So you want to start a social media marketing campaign. Of course, you do! The average person spends nearly two hours (approximately 116 minutes) on social media every day.
That is a total of 5 years and four months over a lifetime – longer than the typical person spends in high school or college. Woah!
This makes social media a big piece of the puzzle of success for businesses and brands – and can be extremely profitable. However, many struggle to understand where to start, and it’s understandable. With countless platforms, posting methods and trends it can feel like you have endless options. We’ve created this handy social media marketing 101 guide to help you learn the basics.
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Graphic Via Adweek
Step One: What You Want to Accomplish With Social Media? Identify it.
How will you determine if a social media marketing campaign is successful if you don’t establish a goal? You can’t. Carefully consider the following goals social media can help you accomplish and chose which (it can be more than one!) align closely with your brand.
- Driving leads and sales
- Promoting events
- Announcing new products and business developments
- Establish expertise in your field
- Community and relationship building
- Brand awareness
- Website traffic
Step Two: How To Choose The Right Social Media Platforms
Now that you’ve determined what you want to accomplish it’s a little easier to choose which platforms to invest your resources into. The bad news: the complete list of social media platforms is so long we couldn’t possibly name them all! The good news: unless you are promoting a very niche brand you can focus on the platforms with the largest and most engaged audiences. Here are the platforms that have been around long enough that it’s safe to invest money into – and most businesses should consider joining:
Pages for brands on Facebook are extraordinary! You can set business hours, create events, utilize CTAs and even link other social media platforms. If you could only choose one social media platform to throw your energy into, it’s a safe bet to choose Facebook. Be sure to generate a great deal of discussion and share native content (including videos!). If you’re impatient and want quick growth you can give your posts a little extra help with Facebook’s ad system.
Twitter is best utilized to generate discussion. Don’t simply dump links to your website or blog – that isn’t effective. Create engagement by generating conversation with other users through thought-provoking content, polls and question-based posts to get more retweets and responses.
Posts you may like to read:
Instagram is the most visually-based platform and has some of the highest engagement rates out of all social platforms. To be successful on Instagram, use all the features that are available to you! Create stories with music, fun fonts and emojis, post regularly and utilize hashtags to help users find your content.
Posts you may like to read:
If you’re in a B2B industry, LinkedIn should be one of the first profiles you create. Whether you’d like to create new employees or promote your business, you’ll find LinkedIn extremely valuable.
Pinterest is interesting because users save content instead of immediately distributing it. It’s essentially a cross between a wish list and a mood board. Recipes, health and fitness tips and DIY are the hot topics on Pinterest – meaning there’s a good chance it’s not right for your business. Remember, don’t force yourself on a platform that isn’t a good fit.
Step Three: Create a Content Schedule
An effective social media content calendar lists the dates and times at which you will publish content on each channel. Following a consistent schedule permits you to effectively analyze the productivity and success of your campaign. If you continuously change the posting cadence you will not be able to effectively track analytics. Give each content calendar a month before making major adjustments. The content calendar is also a great spot to keep hashtags, photos, and links you’ll be using. If this sounds daunting to create, don’t worry! There are countless premade ones for you to choose from, such as Hubspot’s.
When planning your content calendar, we recommend following the rule of thirds:
- One-third of your social content promotes your business
- One-third shares ideas and stories from like-minded businesses
- One-third of your content specifically fosters interactions with your audience
Step Four: Create Audience Persona
It’s very easy to share all the right things on your social media platforms, but not effectively. Knowing who your audience is and how they want content presented to them is essential for success.
Try creating an audience persona! This allows you to think of your potential fans, followers, and customers as real people. Check out our persona checklist – we created it just for you!