Guide to Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is often a more personalized way to reach your audience, and it should be an integral part of your digital marketing strategy. Depending on your level of comfort with technology and social media, this marketing strategy can feel daunting, but it’s well worth the time and effort.  

Creating a social media marketing strategy for your business will help you create a sustainable, achievable, and successful online presence. If you start strategically and target the platforms where your ideal client is spending their time, you will save time while creating engagement that matters. 
 

What’s the point of social media marketing? 

Social media marketing is a form of digital marketing in which businesses make, publish, and share content on social platforms. This content supports the business’s branding, revenue, and lead generation goals by reaching the audience where they are spending time online organically. 

Social media marketing can drive more traffic to your website, give you an additional way to communicate with your audience, increase brand awareness, and build an online community. As a bonus, you can do all this for free. Of course, you can pay to boost posts and there are paid ad options, but there are free business account options across most platforms, which are very important for small businesses. 


 

Learn the social media landscape

Based on statistics published by the Pew Research Center, 72% of Americans use some type of social media. While young adults were early adopters and continue to lead in their usage, older adults are also present online. Some of the most popular platforms your business might want to consider using for a social media marketing strategy include: 

  • Instagram 
  • Facebook 
  • TikTok 
  • Twitter 
  • LinkedIn 
  • YouTube 
  • Snapchat 
  • Pinterest 
  • Reddit 

With the explosion of TikTok, leading to Instagram’s response with the Reels feature, it’s important to recognize the ever-changing social media landscape. New tools and platforms develop all the time, and your business will have to account for the changes that come along with that. Your business must also recognize that each social media platform’s algorithm will change periodically, which influences what users see online. 
 

Know your social media audience 

It’s time to bust out your Buyer Personas or read our previous article if you haven’t created them yet. This demographic breakdown from Sprout Social can help you pinpoint the places where your buyer personas are spending their time online. 

For example, let’s say you run an online store, and you specialize in newborn onesies. This business’s buyer persona is Stephanie, a 29-year-old in Indianapolis, expecting mom looking for cute, unique clothes for her baby. Based on her demographics, Stephanie is likely active on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. With that knowledge in mind, this online store may choose to start Facebook and Instagram accounts. 
 

Make a social media plan 

Now that you’re familiar with the popular social platforms and know where your audience is most active, let’s create a plan. Determine whether you want to share your brand story, increase awareness, drive users to your website, or make more sales online. Write down your top 2-3 goals and begin focusing your social media marketing strategy on those objectives. 

Next, write down 2-3 social media platforms where you will invest your time and note how many times a week you intend to post. For post frequency, once a day is standard and suggested. However, consistency and content quality are ultimately more important than quantity, so don’t post just to post. With over 60 million Business Pages on Facebook, your content needs to stand out and offer true value. Overextending yourself and creating sub-par content across every platform will dilute your message. 

 

Social media content creation 

Let’s do a quick review of your social media marketing strategy so far: 

✅ You are familiar with different social media platforms and the demographics that are most active on each. 

✅ You know your business’ Buyer Personas. 

✅ You have listed your social media marketing goals. 

Well done! Now, what are you going to share on social media? Start to consider what your business offers and the different ways you can view your products or services. You will want to create content that teaches your audience about your business, tells them what sets your business apart, showcases the people behind your business, and offers information that speaks to the pain points your business solves for customers. 

It’s time to brainstorm social media content ideas. Some examples may include: 

  • A behind-the-scenes look at product creation 
  • Interviews with employees 
  • Professional images of products 
  • User-generated content that is re-shared on your social channels 
  • Examples of your product or service in use 
  • Testimonials  

Once you have a healthy list of content ideas, make a monthly content calendar that explores the images or videos you want to share in conjunction with the various topics you will cover. 


 

Make the most of insights & social media tools 

Remember how social media marketing can be free? Fortunately for marketers and small businesses, this includes detailed analytics that allow you to deep-dive into your audience and content performance. Get familiar with the analytics and data provided to you by the social platforms you are using and track what types of content are getting the highest engagement. This information will help you continue to improve your content and learn more about the people who are interacting with your business on social media.  

There are so many tools out there that can help you automate and simplify your social media content creation and publishing process. Using a tool such as Later can help you create a content schedule that you can set in advance. Using a grid planner for Instagram can help you preview your content. Sprout Social and HubSpot offer social media creation, automated publishing, and monitoring as part of their marketing software services. 
 

Final takeaways for social media marketing 

Social media marketing is part of a complete digital marketing strategy, which works hand in hand with your content marketing strategy, to help you achieve your business goals. Use your time wisely and develop a plan that allows you to create consistent, quality content that your audience will want to see. For more social media marketing resources, check out our related articles:  

 

Author

Wiz E. Wig, Mascot & Director of Magic
Wiz E. Wig

Director of Magic

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