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How To Get Started With Social Media Marketing

Social media manager working on laptop with words social media marketing over top of the image

Social media is no longer optional for businesses. According to The 2023 State of Social Media Report, brand reputation and loyalty are top priorities for companies across industries, especially during fluctuating market conditions. Social media plays an increasingly important role in reputation management; in fact, 94% of leaders acknowledge it positively impacts brand loyalty. 

Additionally, according to the 2023 Sprout Social Index, 68% of consumers follow brands on social media to stay informed about new products or services. While going for the hard sell on social media used to be a faux pas, attitudes have shifted, and social media platforms have embraced e-commerce shopping. 

You’re missing out on a significant potential revenue source if you’re not investing in a social media strategy. If you want to be where your customers are, you need to be on social. So, let’s talk about what social media marketing looks like and get into the nitty-gritty of building a solid social media strategy.

Table of Contents
What is social media marketing?
Why is social media marketing important for e-commerce businesses?
Most popular social media channels used by businesses for marketing
Step-by-step guide to getting started with social media marketing
Additional social media marketing tips
Final thoughts

What is social media marketing?

Social media marketing is a form of digital marketing that uses social media platforms to promote products, services, or brands. Social media marketing aims to connect with the target audience, build brand awareness, drive website traffic, and ultimately, increase sales or achieve other marketing objectives.

Why is social media marketing important for e-commerce businesses?

Social media marketing is a valuable tool for e-commerce businesses to build their brand, connect with their audience, and drive sales in an increasingly digital and connected world. It allows businesses to reach their target market effectively and build a community around their brand.

Most popular social media channels used by businesses for marketing

Popular social media platforms used for marketing include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and TikTok. The choice of platforms depends on the target audience and the nature of the content being promoted.

Step-by-step guide to getting started with social media marketing

Social media marketing might seem daunting, especially since there are several different platforms your business can share content on, but it doesn’t have to be scary. Here, we will outline the basic steps to get you started with social media marketing that will help you build a personalized social media marketing strategy. 

1. Define your goals and understand your target audience

Digitally drawn people with magnifying glass looking at one to represent target audience

Before posting content or even building a strategy, you have to outline your goals and fully understand your target audience. Ask yourself: Are you looking to increase brand awareness, drive website traffic, or boost sales? This will help you outline your goals, which will inform your social media content strategy. 

In addition, identify your target audience – understanding who you want to reach will guide your content and platform choices.

2. Choose the right platforms

Social media platform icons on a smartphone

There are many great social media platforms out there, but you don’t necessarily need to post on them all. 

Not all social media platforms are created equal – select platforms based on your target audience and business type. For instance, Instagram and Pinterest are image-centric and great for visually appealing products, while LinkedIn might be more suitable for B2B services.

3. Create and optimize your profiles

Screenshot of Lululemon's Instagram bio

Once you’ve determined which platforms to post on, you can create a business page. But, before posting content, it’s important to be thoughtful about your profile. Create compelling and complete profiles on your chosen platforms. Use high-quality images, write a concise and engaging bio, and include relevant links to your website. 

Finally, remember that consistency in branding across platforms is key.

4. Create valuable content

A common mistake that people make on social media is focusing on selling or advertising. While social media can be a great place to advertise, you need to share a range of content to get your audience interested and engaged. 

Think back to your target audience and develop a content strategy that resonates with them. Share a mix of engaging content, including product images, behind-the-scenes looks, customer testimonials, and industry-related posts. Also, use a variety of formats like images, videos, and infographics.

Looking for some ideas? Here’s how to create engaging content on TikTok and how to create product videos on Instagram.

5. Develop a content calendar

Digital drawing of hands placing content onto a social media content calendar

Consistency is vital in social media marketing. Plan your content with a content calendar to ensure a steady flow of posts and help you maintain an organized approach.

Therefore, you’ll want to create a blog content calendar to get started before delving into seven reasons why your business needs a blog.

6. Engage with your audience

Person responding to social media comments

Social media is not just a broadcasting tool; it’s a platform for two-way communication. Respond promptly to comments, messages, and mentions. Engaging with your audience fosters a sense of community and builds trust. Here are five proven ways sellers can increase social media engagement.

7. Measure and analyze performance

Digital drawings of people holding symbols for like, comment, etc. to represent measuring social media analytics

Use analytics tools provided by each social media platform to track the performance of your posts and campaigns. Analyze metrics like engagement, reach, and conversion rates. 

Use this data to refine your strategy over time – this should include testing different types of content to see how your audience responds. For example, here is a guide on how to understand TikTok metrics.

Additional social media marketing tips

On top of these basic steps in getting started with social media marketing, a few additional strategies can help your business thrive on social media. 

As we all know, social media is constantly changing. Stay informed about the latest trends, algorithm changes, and new features on your chosen platforms. For example, as TikTok rose in popularity, Instagram refocused its strategy on Reels, which meant businesses on social media needed to pivot toward creating more video content.  

Being adaptive will keep your strategy fresh and effective.

For more information on recent social media trends, you may want to read 10 Facebook trends that boost business growth and Instagram marketing trends in 2023.

Explore influencer marketing

Brands already know influencer marketing is the future of marketing because it’s effective. After all, influencers are authorities in their field or niche. Only 33% of customers trust traditional ads, but over half rely on influencer recommendations when purchasing. Digital Marketing Institute reports that 60% of consumers would consider buying an influencer-promoted product in-store and that 40% have actually purchased a product after seeing an influencer use it on social media.

Click here if you’re having difficulty choosing the right influencers for your brand. 

Encourage user-generated content

User-generated content serves as authentic endorsements and can be a powerful tool for building trust. Therefore, encourage your customers to share their experiences with your products or services.

Utilize social media advertising

Consider allocating a budget for paid social media advertising. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok offer targeted advertising options to reach specific demographics. 

Each platform approaches paid ads differently, and as such, it pays to learn the difference between Facebook Ads and Google Ads, as well as how to best utilize TikTok ads.

Final thoughts

Embarking on your social media marketing journey may seem daunting at first, but with a clear strategy and consistent effort, you can unlock the full potential of these powerful platforms. Remember, social media is not just about selling; it’s about building relationships and creating a community around your brand. Therefore, spend some time outlining your social media strategy and establishing a manageable schedule to update and interact with customers – this human touch might make all the difference between you and your competitors.

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