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    How to use social media marketing for your business: The complete guide

    How to use social media marketing for your business: The complete guide

    Originally created as a channel for people to connect with their friends, relatives, and colleagues, social networks have evolved into powerful marke...

    Originally created as a channel for people to connect with their friends, relatives, and colleagues, social networks have evolved into powerful marketing tools. 

    Both large and small businesses should leverage the benefits of Social Media Marketing. In fact, 97% of Fortune 500 Companies rely on social media to grow their business and increase their online presence. 

    And there’s a good reason for it — consumers respond to these activities. Today, buyers actively use social media platforms to interact with brands:

    • 43% of customers use social media to discover new products, services, and brands
    • 42% of them use social media to learn about products, services, and brands
    • 36% of social media users ultimately purchase products or services

    So if your business doesn’t have a robust Social Media Marketing strategy, it’s likely that you’re missing out on major opportunities. It’s time to change that.

    Read this guide to learn more about Social Media Marketing, the benefits it can bring your business, and key steps you can take to grow your business via social media. 

    What is Social Media Marketing?

    Social Media Marketing (SMM) is a digital marketing strategy that uses social media apps and websites to reach growth goals.

    Social Media Marketing allows businesses to use popular social media platforms as well as more unconventional, niche sites and apps to: 

    • build a brand
    • establish their brand’s online presence
    • initiate two-way communication with their target audience
    • promote their business and the products or services they offer
    • drive traffic to their website
    • increase their sales 

    There are lots of different marketing strategies and activities that exist in the realm of Social Media Marketing.

    • Content Marketing or content creation on social media
    • Advertising on social media
    • Sponsorship
    • Influencer Marketing
    • Social media management and community management

    Business benefits of social media

    Social Media Marketing is one of the most popular marketing strategies adopted by businesses of all calibers worldwide. 

    In fact, over 91% of marketers do business on social media, and more than 96% of small business owners use social media as their primary marketing tool. 

    On top of that, according to a study by Buffer

    73% of marketers claim that their Social Media Marketing efforts have been “somewhat effective” or “very effective” for their business. 

    There’s a good reason for this — Social Media Marketing offers a plethora of benefits to the businesses that embrace it. Specifically, it can:

    • Help build brand awareness — Thanks to the vast user base of social media sites, you can get more eyes on your brand and spread the word about your business faster than without social media. Moreover, social media platforms are where online virality takes place — if you manage to play your cards right and hop on a trend at the right time, you can make your brand famous overnight. 
    • Increase the trustworthiness of your brand — During the consideration stage of the buyer journey, up to 54% of social browsers go to social media platforms to check out the social media pages of the company they’re looking to purchase from. According to research, customers are more likely to buy from brands that are active on social media. 
    • Help you stand out from the crowd — Social Media Marketing offers a wide range of creative, unconventional techniques and methodologies. You can mix and match them to create a unique experience for your customers, build your brand, and advantageously position yourself in the market. 
    • Improve customer experience with your brand — Many businesses use social media to provide their customers with stellar customer service, educate their audience about the benefits of their products and services, and share tips and tricks that will maximize the experience with their product offerings. 
    • Make it easier to learn more about your audience — Both Social Media Marketing analytics and Social Listening allows brands to tap into their target audience’s conversations, better understand what interests and worries their customers, and pick up on what resonates with them. 
    • Humanize your brand — Social Media Marketing removes the barrier between the brand and its target audience. In a way, it helps to put a face to the name and show customers that there are actual people behind the brand. 
    • Simplify communication with your target audience and foster brand loyalty — Social media acts as a platform for two-way communication between brands and their audience. People can interact with brands in real-time, engage with other customers, and become a part of the community that surrounds your business. 
    • Be a cost-effective way to grow your business — Social Media Marketing offers plenty of organic business growth opportunities. 
    • Help to drive sales — Finally, all these Social Media Marketing benefits help businesses to generate more sales and increase revenue. In fact, with social media platforms getting more and more commercialized, it’s becoming significantly easier to sell through social media sites directly. According to a study by BigCommerce, 30% of consumers buy directly through social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat.

    It’s obvious why so many businesses add Social Media Marketing to their digital marketing mix, despite the fact that it can be a rather complex and laborious process.

    Fundamentals of Social Media Marketing for business

    We’ve already established that Social Media Marketing is a great digital marketing tool to increase your brand’s online presence, differentiate your business from the competition, create a community around your brand, and, therefore, drive sales.

    We could spend hours discussing all the different opportunities Social Media Marketing creates for businesses, but probably seeing the numbers will do a better job at painting the big picture. 

    • There are currently 4.59 billion active social media users around the globe, which makes up roughly 58% of the world’s population. Considering the ever-growing mobile and internet accessibility, this number continues to grow daily.
    • The social media growth rate since 2015 is an average of 12.5% year-over-year. 
    • The most popular social media platform, Facebook, enjoys 2.94 billion monthly active users. 
    • 84% of US adults aged from 18 to 29, 81% of US adults aged from 30 to 49, 73% of US adults aged from 50 to 64, and 45% of US adults over the age of 65 are active social media users.
    • In the US, 54% of social media users are female, while the remaining 46% are male, compared with a global average of 45.6% for females, and 54.4% for males.
    • On average,  every social media user engages with 6.6 various social media platforms. 
    • People spend 2.5 hours a day on social media. 
    • 75% of internet users use social media to research products. 

    Judging from these stats, it’s safe to say that social media has taken over the world and is here to stay. So, if you want to grow your business online, you should start using Social Media Marketing today. 

    You can grow your business social media profile organically or with the help of paid advertisement and sponsorships. Regardless of what you choose — one of the options or the combination of both, — to succeed at Social Media Marketing, develop a robust Social Media Marketing strategy (analyse your target audience, your competition, pick the right platforms for your Social Media Marketing efforts, etc.), set up a business profile on your chosen platforms, create a content strategy, and analyze your performance.

    The VistaCreate team are Social Media Marketing experts, and we want to help you ace your brand’s Social Media Marketing with this ultimate guide. 

    Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about growing your business on social media, from choosing the right platform and setting up your business profile to creating content and analyzing the results.

    Steps to use Social Media Marketing to grow your business

    The whole Social Media Marketing journey can be broken down into 4 major steps: 

    1. Crystallize your social media strategy
    2. Set up your social media accounts
    3. Plan and create your content
    4. Learn and adapt so you can grow

    Now, let’s look at each of these steps in more detail. 

    1. How to build a successful Social Media Marketing strategy

    The first thing you need to understand when building a successful Social Media Marketing strategy is that SMM isn’t a standalone practice isolated from the rest of your marketing efforts. 

    Social Media Marketing is just a part of the equation. For SMM to be effective, it needs to be woven into your business’s broader marketing strategy

    ➡️ Read our complete guide to marketing strategy to learn more about how to create a marketing strategy that works for you. 

    Essentially, your Social Media Marketing strategy’s goals, objectives, and activities need to echo your marketing strategy — everything your business does in the social media realm needs to be on-brand and aligned with your business objectives.

    Start with setting clear goals 

    There’s no way for your brand to achieve success on social media if you don’t have a good understanding of what that success looks like. 

    Without setting clear goals and objectives, you don’t have a sense of direction and can’t measure the ROI of your Social Media Marketing activities. 

    So, instead of setting a vague bold objective like — 

    “Become the most popular brand on social media”

    You should formulate your goals in a more specific and measurable way:

    Increase engagement rate for Instagram Stories by 15% by the end of Q2 2023”

    On top of that, your Social Media Marketing goals must be aligned with your business objectives.

    Business objective

    Social Media Marketing goal

    Grow the brand

    Increase brand awareness on social media platforms — attract more followers. Increase the number of content shares across social media. Get more exposure by landing your content on Explore pages, etc.

    Increase brand loyalty and turn customers into brand advocates

    Increase engagement rates and encourage the audience to interact with your social media content — get more comments, likes, saves, and shares.

    Generate leads and drive sales

    Increase the number of conversions and boost social media traffic — encourage your social media audience to click on the links you share, have transactional interactions in the comments section or via Direct Messages, prompt email signups, etc.

    Reduce customer churn and increase customer lifetime value (LTV)

    Enhance customer experience and improve your customer journey using Social Media Marketing — decrease average response time, double down on User-Generated Content, improve social media sentiment, and more.

    Additonally, be sure you’re tracking the right metrics to know exactly what your progress toward your goals..

    Here are the 5 most common Social Media Marketing goals and potential metrics to measure them:

    1. Increase brand awareness Metrics: follower count, reach of your social media posts, mentions, and shares 
    2. Drive traffic to your website or blog Metrics: traffic from social media, social media share in the overall traffic, bounce rate of the social media traffic 
    3. Generate leads Metrics: contact information collected from social media, contest and giveaway participation rates, social media lead conversion rate 
    4. Increase brand engagement Metrics: likes, shares, comments, saves, mentions, and replies, plus the rate of total engagements over views.
    5. Build an online community around your brand Metrics: the number of conversations surrounding your brand, the number of followers your social media communities have, and the frequency of new community posts

    Once you’re done with your Social Media Marketing goals, it’s time to learn about your target audience.

    Get a solid understanding of your audience

    Understanding who you’re marketing to is critical for your Social Media Marketing success. At the end of the day, everything your brand does on social media should be directed at them. 

    Without knowing your audience, its demographics, behavioral peculiarities, needs, wants, and preferences, there’s a high chance you’ll make poor decisions and invest in something that won’t attract the right crowd. 

    So, the next thing you need to do is create an audience/buyer persona. Figure out the following things about your audience:

    • How old are they?
    • Where do they live?
    • What is their average income?
    • How do they prefer to consume content?
    • How do they prefer to interact with content?
    • How do they interact with brands?
    • Which social media platforms do they use? How do they use them?
    • What are their interests?
    • Who do they follow online? Who do they trust and who do they not trust?

    By getting to know your audience better, it’ll be easier for you to adjust your offer and provide them with something of interest to them. 

    But your audience isn’t the only group of people you should pay attention to when putting together your Social Media Marketing strategy.

    Research your competitors

    Because 91% of businesses engage in Social Media Marketing, it’s likely that your competitors have pages on social media platforms too. 

    Before you set up yours, you need to thoroughly research your competition and see how they do their Social Media Marketing. 

    Some things to consider:

    • Figure out which social media platforms your competitors use marketing. This will both help you understand which social media platforms are popular among your target audience and uncover opportunity gaps. 
    • Take note of the content types they share. 
    • See which types of content get lots of engagement and which don’t. 
    • Find out what your competitors focus on within their Social Media Marketing strategy.

    It’s essential that you identify your competitors’ Social Media Marketing strengths and weaknesses. By analyzing your competitors, you’ll gain a better understanding of the techniques that work, and you’ll be able to spot the approaches that aren’t effective for your target audience and better be avoided. Moreover, you can also notice patterns, trends, and potential opportunities that will help you stand out from the crowd and differentiate your brand on social media. 

    Finally, you need to decide on the right social media platform mix.

    Decide what SMM platforms are right for you

    The average social media user hops between 6.6 social media accounts. Does this mean that you — as a brand — should, too? 

    The truth is, there’s only so much you can do if you’re handling social media on your own. 

    Know that your business can shine on any social media platform if you put in a lot of work. However, in most cases narrowing down a few that fit well is the best option. 

    To choose the optimal social media platform mix for your business, consider the following factors: 

    • Who’s your target audience?
    • Which platform do they use the most?
    • What type of content will you make?
    • What are you promoting, a product or a service?
    • Which social media platforms do your competitors use for Social Media Marketing?

    If you already know who your target audience is and on which platforms they hang out the most, you have a great head start. There are also best practices based on where your interests lie and who you’re trying to attract as your potential customers. 

    🔥 VistaCreate Pro Tip: Don’t spread yourself too thin. Focus on 1-2 social media platforms.

    Here’s a  quick overview of what each platform has to offer and how they’re mostly used:

    Facebook

    Average age: 25-34

    Still the largest social platform among consumers 

    Mostly used for: building relationships and staying in touch

    Best for: Building brand loyalty 

    Downsides: Limited reach

    Instagram

    Average age: 25-34

    Large number of users are Generation Z and Millenials

    Mostly used for: generating leads for visually-driven businesses

    Best for: Lead generation 

    Downsides: type of content is mostly images and videos

    Twitter

    Average age: 30-49

    Ideal place to share content and drive discussions 

    Mostly used for: building awareness for the  brand

    Best for: PR

    Downsides: character count limitations

    Pinterest

    Average age: 30-49

    A product-focused and shopper-centric platform featuring aesthetics 

    Mostly used for: moodboards and inspiration

    Best for: lead generation (art, clothing, food businesses)  

    Downsides: narrow demographic

    LinkedIn

    Average age: 46-55

    Large network of high-earning B2B professionals as part of the demographic

    Mostly used for: job searches, contacts, and networking

    Best for: Business development and brand awareness

    Downsides: limited interactions

    TikTok

    Average age: 18-24

    Users are directly influenced by products they see on TikTok

    Mostly used for: fun and entertainment

    Best for: Building a community and brand loyalty

    Downsides: videos only

    Once you choose the right social media platforms for your business, it’s time to get down to business (pun intended). 

    2. How to set up your business social media

    Depending on the social media platforms that you chose for your Social Media Marketing activities, the business profile setup will differ. 

    Learn how to set up business accounts on different social media in our guides:

    ➡️ How to set up a Facebook business account
    ➡️ How to set up an Instagram business account
    ➡️ How to set up a Twitter business account
    ➡️ How to set up a TikTok business account
    ➡️ How to set up a Pinterest business account
    ➡️ How to set up a LinkedIn business account

    Business account tips for social media channels

    Although the process of setting up a business account differs from one social media platform to another, there are several best practices that are universal. 

    Let’s look at the most practical tips to give you a headstart on social media and help you get your business account noticed. 

    Make sure you choose an appropriate username

    Remember, on pretty much every social media, your username will be one of the first things the platform users see when they come across your publications. 

    So, you need to make sure you pick a recognizable, easy-to-recall username that’s representative of your business.

    A social media username should include your business name and be the same on all your platforms. This comes in handy when potential customers look up your business online. 

    🔥 VistaCreate Pro Tip: If the social media handle you want to use for your business account is taken, try other variations (like an abbreviation), add the word “brand” to it, or add a CTA. 

    Set your brand logo as your profile picture 

    Another profile element that’s visible pretty much everywhere — on the feed, in the comment section, on the For You Page, etc. — is your profile picture. For maximum brand recognition, you should set your brand logo as the profile picture. Just make sure it’s high quality and that you crop it right. 

    ➡️ Learn more about creating custom brand logos with Logomaker in our article. 

    Ensure your business profile is on-brand

    Many social media platforms provide businesses with an opportunity to further customize their page online and make it more recognizable. Don’t underestimate the power of a well-designed, branded header or cover image.

    Make sure you have as few empty fields as possible. Add links to your website, your blog, and other social media pages you run. Fill out your bio, add your tagline or slogan, etc. Just remember — everything you add to your social media profile has to be in line with your branding. Stick to your brand colors, brand fonts, and brand tone. 

    Optimize your business profile for search

    Make it easy for your audience to find you on social media. Add all the relevant keywords that describe your business. Boost visibility by adding industry-specific, niche-specific, or even company-specific hashtags to the description.

    For more platform-specific tips, make sure to check out our articles:

    ➡️ Facebook marketing for small businesses in 2022: The ultimate guide

    ➡️ The ultimate guide to LinkedIn marketing

    ➡️ Instagram marketing for small businesses in 2022: The essential guide

    ➡️ How to grow your business with Twitter

    ➡️ TikTok Marketing for small businesses in 2022

    ➡️ Pinterest for business: A 2022 guide

    3. How to create effective content for social media

    Setting up a business account on social media is only a start.

    In order to set your endeavor up for success, you need to fill your profile with content that convinces your audience that you’re the brand they need to (a) follow, and (b) buy from. 

    Crafting quality social media content is a tough game, but once you get the hang of it and develop a robust content strategy that balances all the right content types, you’ll see how fruitful it can be.

    Without further ado, let’s dive in! 

    Social media content tips 

    Although each platform has its own rules and trending formats, there are a few generic best practices that’ll help you create a strong content marketing strategy for your brand’s social media. 

    Find the right publishing cadence and commit to regular posting

    Your Social Media Marketing can only be successful if you approach it responsibly. One of the worst things you can do is publish content sporadically, without any set schedule. 

    There to avoid the negative consequences of people not seeing any of your content or maybe worse seeing it and getting annoyed by it, try t do the following: 

    1. Post regularly. Whenever a potential customer hops on your social media page and sees that you haven’t been active for a while, they assume you went out of business and instantly look for alternatives from competitors. 
    2. Take posting breaks in needed, but keep them short. When a person follows you, they expect a steady stream of new content. If you fail to deliver on that promise, they can eventually become disinterested in you. 
    3. Keep your post frequency in check. Keep your poist frequency in the goldilocks, “just right” zone. If you share way too many posts, you can quickly become annoying and push your followers away. 

    The goal is to figure out the optimal number of posts to share per day or per week and stick to this posting schedule. Every business is different, so your best bet is to analyze how your social media audience reacts to your posts. But for starters, you can use the generic recommended posting frequency.

    How often to post on social media

    Source

    Figure out the best time for posting content on each platform

    Another thing you should take into consideration is the timing for publishing your content. Different social media platforms use different algorithms, and you need to schedule your publications for when the majority of your target audience is online. This way, you can get as many eyes on your content as possible.

    ➡️ Find out when is the best time to post on Instagram in 2022 in our article.

    the best times to post for each social media

    But remember, the most popular posting times in general might not be great for your followers. To get a better understanding of when your audience is active on social media, tap into your social media analytics. 

    Another thing to take into account is time zones. If you’re targeting an audience on a different continent, you’ll have to wake up at unusual times to publish your content. If you don’t fancy setting alarms for weird hours, we recommend scheduling your content ahead. For instance, you can use VistaCreate’s Social Media Scheduler 😉

    Experiment with different content formats

    It’s important to understand which content performs best on your social media platforms. Some prioritize video content, while others are big on Live video and Stories. It all boils down to the platform’s peculiarities and the preferences of your target audience.

    However, even if you do find a content format that works better than the rest, you shouldn’t limit yourself just to one format. Not only will you quickly run out of ideas, but there’s also a high probabilty that posting very similar stuff over and over again will bore your followers. 

    Ideally, you should develop a diverse content plan for your social media and alternate between different content types.

    types of social media content

    Source

    To keep your content diverse and exciting, you want to balance between these types of content. 

    Also, you should make sure your social media content isn’t overly promotional or entirely educational. You want to incorporate the following 4 core content types into your social media content plan:

    • Promotional content
    • Educational content
    • Inspirational content
    • Entertaining content

    Make sure you keep up with the latest trends 

    If you want to increase your brand awareness, go viral, or reach a wider audience, keep an eye on the latest trends and be ready to incorporate trending features into your content.

    Trending content consists of topics or visuals that experience a surge in popularity at a certain point in time. Such topics are often related to breaking news, showbiz premieres, important political or cultural events, etc.

    Here’s how you can learn about the latest trends.

    Influencers in your industry — Influencer content is a valuable source of information about your audience’s interests. Find several influencers in your industry niche and explore what they are posting about. This way, you’ll know what trends and topics resonate with your audience. Gather these ideas and keep them in mind when preparing your content to make it more engaging and effective.

    Instagram’s Explore tab Use Instagram to see what’s trending! To do this, you need to go to the Explore page, located under the search bar on Instagram. You can find profiles, posts, photos, and videos that Instagram considers interesting for your account. Plus, trends on one platform often inform content choices on platforms with similar formats, like the TikTok trends that bleed over onto Facebook Live. 

    Google Trends Google Trends is a powerful tool for tracking trending topics. The information there is based on user searches, so it may give you a broad picture of what is popular now and in the past. With this data, you can keep up with trends and plan your marketing activities more generally. You can also check the relevance of keywords for brand promotion. 

    Google Trends interface

    Tumblr Tumblr is an excellent platform for visual content brainstorming. Even though this channel isn’t as popular as, for example, Facebook, many memes, trending images, and other visuals on social media are published on Tumblr first. Find several active blogs related to your business industry and source exciting new ideas for your content.

    Reddit Reddit is also a great platform to explore the latest popular trends in various areas. Explore the Trending Reddit section to see the top trends and hot topics. All the content on this platform is ranked by relevance and by user ratings. Plus, on Reddit, you can find topics that are only starting to gain popularity, and you can be among the first to publish about them on other social media.

    Make your content visually appealing

    The success of your Social Media Marketing heavily depends on how visually appealing your content is. And while visual preferences are definitely subjective, there are a number of things you need to keep in mind when creating your social media designs: 

    1. Get familiar with the basic principles of graphic design. Learn how to use white space, find out about the best font combinations and color combinations, and learn about the principles of visual hierarchy
    2. Don’t underestimate the power of science. If you want to hit just the right spot with your social media design every time, apply the principles of neuromarketing to your visuals
    3. Find out which colors perform best on each social media platform
    4. Keep up with the latest social media design trends

    Stay on-brand 

    At the same time, however, you shouldn’t sacrifice your unique brand voice when trying to keep up with the latest social media design trends. If brand awareness and recognition are some of your Social Media Marketing goals, you’ll want to make sure that everything you share on social media is in line with your brand. Double-check that your copy has the right tone, add your branding elements such as the brand logo, colors, and fonts to your social media designs. 

    ➡️ Learn how to do that in a matter of seconds with VistaCreate’s Brand Kits feature

    Use content to engage with your audience 

    Don’t make your social media content all about your brand or company. Make sure to communicate with your audience. Not only will it make your brand seem more friendly, but also it will increase engagement rates, boost your business profiles on social media, and establish a stronger relationship with your audience. 

    Here’s how to increase your social engagement:

    • Start discussions
    • Encourage your audience to interact with your social media content
    • Add clear CTAs
    • Respond to all (or most) comments
    • Communicate with your audience directly

    Use tools to streamline content creation

    Finally, in order to speed up the process of content creation, make sure to use dedicated tools. It’ll save you a lot of time. For instance, you can always rely on VistaCreate to handle social media content creation. Our online graphic editing tool offers plenty of ready-made templates for all the major social media formats, so you can customize to fit your specific business needs

    ➡️ Learn everything you can do with the free version of VistaCreate and VistaCreate Pro.

    Some of our favorite, most useful features for social media marketers are: 

    Content formats that work best for Social Media Marketing

    The best-performing content formats will vary depending on the social media platform you choose for your Social Media Marketing efforts. For example:

    Examples of winning social media content

    Regardless of the social media platform you choose for your Social Media Marketing, there are content types that work equally well across all channels. To make your social media content valuable, exciting, and share-worthy, include the following content types in your social media content calendar.

    Self-aware, humorous content 

    Duolingo’s TikTok account is every social media marketer’s inspiration. This language-learning brand has managed to amass an impressive social following on TikTok by being extremely self-aware and funny. 

    Here’s a classic example of a TikTok by Duolingo:

    Situational content 

    Situational content is another type of social media content that keeps brands relevant and part of the conversation. Whenever something major happens in the world, make sure your brand reacts to it, particularly if it is relevant to your brand or audience. Just make sure to be quick while the topic is hot!

    🔥 VistaCreate Pro Tip: The best platform for staying up on situational content is traditionally Twitter.

    One of the OG examples of iconic situational marketing on social media was Oreo’s blackout Tweet. On February 3, 2013, when the San Francisco 49ers played the Baltimore Ravens to decide the NFL champion for the year, a blackout turned off power in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. 

    Almost immediately, Oreo Tweeted this and went viral for it:

    situational social media content

    Evergreen content

    No worries if you can’t quite keep up with situational marketing — it’s not for everyone. A nicely crafted evergreen publication can work wonders, too!

    Just pick a topic of interest to your audience then pack the post with valuable information, make it visually appealing, et voila! Here’s your saveable, shareable, marvelous social media post.

    evergreen social media content
    evergreen social media content
    evergreen social media content
    evergreen social media content
    evergreen social media content
    evergreen social media content

    User-generated content 

    Nothing brings you closer to your audience than using their content in your social media calendar. So, if everything else fails, spice up your feed and Stories with your customers’ photos, reviews, and testimonials.

    User-generated social media content

    4. Adapt your social media strategy for growth

    Social media marketing isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it type of strategy. You need to regularly revisit and tweak it. Ideally, you should regularly assess your social media marketing performance to spot the activities that work well (to scale them) and those that don’t (to adjust them or ditch them altogether.) Besides, tracking your key metrics is the only way to know whether or not you’re meeting your social media marketing goals.

    Every platform has its own analytics tool that gives you access to essential information, like actions on the page, new followers, unfollows, post engagement, page views, likes, and so on.

    How can you effectively leverage all the data and insights? 

    1. Make a spreadsheet for the platform you’re using with separate tabs for every month. 
    2. Collect monthly data from your social media analytics. You can usually export this data as a CSV. 
    3. Compare your data month to month. 

    This will help you to determine which types and formats of content work for you, when your audience is the most active, what makes them follow or unfollow your page, etc.

    ➡️ Learn more about marketing analytics.

    Common mistakes in Social Media Marketing

    To find the right Social Media Marketing strategy for your business, you need to experiment with different social media platforms, content formats, and tools. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution.

    However, there are several common mistakes that a lot of brands make when getting started with Social Media Marketing. Avoiding them will give your business a headstart and save you plenty of resources. 

    Mistake #1: Not planning your social media content ahead of time

    You don’t want to end up pulling an all-nighter because you suddenly realize you have nothing to share with your followers tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, or the whole of the next week. 

    Social media content needs to be balanced, well-designed, and valuable. So, it’s best that you prepare and schedule it in advance. That way you can be sure you offer high-quality content that’s scheduled evenly throughout the month. 

    Mistake #2: Planning too far ahead

    However, you shouldn’t go overboard with social media content planning. If you plan too far ahead, you risk being too inflexible, which is a fatal flaw when it comes to Social Media Marketing. 

    The trend cycles in Social Media Marketing are very short, and something that was relevant a few months ago won’t necessarily perform well today.

    Besides, planning it all out a bit too thoroughly can rob you of an opportunity to leverage the benefits of situational marketing. You won’t be able to squeeze in trending content without moving the rest of your publications around too much. 

    Mistake #3: Ignoring data

    You might think that you’re a Social Media Marketing guru with an outstanding strategy and top-notch content. But the truth is, it’s just not the case unless the data confirms it. 

    Remember that everything your brand does on social media is directed at your target audience. So, if the audience isn’t responsive, if it doesn’t engage with your content and your brand overall, you need to revisit your strategy and revamp it. 

    Mistake #4: Avoiding negative feedback

    Receiving negative comments about the products you offer or your brand in general can really hurt your ego, we get it. But leaving these comments unattended or — worse — deleting them can be detrimental to your brand.

    If you do receive negative feedback on social media, you need to respond to them, politely and apologetically, trying to learn more about the situation, then find a solution that satisfies both parties. 

    The pros and cons of social media for business

    Social Media Marketing is one of the central digital marketing strategies for business. However, just like any other marketing strategy, it has its pros and cons. 

    Pros of social media for business

    Let’s look at the most prominent pros of Social Media Marketing:

    ✅  Reach wider audiences

    ✅  Increase brand awareness and brand recognition

    ✅  Build a community around your brand

    ✅  Engage with your target audience directly

    ✅  Humanize your brand and build lasting relationships with your target audience

    ✅ Scale cost-effectively to grow your business online

    Cons of social media for business

    To keep things balanced and fair, here are the key drawbacks of Social Media Marketing:

    ❌ It’s a time-consuming and laborious practice

    ❌It may take a while to see results

    ❌ It can demand constant strategy revision because trends are short-lived

    Conclusion

    It’s safe to say that Social Media Marketing is tough. You need to invest a lot of time and effort into developing your strategy, staying up-to-date with current trends, creating content, and analyzing your performance.

    But at the same time, Social Media Marketing is one of the most effective digital marketing strategies for reaching a wide range of business goals — increasing brand awareness, establishing your brand authority, building a community around your brand, generating leads, and driving sales.

    So, all things considered, it’s worth the effort. 

    Besides, if you approach Social Media Marketing responsibly and pay attention to the best practices and tips, you’ll see that there are plenty of shortcuts and tricks to give your brand a headstart and boost your business quickly.

    Good luck! 

    Valerie Kakovkina

    Content marketing manager at VistaCreate. Valerie loves all things marketing, with her favourite areas being email marketing and social media. When out of the office, Valerie loves travelling, going to parties, and helping her friends with their art projects (oh to be surrounded by artists).

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