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15 Businesses With a Great Social Media Presence
In a technology-driven world, it’s hard to stand out on social media sites. Check out which brands are taking over the media with the ultimate social media strategy.
General Electric stays relevant with gorgeous Instagram photos and science tips on Twitter. It launched an ad campaign that increased company recruitment by 800 percent, as reported by Libris.
The rental hosting company Airbnb uses visual media to inspire. By featuring real travelers and hosts, its social media presence communicates the brand’s values.
The multinational campaigns that Coke presents foster creativity and sharing. Its social media strategy consists of engaging content like the ‘Share a Coke’ campaign and a video series with famous YouTubers.
Nike’s ‘Just Do It.’ marketing campaign is one of the most recognized in the world. The company is not afraid to use inspirational public figures to lead campaigns. Nike is known for taking huge risks.
The pizza chain Domino’s has come a long way in the art of social media strategy. Since taking on some negativity, it has upped its game on social media. Creating fun and unique social engagements like ‘tweet-to-order’ and the ability to create an ultimate pizza design has helped it grow.
The soap company Dove is a brand that knows its demographic and centers its strategy around it. Its goal is to help all women realize their beauty potential. The brand does this with inspiring social media that creates a positive atmosphere.
LEGO gives ownership to its fans by letting them be a part of the design process. LEGO lets fans submit their own creations for a chance to become an official set. Social media campaigns like this one create loyal customers.
Streaming music service Pandora is known for its visually stunning social media content. Its biggest focus is creating a cohesive look that is relatable and personal to consumers.
Oreo makes it a mission to continually produce relevant content. The brand has popular tweets and is even on sites like Snapchat and other video sharing sites.
Shoe company Adidas continues to have a large following and influence through Instagram. By sharing visual content like videos and pictures to drive sales, Adidas focuses its social media strategy directly on its products.
GoPro produces exciting videos that feature its versatile products. Its fun videos demonstrate exactly what their customers love: adventure and new experiences.
Wendy’s is known for its engaging Twitter content. The brand has gone viral several times with “roast Tweets” and usually keeps it casual and fun during social interactions. It also manages to be informative, alerting readers to its newest deals and limited-edition sandwiches.
Eggo paired with popular Netflix series “Stranger Things,” creating iconic spoofs and videos. The company encouraged fans to engage by sharing recipes and videos. Integrating its platform with customers’ real-life experiences took its branding to the next level.
Charmin’s bears are possibly the most recognizable brand standard out there. With Twitter marketing campaigns like #TweetFromTheSeat, the brand is able to make the most out of its not-so-glamorous product line.
Starbucks is one of the most popular places to get coffee. Its use of clean, bright visuals will catch your eye. By using methods like stop-motion videos and shareable video clips, the company keeps it simple while making a big impact.
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7 social media strategies that it companies can use to attract new users in 2022.
By Julia Voloshchenko , PR & Marketing Manager at Movavi .
When it comes to increasing brand awareness and gaining more loyal customers, social networking is a must. Starting from zero can be intimidating, especially if you have high hopes of becoming an industry thought leader with a huge following. But even overnight sensations don’t happen overnight, and brands don’t go viral by accident. With a few simple yet targeted strategies, you can become a social networking pro. Whether you want to grow your business and gain more customers, follow these seven social networking strategies and tips that top IT companies are using to grow their followings.
Movavi specialists – Alexey and Ivan are ready to share their experience in working with social networks.
“ Actually, SMM in the IT and beauty industries essentially follows the same process: competitor analysis, identification of product features, analysis of the target audience, drafting of a content plan, content creation, and post-content analysis. But there are some differences. For example, it is more difficult to outsource the work, since there are several products with an extensive feature set, and it takes a tremendous amount of time to properly study the product and understand how to present it to the end consumer. For this reason, I hand out product keys to all new employees for them to study” – notes Ivan.
“I would say that there are peculiarities involved with working for different audiences. Because when you’re promoting an IT company and its product, there might be several quite different audiences. Our video editor is mainly used by beginners and amateurs, although there are even BBC journalists who use it! So we take that into account when we’re making our content plans. But still, I would note that another peculiarity of working for an IT company is that you need to understand a variety of terminology – both IT-speak and other terms that relate to the product” – says Alexey.
1. Follow and engage with trending topics in your field
The tech industry is always growing and changing. From cryptocurrency to the latest video editing software, chances are good that people in your field have strong opinions about trending topics. You can leverage this to gain more followers, build brand awareness, and set yourself apart as a thought leader. Follow relevant hashtags on Instagram and Twitter, and connect with leaders in your field on LinkedIn and Facebook. For example, Twitter has a great way to connect with experts and journalists: use the hashtag #journorequest to see requests from journalists and PR people.
As you scroll through your feed on all of these platforms, pay attention to the comments and engage in those conversations. And don’t be afraid to retweet and reshare great content, either. All of these small touches will help drive more engagement and get more eyes on your content and your brand.
“In order to work effectively with social media, the SMM specialist himself must have several qualities,” notes Alexey.
Creativity . Nowadays almost every business and brand is on social media, so an SMM professional has just got to be creative: you need to come up with new headings, new formats for posts, new contest mechanics and new ways to engage your audience.
A keen visual sense. It is important for an SMM to have a sense of taste and a well-developed feel for visuals. So when we go on social media in our free time, we’re not just having fun – we’re getting our eyes in!
Attentiveness . An incorrect link, a typo or another mistake – and suddenly you’ve got a whole group of disgruntled subscribers in the comments! So it is extremely important for an SMM manager to be attentive to details, check everything several times before posting and not get lazy about it.
Love for fact-checking. There is a sea of information and different kinds of sources on the internet, and many of them aren’t the most reliable. So if you need to prepare a post about an event, for example, then it’s best to look for information on different sources and make sure it is correct.
Courage. Need not be afraid to try something new, test hypotheses and suggest new ideas.
So what’s trending right now?
“ Openness and sincerity are hot right now. When it comes to content formats, TikTok rules the roost right now. Instagram and Facebook have introduced Reels in an effort to retain the audience inside their social networks. In addition, large brands are moving away from depersonalization — that is, the practice of having a third party manage a company web page. In terms of brand identification, subscribers feel no attachment to companies that pursue this strategy. Large brands try to broadcast information through their employees, ambassadors, and public figures on social networks. UGC content dominated in the past and will continue to do so. Recommendations in Stories, posts, and comments are the highest mark of brand loyalty and trust, and they are also a source of free user-generated content that can be shared on profiles” – notes Ivan.
“TikTok is trending now. Whether you like it or not, you just have to work with it… All the trends come from there, so you can’t help but follow what is happening on it. And also, thanks to TikTok’s algorithms, you can gain a couple of million views with absolutely no promotion. On the one hand that’s cool, but on the other hand sometimes you just don’t understand why your cool video doesn’t get into the “recommendations”. As for the content that gets through to people, a lot also depends on the audience and the site. Our product is photo and video editing software, so subscribers are interested in learning how to work with our programs and what cool things can be done with our software” – Alexey adds.
2. Start an informative video series
You’re a leader in your field, and you have advice and insights to give. It’s never been easier to record, edit, and publish videos to YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, or TikTok. When you share useful, entertaining, and/or educational content, people will start to notice. If you do it regularly, they’ll start following you and sharing your videos, and you’ll see your network grow.
“ This summer we launched a TikTok account where we upload expert content related to video creation. To do this, we took videos from our YouTube channel, chopped them up into short clips, changed the format from horizontal to vertical, and posted them on our profile. In just 3 months we managed to collect 21k subscribers, and by August we had almost a million views. For our niche (an expert audience) these are good numbers” – says Ivan.
But in addition to TikTok, we pay attention to other social networks: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. We try to make creative and useful content that will inspire people to create their own videos or teach them how to shoot and edit video. Video content goes well on desktop social media platforms, whereas on Instagram, for instance, static still wins. We also make various themed selections, or organize votes for the best LUT effect for videos in Stories, and we run quizzes and contests. It is important to use all the tools social media platforms provide, so as soon as Reels appeared on Instagram, we immediately started uploading videos there.
Get closer to your audience. Let users know there’s a real person behind your company. Talk about your values and goals, share a relevant point of view with your audience, and get their opinion. If you’re developing a product, survey your audience about what they would like to see in your product. This will show that you care about what your audience thinks.
We publish stories and interviews with our employees on Medium and Hackernoon. This gives users and interested parties an opportunity to learn more about the internal life of the company, about what does a software developer or product manager do after all?
3. Engage with happy customers — and get those reviews!
Want to boost your sales? Get your customers to do the selling for you. Back in 2016, a Nielsen’s Harris poll found that 80% of Americans looked for referrals from other buyers before buying products. That number definitely hasn’t decreased. Consider how often you look for product reviews before you make a purchase online. Your customers do the same thing, so why not leverage that?
Send out thank-you emails after purchases with links to rate and review your products or services. The more you engage with happy customers and followers, the more you’ll make them feel special, and the more likely they’ll be to spread the word and help you grow your network. Come up with an incentive system: for example, give free access to the program or send the product for free. Arrange promotions and sales, organize a club of regular customers or users. You can make up a community with its own rules, where your users will feel comfortable communicating.
4. Run periodic Instagram contests and giveaways
Along those same lines, you can boost engagement and followership with periodic contests and giveaways. You can do these on any platform, but Instagram really lends itself to this strategy. Running a giveaway is easy. Just choose what you’re going to give as a prize, and then post your contest with clearly defined rules.
5. Boost posts and invest in ads
Image Credits: Movavi (opens in a new window)
Posting regularly is helpful, but until you have a huge following, it won’t be enough to get your content in front of new potential followers. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter have intricate algorithms that favor paid content and popular accounts. So, if you’re not already highly popular, shoot a video that your audience will want to watch and then pay to boost that post and/or run a paid ad campaign with it. Advertising on social sites is a small investment, and it can pay off big time.
6. Capture more email addresses with free offers
Instead of a giveaway, create a free offer that anyone can take advantage of – as long as they’re willing to fill out a short form and provide their email address. Depending on your industry and your followers, you might consider offering a free trial run of your software, an informative eBook, or an insightful infographic. Get creative, but always keep your audience and their goals in mind.
7. Automate (some of) your content
The key is to automate scheduled content. Get out your calendar and create a plan for weekly and/or monthly posts. You can then create those posts ahead of time and use an automation tool like Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule your posts ahead of time.
With that in mind, you don’t want to automate everything about your social networking. When it comes to engaging with trending topics, you might want to keep a few pieces of content ready to go to add to the conversation, but the key is to be authentic and present. Read what your customers and peers are saying, and respond to it with your thoughts and insights. Engage genuinely, and you’ll be on your way to creating real connections that help you build your network and your reputation.
Prioritize quality and consistency
Whether you follow all of these strategies or you just stick to one or two, you absolutely must prioritize quality and consistency. If you’re consistently posting content that your audience doesn’t care about, you won’t gain any followers. If you’re posting incredible videos that your audience loves, but you only post once every three months, your audience is likely to forget about you.
Try new methods, follow what’s trending, don’t forget to analyze your audience and your content will attract more and more users.
Remember that your personal story and the presence of a “living personality” in your brand gives you a big advantage.
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Social media marketing: What it is and how to build your strategy
Written by by Jamia Kenan
Published on September 22, 2022
Reading time 20 minutes
Looking to fine-tune your social media marketing strategy?
Good! Now’s the perfect time to make it happen.
In a landscape with more competition, content and networks than ever, a succinct strategy gives you the focus needed to say “no” to efforts that don’t serve your goals. That’s why we put together a comprehensive guide to creating a social media marketing plan from scratch.
Whether you’re totally new to social or want to double-check your priorities in 2023, this guide has you covered.
What is social media marketing?
Set goals that make sense for your business, research your target audience and select your networks, establish your most important metrics and kpis, create (and curate) engaging social content, make your social presence as timely as possible, evaluate and improve your social media strategy, bring other departments into the mix.
Social media marketing means using social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to promote your brand and sell your product or service.
If your business comes out with a new item and you plan to promote the launch on social media, that’s social media marketing. If you interact with your customers via comments, that’s social media marketing. And if you create engaging content that showcases your brand’s values and story, that’s social media marketing too.
This form of marketing requires you to use social media management skills and tools. Just as you prepare other aspects of your marketing strategy, you need to have a plan for your social media marketing.
Now that we’ve defined social media marketing, let’s walk through how to create a plan. Check out our video below to watch how you can use the tips in this article to build a strategy in seven steps.
Social media strategy planning starts with your goals.
According to the 2021 Sprout Social Index™ , the most common goals for social are increasing brand awareness (58%) and increasing community engagement (41%). And these goals are still very relevant to social media teams going into 2023, especially as they face new challenges.
The 2022 Sprout Social Index™ reports the top challenges for social media teams include finding talent, proving ROI, social execution, resourcing and using social as a business function. Brands are already setting goals and frameworks to conquer these obstacles in 2023.
Whether you want to expand your team, build a larger following or a more active community, taking the time to define your social goals is the first step to reaching them.
Either way, your goals will define your social media marketing strategy and how much time and energy you’ll need to dedicate to your campaigns.
Example social media goals for 2023 and beyond
What really matters is that you set realistic social media goals .
Emphasis on “realistic”. We recommend tackling smaller objectives that allow you to scale your social efforts in a way that’s both reasonable and affordable.
Below are some example social media marketing goals that businesses of all shapes and sizes can pursue.
Goal example 1: Increase brand awareness
This means getting your name out there. To create authentic and lasting brand awareness , avoid solely publishing promotional messages. Instead, focus on content that emphasizes your personality and values first.
@sanisisters Photoshoot days are the best #fashion #photoshoot ♬ original sound – Niki & Ritika from Sani
Goal example 2: Generate leads and sales
Whether online, in-store or directly through your social profiles, followers don’t make purchases by accident. Social media gives you an avenue to generate revenue. For example, are you alerting customers about new products and promos? Are you integrating your product catalog into your social profiles? Are you running exclusive deals for followers?
Find your purse-onality 👜 https://t.co/nRyWji469Y pic.twitter.com/fUkXFeZRq2 — Lilly's Kloset (@LillysKloset) September 13, 2022
Goal example 3: Grow your brand’s audience
Bringing new followers into the fold means finding ways to introduce your brand to folks who haven’t heard of you before.
Growing your audience also means discovering conversations around your business and industry that matter the most. Digging through your social channels is nearly impossible without monitoring or listening for specific keywords, phrases or hashtags. Having a pulse on these conversations helps you expand your core audience (and reach adjacent audiences) much faster.
Goal example 4: Boost community engagement
Social media is all about engagement, so it pays to explore new ways to grab the attention of your current followers.
Sprout Social’s 2022 Index™ report shows consumers want to see content that highlights a brand’s products, services and personality, and customer testimonials.
This means companies need to experiment with messaging and content. For example, does your brand promote user-generated content and hashtags?
Even something as simple as asking a question can increase your engagement rate. Your customers can be your best cheerleaders, but only if you’re giving them a reason to do so.
Goal example 5: Drive traffic to your site
Simple enough. If you’re laser-focused on generating leads or traffic to your website, social media can make it happen. Whether through promotional posts or social ads, keeping an eye on conversions and URL clicks can help you better determine your ROI from social media .
Any combination of these goals is fair game and can help you better understand which networks to tackle, too. When in doubt, keep your social media marketing strategy simple rather than complicating it with too many objectives that might distract you. Pick one or two and rally your team around them.
Making assumptions is bad news for marketers.
Some 60% of organizations use social data daily, according to the 2022 Sprout Social Index™. Both leaders and practitioners can take advantage of the valuable insights social data provides.
Much of what you need to know about your audience to influence your social media marketing strategy is already available. You just have to know where to look.
With the right tool, marketers can quickly research their audience . No formal market research or data science chops necessary.
Remember: different platforms attract different audiences
Take today’s social media demographics , for example. These numbers speak directly to which networks your brand should approach and what types of content to publish. Here are some key takeaways for your 2023 social media marketing strategy:
- Facebook and YouTube are both prime places for ads due in part to their high-earning user bases.
- According to the 2022 Sprout Social Index™, 71% of consumers and 65% of marketers plan on using Facebook the most in the next year. YouTube follows behind with 51% of consumers and 35% of marketers planning to use the platform.
- The top social networks among Millennials and Gen Z are Instagram and YouTube , signaling the strength of bold, eye-popping content that oozes with personality.
- Women make up more than 60% of Pinterest’s global audience .
- LinkedIn’s user base is well-educated , making it a hub for in-depth, industry-specific content that might be more niche than what you see on Facebook or Twitter.
- Consumers in the United States spend the most time on TikTok . And some 73% of users feel a deeper connection to brands they interact with on TikTok vs other platforms.
Demographics like the ones above are great for understanding where your target audience lives, but it’s also important to understand the nuances of each social network so you can decide where your business needs to be.
Bigger brands with large customer bases tend to have presences across multiple platforms. Giants like McDonald’s and Starbucks obviously have the resources to be everywhere at once, but what if you’re a mid-size or small business?
For the sake of narrowing down where you should spend your time, below is a quick overview of each of the major social platforms:
Simple and straightforward, Twitter is a solid starting point for most businesses. Requiring minimal setup and providing a place to go back and forth with followers directly, there’s a reason why Twitter remains the go-to platform for customer service . If you’re trying to master the social media marketing basics of hashtags, tagging, brand voice and social media etiquette, look no further.
The first flavor you find is the next pint you should get. Tell us which one you found! pic.twitter.com/cX3HnuPxH2 — Talenti Gelato (@TalentiGelato) August 30, 2022
Facebook is a must-have for brick-and-mortar businesses looking to target local customers. Allowing for check-ins and reviews, it’s a prime place to grow a dedicated local following. Plus, they have an incredible chatbot functionality that can take your customer service and marketing campaigns to the next level.
The platform’s recent algorithm change has made it difficult for some businesses to grow their Pages and stay in touch with fans consistently. That said, Facebook’s ad platform is the gold standard for social media ads because it can help businesses cut through the noise and algorithm changes.
Sunday Funday has officially started at Mary Mac's Tea Room! 🙌🏼🙌🏼 We are open all day from 11am – 9pm.. We look forward… Posted by Mary Mac's Tea Room on Sunday, September 18, 2022
At its core, Instagram is a network centered around visual content. A major hub for brick-and-mortar businesses, e-commerce shops and influencers alike, the platform encourages brands to get creative. From eye-popping photos to clever captions, it’s all about finding unique ways to show off what you’re selling.
View this post on Instagram A post shared by King Arthur Baking Company (@kingarthurbaking)
LinkedIn is a network laser-focused on business trends and networking. It’s a goldmine, especially for anyone networking in the B2B space. Looking to get in touch with an influencer, marketing manager or CEO? Chances are you can find them here.
This visual pinning platform is insanely popular with Millennials and is noted to be one of the best networks for social selling. Like Instagram, Pinterest thrives on imagery and inspirational content where products serve as the proverbial centerpiece.
Although some might not regard YouTube as a traditional social network, the platform’s active and engaged community speaks for itself. Considering that video represents the top-performing type of content across nearly every social network, YouTube is a great place to house your videos if you’re already producing them.
TikTok reached 1 billion users in September 2021, making it the internet’s newest social media darling. Along with its viral trends and niche communities, the short-form video app is known for its hyper-personalized algorithm that keeps users scrolling for hours. TikTok marketing has changed the game for brands, allowing them to connect with customers in an entirely new way.
@starbucks Let’s hear it for the summer signs. ☀️ #Starbucks #ZodiacSigns ♬ original sound – Starbucks
Picking networks for your social media marketing strategy
There are over 15 social media platforms your brand can use , but don’t spread yourself too thin. Rather than try to dominate them all, you should consider which platforms make the most sense based on your industry and target audience.
Do your homework on your existing social media audience and focus on networks where your core audience is already active. Further analysis needs to be done before you can determine what your real-world social customers actually look like.
That’s why many brands use a social media dashboard that provides an overview of who’s following you and how they interact with you on each channel.
For example, Sprout’s Analytics Dashboard puts your audience demographics front and center. It highlights which social networks see the most activity, helping you ensure you spend your time on the right networks. You can also use analytics to determine if you should create a new social media account .
With Sprout’s Group Report , you can view Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest data side-by-side in a customizable format that’s exportable by date range and profile.
There are plenty of other sources of valuable audience data to supplement your social media insights. This includes your Google and email analytics, your CRM, your customer service platform or even your best-selling products.
All of the above will ultimately influence everything from your marketing messaging to how you’ll approach customer service or social commerce .
No matter your goals or industry, your social media strategy should be data-driven.
That means focusing on the social media metrics that matter . Rather than focus on vanity metrics, dig into data that aligns directly with your goals.
What metrics are we talking about? Check out the breakdown below:
- Reach . Post reach is the number of unique users who saw your post. How much of your content actually reaches users’ feeds?
- Clicks . This is the number of clicks on your content or account. Tracking clicks per campaign is essential to understand what drives curiosity or encourages people to buy.
- Engagement . The total number of social interactions divided by the number of impressions. This sheds light on how well your audience perceives you and their willingness to interact.
- Hashtag performance . What were your most-used hashtags? Which hashtags were most associated with your brand? Having these answers can help shape the focus of your content going forward.
- Organic and paid likes . Beyond a standard Like count, these interactions are attributed to paid or organic content. Given how much harder organic engagement is to gain, many brands turn to ads. Knowing these differences can help you budget both your ad spend and the time you invest in different formats.
- Sentiment . This is the measurement of how users react to your content, brand or hashtag. Did customers find your recent campaign offensive? What type of sentiment do people associate with your campaign hashtag? It’s always better to dig deeper and find out how people talk or feel about your brand.
- Views. This data point measures video views, but different platforms have different requirements for it. For example, Facebook and LinkedIn count a view when a user watches a video for at least three seconds. From the popularity of TikTok to live streaming, video is taking the internet by storm, so familiarize yourself with social video engagement metrics if you plan on using it in your strategy.
An effective social media marketing strategy is rooted in numbers. That said, those numbers need to be put into a context that aligns with your original goals. Conduct analytics reports regularly to convey the story behind the metrics and see if your efforts match up to your vision.
No surprises here. Your social media marketing strategy hinges on your content.
At this point, you should have a pretty good idea of what to publish based on your goals, audience and brand identity. You probably feel confident in which networks to cover, too.
But what about your content strategy? Below are some tips, ideas and inspiration that can help.
Defining your content strategy
Coming up with a content strategy might seem like a lot of legwork, but it all really boils down to your goals.
- Looking to educate your audience in the B2B space? Publish blogs, news and opinions relevant to your industry.
- Trying to push e-commerce products? Post action shots of your products and photos of others showing off your swag.
- Focused on customer service? Tips, shout-outs and company updates are fair game.
Regardless of what you might post, coming up with a hashtag to couple with your content is a brilliant branding move.
Generated from the magic of your mind, our latest flavor by #CocaColaCreations is almost here and ready to rock your world. 🤯 Get ready to #TasteTheWonder of #CocaColaDreamworld . ✨ #RealMagic pic.twitter.com/U0uMXFAsAm — Coca-Cola (@CocaCola) August 10, 2022
Hashtags can be used to get your attention and encourage people to share their photos interacting with your brand.
📸👋Grab your cameras—we want to feature YOU at PoshFest 2022! Simply upload a video and you could see yourself on the screen at our annual #PoshFest2022 conference, and on Poshmark's social media. Submit your video by 9/14 for a chance to be featured! https://t.co/shMqzjM63R pic.twitter.com/z4DSx1vlfM — Poshmark (@Poshmarkapp) September 9, 2022
Find your brand voice
One of the best ways to stand out on social media is to define your distinct brand voice. Chances are you’ve seen a post from a particular brand that just feels like, well, theirs.
The quippy, casual tone that makes Discord’s Twitter presence beloved by casual users and moderators alike is a great example.
raise your hand if you are stealing memes. you're not in trouble, i just want to know. — Discord (@discord) September 9, 2022
Of course, not every company will benefit from the same sort of tone. The key is to present yourself as a human rather than a robot. Adopt a consistent brand voice and style that’s appropriate for your business.
The importance of sticking to content themes
From graphics to Reels and beyond, many brands rely on the same content formats and creative touches time and again. These themes can help you become more consistent and zero in on a content strategy that makes sense.
For example, you might cycle between memes, product photos and user-generated content while sticking to a defined color scheme. If you’re struggling to keep up with all these sources of social content, consider social media management tools that help you organize your media library and schedule your posts in advance.
Content ideas for social media marketing in 2023
To help narrow down the specifics of what you should publish and make sure you’re developing innovative content, here are some social media trends to consider.
Stories and time-sensitive posts
Stories aren’t going anywhere. Tapping into your followers’ FOMO (fear of missing out), Stories-style content is both interactive and can’t-miss. Popping up first in your followers’ feeds by default, this content can help your brand’s account “skip the line” and stay fresh in your audience’s minds.
Stories are especially valuable for taking your followers behind-the-scenes and making your social feed feel more personal. For example, consider how you can use Stories to cover an event or take your followers on a journey without them having to leave the comfort of the ‘gram.
Social video is booming, especially with the rise of TikTok and Instagram Reels . Short-form productions continue to dominate the social space across all platforms due to their high engagement rate.
Sprout Social’s 2022 Index™ data shows that consumers find short-form videos 2.5x more engaging than long-form ones. Some 66% of consumers report paying the most attention to short-form content as well.
Thanks to advancements in DIY and remote video production , you don’t need a massive video production budget to be successful. All you need is a laptop or smartphone and a few tricks of the trade, like video length best practices and editing tools .
Posts that show off your human side
Both personal and personable content should be a cornerstone of your social media marketing strategy. Don’t be afraid to remind followers of the humans behind your posts.
Sprout’s 2022 Index™ data shows 34% of consumers want to see content that highlights a brand’s personality. Lean into the opportunity to be authentic and connect with your customers with humanized posts.
Take a break. It will help you be more productive and spark new ideas. ✨ — Sprout Social (@SproutSocial) September 22, 2021
Let's BeReal. Drop a photo of what your life looks like as a #SMM right now. 👇 — Sprout Social (@SproutSocial) August 9, 2022
Collaborate with creators
If you haven’t already, it’s time to tap into the creator economy . Social partnerships are very effective when executed correctly. They can help drive traffic to your website, produce compelling content and inspire purchase decisions.
But consumers care about creators’ qualifications, so choose wisely. The two most important qualifications of content creators is their experience with the product/service and their authenticity.
Identify creators who align with your brand and consider how they can help you craft stand-out content for your audience.
The metaverse is projected to become an $800 billion market by 2024 . And major companies and startups are already joining the metaverse by creating branded activations in this new emerging technology.
Get it early on @Roblox . Grill our new Garlic Guajillo Steak at the Chipotle on Roblox to try it in real life before it officially launches in restaurant. pic.twitter.com/2leclEJ2NO — Chipotle (@ChipotleTweets) September 13, 2022
More than two-thirds of marketers anticipate investing at least a quarter of their budget into metaverse tactics over the next 12 months.
Pro-tip: conduct a competitive analysis to help your content stand out
Before you start creating content, you should have a good idea of what your competitors are up to.
While some brands might want to look into third-party competitor analysis tools to dig deeper into their competitors’ numbers, you can learn a lot from a simple review of your competitors’ social presence.
The simplest way to find competitors is through a Google search. Look up your most valuable keywords, phrases and industry terms to see who shows up.
Then, see how their social channels compare to your own. The goal here isn’t to copycat or steal your competitors’ ideas. No two companies’ social media marketing strategies can be (or should be) the same. Instead, determine what’s working for them and what conclusions you can draw to adapt your own campaigns accordingly.
After identifying some of your industry rivals, you can use competitive analysis to quickly compare competitor performance to your own.
See what they’re posting on Facebook. Contrast your Twitter engagement with theirs. Find out how they’re tagging their content on Instagram. Optimize your own strategy. Rinse and repeat.
You can also go a step further using Sprout’s Advanced Listening . Using social listening, you can spotlight unfiltered consumer feedback regarding competitors, as well as their products and services.
You get the added bonus of discovering honest conversations about your brand you may have otherwise missed.
Timeliness is arguably more important than ever for marketers. Not only are you expected to put out fresh content regularly, but also to always be “on” for your followers.
But you can’t always expect customers to operate on your clock. And timeliness is a tall order when you’re strapped for resources or are part of a small team.
Let’s look at some ways to maximize your schedule and your time spent on social media.
Assemble your content calendar
Use a content calendar to plan out your posts and stay organized. Knowing in advance what you’re going to post will save you a lot of time and keeps you from posting the same pieces of content too frequently.
With the help of Sprout’s scheduling and publishing , you can house your social posts, captions and creatives in one place.
Post at the best times to engage
As evidenced by our best times to post on social , brands have a lot of ground to cover in terms of frequency and how much content to push. It’s important to pay attention to the optimal times for engagement so you can automate the most tedious aspects of your social presence without having to worry about posting in real time.
Sprout also offers a cool interactive tool that populates best times by industry and network. You can check it out here .
But, quick question: when is your brand available to engage and interact with customers?
You might see some recommended times to post late in the evening, for example. But if your team isn’t there to communicate, what’s the point of posting at the “preferred” time?
When you’re able to do so, ensure your social media or community managers are available and ready to answer any product questions or concerns when you post. You can also use automated replies to connect with customers when your team is offline.
Take time to review the best times to post on social media, but remember that it’s just as critical to engage after posting.
And that leads us to our next point.
Respond to your customer questions and shout-outs ASAP
Your customers want speedy responses. More than three-quarters of consumers expect a response within 24 hours, but 22% expect a response between 1-12 hours.
The 2022 Sprout Social Index™ infographic below illustrates the expectations of consumers and brands when it comes to response times.
Your brand can’t forget these core elements of community building. It takes effort to ensure conversations or engagement opportunities aren’t left unattended.
On social media, you gain respect as a brand by being present and talking to your audience. That’s why social customer care is so important to brands wanting to increase audience awareness—word travels fast about great service.
genuine question for other social media people… i see all of these huge brands using sprout… have y’all ever used sprout and what are your thoughts on it? — cai 🐺✰ (@wolfiecai) September 13, 2022
Whether it’s capitalizing on a compliment or responding to a question, businesses shouldn’t leave customers hanging. According to our research, long response times have consequences: 36% of consumers say they’ll share that negative experience with friends and family. And a comparable 31% won’t complete their purchase.
This is why it’s so important to designate teams to specific response tasks. It can help your staff run like a well-oiled social media team, whether you’re a group of one or 100.
As social algorithms evolve, organic content has an increasingly tough time reaching the majority of your audience. The last thing you want to do is ignore those who do engage and lose out on sending more people down your marketing funnel.
By now you should have a big-picture understanding of your social media strategy. However, it’s important to adapt your strategy throughout the year.
Without continuously analyzing your efforts, you’ll never know how one campaign did over another. Having a bird’s eye view of your social media activity helps put things into perspective. This means looking at your top-performing content and adjusting your campaigns when your content stalls .
There’s no denying that a lot of social media is a matter of trial-and-error. Monitoring the metrics behind your campaigns in real time allows you to make small tweaks to your social media marketing strategy rather than sweeping, time-consuming changes.
Doing social media marketing right starts by being diligent about your data. You can be reactive in the short term to get the most out of your running campaigns, and then proactively use these takeaways to inform your next strategy overhaul.
To guarantee that you get in front of as many customers as possible, monitoring your growth is a major must-do. With Sprout, social reports can clue you in on everything from your top-performing content to how engaged your audience is. These reports are crucial for accountability and guaranteeing your numbers continue to tick upward.
Reporting on data is also important for the sake of sharing valuable insights from social with your coworkers and colleagues. Remember that 60% of organizations use social data daily—be one of the brands that embrace it.
Sharing this information in regular social media reports not only holds you accountable for your efforts but also highlights the impact and bottom-line results your social strategy produces.
Based on your data, you can better assess whether your KPIs truly ladder up to your overarching company goals or whether they need to change.
Social media teams have a unique advantage when it comes to understanding customer sentiment. You’re the eyes and ears for your brand online. Those insights can do more than just inform marketing strategy. They can transform your business.
Stand-out social media teams will approach cross-department collaboration with enthusiasm and intention.
Which departments can benefit from social data?
The short answer? All of them. But don’t bite off more than you can chew. Instead, start where you think you can make the most impact. Here are a few ideas to jumpstart your strategy.
Collaborating with human resources on social-first employer brand initiatives can do more than just fill open roles quickly. It can attract stronger, more qualified candidates as well. Many companies have embraced social recruiting strategies, such as publishing creative “we’re hiring” posts on LinkedIn to attract top talent.
Data from the 2022 Sprout Social Index™ notes that sales strategy is the number one use case for social data. Sharing social insights with your sales organization can empower reps to work smarter in the context of increasingly digital customer journeys. Consider learning more about social selling to leverage the power of online networks even further.
Product and merchandising
You’ve probably received quite a few feature or product requests while managing your brand’s social inbox. With a social media management tool , you can distill those messages into actionable insights for your product or merchandising teams. These insights can complement existing roadmap research, creating a customer-focused plan that delights.
And with that, we wrap up your social media strategy guide for 2023 and beyond!
Is your social media marketing strategy future proof?
This guide highlights plenty of moving pieces to maintain a modern social presence.
That said, putting together yours doesn’t have to be a drag.
If you set actionable goals and address each of the steps above, you’ll already be way ahead of the curve when it comes to your social media marketing strategy.
And if you need more inspiration for actionable ways to build out your strategies, make sure to download the 2022 Sprout Social Index™ to learn more.
Resources for you
The creator economy: making dollars and sense out of social partnerships, [workbook] social listening step-by-step in 90 minutes, the sprout social index, edition xviii: us forecast, prepare to launch with a social media campaign brief: template, recommended for you.
- Social Media Strategy
- Social Media Trends
Co-creation: Why creators should be part of your product development team
- Team Collaboration
Social media for strategic communications: 4 ways to strengthen your brand narrative
- Marketing Disciplines
Organic vs. paid social media: A hybrid strategy that works
- Social Media Content
How to run and measure social media experiments
- Now on slide
Build and grow stronger relationships on social
Sprout Social helps you understand and reach your audience, engage your community and measure performance with the only all-in-one social media management platform built for connection.
Homepage H1 can go here
How to Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy in 9 Easy Steps (Free Template)
Creating your social media marketing strategy doesn’t need to be painful. Create an effective plan for your business in 9 simple steps.
A social media marketing strategy is a summary of everything you plan to do and hope to achieve on social media. It guides your actions and lets you know whether you’re succeeding or failing.
The more specific your plan is, the more effective it will be. Keep it concise. Don’t make it so lofty and broad that it’s unattainable or impossible to measure.
In this post, we’ll walk you through a nine-step plan to create a winning social media strategy of your own. We’ve even got expert insights from Amanda Wood, Hootsuite’s Senior Manager of Social Marketing.
Bonus: Get a free social media strategy template to quickly and easily plan your own strategy. Also use it to track results and present the plan to your boss, teammates, and clients.
What is social media marketing?
Social media marketing is the practice of using social media channels to sell or promote a brand, product or service.
Social media marketing helps businesses:
- Increase brand awareness
- Build engaged communities
- Sell products and services
- Measure brand sentiment
- Provide social customer service
- Advertise products and services to target audiences
- Track performance and adjust larger marketing strategies accordingly
What is a social media marketing strategy?
A social media strategy is a document outlining your social media goals, the tactics you will use to achieve them and the metrics you will track to measure your progress.
Your social media marketing strategy should also list all of your existing and planned social media accounts along with goals specific to each platform you’re active on. These goals should align with your business’s larger digital marketing strategy.
Finally, a good social media plan should define the roles and responsibilities within your team and outline your reporting cadence.
Creating your own social media marketing strategy (video guide)
No time to read the whole article? Let Amanda, Hootsuite’s own Senior Manager of Social Media Marketing, guide you through our free social media marketing strategy template in less than 10 minutes:
How to create a social media marketing strategy in 9 steps
Step 1. choose goals that align to business objectives, set s.m.a.r.t. goals.
The first step to creating a winning social media strategy is to establish clear objectives and goals. Without goals, you have no way to measure success and return on investment (ROI) .
Each of your social media marketing goals should be SMART : s pecific, m easurable, a ttainable, r elevant and t ime-bound.
Psst: If you need examples of smart social media goals , we’ve got you covered.
Track meaningful metrics
Vanity metrics like number of followers and likes are easy to track, but it’s hard to prove their real value. Instead, focus on things like engagement, click-through, and conversion rates.
For inspiration, take a look at these 19 essential social media metrics .
You may want to track different goals for different social media networks, or even different uses for each network.
For example, if you use LinkedIn to drive traffic to your website, you would measure click-throughs. If Instagram is for brand awareness, you might track the number of Instagram Story views. And if you advertise on Facebook, cost-per-click (CPC) is a common success metric.
Social media goals should align with your overall marketing objectives. This makes it easier to show the value of your work and secure buy-in from your boss.
Start developing a successful social media marketing plan by writing down at least three goals for social media.
“ It’s easy to get overwhelmed by deciding what to post and which metrics to track, but you need to focus on what you want to get out of social media to begin with,” says Amanda Wood, Hootsuite’s Senior Manager of Social Marketing. “Don’t just start posting and tracking everything: match your goals to your business, and your metrics to your goals.”
Create. Schedule. Publish. Engage. Measure. Win.
Step 2. Learn everything you can about your audience
Get to know your fans, followers, and customers as real people with real wants and needs, and you will know how to target and engage them on social media.
When it comes to your ideal customer, you should know things like:
- Average income
- Typical job title or industry
Here’s a simple guide and template for creating audience/buyer personas .
Social media analytics can also provide a ton of valuable information about who your followers are, where they live, and how they interact with your brand on social media. These insights allow you to refine your strategy and better target your audience.
Jugnoo, an Uber-like service for auto-rickshaws in India, used Facebook Analytics to learn that 90% of their users who referred other customers were between 18- and 34-years-old, and 65% of that group was using Android. They used that information to target their ads, resulting in a 40% lower cost per referral.
Check out our guide to using social media analytics and the tools you need to track them .
Step 3. Get to know your competition
Odds are your competitors are already using social media, and that means you can learn from what they’re doing.
Conduct a competitive analysis
A competitive analysis allows you to understand who the competition is and what they’re doing well (and not so well). You’ll get a good sense of what’s expected in your industry, which will help you set social media targets of your own.
It will also help you spot opportunities.
Maybe one of your competitors is dominant on Facebook, for example, but has put little effort into Twitter or Instagram. You might want to focus on the social media platforms where your audience is underserved, rather than trying to win fans away from a dominant player.
Use social media listening
Social listening is another way to keep an eye on your competitors.
Do searches of the competition’s company name, account handles, and other relevant keywords on social media. Find out what they’re sharing and what other people are saying about them. If they’re using influencer marketing, how much engagement do those campaigns earn them?
Pro tip : Use Hootsuite Streams to monitor relevant keywords, hashtags and accounts in real-time.
Try Hootsuite for free. You can cancel anytime.
As you track, you may notice shifts in how your competitors and industry leaders are using social media. You may come across new, exciting trends. You might even spot specific social content or a campaign that really hits the mark—or totally bombs.
Use this kind of intel to optimize and inform your own social media marketing strategy.
Just don’t go overboard on the spy tactics, Amanda advises. “ Make sure you aren’t ALWAYS comparing yourself to the competition — it can be a distraction. I’d say checking in on a monthly basis is healthy. Otherwise, focus on your own strategy and results.”
Step 4. Do a social media audit
If you’re already using social media, take stock of your efforts so far. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What’s working, and what’s not?
- Who is engaging with you?
- What are your most valuable partnerships?
- Which networks does your target audience use?
- How does your social media presence compare to the competition?
Once you collect that information, you’ll be ready to start thinking about ways to improve.
We’ve created an easy-to-follow social media audit guide and template to walk you through each step of this process.
Your audit should give you a clear picture of what purpose each of your social accounts serves. If the purpose of an account isn’t clear, think about whether it’s worth keeping.
To help you decide, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is my audience here?
- If so, how are they using this platform?
- Can I use this account to help achieve my goals?
Asking these tough questions will keep your social media strategy focused.
Look for impostor accounts
During the audit, you may discover fake accounts using your business name or the names of your products.
These imposters can be harmful to your brand—never mind that they’re capturing followers that should be yours.
You may want to get your accounts verified too to ensure your fans know they are dealing with the real you.
Here’s how to get verified on:
Step 5. Set up accounts and improve profiles
Decide which networks to use.
As you decide which social networks to use, you will also need to define your strategy for each.
Benefit Cosmetics’ social media manager, Angela Purcaro, told eMarketer : “For our makeup tutorials … we’re all about Snapchat and Instagram Stories. Twitter, on the other hand, is designated for customer service.”
Hootsuite’s own social team even designates different purposes for formats within networks. On Instagram, for example, they use the feed to post high-quality educational infographics and product announcements and Stories to cover live events or quick social media updates.
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Hootsuite 🦉 (@hootsuite)
Pro tip : Write out a mission statement for each network. A one-sentence declaration to keep you focused on a specific goal.
Example: “We will use Twitter for customer support to keep email and call volumes down.”
Or: “We will use LinkedIn for promoting and sharing our company culture to help with recruitment and employee advocacy.”
One more: “We will use Instagram to highlight new products and repost quality content from influencers.”
If you can’t create a solid mission statement for a particular social media channel, you may want to ask yourself if it’s worth it.
Note : While larger businesses can and do tackle every platform, small businesses may not be able to — and that’s ok! Prioritize social platforms that will have the most impact on your business and make sure your marketing team has the resources to handle content for those networks. If you need help focusing your efforts, check out our 18-minute social media plan .
Set up your profiles
Once you’ve decided which networks to focus on, it’s time to create your profiles. Or improve existing ones so they align with your strategy.
- Make sure you fill out all profile fields
- Include keywords people would use to search for your business
- Use consistent branding (logos, images, etc.) across networks so your profiles are easily recognizable
Pro tip : Use high-quality images that follow the recommended dimensions for each network. Check out our always-up-to-date social media image size cheat sheet for quick reference.
We’ve also got step-by-step guides for each network to walk you through the process:
- Create a Facebook business page
- Create an Instagram business account
- Create a TikTok account
- Create a Twitter business account
- Create a Snapchat account
- Create a LinkedIn Company Page
- Create a Pinterest business account
- Create a YouTube channel
Don’t let this list overwhelm you. Remember, it’s better to use fewer channels well than to stretch yourself thin trying to maintain a presence on every network.
Step 6. Find inspiration
While it’s important that your brand be unique, you can still draw inspiration from other businesses that are great on social.
“ I consider it my job to stay active on social: to know what’s trending, which campaigns are winning, what’s new with the platforms, who’s going above and beyond,” says Amanda. “This might be the most fun step for you, or the hardest one, but it’s just as crucial as the rest of them.”
Social media success stories
You can usually find these on the business section of the social network’s website. ( Here’s Facebook’s , for example.)
Case studies can offer valuable insights that you can apply to your own social media plan.
Award-winning accounts and campaigns
You could also check out the winners of The Facebook Awards or The Shorty Awards for examples of brands that are at the top of their social media game.
For learning and a laugh, check out Fridge-Worthy, Hootsuite’s bi-weekly awards show highlighting brands doing smart and clever things on social media.
Your favorite brands on social media
Who do you enjoy following on social media? What do they do that compels people to engage and share their content?
National Geographic, for example, is one of the best on Instagram, combining stunning visuals with compelling captions.
View this post on Instagram A post shared by National Geographic (@natgeo)
Then there’s Shopify. The ecommerce brand uses Facebook to sell themselves by showcasing customer stories and case studies.
And Lush Cosmetics is a great example of superior customer service on Twitter. They use their 280 characters to answer questions and solve problems in an extremely charming and on-brand way.
Hey lovely! 💕 We are sorry to hear how much you are missing Scrub Scrub Scrub. We will make sure our team knows you'd love to see it back on the shelves. In the meantime, check out Magic Crystals for a similar scrubtastic feel 😍💜 — Lush North America (@lushcosmetics) October 15, 2021
Notice that each of these accounts has a consistent voice, tone, and style. That’s key to letting people know what to expect from your feed. That is, why should they follow you? What’s in it for them?
Consistency also helps keep your content on-brand even if you have multiple people on your social media team.
For more on this, read our guide on establishing a compelling brand voice on social media .
Ask your followers
Consumers can also offer social media inspiration.
What are your target customers talking about online? What can you learn about their wants and needs?
If you have existing social channels, you could also ask your followers what they want from you. Just make sure that you follow through and deliver what they ask for.
Step 7. Create a social media content calendar
Sharing great content is essential, of course, but it’s equally important to have a plan in place for when you’ll share content to get the maximum impact.
Your social media content calendar also needs to account for the time you spend interacting with the audience (although you need to allow for some spontaneous engagement as well).
Set your posting schedule
Your social media content calendar lists the dates and times at which you will publish types of content on each channel. It’s the perfect place to plan all of your social media activities—from images, link sharing, and re-shares of user-generated content to blog posts and videos. It includes both your day-to-day posting and content for social media campaigns.
Your calendar also ensures your posts are spaced out appropriately and published at the best times to post .
Pro tip: You can plan your whole content calendar and get recommended best times to post on every network based on your past engagement rate, impressions, or link click data in Hootsuite.
Determine the right content mix
Make sure your content strategy and calendar reflect the mission statement you’ve assigned to each social profile, so that everything you post is working to support your business goals.
(We know, it’s tempting to jump on every meme, but there should always be a strategy behind your social media marketing efforts!)
You might decide that:
- 50% of content will drive traffic back to your website
- 25% of content will be curated from other sources
- 20% of content will support lead-generation goals (newsletter sign-ups, ebook downloads, etc.)
- 5% of content will be about your company culture
Placing these different post types in your content calendar will ensure you maintain the right mix.
If you’re starting from scratch and you’re not sure what types of content to post, try the 80-20 rule :
- 80% of your posts should inform, educate, or entertain your audience
- 20% can directly promote your brand.
You could also try the social media content marketing rule of thirds :
- One-third of your content promotes your business, converts readers, and generates profit.
- One-third of your content shares ideas and stories from thought leaders in your industry or like-minded businesses.
- One-third of your content is personal interactions with your audience
Don’t post too much or too little
If you’re starting a social media marketing strategy from scratch, you may not have figured out how often to post to each network for maximum engagement yet.
Post too frequently and you risk annoying your audience. But, if you post too little, you risk looking like you’re not worth following.
Start with these posting frequency recommendations:
- Instagram (feed): 3-7 times per week
- Facebook: 1-2 times per day
- Twitter: 1-5 times per day
- LinkedIn: 1-5 times per day
Pro tip : Once you have your social media content calendar planned out, use a scheduling tool to prepare messages in advance rather than updating constantly throughout the day.
We might be biased, but we think Hootsuite is the best social media management tool. You can schedule social media posts to every network and the intuitive calendar view gives you a full picture of all your social activity each week.
Here’s a quick video overview of how scheduling works in Hootsuite’s post composing tool.
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Step 8. Create compelling content
Remember those mission statements you created for each channel in Step 5? Well, it’s time to go a bit deeper, a.k.a. provide some examples of the type of content you’ll post to fulfill your mission on each network.
If you’re not sure what to post, here’s a long list of social media content ideas to get you started.
The idea here is to:
- Keep your content aligned with the purpose of each network;
- Show other stakeholders (if applicable) what kind of content they can expect to see on each network.
This last point especially will help you avoid any tension when your colleagues want to know why you haven’t posted their case study/whitepaper/blog post to TikTok yet. It’s not in the strategy, Linda!
Ideally, you will generate content types that are both suited to the network and the purpose you’ve set out for that network.
For example, you wouldn’t want to waste time posting brand awareness tweets if you’ve designated Twitter for primarily customer support. And you wouldn’t want to post super polished corporate video ads to TikTok, as users expect to see short, unpolished videos on that platform.
It might take some testing over time to figure out which type of content works best on which type of network, so prepare to update this section frequently.
We won’t lie: content creation isn’t as easy as everyone not on the social team seems to think. But if you’re struggling, Amanda suggests going back to basics.
The first question to ask is: is there cohesion between your content types? Is your content providing value? Do you have a good mix of entertaining, or educational content? What does it offer that makes a person stop and spend time? Creating a few different content pillars or categories that encompass different aspects of storytelling for your brand, and what you can offer your audience is a good start.
This brings us to Step 9.
Step 9. Track performance and make adjustments
Your social media marketing strategy is a hugely important document for your business, and you can’t assume you’ll get it exactly right on the first try. As you start to implement your plan and track your results, you may find that some strategies don’t work as well as you’d anticipated, while others are working even better than expected.
Look at performance metrics
In addition to the analytics within each social network (see Step 2), you can use UTM parameters to track social visitors as they move through your website, so you can see exactly which social posts drive the most traffic to your website.
Re-evaluate, test, and do it all again
Once this data starts coming in, use it to re-evaluate your strategy regularly. You can also use this information to test different posts, social marketing campaigns, and strategies against one another. Constant testing allows you to understand what works and what doesn’t, so you can refine your social media marketing strategy in real time.
You’ll want to check the performance of all your channels at least once a week and get to know the basics of social media reporting so you can track your growth over time.
Pro tip: If you use Hootsuite, you can review the performance of all your posts on every network in one place. Once you get the hang of checking your analytics, you may even want to customize different reports to show specific metrics over a variety of different time periods.
Surveys can also be a great way to find out how well your social media strategy is working. Ask your followers, email list, and website visitors whether you’re meeting their needs and expectations, and what they’d like to see more of. Then make sure to deliver on what they tell you.
Finalizing your social media strategy
Spoiler alert: nothing is final.
Social media moves fast. New networks emerge, others go through demographic shifts.
Your business will go through periods of change as well.
All of this means that your social media marketing strategy should be a living document that you review and adjust as needed. Refer to it often to stay on track, but don’t be afraid to make changes so that it better reflects new goals, tools, or plans.
When you update your social strategy, make sure to watch our 5-step video on how to updating your social media strategy for 2023:
Social media strategy template
What’s next? When you’re ready to put your plan into action, we’re here to help…
Save time managing your social media marketing strategy with Hootsuite. From a single dashboard you can easily:
- Plan, create, and schedule posts to every network
- Track relevant keywords, topics, and accounts
- Stay on top of engagement with a universal inbox
- Get easy-to-understand performance reports and improve your strategy as needed
Try Hootsuite for Free
With files from Shannon Tien .
Do it better with Hootsuite , the all-in-one social media tool. Stay on top of things, grow, and beat the competition.
How to set and exceed social media goals [9 examples].
Struggling with structuring your efforts on social? Set yourself up for success with our guide to setting and achieving smarter social media goals.
How to Run the Easiest Social Media Audit [FREE TEMPLATE]
A social media audit is the best way to review and improve any social marketing strategy. Check in on your efforts with this free template.
How To Create a Social Media Calendar [2023 Guide]
Social media content calendars are the best way to plan and organize your content. Build one in 4 easy steps or use our free template.
Social Media Marketing Tools: The Complete 2023 Guide
Automate your work, save time, and build better relationships with your audience by using the right social media marketing tools.
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10 Social-Media Marketing Strategies for Companies
Social media marketing is a way to level up your brand. See inside to learn how to implement these 10 social media marketing strategies for success.
By Murray Newlands • May 1, 2017
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Whether you own a small business or manage a large corporation, no matter how big or small a company is, it cannot grow without social media and a digital marketing strategy.
Having a social media marketing plan is vital to stand out in a crowd competing for attention. Your strategy should be strong enough to boost your brand awareness above and beyond the competition.
Social media is so much more than memes and Instagram stories; it's about using each platform to post the kind of content that is authentic to your brand, tells the story of your campaigns, and connects to the lives of your consumer.
Using social networks to drive traffic toward your target demographic takes time and requires you to set goals and commit to social strategy. However, the 10 steps below can have you well on your way to increased brand awareness and a whole new social media presence.
Related: Top 10 Social Media Management Tools You Should Try Now
1. Start Using Chatbots.
You may have already heard, but chatbots are in. This is no surprise, as they are the one social media management tool that can communicate and resolve customer problems without the potential need for human interruption.
Related: Social Media Marketing Strategies With Chatbots
In addition to the above, chatbots integrate with the social media platforms consumers now feel most comfortable interacting through. Platforms like Chattypeople make integrating an AI-powered chatbot into your social media strategy easy.
These tools allow you to create a chatbot that:
- Doesn't require any coding knowledge .
- Can answer customer questions.
- Can take orders directly from Facebook Messenger and comments.
- Integrates with all the major payment systems.
Related: How to Create a Facebook Messenger Chatbot For Free Without Coding
2. Create a Personalized Experience for Your Customers.
Chatbots are a great way to automate specific everyday tasks, and if implemented correctly, your chatbot can allow you to create more personalized experiences for your customers.
To do this, stop linking your advertisements solely to your landing pages, and create ads that redirect your audience to a Messenger window with your chatbot.
Linking ads to your chatbot will:
- Break the traditional views customers have of you only trying to sell to them.
- Make your customer's experience more personal.
- Boost your sales.
- Create a loyal fan base.
3. Create an Efficient Content Marketing Strategy.
Quality is crucial, and content is no exception. Content marketing has long been a prominent form of marketing and will likely be around for a while. Many brands are not linking quality content with the proper posting schedule and the correct frequency of posts.
High-qualitySEO content coupled with all the above can help you bring in the right customers at the right time. Good content marketing can help attract an organic audience; moreover, it can be free.
Be sure to create a relevant hashtag strategy along with your optimized and thorough content.
Related: 3 Simple Steps to Automate Your Content Marketing
4. Create a Community for Your Audience.
Although social media followers and many other metrics are influential, they are not the "be-all and end-all" to social media success. Social media engagement rates are much more telling.
You need to show your audience that you are not just a robot. Integrate personality through humor and emotions into your posts so your audience can relate to your brand.
Social media is all about being social; if your customers see the same types of posts repeatedly, they may lose interest.
Make your communications interactive by:
- Asking your audience questions.
- Gathering their opinions on some issues.
- Sharing newsworthy information rather than just information about your products or services.
- Liking and sharing some of their posts rather than just the other way around.
- Asking them to interact directly with your posts through "likes" and "shares."
- Incorporating user-generated content
5. Jazz Up Your Profiles With a Diverse Content Strategy .
People respond to good imagery, fun TikTok videos, and some exciting podcasts once in a while. Jazz up your social media content by using this type of media regularly.
Your social media pages will likely look bland if all you post and share is text or infographics, so be sure to use other types of media to catch your audience's eye. Pumping out different types of content can add a level of personality to your brand.
Related: 4 Reasons Why Your Business Should Invest in Content Marketing
6. Use Brand Advocates.
Your best promotional tool is the people who love your brand. Instead of finding new customers, why not leverage your current ones? Make your customers your influencers. In addition to your existing customers, you could use your own employees.
To use your employees as brand advocates, you should:
- Create social media guidelines specific to your brand.
- Tell your advocates about social media best practices.
- Add a leader to each section of your social media advocacy plan.
- Track the correct data to pinpoint areas for improvement and those doing well.
Related: Here's What 2016 Taught Us About Content Marketing and SEO
7. Create Profiles on the Relevant Channels.
Today, people create social media accounts on every platform available to reach as many people as possible. Unfortunately, you might not reach your chosen target audience with that mindset.
As a result, it is critical that you look at your buyer personas when choosing your social media channels. For example, you won't necessarily need a LinkedIn profile if you are launching a gothic clothing brand; the same as you won't need to be on Pinterest to promote your surveillance services.
Looking to reach Gen Z? TikTok and Snapchat are your best bets.
8. Establish a Social Media Budget.
Social media platforms are one of, if not the most important, forms of marketing. Allocating the proper budget to your social media marketing campaigns is crucial to your success.
Not only this, leveraging that budget with the right strategy can be the most cost-effective way to reach your KPIs and chosen target audience.
Because social content is used on a much more personal level, you may also find that it is where you can make a much deeper connection with your customers.
Related: 6 Content Marketing Tips for First-Timers
9. Run Cross-Channel Campaigns.
Run cross-channel campaigns across all your social media channels to further engage your customers. Remember that these campaigns are run by virtually every company today, so you may need to give yourself an edge to help you stand out from the crowd.
Add an emotional component to your social media campaigns so your audience can relate to your cause.
An efficient cross-channel social media campaign will:
- Tell an engaging story.
- Link back to a specific landing page that can give your audience more information about your campaign.
- Have a unique and memorable name coupled with relevant hashtags.
10. Tell a Story by Going Live.
Yes, your content tells your brand's story, but why not share with your audience what's happening with your company in real time?
Facebook and Instagram, among other platforms, have created live-streaming features that big brands are not yet using to their full potential. To compete with them, start using these live features before they catch on.
Live stories are a great way to:
- Show your audience you are more than just a money-making machine.
- Engage and inspire your customers.
- Create shareable and memorable content.
Businesses worldwide are slowly becoming more preoccupied with gathering customers on their social media platforms rather than their websites.
By following the 10 strategies outlined above, you'll set yourself up to compete with well-established brands and create a social media plan that can withstand the test of time.
Related: 10 Telling Examples of the Power of B2B Influencer Marketing
The Bottom Line
When it comes to your business goals, social media marketing must play a role. Social platforms can optimize your pool of potential customers, increase brand awareness, and create opportunities for new partnerships with new products.
Keep in mind that tools available to you, like chatbots and automation of content calendars, can be a huge help in streamlining operations.
Remember: your customers are real people, not just social media metrics.
You must create and post content that can stand out to them during mindless scrolling — it means using content strategies to create campaigns they'll connect with and care about. This is what can set your company apart from the rest.
For more on marketing tools , including influencer marketing , visit Entrepreneur.com.
Entrepreneur, business advisor and online-marketing professional
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You are here: Influencer Marketing Hub » Social Media » 20 Step Social Media Marketing Strategy for Businesses in 2023
20 Step Social Media Marketing Strategy for Businesses in 2023
Too many businesses go into social media marketing on an ad hoc basis. They know they should create some marketing strategies for social media, but don't really understand what they should do. Some firms just give access to the company's social accounts to some junior staff members – merely because they are young, so should know all about social media. However, we are well past a social strategy of post and hope. All businesses need to create a social media marketing strategy and operate the business social accounts in a thoughtful, measured way.
Firms can’t ignore social media strategies, however. According to Statista , 36% of consumers who have had a great customer service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others. Yet, 96% of the people that discuss brands online do not follow those brands’ owned profiles . Even if you embrace the wonders of influencer marketing, you still need to operate some social accounts yourself. Often the goal of influencer marketing is to direct visitors to your social sites. You should consider influencer marketing to be merely an extension of your business's social marketing strategy.
20 Step Social Media Marketing Strategy for Businesses in 2023:
1. select relevant and realistic social media marketing goals, 2. determine your most relevant metrics, 3. decide who you want as your social media audience, 4. understand your social media audience, 5. select the right social media networks for your audience, 6. investigate how your competitors approach social media, 7. establish a realistic social media budget, 8. plan the types of content you intend to share, 9. set up your accounts properly before you make and promote content, 10. establish the best times to post and set up a content calendar, 11. create suitable content to share with your followers, 12. promote your social channels, 13. engage with your audiences, 14. build a community for your audience, 15. consider paid promotion to boost your audiences, 16. consider working with influencers to widen your reach, 17. consider working with brand advocates, 18. consider using chatbots as part of your social media marketing strategy, 19. run cross-channel campaigns, 20. track your results and adapt your social media plan, frequently asked questions.
One of the most significant problems faced by many businesses engaged in social media is that they have never spent the time to set relevant and realistic social media marketing goals. They know they need to be on social media, but have no idea why they are there.
Of course, your social media marketing plan needs to fit into your business planning as a whole. Ideally, you will have set strategic goals for how you want your business to progress. Your social media marketing goals should complement your overarching business goals.
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Make Sure Your Goals Are SMART
All too often, people set woolly business goals that have little meaning if you scrutinize them. Remember, you're not creating goals merely for the sake of it. You are building them to help you devise the most suitable social media strategy for your business. Therefore, you will want to ensure that your goals are SMART :
The SMARTer your goals, the more likely you will be able to meet them – and just as importantly, know that you are meeting them.
While you want to challenge yourself, it is essential that you set attainable, realistic goals. You might love to have one million Facebook followers, but that is unlikely to be achievable within the next year for most businesses, even those that perform exceptionally well.
This is where it is prudent to set some limitations. Don’t attempt to succeed on every social network. There are too many, and you spread your resources too thinly. You just need to perform well on the same social networks your target market spends their time.
Suitable Social Media Goals Your Business Could Set
Your goals will be personal to your business and complement your overarching business goals. However, typical types of social media goals you could consider (couched in a suitable SMART-style) include:
- Increasing brand awareness
- Achieving a set higher quantity of sales
- Improving your ROI
- Driving people to increase in-store sales
- Grow your fan base
Too many businesses create a social presence and spend time and other resources on using their social accounts, without ever establishing whether they see any success or not.
Unfortunately, social analytics can be a gray area because they are not the same for every business. Once again, your most relevant social metrics will relate to the goals you have set yourself. The Influencer Marketing Hub has written a free e-book to help you here - How to Measure Influencer Marketing ROI .
Don’t be sucked in by easy-to-measure vanity metrics, such as the number of followers someone has. We have previously written about why buying Instagram followers is a really bad idea . The existence of fake followers on any social network means that follower numbers have little value as a metric.
Ideally, you should look at the marketing goals you set above, and determine which metrics will provide you with the answer as to whether you are meeting that goal. For example, if you have a goal that aims to increase your brand awareness, then Post Reach is a relevant statistic. It will tell you how far your content is spreading across social channels.
If your goals are more sales-based, or you want to drive people to take a particular action, then you should take notice of the number of Clicks. Tracking Clicks per campaign will give you a good indication of what drives people to buy or do what you ask of them.
You will often take most interest in the engagements on your posts. This shows how people interact with your content and whether it resounds with them.
One of the most common mistakes made by firms on social media is to think that all followers will be good for them. There is a good reason why pundits deemphasize the metric Follower Numbers and call them vanity metrics . There is little point in having somebody as a follower unless he is likely to take an interest in the content you share.
This is probably the biggest problem with buying fake followers. As we wrote in 8 Reasons You Shouldn’t Buy Instagram Followers , fake followers don’t engage with your account. Some aren’t real people at all, merely bots. They certainly won’t make future customers. These people, whether they are real or fake accounts, will not spend any money on your products. They will not refer people to you. They are of no value to you at all.
Look back at those goals you set in Step 1. There is little point in having social media followers who can’t help you work towards meeting your goals. In most situations, you want your social media followers to be of a similar type to your intended customers.
For example, if you sell stairlifts to homeowners struggling to remain mobile in their homes, there is little point in trying to attract a young social media audience of people who either rent or still live with their parents. Likewise, if you sell makeup and other beauty treatments, there is little point in targeting football players and their fans.
This is particularly relevant if you sell products to a geographically distinct market. In that case, you will not want to have many followers from regions and countries where people cannot buy your products.
Not all social media audiences are alike. Different types of people use social media in varying ways. If you’re going to meet your goals, you need to be using the same social media networks as your target audience. Similarly, if you intend to engage in influencer marketing, you need to ensure that you engage influencers whose audience matches your target market.
You might be a middle-aged executive who uses Facebook. However, if you personally don’t match the target market of your business, you can’t automatically assume that your customers will also be spending their time on Facebook. Sure, there may have been 1.96 billion daily active Facebook users in Q2 2022, but if you target a young demographic, you are far more likely to reach them on Snapchat or Instagram. However, if your business targets people aged 25 to 34, they make 30.1% of Facebook users, and are their most common age demographic.
Look at your social media marketing goals you have previously set. Which social channels will best help you meet those goals?
To be successful at doing this, you need to have a solid understanding of your customer base. If you have ever established personas for your ideal customers, now is the time to dust them off. What do your customers look like, and how do they spend their time on the internet?
The better you can understand the demographics and psychographics of your target market, the better you will be at reaching them on your social channels.
Some people worry about how they are going to find the time and energy to operate accounts on every social network. In most cases, you don’t need to. You simply need to find the right social networks for your business. You want to discover the social networks where your intended audience spends their time.
You may have to carry out some research first to discover where your intended audience hangs out. This shouldn't be too difficult, particularly if you know your customers. If you don’t already understand this, you could survey them, asking them for their preferred social accounts.
You could start with your audience's most preferred network and then widen to include others where a sufficiently large number operates active social accounts. You generally wouldn't need to go further than three to five social networks, however.
We are taking a reasonably broad definition of social networks here. Obviously, you include well-known ones like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter in your considerations. You could also look at video platforms like YouTube and TikTok if your target audience uses them in large numbers. In some cases, live streaming apps like Twitch might be suitable for your audience, too.
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Don’t Waste Time on Social Networks Your Audience Don’t Use
If a sufficiently large proportion of your target audience spends time on a social network, you want to be there too. If they have little interest in a platform, you can give it a miss, and not waste your time and resources there.
There is another factor that you should consider to make your life easier. Many businesses find it easier to use some form of social media marketing platform to help them schedule posts in one place in bulk. Therefore you may prefer to align the social networks you use with those catered for by your preferred social media marketing platform. This is perhaps less relevant for the video-sharing platforms, such as YouTube, which don't use content feeds and work more on channels of content, and live-streaming platforms such as Twitch, where you effectively operate a live channel.
You might also consider whether you want a single company-wide account on a social network, or whether you want multiple accounts, each targeted at a niche audience. For example, you might have several Twitter accounts, each with a clear focus. If you have plenty of resources, you could also set up several YouTube channels, each with their own niche audience.
Most firms don’t operate in isolation. You will usually have competitors who will also run a social strategy. You will definitely need to know what they are doing. What is their focus? Whom are they targeting? What key phrases are they trying to dominate?
You can quickly conduct a competitor analysis to help you better understand their strengths and weaknesses. This should give you a better understanding of what potential customers expect from businesses in your industry.
You might spot your competitors’ weak social areas and be able to exploit the gaps. For instance, one of your competitors might be influential on Twitter, but have a weak Facebook presence, despite your target market using that network. In that case, it may pay you to put more resources into Facebook rather than competing head to head on Twitter.
You could use a tool like Buzzsumo to spy on your competitors and discover their most successful social pieces of content. Once you know what types of content resound for them on which social networks, you can produce and share similar, but better, material.
Let's be realistic. No business should merely pay lip service to its social media accounts. Social media marketing is as viable a form of marketing as any other marketing type for most companies, and you should be prepared to allocate a budget accordingly. You can't expect social media success if you simply tag it onto the pre-existing list of duties your existing office staff performs.
On the other hand, you shouldn't spend more on your social media activities than you can realistically earn in increased sales, or at least in brand recognition and awareness if that is more where your goals lie.
As with any form of marketing, you should calculate a return on investment (ROI) from your social media expenditure, bearing in mind the goals you set earlier in your strategy.
As you go about setting a social media budget, you should consider how much you intend to spend on all your digital marketing across all channels. Then ask yourself how much of that budget you are prepared to devote to social media.
WebStrategies has done some basic calculations for a typical company and discovered that most companies spend about 5% to 15% of their annual revenue on marketing. Of that, most spend 35% to 45% on digital marketing activities. In turn, most companies spend 15% to 25% of their digital marketing budget on social media marketing efforts (organic and paid).
Of course, to be successful on social media, you will need high-quality content to share. One of the biggest mistakes that businesses do is to share excessive promotional material. Remember, social networks are designed to be social – they were never intended to be a marketplace for you to sell your products.
Therefore, you need to balance the content you share socially, to be a mixture of informative and entertaining items, with a small percentage of promotional material added in. You will also need to like and share other people’s content.
This is probably the most significant reason that most influencers gain that status. They know their audience well and create the perfect content to interest their followers. As a brand, you need to do the same.
If you have previously determined your goals and discovered what works (and what doesn’t) for your competition, you should have a reasonable idea of the type of content that will resonate with your target audience. There is little point in creating content for other types of people who will never help you meet your goals.
Be Realistic About What You Can Produce
You need to understand any limitations you may face when creating content. For example, you might want to run a great YouTube channel, but if you don’t have the equipment, people, knowledge, and time to create high-quality videos, it is pointless going down that track. You don’t want a YouTube channel with just one or two poorly-filmed videos of talking heads.
Likewise, there is little value in planning to make live video streams if you don't have anybody who feels comfortable presenting in front of the camera in a live broadcast.
You need to balance the types of content that your target audience most enjoy, with the material that you feel best equipped and most comfortable making.
Don’t Mix Your Personal Tastes with Those of Your Target Audience
The odds are that you, or the person running your business social account, will also run personal social accounts. You must distinguish between the two types of accounts. Just because you like to make a particular type of post on your own accounts, does not mean that those posts will work on the company accounts.
You presumably post about things that interest you. However, when operating the business account, you need to think solely about the tastes of your target audience. You want to make posts that will interest, entertain, and educate them.
You should probably write down your niche topics. This is particularly important when you curate content. For example, you should even restrict the tweets you retweet to those that relate to your niche topics.
It is vital that you set your accounts up correctly. You will want a consistent visual look across all of your social channels. Use the correct colors, logos, and similar graphics on each network.
Don’t waste any of your social real estate. Take the time to fill in your bios and profiles fully. Make sure that you link to relevant places, perhaps even create specific landing pages on your website for people who click through from your social accounts.
It is worth taking the time to ensure that you have uploaded all the images on your bios and profiles at the best resolution for the social network. We include these optimum sizes in our post, Best Image Sizes for Social Media – The Ultimate Guide for Marketers .
Keep in mind your target audience as you set up each account. Ask yourself whether your page will interest these people, based on what you show on your bio or profile.
While you could manually make all of your social posts, that is inefficient, and may not lead to the best results. Most of the social networks now use some form of algorithm to filter the results they give people. This means that if you post at a different time to when your target audience is online, they may never see your content.
Ideally, you will want to use one of the social scheduling tools so you can set up and organize multiple posts at the same time. We have reviewed many social media marketing platforms . You’re sure to find that at least one of these will make your life easier. You can also see our post on the leading social media scheduling tools to use.
There are differing opinions over the number of posts you should make on each network each day, and the best times to make them. We have previously written posts giving the best times to post on Instagram , Facebook , and TikTok .
There are four questions you should ask yourself when creating content:
Don't forget the importance of images and videos. Visual content is more than 40 times more likely to be shared on social media than other types of content. Instagram has rapidly grown in importance over the last few years, and it has a significant visual focus. Top brands on Instagram report a per-follower engagement rate of 4.21% . That is 58 times higher than on Facebook and 120 times higher than on Twitter.
Each year, video content appears to increase in popularity, too. According to YouTube, mobile video consumption grows by 100% every year. 64% of customers say they are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video about it.
Create Diverse Content
While you want your content to have a general look, particularly within individual social campaigns, you don't want all your social content to look the same. People respond best to variety in their social feeds. Depending on the social network, they like a mix of enticing imagery, entertaining videos, and even some compelling text copy. Of course, some social networks only allow you one or two of these content types, but you can still alter the mix of posts within a medium.
For example, suppose you are a cooking company. In that case, you might like to share close-up mouth-watering food images on Instagram – but don't exclude other types of pictures and even the occasional video. When somebody goes to your Instagram profile, reads your bio, and sees your posts together, they want some variety, without everything being so different that it looks disjointed.
Wendy's does an excellent job of doing this on Instagram. While it's not hard to tell you are looking at food from a fast-food company, the post content varies. They stay true to their brand and emphasize color and creativity. There is a mix of memes, humor, photographs, and enticing food images.
Customize Your Content for Each Social Network
It's important to remember that not every social channel is identical. Ideally, you should customize your content for each network.
Twitter comes with a self-imposed limitation – you can’t write more than 280 characters in a tweet. So your message needs to be short and to the point. You can include links in tweets and hashtags (but no more than 1 or 2). Tweets with images perform far better than those without.
Facebook posts can be longer than tweets, but don't make them excessively so. People can be easily turned off by a wall of text. It is always a good idea to include some personal comments, even if you are simply sharing curated content. Short videos perform well on Facebook. Add an image or video with every Facebook post, but relate them to your text. Link posts often perform well on Facebook
Instagram is an image-based social network, so you need to share interesting, relevant photos, and short videos. You can combine these to tell a Story, which has the advantage of sitting at the top of people's feeds, rather than being lost in regular posts.
Pinterest is also very image-focused. Indeed, people Pin images on themed boards. So you need to focus your Pinterest content around a pinnable picture. Pinterest can be perfect for creatively showcasing products, particularly if you have a predominantly female target audience.
LinkedIn is a professional network, so you need to ensure that all the posts you share there are suitable for such an audience. People often read posts on LinkedIn hoping to educate themselves, particularly anything that can help further their careers.
YouTube is, of course, renowned as the home of medium to long-form video. You set up a channel and post videos to it, preferably following an overall theme. You need something to set you apart from all the other YouTube channels. You should aim to post at least one video per week, so your audience knows they can expect new videos consistently. You should generally avoid simply uploading your existing television ads. Aim to make and upload well-made, high-quality videos. One way to avoid making videos that look too obviously like ads is to make interesting videos that incorporate your products.
TikTok is beloved by Generation Z and, to a lesser extent, millennials. If they're your target market, then you should be making short-form videos for the platform. Videos on TikTok can be of any length up to 10 minutes, although most are around 15 seconds. Trends are significant to TikTok's audiences, so take note of the latest trends and try to make and share a quick video following the trend as soon as you notice it. As with YouTube, it's vital you choose a niche for your TikTok videos that is likely to interest your target audience. With TikTok videos being short, you need to post often to keep the attention of your viewers.
Although good content will ultimately sell your social channels, you still need to gain your initial following. People have to find your channels before they can choose to follow you.
You can promote your channels in various ways, some highly visible, others more subtly.
You should place buttons for all your social accounts at various places on your website – on your home page, in your footer, on your About and Communications pages, for example. If you have an email list, you should include a reference to your social channels in any emails and newsletters you send. You can easily add buttons to your social channels in the footer of every email.
Of course, you can also promote your social channels offline. Include them in your store signage and old-school advertisements.
Many firms cross-promote their social channels. For example, you can make tweets promoting your YouTube channel. You might notice that most YouTube channels list the channel owner’s other social accounts on their profile page.
You can even run ads on your social channels, with a highly targeted audience, to build brand recognition and increase your social followers.
People don’t just go onto social networks to read, look at, or watch content. They go online to interact with other people and to be social. Successful businesses do not just broadcast to their social audiences. They engage with them too.
This is why you should not attempt to cover every social network unless you have a very diverse target market and an army of personnel dedicated to this task. By focusing your attention on the social networks your target market frequents, you can use your resources efficiently.
Some firms have found it very useful to create custom hashtags. Not only can these encourage discussions and sharing, but they also make it easier for you to search for posts that reference your business.
Ideally, you should respond to all social mentions of your business and demonstrate that customer care is a priority for you.
One of the best ways of engaging with your audience is to create a clear community for them. You want to be one of their "go-to" places each day. A crucial part of this is establishing a personality online. You want to ensure that your business comes across as having heart and soul, and people don't see you as a faceless corporation.
Try and make your posts interactive and involve your audience. Make a point of asking them for an opinion. You could perhaps include quizzes and questions to collect your followers' views. Whatever you do, make sure your posts are interesting and newsworthy. Don't simply regurgitate your advertisements. You want your followers to return to your posts regularly, so they must find them of value.
One thing you need to give some thought to is who you use to run your social channels. Ideally, they should be employees who match the social demographics of your target audience. So if you're targeting Generation Z, use your youngest employees to run the company's Instagram and TikTok accounts. If you're targeting home renovators, you should perhaps look for existing homeowners on your staff to run the business Facebook account.
Depending on your target audience's social platforms of choice, you could join and create relevant groups. Facebook Groups are ideal for B2C businesses; consider LinkedIn if your focus is more B2B. You could create a group on one of these platforms to inspire your audience. Your group can make an ideal place for networking.
Most social networks allow you to buy some form of paid ads. Most will enable you to demographically target your ads, making them only visible to your preferred target audience.
Paid promotions allow you to reach relevant audiences to whom you don't currently connect. You can use advertisements to build brand recognition, promote particular posts/videos, or even to sell products.
We obviously understand the advantages of working with influencers and engaging in influencer marketing. If you select the right influencers, you have the chance to reach a whole new audience, who hopefully will have an interest in your business and its products.
Influencers have already mastered the art of social media marketing – that is their strength. They have built a solid reputation online, and have a large number of keen and interested followers.
You might consider working with influencers, having them to direct their followers to your social sites. You will, of course, have to create content that will interest them when they arrive at your pages, however.
If you select influencers whose followers match your target audience, and you provide quality content to people that the influencers direct your way, you have a chance that these people will then become your social followers too.
You might already have access to keen and eager people who are happy to promote your brand on social media. You can include these brand advocates in your social media marketing strategy. They may not have the same reach as the top influencers in your niche, but some will already have sizeable audiences and solid reputations, and you have the added advantage that they already know and like your product.
Brand advocacy simply means that the people who love your product or services continue to show support for your brand by promoting your organization organically to new audiences. Your brand advocates can play a significant role in word-of-mouth marketing and drive new business by being enthusiastic fans of what your company does.
Brand advocates can include your executive leadership, company partners, employees, and existing customers.
If you use messenger-type apps, such as Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp, with your followers, then you could consider adding a chatbot. These can help you resolve problems for your potential or existing customers without the need for any human interruption.
SocialBee describes "the greatest benefit may actually be the fact that a chatbot will provide your customers with a smart assistant with the ability to communicate with them almost like a human consultant and it will progressively begin to get to know your customers and which of your products they are interested in."
If the thought of using a chatbot daunts you, you don't need any coding skills or have to pay a costly development team. There are several existing chatbots you can integrate into your social channels for a monthly fee.
Many businesses now have more than one social account and tie them together with cross-channel campaigns. You can even include your influencers and brand advocates in these campaigns too.
Of course, if you sell multiple products targeting different groups of people, you might have quite a few business social accounts. That doesn't mean that you need to include every social account in every campaign. Focus on those accounts that match the target audience for a specific campaign.
Every social network has its quirks and ways of doing things. For instance, hashtags began on Twitter. They're still important there, but you shouldn't use more than one or two per tweet. That network also has a fixed limit of 280 characters. Instagram seems even more beloved of hashtags, and you can use up to 30 hashtags in an Instagram post. They don't like you using the same combination of hashtags in too many posts, however. On the other hand, while some people use hashtags on Facebook, they have never taken off there in the same way they have on Instagram, Twitter, or even TikTok.
So, you can't just use the same items of content, unaltered, on all your social networks in a cross-channel campaign. You need to think of a cross-channel campaign as one giant story you tell across all your social accounts without repeating yourself. You want to tell a connected, cohesive story that does not feel repetitive to your audience, particularly to those who follow you, your influencers, and your brand advocates across multiple social networks. One way to do this is to share only the content types that each network specializes in for your campaign. For example, you would only share images relating to your campaign on Instagram, videos of more than a few minutes duration on YouTube, short videos on TikTok, and short, sharp 280-character tweets on Twitter (but ensuring you include a suitable visual.)
You will, of course, wish to use consistent branding across all the messages on all your social networks for your cross-channel campaign. Ideally, you might create an overall landing page giving more details about your campaign and linking all your messages there. Remember to create a unique, memorable hashtag for these campaigns (and even encourage people to use it on those networks with less hashtag interest, like Facebook.)
Of course, no matter how much you plan your social efforts, there is no guarantee that things will work as you expected. If you don’t track your results, however, you will never know the success of your social campaigns.
You began the process by setting goals and then determined your most relevant metrics. Therefore, you will want to keep a constant eye on how these metrics are progressing. Are your social campaigns having the desired effects on these metrics?
We have previously looked at 15 Instagram Analytics Tools for Influencers . Some of these also provide metrics for other social platforms. Many of the social networks offer their own analytics tools that will provide much of the necessary data. For example, you will find an Insights section for your Facebook page and Analytics sections on Twitter and YouTube.
Use these tools to track your success. If they show that you are producing popular, well-shared content, create more of that type. If your content doesn’t perform so well, take note of what does work, and adapt your social sharing to focus on the kind of material your followers preferred.
You could also consider surveying your social audience to discover what they think of your social media marketing strategy. Your followers may come up with valuable ideas that you hadn't thought about. Don’t be afraid to make changes if there is a chance that you can further improve your social success.
What's in a social media marketing strategy?
We have gone through 20 steps in a social media marketing strategy in this article. Some of the most important steps include: 1. Select relevant and realistic social media marketing goals 2. Determine your most relevant metrics 3. Decide who you want as your social media audience 4. Understand your social media audience 5. Select the right social media networks for your audience 6. Investigate how your competitors approach social media For the rest, read the full article above.
What is a social media marketing strategy?
All businesses need to design a social media marketing strategy and operate the company's social accounts in a thoughtful, measured way. Your social media marketing strategy will summarize and plan everything you hope to achieve from participating in social media. Why devote business resources to social media activity if you don't know what you are hoping to achieve? That is why we start our 20-step social media marketing strategy with setting relevant and realistic social media marketing goals, and everything else follows from there.
What are some social media strategies?
In this article, we gave you a 20-step process to go through when creating your social media marketing strategy. However, not every business's approach will be identical. It all comes back to Step 1: Select relevant and realistic social media marketing goals. The way you should use social media will depend very much on your highest priority goals. Some possible goals include: Increasing brand awareness Achieving a set higher quantity of sales Improving your ROI Driving people to increase in-store sales Grow your fan base
How do you create an effective social media strategy?
The best way to create an effective social media strategy is to follow the 20 steps covered above methodically. Begin by setting social media marketing goals and how you can measure them. That will help you target the best social media audience on the networks where they spend their time. Spy on your competitors too. Decide on content your audience will love and share it at the times when they are active. Promote your channels and engage with your audience. Add paid promotions if desired.
Why do you need a social media strategy?
Without a social media strategy, you are wasting business resources on something untested and unplanned. There is no point participating in social media, just for the sake of it. Social media marketing can be a long-term process, and for it to show dividends, you need to follow a plan. It can help you develop a strong organic presence and gain a reputation for excellence in a field. It also allows you to work towards your overall business and marketing goals.
What is the most powerful social media marketing strategy?
The most powerful social media marketing strategy will strongly depend on what you set as your social media marketing goals, the first stage of the process we have outlined here. Some of the strategies that have worked best for many businesses include: - Varying your content types to match the interests of your target audience - Educating your audience - Minimizing outright promotion – social media isn't an advertising platform - Encouraging user-generated content (UGC) to leverage the enthusiasm of your followers - Working with influencers to widen your reach
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Social Media Marketing for Businesses
Social media marketing is a powerful way for businesses of all sizes to reach prospects and customers. People discover, learn about, follow, and shop from brands on social media, so if you’re not on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, you’re missing out! Great marketing on social media can bring remarkable success to your business, creating devoted brand advocates and even driving leads and sales.
In this complete guide to social media marketing, you’re going to learn:
- What social media marketing is, with benefits, stats, and tips.
- How to build a social media marketing strategy and a plan to carry it out.
- The seven best social media marketing platforms and how to use them
Click to view full-size .
Table of contents
What is social media marketing, benefits of social media marketing, social media marketing statistics.
- Social media marketing strategy
Creating your social media marketing plan
Social media marketing tips.
- The best social media marketing platforms
Social media marketing courses
Social media marketing services.
Social media marketing is a form of digital marketing that leverages the power of popular social media networks to achieve your marketing and branding goals. But it’s not just about creating business accounts and posting when you feel like it. Social media marketing requires an evolving strategy with measurable goals and includes:
- Maintaining and optimizing your profiles.
- Posting pictures, videos, stories, and live videos that represent your brand and attract a relevant audience.
- Responding to comments, shares, and likes and monitoring your reputation.
- Following and engaging with followers, customers, and influencers to build a community around your brand.
Social media marketing also includes paid social media advertising, where you can pay to have your business appear in front of large volumes of highly targeted users.
With such widespread usage and versatility, social media is one of the most effective free channels for marketing your business today. Here are some of the specific benefits of social media marketing:
- Humanize your business: Social media enables you to turn your business into an active participant in your market. Your profile, posts, and interactions with users form an approachable persona that your audience can familiarize and connect with, and come to trust.
- Drive traffic: Between the link in your profile, blog post links in your posts, and your ads, social media is a top channel for increasing traffic to your website where you can convert visitors into customers. Plus, social signals are an indirect SEO factor.
- Generate leads and customers: You can also generate leads and conversions directly on these platforms, through features like Instagram/Facebook shops, direct messaging, call to action buttons on profiles, and appointment booking capabilities.
- Increase brand awareness: The visual nature of social media platforms allows you to build your visual identity across vast audiences and improve brand awareness . And better brand awareness means better results with all your other campaigns.
- Build relationships: These platforms open up both direct and indirect lines of communication with your followers through which you can network, gather feedback, hold discussions, and connect directly with individuals.
The bigger and more engaged your audience is on social media networks, the easier it will be for you to achieve your marketing goals.
📣 Speaking of promoting your business…
Free guide >> The 30 Best Ways to Promote Your Business
With regard to the benefits above, don’t just take our word for it. Let’s take a look at some social media marketing statistics that prove its power:
- The average US adult spends 2.25 hours on social media every day.
- Over 70% of people who have a positive experience with a business on social media will recommend that business to their networks.
- Facebook users click on 12 Facebook ads on average every month.
- 81% of people use Instagram to research products and services.
- Nearly 80% of Twitter users feel more positive about a business when they get a response to their tweet.
- 4 out of 5 people on LinkedIn drive business decisions.
- 46% of TikTok users engage in the app without any other distractions.
The essentials of a successful social media marketing strategy
A successful social media marketing strategy will look different for every business, but here are the things they will all have in common:
- Knowledge of your audience: What platforms they use, when they go on them and why, what content they like, who else they’re following, and more.
- Brand identity: What is the message you want to convey to your audience? How do you want them to feel when viewing your content?
- Content strategy: While there is a level of spontaneity on social, you’ll need a structured content strategy to be able to have a consistent voice and produce quality content regularly.
- Analytics: Quantifiable insights will inform your strategy, including who you’re reaching, the right content to share, the best times to post , and more.
- Regular activity: Social media is a real-time platform. If you want to use it to grow your business, you need to post regularly, stay on top of engagements with your business, engage back, keep up with trends, and maintain accurate profiles.
- Inbound approach: Don’t use social media to pitch your business. Focus on adding value through useful and interesting content and building up those around you. This, in turn, will organically promote your business and others will promote it for you.
For more help, head to our Easy Guide to Social Media for Small Businesses
Now that you know the essentials of a social media marketing strategy, it’s time to put it into action. Your social media marketing plan is the roadmap to carrying out your strategy. It puts structure around your efforts so you can measure your success and make sure you’re spending your resources wisely. Here’s how to create your social media marketing plan :
- Choose your platforms: Choose based on your target audience, platforms popular for your industry, as well as your bandwidth. Only take on the number of platforms you can actively keep up with. You can always start with one and then add on more slowly as you get the hang of them.
- Set goals and objectives: These should be simple and task-like to start, like post once a day for a month, get your profiles set up, or do a competitive analysis . Once you get into a rhythm and gather insights, you’ll be able to set more specific and strategic goals like increase your following by X% or publish X [content types you’ve found your audience likes] per month.
- Report and adjust regularly: Use each platform’s analytics to identify which posts generate the most engagement, whether you’re getting more followers , and to see your audience demographics. Harness and scale up what works and nix what doesn’t.
Ready to get started with marketing on social media? Here are a few social media marketing tips to kick off your social media campaigns.
Create diverse content
Consistent with other areas of online marketing, content reigns supreme when it comes to social media marketing. Make sure you post regularly and offer truly valuable information that your ideal customers will find helpful and interesting. This includes:
- How-tos, quick tips
- Local and industry news
- Data and insights
- Polls, questions, contests
- Updates and announcements
It also means making use of the variety of formats social media offers, including images, videos, stories, live streams, online stores, and more.
For help with creating awesome social media content:
- Check out our guides on Instagram Live , Facebook Live , and YouTube Live .
- Try out these 6 Epic Instagram Story Hacks You’ll Wish You Knew Sooner .
- Use templates! Like these Holiday & Christmas Social Media Post Templates .
Using social media for marketing enables your business to project your brand image across a variety of different social media platforms. While each platform has its own unique environment and voice, your business’s core identity, whether it’s friendly, fun, or trustworthy, should stay consistent.
Don’t just post—participate
In other words, don’t just log in once a month to schedule out all your posts. Social media channels are communities. You need to pay attention to who’s engaging with your content and engage back—respond to comments, like, share and comment on their posts, run live streams, post polls and real-time questions to spark discussions, and repost others’ content.
Use content creation tools
Don’t let anyone tell you that Instagram is the most visual social media platform. They all are! If you want to stand out in a person’s feed, you need to accompany your posts with attractive visuals—photos, illustrations, text turned into art. Content creation tools like Freepik and Canva have templates and features that allow you to quickly create visuals that look professional, have your logo on them, and are consistent with your brand.
Repurpose, repost, recycle
Social media is a crowded place, so if you want to gain traction with your audience, you need to post great content regularly. The secret to doing this? The three Rs:
- Repurpose: Create a Facebook post from a customer review, splice up a blog post into a series of Tweets, distill a case study down into a customer spotlight on Instagram; turn a webinar deck into a carousel post on LinkedIn. The possibilities are endless.
- Repost: To be done in moderation, but a great way to fill gaps in your content calendar. Repost on Instagram and retweet user-generated and influencer content. You can also curate content from authoritative sources and share those links in your posts.
- Recycle: Post your TikTok videos and Instagram Reels to YouTube; re-share your top-performing blog posts every month to get in front of new followers; add your Facebook Live recordings to your YouTube channel.
Curate your own feed
We’re always looking for ways to show up in others’ feeds, but we forget that there is value to be derived from our own. Follow your competitors so you can keep tabs on them, get ideas you can adapt to your own strategy, and identify gaps you can fill. Follow influencers to stay on top of trends and educate yourself. Follow brands that share your values or that have great content strategies for inspiration and outside the box ideas.
Measure success with analytics
You can’t determine the success of your social media marketing strategies without tracking data. Google Analytics can be used as a great social media marketing tool that will help you measure your most triumphant social media marketing techniques, as well as determine which strategies are better off abandoned. Attach tracking tags to your social media marketing campaigns so that you can properly monitor them. And be sure to use the analytics within each social platform for even more insight into which of your social content is performing best with your audience.
Try paid social
Among the many reasons to advertise on social media is that it is a highly cost-effective way to expand your reach. If you play your cards right, you can get your content and offers in front of a huge audience at a very low cost. Most social media platforms offer incredibly granular targeting capabilities , allowing you to focus your budget on exactly the types of people that are most likely to be interested in your business. Below are some tips and resources for getting started with paid social media marketing:
- Facebook ads
- Pinterest ads
- Instagram ads
Speaking of Facebook Ads, how is your account really performing? Find out with our Free Facebook Ads Performance Grader.
The best social media marketing platforms for business
The best social media marketing platforms for business include Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, TikTok, and Snapchat. Different social media marketing sites require different approaches, so here’s a brief overview on each one—its user base, main vibes, pros, cons, and content types.
You can get a comprehensive look into each platform here: The Biggest, Baddest, Most Popular Social Media Platforms and How to Wield Their Power.
Facebook is the largest social media platform globally as well as one of the biggest local business directories. People of a diverse range of age groups use it to communicate with friends and family, participate in groups and forums, find and visit businesses near them, and follow brands. Facebook is a great social media marketing platform to:
- Build relationships with current customers
- Announce hours changes, events, and milestones
- Hold discussions and live streams
- Market to baby boomers
Organic reach on Facebook is limited, so if you’re looking to generate leads or find new audiences, Facebook advertising is your best bet.
More resources for social media marketing on Facebook
- 22 Budget-Friendly Facebook Marketing Tips
- How to Promote Your Facebook Business Page for Free
- Facebook Advertising Cheat Sheet
- 62 Facebook Post Ideas to Increase Engagement
You may not think of YouTube as a social media marketing channel, but it fits the bill: you can post videos to your channel; share, comment on, and like other videos, and follow other accounts you like. Plus, you have a curated feed in your homepage with recommended videos. The key to social media marketing on YouTube is not to try to “go viral,” but to add value. It’s best for:
- Tutorials, how-tos, and explainer videos
- Shoppable YouTube live streams
- Advertising (video ads and display ads on the platform)
- SEO (video is dominating the “how to” SERP!)
More resources for social media marketing on YouTube
- 8 YouTube SEO Tips to Rank Higher in Search
- 6 Tips for More Profitable YouTube Advertising
- How to Use YouTube to Promote Your Business
Though it came onto the scene years after LinkedIn and Twitter, Instagram quickly surpassed those platforms and reached one billion monthly active users in 2018. It’s popular for its diverse content formats, including Feed posts, Stories, Lives, Reels, and IGTV. People use Instagram to follow influencers and brands they buy from and who support their personal values. Create your Instagram bio and then use it for:
- Social shopping
- Influencer marketing
- User-generated content
- Company culture
The cost of Instagram ads is generally higher than on Facebook, but the good news is that organic reach is also higher.
More resources for social media marketing on Instagram:
- Instagram Marketing Strategy 101: 4 Steps to Success
- 19 Instagram Reels Ideas to Grow Your Brand
- 5 Instagram SEO Tactics to Rank Higher in 2022
LinkedIn may be a professional network, but it’s also an inspiring community that celebrates leadership, learning, and core values. So in addition to using it to network, find prospects, and share industry insights, it’s also a great place to express your company culture and build your personal brand in parallel with your business brand. There are tons of LinkedIn company page features to take advantage of, so take care when building your page. LinkedIn is a great platform to:
- Attract top talent
- Network with partners, peers, and customers
- Share company milestones and culture
- Post industry news and insights
More resources for social media marketing on LinkedIn:
- A 3-Step Process for Generating Leads on LinkedIn
- 10 LinkedIn Company Page Features You Need to Be Using
- The Complete LinkedIn Advertising Cheat Sheet
Twitter is a beautifully tangled network of quick thoughts, useful tidbits, and energized discussions. You should be regularly active on every social media platform, but it’s especially important here. Many people use Twitter to get news, follow brands, and get customer service. Be sure to retweet when a customer has something nice to say about you, and don’t forget to answer people’s questions when possible. For effective social media marketing on Twitter, you may want to:
- Follow influencers to keep up with news and trends.
- Share a story through a series of Tweets in one thread.
- Make yourself available for customer service and FAQs.
More resources for social media marketing on Twitter:
- How to Find Your Old Tweets
- 8 Twitter Features to Take Advantage of Now
- 19 PPC Influencers You Need to Be Following
Snapchat isn’t just for teens. Its largest age group (75%) ranges from 13-34 and with Snap Maps, geofilters, and its partnership with Gannett, it’s more locally-focused than you might think. While you can’t build relationships on the platform, you can build an audience through fun images and short videos. Use Snapchat for:
- Location-based marketing
- App marketing
- Feel-good content
More resources for social media marketing on Snapchat:
- The Ridiculously Useful Guide to Snapchat Ads
- How to Create a Snapchat Business Account
TikTok is the fastest growing social media platform of all time, taking only five years to reach one billion monthly active users. While it’s known for dancing, there are countless popular categories on the platform that continue to grow. Businesses are finding ways to use it as a marketing channel, but just remember, the primary reason people use TikTok is for entertainment, so make sure your videos align with that. Use TikTok to:
- Participate in trending challenges
- Post funny and inspiring videos
- Be relatable
More resources for social media marketing on TikTok:
- The Best Time to Post on TikTok & How It (Surprisingly) Compares to Instagram
- 9 Data-Backed Reasons to Be Marketing on TikTok
- 5 Simple Steps to Set Up Your TikTok Ads
You can find our round-up of the best social media marketing courses here , but these, of course, are our favorites. Use them to increase your social media presence through organic and paid methods.
LOCALiQ Social Media Marketing Lab
LOCALiQ’s Social Media Marketing Lab contains a wealth of information and ideas fit for any business, whether small or large, local or national, starting from scratch or looking to improve. The free course provides:
- A comparison of each platform’s demographics, stats, and general atmosphere.
- What and how often to post on each platform.
- Profile requirements and optimization tips.
- Over 131 post ideas and examples.
Social Ads 101 [PPC University]
WordStream’s PPC University is your go-to if you’re looking to take advantage of paid social media marketing. Typical tutorials and platform help articles will get you started, but what about the more strategic aspects? PPC U courses are written by experts and influencers, with the goal of delivering tips, perspectives, and information you won’t find anywhere else.
Social Ads 101 includes:
- The benefits, metrics, and best practices of social media advertising.
- Crash courses on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Snapchat, and TikTok ads.
- The tips and tricks of social selling on Facebook and Instagram.
Facebook Ads 101 [PPC University]
Also a part of PPC U, this Facebook Ads 101 course takes a deeper dive into intermediate and advanced subtopics, including:
- Daily vs lifetime budgeting plus account optimization strategies.
- Facebook ad types, audience targeting options, and scheduling.
- Tips and resources to produce great Facebook ad copy and creative.
- How to use a full-funnel strategy to take down your competitors.
📗 Free guide
7 Fundamental Facebook Advertising Tips for Small Businesses
As free and easy as each platform may be, a solid social media marketing strategy requires multiple platforms and often a mix of organic and paid methods. This can be resource-heavy, and while it’s a good problem to have, the more you grow your audience using social media, the harder it will be to keep up. Social media marketing services come in all kinds of shapes and sizes to help businesses get the most out of social media. For example:
- Social media management software: Social media management platforms like HootSuite and Sprout Social use proprietary technology to help more experienced social media marketers streamline their processes and get advanced analytics.
- Social media marketing agencies: Some agencies specialize in social media marketing only, like Akvertise or even just paid social advertising only.
- Digital marketing agencies: Just as one platform doesn’t do it for social media marketing, one channel doesn’t do it for overall marketing. Digital marketing agencies can help you to incorporate social media marketing into your broader strategy that includes email, website, SEO, and more.
- Hybrid services: Some offer a mix of the above. For example, LOCALiQ’s social advertising offerings use proprietary technology to manage your strategy and allow you to focus on social alone or as part of a broader plan.
Start prioritizing your social media marketing strategy
Using social media in marketing does more than improve site traffic and increase your reach. It turns your business into a personality that your audience can communicate and connect with on a deeper level.
Regardless of which platforms you use or how you use them, the most important thing to remember is that social media is not a platform to pitch your business. It’s a community for you to express your personality, demonstrate your values, share useful information, and build up those around you. With people naturally following you and promoting your content, there will be no need for pitching. And with this approach, you’ll achieve not just your business goals but all of the other intangibles that translate to gratification and fulfillment.
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How to Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy
The key ingredient for great social media marketing is having a strategy.
Just like most savory meals won't taste right without salt, your social media platforms will always be a little off without a strategy. If you don't know the basics: your goals, target audience, and their wants, it’ll be hard to achieve results on social media.
Whether you want to grow your brand or level up as a marketer, developing a marketing strategy is essential.
Here’s one way to do it – in five steps.
5 steps to creating a social media marketing strategy
It’s interesting to note that a social media marketing strategy and a marketing plan have many crossovers.
You can think of it this way: A strategy is where you’re headed. A plan is how you’ll get there.
One of the simplest ways to create your social media marketing strategy is to ask yourself the 5Ws:
- Why do you want to be on social media?
- Who is your target audience?
- What are you going to share?
- Where are you going share?
- When are you going share?
To help you create your strategy, I have made a simple social media marketing strategy template . Feel free to use, adapt, or modify it as you see fit (after making a copy of it).
Here’s another interesting point about strategy (or strategies): You can also have a strategy for each of your social media channels, such as a Facebook marketing strategy , an Instagram marketing strategy , and so on, which all lead up to your overall social media marketing strategy.
But let’s start with your overall strategy.
1. Why does your business want to be on social media?
The very first question to answer is the Why.
Are you on social media to promote your products? To drive traffic to your website? Or to serve your customers?
In general, there are nine social media goals you can have:
- Increase brand awareness
- Drive traffic to your website
- Generate new leads
- Grow revenue (by increasing signups or sales)
- Boost brand engagement
- Build a community around your business
- Provide social customer service
- Increase mentions in the press
- Listen to conversations about your brand
You’ll likely have more than one social media goal, and that’s fine.
Generally, it’s great to focus on just a handful of goals unless you have a team where different people or groups within the team can take on different goals.
For example, at Buffer, the marketing team uses social media both to increase our brand awareness and drive traffic to our content, while our Advocacy team uses social media to provide timely customer support .
2. Who is your target audience?
Once you have figured out your Why, your target audience is the next thing to consider.
Understanding your target audience will help you more easily answer the following questions on what, where, and when you will share.
For instance, if a travel and lifestyle brand (like Away) knows that its target audience loves to read about new places and travel tips, it could share such content on its social media profiles.
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Away (@away)
A great exercise to try here is to build marketing personas .
There are many different ways of building marketing personas. My favorite approach is to, again, use the 5Ws and 1H.
- Who are they? (E.g. job title, age, gender, salary, location, etc.)
- What are they interested in that you can provide? (E.g. entertainment, educational content, case studies, information on new products, etc.)
- Where do they usually hang out online? (E.g. TikTok, Instagram, etc. or niche platforms)
- When do they look for the type of content you can provide? (E.g. weekends, during their daily commute, etc.)
- Why do they consume the content? (E.g. to get better at their job, to become healthy, to stay up to date with something, etc.)
- How do they consume the content? (E.g. read social media posts, watch videos, etc.)
You likely don’t have to start from scratch. If your business has been running for a while, you most probably already have a good sense of your target audience. What might be helpful is to write it down so that you can share it with the team or use for your future reference.
3. What are you going to share on social media?
When you see this question, you might be thinking about the types of content to share . For example, do you want to share videos or images?
But hold on for a second!
We’re talking about your social media marketing strategy here so let’s take a step back and think on a higher level. Instead of the types of content to share, “theme” might be a better word.
Here are a few brands and their theme(s):
- MeUndies, an underwear brand, shares photos from their customers and photos of their products on their Instagram profile .
- Huckberry, an outdoor and adventure brand, shares their editorial content and high-quality photos of the outdoors on their Facebook profile .
- Burrow, a luxury couch brand, mostly shares memes on their Instagram profile .
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Lauren-Ashley Beck (@laurenashleybeck)
If you scroll through the social media profiles mentioned above, you might have noticed that the brands have more than one main theme. Having a handful of themes is perfectly fine, as it gives you the space to share a range of content to keep your audience engaged without being seemingly unfocused.
This is where a good understanding of your target audience will be helpful. Look at your marketing personas and consider the following questions:
- What goals and challenges do they have?
- How can you help solve them?
For a fitness apparel and accessories brand (like Gymshark), the goal of its target audience might be to stay up-to-date with the latest fitness gear. In that case, it can share its latest products on its social media profiles.
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Gymshark (@gymshark)
Would that be too promotional? Maybe not. Investment bank Piper Jaffray surveyed more than 8,600 American teenagers and found that 70 percent preferred brands to contact them about new products through Instagram. The key goes back to understanding your target audience.
4. Where are you going to share?
The next step is to determine where you will share your content. In other words, which social media platforms does your brand want to be on?
Before we go any further, remember that your brand doesn’t have to be on every social media platform. That being said, it’ll be wise to have at least a complete profile on the Big Four — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn — as they would often show up on the first page of Google search results when people search for your brand.
Understanding your target audience will come in handy when deciding what to share. Which platforms are your target audience most active on? What makes them visit that platform? For example, teenagers and young adults might like scrolling through TikTok when bored to see what their friends are doing or what products their favorite creator is using.
Another, albeit smaller, thing to consider is, what is your brand’s “X factor”? Are you great at photography, videos, or writing? Certain platforms lend themselves well to certain content types. For example, photos are great on Instagram, long-form videos on YouTube, short-form on TikTok. But this is a minor point because social media platforms are evolving to provide almost every type of content nowadays.
Finally, consider smaller, niche platforms , too. For example, Zwift, a multiplayer online cycling training software company, has started a club on Strava , a social network for athletes. Their club has more than 57,000 cyclists, and thousands engage with their posts on Strava.
5. When are you going share?
The last key part of your strategy is figuring out when you want to share your content. You might be tempted to jump into research for the best time(s) to post .
Pause. And breathe.
Let’s take a step back and look at this from a higher level again. Before deciding exactly which time of the day and days of the week you want to post, consider the behaviors of your target audience.
When do they usually use social media to find the type of content that you’ll share?
Here are some examples to consider:
- Sports fans are likely on social media just before, during, and just after sports events to find and interact with content about the event.
- Athletes might be on Instagram while they are cooling down after their morning or evening workouts.
- People who love to travel might be more active on social media during the weekends when planning their next trip (or during their work breaks, dreaming about their next trip).
- Mothers of babies might be scrolling through social media when breastfeeding in the middle of the night.
You might have inferred from these few examples that there might not be a universal best time to post – it depends on your audience. So for this step, focus on the general behavior patterns of your target audience.
When you have created your social media marketing strategy, you can then find your brand’s best time to post through experimentation.
Bonus: How are you going to execute this social media strategy?
And there you have it — your social media marketing strategy!
But that’s not the end. As mentioned above, a strategy is where you’re headed; a plan is how you’ll get there. You have decided where to go; now you need a plan.
How should you fill out your social media profiles? What should your tone and voice be like? What post type (i.e. image, link, video, etc.) should you use?
We have a step-by-step guide for creating a social media marketing plan to help you with the next step and your social media success. Here’s a sneak peek of the info you’ll find in that guide:
Focus on the big picture when creating a social media marketing strategy
Developing a strategy is probably one of the hardest things to do because it requires you to step back and look at the big picture. You must shift your attention from daily tasks like scheduling and replying to comments to higher-level thinking (which you should be doing in Buffer anyway).
But it’s greatly rewarding and helpful to have a social media marketing strategy so that you aren’t just posting content just for the sake of posting content. It’ll help you achieve your social media and business goals.
P.S. You might like these related resources:
- How to Create a Social Media Marketing Plan From Scratch
- How to Break Down Your Social Media Goals Into Tactics and Plans
- Social Media Engagement is the New Social Media Marketing: How To Do It Well
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Social Media for Tech Companies: 7 Tips for Success
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As a tech company, your brand must remain on the cutting edge of all things digital. And maintaining a presence on top social media platforms helps you do just that, while reaching new leads for your business.
With the average user spending 28% of their Internet time on social media platforms, you can’t afford to miss out on adding social media to your marketing strategy.
But how do you make the most of social media for tech companies? Here, we’ll break down seven simple tech company social media ideas to bolster your online marketing campaign.
Read on to learn more, and then consider partnering with WebFX — the digital marketing agency with over 25 years of experience — to get even more help with your social media marketing. Call us at 888-601-5359 or contact us online to get started!
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- 1. Choose the right social media platforms
It’s important to start out by knowing which social media platforms you plan to use for your campaign. You’ll likely want to use more than one platform, but exactly how many you use depends on the specific needs of your business.
As for which platforms you use, you’ll want to assess who your target audience is and which social media platforms they use the most frequently. If you find that your audience has a strong Pinterest presence, you’ll obviously want to focus a portion of your marketing on Pinterest.
At any rate, you certainly have no shortage of options to choose from. Here are just a few of the main social media platforms :
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- 2. Engage with your audience
The purpose of using social media for tech companies is that it allows you to connect with your audience on a level that no other marketing outlet does. So, if you don’t use it for that purpose, all the resources you devote to it are going to waste.
To take advantage of how much social media lets you connect with your audience, you have to engage with them. Interact. Respond to mentions, answer questions, reply to comments. Have conversations with individual followers.
When you talk to people one-on-one in such a public forum, it helps them feel heard and encourages positive feelings toward your business from everyone looking on.
- 3. Share blog posts
Another social media strategy for tech companies is to point users toward your other marketing outlets. Not only can you market through social media itself, but you can also use it to send users to the marketing you’re doing elsewhere.
One example of this comes in the form of content marketing . If you run a blog on your website, you probably rely on strategies like search engine optimization (SEO) to help people find it. But when you have social media, you can make the job much easier for yourself.
Whenever you publish a new blog post, you can simply post it on your social media. Rather than having to wait for people to find it organically through Google, you can present it to a ready-made audience that can start driving up traffic to your page immediately.
- 4. Post educational infographics
While many people may purchase and use your products, there are bound to be a number of them who wouldn’t consider themselves “tech-savvy.” Even most of the people more familiar with digital technology probably aren’t experts on how it works.
You, however, are very much the expert, and you can use that status in your marketing. Many of your customers would probably be interested to learn more about how your products work and what goes into the technology design process.
For that reason, infographics are a great social media strategy for tech companies. Rather than relying on large blocks of text, they compress interesting information into a succinct and visually pleasing format that will keep users engaged.
- 5. Produce stunning videos
When people scroll through their social media feeds, they tend to skim over a lot of posts. If something doesn’t immediately catch their interest, they’ll scroll past it in a heartbeat. That means you need to have something highly capable of grabbing people’s attention.
Enter video content . When done right, videos have the potential to seize people’s interest within the short time it’s on their screen, making them pause their scroll to watch. Something about the motion and the colorful graphics makes it hard to look away.
Your videos can be about a lot of things, from product tutorials to team member introductions. Whatever you do, make sure the content is engaging enough to keep people around.
- 6. Respond to reviews
General comments and questions aren’t the only things you should respond to on social media. Sometimes people will use Facebook or Twitter as a platform for talking about their experience with your business, and you’ll want to be ready when they do.
In many cases, the reviews will be good. When they are, make sure you take the time to thank the user for their positive words. But that won’t always be true. Particularly with how readily digital technology can malfunction, you’ll probably see your share of bad reviews as well.
It’s especially important to respond to negative reviews . As soon as you see one, respond publicly with an offer to help fix the issue, and then message the user privately to see your offer through. With any luck, you can turn most of your unhappy customers into happy ones.
- 7. Create polls and surveys
One thing you have to get right with your marketing is to give your audience what they’re looking for. You can pump out content all day long, but if it isn’t what users are interested in, none of them will engage with you.
A good way to keep this problem in check is to use social media to run polls and surveys . Whether you set up a Twitter poll or simply post an open-ended question that people respond to in the comments, social media can be a great tool for gauging people’s interests.
You can ask users what they want to learn about on your blog, what improvements they want to see in your products, and more. Not only can this help you generate fresh tech company social media ideas, it can help users feel heard and invested in.
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- Get more help with your tech company social media from WebFX
Formulating an effective social media strategy for tech companies isn’t always easy. Even when you know to implement the tips above, it can be hard to figure out all the intricacies of generating new leads and creating brand awareness.
Thankfully, WebFX is here to help. Our more than 1020 client testimonials speak to the quality of our social media services and the dedication we bring to every campaign. We can optimize every aspect of social media for tech companies, from your posting schedule to your paid ads .
To get started with us, call 888-601-5359 or contact us online today!
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Social Media Marketing Strategy: 2022 Engagement Guide
- by Braveen Kumar
- May 23, 2022
- 28 minute read
Social media marketing can help you build engaged audiences where your customers and target audience already spend their time.
Or, it can be a time-consuming obligation that spreads you thin, resulting in a drain on time and money rather than the asset you've seen it become for many established brands.
The difference is having a social media marketing plan that keeps your actions focused, along with a process that enables you to execute without taking too much attention away from running your business.
But starting from scratch can be a daunting task, especially with so many different channels to build a presence on and the commitment that comes with it.
That's why we've put together this guide to walk you through how to approach your own social media marketing strategy , along with tools and tips to help you pull it off.
Create your social media marketing plan
What is a social marketing strategy?
How to create a social media marketing strategy.
- Social media strategy template
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A social media marketing strategy gives you a big-picture view of your social media marketing goals and how you can best achieve those outcomes. Brands continue to ride the wave of social media marketing, with 73% of marketers believing their efforts have been “somewhat effective” or “very effective” for their business.
Whether it's TikTok ads or influencer marketing, social media lets brands access cost-effective marketing. Like a Swiss Army knife, a social media marketing plan can serve all kinds of marketing functions from:
- Driving traffic and sales;
- Tapping into influencer networks;
- Building brand awareness;
- Amassing an engaged audience;
- Connecting with customers and prospects;
- Providing customer support.
This is because you have a wide range of channels to incorporate, each with its own strengths and weaknesses to consider.
For the sake of simplicity and making it easy to get started, we'll split your social media strategy into seven parts:
- Goals : The outcomes you want from your efforts and how you’ll measure them.
- Target audiences : Researching and defining your easiest customers.
- Metrics: Creating a data-driven marketing strategy.
- Content mix : Recurring ideas or post types to include in your social media programming.
- Channels : The social networks you want to dedicate your time to and what you’ll use them for.
- Infrastructure : Setting up the process and tools to execute your strategy efficiently.
- Improvements: Adapting and innovating on your progress during the year.
This isn’t a prescription for digital marketing success of course, only a framework to help you lay the foundation. By the end, you’ll be better equipped to understand how all of these pillars are connected and inform each other, helping you to make smarter decisions and revise your social media strategy over time.
Analysis from Kepios shows that there are 4.65 billion social media users around the world in April 2022, equating to 58.7 percent of the total global population.
A good strategy will help your brand find the right customers in this growing space. It will also help you determine which social media platforms you should focus on. Whether you're new to social media or revisiting your strategy for 2022, follow these steps to create your strategy.
- Set social media goals that are relevant to your business;
- Identify your target audiences on social media;
- Decide your metrics and KPIs;
- Create your social media content mix.
Set goals that are relevant to your business
Everything you post or do should be tied back to one of your goals as a business owner. To start, write your goals down and think about how you'll measure the success of your efforts.
Social media marketing requires a lot of testing and trying things out. You can't improve any particular aspect of it without knowing what signals to pay attention to. You can even use these signals to define targets for your social media marketing plan to help you stay motivated and on track.
Beyond branding, you need all the social handles. People need to find you. They need to be able to find you on social and your website and have it all be clear and consistent. John Cascarano, founder of Beast
Here are just some of the goals you should consider for your social media marketing:
Drive brand awareness. Reach more people to increase the likelihood of your brand getting seen by the right people. You can measure this using impressions/reach, likes, shares, mentions, or any other signal that shows a real person has seen your post(s).
Create demand for your products. Get people interested in your products with relevant inspiration or education, which you can gauge by clicks to your site, products added to a shopping cart, or comments/messages from interested customers.
Acquire leads and customers. These are paying customers, or at least their emails, which you can nurture into sales. A large amount in of itself, won't help you drive sales!
Network to form partnerships. Engage with influencers or like-minded brands for influencer marketing or co-marketing campaigns.
Build a loyal following. Grow an engaged audience that wants to hear from you; don’t inflate your follower count with fake or bought followers. You want to build an authentic community of people who are interested in your products and who will promote your content or products to others. You can measure this by followers you’ve added or lost in a certain time frame, or your engagement rate (total engagement divided by number of followers).
Establish social proof. Source positive testimonials or content generated by customers/influencers that casts your products in a positive light and can potentially be used in other marketing efforts. Sharing testimonials is an incredibly effective social media marketing tactic and can really generate increased awareness and sales.
Provide customer service. A social media presence opens you up to customer questions, complaints, and inquiries. So one of your goals will be to provide this support to customers or direct it to another preferred, private channel. One way to measure this is through your response time for direct messages. (This is displayed as a badge on your Facebook page, for example.)
Become a thought leader in your target market. Social media gives you a voice that you can use to not only participate in conversations, but shift them in the direction you think they should go in and build credibility around your products or services.
Everything you do should tick one or more of these boxes, and ideas and new tactics you plan to test out should be evaluated on their potential to achieve these goals.
Keep these broad objectives in mind as we get into the next step: figuring out who you’ll be trying to reach.
Identifying your target audiences
An effective social media marketing strategy starts with understanding your ideal customer. Building rich context on your target audience takes time, but there are steps you can take immediately that will provide lasting value.
Spend some time researching your target audience, looking for demographic and psychographic data or observable patterns that help you form a mental image of who is likely to buy from you. This exercise won't just inform your initial strategy but also help you develop a voice and tone for your brand that resonates with them.
If your business naturally focuses on a specific niche market (like cat owners, for example), your job will be easier than if you're trying to appeal to a more general audience (like telecom and airline brands). Check out places your audiences often hang out, such as in subreddits or blogs, to see what they're interested in.
Facebook, being one of the largest social media platforms and, thus, a database of 2.89 billion monthly active users , is also a great place to do some audience research. Check out your competitors' pages, clicking through on the profiles of some of their engaged followers to get a better sense of who they are.
Once you've done some digging, you can put it all together to create an ideal customer, or buyer persona, who is likely to buy your product.
You don't have to fill out every trait, but describe what you can to paint an image of this person as it is relevant to your business. The more effort and detail you put into this section, the more impactful your findings will be for your social media marketing strategy.
The point here isn't to be 100% accurate, but to outline your best guess at the kind of person who would be the easiest to convert into a customer.
As an example, let's say I've started up my own apparel brand that sells t-shirts catering to potential customers in the Toronto area:
Location : Toronto, Canada
Age : 22 to 34 years old
Gender : Male and female
Interests : Foodie, hip hop, bars, basketball
Career/Industry : Business or tech
Income level : $30,000 to $70,000
Relationship status : Single
Favorite websites to visit : BlogTO, Toronto Life , Instagram, Facebook
Motivation to buy : Show off their pride as native Torontonians
Buying concerns : Prefer to buy from an established competitor or avoid brands that don’t seem authentic or truly familiar with Toronto
Most of these traits can be targeted directly or indirectly through social media ads, but having it written down also helps inform the kind of content I can share to resonate with them.
Keep these buyers' personas detailed. This is all subject to change or evolve as you begin getting feedback when you start to execute your strategy, pursuing the marketing goals we identified earlier.
Maybe one of your assumptions was wrong or your customers share another trait you didn't expect at all. Either way, social media marketing is one of the best ways to find out who your customers really are, and what you learn can even be incorporated into your larger business roadmap, such as what products you'll come out with next.
You can go further and develop several audiences or “target segments” to speak to, such as a significant other looking for a gift (not the customer themself), shoppers who already buy from one of your competitors, and people or companies you want to build connections with.
But for now, you'll be in a better position to consider the next part of your social media strategy: what you're going to post.
Read more: Finding Your Ideal Customer: How to Define and Reach Your Target Audience
Determine important metrics and KPIs for your social media marketing plan
When tracking your social media marketing performance, it can often like there are a million numbers to look at for your social media analytics. There's a number for almost everything.
Each social media platform has a different analytics tool. What you decide to track on each one will depend on your goals above.
However, there are a few numbers you'll want to keep an eye on to grow your social media accounts.
Social media marketing engagement involves tracking a number of different metrics. It's used to understand if your audience actively interacts with your content and how effective campaigns are. High engagement rates indicate audience health (i.e., how responsive they are) and that your content is interesting.
You’ll look at different engagement metrics such as:
- Likes, comments, and retweets. Engagement rates like shares or retweets are different on every platform. But likes and comments are universal across all.
- Post engagement. This number takes the amount of post engagements divided by impressions for each.
- Clicks. Closely tied with your click-through, this metric shows the number of times someone clicks on your content.
Awareness metrics can tell you about your brand's visibility on a platform and are critical to track for your social media marketing efforts. If you have goals for increasing brand awareness, look at:
- Account mentions. The amount of times someone mentions your brand on social media. These can be positive or negative and give you the chance to respond to people and shape your brand's perception.
- Impressions. The total number of times a post showed up in a browser’s timeline.
- Reach. The total number of unique people who see your content.
- Sentiment. Your brand’s share of voice. It shows how many people are talking about your brand compared to competitors.
Return on investment (ROI)
One of the most important social media analytics for any social media campaign is your ROI. You can track sales if you're using an in-app store like Facebook Shops. You see how many people purchased something on your website from a social channel in your Shopify Analytics under Sales by social source .
Create your social media marketing strategy content mix
Managing a social media marketing channel is a bit like running your own TV network. You can produce a social media campaigns with new “weekly episodes.” You can syndicate your own content to other channels. You can have reruns of fan favorites or #ThrowBackThursdays to fill in for empty time slots and commercial breaks to sell your products.
Defining your content mix—recurring formats and post types—makes it easier to think up and produce social content while adding a rhythm to your posting schedule to offer your audience both variety and consistency at the same time. Otherwise, you'll wind up scrambling for something to publish every day.
Most social media accounts worth following make an implied promise to their audience that they consistently fulfill. For business owners, it often starts with a question:
Beyond your products, how can you consistently provide value to your target audience?
It's not only about what you post, but how you allocate your resources (time, money, creativity) to maintain your social media presence. Some ideas will warrant a greater investment because they help achieve a number of your goals at once.
Within your content mix, you want to have ideas you can plan for in advance, reproduce, and schedule to go out on a regular basis. For example, you might feature a customer testimonial every Tuesday and share a quote graphic every Wednesday and Friday.
These pieces that are relatively easy to turn around can keep your social media calendar full while you build out more elaborate assets, such as a promotional video or a blog post .
The content mix you develop can incorporate:
- News. Information about what’s happening in your industry or posts that are based on what’s trending at the moment.
- Inspiration. Motivation to use your products or pursue a certain lifestyle, such as quote graphics or photos from around the world.
- Education. Share fun stats and facts or how-to posts from your blog or YouTube channel.
- Product/promotional posts. High-quality product shots of your products being used, demo videos, testimonials, or feature explanations can help you achieve your ultimate goal of getting sales. You can often run these as ads after you create them.
- Contests and giveaways. A contest or free download in exchange for an email is a great way to promote something of value to both you and your audience other than your products.
- Customer/influencer features. Shots or videos featuring your customers or the people they follow.
- Community events. Share meetups, fundraisers, or learning opportunities, especially if you’re a local business.
- Q&A. Ask your audience a question or make a request to elicit responses, such as ‘“Tag a friend who’s always late,” or answer a common question that you get from customers.
- Tips and tricks. Share useful information and tutorials around your products.
- Behind the scenes. Share how your product is made or what you’re doing to grow your business to offer some transparency that your audience can relate to. Giving your audience a look into the humans behind your business can go a long a way in creating trust or building your personal brand as a founder.
- And more. Get creative and try to come up with a content mix that differentiates you from your competitors. Only through publishing content on social media regularly can you get an idea of what works best.
Aim for about five to seven content archetypes to start off with, balancing your content mix with post formats that you can quickly create with a couple that might take some time to produce, like a product demonstration video, as well as posts that aim for sales and posts that just seek to delight and grow your audience.
Based on my hypothetical business selling t-shirts to Torontonians, I might start with the following content archetypes, tying each one to a different goal:
- Share a link to a popular product in my store. (Sales)
- Create and publish an original meme about life in Toronto. (Awareness and reach)
- Share a post from BlogTO or another Toronto-focused publication. (Engagement)
- Share a high-quality photo of a popular hangout spot in Toronto or a local event. (Audience building and engagement)
- Ask audience for feedback on potential t-shirt design ideas. (Engagement)
- Share a photo featuring a model wearing my shirt and tag them. (Create demand and attract influencers)
Try to vary your programming throughout the week. When new social media followers land on your account, their perception of your brand will be your last three to six posts. If they’re all explicitly selling your products or services, it will turn them off.
Note: Keep in mind that anything you create can potentially be promoted again and again to your audience over time, or on other channels. Don’t shy away from eventual “re-runs,” especially if a certain post has proven to drive traffic, engagement, or sales.
To get you inspired to come up with your own content mix, here are some ideas you can borrow from brands that are doing well on social media.
Fashion Nova relies on style education via its blog and YouTube channel to market its clothing, which no doubt takes time to produce.
But on its website and in its marketing communications, it lets shoppers browse looks from its Instagram account. These photos are then shared on Fashion Nova's own Instagram account or store using one of the available Shoppable Instagram apps .
If your products beg to be shared on social media, you can harness that and source social content that you can use for your own social media posts.
Shots of your product being used
While it's great to have several content formats to add variety to your social media marketing mix, even one proven content format, published consistently, can do wonders for growing your audience.
Letterfolk's Instagram is a great example of how developing a theme through what you post can make social media publishing less work in the long run, without sacrificing engagement. Nearly all of its posts feature the same premise: a shot of its bestselling products being used in people's lives.
It can succeed with this strategy because each post helps it achieve several of its goals at once, namely:
- Create high-level engagement with relatable quotes.
- Grow a following through an account with a clear and consistent premise.
- Drive sales by showing off the product in action.
Think about how you can develop your own content formats to chase several of your goals with a single post.
The introduction of smartphone cameras and video editing apps has made it easy to hit Record. A Biteable survey revealed that 60% of businesses use video as a marketing tool, and 94% of marketers who use video plan to continue in the coming years.
YouTube is the most popular social channel for videos, with 88% of marketers using it, followed by Facebook, with 76%.
Taking videos is easy and convenient. You don’t need an entire production studio to create engaging videos. Video tours, product updates, how-to guides, and general entertainment videos make great content that attracts followers and drives them to your website.
While it’s clear YouTube is the king of video content, there are other video channels to take advantage of:
- Instagram Reels;
- Instagram Stories;
- Facebook Stories.
Good video content normally falls under two categories: helpful or entertaining. Fashion designer Justine Leconte, for example, runs a YouTube channel focused on ethical fashion, lifestyle, and trends. She teaches women how to create a wardrobe for their body type, work with colors, and more.
Justine’s video content sees millions of views per video, attracting the right audience to her brand.
The above video from Justine has over 7.8 million views and over 3,600 comments, which shows just how engaging video content is. She also links to her Shopify store, where viewers can shop her product lines, helping prove the ROI of her video marketing efforts.
Want to create social media video content? Read How to Make Your Own Online Videos (in 30 Minutes or Less)
Livestreaming went from zero to hero over the past few years. From 2019 to 2020 alone, the online livestreaming industry has grown by 99%, according to the latest data from StreamElements . Conviva's latest State of Streaming report reveals that live content also earns 27% more minutes of watch time per viewing compared to on-demand video.
Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and LinkedIn all have live video on their platforms. Social media livestreaming is authentic and engaging. And the best part? You don't need any fancy video equipment to start a broadcast, just your smartphone.
Some fun livestream ideas:
- Organize a Q&A session where fans can send questions about your brand and have them answered.
- Create tutorials of tools you use.
- Share your thoughts on a relevant industry topic.
- Show behind-the-scenes of you creating products and services.
- Run a flash sale.
- Host a giveaway contest or fundraiser.
Try one or two of the ideas above for your brand. Test what resonates with your audience the most, and expand on more ideas over time.
Additional tips and resources
- Be visual. Even if you’re not a designer or video editor, you can use free tools like Canva (social graphics), Adobe Spark or Lumen5 (videos), Meme Generator , and more to produce shareable content.
- Be purposeful. Tie each part of your content mix back to your target audience and one or more of the goals you established in the previous two stages. Knowing what to measure will help you evaluate the success of a particular idea and inform your strategy over time.
- Curate and create. To avoid becoming overwhelmed creating original content, try to curate and remix content as well. Be sure to tag and credit your original sources.
Choosing your social media channels
Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, Snapchat—there's no shortage of social media networks for you to build a presence for your brand.
But there are two mistakes that are easy to make when you're just starting out on social media:
- Building your presence on more channels than you can maintain.
- Treating every channel the same and not playing to the strengths of each.
We’re always testing new platforms. I would say that Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok have been huge drivers from the social media standpoint. Enrico Frezza, Peace Out Skincare
Each channel you choose is another you have to potentially manage. You need to prioritize what you'll be focusing on in the beginning and that starts by understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each channel.
For the sake of this post, we'll cover some of the most popular social media channels. But this is by no means an exhaustive list. Look at similar brands and competitors to get a sense of where your audience lives and where you could be building your presence.
As a marketing channel, Instagram lets you focus on building a following through a variety of visual mediums.
Unlike Facebook, you can get pretty good results without necessarily paying to play, although if you’ve the budget available, there’s the option of pursuing Instagram advertising and influencer marketing . But also, unlike Facebook, almost half of its users are millennials and Gen Z between the ages of 18 and 34.
Instagram lets you post images and videos, which are discoverable through hashtags. But there are also Instagram Stories and Instagram Live , which let you put out photos and videos with a 24-hour lifespan. This gives you the unique option of keeping your Instagram feed consistent and clean, while using Stories to test out ideas and share behind the scenes that have a more casual and personal production quality to them.
People are prepared to spend a premium amount for a fashionable product. You need to focus on what looks visually good, because being able to sell on Instagram has been a really big game changer for us. Nathan Chan, Healthish
You can also add product tags and stickers to your business profile. These tags let users tap on a product in your post and story, get more information, then head to your site to purchase it.
Want to market your business on Instagram? Read Getting Started on IG: A Beginner’s Guide to Instagram Marketing . You’ll learn about setting up your profile, what types of content to post, marketing tips, and more.
Genuine content leads the way for brands on TikTok . More than other social networks, viewers prefer engaging, raw videos over highly edited content. It’s this difference that gives TikTok creators a chance to connect with their audience authentically.
If you’re targeting a younger crowd, TikTok is a useful social media channel for your brand. 62% of its audiences are between the ages of 10 and 29 years old .
TikTok is often used for building brand awareness, but it can also be a sales driver thanks to its " link in bio " feature, which allows you to showcase a range of content and products from a single link. Shopify merchant SendAFriend was able to scale to $5 million in sales in two years driven by its TikTok marketing strategy.
If you want to run TikTok campaigns for your business, read Authenticity Sells: A Beginner’s Guide to Marketing on TikTok .
Few social channels are built for businesses quite like Facebook. On top of a Facebook shop , the ability to add customer reviews, and a popular Messaging feature that can be used to provide customer service, Facebook is also one of most widely used social media apps worldwide.
But its biggest downside is that, unless you pay to promote your posts, you won't be able to reach many people, even if they've opted in by liking your page.
That said, Facebook can be an incredibly powerful way to use social media for advertising. It's a database of information that you can use to deliver targeted ads to your ideal customers. If you amplify content that's set up to produce engagement (likes, shares, comments), such as a viral video , you can generally lower the cost of your advertising, so keep that in mind.
You can learn more about Facebook Advertising in our guide and by checking out these 7 common mistakes to avoid when planning your campaigns.
YouTube is another popular way to reach your audience as an online business. It's the second most-visited website in the world and has a global viewer base, with 42.9% of web users accessing YouTube each month.
You may think that YouTube is only for big brands getting millions of video viewers. However, the number of small businesses advertising on YouTube doubled over the past two years.
You can produce many different types of videos for YouTube, including:
- Customer testimonials;
- Product demos;
- Explainers and tutorials;
- Reviews and case studies;
- Education videos.
Whether you're a creator or ecommerce brand, you can create video content for YouTube that attracts potential customers. It's a tactic that the Jeremy Fragrance channel uses to gain visibility for its online store, Fragrance.One .
The channel creates a mix of reviews, tutorials, and curated lists around the topic of fragrances. His videos see millions of views each month. Each video links directly to the Fragrance.One store so people can purchase products directly from YouTube.
Creating a YouTube account is free. Yet the big investment will come from producing high-quality videos to outpace your competition. Get set up on YouTube today by reading Your Starter Guide to YouTube Marketing: Tips, Strategies, and Tools .
Twitter’s greatest strength is that it lets you listen to and engage with other voices in the world. That said, it might not be as strong as a sales channel for many brands, but can be used to showcase your brand’s personality (see the Wendy’s or Moon Pie accounts for examples).
What you can use Twitter marketing for instead, if you choose to, is networking with other brands and journalists, and connecting with potential and existing customers on a smaller scale. Many Twitter users also rely on the platform for news, if that's a part of your content mix.
While Pinterest isn't exactly a “social media site,” it often finds itself in a company's social media marketing mix, especially among ecommerce brands. That's because users actually come to Pinterest with more intent to actually buy something than they do when visiting any other social platform.
Unlike the channels above, Pinterest has a clearly defined user base consisting mostly (71%) of women with disposable income. So it's not for everyone. But if you're in the apparel, home decor, or food industry, you'd be missing out on an opportunity to get traffic and sales through both organic and paid Pinterest marketing tactics.
LinkedIn's greatest strength is its position as the social network for professionals. If your target audience can be identified by a particular profession or there are businesses that need your products or service, then it might be worth building your presence here.
LinkedIn is also a great platform for networking, hiring talent, and pursuing business development opportunities by reaching out to brands or people of interest you would like to partner with. LinkedIn continues to invest in helping users distribute their content through the likes LinkedIn newsletter as well.
At the very least, it's worth having your own personal LinkedIn profile set up for networking and a company page so others can learn more about your business and its employees.
Plan your social media content
With an understanding of your goals, your target audience, and how you'll be using different channels, it's time to create the framework you need to manage and schedule your social media calendar.
There are a wide variety of social media management tools you can use for this purpose, but I recommend using Trello for planning content, and Later , Hootsuite , or Buffer for scheduling, because they all have free plans to get you started.
Collecting ideas and planning content
Ideas often seem to strike at random. So you need a place to collect and develop them as inspiration comes. Trello has worked wonders for me, because I can not only save ideas to a Trello board, but attach links, files, and notes to each idea as it comes to life. It gives you the flexibility to be as meticulous or as barebones as you want with your planning.
The content archetypes you developed earlier are good to fall back on as you plan out what you'll be posting, but you can also stray from them with new ideas and experiments. There's always going to be aspects of your social media marketing that are reactive, organic, and experimental.
Regardless, you want to create a process that lets you keep a backlog of ideas and develop them until they're ready to schedule.
I've mocked up a template in Trello that you can copy and adapt to suit your own purposes.
If you're planning to post quality content to multiple channels, make sure the content and copy are optimized for that channel. You can attach channel-specific variations to each card for easy access when you start to schedule.
Scheduling content: when, where, and how often
With posts in the pipeline of your social media content calendar, it's time to schedule them out. Once you've prepared the copy, images, and whatever else you need for your posts (don't forget to get team approval!), you can start adding them to a queue using a scheduling tool mentioned above.
But how often should you be posting on each of your chosen channels?
While some answers can be really prescriptive, the real answer is to start slow and then ramp up to a higher frequency as you develop your routine and figure out what works.
You don't want to spread yourself too thin or spam your audience's feeds. It's fine if you only have time to post once every few days in the beginning. You can build up to one post a day and then test to see if a higher frequency actually nets you better results on specific platforms.
Ultimately, you want to focus your attention where it will have the most impact and when your audience will be scrolling through their feeds. If you need a good place to start, think about when people check their feeds: in the morning, at lunch, during their commute, before bed. The “best posting times” for your particular audience is something you'll only discover through trial and error. Popular posting times will also vary depending on seasons and other variables.
What's more important is that you schedule your posts in batches, at least a week in advance. Do it in one sitting, dedicating a few hours at a time so you can focus on other things while your social media publishing runs in the background.
Automate what you can to make time for the tasks you can’t
The reality of social media marketing is there are activities that you won't be able to simply schedule and forget if you want it to be effective. In-the-moment posts such as Instagram Stories or real-time tweets will need to happen in the moment , and you can only plan so far in advance for them.
There's also other social media activities, such as replying to your audience, community management , running ads , and, of course, creating content (although you can outsource any of these functions whenever you're ready).
Social media marketing, especially early on when you're doing it yourself, demands that you are deliberate about how you spend your time. Think about how you can be more effective with your time by republishing old posts or allocating some money on paid promotion to get a better return on the time you spent creating content.
- Create templates. Wherever possible, create design and copy templates based on what works to make it easier to turn around new content on an ongoing basis, especially for recurring content series. For example, you can save your most used Instagram hashtags so you always have them handy when you post, or apply the same filter to your photos to achieve a consistent look.
- Keep an eye on the calendar. Holidays are a great opportunity to be topical and timely with what you post. Pay special attention to what’s coming up so you can brainstorm social media marketing ideas in advance. Sprout Social has a great calendar that includes hashtag holidays too, if you want something handy to reference.
- Tailoring your post for each channel. You can share the same post or image to different social channels, but make sure to take the time to optimize copy, images, or videos for the channel you’re posting to—no Instagram posts shared directly to Twitter or tweets that automatically share to Facebook.
As a marketer, you expect your social media efforts to grow company revenue. One way you can do that is by tracking what's working and what's not. Otherwise it's hard to know whether you're delivering on expectations.
Monitoring your metrics lets you make small changes to your strategy, rather than huge overhauls. You can be proactive in the short term and use those learnings to inform future campaigns.
Use a social media tool like Sprout Social to measure performance across channels. You can deep dive into one channel, or quickly compare multiple channels at once. Sprout Social also gives you access to:
- Engagement and trend reports
- Social listening reports
- CRM integrations to build customer profiles
With this data, you can learn what KPIs still align with your business goals and see if they need any adjustments. Analytics tools like Sprout Social also make data easy to access and share, so you can distribute to marketing teams and make smarter decisions, faster.
Social media strategy template
Free: social media strategy template.
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It sounds obvious, but it needs to be said: Social media is a lot different as a business owner or marketer than as a casual user.
Your aim now is to get a positive return on the time, money, and effort you spend marketing your business on social media . That requires deliberate action.
Your social media strategy is your plan of attack. But in a space like social media that literally changes by the day, with newsfeed algorithm updates and audiences always ready for something new, you need to remain flexible and remember to keep your finger on its pulse and constantly improve.
Above all else, remember three things: be authentic, find ways to provide value, and when in doubt, guess, test, measure, and learn.
Illustration by Elena Xausa
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What is a social media strategy, why is a social media strategy important, what are the main social media marketing strategies.
- User-generated content.
- Product lifestyle shots.
- Video marketing.
- Influencer marketing.
How do you create an effective social media strategy?
- Set goals that are relevant to your business.
- Identify your target audience.
- Determine important metrics and KPIs.
- Create your content mix.
- Choose your social media channels.
- Plan your content.
- Track performance.
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6 Steps to Building a Social Media Strategy for Your IT Company
By: Kara Rudy
November 23 2022
According to GlobalWebIndex, 54% use social media to research products. In 2020, the number of new users joining social media every single day was about a whopping 1.3 million. It makes sense to leverage social media marketing to generate new leads, but are your efforts really effective?
For social media strategy success, you can't just existence of a social media account or buy untargeted paid ads. It is imperative to take measured steps in the right direction to ensure returns. Let’s talk about what are the best strategies for social media marketing, and how to go about designing an effective campaign.
The Six-Step Social Media Strategy Process
Step 1: understand your expectations + align them with business goals.
What do you expect from your social media marketing strategy ? Are you targeting new audiences or focusing on customer retention? Do you want to increase brand awareness and popularity? You need to have total clarity on the things you’re trying to get from the marketing campaigns and ensure these expectations align well with your business goals.
For instance, if your business goal is to increase the visibility of a certain product in your healthcare market, it doesn’t make sense to set up a strategy that does not target titles within that field.
Step 2: Identify your Target Audience + Narrow Down your Target Channels
Based on your business goals and your product portfolio, you’ll need to identify who you want to target. Do you wish to increase awareness and visibility among a certain age group or demographic? Do you plan to advertise certain products to a certain demographic of people? This analysis of “who” will significantly reduce your efforts in the future, and ensure your efforts are not wasted on an audience that will never end up being attracted to your posts.
Next, you should figure out which target channels are best for the job. The purpose and the type of audience will largely dictate this decision, but there can also be other factors like budget and existing social media coverage. Is Tick Tock the right platform for your tech company? You need to build your distinct social media strategy; not just follow what your competition is doing.
Together, these two factors will help you narrow down your social media marketing strategy efforts to a specific group over a specific channel. This knowledge will also help you create tailor-made content that is suitable for the type of audience and your chosen channel(s).
Step 3: Establish KPIs that Align with Your Social Media Marketing Strategy + Business Goals
Key Performance Indicators such as tag performances, clicks, the ratio of clicks to conversion, landing page visits, etc. will help you study customer patterns in depth. This will give you an understanding of the elements of an effective social media marketing strategy that work, as well as those which are not yielding any returns.
These metrics must be in line with what your expectations are in step 1, and what your audience is as per step 2. For instance, if your goal is to advertise your new SaaS solution to a demographic of women aged 30 and above, your KPIs should measure the success rate of your strategy integrated into your chosen channel for this specific demographic. You can choose to measure additional metrics as well, but don’t forget to prioritize those which will inform you of the success and failure rates of your business goals and overall strategy.
Step 4: Post Relevant, Engaging, Value-Added Content
A social media marketing strategy may help you target specific customers, but it will never yield returns if the content you post does not align with your community. Whether you are advertising a new product or repositioning your brand on a global scale, consumers will only read posts that are relevant, to the point, and engaging.
Don’t bore them with what’s already done, marketing is less about following trends and more about thinking outside the box. Content that makes a reader understand something they didn’t already know, will immediately grab their attention and stay in their memory for a while.
Step 5: Plan Ahead + Schedule Your Posts
One of the key elements of an effective social media marketing strategy is timely, scheduled posts. Develop a schedule of the days and times to post, HubSpot provides data and best practices for a schedule you can follow and test on your own. Consistency of posts, cadence, and topics will create a significant impact and leave a positive, long-lasting impression on the minds of readers.
Step 6: Track + Adapt
You must constantly track your KPIs, update them wherever necessary, and track all performance data relevant to your social media marketing strategy . This will ensure you do not waste resources waiting for returns on elements that are not working while giving you the knowledge to direct your efforts where they’re needed the most. Once you have all the data, you must modify and adapt your strategy and campaigns accordingly to ensure your efforts are not redundant at any point in time.
Social Media Marketing in Tech
You’ve probably noticed that there’s some work to be done to ensure you get the best out of your social media marketing strategy. However, it's important to recognize that in the technology space, it's even more important to show your brand and differentiation in the market through your social media messages and conversations. Each community you cultivate in your channels will come to you and stay with you if you provide unique insight and perspective on topics that are important to your readers. If you're an MSP or VAR; don't just report your manufacturer messages. Be authentic and build on your strategy as time, budget, and resources allow. As long as you set goals that are realistic, measurable, and actionable, and your channel of choice is backed by research, your social media marketing strateg y will certainly be rewarding for your business.
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