The ultimate guide to social media marketing

social media marketing

Written by Jordan

Jordan is a digital marketing executive here at Lumos. You'll often find her writing about social media marketing, digital PR, and marketing training and development.

November 17, 2021

What is social media marketing?

Social media marketing is when you as a brand use social media platforms to connect with your target audience and customers to be able to build up your brand, increase your sales and audience engagement and of course increase website traffic.

Why is social media marketing beneficial?

Social media marketing is an extremely beneficial strategy to use when it comes to your business. The remarkable thing about using social media marketing is that you can use it for free! It is extremely cost effective. Signing up to social media apps are completely free so if you are on a tight budget especially. Make the use of social media! Social media is great for engaging and connecting with your target customers and audience. It is an excellent way to get to know your customers on a more personal level. Which thus leads to improving brand loyalty. As there are billions of people who are now on social media, once people find your brand and see that you are engaging with them this will create loyalty and thus, they will go on to tell their family and friends about your business. There are a number of reasons as to how social media marketing is beneficial to your business and a great strategy to implement.

Infographic describing the guide to social media marketing with different tips and tricks.

Social media strategy

What is a social media strategy?

A social media strategy is a plan of everything you would like to achieve for your business. Your social media strategy should include the goal you would like to achieve at the end and how you are going to achieve these goals. In your strategy you will want to include your current social media accounts and what ones you are planning to create. Your strategy should define your business goals and the responsibilities within your team.

Why do you need to implement a social media strategy?

Social media strategies ensure that your brand is able to build a strong online presence organically. Social media strategies end up saving you time in the long run. Once you have a plan set you can go ahead and schedule your content for the month. Once it comes to creating your social media strategy you will want to ensure that your goals are completely covered as this is the whole point of a social media strategy. Implementing a social media strategy means you can target your audience more effectively.

How to begin to implement a social media strategy.

There are a number of steps when it comes to implementing a social media strategy. We actually have a blog post all about it! To be brief some of these steps that you should take are, research what goes into developing a social media strategy. This will be a basis for you. Think about your USP, your target audience, what your SMART goals are? The next step you should complete is to do your hashtag and client research. As you want to be able to target your goals extremely well to make social media marketing work for you. Step three is to decide what content creation tools you want to use. Step four is to decide what social media scheduling tools you should use. Step five is to research and think about your social media reports. The sixth and final step is to decide and think about whether you should adjust your strategy.

Graphic with people gathered around a laptop with text stating social media strategy.

Social media audit

What is a social media audit?

Social media audits are the steps in which you take to evaluate a businesses social media page and implement the steps to optimise them to heighten your chances of your target customers noticing your brand. Completing social media audits can really improve businesses online presence and be able to reach more customers.

What goes into creating a social media audit?

There are a number of aspects when it comes to creating a social media audit. We have a blog post and a guide all about how to create one. Some aspects when it comes to creating one, are, to gather all of your social media accounts. You will want to make sure that all of your accounts are complete and that they match your brand. Pull out and identify your best posts. Look at the performance of all your pages. Social media audits are pretty easy once you get the hang of them. The more you complete, the quicker you will be able to get through them!

Graphic with an online word document surrounded by tools with text stating social media audit.

Social media reports

What is a social media report?

A social media report is when you analyse and extract statistics from your active social media pages and gather all of this data into a monthly report. You will want to gather data from every social media network. Social media reports are based on a collection of data and statistics that are customised on your business’s social media activity and engagement.

Why are social media reports important?

Social media reports are incredibly beneficial to your business. Here are some reasons as to why you need to be completed monthly social media reports. They have informed content creation. Online data collected from social media includes the length of your posts and what posts are causing the most engagement from your target audience and followers. This is an important aspect that you ned to know when it comes to creating content in the future.

Social media reports provide the information from when your followers have been the most active and where they are based. It is important to take this information in because it makes scheduling your posts that bit easier, as you want to schedule your posts the days and times that your audience are active so they will engage with the post.

These are some of the reasons as to why social media reporting is incredibly important and why you should be conducting these reports monthly.

Graphic with mega phone on report looking document with text stating social media report.

 Tools to use as a social media marketer.

Having a go-to list of tools makes social media marketing that bit more easier. Some of our favourite tools to use here at Lumos are:

  • When it comes to content creation, 100% Canva. Canva is a great content creation tool to use especially for beginners. Canva provides a variety of templates for everything you could possibly need. These templates range from social media posts to presentations to CVs to cover letters the list is truly endless.
  • A social media scheduling tool that we like to use is one called Buffer. Buffer allows you to schedule your Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn posts. One thing about Buffer is that it automatically posts single Instagram grid posts however when it comes to stories, reels and carousels posts instead Buffer will send you a notification for you to manually posts. It also does the same if you want to create a thread on Twitter.
  • A hashtag research tool that we use is one called Display Purposes. A hashtag research tool allows you to look up related words to your post so you can see what related hashtags other users are using so you can see how popular they are.

Graphic with a mobile phone with different social media apps surrounding it with text stating social media tools.

Social media advertising

The different forms of social media advertising.

There are different forms of social media advertising! These are:

  • Facebook Advertising.
  • Instagram Advertising.
  • Twitter Advertising.
  • Pinterest Advertising.
  • LinkedIn Advertising.
  • Snapchat Advertising.

How are each of them effective?

Each of these advertising strategies are effective but for varied reasons.

Facebook Advertising is fantastic when it comes to lead generation. If it is email addresses that you want or need, Facebook is great for this. One of the things that makes Facebook ads so effective is the fact that Facebook has a global audience of 1.5 billion people. This means that your ad has the potential to reach all of these people which is crazy!

A lot of brands now use Instagram advertising to boost their brand and sales. Instagram has made it so easy just to shop straight from the app which is why their advertising strategy has been so effective.

Twitter ads have been proven to consistently work. “For every dollar spent on Twitter ad campaigns, the four brands in the study averaged a return of $2.70; an average ROI nearly 40% higher than the average ROI across all media investments.” (Read more here). From this statement we can see that Twitter ads are surprisingly effective when it comes to advertising your business.

Pinterest ads have recently introduced some new shopping features. How they have done is, is that users can upload images with a caption and a link wither to their shop or social media page. If you have a Pinterest business account, you can access the analytical features which is similar to Instagram! This has made shopping for Pinterest users that bit easier!

LinkedIn ads are incredibly similar to Facebook advertising. LinkedIn ads are great to spread brand awareness and drive lead generation, especially if you are targeting working professionals.

It has been shown that Snapchat advertising has significantly improved promotional results within the app.

Targeting ads.

As we had mentioned above, advertising is everywhere online. How targeting ads work is that just say you are searching on Amazon for the latest Nespresso coffee machine. Amazon will then create a file called cookie on your computer (which are all of the popups you always see once you click on to a website). Later on, when you are on Facebook or a different website you will then see the targeted ad for Nespresso coffee machine. Automated advertisements read this cookie from Amazon and generate ads targeted directly towards you.

Graphic with a laptop and different people advertising different things around it with text stating social media advertising.

The different social media apps.

Do you need to be on all of them?

The short answer is no. When it comes to researching what social media apps your business should be on. Research where you target audience are showing up on social media. Also have a think about quality over quantity. It is impossible to produce high quality content when you are trying to come up for consistent content posts for every single platform. Limit yourself to 2-4 social media pages. Focus on the platforms where you get the most returns. Once you start to do this, you will notice a difference in your results.

What ones are effective for your business?

Once again this is all depends on where your target customers are appearing. When it comes to figuring out what platforms are effective for your business you will need to prioritise what is important to you. To figure this out, think about aspects such as is your brand more visual? If so then then you might want to focus on platforms such as Tiktok, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest etc. If your brand is focused on current events maybe focus on Twitter? If your brand is very work/ recruitment related, then focus more on LinkedIn. It is all about what your brand is focusing on!

Graphic with a person carrying social media apps with text stating social media apps.

Several types of strategies that you need to think about as a social media marketing.

Hashtag strategy.

Hashtags are an extremely effective way to increase brand exposure. Did you know that at least one Instagram hashtag receives an average of 12.6% more engagement than posts without a hashtag? The number of hashtags you use depends on the platform. For example, on Instagram it can be effective to use between 25-30 whereas LinkedIn 2-4 work perfectly. This is where your hashtag research begins. Research what type of hashtags belong on each platform that you are on. Use hashtag generators and research tools to see how popular certain hashtags are. One rule is, is that you do not want to use hashtags that are extremely popular as your post will just get lost within this hashtag.

Graphic with a phone and hashtags with text stating hashtag strategy.

Content strategy.

Content strategy focuses on the planning, scheduling, creation, and the delivery of content that you are planning on production. When it comes to it, you will want to create engaging, memorable content. This is where your content strategy comes in to play. It has been proven that businesses that have a great content strategy tend to perform better and have a higher marketing ROI.

Graphic with a laptop and different online tools with text stating content strategy.

 

Well there you have it, the ultimate guide to social media marketing. We hope this guide has helped you, especially if you are just beginning in your social media marketing journey. Click here read our other blogs all about social media marketing, digital marketing, SEO and more.

 

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