Beginner’s Guide to Social Media Marketing

With over 4.7 billion users, social media has quickly emerged as a powerful tool for businesses to connect with their audience. However, while some have been able to quickly adapt to the rise of social media, others find themselves struggling to understand its nuances.

This beginner’s guide is designed to help you gain a solid understanding of the basics of social media marketing.

What is Social Media Marketing?

Social Media Marketing (SMM) is a way of promoting your company and engaging with consumers online through popular platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. The main objectives of social media marketing include enhancing brand awareness, connecting with your target audience, driving website traffic, and generating sales. 

In today’s world, integrating SMM into your marketing strategy is crucial. Surveys have shown that around 68% of consumers believe social media enables them to interact with brands and companies. Furthermore, about 78% of consumers admitted that they are much more willing to buy from a company after having a positive experience with them on social media.

Popular SMM Platforms

With an overwhelming number of platforms, it may be difficult to decide which social media platforms are the right fit for you. Rather than creating a profile for every platform out there, we recommend only focusing on two or three starting out. Let’s take a quick look at some of the most popular social media platforms. 


With a staggering 2.94 billion monthly active users, Facebook is hands down the largest social media platform. Its extensive reach and user base make it a favorite amongst brands and businesses for advertising and building relationships, with 95% of marketers saying that Facebook gave them the best ROI. The type of content you can expect to see on Facebook includes pictures, videos, short updates, and curated content.


Boasting 1.4 billion monthly active users, Instagram is most well known for its visually appealing content and unique designs. It is frequently used by influencers, high-status brands, and small businesses to enhance brand awareness and engage with their target audiences effectively. The content you’ll see on Instagram primarily consists of high-quality pictures and short videos.


LinkedIn serves as a professional networking platform primarily used for connecting with potential clients, employers, and employees. With 350 million monthly active users, it’s an excellent platform for B2B relationships and establishing yourself as a thought leader within your industry. You will mainly see long-form content, blogs, and product launches on this platform.


With over 6 billion hours of videos viewed every month, YouTube holds the title of second largest search engine, right behind Google. Unlike other platforms, YouTube exclusively focuses on video content. Users primarily go to this here for entertainment and/or educational purposes.


Twitter is a social platform that is centered around short posts known as “tweets” that encourage users to share their thoughts and engage with others. With roughly 350 million monthly active users, Twitter is often utilized for public relations, customer service, and SEO marketing. 

Tips for Building Your SMM Strategy

Now it’s time to start planning. You’re going to want to build a social media marketing strategy that outlines what you’re hoping to accomplish, the steps you’re planning to take, and how you’re going to measure your progress. Here are a few tips that should help you get started in building an effective social media marketing strategy. 

Understand your audience

The first thing you will want to do is to take the time to study the audience that you want to focus on. Narrow down your target audience by considering what it is you’re selling, who would likely show the most interest in it, and what sort of content would be most appealing to them. Understanding your audience’s preferences, interests, and motivations will help you identify the platforms they frequent and the type of content they’d enjoy. 

Optimize your profile

It’s important to keep in mind that your social media profile reflects your brand’s identity. Think of it as your virtual resumé. A user’s initial opinion of you is formed within seconds of clicking on your profile, so you want to be sure you’re making a good first impression. Here are some things you should consider when creating an optimized profile. 

Choosing the right profile picture

When selecting your profile picture, be sure to select a high-quality image that represents you accurately. It could be a logo or a professional photo of you or your team. Make sure that the picture is sized properly and will fit well on the platform. Having a poorly cropped profile picture is your audience’s first indication that you might not know what you’re doing. It’s also a good idea to use the same profile pic across all platforms you use to keep some level of consistency. 

Perfecting your bio

Your bio is the small section of your profile where you get the chance to introduce yourself to users in just a few sentences. Since space is limited, focus on providing relevant information while incorporating keywords that can help users find you in searches. Remember to keep things natural and include some personality. Social media is an opportunity to showcase your character. 

Offering other ways to connect

If possible, provide links or buttons that allow users to connect with you outside the platform. This can be directing them to your website or your other social media profiles. Some platforms will offer dedicated spaces for adding links while others will make you include them in your “about” section. Either way, it’s important to give users the means to further connect with you.

Being mindful of tags

Make sure you’re regularly reviewing posts that you’ve been tagged in to ensure they align with your brand and your values. You don’t want to be associated with inappropriate or undesirable content. Some platforms offer options to moderate your photo tag settings, making it so you first have to approve content before being tagged in it or even restricting who can tag you. Stay vigilant and make sure you’re protecting your online reputation.

Establish Metrics and KPIs

To measure your social media success, it’s important to track and analyze the metrics that provide valuable insights into your progress. These metrics will help you visualize your progress in relation to your goals. Here are some of the most common metrics used in social media marketing. 


Engagement measures the amount of interaction your content is receiving. It’s calculated by dividing total interactions by total impressions. This shows you how willing users are to interact with your content and is particularly important if your goal is to build stronger relationships.


Reach indicates the total number of users who saw your post. This metric helps you determine which types of content gain more visibility and which struggle to reach a larger audience. This is a great metric to pay attention to if your goal is to grow your brand and increase awareness.


Clicks refer to the total number of times users click on your account or content. Analyzing clicks reveals which posts or content spark the most interest from your audience. If your focus is on increasing conversions and driving leads, then you should dedicate time to understanding this metric.


Sentiment measures how users feel about your content. Just because a lot of people are seeing your content doesn’t necessarily mean a lot of people are enjoying it. Sentiment helps shed light on whether your audience’s reaction is positive or negative. If your goal is to enhance customer retention, this is a great metric to look at.

Determine the right content mix

For newcomers, finding the right content mix can be challenging. You don’t want your account to feel like one big ad, but you still want to capture people’s interest in your products/services. It’s important to have a good spread of various types of content such as images, memes, quotes, blogs, videos, polls, and infographics to keep things interesting for your audience. This is where your creativity really comes into play.

If you’re unsure where to start, you can always turn to the 80-20 rule. That just means allocating 80% of your content to entertaining, educating, and informing your audience, then dedicating the remaining 20% to directly promoting your brand. 

Create engaging posts

When it comes to social media marketing, it’s all about connecting with your audience. Focus on creating posts that encourage users to actively engage with you and your content. You can do this by incorporating location-based content, conducting Q&A sessions, and posing questions to your audience. Remember that responsiveness is crucial in curating engagement. Regularly check your comments and mentions so that your audience doesn’t feel ignored. If you get tagged in a light-hearted post or comments with questions, show them you’re listening by answering or leaving a light-hearted reply. 


Social media marketing is a chance for you to humanize your brand and create meaningful connections with a larger audience. Remember to stay creative, persistent, and responsive. While achieving overnight success is unlikely, if you continue to listen to your audience and improve your strategies, you’re sure to see significant results over time. 

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