Social Media 101 – The Basics

There’s no doubt that social media is an important aspect of many people’s personal lives. Over the past few years, however, more and more people have begun using social media from a business standpoint: marketing a new product, booking performances or presentations, or just expanding their online network. Social media is an incredibly powerful tool, not only for promoting yourself or your brand, but also for listening, gauging the sentiment of your followers, and facilitating conversations with potential new customers. While some businesses have been using social as a part of their marketing process for a number of years, there are plenty of others who are just discovering the power of social media. If you’re new to the social media marketing game, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered.

The best way to begin is with the fundamentals. Want to find out the best time to post on Facebook? Wondering how to effectively use Google+? Need to know the optimal character count for a Tweet?

Here’s a taste of the basics:


Want to learn more about how to use social media to your advantage? Download the full version for free: Social Media 101 – The Basics

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Social Media Cheat Sheet – What You Need to Know

There are a lot of different social media platforms out there. While some have been around for almost a decade, others are just now stepping into the spotlight. As new technologies emerge, social channels need to adapt to survive in the evolving digital landscape. This can happen quickly, making it difficult to keep up with the latest updates. Whether you use one or all of them, it’s important to know who else uses them, how often they use them, and some best practices. Applying this information can help you make better decisions on social for your personal brand and for your business.

One of the most important rules of using social media is knowing your audience. Whether you’re trying to increase your blog’s readership, sell more wine, or simply expand your digital network, you’ve got to know who you’re talking to and how to talk to them. This cheat sheet will give you the insight you need to effectively reach out to your online audience and facilitate a successful conversation.

Take it from our team of community managers, brand strategists, and all-around social media obsessors – here’s what you need to know.

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Social Media Case Study: Target’s Awesome Shop

Target has a brand new e-commerce site called the “Awesome Shop”. The standalone site is updated daily and includes social integration by using data driven from Pinterest as well as from Target.

The site has a fantastic layout and easy to read descriptions for each item. Essentially, Target has taken data from Pinterest and combined it with their own to create an easy to read layout. The user can search for items by category (food, beauty, home decor, etc) or by “top pinned” and “highly reviewed” items from the social community. Once you click an item, you see the product rating (Target’s data), the total reviews (Target’s data), and how many times it has been pinned (Pinterest data). The user also has the ability to pin the item directly from the site, and view ‘more details’ which redirects to the Target website where the user can make a direct purchase.

The standalone site with social integration is in its beta form but don’t be surprised if this becomes a permanent fixture, not only for Target, but for other big box retailers. A site with social integration allows brands to look at new data to help identify consumer trends. By using Pinterest, Target is adopting a network that they know their key demographic, 18-29 year old women, is already comfortable with.

The “Awesome Shop” website was developed in a couple of weeks by an internal team called the RAD (Rapid Accelerated Development) group. This is a small agile team that can create and test new projects. The importance of a team like this will surely rise as other companies will want to experiment with other social networks and technologies, so that their consumers will have the best socially powered shopping experience.

The fact that Target chose to integrate Pinterest speaks volumes of how they think social media can directly influence a purchase. When people ask you, “What is the ROI of social media?”, point to this example. If a brand has an engaged community and they provide the right value at the right time, consumers will BUY!

The simplicity of the site and the perfect combination of social data with 3rd party data make this a truly “Awesome Shop”.