A Newbie’s Guide to Creating a Social Media Strategy

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By Boris Dzhingarov

Social media has changed how we connect, consume content, and communicate. Importantly, it has become an integral part of modern marketing. The biggest brands, universities, nonprofits, and local retailers now use social media to reach new audiences, amplify their messaging, increase brand awareness, and boost sales. Done right, it can set you apart from your competitors and drive excellent results.

Creating a social media strategy can seem daunting for newbies who might be overwhelmed by everything it entails. We have put this guide together to walk you through everything you need to know when engaging in this crucial exercise.

What is Social Media Marketing?

It is the use of social media platforms like Instagram, X, Facebook, and TikTok to promote your brand, services, and products. It is also a way for businesses to engage directly with their current customers, potential clients, and new audiences.

At its core, it entails finding the right social media platform for your business and audience and creating and distributing content that engages and provides value.

Let’s look at how you can create a social media marketing strategy that drives the results you want to see.

Set Goals That Align with Your Business or Brand

Building a marketing strategy starts with outlining your goals. These will vary depending on the business and what you want to achieve. What are the most common social media marketing goals?

Increasing Brand Awareness

Businesses use social media platforms to get people to know about them and their products and services. Over two-thirds of social media users say they follow businesses they like to learn about their new products and services.

Generate Leads and Sales

Your goal might be to generate leads that you can market to later. Customers will not know about your products and services unless you alert them, and you can only do this if there are leads in your sales funnel.

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Grow an Audience or Following

Growing your business entails reaching people who might not know about your brand and introducing it to them. Growing an audience also allows you to know what is happening in the industry so you can leverage it.

Drive Traffic

Social media is also excellent at helping you drive traffic to a website or landing page. You can do this through organic or paid social media marketing, but the aim is always to get more people to visit your website so you can try to get them to convert or into your sales funnel.

Research and Define Your Target Audience

Marketers never assume anything, and neither should you. Instead, they use data that provides them with valuable insights that they use to make crucial decisions.

Even though you might already have data about your customers you collected when starting your business, it is important to do additional research to understand who to target on social media.

Choose the Right Social Media Platforms

Understanding your target audience or ideal customers will also help you choose the social media platforms to use. Since there are more than 15 social media platforms you could target, you should be wary of spreading yourself too thin. Think of the ones that would work best for you and leverage those to start. Once you have more traction and marketing bandwidth, you can target others.

Here is some key information to consider when choosing a social media platform:

  • Over 60% of Pinterest’s users are women, with most of its users being Gen Z and millennials.
  • Instagram has over 3 billion active users and is the best social media marketing strategy that relies heavily on images and videos.
  • X has over 500 million monthly users.
  • LinkedIn is best for niche-specific marketing, especially for those targeting B2B customers.
  • TikTok helps businesses create a better direct relationship with their audiences.
  • YouTube is the largest search engine behind Google and is, therefore, excellent for product or service discoverability and visibility.
  • Facebook works best for physical businesses looking to target local audiences. Its ad targeting is also much better than the ones on other platforms.
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Determine Your Most Important Metrics

Social media platforms and other tools used for this type of marketing can provide you with a lot of data. While having it is great, you should only be concerned with the data that affects your goals and objectives. The key metrics to focus on include:

  • Reach – How many people saw your content?
  • Clicks – How many people clicked on your content or the link(s) it contained?
  • Engagement – The number of social media interactions divided by your impressions (the number of people who saw your content). These metrics help you understand whether people perceive you positively and are engaging with your content when they see it.
  • Organic and paid likes – If you use ads, you should know how many likes or engagements come from paid or organic social media.
  • Hashtag performance – How many people see your hashtags and interact with them? How many use it in their content? Which hashtags do people associate with your business?
  • Video views – If you use video in your marketing, you should know how many people watched it.

Other metrics to track include follower counts and growth, reply time, brand mentions, and conversion rates.

Define Your Brand Voice and Tone

Before creating any content or posting anything, determine your brand voice and tone. These determine how you want to sound and be perceived on social media. Your marketing team might have already created both, so leverage them to make things easier.

Complete Your Profiles

Since you have already chosen the social media platforms you want to use, sign up and complete your profiles. Ensure it is optimized and resonates with your audience because this is one of the first things they will see when they interact with your brand.

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Consider doing keyword research to find words and phrases that make it easier for your customers and audience to find your profiles.

Develop Your Content Strategy and a Content Calendar

Your content strategy will entail the types of content you want to create, keeping your goals, audience, and the platform (s) you are posting to in mind. The content might include videos, polls, memes, textual content, educational videos, or other types your audience will find useful.

A content calendar defines the what, where, and when of how you post content. You can experiment with different posting times and content until you find a rhythm that works for you.

Creating a social media strategy gives you everything you need to use different platforms to promote and grow your business, products, and services. The steps above will get you started, and you can then look into other aspects of social media marketing, such as tracking your performance and tweaking different aspects of your strategy.