Research indicates that there are approx. 4.48 billion people across the world using social media, as of 2022 (Backlinko). These platforms are therefore fundamental to building successful relationships between your brand and your audience. In this post, we show you how to create a social media marketing strategy.
This plan will define what social media marketing means. Furthermore, you’ll see how to reach your target audience and increase engagement with your brand.
We provide actionable tips and insights to help you create content and campaigns that will drive meaningful results. Let’s maximize your social media presence and build a thriving community.
What is social media marketing?
Social media marketing can take many different forms, including:
- Creating and sharing original content such as blog posts, videos, and images.
- Engaging with customers and followers through comments, direct messages, and social media groups.
- Influencer marketing, where you can partner with social media influencers to promote their products or services.
- Analyzing data and insights to optimize social media performance and drive better results.
In addition to creating and sharing content, social media marketing may involve the use of paid advertising and running targeted campaigns to reach specific and wider audiences.
Subsequently, paid social media advertising allows you to pinpoint particular audiences based on demographics, interests, and behaviors relating to your business needs. It can be an effective way to drive conversions as well as achieve specific marketing and business goals.
Is a social media marketing strategy different from digital marketing?
Yes, social media marketing is a subset of digital marketing. Digital marketing encompasses a range of online marketing activities to promote products or services. These channels include search engines, websites, email, mobile apps, and social media.
While social media marketing is a crucial component of digital marketing, it is not the only one. Other digital marketing strategies may include search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, content marketing, email marketing, mobile marketing, and more.
Social media marketing though specifically focuses on using social media platforms to promote a brand, product, or service. It can also be used to reach your target audience where they are interacting.
Ultimately, your business should aim to develop a comprehensive digital marketing strategy that incorporates multiple channels and tactics, including social media.
How does social media play an important role within Digital Marketing?
Social media plays a crucial role in digital marketing because it offers a variety of powerful tools for your business to reach and engage with their target audience.
Therefore, there are a number of ways that social media is important for digital marketing:
- Increased Brand Awareness:
- Social media platforms offer businesses the opportunity to reach a vast audience of potential customers.
- By creating and sharing engaging content, businesses can increase brand awareness and attract new customers to their website or physical location.
- Customer Engagement:
- Social media allows businesses to engage with their customers directly and build strong relationships with them.
- Businesses can use social media to answer questions, respond to feedback, and provide customer support.
- Targeted Advertising:
- These platforms offer businesses the ability to target specific audiences with their advertising.
- This means that businesses can ensure their ads are seen by people who are most likely to be interested in their products or services, increasing the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns.
- Influencer Marketing:
- Social media influencers have large and engaged followings, and businesses can leverage their influence to promote their products or services.
- Influencer marketing can help businesses to reach new audiences, build credibility, and drive sales.
- Analytics and Insights:
- Social media platforms offer a wealth of data and insights that businesses can use to measure the effectiveness of their marketing efforts.
- Businesses can analyze engagement rates, click-through rates, and other metrics to optimize their social media performance and drive better results.
Overall, social media is an essential component of digital marketing as it offers a range of powerful tools and strategies. Consequently, this gives you specific opportunities to connect with your audience, build brand awareness, and achieve your marketing objectives.
Is social media marketing strategy still effective?
Yes, social media marketing can be highly effective when done correctly.
Here are some reasons why:
- Social media platforms have billions of active users, making it an effective way to reach a large audience.
- By creating engaging and shareable content, businesses can increase their reach and visibility.
- Social media platforms allow businesses to target their audience based on various criteria, such as location, demographics, interests, and behaviors.
- This makes it easier to reach the right audience with the right message.
- Platforms allow for two-way communication between businesses and their audience.
- This enables businesses to engage with their customers and build relationships, which can lead to increased loyalty and advocacy.
- Social media marketing can be more cost-effective than traditional advertising methods, such as TV or print ads.
- With the ability to target specific audiences and track results, businesses can optimize their social media campaigns for maximum ROI.
- Data and insights:
- Social media platforms provide businesses with valuable data and insights on their audience’s behavior, preferences, and engagement.
- This information can be used to improve future campaigns and make data-driven decisions.
However, it’s important to note that social media marketing requires a well-planned strategy, consistent execution, and ongoing optimization to be effective. Thus, it’s not a one-time effort but rather an ongoing process. Continuous improvement and adaptation to the changing landscape is key.
What are the goals of a social media strategy?
The main objective of social media marketing is to:
- Engage with audiences.
- Build relationships.
- Promote brand awareness.
- Generate leads.
- Drive traffic and conversions.
- Increase sales.
Using social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others, involves creating and sharing content, captivating followers, and analyzing data to optimize results for achieving these goals.
What are the most popular social media platforms?
While it is worth understanding what platforms are most popular, it is more important to make your decision based on your own target audience, marketing goals and the type of content that you intend to share.
The chart below however will give you an indication of the number of users on each respective channel.
Key Features of Social Media Platforms
Here’s a brief overview of some of the most popular social media platforms and their key features:
- This is the largest social media platform, boasting over 2.7 billion monthly active users each month.
- It’s ideal for businesses that want to target a wide range of audiences and share different types of content, including text, photos, videos, and live streams.
- As a more visual platform, Instagram has over 1 billion monthly active users.
- This is perfect when you want to showcase your products and services through high-quality images and videos.
- When you need to engage with your audience in real time, Twitter is a great optionn.
- There are more than 330 million monthly active users and the opportunity to share news, updates, and quick thoughts.
- Widely established as a professional networking site, LinkedIn has attracted over 740 million members.
- Ideal for B2B marketing and establishing thought leadership in your industry.
- Video sharing is the content emphasis of YouTube whether it’s educational, entertaining or promotional.
- Over 2 billion users are active here, on a monthly basis.
- Most popular with a younger audience, this is primarily a short-form video platform.
- With over 1 billion monthly active users, it’s ideal for showcasing creativity and creating viral content.
- Pinterest is a visual discovery platform that’s great for businesses in the fashion, food, and lifestyle industries.
- Visually appealing content like infographics, recipes, and DIY tutorials are best received here, to the 400 million+ monthly active users.
Ultimately, the best social media platform for your business depends on your marketing goals, target audience, and type of content you want to share. It’s important to choose the platform that aligns with your business and audience.
6 Key Steps to Developing Your Social Media Marketing Strategy
By following these six steps below, you can create a social media marketing strategy. This will help you effectively reach your target audience and achieve your marketing goals.
Here are the steps we recommend:
- Set goals:
- Begin by determining what you want to achieve with your social media marketing efforts.
- Do you want to increase brand awareness, generate leads, drive sales, or promote engagement?
- Your goals will guide your strategy and help you measure success.
- Identify your target audience:
- Understand who your target audience is and what platforms they use.
- This will help you tailor your messaging and choose the right channels to reach them.
- Choose your platforms:
- Consider the social media platforms that align with your goals and audience.
- Focus on the platforms where your target audience is most active and engaged.
- Develop your content strategy:
- Create a social media content calendar that aligns with your goals and the interests of your audience.
- Research the best times to post on each social media platform to maximize engagement and reach. Consider factors such as time zone, work hours, and peak usage times.
- Plan for a mix of promotional and engaging types of content that add value to your followers.
- Implement your strategy:
- Put your plan into action by posting regularly, engaging with your audience, and analyzing your results.
- Adjust your approach based on what’s working and what’s not.
- Measure success:
- Track and analyze your social media metrics to see how your efforts are impacting your goals.
- Use this data to refine your strategy and improve results over time.
Remember, social media marketing is an ongoing process, and it takes time to build a following and see results. Be patient, persistent, and adaptive in your approach.
What are the best social media marketing tools?
There are many social media marketing tools available that can help businesses to manage their social media accounts, track performance, and optimize their marketing efforts.
Here are five popular social media marketing tools:
- A social media management platform that allows you to manage and schedule your social media content. This can be done across multiple platforms and from a single dashboard.
- Social listening and analytics features help to track performance and identify opportunities for improvement.
- This is a social media scheduling and publishing tool that allows you to schedule and publish your social media content at optimal times for maximum engagement.
- In addition, there are analytics and reporting features to track performance and measure ROI.
- As a graphic design tool, Canva makes it easy for you to create professional-quality graphics and visual content for your social media accounts.
- Furthermore, there are a wide range of templates, graphics, and design elements, as well as easy-to-use tools for customizing and editing designs.
- Using BuzzSumo as a social media analytics tool helps to identify popular content and influencers in your industry.
- Hence, you can track performance and engagement metrics for your own and competitors’ content.
- Sprout Social:
- Another social media management and analytics tool is Sprout Social. You can avail of features like scheduling, publishing, monitoring, and reporting.
- There are also advanced analytics. This includes sentiment analysis and trend tracking, to help with data-driven decisions.
By using these social media marketing tools, you can save time, improve performance, and optimize your efforts to achieve what you set out to do.
Social Media Marketing Strategy Template
Here is an example template that you can use to develop your social media marketing strategy, if you’re in the fitness and health industry:
- Increase brand awareness and engagement on social media platforms.
- Target audience:
- Young adults aged 18-35 who are interested in health and wellness.
- Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
- Content strategy:
- Create a mix of promotional and engaging content, including:
- Educational posts about health and wellness topics.
- Inspirational quotes and motivational messages.
- Behind-the-scenes looks at your products and team.
- User-generated content from customers using your products.
- Promotions and discounts for your products.
- Create a mix of promotional and engaging content, including:
- Advertising strategy:
- Run targeted ads on Instagram and Facebook to reach our target audience with relevant content and promotions.
- Track engagement rates.
- Follower growth.
- Website traffic.
- Sales to measure the effectiveness of your social media marketing efforts.
- Roll out new content and ads weekly, with ongoing analysis and optimization based on results.
Overall, our social media marketing strategy aims to connect with our target audience, provide value through educational and engaging content, and promote our brand and products through targeted advertising.