It’s hard to remember when we weren’t all glued to social media. Yet the proportion of marketers using social media to reach new and existing audiences has risen every year since 2013:
With so much competition from other marketers, you must take the time to develop smart strategies for social media marketing to help you:
- Target the right people through the right channels
- Understand the role each platform plays in your path to conversion
- Define the types of content that work best on each platform
- Identify ways to leverage influencers and thought leaders on social media effectively
- Invest in the best social media tools to save time and money
We’ll cover all those points (and more) in our complete social media strategy creation guide.
Let’s get into it.
TikTok Marketing Strategy
The brash new upstart of the social media scene, TikTok has about one billion monthly active users. We all know the platform is popular with younger audiences, but one in three TikTok users is aged 25 to 34, while one in four is aged 35 or over.
Of the five major platforms in our social media strategy guide, TikTok is (currently) the only one dedicated to video content. It’s also more algorithmically driven than the other platforms, with the For You feed recommending content based on your previous engagement habits. This makes it a fantastic platform for brands looking to reach totally new audiences.
Want to create a new social media strategy for TikTok or optimize your existing strategy? Start with these fundamentals:
1. Analyze Your TikTok Audience
TikTok offers an exhaustive range of analytics that allow you to see under the hood of your audience insights. To find it, log in to your account, hover over your profile picture, and click View Analytics.
Select the Followers tab, and you’ll get access to a treasure trove of audience insights. Beyond basic demographic information, you can dig into your audience’s TikTok preferences, including:
- When your followers are most active. This invaluable data allows you to plan posts when your audience is most likely to see them.
- What videos they watch. You don’t have to make decisions based solely on which of your videos are the most popular. You can also see the videos they watched from other creators.
- What sounds they listen to. TikTok’s roots can be traced back to the defunct Musical.ly app, and music still plays a crucial role in the platform’s content. Choosing a trending soundtrack can boost the visibility of your videos.
2. Set TikTok Marketing Goals
TikTok is arguably more effective than any other platform for reaching new audiences because one in four users can’t be found on any other social network.
But what action do you want those users to take once you reach them?
Typically, brands leverage TikTok to drive sales. TikTok’s data suggests this is the best marketing use case for the platform, with 67% of users agreeing that TikTok has inspired them to shop — even when they weren’t planning to do so.
However, it’s not just about generating revenue. With 74% of users saying TikTok has inspired them to learn more about a product or brand, it’s also an excellent platform for building brand awareness.
3. Optimize Your TikTok Business Profile
Unless you’re running ads, the only way to drive TikTok users to your website is via the link on your profile page. So your profile must be up to scratch.
Get it right with these best practices:
- Choose your profile picture. Again, this will most likely be your logo, and it displays as a circular image and has recommended dimensions of 200 x 200 pixels.
- Add a short bio. And by “short,” we mean no longer than 80 characters. If you have a (brief) brand slogan, add it here.
- Pick the most relevant URL. You only get to choose one clickable URL in your profile, so make it count. Your homepage is always a safe bet, but if you’re running a campaign, consider linking to a dedicated landing page instead.
Read more about TikTok marketing strategy here:
Instagram Marketing Strategy
Part of the Meta “family,” Instagram has close to 1.5 billion monthly active users, making it the second most popular platform in this guide. Although it skews a little older than TikTok, almost two-fifths of users are aged 24 or below.
While all the social platforms in our roundup ultimately exist to make money, Instagram is arguably more commercially focused than most, with marketers reporting that ads make up as many as one in four posts on the platform. Yet people keep using it, which suggests they’re more or less happy to learn about relevant products or services on Instagram. This makes it a good fit for sales-oriented ad campaigns — particularly if you’re targeting younger demographics.
Follow these steps to build or level up your Instagram social media strategy:
1. Analyze Your Instagram Audience
Provided you’ve got a Business or Creator account, you can access all the audience insights you need via the menu on your profile page within Instagram’s mobile app.
Scroll down to the Your Audience section, click See All, and you’ll get a breakdown of follower activity and growth for up to 90 days (i.e., you can’t access all-time data). It includes:
- Top locations
- Gender split
- Age range
- Most active times
- Follower growth
2. Set Instagram Marketing Goals
When driving sales via social media, Instagram wins hands down. Research from Nosto found that consumers are more likely to get buying inspiration from Insta than any other social platform.
But the platform also offers other use cases. With such a vast audience, it’s a safe choice for building brand awareness — provided you’ve got enough high-quality visual content. Some brands even leverage Instagram to boost in-store sales and generate leads.
3. Optimize Your Instagram Profile
Whatever the objectives of your Instagram marketing strategy, you won’t accomplish them without a well-optimized profile page.
Follow these best practices to nail your profile:
- Choose an on-brand profile picture. It should be easily recognizable and align with your imagery on other platforms. For that reason, most brands use their logo. It’ll crop to a circle and should be no larger than 200 x 200 pixels.
- Write an engaging bio. You’ve got up to 150 characters to explain what you do and, hopefully, persuade people to follow you.
- Add a link. Like TikTok, you can only add one link to your bio section. Pick carefully: would your blog landing page be a wiser choice than your homepage? If you can’t decide on a single link, consider using a tool like Linktree to add multiple links from a single landing page.
Read more about Instagram marketing strategy with these articles:
- 10 of the best examples of brands using Instagram Reels
- Instagram 101: How to get your small business started on the platform
- 14 tips that will help you master Instagram Live
- Instagram Reels 101: Everything your brand needs to know to get started
- Top 10 brands killing it on Instagram
Facebook Marketing Strategy
Sure, Facebook is no longer everyone’s default social platform of choice. But with 2.9 billion monthly active users, it’s still the world’s largest social media network, so few marketers can afford to overlook it.
In particular, Facebook has become a vital resource for local businesses. Facebook’s figures show that 1.6 billion people worldwide are connected to a small business on the platform. That makes Facebook a strong fit for campaigns aimed at audiences in specific geographies or with niche interests.
Here are three steps to developing your Facebook social media strategy:
1. Analyze Your Facebook Audience Demographics
With any strategy for social media marketing, the first step is to understand your Facebook audience:
- How old are they?
- Where do they live?
- What do they do for a living?
- When (and where) do they use Facebook?
- What would motivate them to engage with your content?
If you already have an active Facebook Page with followers, you can answer all those questions — and more — using Meta Business Suite’s Audience Insights tool. It allows you to deep-dive into the demographics of your current Facebook followers, including:
- Education level
- Relationship status
- Hobbies and interests
- Purchase history
Image Source: Meta Business Suite dashboard
Insights will tell you if your actual Facebook audience aligns with the audience you want to target. If it does, keep doing what you’re doing — it’s working. If not, it’s time to adjust your strategy.
2. Set Facebook Marketing Goals
You know who you’re reaching. Now it’s time to define why you’re reaching them.
For the majority of marketers, the answer will be: “To sell them something.” But your goal could also be to:
- Grow your brand
- Provide customer support
- Drive foot traffic to a real-world location
Remember, your goals for Facebook should align with your overarching business objectives. If your board is only interested in revenue, they likely won’t be interested in “vanity metrics” like follower count and engagement levels.
It’s also important to consider the typical audience on Facebook. Once beloved (or at least tolerated) by most social media users, the platform has seen a significant drop in usage among younger demographics, with just 32% of teens saying they ever use it.
Research from the University of Alabama in Huntsville discovered that a primary driver for older demographics to use social media is to compensate for the lack of in-person interactions. So marketers may see success in building online communities through Facebook, prompting followers to share photos, take part in surveys, or join in with conversations.
3. Optimize Your Facebook Page
Your Facebook Page is the hub of your Facebook social media strategy. Across all countries, two-thirds of Facebook users say they visit the Page of a business in their area at least once a week.
Whether you already have an established Facebook Page or need to create one from scratch, follow these best practices to drive visibility and engagement:
- Add a cover photo. Facebook recommends a 16:9 aspect ratio and requires minimum dimensions of 400 x 150 pixels. Bear in mind the left-hand size will be partially obscured by your profile picture, and may be cropped or resized to fit different screens.
- Add a profile photo. As you can see, Facebook profile photos display as a cropped circle. It displays at 176 x 176 pixels on desktop and 196 x 196 pixels on smartphones.
- Choose relevant categories for the About section. You can add up to three categories to your Page to help people find your organization when they search for your products or services. Make them as specific as possible (e.g., if you make cakes, choose “bakery” or “dessert shop” rather than “local business”).
- Insert a CTA button. Facebook offers several CTA button options designed to help point users toward your website or perform some other action, such as contacting you through Messenger or booking a service. Choose the option that best fits your goals.
- Add your address. If you have a physical location, publish it on your Facebook Page. Do you have multiple locations? Create store Pages to help customers find their nearest branch.
- Switch on recommendations. This setting allows people to submit reviews and ratings on your Page. Reviews are precious for building trust, with 89% of consumers reading them before buying.
Read more about Facebook marketing strategy with these articles:
Twitter Marketing Strategy
With 436 million monthly active users, Twitter is a comparatively small fry among major social networks. But it’s still the platform of choice for high-profile users, from politicians to pop stars.
For better or worse, Twitter has always been a hotbed of discussion. New owner Elon Musk says he views the site as “the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.” Content that works best on Twitter is most likely to prompt a response — whether you’re telling a story, giving an opinion, predicting a trend, or breaking a news story.
Follow these three steps to nail the fundamentals of your Twitter marketing strategy:
1. Analyze Your Twitter Audience Demographics
Again, digging into your audience is your first port of call. Who are you trying to target? And if your organization already has a Twitter profile, does the existing audience align with your expectations?
To find out, visit the Twitter Analytics Followers dashboard.
Here, you’ll be able to explore their:
- Demographic information
2. Set Twitter Marketing Goals
Let’s talk about goal setting. To set meaningful goals for your Twitter marketing strategy, you need to understand the platform’s strengths (and weaknesses).
People don’t typically use Twitter for buying inspiration, so it’s not a natural fit for sales and revenue-focused objectives. But it’s widely seen as a place to learn something, with 69% of users getting news from Twitter and 70% accessing breaking news via the platform.
That makes the platform a strong fit for promoting high-quality content — think original research and thought leadership — and using it to build brand awareness and generate leads.
3. Optimize Your Twitter Professional Profile
You need a Twitter Professional account to establish and grow your brand on Twitter. If you’re currently operating from a personal (i.e., non-Professional) account, you can convert it here.
Once you’ve set up your Professional account, follow these steps to optimize it:
- Set your profile picture. Your photo should be an image that represents your brand and looks good in a circle. Most likely, it’ll be your logo. Twitter’s recommended dimensions are 300 x 300 pixels.
- Choose a header photo. While your logo may never change, think of your header photo as a billboard for your products or services. Change it as often as you want. The recommended dimensions are 1,500 x 1,500 pixels.
- Write your bio. Bios are a 160-character elevator pitch for your brand or business. The bio section can (and should) include a link to your website, location, and opening hours (if relevant).
- Pin a tweet. Your pinned tweet stays at the top of your feed until you unpin it. Choose something that speaks to your biggest current campaign, such as an event you’re planning or your latest product launch.
LinkedIn Marketing Strategy
LinkedIn is the only B2B-dedicated platform in our roundup. Unlike most social media sites, users don’t tend to visit it for distraction or entertainment; they have a specific purpose in mind, whether that’s growing their network, finding a job, or solving a problem. That means your content should be actionable.
These steps will help you craft your LinkedIn social media strategy:
1. Analyze Your LinkedIn Audience Demographics
We’re going to assume you’ve already got a LinkedIn Page for your organization. (If not, your first step is to answer the same types of audience-themed questions we laid out in the section on Facebook marketing strategy).
LinkedIn’s audience analysis tools are second to none. Login to your Page, click the Analytics tab, and navigate to Followers to access insights on:
- Job function
- Company size
Helpfully, you can view the same information about people who’ve visited your LinkedIn Page without following you.
Follower demographics can offer some invaluable insights. For instance, say 50% of visitors to your Page are at the director level, but only 20% of your followers are directors. Perhaps your LinkedIn Page isn’t doing enough to convert those interested parties into fully-fledged followers. Or maybe your most recent posts have been more relevant to a director-level audience.
2. Set LinkedIn Marketing Goals
Regarding B2B lead generation, LinkedIn is in a class of its own. An estimated 80% of B2B marketing leads from social media come via the platform. So if lead generation aligns with your broader marketing objectives, it should undoubtedly be your LinkedIn strategy’s primary (or sole) purpose.
But what if lead gen isn’t relevant to your business goals? You could still leverage LinkedIn’s hiring power. LinkedIn data shows 95 job applications are submitted via the platform every second, and six people are hired through the site every minute.
3. Optimize Your LinkedIn Page
The first step to optimizing your LinkedIn Page is adding information in every (relevant) section. Complete Pages generate 30% more weekly views than incomplete Pages, so this is an easy win.
Beyond that, follow these best practices to craft a well-optimized LinkedIn Page:
- Add your logo. Got a logo? Add it to the relevant box, with recommended dimensions of 300 x 300 pixels.
- Add a cover photo. Your cover photo should speak to the purpose of your organization, and it should measure 1,584 x 396 pixels.
- Fill out relevant information fields. LinkedIn has several organizational information fields covering your location and what you do. Complete all that are relevant.
- Write an overview. Your overview is a 2,000-character biography of your brand (although the text truncates at around 320 characters). Use this section to spell out your mission and vision.
- Pick a CTA button: LinkedIn allows you to add one of five CTA buttons to the top of your Page. Choose the most relevant from Learn more; Register; Sign up; and Visit website.
You’ve analyzed your audience, defined your social media marketing goals, and optimized your profile pages. Now it’s time for the exciting part: creating content.
This step can feel overwhelming. Where to start? But don’t worry because we’ve rounded up five inspiring social media strategy examples for content creation:
1. Leverage User-Generated Content
Wouldn’t it be great if your audience could create all your content for you?
User-generated content (UGC) isn’t just a time-saver for marketers; it’s amazing for driving sales. According to Stackla, four in five consumers say UGC is “highly influential” to their purchasing decisions, compared to just one in eight who say the same about branded content.
GoPro is a master at UGC. It runs daily competitions that give budding photographers a chance to have their work seen by the brand’s audience of 19.6 million Instagram followers:
View this post on Instagram
2. Host Q&A Sessions
Want to make your social media marketing more social? Question-and-answer sessions are the perfect solution. Ask your audience a bunch of questions and join in with the conversation when people reply, like HubSpot does in this example:
Question for our community: What can leaders do to improve their emotional intelligence?
— HubSpot (@HubSpot) October 4, 2022
3. Share Reviews & Testimonials
If your board got their way, you’d likely spend all your time posting about how amazing your products are. Unfortunately, that gets old quickly.
One solution is to share reviews and testimonials. They can be highly impactful, with TrustRadius research revealing that 67% of buyers describe reviews as a “very important consideration” in their path to purchase. Here, Brooklinen demonstrates how reviews can be an excellent fit for your social media content plan:
4. Repurpose Content for Social Media
You’re already creating quality content for your website. So why not turn it into something more relevant to social media audiences?
In this example, Hootsuite has repurposed a recent blog post, pulling out some of the key information, incorporating it into an Instagram-friendly slideshow, and adding some snazzy visuals:
View this post on Instagram
Note how it urges readers to find out more by clicking the link in its Instagram bio.
5. Help Your Audience Solve Common Problems
Your audience follows you for advice on something, whether how to dress for a fall wedding or file your taxes correctly. So why not use your expertise to create shareable content?
Go Clean Co does this by producing regular how-to guides for Instagram Stories focused on different cleaning projects. In this example, it shows followers how to clean a car:
Learn more about content creation with these articles:
- 15 of the best free content calendar templates
- 22 best places for finding content to share on social media
- Nine strategies for creating an effective social media content calendar
- Readability: How to ensure your blog content doesn’t scare off visitors
- Six ways to create marketing content that stands out from the noise
- Capitalizing on awareness: 5 ways to create content for the top end of your funnel
- 4 tips for amplifying your digital content
- Top 7 considerations for choosing high-performing blog topics
- 10 of the Best Brand Storytelling Campaigns of 2022
Influencer Marketing Strategy
Influencer marketing and social media marketing are natural bedfellows. After all, the vast majority of influencers have large social followings. Here are four simple steps to building an influencer marketing strategy:
- Set campaign goals. Start by defining what you want your influencer strategy to achieve. Most influencer campaigns are geared toward driving sales. But influencer marketing can also help you generate leads, reach new audiences, and grow your brand.
- Choose your campaign type. Influencer marketing is an umbrella term that covers a wide range of campaign types, from one-off guest posts to full social media takeovers. Use your objectives to identify the most suitable formats for your influencer strategy.
- Research influencers. Obvious as it sounds, your campaign will only work if you find influencers with relevant audiences and values. Fortunately, many tools can help you find influencers, such as HypeAuditor, Affable.ai, and Upfluence.
- Involve influencers in ideation and content creation. Quality influencers don’t want to promote any old content blindly. Reach out to them before the ideation stage, encourage them to share ideas, and take their feedback onboard.
Learn more about building an influencer marketing strategy with these articles:
- How to find the best influencer for your brand
- 10 most effective ways to negotiate with influencers
- 10 great examples of how brands are leveraging micro-influencers
- 7 must-know tips for effective influencer outreach
Social Media Tools
Building strategies for social media marketing is a lot of work, and running your campaigns takes even longer.
Fortunately, there are many excellent social media tools you can lean on to handle all the legwork and streamline communications. Here are 15 of our favorites, split into five of the most common social media-related tasks:
Social Media Scheduling
Scheduling posts across multiple platforms is highly time-consuming. So no wonder it’s the most commonly automated of all digital marketing-related tasks. Use these tools to lighten the load:
Social Media Tracking & Reporting
Proving the ROI of social media campaigns has consistently been rated as one of the biggest challenges for social media marketers.
To overcome that challenge, you need a robust analytics and reporting tool. Each social platform has its built-in tools, but if you want a more joined-up view of your social media efforts, these tools can help:
In an ideal world, you’d have a full-time graphic designer by your side just waiting to help you out with eye-catching creative whenever you need it. Unfortunately, many organizations lack the bandwidth or budget (or both) to make that a reality. However, there are lots of tools that allow total amateurs to craft high-quality designs, such as:
Collaboration & Communication
Social media marketing is rarely a one-person task. You might need to work with everyone from account managers and graphic designers to content writers and videographers. That’s too much collaboration for your email inbox to handle, so consider using one of these communications platforms:
You can’t be expected to develop a unique idea for every social media post across all the platforms you manage. And nor should you, because there’s a whole world of relevant content out there that your audience would love to see — you just need to find it. These tools can help: