Introduction to Social Media Strategy | Learn with Buffer | Brian Peters | Skillshare

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Introduction to Social Media Strategy | Learn with Buffer

teacher avatar Brian Peters, Strategic Partnerships Manager, Shopify

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Getting Started


    • 3.

      Find Your Voice


    • 4.

      Choose Your Platforms


    • 5.

      Creating & Curating Content


    • 6.

      Use the Right Tools


    • 7.

      5-Step Facebook Ad Strategy


    • 8.

      Final Thoughts


    • 9.

      What's Next?


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About This Class

Create a social media strategy that works with digital marketing strategist Brian Peters and Buffer in this 45-minute, straightforward class.

Whether you’re looking to foster brand awareness, increase website traffic, or drive sales, learn how to craft a simple social media strategy to achieve your goals on Facebook and Twitter. From finding your voice to paid advertising, Brian walks through his process for custom social strategies. Learn how to:

  • Choose the right social platforms for your business
  • Create and curate effective visual content
  • Use tools like Buffer to schedule, analyze, and improve your posts
  • Execute Brian's 5-step Facebook advertising plan

After taking this class, you'll be able to craft a custom social media strategy that will help you drive your business goals, foster authentic connections with your target audience, and achieve the results you want.


Buffer is an intuitive way to manage all of your social media content across platforms with powerful scheduling and analytics. Whether you are browsing the web or on the go, you can easily add content to your queue with our browser extensions and mobile apps. Schedule your first post today at

Meet Your Teacher

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Brian Peters

Strategic Partnerships Manager, Shopify


Brian is a Strategic Partnerships Manager at Shopify, the best ecommerce platform that has everything you need to sell online, on social media, or in person.

Brian works closely on many marketing and partnerships opportunities at Shopify, video, content, email, product growth, platform, and more. 

Brian's work has been featured in countless publications, including Fast Company, Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur, and more.

Brian is based out of San Francisco with his wife, Katelyn, and would love to chat with you!

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Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hey everyone. My name is Brian Peters, I am the Digital Marketing Strategist at Buffer. Buffer is a super easy and intuitive social media scheduling and analytics platform. Today, I am super excited to be sharing with you a social media marketing strategy from start to finish. Not only will we be talking about the how and why you should be on social media, but we also will be talking about creating and curating content, as well as finding your voice, setting goals, and even a page strategy for beginner social media marketers to really extend their social media reach. When I think of social media strategy, I traditionally think about driving business sales. But social media is so much more than that today, it's about connecting with customers, building relationships, growing your audience, driving engagement and eventually driving sales for your business. But you have to have all of those other steps in place first to really have a great social media marketing strategy and plan in place. In the social media posts that are successful, there's always that something that you can't quite put your finger on. These tools, and strategies, and resources will help you find that special search you are looking for on social media. So, throughout this class, we'll be sharing a lot of different worksheets with you on how to not only think about your social media strategy, but actual tactics and things you can do to put that in place. And at the end, I would love for you to create a project, share some content on social media that you might not have before, and then of course share that with us and we can keep the discussion going and really kind of dive into us working for you. 2. Getting Started: Did you know that there are more than seven billion living people on earth and that 2.3 billion people are active on social media with that number growing every single day. You should be thinking about social media not only because of the 2.3 billion people that are active on social media but because, like we talked about in the intro, it does help to drive business growth in the long run. But it's also used for a lot of different ways as well. Customer service, building relationships, audience engagement, brand awareness are all various goals and tactics that you could strive for using social media. So, one of the key reasons that you need a social media strategy in place is that every single one of the social media posts that you post to the public is a key extension of your brand. Another key reason why you might want to have a social media strategy in place is that it's very easy to respond to some things or post some things here and there, which creates a feeling of inconsistency for your audience. One of the most important things for social media is being consistent. Because if you are providing great content, your audience is going to expect that from you time and time again. So, not only for customer service but just your posting strategy in general. One of the best ways to engage with our audience on social media is through edutainment, education and entertainment. If you think about the reasons why you're on social media, it's probably not to dive into a 4,000 word-blog post or even a sales pitch from a company. It starts organically and it starts with educating and entertaining your customers. That will keep them coming back for more. You can find amazing examples of social media posts anywhere you look online, but right now I'd love to share with you a few of my favorite examples to help get the creative juices flowing for you. One of my favorite social media examples of this is an online photo book called Chatbooks. The founder of Chatbooks found an amazing way to connect with our audience and created a video as an advertisement. So, this Chatbook video depicts a working mom who takes a ton of different photos of her kids but doesn't have any time to upload them to a photo album. This video depicts it in a way that is hilarious and also helps her drive business growth for Chatbooks without feeling like an advertisement at all. Now the reason this video did so well is because of social media. It's relatable. She knew exactly who her target demographic was. But this video has more than 68 million views on Facebook alone and has helped drive a massive growth to her business. But it all started out with a simple idea to engage her audience in a funny and entertaining way. Another one of my favorite social media campaigns going on right now is one by MailChimp. So, this actually stemmed from a funny social media post where someone mispronounced their name. Now MailChimp has an entire social media campaign called Did You Mean where they basically do a play on words of funny things you might misassociate MailChimp with like male cramp or jail shrimp or fail chips. So, at first you might think why MailChimp? Why go through the trouble of building this entire campaign around mispronounced names? But what you need to understand is that MailChimp's brand and what they have decided through their social media strategy is that they're quirky and it's part of their voice to be this company that is outlandish and not afraid to push the boundaries of what it means to post on social media. Having that framework in place allows them to say, "Okay, this is not off brand. It's exactly the thing we want to portray about our brand, and it can do that through social media through the Did You Mean Campaign." Now, that you've seen what works and why a social media strategy is important, naturally you might be wondering how you can apply this to your own social media. We ran a huge study here at Buffer back in 2016 asking social media marketers what their biggest challenges were for social media. The results that we found were surprising but they were also pretty common across the board. So, the number one thing was driving traffic to your websites. Other things like connecting and engaging with customers were on there. The reason that these challenges you see on the graph are important for you is because you'll probably encounter these challenges along the way as you look to start your social media strategy and as you go down the line and as you grow on social media. So, some of the key questions you're going to want to ask yourself as you're getting started with your social media strategy are Why is my business on social media in the first place? So, things like what goals is social media going to support? What goals do we hope to achieve over the year in social media? And then the second question is why would people want to follow us on social media? Sometimes that question gets left out. But really what value are you going to provide to customers that's unique and that's different from what other brands are doing that people would want to say, "I want to follow that brand and I want to continue to follow that brand over time." Once you determine why your business should be on social media and how you're going to provide value to your customers, the next most important step is creating general goals for your social media strategy. Some of the goals that I've seen personally work for businesses is number one, brand awareness. Social media is a great brand awareness tool and that includes things like audience growth and engagement. The second thing that I've seen businesses really strive for is driving traffic to their websites because a lot of the assets that you own as a business happen on your website. So, driving traffic there is important. The third and final thing I've seen work for businesses is to drive sales and eventually every social media marketer will strive to driving sales through social media. But it really works in a ladder effect where you drive brand awareness, second, you drive traffic, and then third, you can start to drive sales. Now, for the fun part, a worksheet to get started with on your social media strategy. So, you're going to see the word value proposition on there. What I'd like you to do is to develop the "What makes your business unique?" statement. It could be your brand, your voice, your imagery, your product. One of the best ways to help you identify your value proposition and also set the standard of what you want your own social media to be like is to identify peers whether they're in your industry or outside your industry that you really look up to as brands and as companies. What I'd like you to do is identify 5-10 of those brands or companies that you think do a really good job of posting social media and also a really good job of connecting with their audience. This value proposition and identifying key peers and competitors and brands in your industry will help you define your social media marketing strategy for the rest of this class and really start the anchor point for everything you're going to need to be successful. 3. Find Your Voice: One of the first things you're going to want to do in your social media strategy is determine your voice. What we mean by voice is, what are the words and the graphics and the visuals you want to post on social media? How are you going to go about saying them? So, it actually breaks down into the words that you use on an individual basis. So, will you be quirky like MailChimp? Or friendly like Buffer? Or maybe a bit more buttoned up like you might find with some of these bigger, longer standing companies like IBM or Cisco? A recent study looked at the different reasons why people might unfollow brands. If you take a close look at the top four reasons, they all have to do with voice on social media. People might have heard about your company or your business before they actually ever find you on social media. So, when they do follow you, they're going to have an expectation of what they want to see from you on social, and then it's your job to then build that into your social media strategy and meet those expectations. At Buffer, going back to the example that we shared earlier, part of our brand is the idea of this future of work and this remote working life. So, in a lot of our social media posts, we talk about that. So, even though we're a social media management company, and we build a social media management software, we're able to talk about this future of working in post, images and captions, and text around that because we've built that into our voice and tone and as part of our brand and the things that we post on social which has been very successful for us. Recently, Wendy's started roasting people on Twitter that would reach out and complain about something that Wendy's did on social media. Wendy's started responding with these mean but hilarious tweets that help to humanize their brand and make Wendy's feel like a more friendly and human brand that people could interact with almost like as if they were friends with Wendy's. This was wildly successful for them and it helped gain a lot of attention through media publications and news outlets that Wendy's was trying something different and it was working for them. In order to help bring this social media voice thing together for you, we've put a worksheet together that will ask you some basic questions about your brand and about your value proposition, like if your brand was a person, what kind of personality would it have? We at Buffer love this question because it really helps to get the core of what we offer on social media, and that's humbleness, and friendliness, and just a real strong focus on taking care of our customers and making sure they have a great experience. Another one of the questions is asking yourself how you want your customers to think about your brand or business. At Buffer, we put this into everything we do and when people interact with us on social media, or anywhere from that matter, we want them to walk away with the idea of, "Wow, I can't wait to have an engagement or conversation with the people at Buffer again because they're some of the most friendly and awesome people on the planet." That's actually built into our values and everything we do, and is explicitly stated in some of our documents at Buffer. A great way to help you start building the framework for your voice on social media is through the use of adjectives, really nailing down exactly what your brand is all about. But another way to approach this and one that we find super helpful here at Buffer is to describe your company in adjectives that it's not. So, we at Buffer are not mean, we're not serious, we're not unkind or unhumble. We really take the approach of identifying all the things that we're not, and that's a great starting point for helping us to really clarify the things that we are through the use of adjectives. At the end of this worksheet, you're going to have a handful of awesome adjectives to describe your company and your voice. These adjectives are going to act as one of the starting points for choosing your social media networks, posting to social media, developing a paid strategy. It's going to act as the framework for all of that. What that's going to do in the long run is almost act as your social media checklist. So, every time you do something on social media, you can have these adjectives to reference and say, "Does it meet these certain set of requirements or standards that we've developed from the very beginning?" No matter which way you approach voice and tone on social media, it's going to require a lot of practice on your end, and it's also going to require a lot of writing. We at Buffer have developed a ton of different resources on headline, copywriting, how to write different social media posts in various ways, how to develop your voice and tone on social media, and we're happy and excited to share all of those resources with you in the resource section of this class. I think the two key takeaways from this lesson is that, number one, cultivate a voice that will excite and delight your customers. This will help them share the love about your company on social media because it will make them excited to be a part of your brand. Another key point is to make everything you post and do social media one experience for your customers. Going back to consistency and voice and tone will help you to not only grow your audience but to also develop your social media into a thriving online community. 4. Choose Your Platforms: Now that we have some of the most important frameworks in place, it's time to get to the exciting stuff, and that's starting to pick your social media networks. In previous years, it might have been a great strategy for brands to just get on every social media network and start posting. The one thing I like you to take away from this is that it's better to be really great on one to three social media channels than it is to be average on a lot of different social media channels. So, why picking your social media networks? It's really really important to getting started. If you're curious to know what some of the top social media platforms used by brands are, this graph is a great starting point. But it's also really important to remember that just because a lot of the top brands or a lot of different brands are on those social media channels doesn't mean that you necessarily have to be as well. It's all about knowing where your target demographic is and then picking your social media channels based on that. One of the most important things starting out when choosing social media networks to be on is the time and resources involved to maintain those channels successfully, time being the amount of time you actually spend curating and creating content for those channels, and then resources being what kind of content do you have to create to make those channels successful. Each channel has its individual rules and things that work, and so you're going to want to really customize that to your own needs for your business. Two of the other important factors you want to consider when choosing social media networks is, number one, audience, and that's where does your target demographic hang out on social media? If you're targeting a younger generation teenagers, Snapchat might be the best option for you. Whereas, if you're targeting season professionals, LinkedIn might be the best platform. When I first started a Buffer, I had some general best practices in place to identify networks that might work for our company. I love to run over some of the drawbacks and potential benefits for each social media network. For Facebook, Facebook is pretty much today's version of the Yellow Pages. I really do think that every business should have at least some sort of presence on Facebook. Although the platform is really noisy and there's a ton of businesses on there, there's amazing opportunities for brands and marketers to really hone in on their target demographic and provide content in ways that are unique and original to that channel. Instagram is one of the fastest growing networks on the planet with more than 600 million monthly users. It's also one of the only social media channels that is very visually driven, it's a great resource for brands and businesses with the very visual product, and there's also a ton of different content options like Instagram stories, videos, photos, and graphics that you can share. But it's not the best tool for driving traffic to your website or even making sales. So, if you have a visual brand, it can be a very strong point for your social media strategy, but it is definitely not for every single brand out there. Twitter is one of the last standing social media networks that is news first. It's a great network to share relevant information with a niche audience. But there's also a lot of content being shared by different brands every single day, and so standing out among that noise is quite a difficult task to do. However, with a dedicated social media strategy and a consistent posting schedule, you can begin to create a niche audience on Twitter and really deliver valuable content to your customers. Pinterest is one of those lesser talked about social media networks that has a huge potential to drive very specific traffic to your website. Foodies and travel bloggers and fashion experts have seen some great success using Pinterest, driving sales and traffic to their blog. However, it takes a lot of time and visual content resources to make your Pinterest channel successful. Just keep that in mind when developing a Pinterest strategy. The new kid on the block, Snapchat, is a great channel for brands and marketers looking to target a younger generation like teenagers. Discoverability is a bit of an issue and so it's hard to find brands and other influencers on the channel, but it's a great way to humanize your brand and share behind the scenes content with your audience. This helps to develop relationships and even build one-on-one connections with your target demographic. LinkedIn is one of the best networks for business to business enterprises and companies looking to connect with customers on social media. It's a great platform for sharing relevant industry content, but you have to be willing to put in the time to build one-on-one relationship with people. People are on LinkedIn professionally and looking to build connections and build their network. As a brand, you can take that approach to LinkedIn Marketing to help grow your social media presence there. Ideally, you'd have at least one person working solely on every one of these individual social media channels to make them successful, but the truth of the matter is is that a lot of brands and businesses simply don't have the time and resources to do so. That's why it's really really important for you to start with one to three social media channels and go from there. That way, like I said before, you can focus on being good on one or two or three and not being average on many different social channels. Okay, so now that you have an idea of the social media networks that you'd like to be on, the next obvious step is to pick how often you're going to be posting to these social media channels. A general guideline is one to two times per day on Facebook and LinkedIn, whereas Twitter is a bit noisier, so you might want to post anywhere between three to 10 times per day on Twitter. Instagram, same thing, one to two times per day works, but I think the general overall theme for posting strategy is to be consistent. So, if you decide to post once a day, make sure to stick to that schedule because people are going to come to expect that. Remember that posting strategies are not the same for every brand or business. Here at Buffer, we use these general guidelines for posting strategy, but aren't afraid to deviate from this plan. So, a lot of times, I'll try different posting strategies for Facebook or Twitter, different timing. But the key thing is to remember not just the post to post on social media. Make sure that everything you're putting out there looks to achieve some goal that you've put in place. One little pro tip that we found here at Buffer is that repeating content that you've posted in the past really seems to work on social media. The key thing to remember there is that you definitely want to have some space in between the time that you've posted it previously. For us, it's generally one month or so for Facebook, LinkedIn, and then every week or so on Twitter, we tend to repeat content because what you'll find is that not everybody that follows you on social media sees the content that you post. So, reposting your most successful content is a great way to have your content seen by more people. Everyone starts somewhere. Even when I was developing a social media strategy when I first started or even when I was developing Buffer's social media strategy, I looked outside to our peers and competitors for best practices when it came to choosing social networks and choosing when to post. Remember the worksheet we worked on last time? Well, this worksheet is going to develop on that and is going to help you identify the best networks and the best posting strategy to pick for your business. Check out your peers and competitors, find out what they're doing on social media and use this worksheet to help you to develop a strategy of your own that you think will work for you. 5. Creating & Curating Content: This just might be my favorite part of the class, generating content for social media. I really like to think about this in two separate categories; creating content and curating content. Both strategies can help to grow your brand on social media, but they also play a significant role in the overall strategy of what you want to post and when. Creating contents generally means anything that you as a company or as a marketer create by yourself. So, this is all of your own content. Curating content means that you did not create the content originally but that you posted through your own social media channels as if it were your own. A lot of times, you'll go ahead and give credit to the original author. When it comes to creating content, the most important thing you can focus on for social media is the visual aspects of that content. I like to break that up into two separate categories. First is static images, things like graphics, Infographics, data charts, emojis, and then also motion graphics, things like videos, gifs, and memes. Both of those can be used strategically to mix up the content and then also to build your brand and drive engagement. Some other examples of creating content for social media are things like link shares or status updates, visual quotes like this one from Canva, and other sorts of things that you can do to help boost your social media engagement and drive brand awareness. When you're getting started with creating content, it's important to remember that we all start somewhere. If I look back a few years ago on all of the stuff that I was sharing on social media, sometimes I cringe with the things that I was sharing. Over time, you're going to get better at creating content. What you want to do is first realize and identify the strengths that you have as a marketer or as a brand. If you're good on camera, start with making videos. If maybe podcasting or speaking is more your style, that might be an avenue for you to go as well. Maybe you're a video maker or a graphic creator or maybe you have a knack for finding the best links. Identifying your strengths and playing off of those is a great place to start for creating content that would do really, really well for your audience on social media. It's also really important to experiment with a ton of different types of content. If you find that something's not working on social media, don't worry, there's a ton of different things that you can share and try with your audience, and I know that you will find something that works eventually. Last but not least, I know I sound like a broken record when I say this but, look to your peers and your competitors for things that they're doing on social media. It may be that visuals don't work in your industry and that links are the way to go. If you see something that's working for other people, definitely try that out yourself and I promise you that will help you develop a solid social media strategy that works. One of my absolute favorite social media posting strategies is curating content. Believe it or not, some of our most successful of posts through the buffer social media channels have been curated content. A lot of these posts have reached more than 100,000 people across social media and has meant a great deal to our audience growth and driving traffic to our websites. Finding this curated content is pretty easy, you can use tools like Feedly or Twitter or Facebook, but at the end of the day, you're going to want to find curated content that fits within your brand voice and also helps to enlighten your customers on things that they find important and that's done through easily identifying content that has worked in the past. So, let's get into some best practices when curating content for social media. The first and most important thing you're going to want to do is actually read and digest all of the content that you're looking to share on social media. That way, you know it fits within your brand voice and mission. The second thing you're going to want to do is look for engagement numbers to help you gauge whether or not that post will be successful on your own social media. One of the best practices I can recommend to you is only share posts that have previously worked for other companies. Don't necessarily try to take it upon yourself to gauge whether a post will be successful or not. Look to the numbers, has it got a lot of engagement in the past? Has it worked for other companies? It's a great sign of whether or not it will work for you. A lot of the things that you do with curated content is going to be experimental in nature and that's a good thing. If you post a piece of curated content that doesn't work, don't worry, it's not the end of the world, you can always find more great content to share. The important thing is that you shared and you tried, you learned, and then you improve for the next time you share. Now, for some actual tools that you can use. I have three really great recommendations for you to start finding curated content and my absolute must-have tool for all social media marketers is the Facebook pages to watch feature. This is under your Insights tab in your Facebook business page and it's a really neat feature that Facebook put together where you essentially can follow unlimited pages and you can see all of the engagement and things that they posted that week in order of the most successful posts for them. So, what I do is, once a week or so, I'll go into Facebook pages to watch and check out all of my favorite brands. I can see all the posts that they posted and the most successful ones in order and then I'll pick and choose my favorite pieces of content from that feature to share on our own social media account. Another amazing free tool for you to use, and one you might not think about, is Twitter and using Twitter lists. Basically, putting together a list of all your favorite brands and companies is a great way to create a content hub of things for you to share later on social media. So, what I'll do is, I'll create a Twitter list, let's say, Buffer Favorite Companies. I'll put that list together and once a week, just like with Facebook pages to watch, I'll go through, check out all of the most successful tweets from my favorite companies, I'll take a few of those links, add it to the buffer queue, and all of a sudden, I have a ton of content to share for that week. Last but not least, another free tool for you to use for curated content is Instagram. One great way to use Instagram to find content is through hashtags. So I have a ton of different hashtags that I like to search for my industry whether that's social media marketing, travel photos. Once I find those photos, I simply reach out to that person and ask if we have permission to share their photo. A lot of times they'll say yes or they'll say no. But for the people that do say yes, you can then use that photo for your own social media assets which helps to drive engagement an awesome visual content for all of your social media assets. Now, if you're wondering which posts you should be sharing, I quickly mention engagement, but what engagement means is you're going to want to look for the posts that have the most likes, comments, and shares already going for them. So, when you're looking through Facebook pages to watch or Instagram hashtags or Twitter lists, look for the posts that have the most likes, comments, and shares and use those posts to determine which ones you share and which ones you don't on your own social media. Naturally, one of the questions I get most about curated content is, how much curated content should I actually be sharing? Is there too much, is there too little? One thing I always recommend as a best practice to social media marketers is the four to one content strategy. So, for every four pieces of original creative content that you share on social media, you should always back that up with at least one piece of curated content. Using this four to one content strategy shows that your brand is willing to not only share pieces of content to your own website into your own assets but that you're also willing to show curated content from your community. This sends positive signals to the social media algorithm which helps to boost and bolster your social media results within people's news feed. So, for this worksheet, we have some super actionable steps for you to be able to apply to your own social media strategy today. The first thing I'd like you to do is go out and find three types of content that you think you can create that will be very successful for your social media. These can be things like videos or Infographics or even blog posts. What's working for peers and competitors? And what do you think can work for your own social media channels? It could be blogs or videos or blog posts. Identify three types of content that you'd like to focus on moving forward and creating for your own social media. On the curated content front, I would love for you to go out and find five pieces of content that you could share as is today. You can use tools like Facebook pages to watch, Twitter lists, or Instagram hashtags, but go out, find five pieces of content, throw them into your social media schedule, and see what happens. I would absolutely love to hear how those go for you in the project gallery. Shoot me a message, leave me a comment and we can talk about things that you can maybe do to improve on the next posts or things that might work in your industry. 6. Use the Right Tools: All right. So, now that we've walked through things like finding your voice, choosing your networks, creating and curating content, it's time to get into some fun things like picking your social media stack. I have a few favorites for the tools that I'd like to use, a lot of them are free and really easy and simple for users to actually get started with right away. Here are some of the favorite tools that I have and I would recommend to you for managing your social media: Trello, Google Docs, and Dropbox Paper. These tools help you really to get organized and plan out your content calendar for however long you think will help you be successful on social media. For us, we like to plan anywhere from one week out to a month out, and we do things like put content ideas in their, product launches that we have coming up, any major news releases, holidays and events that we want to talk about. All of these things go into Google Docs or Dropbox Paper or even Trello, and that's where we start hammering out some ideas of things that we think might work on social media, and once we've identified those, how we're going to then produce the visuals and assets for those launches or announcements on social media. But it really all starts with those planning tools. If you're unsure about where to start with some of these tools, we have a great blog post that includes 10 pre-made social media Excel templates that you can download and start using today. We'd love to share that with you in the resources part of this class. One of my favorite parts of the social media marketing process is creating content that our customers and our audience will love. Some of my favorite tools out there for creating assets for social media are actually free and easy to use, starting with Canva and Pablo. Canva is a great easy tool for social media marketers to create beautiful graphics, and Pablo is actually a product made by Buffer, which also helps you to do the same thing in no time at all. There's also really great video making products like iMovie and Animoto that can help you get started creating videos today for free, as I know, video is on the top of a lot of social media marketers minds. So, one of the last but most important thing you're going to want is a great social media scheduling to make sure that all of your posts are going out consistently and at the perfect time. Obviously, one of my favorite tools is Buffer. Buffer helps me to not only make sure that my posts are going out consistently, but it allows me to focus on other things that aren't scheduling, like creating the content, finding the content, and engaging with our audience on social media. So, I love to quickly take you through the Buffer product and how it helps me be a better social media manager. So, there are four things that Buffer helps me to do to become a better social media manager and to ensure that all of our posts are going out on time and consistently. The first thing is here on the left, you'll see that I'm able to manage all my social media accounts from one place, saving time and really taking the immediacy out of social media itself, and allowing me to be more efficient with seeing what kind of posts are going out when, and which social media channels have their cues full. The second thing I like to manage is our schedule. This allows me to create different schedules for each social media channel and ensure that I'm not only spacing out my posts, but that each post is optimally timed using our optimal timing tool. Once I have my optimal schedule in place, I'm able to head over to my content queue and get an overview of all the things that are going out on my social media profiles for that day, that week, and that month. This really helps me focus on creating a cohesive feel across social media, and ensures that I'm really getting across to my audience the pieces of content that I want to that are individual and unique to each platform. So, here you can see I'm in my Facebook channel, and I'm going down the content queue here, and then on my head over Twitter to make sure that the posts align with the Facebook language and things that I'd like to share there. I can also do this for LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google Plus. Last but not least, one of the most powerful features we're building currently in Buffer is our analytics section. Our analytics are very important to help us determine what was successful on social media and what's not. One of my favorite features of the Buffer analytics section is the Rebuffer feature. What I like to do is sometimes re-share posts that were successful on social media in the past. So, I might want to sort by most popular posts, and then I can quickly rebuffer those posts back into the queue using the Rebuffer feature. I can also get a really good feel for how my posts are performing over time with our analysis section of the Buffer product. I can sort by post per day, retweets, likes, mentions, and clicks, and that way, I can understand the impact that my posts are having on our audience and if they're responding and engaging with the stuff that we're sending out on social media. We also sort by most popular posts down here, so you can get an idea for how many people your posts have reached, the amount of retweets they got, mentions, clicks, and a lot more information down here. One of my favorite parts of the Analytics section is the ability to sort by days, so I might have goals for the day, every seven days, or 90 days, the Analytics section really gives you a feel for how your social media posts are performing. I used to be one of the social media managers that tried to post everything in real time to social media, and what I was finding is that I was spending more time trying to schedule content than I was actually creating great content. One of the things that I always tried to teach my students when talking about social media marketing is the fact that scheduling content through tools like Buffer allow you to create a consistent feel on your social media, which opens up time for you to build one-on-one relationship with the customers and also gives you more time to create awesome content that you can post consistently across all of your channels. I like to think of all these tools as my social media marketers toolbox. When I first started in the social media, I was probably the worst designer on the planet. But after time and after lots of practice and experimentation, I was able to hone my skills in not only design, but scheduling, video creating, and connecting with customers in new ways. So, what I suggest to you is use as many tools as you possibly can when starting out, get a feel for them, practice with them a ton, share a ton of different types of content, and over time, I promise you, you will build the skills needed to be a great social media marketer, and you will find the content that works for your audience and the content that helps your accounts grow. 7. 5-Step Facebook Ad Strategy: If I were teaching this class five years ago, I might sit here and tell you that a paid strategy on social media is not worth your time. Organic reach was booming, businesses and brands were seeing a ton of organic engagement and success with social media without using any sort of paid ads. But the fact of the matter is, in 2017, even a small paid strategy will help businesses reach new customers because of the increasingly decline in organic reach on social media. So, this paid strategy is meant for beginners. It's a great starting point for anybody looking to dive into the paid strategy world, and I love to give you some key tips on things you can do to start with as low as even $1 or $5 per day. So why invest in a paid strategy? Well, one of the biggest benefits of investing in paid advertising on social media is the ability to reach new customers and potential customers that might buy your product or interact with your page. Another really, really great option for advertising is the fact that you get more data than you would with organic posting, things like cost per click or cost per acquisition are all available through the ad platforms that you choose to advertise through. What this does is allow you to get information that you might not usually have about your customers, things like where they're coming from, where they're clicking from, their interests, and demographic abilities is all available through the advertising platform like Facebook or Instagram or Twitter or LinkedIn. If you're looking to get started with paid advertising, Facebook and Instagram offer a low cost way to test out ads and really hone in on the strategy. I have a five-step paid advertising strategy that I would love to share with you that'll help you get started today. At the heart of this five-step paid strategy is the fact that you're not creating posts necessarily to advertise. What you want to do is focus on creating great content that you think would perform well organically, and then using this paid strategy to really boost those results as an added bonus. But the first step is to do that. So what you want to do is create a post, let it go organically for at least 24 hours to see how it performs. The second step is to look at your insights and identify the post that are performing best. Third, you're going to want to find an audience that should see these posts. A lot of times with organic reach declining, a lot of the audience that might benefit from your organic content just might not be seeing it. So identify a target audience that should be see these posts is the third step. Next, you're going to want to go ahead and throw just a little bit of money behind it to see how it performs as a boosted post. You can start with something as low as $5 a day. You can boost a post or create an ad, and this is going to help you start to identify the top performing organic posts that perform well as either boosted post or an ad. After these boosted posts or ads have been running for just maybe a day or so, you're going to start to see some of these paid advertisements perform better than others. What you can do is identify a low cost per click or cost per engagement post that you've been running and then start to put a little bit more money behind those. The theory behind that is that you're getting more bang for your buck with those advertisements, and those are the ones that are great candidates for continuing to run as long as possible or even creating variations of those for more organic posts that you can then piggyback into more boosted posts in the future. If you're wondering what metrics to look at for great candidates for boosted posts, you're going to want to first identify the goal. So, if your goal is to drive engagement or brand awareness to your social media content, then obviously, you're going to want to look at engagements like likes, comments, or shares. If your goal is to drive traffic to your website, you're going to want to look at metrics like clicks to posts, that will give you a good start for identifying the post you want to boost. The other thing you're going to want to look at with boosted posts is the amount of negative feedback you're getting on all of your social media posts. Those are the ones you might want to be careful with when boosting and also the ones to help you identify future content to avoid. If you're wondering what size budget makes Facebook or Instagram or any of these advertising platforms worth it, I see any budget that you have is definitely a great option for you to start with. I've said it before, but something as low as $1 or $5 per day will help you at least get a feel for what advertising can do for your own social media channels and if it's something you'd like to invest more in the future. At the end of the day, if you're spending money on social media posts, it's pretty important to tie those back to a real business objectives and results. I'm not saying that's going to be easy. But what you can do is start to hone in directly on the stats from all of your social media boosted posts or advertisements, so showing to your boss or your manager even to yourself exactly what performance each ad has and the result that it makes on your business is really key in, first of all, justifying what you're spending on ads currently, and also justifying spending more on those ads in the future. 8. Final Thoughts: I am so excited that you made it this far with me. Thank you for everything so far in the class. You all have been amazing, and thanks for starting comments in the project gallery. I think I'd love to end this by saying that social media is all about constant learning and experimentation. If there's one thing I've learned as a social media marketer, it's that things never stop changing. So, this class was really meant to give you the baseline themes and skills to get started with social media strategy, but it's up to you to continue learning and always stay on top of the social media trends. You can't afford to not experiment at all times. I'd say, if there's one takeaway, get used to the fact that what works today on social media probably won't work tomorrow, and so it is up to you to adapt, and to learn, and to continually experiment. I just wanted to say thank you so much for joining me for the Skillshare class on social media marketing strategy. I encourage you to continue the learnings and continue sharing knowledge with your peers. Please continue to share everything you're doing on social media in the project gallery, and I'm excited to continue the conversation there. 9. What's Next?: