Social Media Marketing Guide 2024

18 January 2024

It’s no secret that the competition for businesses to stand out on social media is tough. With just about every industry being saturated, it can be difficult to find your community, and relay your message to your core followers.

However, it’s one thing to manage your social media platforms at a user level, but a completely different animal when it comes to following a social media marketing strategy and creating content.

If you want to create a social media strategy from scratch, or become a social media professional, we have prepared a treasure map or checklist that you can follow to pass from user level to ‘Pro’. 

Make sure to take notes or save this article in your Favorites folder for a handy reference.

Now, let’s get down to business.

What’s So Important About a Social Media Marketing Strategy?

People are always talking about “winning strategies” and “creating strategies that work” but, what is a strategy and why is it important? For starters, this acts as a roadmap to how your brand will orient themselves on social media, and what resources you will need in order to do this.

Beyond just planning out which content to post on socials, you need to go a bit deeper and ask yourself, “Who are our ideal clients? What are they looking for? And how can we reach them?” A strategy helps answer these questions and define how you can reach your business goals.

How to Develop your Social Media Marketing Strategy Step- Sy-Step

First Step: RESEARCH

First, you must know the rules of the game and evaluate the board before you start playing. This means analyzing the nature of each social media network, and for example, what behaviors, tendencies, and demographics are active on each.

When determining which platforms to use, this also needs to align with your brand image, story, and products or services. In this first step, ask yourself the following questions:

✅ Question 1

Which social media platforms are most relevant to my brand/business?

It seems that Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter (X), YouTube, Threads, Linkedln, and Pinterest, and Snapchat are the current leading networks. However, depending on the service or product that you offer and the geographical area where you work, Google Business Profile might amaze you with unimaginable results.

There is a pressure for brands to be active on all social media platforms, which is unrealistic. Stick to the channels you feel most confident about in the beginning, as you can always expand and grow on new channels.

Write down the platforms you aim to use, and then continue with the question-asking!

✅ Question 2

Who are my social media competitors?

Now it’s time to analyze your competitors, and discover which strategies they are applying to the social media game. 

You can reach conclusions such as:

⚡ Ideas to inspire your strategy, or to make a thorough SWOT analysis.

⚡ Compare results to view what has, and hasn’t worked.

⚡ Find blind spots in your social media marketing strategy to avoid recurring mistakes.

⚡ Discover new prospective customers. If they buy from your competitors, why aren’t they going to buy from you?

In short, analyzing your social media competitors will help you to design your own strategy and always be alert.

Add the results of your social media competitors analysis to your briefing and advance in your checklist.

✅ Question 3

How do top companies use social media?

Let’s be honest. Big advertising agencies have more staff and resources to help successfully execute social media marketing strategies. However, even if you are not one of them, you can learn from them.

⚡ Discover which social media channels they use and which tactics they use.

⚡ Check their posting frequency and which format they use.

⚡ Find out how much money they invest in advertising and which social media channels they use to make promotions.

How do you do this? You can check out our 2023 Social Networks study, to see how brands, businesses, and creators use social networks today. With this, you can take away key knowledge about the digital ecosystem.

You can also utilize Metricool’s competitor analysis tools, to view top companies statistics, and even compare them against other brands.

✅ Question 4

What do users say about your brand?

Your brand might not be on social media yet, but that doesn’t mean users aren’t talking about you, or other topics in your industry.

This question is extremely important because this will help you understand your customers, find out what they are looking for, and how they prefer it.

The best way to analyze and discover what users are saying about your brand is through social listening.

Social listening will allow you to know:

⚡Understand customer and client impressions and feedback.

⚡Topics they are most interested in.

⚡How they found you, and if they continue to come back.

⚡What their pain-points are and what they expect from you.

In addition to social listening, with social monitoring, you can have an overview of whats happening on social media. Combining these two strategies can help you improve the reputation and position of your brand.

Second Step: DRAW A PLAN

If we emulate the legendary A-team Hannibal’s famous quote:

“I love it when a plan comes together”

It reminds us that we must have a plan.

If you want to execute your plan successfully, you first have to build it.

SOCIAL MEDIA PLAN

Now use everything you have learned from your research and mix it with the knowledge you have about your brand. Then, it’s time to start drawing your social media plan so you can complete your social media marketing strategy. First, of course, you need to define your overall goals in marketing on social media.

Objectives

Define the generic objectives for your brand. These could be things such as:

⚡ Establish branding.

⚡ Create a loyal community.

⚡ Improve reputation.

⚡ Drive traffic to website.

⚡ Increase conversions.

Strategies

Now it’s time to link each objective to one or several strategies. That is, decide what you are going to do to reach your goals and how long this will take. These should be attainable, with quantifiable figures and numbers, so you can measure your performance over time.

Example: Establish Branding

Objective

→ Increase brand awareness. Increase follower count 20% and improve social media engagement by 15% in two months. 

Strategies

→ Advertise on Facebook and retarget users that visit the website. This is a way to make an impression on users and resonate with an audience that is already interested.

→ Work with influencers on Instagram to reach more people who don’t know the brand yet.

→ Start more conversations with users on Threads, run polls, share resources, etc.

SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT PLAN

Once you have defined your social media plan and the social media marketing strategy, this will help you to accomplish your goals, and allow you to start planning!

The content plan is guide to help you to decide what should and shouldn’t be posted, so therefore it’s important to use a content calendar for social media.

If you still have more doubts about how to carry out this step, here is a guide on how to make a detailed content plan for social networks.

In this document you should determine:

  • The posting frequency on each social network.
  • The topics to share.
  • The type of content.
  • The frequency.

Also, you must determine who is going to do these actions: You, a team member, a team, etc. and create an editorial plan for your company’s blog.

A social media plan and a content plan combined are vital to ensure a successful strategy for your social media. But there is a third plan that is crucial.

Third step: EXECUTION

SOCIAL MEDIA PLANNING

The moment of executing the strategy has arrived and to do so, you can use the help of social media planning tools. How can these tools help you?

⚡ These tools allow you to know the best time to post on social media, that is, to see when your audience is active. 

⚡ You can schedule your content to automatically post for you with social media planners.

⚡ They help you to get the most out of your time and not leave anything up to chance.

⚡ Forget about Excel templates and have all the live data in hand.

⚡ Enhance project management, workflows, and team collaborations.

To further help you in the content creation process, here are some essential tips:

Use the right dimensions for your images and videos 

If an image has poor-quality or is highly pixelated, it’s doomed to fail.

Knowing the correct dimensions, and aspect radio is important to optimize your content across different social media platforms, and help reach more users.

 Social Media Content Size Guide← 

🔽

Run out of content? Don’t worry, Metricool has a free image bank, so you can choose from high-quality content that is royalty free.

Use emojis carefully 

The use of emojis highlights can your posts. However, if you don’t use them correctly, this can come off as poorly planned, and lacking quality. Be careful when using these, as less is usually more.

Shorten URLs you share

URLs shorteners are great allies to help you extract valuable data from the users that click them. Data is like gold on social media. You can add UTM parameters to better track your campaigns with tools like Google Analytics.

Metricool’s planner has a native URL generator to create these tracking links for you! Want to learn more about UTM codes, parameters, and using Metricool’s URL generator?

 Share content from third parties [sharing is caring]

Content curation is a strategy itself. It’s crucial to know what type of content your audience wants and from who. Creating quality content helps keep your social media accounts alive and share content that interests your users.

Utilize other tools and resources

You’ve most likely had a work emergency that caught you off-guard away from your desk: a picture that you didn’t post correctly or a post that you didn’t schedule at the right time. Working as a social media manager keeps you on your toes.

Fortunately for you, there’s a huge range of apps for social media on the market for any situation so that you can keep on top of your social media work: for designing, managing content, editing videos, etc.

Thankfully, many of these tools are free. Here’s a list of free tools and resources that every social media manager should take advantage of:

  • Canva: Create quality designs and transfer to schedule in Metricool’s planner directly.
  • YouTube Studio: Analyzing your YouTube channel just got easier. YouTube Studio is a great resource for viewing view performance in depth.
  • TikTok Creative Center: This free resource allows you to view trends, top ads, analytics, and offers guidance for creators and businesses on TikTok.
  • Metricool: Schedule content across all your social media networks, view analytics, and manage your inbox in one centralized place, even on the go with our mobile app.

Use AI to help with captions, copy, etc.

Another resource to create more content, is to use an AI tool to help generate content. Plus, you can repurpose your content, with a new twist. You can use Metricool’s AI text generator.

By telling AI what you are looking for, or by using your old copy, you can create new copy and even generate ideas for content in the future.

MEASURE RESULTS

Sprinters didn’t improve their running times until they started measuring them. So, if you want to be the Usain Bolt of social media you must start tracking your results. 

With Metricool you can get all the relevant social media metrics to understand what’s going on and discover which strategies work best.

Data that you should consider

Although with Metricool you have access to a wide variety of information, you should especially pay attention to these two metrics:

Engagement

With this metric, you will discover how much your followers love you. The best indicator of all is knowing who is interacting with you, and how.

This translates into a loyal audience, willing to recommend your brand, buy your products, or speak highly of your company.

So, take care of your engagement and don’t forget to include it in your social media marketing strategy. 

➡️ How to Measure Engagement ⬅️  

ROI: Return of Investment

In contrast with engagement, this metric is the favorite amongst business people: the economic profit. 

ROI is the benefit that the company receives after the investments in resources, money, and time into social media efforts.

Reach vs impressions

What is the difference between reach and impressions?

Impressions is the number of times people have seen your posts, and reach is the total number of unique people who have seen your content.

▶️ Reach vs. Impressions◀️

Inbox management

Your community is everything for your social networks. Without them there are no interactions, no impressions, no reach… nothing!

That’s why it’s important to keep in touch with the users that reach out via comments, reactions, or DMs.

Manage all these interactions so as not to leave a comment without replying or without giving like, solve doubts or thank any review.

⚡️ How to Manage Social Media Messages

CREATE A SOCIAL MEDIA REPORT

We have arrived to the last part of the social media marketing process.

Now it is time to create a report with the periodical performance of your strategy and with all the metrics and results.

This report is very valuable for you and your client or brand. With a report:

⚡ You can track the evolution of your strategy.

⚡ You can discover who follows you, how many new followers you have acquired, and how your content is performing.

⚡ You can show all your work and their outcomes.

⚡ You can view the history of your results. 

Without this report your strategy would be incomplete. You wouldn’t know how your work and your social media marketing plan has evolved. 

Other Social Media Marketing Strategy Tips

You can get better results if you use the data from your social media strategy along with other disciplines.

This could be a competitive advantage over your competitors. 

So don’t miss this bonus track.

Networking

In my opinion, networking is one of the most important actions in any marketing strategy.

This strategy consists of connecting with professionals in your industry, to collaborate and create effective synergies for both parties.

In this case, establishing links with social media marketing professionals can benefit us when it comes to experience improvements in our professional activity:

SEO and Social Media

Does social media improve the SEO of your website? The answer is yes, indirectly.

A good social media marketing strategy should consider which steps must be followed to improve the ranking of your brand’s website. Conducting thorough keyword research is essential when it comes to a successful SEO plan. Learn how to perform quality keyword research and SEO practices below:

Conduct a Social Media Audit

If you already have social profiles, you can choose to do a social media audit to find out where your accounts stand. And make a plan based on that data.

Check out this webinar with Rachel Pedersen, where we run through the most essential steps to audit your social media account:

Email Marketing 

How do you encourage and drive traffic towards your social media accounts with email marketing?

If you have a database with information about people interested in your brand, you have the treasure.

Email marketing with leads is the perfect ally to increase the number of conversions and other positive benefits for your social media channels such as:

⚡  Increase the number of followers on your social media accounts.

⚡ Retarget people on your list through social media.

⚡ Give visibility to your social media campaigns.

⚡ Promote strategic hashtags for your brand.

Copywriting 

So, you have worked hard on the visual content that you are planning to share on social media.

You have analyzed your competitors and you have designed an outstanding social media marketing strategy. Now it’s time to reach your audience with solid messaging.

Copywriting helps you to persuade social media followers through your content or capture the attention of potential followers that haven’t hit the follow button yet. Before writing a copy for your brand, think about

⚡️Learn 7 “Magic” Copywriting Formula for Social Media

I hope this social media marketing guide has helped to organize your social media strategies, so you’re ready to attack with full confidence.

Now you can say: “I love it when a plan comes together”.

Any questions?

Let us know in the comment section 👇🏻

Isabel Romero Isabel Romero , 18 January 2024
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