Social media marketing is hard. First you have to choose which of the million+ platforms to use. Then you have to actually figure out what to post.
Open your profile and that blinking cursor just stares you down, mocking everything you even consider typing.
+ “Take 10% off for National Pancake Day” – meh, who cares?
+ “Check out our newest product” – boooooring.
+ “Share and tag your friends because we’re desperate for followers” – needy af.
But social media marketing doesn’t have to make your face cave in just thinking about it. As long as you have a good strategy and awesome templates at the ready, it’s easy to dominate the social media marketing game and shut that blinking cursor up once and for all.
1. Pick a Platform
Don’t even think about signing up for all 38 billion social media platforms from the get go. That way lies madness.
+ Facebook has the broadest audience, but it’s used by slightly more females than males.
+ Instagram is popular with the younger folks, most of whom live in urban locales.
+ Twitter’s audience is made up of more high-earning college grads.
+ Pinterest users are overwhelmingly females between the ages of 18 and 49.
A few tips for each platform:
Facebook – always include a visual (videos are huge) and keep your post in the 80-120 word range. Facebook’s algorithm demotes overly promotional posts, so don’t say boring stuff like “buy now” or “sign up today.”
Twitter – You can use a max of 140 characters, but consider limiting yourself to around 125 characters so there’s room to add your Twitter handle in retweets. Don’t use more than a couple of hashtags.
Instagram – Longer captions are fine, just be sure to add line breaks to make it easier to read. Emojis and hashtags are hugely popular. Incorporate both into your posts or simply add a comment to each post with all your hashtags.
Pinterest – Posts with 200-300 words get repinned the most. Be sure to include relevant keywords and a link to your store. Hashtags aren’t recommended on Pinterest.
2. Set Your Goals
First off, here are a few technical terms you should know:
Reach – The total number of people who saw your post.
Impressions – The total number of times people saw your post (could be multiple times for each person).
Engagement – The total number of interactions (likes, comments, etc.) divided by the total number of impressions.
Sentiment – Measure of how people react to your posts (positive, neutral or negative).
Now that you know the lingo, you need to decide what you’re trying to achieve. Then you’ll know what metrics to track to determine if you’re successful.
If you want to increase brand awareness, don’t be a self-promotional shill. Create content that shows off your brand’s personality. Be entertaining, informative or inspirational. MoonPie is the perfect example of an entertaining social media strategy designed to build brand awareness.
If you want to rouse a legion of devoted fans, you’ve got to inspire them to interact with you. Promote user-generated content, ask questions, create polls or make controversial statements. Domino’s social media engagement went through the roof due when they revamped their strategy along with their pizza.
If you aren’t sure what your goal should be, check out what your competitors are doing. See what’s working for them and then make it your own.
3. Create Your Content
Now that you’ve got a broad idea of where and what to publish, it’s time to get into specifics. But it can be difficult to write awesome captions without sounding overly promotional.
Here are a few tips:
+ Write stuff people want to share. Be helpful or funny, and encourage people to share and tag their friends.
+ If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million. Videos are killing it, especially on Facebook and Instagram.
+ Sharing user-generated content is a great way to take the pressure of yourself while making your audience feel special.
+ Social media isn’t for selling. That’s advertising. Social media is for building connections with your audience. You can still promote your biz, just don’t make it sound like a sales pitch.
+ Don’t worry about posting on the “recommended” days/times. Just post when you’re available to engage. People expect interaction, so post when you can be there to respond and answer questions.
Bonus: 30 Social Media Post Templates
For illustration purposes, I’ve invented a cool, new product that’s made from solid chunks of crystal clear water. It’s called thiccquid.
To make these templates work for you, delete my product and insert yours or take the sentiment and make it your own.
- Poll: Do you prefer soda that’s as cold as your mother-in-law’s heart or as hot as the flaming center of the sun?
- Hot soda sucks. Thiccquid doesn’t.
- Here’s what Beyonce uses to chill her beverages.
- Pro Tip: Don’t get heat stroke. Use thiccquid.
- This week was hot as balls. Cool off with a frosty beverage.
- Mondays suck. To make it better, we’re giving away two thiccquids. To enter, share this post and tag a friend who hates Mondays as much as you.
- Happy National Pickle Day! FYI – Pickle juice tastes better cold.
- Cold beverages in record time. Meet thiccquid.
- The old way: Putting snow in your drink. The new way? Thiccquid.
- That Friday feeling. #thiccquid
- The ultimate gift for girls who love cold beverages.
- The number one reason you need thiccquid this Fourth of July.
- How you can use thiccquid to make your dog smile.
- That feeling when you down an icy cold beverage on a scorching hot day.
- Lots of people struggle to cool their beverages. Here’s how thiccquid makes it easy.
- The age-old question: How do I cool off my drink? Answer: Thiccquid.
- Beverage fact #378: They’re better cold.
- Local mom uses this genius trick to chill drinks fast.
- On this day in history, scientists discovered that cold drinks taste better than hot drinks. SCIENCE!
- We’re declaring today National Cold Beverage Day. Share what you’re making to celebrate.
- Who likes hot drinks? Satan, that’s who.
- “Cold drinks are the foundation of democracy.” – George Washington probably
- We just hit 1,000 followers! To celebrate, we’re giving away 2 thiccquids. To enter, tag your BFF and tell them what kind of drink they would be if they were an icy cold beverage.
- Tell us your favorite cold beverage for a chance to win free thiccquid for a year.
- How to make the perfect frosty beverage.
- We asked 100 people what’s better: molten hot soda or ice cold soda. 99 of 100 prefer ice cold soda. Damn you, Karen.
- Still cooling your beverages the old fashioned way? #switchtothiccquid
- People sometimes tell us they prefer hot beverages. Those people have the IQ of a chicken nugget.
- Boiling hot soda? Not today, Satan.
- The number 1 hack to get a cold drink fast.
Congratulations. You now know what social media platform your audience uses most, what your social media goals are and how to create kick-ass content.
Now go add “Social Media Strategist” to your resume. Then steal our templates and get to posting!
About the Author
Gennifer is the Marketing Manager at ByteStand, where she lives and breathes customer service education while sipping coffee in her pajamas.
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