Step-by-step Guide To 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 to:

  • 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

Choose social media marketing goals that align to business objectives

The first step to create a winning social media strategy is to establish your objectives and goals. Without goals, you have no way to measure success and return on investment (ROI).

Each of your goals should be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

Learn everything you can about your audience

Knowing who your audience is and what they want to see on social media is key. That way you can create content that they will like, comment on, and share. It’s also critical if you want to turn social media followers into customers for your business.

When it comes to your target customer, you should know some things like:

  • Age
  • Location
  • average income
  • Typical job title or industry
  • Interests
  • etc.

Get to know your competition

The best thing is when your competitors are also using social media, and that means you can learn from what they’re doing.

A competitive analysis allows you to understand who the competition is and what they’re doing 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.

Do a social media audit

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What’s working, and what’s not?
  • Who is engaging with you?
  • 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.

Set up accounts

As you decide which social networks to use, you will also need to define your strategy for each.

Pro tip: Write out a mission statement for each network. A one-sentence declaration to keep you focused on a specific goal. 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.

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 the 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.

Find inspiration

While it’s very important that your brand be unique, you can still draw inspiration from other businesses that are great on social media.

  • Who do you enjoy following on social media?
  • What do they do that compels people to engage and share their content?

Zomato, for example, is one of the best on Instagram, it has all, from quirkiest memes to best graphics.

Create social media content calendar

Sharing great content is very essential, of course, but it’s equally important to have a plan in place for when you’ll share content to get the maximum attraction. 

Your social media content calendar also needs to account for the time you spend interacting with the audience.

Social media content marketing rule of thirds:

  • One-third of your content promotes your business 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.

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

Create compelling content

  • Keep your content aligned with the purpose of each network.
  • Show other competitors what kind of content they can expect to see on each network.

Track performance and adjust your social media strategy accordingly

Your social media marketing strategy is a hugely important thing 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 while others are working even better than expected.

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