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15 Great Social Media Training Courses and Resources

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Taking a social media course will up-level your skill set, but there are 100s to pick from online. It’s not easy to choose which ones are right for you.

If you’re in this situation, you’ve come to the right place! Keep reading to learn about popular social media training courses and resources.

Some classes are for beginners, while others are for the more experienced pros.

There are also options for specific social media platforms. These are perfect if you need a refresher or a deep dive into a platform’s capabilities.

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Taking the right course can give you the confidence to run a social media campaign for your business. Better still, it could be what you need to reach the next level of your marketing career.

And the best part is many courses and resources on this list are completely free.

Ready to dig in? Let’s do it.

Bonus: Read the step-by-step social media strategy guide with pro tips on how to grow your social media presence.

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Social Marketing Training | Hootsuite Academy

An industry-recognized certification will surely look impressive on your resume.

Social Marketing Training from Hootsuite Academy was designed by social media marketing strategists and practitioners.

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The result is a certification course that gives you the practical skills you need to start seeing results on social media.

Hootsuite Academy social marketing training

Cost: $199

Length: 6 hours

Skill level: Beginner and Intermediate

Recommended for: Marketers wanting to develop foundational social media skills in strategy, community, content, and advertising.

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You’ll learn:

  • Optimizing social media profiles
  • Creating a social media strategy
  • Growing a community of loyal fans
  • Best practices for content marketing
  • The basics of social media advertising

Social Media Marketing Foundations | LinkedIn Learning

The course is divided into 7 sections each with its own quiz to prove your proficiency. The videos are quick and to the point–the longest video is only 3 minutes and 25 seconds long.

However, this does leave a lot to be desired if you were looking for anything in-depth.

LinkedIn Learning social media marketing video

Cost: Free

Length: 52 minutes

Skill level: Beginner

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Recommended for: People looking for a basic overview of social media marketing and aren’t interested in a recognized certification.

You’ll learn:

  • Developing a social media strategy
  • Defining your audience
  • Choosing the right channels
  • Publishing best practices
  • Building and maintaining a community
  • Selling on social media
  • Measuring activity
  • Innovating with social media marketing

Social Media Specialization | Northwestern University

The Social Media Specialization is made up of 6 courses. It covers everything from strategy, listening, content, and advertising.

This program is taught by Randy Hlavac, a lecturer at Northwestern University. In this course, you will complete a capstone project to demonstrate the practical skills you’ve learned.

If you choose to view the course for free, then you won’t be able to earn a certification.

Northwestern University social media marketing course

Cost: $59 per month (Or choose Audit to view it for free)

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Length: Self-paced, but most people take 6 months to complete

Skill level: Beginner

Recommended for: Professionals looking to learn more about effective social media strategies.

You’ll learn:

  • Using social analytics tools
  • Becoming an influencer
  • Developing engaging content
  • Building a complete social media marketing strategy plan

Social Media Marketing Fundamentals | eMarketing Institute

Most courses use videos as part of their format, but eMarketing only provides an eBook for their curriculum.

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This is a great option if you learn better by reading instead of watching videos.

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There are 25 chapters including a glossary and sample questions for the exam. It covers basic topics like what is social media to more advanced content like social analytics.

eMarketing Institute certification

Cost: Free

Length: 165-page eBook

Skill level: Beginner

Recommended for: People who prefer to read instead of watch videos

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You’ll learn:

  • How to reach your audience
  • Get your audience engaged with your content
  • How to incorporate blogging into your strategy
  • Creating a social media strategy
  • How to evaluate social media performance
  • Tools for managing social media

Social Media Marketing | Acadium

This course has 35 beginner-friendly lessons on how to use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google, Yelp, and LinkedIn.

You’ll also get to sign-up for Tasks which help you build a portfolio of your newly acquired skills.

The course is fairly basic and designed for people not familiar with social media.

Acadium free social media marketing course

Cost: Free

Length: Varies

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Skill level: Beginner

Recommended for: People looking to get started with social media and are completely new to it

You’ll learn:

  • Setting up social media profiles
  • Creating and publishing social media posts
  • Developing a social media strategy
  • Tips and tricks to stand out from the crowd
  • Automating your posts
  • Measuring engagement
  • Managing user reviews

Fundamentals of digital marketing | Google

Fundamentals of digital marketing will cover every aspect of marketing your business online.

SEO, social media, content marketing, and web analytics are just a few topics this course will teach you.

While there are some deep dives, most of the content only covers the basics. Once you pass the 40-question exam, you’ll receive an industry-recognized certification.

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Google digital marketing fundamentals

Cost: Free

Length: 40 hours

Skill level: Beginner

Recommended for: Social media managers looking to gain a comprehensive overview of digital marketing

You’ll learn:

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  • Analytics and data insights
  • Business strategy
  • Content marketing
  • Display advertising
  • E-commerce
  • Email marketing
  • Local marketing
  • Web and mobile optimization
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
  • SEO
  • Social Media
  • Video

Advanced Social Advertising | Hootsuite Academy

Organic social media and paid advertising are two different strategies. If you need to develop your social media advertising skills, then this is the course for you.

It teaches you how to use advertising tools, track your campaign, and best practices of social ads.

Hootsuite Academy advanced social advertising

Cost: $249

Length: 4 hours and 30 minutes

Skill level: Intermediate

Recommended for: Social media managers looking to master the art of running paid advertising campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram

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You’ll learn:

  • Setting campaign goals
  • Using remarketing and lookalike audiences
  • Building and testing social media ads
  • Measuring the impact of ad campaigns

Advanced Social Media Strategy | Hootsuite Academy

This course is for managers, strategists, and leaders. It will give you a comprehensive understanding of how to build and scale social media in complex organizations.

The program was designed by Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications which means you’ll earn an academically recognized certification.

Hootsuite Academy Advanced Social Media Strategy video

Cost: $999

Length: 20 hours

Skill level: Advanced

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Recommended for: Experienced professionals interested in developing strategy skills to lead enterprise organizations.

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You’ll learn:

  • What to research to create a social media strategy
  • How to create strategies that support social media objectives
  • How to tell your brand’s story on social media
  • How to develop influencer guidelines
  • Best practices for social media listening and monitoring

Facebook courses

Social Media Marketing Professional Certificate | Meta

Meta’s social media marketing course for Facebook (and Instagram) is made up of 6 courses.

It covers everything from social media management to paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram.

While there’s an emphasis on Meta tools, you’ll be able to apply the strategy skills to platforms outside of Meta.

You will also complete a capstone project to demonstrate the practical skills you’ve learned.

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If you choose to view the course for free, then you won’t be able to earn a certification.

Meta social marketing professional certificate

Cost: $59 per month (Or choose Audit to view it for free)

Length: Approximately 100 hours but it’s self-paced

Skill level: Beginner

Recommended for: Professionals looking to learn how to create a social media presence for businesses with an emphasis on paid advertising

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You’ll learn:

  • Create engaging content
  • Interact with social media users
  • Manage a content calendar
  • Evaluate the success of posts
  • Create effective ads for social media
  • Create ads in Meta Ads Manager
  • Measure ad campaigns’ success

Additional resources: Meta also offers free Facebook courses for beginners.

Instagram Courses

Instagram Training Course | Hubspot

This course by Hubspot is designed to teach you how to create and implement a successful Instagram strategy.

There are 6 courses each with its own quiz. You won’t get a certificate at the end of this course, but you’ll have gained knowledge on how to use Instagram for business.

Hubspot Instagram marketing course

Cost: Free

Length: 2 hours and 30 minutes

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Skill level: Beginners

Recommended for: Social media marketers wanting to learn about creating an effective Instagram marketing strategy.

You’ll learn:

  • The elements of a successful Instagram strategy
  • Creating remarkable content for Instagram
  • How to get more followers
  • Setting up Instagram ads
  • Creating content for Instagram ads
  • Evaluating your Instagram ad campaigns

Additional resources: Meta offers free Instagram courses for beginners. You can also check out our guide on Instagram courses to boost your skills.

LinkedIn training courses

Marketing on LinkedIn | LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn shows you how to organically reach your audience using the LinkedIn platform.

This training covers how to use LinkedIn for personal branding and for marketing your business.

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It’s a great option for those learning how to create engaging content for LinkedIn–no matter if it’s your personal profile or a business page.

LinkedIn Learning marketing course

Cost: Free during the trial month or $29.99 for lifetime access

Length: 57 minutes

Skill level: Beginner

Recommended for: Professionals looking to leverage LinkedIn to reach their target audience

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You’ll learn:

  • Building an effective profile or business page
  • Sharing relevant content
  • Networking on LinkedIn
  • Using employee advocacy to grow

TikTok courses

How to Build Your Personal Brand on TikTok | Influencer Marketing Hub

This one is for influencers and businesses alike.

It covers everything from how to use TikTok to how influencers and brands work together.

Creating a successful TikTok marketing strategy is work, but it can be rewarding.

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Influencer Marketing Hub TikTok personal brand

Cost: Free

Length: About 3 hours

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Skill level: Beginner

Recommended for: People looking to become content creators on TikTok or marketers wanting to learn how the creator economy works

You’ll learn:

  • The basics of TikTok
  • Crafting your persona
  • Building your audience
  • Increasing engagement
  • Collaborating with brands
  • Making more money as an influencer

Additional resources: TikTok offers several free modules for those who are new to TikTok.

Free Twitter courses

Twitter Flight School | Twitter

Look no further than Twitter Flight School for free courses on Twitter.

It offers multiple badges for people to learn about ad manager fundamentals. You’ll also learn how to get started on Twitter, and using Twitter for creatives.

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Each course comes with several comprehensive lessons based on the topic. You’ll need to pass the assessment exam with an 80% score or better to receive a badge.

Twitter Flight School free badge course

Cost: Free

Length: 2-4 hours, depending on the course

Skill level: Beginner

Recommended for: Social media managers wanting to strengthen their Twitter marketing skills

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You’ll learn:

  • Creating your first ad campaign
  • Measuring ad campaign success
  • Creating a content strategy for Twitter
  • Using your brand voice

Pinterest course

Pinterest Marketing Mastery | Udemy

Pinterest Marketing Mastery teaches you how to use Pinterest to drive traffic to your site.

It’s perfect for beginners since it covers how to create a pin and develop an overall marketing funnel. It also shares tools you can use to create an optimized pin.

Udemy Pinterest Marketing Mastery

Cost: $16.99

Length: 1 hour and 12 minutes

Skill level: Beginners

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Recommended for: Social media managers who are new to using Pinterest as part of their marketing strategy

You’ll learn:

  • Creating a Pinterest funnel
  • Creating high-quality pins
  • Automation for Pinterest
  • Finding inspiration for pins

Additional resources: Pinterest offers several guides on how to use the platform for business and advertising.

Youtube courses

YouTube Creators | YouTube

YouTube Creators is practically the one-stop shop for everything you need to create content on YouTube.

While it’s geared towards content creators, businesses and social media managers new to YouTube marketing can also benefit from this resource.

They frequently post new and updated content on how to make a YouTube strategy.

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YouTube Creators

Cost: Free

Length: Varies

Skill level: Beginners

Recommended for: Creators and social media managers looking to start a channel on YouTube and improve their growth

You’ll learn:

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  • Getting started on YouTube
  • Building your community
  • How to make money on YouTube
  • Growing your channel
  • Policies and guidelines
  • Understanding YouTube analytics

Mark Cuban once said, “Learn, learn, learn. The greatest competitive advantage is knowledge.”

It’s time to invest in yourself because that’s the highest ROI you can make.

Ready to start your learning journey? Join Hootsuite Academy today to access the best social media training courses created by practitioners and experts at Hootsuite. Then use Hootsuite to make applying your new knowledge and skills an absolute breeze. Try it for free by clicking the link below!

Get Started

Do it better with Hootsuite, the all-in-one social media toolkit. Stay on top of things, grow, and beat the competition.

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How to Create Effective Social Media Guidelines for Your Business

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No matter what industry you’re in, every modern business needs to have social media guidelines.

Social media guidelines lay out the best social practices for your employees. In some cases, these rules are required by law or for legal protection. But ultimately, the goal of these guidelines is to empower employees with the information they need to make the right choices on social media, both for themselves, and for the company.

This is true even if your company doesn’t have a social media presence yet. Whether you have an official Twitter account or Instagram profile or not, you’d better believe your employees are out there on the internet, chatting up a storm.

This article will review:

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  • The difference between a social media policy and social media guidelines
  • Real-life examples from other brands
  • How to use our free social media guidelines template to create your own set of guidelines

Bonus: Get a free, customizable social media guidelines template to quickly and easily create recommendations for your company and employees.

Social media guidelines are suggestions for how employees of a company should represent themselves and the company on their personal social media accounts.

Think of social media guidelines as an employee manual for social media best practices.

They should outline how to behave on social media in a way that’s positive and healthy for the company, employees, and customers alike. Social guidelines may include etiquette tips, helpful tools, and links to important resources.

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Importantly, we really don’t recommend prohibiting employees from using social, or restricting them from talking about your company at all. It’s not a good look to police or censor your team members’ social presence: talk about a morale killer, and say goodbye to any organic ambassador opportunities.

Social media guidelines, it should be noted, are different from your company’s social media policy. They’re also distinct from your social media style guide.

A social media policy is a comprehensive document that describes in detail how the company and its employees use social media. These policies are intended to protect a brand from legal risk, and maintain its reputation on social media. Where a social media policy lays out the rules and repercussions for breaking them, social media guidelines are more instructive.

A social media style guide, meanwhile, defines the brand voice, brand visuals, and other important marketing elements. It is often used by the content creators in an organization to ensure that their posts are “on brand”.

One more distinction: social media guidelines are also different from community guidelines, which set the rules for public engagement with your account or group.

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Want to learn more? Take Hootsuite Academy’s free course Implementing Social Media Governance Within your Organization.

Every single employee (yes, including Maurice in accounting) is a potential online brand ambassador. Sharing social media guidelines is your chance to provide the whole team with tools to help them hype you up positively, inclusively, and respectfully.

Use social media guidelines to:

  • Empower your employees to engage positively on their personal social accounts
  • Educate on social media best practices
  • Encourage employees to follow your official accounts or use official hashtags
  • Distribute your company’s social media strategy
  • Introduce employees to helpful third-party tools and resources, such as Hootsuite’s social media dashboard or Hootsuite Academy training
  • Protect your employees from social harassment
  • Safeguard your company from cybersecurity risks
  • Clarify what information is OK to share, and what is a violation of confidentiality
  • Boost your brand’s reputation on social media
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While social media guidelines are usually crafted to share with employees, anyone else you’re working with can benefit from these best practices too — think corporate partners, marketing agencies, or influencers.

If you don’t create best practices around how your company is represented or discussed on social media, things can spiral out of control fast. And on the flipside, a lack of social media guidelines also can prevent you from benefiting from employee content. An enthusiastic team member, armed with social guidelines and feeling confident about what they’re allowed to say, can become a powerful ambassador for your brand.

Here’s a rundown of core sections you should include in your social media guidelines. But of course, while these details are common, go ahead and tailor any part of this to fit your brand: after all every industry is different.

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In fact, every company is different… so before you lock in any hard and fast rules, you might want to check in with your team. Your employees might have specific questions or concerns that could be helpful to address in your master doc.

1. Official accounts

Identify your company’s official social media channels, and encourage employees to follow. This isn’t just a chance to gain a few more followers: it’s an excellent opportunity to demo to employees how your brand presents itself on social media.

You might also want to identify specific hashtags, too, if those are a core part of your social strategy.

In some cases, companies either allow or require certain employees to run brand-affiliated social accounts. If that’s something your business does, this is a good place in your social guidelines to explain how a team member can (or can’t) be authorized for their own branded account.

2. Disclosure and transparency

If your team members are proudly identifying on their social accounts that they work for your company, it’s a good idea to ask them to clarify that they’re creating social media posts on behalf of themselves, not your brand. Adding a disclosure to their social profile or bio that “All opinions expressed are my own” (or similar) helps make it clear that these are not official viewpoints.

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That being said, if they’re going to discuss company-related matters on social, it’s actually required by law that they identify themselves as an employee. This one’s a rule, not a friendly suggestion. In fact, in the United States, the Federal Trade Commission requires the identification to occur in the relevant post. Just noting it in a bio is not enough.

Mekka Okereke Google digital ecosystems opinions my own Twitter bio

An example of a Google employee’s Twitter bio

3. Privacy

It never hurts to remind your team that confidential company information is confidential off the clock, too. Whether private info about coworkers, financial disclosures, upcoming products, private communications, research and development intel, or other sensitive information, clarify that privacy and confidentiality should be respected across all social media platforms.

4. Cyber safety

Cyber hacks and threats are no joke. Even if your employees are vigilant about phishing scams and the like, it never hurts to review cyber-safety basics, especially if you collect information about customers or clients.

Cyber safety first!

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A quick refresh of cyber security 101:

  • Choose strong passwords
  • Use a different password for every social account
  • Don’t use the same passwords for your corporate accounts
  • Use two-factor (or multi-factor) authentication to login to social networks
  • Limit the personal and professional information you share
  • Use personal credentials for personal accounts
  • Make sure your Internet connection is secure
  • Do not download or click on suspicious content
  • Only activate geolocation services on apps when necessary
  • Practice safe browsing
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5. Harassment

Guidelines commonly remind staff to be kind on social media. But beyond promoting positivity, businesses should also make clear that they do not tolerate any form of social media harassment.

On the flip side of that is an opportunity to provide your employees with support should they experience harassment. Define your policy for dealing with trolls or bullies, whether it’s to report them, ignore them, or block or ban them.

Tell people how to report issues they may have seen or experienced. If support is needed, tell employees how and where they can get it.

Providing protocol and tools is going to help your team nip problems in the bud before it grows into a full-blown social media crisis.

6. Inclusivity

It’s important for every employer and brand to promote inclusivity on and off social media. Encouraging your employees to do the same is a way to show that you care about them, too.

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Inclusivity guidelines may include:

  • Use inclusive pronouns (they/them/theirs/folks)
  • Provide descriptive captions for images
  • Be thoughtful about representation
  • Don’t make assumptions about gender, race, experience, or ability
  • Avoid gender or race-specific emojis
  • Feel free to share your preferred pronouns
  • Use title case for hashtags (this makes them more legible for screen readers_
  • Use diverse imagery and icons. This includes stock imagery, emojis, and branded visuals.
  • Report and remove any comments deemed sexist, racist, ableist, ageist, homophobic, or hateful to any group or person
  • Make text accessible, using plain language and accessible to people learning English as a second language or those with learning disabilities

Find more inclusivity resources here.

7. Legal Considerations

Your social guidelines can include a reminder to employees to respect intellectual property, copyright, trademarks, and other relevant laws. When in doubt, the rule of thumb is relatively simple: if it’s not yours, and you don’t have permission, don’t post it. Easy!

8. Do’s and don’ts

Of course, while you may want to get into detail with the previous sections, making a quick-to-reference list of do’s and don’ts is a chance to spell things out super clearly.

For example…

  • DO list the company as your employer in your social media bio (if you wish to)
  • DON’T engage with competitors in an inappropriate way
  • DO share company social media posts, events, and stories
  • DON’T share company secrets or confidential information of your colleagues
  • DO express your own opinion — just make sure it’s clear you’re not speaking on behalf of the company
  • DON’T comment on legal matters pertaining to the company
  • DO report harassment you’ve experienced or noticed
  • DON’T engage with trolls, negative coverage or comments

9. Helpful resources

You may wish to include links to helpful resources throughout your guideline document, or you might want to list in a separate section. Wherever you put them, it’s a good idea to link to your social media policy, social media style guide, and community guidelines, so everyone has this info at their fingertips.

Other links you might want to include could be:

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See also  How to Nail the Art of the Brand Comeback on Social Media

If your company offers social media resources, what better place than your social media guidelines to make everyone aware of them? Whether its tools or training from Hootsuite, or stipends for social media classes, empower the people that work for you to put their best foot (feet?) forward on social.

For instance, may we recommend Hootsuite Amplify? It’s a great way to find vetted content to share and enhance your personal brand.

10. Contact Information and Date

Be sure to also add information where questions can be sent. That may be a specific person, a forum or Slack channel, or an email address.

You should also indicate when your guidelines were most recently updated.

Looking for real world examples of social media guidelines? We’ve assembled a few sources of inspiration.

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Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District freedom of speech be respectful and get your facts straight

The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District outlines tips for best practices clearly and concisely. “Freedom of speech must be exercised responsibly,” the page reminds readers. “These recommendations provide a roadmap for constructive, respectful, and productive use of social networking sites.”

Intel Social Media Guidelines

Intel makes every effort to assure employees that they’re not here to censor or police their online behavior. “We trust you,” the guidelines say, both explicitly and implicitly. Right off the top, Intel is clear about its wishes: Be Upfront, Focus on the Good, and Use Your Best Judgement.

Stanford University Communications Social Media Guidelines

Stanford University (yep, the same institution Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of) has social media guidelines that are quite dense, but provide lots of resources and context for users. If your social media guidelines are this thorough, it may be a good idea to review the key takeaways with your team in a workshop or seminar to make sure the details aren’t skimmed over.

Bloomberg School of Nursing University of Toronto respect and accuracy

Bloomberg School of Nursing at the University of Toronto has a very concise, bullet-point list of guidelines that are easy to digest at a glance. It’s a good reminder that how you design your guidelines can help with comprehension, whether it’s a web page, a PDF or a brochure.

Sharp News social media standards accountability

Remember that your guidelines can be as long or as a brief as you wish. Sharp News, for example, only has four guidelines for social media use.

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International Olympic Committee social and digital guidelines Beijing 2022

The Olympic Committee kept its social media guidelines to one page for the Beijing Olympics — albeit a pretty dense one. Leaning on the “do’s” and “don’ts” makes it clear at a glance what is acceptable and what is frowned upon.

Nordstrom employee guidelines social media and blogging

Because Nordstrom is a company that deals with customer service and privacy is important, its social media guidelines are heavily focused on protecting customers. Your own industry will have its own special sensitivities, so adjust your guidelines to fit your specific problem areas (or opportunities!).

We’ve distilled all these hot tips into one free downloadable template. It’s just a simple Google doc and quite easy to use.

Simply make a copy and start plugging in your recommendations to guide your team to social media greatness.

Social media guidelines free downloadable template

Save time managing your social media presence with Hootsuite. From a single dashboard you can publish and schedule posts, find relevant conversions, engage the audience, measure results, and more. Try it free today.

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Get Started

Hootsuite Amplify makes it easy for your employees to safely share your content with their followers—boosting your reach on social media. Book a personalized, no-pressure demo to see it in action.

Book your demo now

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TikTok SEO in 5 Steps: How To Make Sure Your Videos Show Up in Search

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What if I told you that TikTok SEO can help your content reach more people and even make your videos go viral?

If you’ve been sleeping on your social media SEO strategy, this blog is for you. We’ll walk you through all the juicy details about TikTok SEO specifically, how it works, and how you can optimize your video content to get the most out of it.

Stick with us, and you’ll be on the For You page in no time.

Bonus: Get a free TikTok Growth Checklist from famous TikTok creator Tiffy Chen that shows you how to gain 1.6 million followers with only 3 studio lights and iMovie.

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What is TikTok SEO?

TikTok SEO is the practice of optimizing your videos on TikTok to rank higher in search. Just as you would use keywords and analytics to optimize the content on your website, you can also use these tactics to help your TikTok videos show up in more search results–this includes results on TikTok, as well as Google.

But wait. TikTok isn’t a search engine, right? Maybe not technically, but it still has its own search bar, making SEO an important part of the platform. In fact, Google’s own data found that 40% of young people primarily use TikTok and Instagram for search.

And, although social media posts on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and the like were not indexed by Google in the past, they now show up in the SERPs. Fancy that!

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google search result for restaurants in vancouver showing tiktok videos

Your TikTok SEO strategy should include both SEO for Google and SEO for TikTok search. That way, you’re giving your content a fighting chance in all of the biggest online search arenas.

TikTok SEO ranking factors

To understand TikTok SEO, you first need to understand what TikTok looks for when ranking content. There are several core ranking factors for the TikTok algorithm. These are:

User interactions

User interactions can include anything from videos you’ve liked, videos you’ve hidden, videos you’ve added to your favorites, and videos you watch all the way to the end. TikTok takes note of all of this data and uses it to determine which videos to show you.

Video information

All of the information contained in a video can affect its ranking on TikTok. This includes captions, hashtags, sound effects, and music. TikTok looks for videos that contain relevant keywords in their titles and descriptions, as well as videos that cover trending topics.

Devices and account settings

These are settings TikTok uses to optimize performance. They include language preference, country setting (you may be more likely to see content from people in your own country), type of mobile device, and categories of interest you selected as a new user.

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Note that while account settings do factor into your TikTok SEO ranking, they receive a lower weight than video info and user interactions.

What’s not included?

You’ll be happy to hear that TikTok does not factor follower count into its SEO ranking algorithm (though, if you do want to get more followers, we have you covered). This means that if you create great content that speaks directly to your target audience, you have as much chance of landing on their For You page as the biggest TikTok stars.

This is what sets TikTok apart from other platforms like Instagram. And honestly? We’re here for it.

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Google SEO ranking factors

Anyone who knows anything about SEO knows that Google’s ranking factors aren’t exactly the most transparent topic. That aside, there are a couple of things we know for sure. And, *spoiler alert*, these ranking factors are also going to be a big part of your TikTok SEO tips.

Here’s what Google looks for when ranking search results.

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Keywords

These are the words and phrases that users type into a search engine when looking for answers. For example, someone looking for advice on keeping their hair healthy might search for “hair care.”

Expertise

Google doesn’t just give anyone the top search spot. To earn it, you have to be an authority on the topic.

How do they know you’re an authority? This part is a bit tricky. But, in essence, Google looks at how many other pages link to your page (this acts as a reference and shows what you’re saying is true) and how popular those pages are. This basically means a link from Apple is going to be worth way more than a link from your brother’s local pizza parlor. Sorry, Antonio.

The good news for TikTok’ers is that social media platforms (Instagram, TikTok, Facebook) are some of the most “authoritative” sites in this world. So having a presence on these platforms, and having your content show up in Google search, can really help boost your discoverability.

Relevance

A piece of content must be related to what users are searching for in order to get a good rank. No one wants to see a page on WWII history when they’re looking for makeup brush cleaning tips.

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Freshness

Google generally prefers new content to old, though there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, Google says, “The freshness of the content plays a bigger role in answering queries about current news topics than it does about dictionary definitions.”

How to do TikTok SEO in 5 steps

Now that we know what TikTok and Google’s search engines look for, here are our top TikTok SEO tips.

1. Start with your audience

One of the most important aspects of TikTok SEO is understanding your audience. Knowing who they are and what they’re looking for can help you create content that resonates with them.

If you’re already active on TikTok, you may have a good idea of what your audience likes. If not, consider taking some time to get to know them better. Look at the videos they’re engaging with and the hashtags they’re using. As well, look at the comments and messages they’re sending you. This can help you get an idea of their interests so that you can create content tailored to them.

@skyemareewheatley

You asked for it 🥰😍❤️✌️ #haitcare #haircareroutine #healthyhair

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♬ Storytelling – Adriel

Why does this matter for SEO? Well, understanding your audience can help you craft better titles and descriptions for videos, making them easier to find in TikTok searches. Similarly, you want to create content that your audience wants to see. Or the content they are already searching for. This can give you a leg up when it comes to being discovered by new audiences, too.

@madeleinewould

You asked for a pt 2 and u got a pt 2 🥰 just like last time…these products are just what worked or didnt work for my hair specifically! #hairtok #hairproducts #sephora

♬ Beat Goes On – The All Seeing I

2. Do keyword research

Keyword research is an essential part of traditional SEO, so it makes sense to use it on TikTok, too. Find out what words or phrases your target audience is using when searching for content like yours.

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Remember to consider different ways of phrasing a topic, as well as related keywords. You can do this through tools like Google Ads Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Ahrefs, and more.

Keep in mind these tools are scraping data from Google itself–not TikTok. Because SEO in TikTok is so new, there aren’t currently any TikTok SEO tools that can tell you what people are searching for on TikTok.

But don’t get discouraged. The best way to figure out what people are searching for on TikTok is to use the TikTik platform directly. Simply go to TikTok, open the search bar, and enter any keywords you’ve pulled from your TikTok keyword research.

TikTok will automatically auto-populate the search bar with the most popular keywords related to your query. Look through what it shows you, and select any keywords that match up with your content.

If you want to see even more keyword ideas, try typing in your keyword followed by a single letter. TikTok will then show you all the related keywords that begin with your query and the letter you entered.

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For example:

Hair care “A.”

Hair care “B.”

Hair care “C.”

You can keep repeating this process until you have a list of relevant hashtags and keywords to use in your TikTok SEO strategy.

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3. Add keywords to your content

Once you have your TikTok keyword research completed, start adding them to your content in the titles, descriptions, and captions of your videos. This includes any on-screen text, such as lyrics or explanations.

@skinbyhelen

It would’ve saved my hair from all the damage over the years 🫣 #haircaretips #haircare #iwishiknewthisearlier

♬ Chillest in the Room – L.Dre

Also, be sure to say the keywords out loud! That’s right, TikTok’s algorithms prioritize videos where the keywords are actually spoken.

You’ll also want to include your keywords in any hashtags you use, as this will help people find your posts more easily. Use both your main keyword and any variations of your keyword that make sense. But don’t overdo it. Make sure you know the optimal number of hashtags to use on each platform.

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Finally, add your most relevant target keywords to your TikTok profile. This will ensure that your profile is more visible when people search for these keywords. It also gives potential followers an idea of what kind of content you post and whether they should follow you.

4. Add your TikTok to a microblog

This is the exciting part, where we get to mash everything we know about traditional SEO with everything we’re learning about TikTok SEO!

Blogging is a big part of ranking in Google search. Remember when we talked about Google prioritizing content that is relevant and fresh? Well, that’s pretty much why blogs exist. What better way to keep your content fresh than to publish consistently?

To leverage this technique for your TikTok SEO, create a microblog post that discusses a particular topic related to your TikTok video. Be sure to include your main keyword in the title and your secondary or long-tail keywords in the subheadings and content of the post. Also, don’t forget to embed your TikTok video in the blog, too!

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5. Track your progress

Every savvy SEO marketing strategy requires continuous monitoring and tweaking. Sure, you put all the best practices in place, but how will you know if your efforts are successful?

Tracking your TikTok analytics is the best way to see if your SEO strategy is paying off. This will give you insights into which videos are performing well, what kind of engagement they’re getting, and more. It can also help you identify areas where you can improve, such as topics or keywords that don’t seem to be resonating with your audience.

Hootsuite Analytics can show you exactly how many views are coming from search, as opposed to the For You page or from existing followers.

Hootsuite TikTok analytics

Be sure to track this progress over time, as well as the progress of your competitors. This will give you a better understanding of what works best in terms of TikTok SEO and can help you refine your strategy accordingly.

Frequently asked questions about TikTok SEO

What is SEO on TikTok?

SEO on TikTok is the process of optimizing your TikTok content to make it more discoverable on the platform, increasing views, likes and followers. This is done by researching hashtags, targeting certain keywords, and leveraging popular trends on the platform.

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TikTok videos also have the ability to rank in Google search, so optimizing your content for SEO can help you gain even more reach and visibility.

How do you increase SEO on TikTok?

Increasing SEO on TikTok starts with keyword research. This involves researching and identifying popular keywords related to your content, so you can include those keywords in your captions and in the audio of your video.

You should also be aware of popular trends on the platform and use relevant hashtags related to your content. This will make your video more visible in TikTok’s search results and maximize its chances of getting seen.

How do keywords work on TikTok?

Keywords on TikTok are the same as those for any other platform–-words and phrases commonly used to search for content. Popular keywords in your niche can help TikTok’s algorithm boost your video and make it visible to more potential viewers.

How is TikTok a search engine?

TikTok is not technically a search engine, but it does have its own algorithm that can be used to find content. The algorithm takes into account the number of views, likes, and comments a video gets, as well as what other users are searching for. This helps TikTok serve up relevant content to each user based on their interests and past interactions with the app.

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Grow your TikTok presence alongside your other social channels using Hootsuite. Schedule and publish posts for the best times, engage your audience, and measure performance — all from one easy-to-use dashboard. Try it free today.

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How To Create a Strong Social Media Advocacy Program

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There’s nothing more convincing than a friend’s endorsement — especially on social media. That’s why a social media advocacy program is the best way to show the benefits of your products instead of telling your customers why they should care.

Brand advocates help you connect with potential customers and cut through the noise online. They can boost your visibility by:

  • Showing off your products on social media
  • Leaving positive reviews on your website
  • Driving more traffic to your products

In short, an engaged community leads to better sales outcomes. Keep reading for our guide to building a strong social media advocacy program.

Bonus: Download a free employee advocacy toolkit that shows you how to plan, launch, and grow a successful employee advocacy program for your organization.

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Social media advocacy is a way to leverage the social networks of the people who like you and/or are invested in your continued success: your customers, employees, business partners, influencers, and more.

According to Nielsen’s 2021 Trust in Advertising study, a whopping 89% of respondents trust recommendations from people they know. These recommendations are almost twice as likely to generate action, too.

A social media advocacy strategy turns your biggest fans into brand advocates. A brand advocate is someone who loves your brand so much that they choose to voluntarily promote your products or services on their own social media channels.

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While influencers are paid to create sponsored content for your brand, brand advocates are motivated by their enthusiasm for your product or service. They opt into your advocacy program voluntarily. Savvy customers are great at spotting paid influencer content, but organic endorsements still carry serious weight.

By leveraging your company’s biggest cheerleaders, you gain access to their social networks. The trust-based customer relationships you’ll build are worth their weight in gold.

What can brand advocates do for you?

Social media is now a top channel for online brand research, second only to search engines. Customers rely on social at every stage of the purchasing journey. A brand advocate’s positive post can really help you stand out from the crowd.

Here are a few ways in which brand advocates can help you build your business:

They leave positive reviews

Reviews from real users provide useful information for potential customers. In fact, reviews are the third-most important factor when shoppers are contemplating an online purchase:

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chart showing reasons driving online purchases

Source: Hootsuite Digital 2022 report

Encourage your brand advocates to leave positive reviews on your website — and make it easy for them to do so. You can even generate a link to leave a review on Google and include it in your post-purchase emails to all customers.

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Customers find a mix of positive and negative reviews more trustworthy. Responding to reviews shows that your brand is open to feedback. Make sure to engage with or respond to all reviews, good or bad.

They create user-generated content

User-generated content (UGC) is original, brand-specific content created by customers and published on social media or other channels. UGC acts as a trust signal, taking your brand authenticity to the next level. It’s incredibly influential in the final stages of the buyer’s journey.

Brands like Starbucks leverage UGC to break up the flow of traditional marketing posts in their social media streams:

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Starbucks Instagram user-generated content

Source: instagram.com/Starbucks

Only four of these 12 recent posts on the Starbucks Instagram feed are brand marketing posts. The other eight posts are user-generated content. In these examples, UGC creates a sense of FOMO that drives customers to stop in for the latest seasonal treat.

They bring in new users or customers

Seeing someone else’s success can help new customers visualize their own. That’s why success stories are invaluable when recruiting potential customers or users.

Airbnb, a giant in the short-term homestay space, builds brand advocacy with the Superhost Ambassador program.

Superhosts are experienced users who have completed at least 10 stays in the past year, maintain a 4.8+ rating, and have a 90% response rate within 24 hours. They enjoy perks and special recognition for earning Superhost status.

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Superhost Ambassadors share positive experiences to help new users see the benefits of hosting. They provide mentorship and tools to help new hosts succeed, all while earning rewards for bringing new hosts to Airbnb.

Airbnb Superhost Ambassadors

Source: airbnb.ca/askasuperhost

With the “Ask a Superhost” function, Ambassadors become de facto customer service representatives. They answer questions from newbies and help them create successful Airbnb listings. In exchange for their support, Ambassadors earn cash rewards and enjoy exclusive features and tools.

The key to building a strong social media advocacy program lies in leveraging your existing communities. But before you reach out to potential advocates, make sure you’ve got a plan in place.

Here’s how to start building your own social media advocacy program.

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1. Start with your goals

Consider what you’re trying to achieve with your social media advocacy program. What kinds of brand advocates are you looking to build your community with? What kind of ROI are you aiming for?

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Use the S.M.A.R.T goal-setting program to develop a set of effective goals. That means setting specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely goals.

Here’s an example of a S.M.A.R.T goal:

Create a brand advocacy program to grow my Instagram following by 15 percent over the next 90 days.

Now that you’ve got an actionable goal in mind, you can figure out the tactics you’ll need to follow to achieve it.

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2. Identify potential brand advocates

After setting your goals, you need to find your brand advocates, recruit them to your cause, and grow excitement among them about your company, campaign, or initiative.

Be sure to develop your program around valuable opportunities and rewards for the participants. Show them how taking part in the program will benefit them. Three core things to focus on to drive the program, including your search for the perfect participants, are:

  • Effective communication
  • Clear program architecture
  • Professional integration

To find the best brand advocates for your social media advocacy program, you need to understand who you want to target, and ask yourself some key questions:

  • What are their pain points?
  • What incentives would be valuable to them?
  • What are their interests?
  • Who do they engage with on social media?

Deciding to develop a brand advocacy program doesn’t have to mean starting from scratch. If your brand is active on social media, then there’s a good chance your customers and fans are as well. This community is likely already talking about (and to) your brand.

Look at your social media followers and newsletter subscriber lists. Who’s liking your posts and clicking your newsletter links? These engaged fans are prime candidates for your advocacy program.

3. Don’t forget about employee advocates

Employees can also be fantastic advocates for your brand and business. An employee advocacy program amplifies company messaging and broadens your social media reach.

When recruiting employee brand advocates, make it clear that the program is optional. Internal advocates usually see the value in incentives, but they don’t want to be bribed or coerced into participating!

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Here are a few tips to incentivize your employee brand advocates:

  • Follow employees from your company accounts to boost their network
  • Use the company accounts to share creative messaging created by employees
  • Create a contest where everyone who shares a piece of marketing content is entered to win a prize
  • Keep track of employees who share content consistently and share this information with their managers
  • Acknowledge frequent sharers in company meetings or newsletters
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Hootsuite Amplify helps you take the guesswork out of employee social media advocacy. Amplify allows your employees to access pre-approved content to share on their social feeds — all queued up and ready to go.

When done right, employee advocacy is one of the most effective ways to boost your public image and employee engagement.

4. Reward your advocates

Once you’ve got brand advocates, hang onto them! Make sure your social media advocacy program includes valuable opportunities and rewards for the participants. Show them how taking part in the program will benefit them.

Try the following tips to get the ball rolling:

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  • Follow users that follow you and engage with the content they share
  • Highlight community members who contribute positively to your online discussions
  • Reward the people who stand out in your community
  • Send them swag or discount codes

Keep brand advocates engaged

For your advocacy program to be effective, you need to build a strong connection with your advocates. Best case scenario: you’ll have hundreds, or even thousands, of engaged brand advocates championing your brand. These advocates need to feel valued!

Your social media advocacy strategy needs to be scalable. Put someone in charge of answering advocate questions and keeping them on track. Consider appointing a program lead to take on the engagement task as the program grows.

Add value to the experience

You can keep members engaged by adding value to their experience:

  • Create programming or education for your brand advocates
  • Offer discounts on educational opportunities
  • Add value with exclusive experiences, such as in-person meetups
  • Incentivize or even gamify your program by running contests or fun challenges

A relationship with a good brand advocate is mutually beneficial, so keep up with your end of the bargain.

Review your advocacy program on a regular basis

Review your brand advocacy program every few months to see how your progress is tracking against the goals you established at the start. If something isn’t working, make adjustments to get things back on track. Social media is constantly evolving, and so should your advocacy program.

Tap into the power of employee advocacy with Hootsuite Amplify. Increase reach, keep employees engaged, and measure results—safely and securely. Learn how Amplify can help grow your organization today.

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Hootsuite Amplify makes it easy for your employees to safely share your content with their followers—boosting your reach on social media. Book a personalized, no-pressure demo to see it in action.

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