Social Media Marketing Guide

Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing Guide
Article by Bisera Stankovska
Last Updated: April 07, 2023

Whether you're just starting out or looking to take your business to the next level, understanding social media marketing is essential for success.

With the right social media marketing strategy, you can harness the power of social media to build your brand, engage with customers, and drive sales.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the ins and outs of social media marketing and how you can unlock the full potential of this game-changing marketing strategy.

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What Is Social Media Marketing? 

Social media marketing (SMM) is a form of communication and promotion between companies and consumers through various social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Snapchat, and numerous others.  

  1. Social media advertising includes paying for ads on social media platforms. These ads reach people who are interested in your product or service to begin with, helping you tap into a targeted customer pool. 
  2. Social media advocacy is the process of building relationships with other businesses or passionate consumers to have them promote your brand through their social networks. 
  3. Social media content creation is the basis of any social media strategy. Having a solid social media content strategy ensures you have enough materials to promote your products or services online. By sharing posts, comments, photos, and videos, you can quickly draw traffic and engage potential consumers.  

Social networks offer a great way for businesses to interact with their customers in real-time and build relationships. If you have the customers on your side, you can increase brand awareness and boost sales and customer loyalty.  

How To Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy 

Figuring out how to make a social media marketing plan is easy when you consider the following: 

  1. Know Your Brand and Medium
  2. Be Consistent
  3. Craft Engaging and Interesting Content
  4. Boost Your Engagement
  5. Track and Analyze Metrics

1. Know Your Brand and Medium 

Crafting the perfect social media strategy for each platform requires a systematic approach and careful consideration.

Key components of success include knowing your target audience, brand message, and the type of content to produce.

Ask critical questions such as "Why am I using this platform?" and "What works best on this channel?" to create effective, targeted content that resonates with viewers.

2. Be Consistent

Consistency is key to a successful social media strategy. Don't just stick to a regular posting schedule. Instead, create a content calendar where you can see the whole plan to keep your brand message consistent.

Focus on one to two platforms to make a greater impact, quality always trumps quantity.

3. Craft Engaging and Interesting Content

In the crowded digital space, your content needs to stand out.

Good content is a mix of relevant, interesting stories with engaging media like images, GIFs, and videos.

Don't forget to showcase your staff members, too. It adds a personal touch to your brand and increases interest levels.

[Source: Marketing Mind]

4. Boost Your Engagement

Engage your followers to build a community. Like their comments, go live and get personal, and create appealing content.

Polls and quizzes can also help you connect with your audience.

5. Track and Analyze Metrics

Explore social media analytics to keep your online presence strong. Business accounts offer built-in tracking metrics that help measure performance and assess strategies to make a social media marketing plan

Analyzing this data will help you forge a strategy that works and adapts to the changing market.

Bonus Tips for Effective Social Media Marketing Campaigns

[Source: Kickstarter]

You can boost your social media marketing by:

  • Using Chatbots
  • Creating a Personalized Experience for Customers
  • Crafting an Efficient Content Marketing Strategy
  • Building an Audience Community
  • Adopting a Diverse Content Strategy
  • Leveraging Brand Advocates
  • Creating Profiles on the Relevant Channels
  • Establishing a Social Media Budget
  • Running Cross-Channel Campaigns
  • Going Live to Tell a Story

The Most Popular Social Media Platforms for Business 

Get to know the most popular social networks based on what they're best for and their number of monthly users:

PlatformBest ForNumber of Monthly Users (2023)
FacebookReaching the widest audiences2.96 billion
YouTubeVideo content to educate audiences2.68 billion
InstagramFashion, travel, and food industries2.35 billion
TikTokAppealing to younger customers1.53 billion
LinkedInFor B2B connections900 million
PinterestHigher-value conversions in eCommerce450 million
RedditCommunity-building430 million
SnapchatPromoting impulsive purchases363 million
TwitterHighest ROI for ads330 million

1. Facebook  

Facebook, with 2.96 billion monthly active users, is the world's most popular social media platform.

Despite the emerging competition, people still spend 33 minutes daily on Facebook, connecting with friends, sharing content, and keeping up-to-date. 

But Facebook offers more than just personal use. It's also a powerful marketing platform, especially for businesses with tight budgets. Facebook groups and Marketplace are free options to promote products and reach a potential audience of 562.1 million people.

Paid services such as Facebook ads, boosted content, or partnership campaigns are also available, with Facebook ads alone reaching 2.11 billion people.

2. YouTube  

YouTube is a video-sharing platform owned by Google and the second most visited website in the world. 

The platform has over 2.5 billion monthly active users who watch 1 billion hours of content each day. An average of 150,000 new videos are uploaded every minute, or 3.7 million new videos every day.  

YouTube is a great place to find entertaining content, learn new things, and keep up with your favorite celebrities and influencers. 

Even more so, YouTube is used by 55% of B2B social marketers and 55% of B2C marketers.  

Given the engaging video format, YouTube marketing works well for all age groups and demographics.  

As a user, you’re probably annoyed with all the ads that come with the free version.  

But, as a brand, this is a huge win for you!  

To start generating traffic from YouTube, consider: 

  • Cross-promoting your YouTube videos 
  • Investing in YouTube SEO  
  • Making playlists of your videos 
  • Including subtitles in multiple languages to reach a wider audience 

3. Instagram

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A post shared by DesignRush • B2B Marketplace (@designrushmag)

Instagram, owned by Facebook (now Meta), has over 2 billion monthly active users, making it the 5th most visited website and the 4th most used social media platform worldwide. In 2022, Instagram's ad revenue reached $43.2 billion, up slightly from 2021's $42.1 billion. (Source: Sprout Social)

It's also the second most downloaded app after TikTok. With Instagram, you can stay connected with loved ones, get inspired by creatives, and discover products and trends.

Instagram marketing strategies include:

  • Organic and paid content,
  • Influencer marketing,
  • Shopping tools.

Instagram has evolved from a photo-sharing app to a powerful platform that many brands leverage for business success. Learn how to tap into this potential in our complete Instagram marketing guide.

4. TikTok

TikTok social media marketing
[Source: Apple TikTok]

TikTok was the fastest-growing social network of 2022, and is a great platform for brand discovery among younger demographics. People of age between 20 and 29 make up 22.4% of TikTok user base, while those between 30 and 39 years of age make up 21.7% of all users.

In 2023, TikTok’s ad revenue is on course to rise 55% from the previous year, to $18.04 billion.

TikTok’s signature post format is short videos, void of any post-production polishing, which speaks to the younger demographic’s preference toward natural, real-life video content. Live videos are also playing an increasingly significant part in this platform’s pecking order of content types.

Some of the options for TikTok business marketing include:

  • Creating fun, organic-looking, short and engaging videos
  • Starting or taking part in hashtag challenges
  • Collaborating with TikTok influencers
  • Running TikTok ads

5. LinkedIn 

LinkedIn is a social networking platform geared toward professionals.  

The platform has 900 million members who use it to connect with colleagues, find jobs, and learn new skills.  

LinkedIn is a great place to network with other professionals, build your brand, and stay up-to-date on industry news. 

6. Pinterest 

Pinterest social media marketing
[Source: DesignRush Pinterest]

Pinterest is a unique social media platform for sharing product recommendations, recipes, and more.  

With 450 million active monthly users, it’s where the cool folks hang out.  

87% of people on Pinterest were influenced to buy a product after they saw a pin, making it a hot topic for eCommerce businesses.  

To use its marketing features to your advantage, you can upload pictures that link to the product page. You can also rely on the built-in shopping feature.  

7. Reddit 

Reddit social media marketing
[Source: Microsoft Reddit]

Reddit is a network of 430 million monthly users where people talk about everything under the sun.  

If you want to interact with your audience and boost your reach, this is the place to be.  

The best part about Reddit is that it can be used as a research tool to gain valuable insights into what your audience likes reading or buying and creating content or manufacturing products that meet their expectations.  

Of course, there are also advertising options you can make good use of.  

8. Snapchat 

Snapchat social media marketing
[Source: Nike Snapchat]

Snapchat is a photo and video-sharing app that enables users to send disappearing messages to their friends. 

The app has over 360 million monthly active users who share billions of photos and videos each day.  

Snapchat is a great way to stay in touch with friends, share spontaneous moments, and see the world through someone else’s eyes. 

It can be a valuable tool for businesses too, as it helps: 

  • Connect with younger audiences. It reaches 75% of millennials and Gen Z who spend over 30 minutes Snapchatting every day.  
  • Boost sales with 60% of active users on Snapchat making impulsive purchases
  • Boost user engagement with your brand. People on Snapchat can find your business in the Discover section. 
  • Showcase your personality. Snapchat is casual and fun and the folks there don’t care about perfectionism. They want to see your playful side.  

If you decide to create a Snapchat Business account, you can: 

  • Advertise through the Ads Manager 
  • Create content for certain age groups and target it to reach your desired audience 
  • Location-target your audience 

9. Twitter 

Twitter is a microblogging platform that enables users to share short messages called “tweets” with their followers.  

The platform has over 300 million monthly active users who share hundreds of millions of tweets each day.  

It also boasts a substantially higher ROI at 40% more than other popular channels, with an emphasis on video ads. 

Twitter is a great way to stay up-to-date on current events, connect with like-minded people, voice your opinion on the world’s hot topics, and of course, earn some extra credibility points for your business, promote it, and increase leads.  

Looking for the best social media marketing agencies?

The Power of Social Media Marketing 

The popularity of social media marketing is well-justified considering its business power.

  • According to GWI, 54% of Internet users rely on social media to research products
  • Consumers are 64% more likely to buy a product or service after watching a video on social networks
  • 71% of all sales professionals and 90% of top salespeople use social selling tools, as shared by OptinMonster
  • Forbes also shares that 78% of salespeople that rely on SMM outsell their competitors 
  • 98% of sales reps meet their quotas thanks to social selling 
  • Social selling accounts for 50% of the total revenue for 14 major industries 
  • As an advertising channel, social media performs better than paid search, with a 25% YoY growth rate

Benefits of Social Media Marketing 

Here are some of the most prominent benefits of social media marketing: 

  1. Improves Your Brand Presence
  2. Engages the Audience
  3. Promotes Customer Service
  4. Impacts Sales and Conversion Rates Positively
  5. Helps in Building Thought Leadership
  6. Enables Studying the Competition
  7. Improves Search Engine Result Page (SERP) Visibility
  8. Boosts Website Traffic

1. Improves Your Brand Presence

Social media marketing is an invaluable tool in ensuring your brand stands out from the crowd, with the potential to grow trust and loyalty among customers. Showcasing those behind the business - both employees and users of products - can create a sense of realness for consumers, 74% more important than in previous years, according to Sprout Social's research.  

Going beyond this and aligning values with meaningful action furthers credibility: take inspiration from brands who already practice what they preach, such as recent examples that support activism or philanthropy initiatives. 

2. Engages the Audience

Social media is the perfect platform for businesses to grow brand awareness, interact and engage with customers, share user-generated content, and provide feedback. It's also a great way to get direct customer perspective on products & services and hear what people say about your company in real-time. 

[Source: Brightfield Group]

There are different approaches that companies can take: from wholesomely responding positively or even having some fun at their competitors' expense - there's something for everyone. Social media allows brands an opportunity unlike any other traditional medium such as radio, TV, or print - it gives them a chance to express themselves authentically through conversation, which makes it all the more powerful. 

3. Promotes Customer Service

Social media has become an essential tool for engaging customers and building trust. Not only does it provide another platform to reach out, but responding promptly and thoughtfully to criticism can demonstrate your dedication to customer service - this resonates with other consumers observing the exchange.  

[Source: Groove HQ] 

Developing a successful strategy in handling social inquiries also ensures that individuals get routed directly to the support they need quickly; after all, users expect brands on their respective platforms will be able to assist them when needed. 

4. Impacts Sales and Conversion Rates Positively

Social media is a powerful tool for marketing your brand or product and can drive sales effectively. With most people spending almost two-and-a-half hours daily on social platforms, it's the perfect opportunity to reach potential customers with creative content designed to convert viewers into buyers. 

5. Helps in Building Thought Leadership

Social media gives your business a powerful platform - from LinkedIn to Twitter, Facebook, and beyond. Use this opportunity to become an influential presence in the online community and gain trust with customers.  

According to the Edelman Trust Barometer 2022 report, people are growing weary of governments and traditional news sources due to their divisive nature. In response, consumers now expect companies to take stances on relevant topics such as climate change (52%), economic inequality (49%), or workforce reskilling (46%). With social media at your fingertips, you have unprecedented opportunities for demonstrating authenticity towards society's most pressing issues while driving loyalty amongst customers. 

Receive proposals from top social media marketing agencies. It’s free.

6. Enables Studying the Competition

Gain an advantage over your competition by closely monitoring their social media posts. Learn from what works for them and use it to shape product positioning, capitalize on trends, or give the holiday season sales bump you've been looking for. 

With just a few clicks of your mouse, see exactly how many likes and shares each post is getting- giving quality insight into which strategies are successful in helping companies reach their goals. Add your unique flavor with creative adaptations to make those festive cups all yours in December. 

7. Improves Search Engine Result Page (SERP) Visibility

Maintaining the latest trends is essential for your brand's success. To maximize visibility, Google pulls information from social media websites like Instagram and Facebook into its search engine results — so that prospective customers can easily find you online.  

[Source: Nozzle]

Create content tailored to their needs while adding a unique twist! You can even make edits after posting if more relevant questions or keywords arise - plus, blogging adds an extra boost of engagement. It's time to get strategic with optimizing your presence across platforms – watch how fast leads turn into lifetime fans. 

8. Boosts Website Traffic

With a robust sales funnel, your brand can reach new audiences through social media and influence conversion. Share captivating content from your website or blog to draw readers each time you post — then drive further engagement through interactive conversations about what sets your company apart. 

Furthermore, leveraging e-commerce knowledge is critical for improving the user experience onsite - because it ultimately leads back to maximizing conversions. 

What Is SM Marketing: Key Takeaways

The definition of social media marketing is constantly being upgraded as businesses are starting to realize SMM’s potential.  

To come up with an effective social media marketing strategy, it's imperative to know your social media platforms to decide on a strategy that works for your business.

However, to truly understand and witness all the benefits of social media marketing, you also have to manage your social media efforts, whether you decide to do it on your own or outsourcing social media management is a better idea.

We’ll find qualified social media marketing agencies for your project, for free.

Social Media Marketing FAQs 

1. What is sticky content in SMM?

Sticky content is published on a website to get users to return to that particular website or hold their attention and get them to spend more extended periods on this site. 

2. What is viral marketing in social media marketing? 

Viral marketing is a type of promotion that depends on an audience to organically generate and push the message of a product or service.  

3. What are some examples of social media marketing strategies? 

Some examples of social media marketing strategies include:

  • Using Chatbots 
  • Creating a Personalized Experience for Customers 
  • Crafting an Efficient Content Marketing Strategy 
  • Building an Audience Community 
  • Adopting a Diverse Content Strategy 

4. What is earned media in social media marketing?

Earned media is coverage or promotion of your brand through organic means. It's a very effective form of content marketing. 

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