Social Media

6 Free Social Media Guides All Business Owners Should Read

Rob Nightingale 26-05-2014

If you run a business and want to take your social-media efforts to the next level while running some amazing social campaigns 3 Social Media Campaigns That Worked Their Magic On Me What kind of socially devoid person Facebook-likes Nike or Coca Cola just to get some marketing spiel pseudo-status messages fill up their Facebook homepage? Surely this new social marketing fad is just a bunch of... Read More , here are six white-papers/PDF reports you’ll want to take a look at.


The first reports are aimed at beginners, with the next ones gradually increasing in complexity and depth, so that people at all levels of social media fluency should be able to learn something, and benefit from the information in these documents.

An Introduction (Social Media for Business – Primer)


As a very basic introduction, ‘Social Media for Business- Primer‘ is a decent place to start. Digital Marketing Consultant, Becky Livingston (Penheel Marketing), takes you through the basics of topics such as competitive research, social media profile development, marketing plans, management tips, and posting checklists. If you’re a newcomer to the social space, this’ll give you plenty of useful information to get you up to speed.

A Comprehensive Beginner’s Guide (Guide to Social Media Marketing Your Guide To Social Media Marketing Right now, there is an onslaught of both people and companies turning to social media outlets. The competition is fierce, and no company can waste time or money doing it wrong. Read More )


If you’re a beginner looking for a more detailed introduction to social media, and ways to incorporate this into your business’s overall marketing plan, this MakeUseOf Guide to Social Media Marketing Your Guide To Social Media Marketing Right now, there is an onslaught of both people and companies turning to social media outlets. The competition is fierce, and no company can waste time or money doing it wrong. Read More looks at everything from 5-step strategies and social media success to measuring returns, and delves deeper into each of the major social platforms so you know exactly what you’re dealing with


Improving Your Current Social Media (The Marketer’s Guide to Social Media 2014)


If you’re after a little more than just the basics, Vocus have put together this 6 page overview (The Marketer’s Guide to Social Media 2014), taking you on a succinct journey over growing trends (including imagery and the continued growth of hashtags and video), predictions for the coming year, and how you should be using this information to your advantage. What’s great about this whitepaper is that it gives specific examples of companies who’re using certain strategies, so you can head over to their profiles and take a look at exactly what they’re up to.

Knowing What’s Happening in Social Media (Adobe Social Intelligence Report)


Although Adobe put this information (email opt-in required) together in Q4 of 2013, the information is incredibly insightful, with each primary point being developed into an opportunity that you can take advantage of. For example, Adobe found that cost per click (CPC), cost per thousand impressions (CPM), and click through rate (CTR) are all on the increase on Facebook, with advice to keep a close eye on the social numbers 3 Ways to Get Your Hands on Free Social Analytics Reports Accessing quality social media reports can often become a costly endeavor. Here are some free ways to get them. Read More of each of these for your own campaigns to ensure you achieve maximum return on investment.


Developing A Clear Strategy (Social Media Tactical Plan)


This is a great guide from Marketo, which takes you through how to cost-effectively increase the number of inbound leads you’re receiving through social, engage with influencers, better understand your buyers, and much more. After using this as a blueprint for creating your own tactical plan, you’ll have a clear road to follow to get you to where you want to be going, socially speaking.

 Measuring Your Results (ROI of Social Media [Broken URL Removed])


Measuring the ROI (return on investment) of social media is notoriously difficult, with goals ranging from increasing sales and improving brand recognition, to upping engagement and driving traffic. Radian6 have done a great job putting together this 16-page PDF, looking at ‘ROI of Social Media: Myths, Truths and How to Measure’ [Broken URL Removed].  If you’re looking at direct instructions on how to actually measure ROI, and the formulas you should be using, skip the end of the report, but do so at the risk of missing out on plenty of high-value information.


What other reports, whitepapers and blueprints have you found that have helped with the social media for your business?

Image Credits: Business man Reading Book Via Shutterstock

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  1. Matthew H
    May 27, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    Awesome stuff man. I'm curious, are you aware of any good MOOC (Udemy/Udacity) courses that teach social media?

    • rob
      May 28, 2014 at 12:58 pm

      Matt, I'm not sure about any full online courses as I've never completed any myself- I generally find just keeping up wth good blogs and podcasts is enough to shove you into a pretty steep learning curve. For the very basics, however, these five courses seem to be decent: [Broken URL Removed]

  2. Karianne Stinson
    May 27, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    I think Moz's Beginners' Guide to Social Media should be included as well.

    • rob
      May 28, 2014 at 12:56 pm

      Hey Karianne- that is a good primer, too! Thanks for the link :) Do you have any other guides that'd be good for non-beginners?