10-Step Guide to Social Media Marketing for Businesses

These days, social media is an essential part of any successful business strategy. It’s not a luxury, but a necessity. With over 3.6 billion people using social media worldwide, it’s a digital playground for businesses to showcase their products and services, build brand awareness, and connect with customers.

But it’s not just all fun and games. It takes a well-planned strategy to succeed on social media. That’s where this guide comes in. It’s a complete playbook to help you navigate the world of social media marketing and advance your goals.

1. Identify and understand your audience

Before you start creating content and posting it on social media, it’s important to understand who your target audience is. This will help you tailor your content so that it’s engaging and effective, and determine the best platforms to invest your time and budget.  

How do you find your ideal audience? 

Talk to your current followers and customers or, if you’re just starting, seek out people who respond enthusiastically when you approach them with your idea. 

You’re looking for shared traits beyond a common interest in the category of products you sell (fitness, pet, culinary, etc.). What kinds of pain points, passions, and core values do you hear over and over again?

Spend some time digging through your analytics. What do your existing visitors have in common? Where are they from? What content are they reading on your site? Are they primarily in a certain age range?

You can also send out surveys to your email list or add polls to your social media accounts. But the absolute best option is to talk to people in your audience face-to-face or over the phone. This allows you to ask open-ended questions that get more to the root of their motivations. You may end up finding out things you never even thought to ask about!

Then, create buyer personas to help you better imagine your audience and how to relate to them. For example, if you sell hiking gear, you might have a persona named Jenny, who’s 35 years old, lives in the Pacific Northwest, has two kids, and is constantly looking for new ways to streamline her hikes. When you’re writing content in the future, you can think about ways that it can specifically help Jenny.

Learn more about finding your audience. 

2. Set clear goals and objectives

Once you have a clear understanding of your audience and competition, it’s time to set your goals and objectives. Your overall marketing goal may be to increase brand awareness or drive more sales, but it’s important to break that down into specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) objectives.

For example, your objective may be to increase your social media following by 20% in the next quarter, or to achieve a certain amount of engagement on your posts. With clear goals and objectives in place, you can create a plan to achieve them.

3. Choose the right social media platform(s)

There are countless social media platforms available, but not all of them will work for your business. It’s important to identify the most popular and relevant ones for  your audience. Once you know which platforms to focus on, spend time learning the features and capabilities of each one. This will help you determine the kinds of content you’ll need to create.

For example, if your business specializes in products that are creative, artistic, or otherwise best represented by imagery, platforms like Instagram and Pinterest would be a great fit for you. Think food, home decor, artwork, and fashion! 

Pinterest feed on a laptop screen

On the other hand, if you’re a B2B firm, LinkedIn would be a better fit. Understanding the features and capabilities of each platform will also help you make the most of its features.

Ecommerce store? Learn how to choose the right social media platforms. 

4. Create and curate engaging content

The key to a successful social media effort is creating and curating engaging content. Decide on the types of content you want to create, like blog posts, videos, infographics, or memes. A content calendar can help you stay organized and on schedule. 

But don’t just focus on creating your own content. Curating and sharing relevant posts from other sources can also be a great way to engage with your audience and alleviate the pressure for continuous development of original content.

It’s not always easy, but don’t get discouraged. It’s like trying to come up with a good joke — it’s hard but when it’s done right, it’s a hit.

Looking for a bit of inspiration? Check our these engaging social media business post ideas that will help you stand out.

How to determine the kind of social media to create

Start by researching your competitors. Which ones have the best engagement on their social profiles and what’s unique about their approach? You can pick up cues for the kinds of content to produce, when to post, and how to interact with followers. 

And you can do the same with competitors who aren’t having as much success — by learning from their mistakes, you can avoid making the same ones.

Get familiar with the successful influencers in your target genre. What kind of content do they post? On YouTube, for example, you can quickly scan popular creators from a variety of genres and look at the views for each video. What do the most popular ones have in common? In other words, what topics and style of content is really drawing attention? 

5. Leverage automation to streamline social media posts

Automation is a must for businesses looking to stay competitive on social media. It’s a powerful way to streamline your social media efforts and ensure that you’re reaching your audience at the right time.

Jetpack Social is the ideal social media tool for WordPress site owners. Instead of having to log in and out of social media accounts, you can post to multiple platforms at the same time, or automatically push new WordPress posts out as soon as they’re published on your site. 

Jetpack Social settings in WordPress

It also allows you to work more efficiently. Schedule posts in advance so you can plan once a week and then spend the rest of your time working on other tasks. And you can rest easy, knowing that they’ll go out at the perfect time to reach your audience when they’re most engaged. 

Imagine you’re a business owner who just opened a new store, and you’re too busy to post on social media, but you know the importance of it. By using Jetpack Social, you can schedule your posts in advance and not have to worry about missing out on potential customers. It’s like having a personal assistant who knows how to use social media.

6. Build a community of followers and keep them engaged

Once you have a strong following on social media, it’s important to keep them engaged. So, be sure to make interacting with followers a regular part of your social media plan. This can include responding to comments, hosting giveaways, and creating polls. Measure and analyze community engagement to see what’s working and what’s not.

Think of your followers as a group of friends. You don’t want to only talk about yourself, or even the same topic over and over. Instead, switch things up to keep people interested, and take the time to let your followers do the talking.  Hosting giveaways and creating polls can feel like throwing a party — it’s fun and interactive. And just like a party, you want to make sure everyone’s having a good time. So keep tabs on engagement levels and if they start to drop, adjust your approach!

7. Advertise on social media

Advertising on social media is a great way to reach a targeted audience and drive more sales. There are a variety of options available, including sponsored posts, carousel ads, stories, messages, videos, and more. It’s important to understand the different types of advertising and how they can benefit your business. Create ad campaigns and target specific audiences, then measure and analyze the performance of your ads to see what’s working and what’s not.

Advertising on social media is like dating, you want to make sure you’re reaching the right person, and you want to make sure the relationship is worth it. By understanding the different types of advertising and targeting specific audiences, you’ll increase your chances of finding the perfect match. 

8. Consider influencer marketing

Influencer marketing has become an increasingly popular strategy for businesses looking to promote their products or services on social media. By collaborating with influencers in your industry, you can reach a wider audience and gain credibility with potential customers.

Influencer marketing can help you promote your products or services in a more authentic and relatable way. Influencers have built a following based on trust and credibility, and their endorsement can be a powerful tool for promoting your business.

When it comes to influencer marketing, it’s important to identify and reach out to the right influencers. Look for partners who align with your brand and target audience, and who have a strong engagement with their followers.

Once you’ve identified the right influencers, it’s important to establish clear and mutually beneficial objectives. This can help ensure that the collaboration is successful and beneficial for both parties.

The size of each influencer’s audience can vary dramatically, but even those with only a few thousand followers can provide a boost if their audience fits perfectly with your business’s target niche. Some influencers will post in exchange for free products, while others might command a high fee. You can get pretty creative with this kind of marketing, so give it a try. Learn more about influencer marketing for ecommerce

9. Measure and analyze the results

Measuring the success of your social media efforts is crucial. Identify key performance indicators (KPIs) to track, such as reach, engagement, and conversions. Analyze and interpret the data to see what’s working and what’s not, and make adjustments as needed.

Jetpack Stats dashboard

Jetpack Stats is a great way to dive into the world of analytics. It provides essential information about your website’s performance, and allows you to easily sync your Google Analytics account for even more in-depth information about marketing campaigns and conversions.

10. Know how to manage and respond to negative feedback

No matter how well you plan and execute your social media strategy, it’s inevitable that you’ll receive negative feedback at some point. Whether it’s a snarky comment on a post or a bad review, it’s important to know how to handle it.

First and foremost, stay calm and professional when responding. Don’t take it personally, and avoid getting defensive or argumentative. Instead, take the time to understand the customer’s concern and address it in a thoughtful and respectful manner.

One effective way to handle negative feedback is to respond with humor or laugh at your own mistakes. If you did something wrong, acknowledge it. If it’s something you personally wrote or created, consider taking yourself out of the situation and having an employee or trusted friend respond. 

And, remember, not everything requires a response. It’s okay to remain silent sometimes. People have bad days and say mean things. Sometimes, they misspeak or misunderstand. It doesn’t change the value of what you’re building. Focus on the followers who love what you’re doing! 

Finally, if a legitimate issue is raised, be sure to make note of it and use it as an opportunity for improvement. Show your customers that you value their input.

Frequently asked questions about social media marketing

How can Jetpack Social help businesses with their social media efforts?

Jetpack Social is a powerful social media plugin for WordPress that can help businesses automate their social media, post to multiple profiles at once, and schedule posts in advance. It’s a great way to streamline social media efforts and make the most of your time.

Why is it important for a business to have a social media presence?

Having a social media presence allows businesses to reach a new audience, engage with customers, and drive more sales. It’s also a great way to build brand awareness and establish a relationship with customers.

What are the benefits of social media marketing for businesses?

The benefits of social media marketing for businesses include increased brand awareness, more sales, improved customer engagement, and more.

What are some common mistakes businesses make on social media?

Some common mistakes businesses make on social media include not understanding their audience, not setting clear goals and objectives, not choosing the right platforms, and not measuring and analyzing their results.

Jetpack Social: Social media automation for businesses using WordPress

As we’ve mentioned in this guide, automation is a crucial aspect of a successful social media marketing strategy. And for businesses using WordPress, Jetpack Social is the perfect solution.

This plugin offers a wide range of features to help you streamline your social media efforts, including automating your social media posts and scheduling posts in advance.

Visit the following page to learn more about Jetpack Social: https://jetpack.com/social/

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Rob Pugh profile
Rob Pugh

Rob is the Marketing Lead for Jetpack. He has worked in marketing and product development for more than 15 years, primarily at Automattic, Mailchimp, and UPS. Since studying marketing at Penn State and Johns Hopkins University, he’s focused on delivering products that delight people and solve real problems.

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