Social media marketing is arguably the best way to market your business online. It lets you connect with your dream customers, make sales, and build a strong brand.
And also, it is free, which makes it an amazing choice for startups.
That’s why I’ve wanted to write this beginner’s guide to social media marketing. So, are you ready to begin? If so, let’s dive in.
What’s The Goal?
Before you even begin with social media marketing you must figure out, what is the goal of doing it. Of course, getting new customers, right?
Well, that’s the end result. But it is also the biggest reason why most businesses fail on social media as they think like marketers, and not like publishers with marketing intentions as a result.
Social media is not a place where you sell. It is the place you use to drive traffic and pre-frame that traffic.
In other words, you use it to get attention and build a strong brand and relationships with your dream customers.
But it’s unlikely the sale is going to happen there. The sale is going to happen in the sales funnel. And that’s what is absolutely essential to understand.
If you don’t know the goal then nothing in this beginner’s guide to social media marketing is going to make sense to you. But now that you do, it’s time to begin…
Prepare A Solid Social Media Marketing Strategy
This is an absolutely essential step. If you have the wrong strategy, nothing is going to help you as the whole thing will fall like a domino.
You won’t be able to effectively attract your dream customers nor convert them into loyal followers or sell them.
But it wouldn’t be me if I wouldn’t show you how to do it in this beginner’s social media marketing guide.
Define Who Is Your Target Audience
If you don’t know who you want to attract. And attracting the wrong people is going to kill all of your chances to make sales.
Even though social media is used to attract your dream customers, understand that unless you drive the right traffic to your sales funnel, you’re never going to make a sale.
Why? Because no matter how great the sales process is or how persuasive the sales message is, you’re not going to make a sale if you sell to the wrong people.
You can’t sell a steak to a vegan. And that’s why you must know your target audience and attract the right people from start.
Otherwise, you’re going to get followers that aren’t worth having.
So, what do they like? What do they hate? What is their profession? What is their income level?
Make sure that you’re really detailed about this. As it is the key to success with your social media marketing.
Understand The Platform You’re On
Every social media marketing platform that you’re on has a different culture, different features, different algorithms, etc.
You must understand it carefully. If you don’t you won’t be able to make the most out of it.
That’s why before you start doing social media marketing on the platform that you’re on, I want you to create an account on that platform for 15-day research.
You won’t share any content, you’ll just observe.
- What are people engaging with the most?
- Where are about dream customers hiding?
- What is the behavior flow on that platform?
- What are some of the features that you could leverage to your advantage?
- What is the culture?
All of these things are important to include in your social media marketing strategy.
The simplest reason why is by taking a look at, for example, LinkedIn and Instagram.
They are both totally different platforms. One is B2B, one is B2C, on one most people look to entertain on the other most people look to connect and do business.
There’s no way you can use the same approach for both of these platforms and be successful. So, do your research. The 15-days are way less time than years of failing while trying to figure out what you’re doing wrong.
Now, there are a lot of social media marketing gurus that will tell you not to do this. In this beginner’s social media marketing guide I’m going to tell you the exact opposite.
Yes, you want to niche down.
Even though you’re not going to get that many followers, you’re going to get the RIGHT followers and that’s going to cause you’re going to make a lot more sales.
If you want to niche down, you can either go super specific or create a unique niche (the better option.)
For example, niching down by going super-specific would turn “Fitness Coach” into “Fitness Coach For Mompreneurs Who Want To Lose Weight.”
For example, a unique niche is a coffee with a lot of fat (this is the niche Bulletproof Coffee is in except they might call it differently). It is different, it’s not too crazy, but it is not too mainstream.
If you want to use this social media marketing guide successfully, niching down is absolutely essential.
Have A Great Social Media Sales Funnel
Regardless of how much you try, if you will send traffic to a social media sales funnel that doesn’t work, you won’t make sales. It is that simple.
Take the time to prepare a social media marketing sales funnel that will convert all of your followers into customers and make a ton of sales.
If you don’t know how to do it, I talk more about it here.
Have A System To Track Data And Improve
This is absolutely essential if you want to be successful with your social media marketing, and it is probably the most important step in this beginner’s social media marketing guide.
If you’re not going to track data, regardless of how hard you try, you’ll fail.
The only way you can be successful is by finding what works for YOU and generates results.
And the only way you’re going to do that is by testing and tracking the data. If you don’t do that, forget about being successful as it is not going to happen.
So, create a system where you’re going to track the performance of your content, track which changes brought you the best results, and also track what is no longer working and what you should stop doing.
And then, of course, take action based on the data. Unless you do that chances of you being successful with social media marketing are close to none.
But now that you know the basic steps to create a killer social media marketing strategy, let’s dive into what to do when you finally begin…
Regardless of the social media platform that you’re going to use for social media marketing, you need to optimize your profile.
An optimized profile is a part of a first impression and it can either make or break the results that you’re going to get. And yes, I know this is a bit commonsense, but it is super important.
Every social media marketing platform has it a little bit different, but the truth is that there are always these core things every optimized social media profile needs to do…
Who Are You?
Every optimized social media profile, regardless of the platform that you are on, needs to tell who you or your brand is and position you as the authority in your industry.
The first thing that is essential on every platform is a professional profile picture.
Your profile picture is what people are going to instantly remember and it will make a first impression before they even get to your profile.
And that’s because your profile picture is going to be shown to everybody every time you make a comment, share a post, etc.
So, be careful about what you use. But generally, if you are a personal brand, it should be a high-quality headshot, if you are a normal brand it should be your logo.
Next, when they get on your profile, they must instantly know what you do and get an injection into why you are the authority.
You usually have a bio where you can share this, a banner, etc.
Every platform has different profile features and you want to leverage them the best way you can.
Why should I follow you?
This is as important as the first question. They must have a reason to follow you. So, make sure that you’re going to give them a strong reason to do so by making a promise.
It can look like this:
“Discover How To Dominate The Gym”
Simple, right? Well, if you’re allowed to write a longer bio, you will go more in-depth, if you’re not like on Instagram, you can make the promise in a single sentence. It is that simple.
But regardless of which platform you use for social media marketing, this is ESSENTIAL.
But there is still another question that needs to be answered…
What should I do next?
If you want to make sales, then this is an absolutely crucial question. Never forget to add a call to action and take them to your sales process.
You have no idea how easier it is to sell if they are on your email list at the same time or upsell them if they buy something straight off the plate.
It’s essential to add a call to action to your profile. It can take your sales to the next level.
If you look at the LinkedIn profile example at the beginning of this step, you will realize that just during the first look anybody takes on my profile, I answer all of these 3 questions.
And when they go further, they will discover it more in-depth.
You must optimize your profile if you want to be successful on the social media platform that you are on now.
But again, you will have to figure out specifically how to answer these questions on the social media platform that you are on, as every platform is different.
And now, let’s move on to the next part of this beginner’s guide to social media marketing…
This thing is going to determine whether or not you’re going to be successful. Successful social media marketing is all about sharing the right content at the right time, the right amount of times created the right way.
If you’re going to skip this step, you’re DOOMED.
And that’s why it’s so essential for me to cover how to create the right content strategy in this beginner’s guide to social media marketing.
So, let’s take a look at it.
Create The Right Content Pillars
The first part of a successful social media marketing content strategy is content pillars. Simply put, your content pillars are the main topics that you are going to share your content about.
99% of the content that you will share is going to be about one of the content pillars, but of course, sometimes you can share it about something different.
Your content pillars always have to fit 3 main things – you, your brand, and your dream customer.
For example, if your brand is about skiing, you like skiing, and your dream customers want to see content about skiing, then one of your content pillars should be skiing.
It is that simple.
But again, if you’re not sure about a single answer, then DO RESEARCH and DON’T GUESS. If you’re going to guess, you’re going to fail.
Research What Content Is Performing The Best
Here you want to take a look at what is performing the best for the leading accounts in your industry, and make a list (the longer, the better.)
Once you have the list, then you’re going to use the content style for your own content created based on your own content pillars with your own design and TEST.
Then based on the data, you’re going to pick 2-3 of the best types of content.
Don’t worry, this is just a first step that you will use as a foundation to find out what is working.
Now when you already have something that works, you want to get more creative. You will start creating whatever type of content you like (fake tweets, entertaining videos, text posts, etc. – depending on the platform) in a style that you want…
…and you will test if it doesn’t perform better than what you already do.
If it does, you will start sharing more of it. If not, terminate it.
And you’re going to repeat this until you feel that your content is performing so good based on your following and the attention you get, that you’ll outperform everybody else and grow like crazy.
That is the secret to massive success with social media marketing.
Use The Cold-Warm-Hot Strategy
This is an extremely powerful social media marketing strategy that you want to use regardless of the platform you’re on.
This strategy is going to let you appeal to all 3 types of social media audiences – those who don’t know you (cold audience), those who know and follow you (warm audience), and those who know that your product or service is a solution to their problems and are your leads (hot audience).
Here’s exactly how it works.
Cold-Audience Content – 40% Of Everything You Share
This is the type of content that you are going to post to reach new people. Usually, it is trending content in your industry or content that is created using a trending feature.
Basically, this is the content that gets you the most reach but does a poor job of nurturing your audience.
However, there is an exception. Sometimes content that reaches the most people is also amazing when it comes to nurturing your audience.
When that is the case, you will share this type of content only and it will amount to 80% of all content that you are going to share as it is a win on both fronts and not doing it would be silly.
So, let’s take a look at the next part of this strategy.
Warm-Audience Content – 40% Of Everything That You Share
Now, this is the super-valuable type of content or highly-relatable type of content that builds relationships and positions you as an authority in your industry.
Also, it is the type of content that keeps people coming back again and again. And it is fantastic.
For example, here belong educational videos, behind-the-scenes posts, personal posts, carousel posts with a ton of value, etc.
Remember, sometimes you can create content that does a great job nurturing your audience and building relationships while reaching a ton of people.
When that happens, you want to share just that 80% of the time.
Ok, but now let’s move on to the next step of this social media content strategy.
Hot-Audience Content – 20% Of Everything You Share
This type of content is a straight promotion. All of the promotional posts that you are going to share belong here.
Make sure that they do a great job driving as many people to the sales funnel as possible. However, you can also do a lot of promotion by simply adding call to actions to the other 80% of the content in a way that doesn’t hurt the flow of the message itself (for example, at the end.)
It is a fantastic way to drive several times more traffic to your sales funnels. But content that is only promotional should be only 20% of all content that you are going to share.
When you’re going to follow this simple strategy, you’re going to effectively attract a ton of your dream customers to your profile, nurture them and build trust, and then sell them.
It is one of the best and simplest strategies that I could share with you in this beginner’s guide to social media marketing, so give it a try.
But now that you know what you need to know to create the right social media marketing content strategy, let’s move on to the next step of this beginner’s guide to social media marketing…
Engage With Your Audience
You must understand that social media is called “social” for a reason.
People are there to connect with their friends and family.
And that’s why your brand needs to engage with your audience.
By engaging with your audience, I mean replying to their messages, and comments, commenting on their posts, commenting on posts that are from people you don¨t even know so that you reach more of your dream customers, and on and on.
It is absolutely necessary to do this if you want to win the game of social media marketing, and if you’re not going to do it, you will see the bad effect it has on your content performance and on how your audience perceives your brand.
The engagement must be personal, and the audience must see that you CARE.
As with the content, you want to engage with 3 types of audiences – cold, warm, and hot.
In the beginning, you’re going to engage from 80% with people who don’t know you so that you start building an audience.
Once your following grows, you will engage from 80% with your own audience (warm and hot) and engage with the cold audience only from 20% as you’ll reach the most people using different tactics.
But take the time to do this. It is one of the most important things. I recommend making at least 100 comments a day + replying to everything you can.
Ok, and now, let’s move on to the next step of the beginner’s guide to social media marketing…
Leverage The Platform’s Features
Leveraging the platform’s features is absolutely crucial if you want to be successful. If you¨re not going to do it, chances are that you’re never going to be successful.
The reach that the algorithm is going to provide you with is going to be the biggest part of all the reach that you are going to get.
And to max it out, you have to know the algorithm’s features and leverage them the right way.
That’s why I wanted you to understand the platform in the beginning steps of this beginner’s guide to social media marketing.
Now, let’s take a deeper look at how to be successful with leveraging the social media platform’s features to your advantage and reaching a ton of people regardless of the platform that you are on.
Study What’s Already Performing
The fastest way to understand how to leverage certain features to your advantage and reach the most people possible is by studying what is already working there.
What have all of the, for example, posts that rank the highest in search in common?
What do all of the posts that are recommended to you in the home feed have in common?
Studying it in depth will give you a great understanding of what you need to do to leverage the feature in your own favor.
Model What Has Worked
The next step to successfully leverage the features of the social media platform that you are on in your favor and make the algorithm show you to a ton of your dream customers, you need to model what is already working.
You just studied what is performing the best on the features that you want to leverage, now is the time to take action and do it yourself.
Test And Improve
The last step of the equation is to consistently test and improve what is working and what isn’t.
What type of content got the most reach on the explore page? What has ranked the highest in the search? Which set of hashtags got me the most reach? Which posts got the most hashtag reach? And on and on.
Testing and consistently improving what you do based on the results is going to determine whether you’re going to win or fail with anything that is related not just to social media marketing, but to marketing as a whole.
Understand it, and NEVER neglect it.