Social media holds significant opportunities for businesses to market themselves, get noticed, and keep their brand top-of-mind. These highly dynamic social platforms have given brands and customers the chance to interact, engage, and do more business online. While most brands were quick to include social media in their marketing plans, many are still struggling to make it work. ​If you’re one of those brands struggling with your social media presence, here are 15 tips to get your social media campaigns moving in the right direction.

15 social media marketing tips to get started

Still looking for tips on social media marketing that work? Here are 15 tips on social media marketing to help you kick off a strong understanding of how to drive desirable results across all of your brand’s social media accounts.

1. Set goals

When you’re making a marketing plan, for social media or any other medium, always start by setting goals. Marketing without pre-determined goals is highly unlikely to drive any results. You could have one single goal, like brand awareness, or multiple goals, like lead generation and increasing your brand’s reach. Setting goals also helps you streamline your thought process and makes it easier to create content for your social profiles.

2. Understand your target audience

Who are you speaking with through your social media marketing? Identifying your audience will help you know what to say. A target audience helps you determine the right kind of content to share, the perfect platforms to join, and the customer needs you will want to fulfill.

For example, if you’re targeting millennials and selling the latest high-speed drones, use language that is direct but informal. You could also focus on creating short but captivating video content to share on your social pages instead of heavy text-based content.

3. Be consistent

Nurture a strong social media presence, and drive results, with consistency. You need to find out the best time to post content on social media, based on your target audience. Existing and potential customers only connect with brands that regularly share content that catches their attention. If you show up on social feeds rarely, or only when you’re pushing sales, your business is more likely to be ignored. Don’t be a fair-weather friend on social!

4. Be Relevant

While being consistent with your social content sharing is important, it only works when it’s also relevant. Don’t share simply for the sake of being consistent, but to connect with your social media followers. When you know your audience, you can provide content that they want.

For example, if your brand sells furniture and furnishings, you could share tips on interior decorating. Sharing unrelated content, such as jewelry trends, may leave your followers scratching their heads. You want your social media followers to turn to you for all things furniture and furnishings, and not scroll past you because you seem to be spamming their social news feed with irrelevant information.

5. Create a social calendar

The best way to be consistent, and ensure that your social pages remain active, is to create a social media marketing calendar. Creating a social calendar helps your marketing campaign run smoothly, with no unnecessary gaps in your schedule, and keeps you well-prepared in advance. You could create a weekly or monthly calendar to avoid any last-minute chaos. Depending on the social media platform and the kinds of posts you’re creating, schedule posts daily, weekly, or monthly.

It’s important to remember that every social platform works differently, and so should your posting schedule. For example, Twitter is all about instant communication that relies on real-time happenings, so prepare to post a few times a day to keep up. Whereas for Instagram, you can plan to post only once per day.

If you’re looking to learn more about how often you should be posting to your social accounts, check out our guide.

6. Use social media management tools

Social media management tools help you streamline your scheduling and posting. You can also use social media tools to automate your social media activities. Many of these tools help you accurately measure and analyze your campaigns as well as publish content across multiple social media platforms, all in one single dashboard.

7. Focus on visual marketing

Most people today browse through social media on-the-go. Using impactful visuals that have the power to catch a scrolling user’s attention instantly can significantly improve your social media interactions. People are more likely to notice a powerful visual than read a blog post or even a caption. However, once you capture attention through a relevant visual, you can hold their attention with text. Use free photo resources to find powerful images, or capture real images of your business to share.

8. Invest in paid social ads

Set aside a budget to invest in paid social media ads. Social media platforms marginalize the possibility of organic visibility, giving brands with paid ads a boost in reach. Boosting or promoting your posts is comparatively less expensive than Google AdWords, making it an effective strategy for small businesses.

9. Build and join social communities

Social media platforms have many communities and forums where like-minded people, or people interested in a specific industry, ask questions, share feedback, and offer new ideas. Join such communities relevant to your business to know what people are talking about, and share your own opinions. If there aren’t many communities for your industry, or they’re inactive, consider starting a social community yourself.

10. A/B test your campaigns

A/B testing, also known as split testing, allows you to create multiple options for each email or ad and send it to different groups to see which works best with your audience.

For example, if you use Constant Contact for email marketing, you can create an email with two different subject lines. You then send the email to two different groups of contacts and compare the open rates. The subject line that gets a higher open rate is more effective for your audience. In the future, you can use similar language to create catchy subject lines that you know your audience enjoys.

In the same way, you can A/B test your social media posts to understand what works best for your business and improve your future posts, making them more effective.

11. Interact and engage

Social media marketing not only creates brand awareness, but it also creates a communication channel between your brand and your customers. Interact with your existing customers, or potential ones, and keep a close eye on every comment, like, follow, and share to capitalize on the opportunity of giving the best timely response. This engagement also builds a sense of trust with your customers and lets them know that you are accessible.

12. Collaborate with brands and influencers

Influencer marketing has given social media marketing a significant boost. Collaborating with the right influencer(s) gives your brand greater visibility to a relevant audience and provides you with incredible user-generated content to use across other digital marketing channels. Additionally, you could also collaborate with other brands that have already built a large and engaged social following, to the mutual benefit of both businesses.

13. Optimize for social media

Just like optimizing a website boosts its search engine ranking, optimizing social posts also increases the chances of ranking higher on social media platforms. Social platforms have search features, so using relevant keywords or hashtags can help new customers find your business. Research the popular hashtags that people are using to search for the products you offer on various social media channels and incorporate them into your social posts.

14. Strike a balance between promotion and entertainment

While most social media marketing tips warn against promotional content, the key is to strike a healthy balance. Let’s face it, even if your social media marketing goal is to increase brand awareness, the ultimate goal of every business is to drive conversions and sales. When you create your social calendar, try to space out promotional content. For example, for every five posts you create that are entertaining or informational, create one promotional post to drive sales. Don’t be pushy with your promotional content, but don’t avoid selling altogether either.

15. Get creative

Creativity is the way to ace social media marketing. Holding the attention of your social audience involves continuously coming up with new and creative ways to keep them hooked. Explore different types of content to add variety, include gamification, add surveys and polls to boost interaction, and run with the trends to stay relevant.

Get started with a successful social media marketing strategy

Using these tips for your social media marketing will help you achieve your goals and increase your online presence. If you’re already using social media, it’s time to build a stronger marketing plan, or start creating a new one.

Customers today turn to social media sites for entertainment, communication, information sharing, updates, to discover new brands, and to make purchases. Cater to all their needs with your social media content and make it impossible for people to scroll by your business.