5 Steps to Success Using Free Social Media Marketing Platforms

Social media platforms are amazing digital marketing tools. Better yet, you can optimize the use of these platforms to help grow your business without it costing you anything at all. Read on if you want to know the five steps to success using social media platforms. 

Social media marketing can be challenging at first, especially if you have little experience. These five simple steps will guide you on how to create a strategy successfully, yielding a high return on your time and work. 

Step 1: S.M.A.R.T. Goals 

As with any project, it is crucial to have a plan. It will ensure you stay on track and keep organized. Follow the S.M.A.R.T. Goal Setting strategy to help outline your targets and goals. See below for a practical example. 

  • Specific 

Your goals need to be as specific as possible. Avoid setting goals such as “be successful,” which are too vague. Instead, your goals should provide a crystal clear picture of what your expectations are, and what exactly you want to achieve. 

“To increase online sales by 5% in 60 days using affiliate links on Facebook” is a good example of a specific goal. It describes exactly what you want to achieve.

  • Measurable

Is your goal measurable? You must be able to determine if you have reached your goal or not. Often, a goal can be measured using a target or a number. 

“To reach 1000 Instagram followers in 3 months” is an excellent example of a measurable goal. You can say, “yes, we reached 1000 Instagram followers in three months” or “No, we missed our target by 20%, reaching only 800”.  

  • Attainable

Your goals need to be realistic and achievable. Out of reach goals can be frustrating and demotivating. An ideal goal makes you stretch out to your fullest potential, but are focused on facts and realistic expectations. 

“To reach 500 Twitter followers by the end of the month” is an excellent example of an attainable goal. It is much more likely to succeed if you are just starting, compared to trying to reach 1 million followers in the same time frame. 

  • Relevant

Your social media marketing goal needs to align with your overall marketing goal. Are you attempting to build an audience or to increase traffic to your website? Ensure your social media goal relates to the bigger picture, and that you have a clear understanding of how attaining your goal will benefit the business. 

If the overall goal is to increase research and development, “Engage with 10 customers a month on facebook and instagram about different issues they may be experiencing, for three months” is an excellent example of a relevant goal. This will directly influence your research and development.  

  • Timely

Give yourself a timeline to be accountable for your goals. Stay on track by breaking up a large project into smaller segments and milestones, each with their respective deadlines. 


“Achieve 10 retweets in 20 days” is an excellent example of a timely goal, as it states precisely in how long the target should be achieved. 

Step 2: Identify Your Target Audience 

Identifying who is your target audience is a crucial step in becoming a successful social media marketer! For your marketing strategies to be effective, they need to be explicitly designed for who you intend to reach.

A right way of identifying your target audience is by determining their essential characteristics such as: 

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Job
  • Income 
  • Interests 
  • Struggles
  • Which social media platforms they hang out most on 
  • When are they are most likely to be on these platforms  

Defining these characteristics allows you to create a clearly outlined buyer’s persona. 

Here are three smart ways of obtaining insightful information about your target audience. 

  1. Review happy clients

Study customers who are satisfied with your product or service. Find out who they are, what industry they are part of, their demographic, and their goals, to better understand who you should be targeting. 

  1. Discover the pain points

What question does your product or service answer, or what problem does it solve? How does it make your customer’s life easier? You will truly grasp the value your company brings to consumers when you understand how you help solve a problem.

  1. Survey Customer Support

Communication with the people who are in direct contact with your consumers is vital. You should figure out what kind of feedback you’re receiving and what kind of questions the company gets the most. Knowing this information can help you create content more attractive to your audience. 

Step 3: Valuable and Creative Content 

The third step, and likely the most important one, is creating good quality content! Social media content exists in so many forms, such as images, videos, blog posts, webinars, news, infographics, e-books, interviews, and more. 

Ideally, you want your content to be a mix of varied forms dedicated to different purposes like driving traffic to your blog, increasing sales, improving lead generation, etc. Your content should not focus strictly on sales, as it will eventually drive your audience away. Instead, it should include relevant industry information, news and information about the company, and even curated content from other sources by different writers.   

The key is to deliver excellent content continually- never stop! Only a couple of pictures here and there, or a short blog whenever you have time, will not suffice. In order to keep your audience engaged, your content needs on-going nurturing and updating. Yes, it can be challenging and time consuming to continuously create high quality content! Find inspiration by researching what your competition or similar companies are sharing, and discover what your audience is interested in. 

Step 4: Testing and Metrics 

Although content itself is critical, determining if the content being shared on social media is effective is crucial! Especially at first, social media marketing relies on a certain amount of trial and error. 

By studying analytics and keeping track of results, you can identify what strategies are working best for you. And what needs to be modified. After all, you cannot improve something you cannot measure. Here are some metrics to consider: 

  • Followers

Tracking the total number of newly acquired followers after a campaign, and comparing it to your goal, is the right way of determining its success. Accessible and engaging social media accounts are continually acquiring new followers. 

  • Likes / Shares / Comments

You can measure your audience’s engagement through their posts and what they share from their accounts. Also, receiving re-tweets, or that your posts are being shared, commented on, and liked, is a positive sign. Pinpoint which types of content yield the best response from your audience.

  • Clicks

Studying your click metrics will demonstrate how your social media efforts are starting to drive sales. Were there many clicks to your blog or website as a result of your last post? The ability to draw more visitors into your sales funnel is what determines the success of your social media marketing efforts. 

  • Downloads

If your post ignites a reaction from your audience, they may find themselves on your landing page. Here is where they can download the content of higher value, like an e-book, or fill out a contact form. Is your content leading them to this point? At this stage, followers are at the cusp of becoming paying customers.  

  • Leads

Leads are the metric that will tell you most about our social media marketing efforts! Successful social media marketing will ultimately increase your total number of qualified leads. This process may take longer, as it takes time to convert followers and especially newcomers into leads. 

Step 5: Create a Social Media Schedule 

The last step to using social media successfully for your marketing is creating a social media schedule. You need to decide when you want to share your content, and it cannot just be when you feel like it! It is essential to have a structured plan and schedule to ensure consistency. For more tips like these about social media marketing, make sure you check out https://OnlineAcademy.com.

Create a content calendar and posting schedule, outlining how often you will post to each network, what topics, and when exactly you intend on sharing. An excellent place to start is to assess when your audience is most likely to be on social media, and then decide in advance what kind of content you will share. To make it easier, make use of social media management tools that allow you to create posts in advance and automatically upload them at a desired date and time.

Conclusion

Social media platforms are ideal for online marketing your business at no additional cost. Also, these platforms are used by the majority of the population; if you are not yet utilizing them for your business, this is what you should be doing! Whether you choose to focus just on Facebook marketing or instead use other platforms like Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, or Snapchat, follow these tips for successful social media marketing, and you will have a killer online presence!