Social Link’s social media marketing experts will take your business and brand to the next level with a detailed social media guide.
Social media marketing is an absolute must for brands. Keep it fresh and engaging with top-of-the-line content, strategies, and marketing.
Now is the perfect time to kick your online presence up a notch.
Social media marketing can appear daunting. After all, the digital landscape has grown into a competitive space. Social media is much more complex than it was back in the day.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be intimidating. A specific, targeted strategy is all you need for your brand to find success in the digital marketing realm.
Social media marketing allows you to create an engaging online experience that converts visitors to loyal advocates.
Why does my brand need to invest in social media marketing?
Social media marketing is crucial to the success of your business, period.
Why? It’s simple. Paid social marketing gets the views you need without having to rely on organic traffic and ever-changing platform algorithms.
When social media apps first emerged, paying for ads wasn’t as necessary. For example, five years ago, content could be posted on Instagram and receive plenty of likes and engagement. Those were the good old days!
Today, with constantly evolving algorithms being introduced, the rules have changed. The same content that once excelled now flies under the radar.
Social media marketing has changed.
Times have changed, and social media marketing has evolved. It’s all about identifying your target audience, building customer journeys, and leading buyers to your site. Strong social media marketing helps accomplish these needs.
Understanding the specifics of social marketing is an exciting challenge. There is a lot to consider: budget spends, the operating principles of each platform, network rules, scheduling, content creation, and more. It takes a lot of time, energy, and effort to nail down a successful social marketing strategy.
Social Link is ready to help you take charge of your brand’s digital footprint. Using various social media platforms, you can wield the power of marketing to bring your brand to life.
It’s time to get started.
We created a comprehensive guide for social media marketing beginners. If you’re ready to create a social plan from scratch, you’re in the right place.
If your business is new to the social media game, that’s totally fine. There’s no need to worry. Our marketing guide has got you covered.
If you’re ready to learn how to convert more users using the power of social media marketing, keep reading.
Social Media Marketing 101: 6 Steps to Success
- Set goals that are specific to your business and brand
- Define and research your target audience
- Create on-brand social media content
- Ensure timeliness
- Utilize data analytics
- Step back to assess what is working (or not working).
1. Set goals that are specific to your business and brand
Every business has different needs when it comes to social media marketing.
Your marketing strategy should be tailored to the specific needs of your operation. Your goals will vary depending on what industry you’re in and what you hope to achieve.
First things first, you need to create a game plan! It’s important to nail down your brand’s goals. This will allow you to measure a marketing campaign’s impact. Social media ads allow you to optimize campaigns depending on your preferences and purpose.
Maybe you want to increase brand awareness or foster a dedicated group of followers. Perhaps your business is more focused on increasing direct sales from social accounts.
No matter what your goals are, they will determine your specific marketing content strategy. The strategy is a guide in terms of allotting the proper amount of time and energy to your campaigns.
The most important aspect of goal setting? Making sure your social media marketing goals are realistic as well as SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely.
It’s tempting to go big and shoot for the stars, especially when you look at successful brands and companies who rake in millions of dollars from their social ads. However, you have to be realistic and stay level-headed. Yes, we would all love to create a bunch of viral videos and get millions of followers overnight. Unfortunately, that’s just not the norm, and we don’t want to set ourselves up for disappointment.
That’s why Social Link recommends starting small, at least in the beginning. By tackling reasonable, appropriate objectives, you keep things affordable and in check. Depending on the results, your social efforts can later be adapted as you see fit.
Potential marketing goals include:
- Increase brand awareness: Aka making a name for yourself. Your brand deserves to be properly assessed by potential customers. You will want to tell your brand’s story via cohesive messaging that resonates with the right market. To increase brand awareness, you must position your business in the most relevant, authentic, inspiring way possible. Check out our Tips for Increasing Brand Awareness.
- Generate leads, aka driving traffic to your website: Promotional posts and social media ads can help increase URL clicks and conversions. Don’t underestimate the power of an engaging graphic or ad. Read about 10 Things You Should Be Doing to Drive New Leads.
- Engage with current clients: Keep the attention of current followers by experimenting with content messaging. Consider promoting user-generated content and creating specific hashtags to get followers involved. Even something as small as asking your audience a question can increase engagement and strengthen relationships.
- Increase direct sales: Increase sales by keeping potential customers informed. Announce promos, sales, new products, and more. One great way to accomplish sales in an authentic way is to bring viewers into the conversation rather than simply promoting your product.
2. Research your target audience.
For your social media marketing strategy to be successful, you first need to define your audience.
As HubSpot explains, “It’s imperative to define and understand…audiences because your marketing will differ based on who you’re talking to.”
Go deeper into your target audience by defining personas.
This means you create fictional audience members who represent the different users who might be interested in your products or services. By creating and defining potential personas, you better understand client needs, experiences, goals, behaviors, and thoughts.
A plethora of demographic data and social media marketing analytics tools give you a better look into your audience. Different platforms have different audiences, so make sure to keep that in mind.
Remember that customers need to relate to your brand. This means you must understand who your demographic is and connect with them.
If potential clients go onto your website or check out your marketing materials and don’t see themselves represented in any way, they aren’t going to be too apt to become actual customers.
“If your customers are different than you and they feel unrecognized, you will begin to lose them,” stated author Michael P. Crone in his “Diversity Marketing & Cultural Awareness” paper.
Google Analytics and email analytics are great sources to find data on your audience.
3. Post on-brand social media content
Now that you have a better idea of your brand’s goals and needs and your target audience, it’s time to take a look at the specific platforms you will be working with! You will use these platforms to post content and amp up your social media marketing efforts.
Facebook is currently the biggest social media platform with the most reach.
“Facebook has firmly established itself as the place we get our news, learn about new products, and communicate with friends, family, and businesses,” stated HootSuite.
Check out our 3 Facebook Marketing Agency Tips.
More than just a photo-sharing app, Instagram’s features allow businesses to market and sell products directly to consumers.
HootSuite explained, “When Instagram ads are correctly targeted and visually appealing, they’re a highly effective means of connecting with new customers.”
Read about 10 Ways to Boost Your Instagram Marketing.
LinkedIn isn’t just about recruiting employees anymore. Its B2B marketing opportunities are incredibly valuable for businesses to capitalize on.
Ads can boost purchase intent, increasing future sales.
Find out why LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator is One of the Best-Selling Tools
In the United States alone, digital video marketing is a $135 billion industry.
Video marketing allows tech companies and other businesses to show their customers and potential clients what they have to offer and what they are working on.
Read about the Video Editing Tips Everyone Should Know.
Video is currently the highest converting media on the internet. TikTok is the platform you need to be on ASAP.
“TikTok is the fastest growing platform in the world,” HootSuite stated. “The social media platform was launched in September 2016. In the four years since its launch, the platform has become popular all over the world.”
Learn our Best Video Editing Tips and Tricks.
Got something to say? Use the power of Twitter to distribute information, in 280 characters or less, of course.
Snapchat helps build excitement and entertain your audience. Snapchat caters to teens and young adults.
If your brand is hoping to reach a younger demographic, you should consider Snapchat for social media marketing.
4. Ensure timeliness
Stay on-brand with content
Regardless of what platform you use for social media marketing, Social Link recommends posting relevant, unique content that isn’t in-your-face brand heavy. This allows your posts to be applicable to a wide audience. Employ SEO best practices and data-focused stories. You want your curated, creative content to build and nurture leads as well as attract new customers and cultivate brand loyalty.
Don’t blindly copy other businesses around you. Be true to your company’s values, mission statement, and beliefs when you create and post social content.
Consumers are able to smell a rat from a mile away. They’ll pick up on phony messaging and copycat content. Use your brand’s story and identity as an asset to your social media marketing efforts. Tell the truth and be real. People will relate to that more than anything else.
Don’t be afraid to get creative.
Think outside of the box when crafting digital content. Don’t limit yourself to one aspect or avenue of marketing. Dive deep and take time to think things through.
If your goal with social media profiles is to pique interest, spark engagement and get people to share links to your site, then it’ll take more than copying and pasting a URL into the status box to make that happen.
If you are a small business, focus on only a few platforms to start. A big mistake many companies make is reposting the exact same content on every social media page. Each platform is unique and needs to be treated as such. A common misconception is that having a presence on every single social media platform builds authority, but this is only true if you have something of quality to offer to unique viewers on each (if that’s the case though, then go for it!).
Don’t post just for the sake of posting. Make sure you’re purposeful with your posts and social media marketing. Otherwise users will get bored or annoyed.
Offer Free Resources
One way to deliver strong content is to offer free resources to viewers. Resources can be anything from infographics to PDFs. E-books are a common email list opt-in reward, but you should also have a handful of quality content readers can download for free from your website embedded in accompanying blog posts. When you provide resources, you show your visitors (and Google) that you are an expert in your field. Some good ideas for website freebies include:
Remember to ask yourself, what problem is my audience trying to solve? Make sure that your content revolves around the answer. Offering materials that help people reach genuine solutions builds trust and gratitude.
Remember to always stay customer-focused, and you’ll be able to create content and design a website that offers value to viewers. This quality is what will help you stand out from the competition and improve your social media marketing on your own.
5. Utilize Data Analytics.
Once you have social media ads running, you’ll need to track your campaigns. Social media marketing needs to be data-driven.
Quickly monitor your site’s success and watch your revenue grow with easy-to-use tools and tracking.
You might imagine this merely entails counting likes or website views, but today, data analytics offers a more comprehensive evaluation. The proliferation of social media, smart technologies, and the internet allows organizations to capture more quantifiable data than ever before.
However, the collection of this raw data alone does not produce the meaningful insights needed to make strategic business decisions.
Making use of agencies or tools like HubSpot will provide your company with the help it needs to make sense of all this information. Data analytics can work to grow your business by optimizing conversion rates and increasing sales.
Examples of important data include:
Reach. The number of unique users who viewed your post or ad. This helps you determine if your content is truly reaching people’s feeds.
Clicks. The number of clicks on your CTA, post, or content. Tracking clicks per campaign gives you a better look into what engages viewers and drives curiosity or purchases.
Engagement. The total number of social interactions divided by the number of impressions. Engagement gives you insight into how your audience perceives you and their readiness for interaction.
Organic and paid likes: Knowing the numerical differences between organic and paid likes can help you budget social media ad spend and make better use of your marketing time and resources.
Sentiment. Sentiment measures how viewers reacted to your business, post, or hashtag. What are customers saying about your brand? Are they associating a specific sentiment with your campaign?
Make sure you’re tracking your KPIs.
A KPI is a key performance indicator. KPIs help organizations determine whether or not they’re meeting their strategic goals. They are the crucial indicators of progress toward a goal or desired result. Key performance indicators provide a focus for business opportunities, both strategically and operationally. They create an analytical basis for making decisions, and they can help companies zone in on what matters the most.
Good KPIs help educate and inform people about what’s working and what’s not as their business changes over time. This information often leads to having the ability to make better decisions and devise stronger strategies.
KPIs measure anything from financial performance and customer satisfaction to operational processes and internal strategies. They help you determine what is impacting your bottom line.
A decent KPI can track efficiency, effectiveness, quality, time management, compliance, project performance, allocation of resources, and more.
KPIs are so important because of how effective they are. As SalesChoice CEO Dr. Cindy Gordon puts it, “Analytics is the most effective factor in modern-day sales.”
KPIs fall into two categories: leading or lagging indicators.
Easy to change but difficult to measure, leading indicators drive your bottom line. They focus on the specific actions that lead to your results. Leading indicators beget lagging indicators.
Lagging indicators are your results or output. Examples include the number of new clients you got this week or the revenue your company made last month.
Hubspot offers a few good examples of potential KPIs. They explain that a B2B software-as-a-service company might be focused on cost per acquisition and churn, while a digital media or publishing company will likely focus on unique visitors and the number of time users spent on the site. Meanwhile, a retail store might concentrate on sales per square foot or customer satisfaction. A professional service may want to track bookings and effective billable rates.
In order to track KPIs well, you need to utilize the proper tools and methods. You can use either something simple like Excel to build a summary report from your metrics or we recommend taking advantage of KPI monitoring or data visualization software.
These tools can help you create a KPI dashboard where you keep track of your lead conversions, returning visitors, brand awareness, purchase funnels, etc. This data should be pulled from various sources like Google Analytics, Facebook, Quickbooks, and more.
Building a KPI report and dashboard helps you effectively and efficiently monitor business metrics in real-time. Reports and dashboards are crucial tools because they allow you to get an unbiased, concrete view of your company’s performance in one place.
There are many software and program options out there that give you access to a dashboard and help you track KPIs. We highly recommend using HubSpot, which allows you to monitor performance metrics in a user-friendly way.
Tracking your KPIs consistently is one of the first ways you can upgrade your marketing strategy. It’s all about consistency when measuring your KPIs. Whether it occurs weekly or monthly doesn’t matter as much as the action of the routine measuring.
Detailed reports on the various metrics that contribute to your revenue put everything into perspective. Concrete numbers and specific percentages that help you see the bottom line. The reports and subsequent reflection allow you to take a step back and look closer at areas where you’re doing well and also nail down potential opportunities for your business to improve.
6. Step back to assess what is working (or not working).
One of the many benefits of digital marketing is that it’s fast and easy. This allows you to step back often and assess what is or isn’t working.
An important factor in social media marketing is that you need to be open to adapting your strategy if necessary. It’s easy to pivot within the social media marketing world. That is one of the joys of digital creation: its fast-paced nature makes evolving and switching things up less of a hassle or headache than traditional, old-school marketing methods.
Play around with various ideas and plans. You can easily launch a social media campaign and then shut it down later if the channel or content doesn’t appeal to your audience.
Always keep best practices in mind. Approach any free content services (like social media) the same way you would if you were paying for the service.
Don’t be afraid to try new things. Not everything will work, but that’s okay! Strategies, ideas, and concepts don’t always pan out, but it’s worth a try. Just make sure you take the time to learn from mistakes and missteps so you continue improving.
The best digital marketing strategies are often the unexpected ones that go outside of normal conventions. Depending on your brand’s goals, you can find success in various realms. Explore marketing videos, new social platforms, apps, and more.
There’s no black-and-white right or wrong when it comes to digital marketing. A little bit of trial and error might seem scary at first, but it’s a low-risk game. Social media tools allow you to explore a variety of avenues without wasting resources.
If it turns out something isn’t working, there is no harm in pivoting in a different direction and trying something new. Just make sure you’re always staying true to your brand, values, and mission.
Check out our article on Digital Marketing Tips for Businesses.
One final thought: consider marketing outsourcing
If you feel overwhelmed or in over your head after learning more about social media marketing, there’s no need to panic.
Whenever you’re ready to take your brand to the next level, consider outsourcing your marketing to Social Link.
There are so many great reasons for outsourcing your marketing department.
When you streamline your marketing and sales processes through outsourcing, you’re ensuring a successful future for your organization.
By outsourcing your marketing services, you free up valuable time to focus on the other important aspects of running a business.
Leave the nitty-gritty marketing work to us. Work with Social Link and you will have more freedom to do what you do best, whether that’s product development, financials, or account management.
We’re here for your marketing needs.
Social Link is ready for any challenge. Let us take the social media marketing reins for you.
As an industry leader, our marketing team is here as creators, strategists, and distributors to take your business and brand to new heights.
Whether we’re retargeting website users, growing your customer base, increasing your ROI, or crafting compelling marketing copy, Social Link’s marketing experts will get the job done.
Who we are.
Social Link is a virtual marketing agency that expertly and efficiently streamlines digital marketing efforts. We set up full-funnel sales and marketing tools that attract, nurture, convert, and delight your customers. Our proven, practiced solutions and methods come highly recommended.
We define the outcomes, the offerings, the customer, and the message through strategic planning and management. You’ll get a seamless campaign experience with unified messages for your customers.