Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest, Google Plus. . . oh my!

There are a ton of social media platforms and it’s hard to know what you should be doing where.

If you feel like you need a course called social media marketing for dummies, first, give yourself more credit.

Second, read our beginners’ guide for social media marketing below. We’re covering everything from what audiences are to how to set up ad campaigns.

Ready to get started? Read more below.

What is Social Media Marketing?

Have you ever thought about how Facebook makes its money? Apparently, congressmen don’t, as the fact that they sell ads was obviously misunderstood at the Facebook trial before Congress.

So we’re clear, that’s how Facebook makes money which they use as profit and to keep the platform up and running—they sell ads.

And your ads should be part of that ecosystem. If you’re not running ads on social media, you’re missing out on a huge audience.

But social media marketing isn’t just about ads. You need to have a brand presence on your platforms too. But which platforms?

Snapchat was dominating the younger market for a while, but now it’s dying out—with kids favoring their Instagram stories over Snap.

Older people, however, are increasingly using Facebook, but haven’t quite transitioned to Instagram. You want to spend money where your audience is, not where they aren’t.

And that’s our first step, which we’ll explore below.

What is a Social Media Marketing Strategy?

Before we walk through the how-to guide, let’s talk about your social strategy. If you’re going to spend money on ads and creating content, you need to have a goal.

There are four main types of social media marketing (SMM) goals. Each serves your company a different purpose, and you should touch on all types over the course of a year.

Social Media Marketing Goal Types

What’s the biggest issue with your company right now? Are you not driving enough leads or sales? Are your customer’s good ambassadors for you and your products?

Find your pain point, then ask yourself which goal type fits best as a solution.

Awareness: Brand Growth

If you’re a new company starting out, you need to grow your brand awareness.

You’ll spend time crafting lookalike audiences and trying to get more followers, shares, and first-time visitors to your page.

Engagement: More Customer Interaction

If you know who your audience is but they seem invisible—in that they don’t engage with your business—you need to work on your engagement metrics. This is the number of comments, likes, and mentions that each post gets.

When you have more organic interactions (you didn’t pay for them), Facebook will reward you by showing your posts first.

That’s what they came up with as a remedial solution, once the whole Cambridge Analytica thing came out. If you want to have your posts show up more often and people not to have to scroll for an hour to see them, you need to aim for interaction.

Conversions: Sales

We all want more conversions and sales. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t sell products or services. And you can use social media to get more people to your product pages, then hopefully get more sales.

Facebook’s products (FB and Instagram) have specific tools you can use to send someone to a product page. If you have enough followers on Instagram, you can link your stories to product pages by having the person swipe up.

Another Instagram option (only with business accounts) is to have product descriptions pop up, floating over your image when someone clicks.

But we’ll get into those details later.

Retention and Reviews:

The final type of social media goal is to target your current customers in hopes that they’ll bring you new ones. This means asking for testimonials, good reviews on Facebook and Google, page likes, and hopefully, positive post engagement.

There was a study that showed people pretty much trust nothing about businesses. They trust the words of others (especially friends) though, about 84% more.

So, having past customers on your side will do you well in the long run.

Choosing Your SMM Goals

Now that you know what your goals are, pick two to start out with. Maybe one action goal (conversions/engagement) and one passive goal (sentiment/awareness). This will be where you start when you’re setting up your campaigns.

You’ll add the other types in later, but start out small and get the hang of that first.

Set Goals for Your Goals

Now that you have your two goals in mind, sit down and write SMART goals for each. If you don’t know, SMART goals are

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

You need a smart goal for both of your goal types. If you were working on customer conversions, here’s an example of what your SMART goal could look like.

  • S – I want more conversions
  • M – ten new conversions per day
  • A – I’m currently at 8, so aiming for ten seems reasonable
  • R – This will help me get to higher profits
  • T – I want to be at 10/day in by the end of this month

Now you have your goal—you just have to figure out how you’re going to do that. Maybe you’ll increase your ad spend by $3 a day for the rest of the month.

Once you figure that out, it’ll go under specifics.

Define Your Audience

We’re about to talk about the term/idea of audience, a lot. Your audience is a demographic of people who you think are the perfect match for your service or product.

For example, the audience for Instagram followers buying service would probably be something like “Influencers aged 19-28, with ___ amount of money, and at least 20,000 followers”

See how specific that is? Those are the kind of details you need when you build your audience.

Make an Audience Persona

You’ll make what we call an audience persona—which is basically an avatar you create for each audience. The avatar for the example above could be Claire.

She’s a video blogger that lives in Paris and creates videos for local businesses. She needs more followers so that she can charge companies more for working with her.

She’s 24 years old and has 30,000 – 50,000 Instagram followers, most of whom are in the same age range, if not a little older.

You’ll want more than one persona, as more than one type of person buys your products. Start by making two or three, then make more once you get more data and get the hang of it.

Find Where Your Audience Is

Like we touched on before, there are different demographics on each social media platform. Facebook is still the biggest, but Instagram is catching up to it fast with the younger demographic.

We can’t go into full detail on each platforms’ audience, but here are some good facts to know.

Facebook

FB has over two million monthly active users. Of general internet users, 88% of people aged 18-29 are on this platform.

That’s followed closely by 84% of people 30-49 and 72% of people 50-64.

About four percent more woman than men use the network and the majority of users sit in the under $75,000 per year income demographic.