Social media has provided multiple platforms where businesses can brand, advertise and ingratiate themselves with their audiences. A strong social media presence can strengthen your company’s reputation and visibility while offering a window into your competitors’ strategies and activities.
Today, social media marketing is a crucial element of any business’s marketing plan. We’ve created a step-by-step guide to help businesses develop an effective social media marketing strategy, including pitfalls to avoid and tips to ensure successful social media marketing campaigns.
There are seven steps involved in creating a successful and effective social media marketing campaign. Social media marketing is relatively straightforward. However, conducting research and ensuring your strategy suits your business and goals is crucial.
Follow these steps to set up your social media marketing strategy for success.
Examine your business and see what – if anything – you’re already doing with social media marketing. Next, determine your social media marketing goals. Setting business goals will inform your social campaign’s direction and help you stay on target.
A helpful way to organize your goals is the one-year, five-year, and 10-year format, where you outline where you’d like to be with your social media in one, five, and 10 years. You can adjust this method for shorter periods of time if you prefer.
Before connecting with your audience on social media, it’s crucial to understand who they are and what they need. Thoroughly research your target audience so you can formulate posts and content that address their needs.
Consider your existing audience, the people you’re trying to reach, and how you would classify them according to market segments. Your research will guide your content and ensure a receptive, engaged audience.
Using multiple social media accounts is often crucial for reaching your audience. However, there are a lot of social platforms, and not all of them will be right for your business’s culture and offerings.
Here are some of the social media platforms businesses use:
Each social media platform has a demographic that comprises most of its users. For example, professionals and B2B businesses tend to congregate on LinkedIn, while TikTok and Snapchat users tend to be Gen Z and young millennials. Unless you’re targeting everyone, you don’t need to establish a social media presence on all available platforms.
When selecting the right social media platforms for your business, consider these strategies:
Before you post on social media, spend time lurking and sharing other posts to get a feel for the platform’s culture and how users interact. When you’re ready, use your audience research to inform your content, and observe how your audience engages with various content types.
Your followers are your most critical social media marketing resource. They will decide your campaign’s success or failure by either engaging and sharing your content, or ignoring it.
To include your followers and build engagement, encourage user-generated content. For example, ask them to share pictures and videos of your products in use and post them on your accounts. Here are a few other ideas for building engagement with followers:
Once your social media marketing gets going, you might have trouble remembering what posts are going on what platforms, and when they’re appearing. To stay organized, consider hiring a social media manager or use intuitive social media management tools.
You can use social media management tools to write captions, prepare photos and videos, and schedule posts. Some even have centralized dashboards where you can view all your platform content and analytics. This also makes it easy to repurpose your content for different platforms to save time and expand your reach.
If followers are your most important resource, analytics are a close second. Analytics data allows you to measure and improve your marketing ROI and see if your efforts are helping you meet your goals.
Track key social media metrics, such as engagement, reach, followers, impressions, video views, profile visits, mentions, shares, tags and reposts. Use these metrics to tweak your social media marketing strategy or help you decide on new campaigns.
Many social sites have platform-specific analytics tools, including Facebook, Twitter, Google and Instagram, or you can use your social media management tool’s analytics to track your entire social presence.
Social media marketing involves creating content to promote your business or products via a social media platform, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn. Social media marketing has become an extremely popular way for businesses to connect with their audiences because each platform reports millions – or even billions – of daily users.
Social media marketing is a unique category with specific terms. Here’s a rundown of the social media marketing terms you’ll need to know.
Social media marketing has become necessary for all modern businesses that wish to connect with customers where they are – online. Other social media marketing benefits include the following:
According to Statista, there were over 4.59 billion people on social media in 2022. That means 4.59 billion opportunities to get your brand in front of new customers. Social media increases brand awareness through engagement. You’re increasing brand awareness if you create a business page for your company and engage with other social media posts. Social media can also increase your website’s traffic through posts, shares, and comments.
“[Social media] is one of the best word-of-mouth tools out there,” said Jon Lee, CMO at ana tomy. “All you need to do is get your audience to share to their friends, [and] if you plan your campaign content correctly, you can do that.”
Promoting and sharing content on social media is a great way to generate more sales leads and successful lead conversions because you’re actively promoting content to people who have already indicated interest.
Facebook and Instagram have also added a shopping feature that allows social media users to buy directly from a business without leaving the app. This feature helps businesses easily close sales by reducing customer friction and making purchasing easy and convenient.
Customers’ desire for genuine interaction is a huge driver of social media marketing’s popularity. Before social media, customers felt distant and detached from brands. Social media lets brands and businesses connect directly with customers, giving them a more human touch. Companies can participate in social media trends, chat with customers, and share their human side.
If you’re on social media, chances are, your competitors are also there. Social media gives businesses a unique opportunity to see what competitors are doing and what’s working for them – and to learn from their mistakes.
Pay attention to competitors’ social media marketing campaigns, how they interact with customers, and how they promote their products or services. This lets you ensure your campaigns are unique to your brand.
“Starting with a competitive analysis may help you discover some holes in your competition’s strategy and show you channels they may be missing out on,” said Jason Myers, senior vice president of public relations & social media marketing at The Content Factory.
A regularly updated online presence goes a long way toward establishing your business as a brand authority. Additionally, regular customer interaction shows you’re committed to your customers and care about their satisfaction. Social media makes it easier to resolve customer issues, and since your commitment is visible, prospective customers will feel more comfortable doing business with you.
Because so many social media users report regularly engaging with brands as well as friends, the use of sponsored or paid content has skyrocketed.
Usually identifiable by phrases like “paid post,” “presented by,” “sponsored by,” “promoted” or “advertisement,” sponsored content is any content that a sponsor pays a publisher, company or influencer to create and distribute on their social media channels. Sponsored content differs from traditional advertising because it aims to fit in with the regular content on a given social media platform.
Sponsored content can be an excellent mutually beneficial arrangement: The advertiser pays for the content, and the other brand, influencer or account shares it. However, if you are considering sponsored content, remember that social media users tend to be sensitive to posts that feel overly “salesy” or don’t fit in with the account’s regular content.
Here are some guidelines to help you find success with sponsored content:
The same general guidelines apply if you want your content shared as sponsored content by another brand or influencer. Carefully consider who you choose to post your sponsored content, and ensure they match your company’s general values and goals. This will make the content seem natural and not out of place on users’ timelines or feeds.
Once you’ve researched and outlined your steps, it’s time to ensure a successful campaign. Keep the following tips in mind:
Because social media is such a pervasive aspect of most people’s lives, detailed and nuanced etiquette has formed for social media generally and for each platform. Here are a few things to avoid in your social media strategy:
Because social media marketing is constantly changing, software tools can keep you organized and updated on best practices. The following are our choices for the best social media marketing tools that offer scheduling, analytics, media creation, social channel management and more.
Jennifer Dublino contributed to the reporting and writing in this article. Some source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.
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