The Complete Guide to Social Media Marketing

There’s more to social media marketing than posting on Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) a few times a day. If you want to build your brand, engage your prospects, improve your SEO, and increase sales, it takes time and work.

A comprehensive social media strategy will help, too. But what is social media marketing, and where do you begin?

In this guide, I’ll break social media marketing down for all you beginners out there. I’ll show you:

Social Media Marketing Key Points

  • Social media marketing is an important tool to build brand awareness, foster customer relationships, and generate leads.
  • There are several core parts to a social media marketing campaign:
    • Creating a strategy
    • Planning and publishing content
    • Listening and engaging with users
    • Investing in analytics
    • Advertising where appropriate
  • There are several important social media platforms:
    • Facebook
    • Instagram
    • X (formerly Twitter)
    • LinkedIn
    • Reddit
    • Snapchat
  • The best way to build a social media strategy is to focus on your target audience, your content, engagement, and social channels.
  • Investing in social media marketing tools is also important. These include management tools, social listening tools, and content creation tools.

Why You Should Have a Social Media Marketing Strategy

Very few brands avoid marketing on social media completely. That’s because developing a social media marketing strategy and building a few high-quality accounts has some pretty big benefits. 

Social media can significantly increase brand awareness, for one. There are 4.95 billion social media users — ​​61.4 percent of the world’s population. Just being part of the conversation (posting content that people can see, like, and share) can get your brand in front of hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of eyeballs. 

You can also use social media to build customer relationships and foster loyalty. Very few marketing platforms let you communicate individually with customers—but that’s exactly what you can do on Facebook, X (Twitter), and Instagram.

This kind of engagement is exactly what your consumers want. Research by Sprout Social shows 64 percent of consumers want brands to connect with them, and 70 percent of consumers feel more connected to brands when CEOs are active on social media.

Social media is a great platform for delivering customer service. In fact, around half of consumers who reach out to brands on social media have customer care concerns.

But you better have your act together if you’re using social media for this purpose. Over 65 percent of users expect brands to respond, regardless of whether they sent a private message or posted publicly. 

Finally, you can use social media to generate leads. Both organic and paid social media content can generate leads for your business. No wonder, companies are investing so heavily in social. In 2023, social media ad spending was approximately $270 billion. It is expected to exceed $300 billion in 2024.  

Core Pillars of Social Media Marketing

There’s no doubt about it: these days, your business needs to be on social media, and you should concentrate at least some of your marketing efforts (and budget) on your social media strategy.

With 4.95 billion people active on social media, there’s a whole world of potential customers that any business can access, simply by logging in and creating brilliant content.

There’s a reason that brands like Wendy’s, Glossier, and Ben & Jerry’s excel at social media: they integrate the core pillars of social media marketing.

There are five main pillars. Let’s talk through them one by one.

1. Strategy

A sound social media marketing strategy is the backbone of your social media presence. Without a strategy, you’ll waste time, won’t achieve your goals, and will struggle to reach your target audience.

In case you’re not sure, a social media strategy consists of getting the “Right content, to the right people, at the right time.” It helps you achieve your business goals by enabling you to:

  • create valuable content
  • drive engagement
  • increase conversions

A good social media marketing strategy contains clear goals, has a specific plan to reach those goals, and is measurable.

Finally, you need to set benchmarks to see how things are going and whether you need to change your approach.

2. Planning and Publish

Social media is a powerful tool, but you can’t just go out there and start publishing content without a plan behind it.

When you’re planning content make sure that you:

  • Know your audience: You need to know the demographic of your audience in order to connect with them.
  • Focus on quality: The quality of content is just as important as the quantity.
  • Consider your brand: Keeping in line with your brand values is crucial.

Make sure to publish your content marketing efforts on social media. In fact, 87 percent of content marketers share their content on social media platforms after publishing it.

And 81 percent of content marketers found an increase in traffic after spending just a few hours a week promoting content on social media.

When it comes to publishing, there is one golden rule: consistency. A regular publishing schedule keeps people coming back for more.

You should post to all of your social channels at least once a week. Some, like TikTok, should have an even higher publishing frequency. 

But when you publish is just as important. 

For example, a study of over 30,000 Instagram posts found that the best time to post for engagement is 11 a.m. on Wednesdays

3. Listening and Engagement

Don’t just publish content. Actually engage with your audience.

This can take shape in a variety of ways.

For example, you can use social media to help solve user problems.

Here’s Slack offering customer service via X:

Slack providing customer service over Twitter.

Or you can use it to thank users for their existing purchases and loyalty:

A tweet from McDonald's/

Social media is an incredibly diverse marketing tactic that allows you to engage in ways we’ve never seen before.

It’s personalized (just look at how McDonald’s called out John by name and referred to their “date”), and people love interacting with brands.

71 percent of people who interact with a brand on social media and have a good experience are likely to recommend that company to a friend.

So how do you provide the best community engagement and management to deliver the results you need?

  • Respond faster: 79 percent of customers expect a response to their social media posts within 24 hours while 39 percent of consumers expect a reply within 60 minutes.
  • Be genuine: Genuine responses that are personalized and thoughtful are the key to building community engagement and trust.
  • Follow through: It’s not uncommon for brands to state one thing publicly on social media, but then fail to follow through in the background. For example, offering a coupon code to an upset customer. So, say only what you mean and then be sure to follow through and follow up.

Your feedback might not always be positive, but if you don’t make changes, neither will the tone of your responses.

Listening and engagement are all part of a successful digital transformation, especially if you’re going to enhance the overall customer experience.

It’s also worth mentioning that social listening isn’t just about customer experience. It can allow you to:

  • Pick up on new trends
  • Identify new streams of income
  • Gain industry insights
  • Find influencers in your niche

Need some assistance to get started with social listening? Here are a handful of tools you can choose from:

4. Analytics

The success of any social media marketing campaign depends on analytics for tracking and collecting data. Without this information, you can’t:

  • Understand user behavior
  • Refine your strategy
  • Find which platform works best for your brand
  • Discover the best times to post
  • Analyze your competitors

Once you have all this information, you’ll know with certainty what works and what doesn’t. That way you can spend more time on tactics that work. In turn, analytics will inform the decisions that you make for future campaigns—and highly influence the success rate.

Similarly, A/B testing is great for determining what content, design, CTA, etc. work best. If you notice certain types of content receiving double the engagement than other posts, build on that.

For example, if you’re a small business, your followers are most likely going to be family and friends who will love the personal insight and celebratory posts because they care about you and your successes.

Producing high-quality content that your audience isn’t interested in will mean that engagement levels tank. You need to work on making sure your posts appear in people’s feeds before you start feeding through those insightful industry blogs.

5. Promotion

For anyone looking to build an audience, social media promotion is essential. With over 3 billion active monthly users on Facebook alone, that’s an incredible number of prospects.

The three main types of social media promotion are:

  • Organic: Content that picks up views naturally and you don’t pay for.
  • Paid: Content that an organization sponsors and, therefore, costs money to post.
  • Earned: Content that has been given freely in the form of shares, likes, and comments.

There are several ways you can promote your brand on social media. For example, you can:

  • Create content: This includes posts and videos.
  • Engage with people: Get active in groups related to your industry, interact with influencers in your industry, etc.
  • Grow a following: Get people in your industry to follow your brand by creating and sharing content that appeals to them.
  • Get downloads: Offer PDFs, white papers, PowerPoints, videos, podcasts, etc. on your social channels and profiles.

Another option is to run a contest. 

But how do you do it? How do you run a successful contest that generates a provable ROI?

Well, that’s what I am here to show you!

Just like any type of social media engagement, timing plays a critical role in contests and giveaways.

The best time to run a contest is in June or November, and the majority of giveaways run for less than seven days.

And these types of growth style promotions work:

Statistics showing the success of contests on Facebook.

On average, Facebook Pages can expect a 34 percent increase in new fans through a contest.

That’s huge. Growing your social following through contests and giveaways should be a big part of your social strategy.

Some of my favorite tools to use for giveaways and contests are Gleam and Kontest. Gleam is focused on giveaways, and Kontest is more geared towards contests (hence the name Kontest).

Social Media Platforms to Focus On

1. Facebook

Facebook is the biggest social media platform. That makes it a fantastic way to reach your audience organically or through paid ads.

Growing your presence organically on Facebook is becoming increasingly tough. But it’s still possible. 

The secret, as it is with any social network, is to regularly post high-quality content, engage with your audience, and use the platform’s functionality to the fullest. 

That means making use of features like Facebook Stories, Facebook Live, and Facebook Groups.

National Geographic is a great example of a brand that does Facebook brilliantly: 

If you’re still stuck, read my top 20 tips for increasing your organic reach on the platform. 

If you’re sick of Facebook’s underwhelming organic reach, maybe it’s time to try paid ads. And if you want to start advertising on Facebook, the first thing you need to know about is the Meta Business Suite tool.

You can think of this as a hub for managing your advertisements, pages, inboxes, and people.

It’s free and simple to use.

Simply go to the landing page for Meta for Business and create an account. You need to already have a Facebook account for it to let you in.

Additional Facebook Marketing Resources

2. YouTube

This social network has changed the way we consume video—making it faster and easier than ever before. It has spawned entire industries and kickstarted thousands of careers.

No wonder, almost 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every single day.

For marketers, it’s a great way to share long-form content with your audience, especially if they’re not avid readers. For example, you could turn your blog posts into video tutorials.

There is no limit to how long your videos can be, and people have published entire courses in the form of a single, three-hour video.

You can use other social media channels to drive your followers to YouTube by giving excerpts, snippets, and previews of your videos. The little, bite-sized teasers will spark curiosity and make people want to see the whole thing.

Here’s an example of me doing just that on X:

Finding the Right Keywords and Topics

Before you can start creating videos, you need to come up with some topic ideas. There are a couple of ways you can do this. 

Brainstorming them yourself is one obviously. Have a look at other YouTube channels in your space, see what kind of videos they are creating, and then put your own spin on them. 

If you’re serious about generating traffic, though, I’d take a slightly more scientific approach using keyword research tools. 

You can use an SEO tool like Ubersuggest to find search terms with high volumes that also have links to YouTube videos high in the rankings. 

The great thing about posting videos to YouTube is that it has such high authority in the eyes of Google (and is owned by them, too) that it ranks video results incredibly highly. That means you can rank for highly competitive terms that you otherwise wouldn’t have a chance of getting!

Alternatively, you can use a keyword research tool built specifically for YouTube like Answer the Public.

YouTube Video Ads

Like other social media platforms, you can use YouTube’s advertising platform to promote your company. 

Currently, there are several types of YouTube ads:

  • Skippable in-stream ads
  • Non-skippable in-stream ads
  • In-feed video ads
  • Bumper ads
  • Outstream ads
  • Masthead ads

Depending on the type of ad you choose to use, viewers will either be able to skip your ad after a few seconds or YouTube will make them watch the entire thing.

Naturally, different strategies will work for different businesses when marketing on YouTube.

Don’t be afraid to try different things. A/B test to see what works best and what doesn’t work at all. 

3. Instagram

Instagram has always been about images. But you can also release short or long-form videos in the form of Reels and share Instagram stories. Both formats do well for brands.

Tools like InVideo can help you create and edit professional videos that increase engagement and reach more people.

Social media marketing Instagram InVideo editor

But, if I were to start a new Instagram account from scratch, I’d focus on Reels. 

Reels are short-form videos (up to 90 seconds long) that are located in their own tab on the Instagram app.

I told you that short-form video was popular, and this is effectively Instagram’s response to TikTok. Just like with TikTok videos, Reels are a great way to showcase your brand’s creativity and increase your reach. In fact, Reels have the highest engagement rate of any media type on Instagram—14 percent reach rate compared to the average of 9-10 percent.

They are also incredibly easy to create. Everything can be done inside the Instagram app, including editing your video. 

The best part about Reels is that they are favored by the Instagram algorithm. That means Instagram is more likely to recommend your content to users who don’t follow your brand yet. In other words, you could rapidly grow your audience.  

But if you’re still not happy with your Reel’s organic reach, you can boost it using Instagram’s in-app advertising platform. 

Influencer Marketing on Instagram

If you want to use influencers to promote your product or service, there’s no better platform than Instagram. If there is one social media platform that represents the pinnacle of influencer marketing, it’s Instagram. 

The reason for that is difficult to understand.

Perhaps it’s because the platform is so visual. Or perhaps it’s because advertisement overloads haven’t yet annoyed the userbase. Or perhaps the influencers enjoy sporting their content more on Instagram than on Facebook or X.

Either way, 65 percent of brands participate in influencer marketing.

social media marketing influencer marketing

What’s more, 30 percent of marketers say Instagram delivers the best ROI when it comes to influencer marketing and 32 percent say it’s the easiest platform to work with influencers.  

Additional Instagram Marketing Resources

4. TikTok

TikTok, a Chinese video-sharing app, first launched in 2016. Unlike other social media apps with humble roots in basements or dorm rooms, the company is the result of two different apps merging. Today, the app has more than one billion active monthly users around the globe.

TikTok users share short video clips of themselves dancing, lip-syncing, or sharing thoughts about anything from politics to social justice matters. The app stands out due to the number of interactive features, such as filters, music, and editing capabilities that allow users to be incredibly creative.

Why consider marketing on this highly popular video app? While competition is no longer low, the ads are reasonably affordable.

TikTok ads start from $10 per CPM. Although you can take over an entire channel for $50,000. 

The platform is also a great place to get creative and try out fun strategies that might not work on more formal platforms like LinkedIn.

Are you considering diving into the world of marketing on TikTok? Here are a few ways to leverage the platform.

TikTok Marketing Videos

The most straightforward way to market on TikTok is by creating exciting content related to your brand.

Use a keyword research tool like Ubersuggest to find topics your audience cares about, and then create short, snappy videos for TikTok.

You could also use the fun style of TikTok to introduce your team members, show off your headquarters, or highlight the features of a new product. Consider using the platform’s interactive elements, such as polls, too.

Here’s a great example from Shopify of employees and users showcasing the Shopify Display. 


Shopify Display is back in stock 🔁 check out how some of our merchants are using our fully customizable Display. head over to our link in bio to get yours 📦 also, if you tag your store below, we may send you a lil’ somethin’ 😉 #shopifydisplay #shopifycounter #smallbusiness #smallbusinessowner #entrepreneurtok

♬ original sound – Shopify

If you want to improve your engagement rates, consider working with established TikTok influencers in your market. The average US influencers on TikTok have a 17.99 percent engagement rate, making influencers a powerful tool for brands.

To find influencers, use the search feature to look for hashtags related to your industry and look for users posting high-engagement content.

social media marketing tiktok

You can also use the Influencer Marketing Hub’s free influencer search tool. Just type in a topic of interest, and the tool will provide a list of up to 10 relevant influencers.

social media marketing tiktok influencers

TikTok Ads

TikTok gives brands six different options for paid ads:

  • Brand takeovers: Exclusive category takeovers that show up in users’ feeds, before any of the accounts they follow.
  • In-feed ads: The most organic ads that appear when users scroll on the app.
  • TopView ads: Similar to an in-feed ad but it’s the first video the user sees when they open the app. 
  • Spark ads: A type of in-feed ad but one that lets brands turn their own videos or their users’ videos into ads. 
  • Branded effects: Design and promote a filter, sticker, or lens related to your brand, similar to Snapchat’s sponsored lenses.
  • Hashtag challenges: TikTok is known for sending challenges viral. Hashtag challenges allow the brand to use banner ads to improve challenge visibility.

TikTok Marketing Resources

5. Snapchat

Snapchat has 406 million daily active users. The split between genders is narrowing (51 percent female, 48 percent male as of January 2023). And what about age? They’re young. In fact, 58.8 percent of users are aged between 13 and 24. 

Since all images and videos disappear after 10 seconds max, content on the platform is fleeting and short-lived.

Naturally, it makes sense to provide content around that same theme. For example, you could give your audience access to a live event. If you’re giving a talk at a conference, take a few snaps when you’re on stage and share them with your followers.

Let your audience behind the scenes. Show them the happy hour on Friday at the office, the IPO party, and even how you act when you’re alone at home.

You could show them your practice run of the speech, how you screwed up your makeup, or what a cool car picked you up from the airport.

Snapchat marketing is all about sharing those precious moments that we all have so few of in life, so make sure that you use it for just that.

Snapchat Marketing Resources

6. X (Twitter)

X is the 6th most popular social media platform in the world. It may not be as big as it once was, but it’s still incredibly significant. In April of 2023 alone, X had 6.4 billion visits

Just like Facebook, X is a great platform whether you want to promote your brand organically or through paid ads. 

Growing your account organically on X is a little harder than it used to be now that the platform has introduced subscription plans, but it’s definitely not impossible. 

The trick is to keep posting high-quality content and engaging with other users every single day. 

Posting visual content can work really well from my experience. I use cards to make my posts stand out on a text-based feed. Here’s a great example:

I also make sure people can find my tweets organically using hashtags. 

If you see my Tweets in the wild, you’ll notice I also regularly engage with my followers and other accounts. The more eyes I can get on my conversation, the more likely I am to gain new followers and the more likely those followers will be to click on my content and visit my website. 

Advertising on X

So how do you get started with X advertising? Here’s my easy three-step approach:

  1. Set your objectives such as increasing awareness or boosting conversion.
  2. Pick your ad type from Promoted Tweets, Trend Takeovers, or Promoted Accounts, just to name a few.
  3. Set up your campaign and track results.

Now perhaps you’re thinking, what about the cost of X ads? Like Facebook and Instagram, X has flexible ad costs that can fit into almost any budget.

Additional X Resources

7. Pinterest

Pinterest is the number one social media platform for marketers who want to target women. Over 75 percent of their monthly active users are female.

You can think of Pinterest as a giant digital scrapbook. Due to the nature of the pinboards, Pinterest is also one of the only platforms where images look best when you display them vertically. Keep in mind that your pics need special formatting to look good on Pinterest.

Since Pinterest allows users to market within whatever niche they like, influencers flock to the platform like hotcakes at IHOP. Since you’re a marketer within a specific niche, you can use those influencers to advertise your product to their existing audiences.

Growing your own audience takes a ton of time. And maybe, just maybe, you don’t have a ton of time. In that case, influencer marketing may be your answer.

Pinterest Ads and Buyable Pins

Of course, not everyone will want to go through the hassle of finding, talking with, and hiring influencers.

Some of you will simply want to run advertisements on the platform and get on with your lives. In that case, remember that the majority of people on Pinterest are women.

This benefits some brands and hurts others. However, despite that gender leaning, Pinterest is a remarkable platform for getting people to buy your products.

The best part is that the ads fit into the boards seamlessly, regardless of whether it’s a standard ad, carousel ad, or a shopping ad. 

If you have a product for women that’s highly visual and you don’t want to deal with influencers, then Pinterest ads are your solution.

Run them and see how it goes.

Pinterest Marketing Resources

8. Reddit

Reddit’s slogan claims that they are the “front page of the Internet,” and they aren’t very far off. It is the 18th most visited website in the world.

Reddit is a community-focused social network where users care deeply about their individual communities called Subreddits. In fact, Reddit’s users will ferociously attack you for spamming link bait or dumping promotional links on their boards (or subreddits).

But if Redditors like what they see, they can easily drive enough traffic to your site to crash it. You shouldn’t take a Reddit traffic storm lightly.

Two key factors that helped Reddit grow to such a massive platform are AMAs (Ask Me Anything) and their voting feature. Users can upvote and downvote entries, links, and comments. The most popular and helpful submissions always show up on top.

Reddit rewards (or punishes) accounts with karma, which they display separately for links and text posts.

This way, users don’t have to dig through tons of content before finding what’s good. They can see what’s popular straightaway.

The platform took off when celebrities started doing AMAs. During AMAs, celebrities hang around on the platform for a while and answer user questions live. People who have done AMA’s include Barack Obama, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tim Ferriss, David Copperfield, and even Bill Gates.

Reddit is tough to crack. 

You can’t use it as another distribution channel and just submit a link every time you publish something on your blog. You have to be present, communicate, and provide value to fellow Redditors without asking for anything first.

Submit funny and helpful links for a while just to build up your karma, and then refer back to your content. But only do so where it’s appropriate. And be sure to make the links a side note rather than the entire content of the post.

Reddit Ads

If you don’t want to try and grow an organic following on Reddit, then you can consider simply posting ads on the platform.

First, though, you’ll need to determine if Reddit is the right place for your advertisements.

As we already discussed, advertising gone wrong can hurt instead of help your business on Reddit, so make sure that you know what you’re getting yourself into first.

The platform’s audience is mostly men aged 18-29. So if that isn’t your target audience, you might want to advertise elsewhere.

If you’re going to run ads on the platform, then be ready to respond to some serious heat. But if you live through the heat, you could harness some serious potential.

Additional Reddit Marketing Resources

9. LinkedIn

LinkedIn’s growth never exploded as much as Facebook’s, but they’ve been around for over 20 years and have grown to over 1 billion members.

LinkedIn might be the professional social network, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t personal. Users want to learn from real people about things like industry trends and professional development. 

But don’t become too casual. A SlideShare about baking muffins won’t do nearly as well as an in-depth company presentation from a tech conference.

If your content helps people expand their networks or conduct business in a better way, it has a place on LinkedIn. If not, you might want to focus on other channels first.

If you’re familiar with Facebook Groups, then LinkedIn Groups shouldn’t be difficult to understand and navigate.

Just think of Facebook Groups but for businesspeople.

Basically, LinkedIn Groups are a place for like-minded professionals to gather and discuss topics of interest or establish their expertise.

You might want to consider joining one to establish your business as an expert on certain topics. It’s an easy strategy for making connections and growing your content marketing audience.

LinkedIn Advertising

As with all social media platforms, you can also use LinkedIn to run your advertisements.

And if your business falls into the B2B category, LinkedIn might just be the best place for your advertisements.

In fact, LinkedIn is one of the most effective social media platforms for B2B companies. LinkedIn is also one of the top platforms for lead generation.

Evidently, since people on LinkedIn are there to talk business, they also don’t mind interacting with businesses.

That means that your business can get some serious attention on the platform if you play your cards right.

Advertisements might just be the way you choose to do that.

Additional LinkedIn Resources

10. Quora

Quora is unique from other social media platforms as it’s strictly based on the questions and answers.

Now, you might think “People ask questions and get answers on Facebook and X all the time. Why use Quora?”

Two reasons:

  1. The answers on other sites are sometimes not answers at all, personal stories, and, far too often, just plain mean.
  2. People on Quora can establish authority without having to explain their qualifications over and over.

For instance, on Facebook, someone in a cat group may ask how to fix a mistake they made while cutting their own hair. While some folks may give kind, helpful responses, chances are they’ll also get a lot of rude answers about their “poor decision-making skills.”

While answers like that on Quora aren’t unheard of, the questions are more likely to be taken seriously and, at times, answered by true experts whose credentials are shown next to their names rather than hidden in their comments.

People have built entire platforms from answering questions on Quora, and some answers boast more than 1 million views.

social media marketing A quora user.

This platform centers around one thing: questions. You can get the most out of it by providing quality answers to popular questions that users have re-asked lots of times.

Thanks to the voting system, quality answers make it to the top. And, they usually stay there for a long time.

Try to give answers that will still be valid in a year or two or even five. Some of the most popular Quora answers came from years ago. Emberton’s answer above was written in 2014 and the number of views continues to grow!

You can double your benefit from Quora if you use it to come up with content. For example, you could write a blog post that gives a very detailed answer to a popular question.

Quora and Content Marketing

There are two ways to market yourself on Quora: Answering questions and creating ads.

Quora is a great place for establishing yourself as an expert on a certain topic, and you can do so by answering questions created by other users.

Some people have their credentials verified; others don’t. Profiles are only verified if a high number of people recognize the person or brand behind the account.

This doesn’t mean unverified profiles are lying, nor should being a smaller brand stop you from using Quora because you can’t be verified.

Heck, it’s not easy to become verified—the first-ever verified Quora profile was Barack Obama, and the rest on the first-round list to be verified were also household names.

social media marketing quora verified user Ashton Kutcher

Regardless of if you’re verified, once your profile is filled out, begin to answer your target market’s questions. Imagine, for instance, that you’re a digital marketer and you want to start establishing yourself as an expert in the digital world.

You can go to Quora and answer questions like these.

social media marketing quora example

Then, if your answer is remarkable, people may upvote it, making it a winner in the Quora SEO system.

Quora Marketing Resources

Tips to Grow and Engage your Audience on Social Media

Social media success begins with understanding your prospects and what they want from your brand. From there, you can create content that resonates with them based on their shared interests.

Such an approach helps you build a loyal fan base that spreads the word about your brand organically.

You can achieve this by:

  • Creating a social media strategy with a concrete goal in mind. Know why you are posting on social media and what you want to achieve by doing so.
  • Choosing the right social media channels for your company or industry.
  • Experimenting with different content types such as live video or GIFs.
  • Keeping track of current trends in your industry and adapting your marketing strategy accordingly. Don’t just copy what other companies are doing; great advertising campaigns integrate something new!
  • Holding contests and inviting user-generated content.
  • Sharing useful content.
  • Starting conversations and writing actionable content to inspire people to click through, read more, or even download your free brochure or mobile app.
  • Connecting with influencers.
  • Following your competitors and learning from them.
  • Using hashtags.

Remember not to ignore the basics. Above all: share great, original content, and get to know your followers’ wants and needs.

Provide them with the products or services that address their everyday problems, and you’ll soon see your social media marketing efforts take off.

How to Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy

A social media marketing strategy is critical for any business looking to get the most out of its online presence.

If you want to learn how to create a social media marketing strategy, focus on the following factors:

  • Target audience
  • Content
  • Engagement
  • Social channels

Many companies are trying to reach their target demographic through social media. This is a way to build a brand, increase customer loyalty, and generate word-of-mouth marketing.

There is no one right strategy for everyone. The first step is to find out where your target audience is hanging out on social media and what they are interested in. The next step is to figure out the best times of day or week for you to post on these platforms if you want maximum visibility and engagement with your content.

Finally, make sure you are consistent with your posts and don’t stop posting just because it feels like you aren’t getting any likes or comments, it will come!

Additionally, you should:

  • Set goals and work toward them.
  • Understand your audience and their individual wants and needs.
  • Decide reach metrics to track. These will depend on your aims. For example, if you’re looking for engagement, track impressions.
  • Create content that gets clicks. That means sharing inspiring content, news stories, answering questions, and posting at the optimum times.
  • Assess and update your strategy as needed.

Social Media Marketing Tools

Most businesses could benefit from a social media presence, but many business owners lack the time. The solution?

Social media tools.

These tools are an essential part of digital marketing, allowing users to measure the performance of their posts, create and publish content, engage with customers on social media, and much more.

These tools come in three main categories: social media management, social advertising, and content creation.

  • Social media management: These tools help you automate publishing on various platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Some of them also provide scheduling features. Popular tools include Agorapulse, Buffer, and SproutSocial.
  • Content creation and curation: These tools help you create content like videos, slideshows, or GIFs for Facebook and X in minutes. ContentStudio, Drum Up, and Content Gems are just some of the content creation tools out there.
  • Social advertising: This includes tools to create Facebook and X Ads that allow you to promote your content to specific audiences.

There’s also a host of all-in-one social media tools to help with everything from publishing and scheduling posts to monitoring and competitive analysis. These include Hootsuite or SocialPilot.

Additionally, there’s one extra player when it comes to social media marketing tools: people. 

If you’re doing research because you don’t have an in-house marketer (or you are one and you’re struggling), there’s no shame in getting help from an outside agency. 

Take my agency, NP Digital, for example. We recently generated 47,000 impressions on TikTok and over 2,000 engagements for a client in just 30 days. 

Social Media Marketing FAQs

What is social media marketing, and why is it important for businesses?

Social media marketing means marketing your brand on social media channels through organic, paid, and networking strategies. Social media can be a huge source of traffic for your business and deliver a significant ROI—regardless of whether you’re driving organic or paid traffic, or both.

How do I create a social media strategy?

Your strategy will depend on many factors, including your industry, your target audience, and your goals. To start, you should set your goals, learn everything you can about your audience, perform a social media audit, and then create and improve social media profiles on the platforms you have determined to be most important.

How do I know which social media channel to market on?

Determine your target audience, then find out which platforms that demographic spends the most time on.

For example, if you target millennials Instagram may be the best platform. Or, if you target Gen Z or even younger users, you’ll definitely want to be active on TikTok.

Which social media channel has the most users?

Facebook has the most users of any social media platform, with over 3 billion monthly active users in total.

What are some social media marketing blogs I can read to learn more?

Neil Patel, Search Engine Journal, and HubSpot Marketing Blog all publish updated content about social media marketing.

What are the major social media platforms commonly used for marketing purposes?

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, X (Twitter), LinkedIn, and YouTube are pivotal for marketing. 

Facebook and Instagram are ideal for broad audience reach and visual content. X excels in real-time engagement and trend monitoring. LinkedIn is the go-to for B2B marketing and professional networking. YouTube, with its vast user base, is essential for video marketing. 

Each platform offers unique features and audience demographics, making them collectively crucial for a comprehensive social media marketing strategy.

How do businesses measure the effectiveness of their social media marketing efforts?

Businesses assess their social media marketing effectiveness through metrics like engagement rates (likes, comments, shares), follower growth, website traffic referrals, and conversion rates. 

Tools like Google Analytics track website visits from social platforms. Social media analytics provide insights into audience demographics and behavior. Monitoring these metrics over time helps businesses understand their audience better, refine their strategies, and see the return on investment (ROI) of their social media efforts.

How do paid advertising and sponsored content fit into social media marketing?

Paid advertising and sponsored content are integral to social media marketing. Paid ads, offered by platforms like Facebook and Instagram, allow businesses to target specific demographics, increasing the reach and visibility of their content. 

Sponsored content, involving partnerships with influencers or other brands, leverages the existing audience and credibility of the partner for brand promotion. Both strategies complement organic growth efforts, helping to reach a wider audience, drive traffic, and increase brand awareness.

What are the best practices for building and engaging an audience on social media?

Effective audience building and engagement on social media involve consistent posting, quality content creation, active engagement with followers, and understanding the audience’s preferences. 

Collaborating with influencers can also expand audience reach. Overall, authenticity and a clear brand voice are key to attracting and maintaining a loyal social media following.


Hopefully, you now have a good idea of why social media marketing is so important, how to grow your following through a strategy of posting high-quality content and engaging with your audience, and why you need to tailor your efforts to each campaign. 

You should also understand how to leverage the latest social media trends and which platforms are the most important to use. 

So what next?

Figure out where your target audience is and get active on that platform with your best advertising and content marketing strategies.

You now know how each platform got to where it’s at, what the context of each channel suggests that you do, and you know how to come up with good content for each of them.

Will you change your social media branding strategy?


Neil Patel