that little bit easier. 

If there is anything you can’t find the answer to on our website, get in touch, and one of our friendly course advisers will be on hand to help guide you.

Let’s get you out there!


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