Social Media Marketing in 2024: A Step-by-Step Guide

Discover the art of scheduling social media posts in 2024. Make your posting schedule easy, efficient, and effective. Start today and unleash your social media potential!

Jun 6, 2024

By Two minute reports

10 min read

We see stories of social media success every day. Businesses use social media networks for branding and even lead generation. 

Nike, Apple, and Zomato have killer social media accounts. They’ve amassed a huge following and brand awareness.

This motivates you. You create a page for your business or brand. You then optimize it and make it a visible profile. And lo, you now have a social media presence.

But now what? 

Extracting success from your social media marketing requires planning and strategy. In this article, we break it down into simple steps.

How to create a Social Media Marketing strategy?

You can build a social media strategy by following these 7 important steps: 

  1. Understanding Social Media
  2. Setting Goals
  3. Understanding your target audience 
  4. Choosing the Right Social Media Platform
  5. Identifying the key metrics
  6. Analyzing and learning from your competition
  7. Content Creation
  8. Engagement and Community Building
  9. Analytics and Reporting 

The step before all: Understanding Social Media in 2024! 

Social media platforms today adhere to rules. Simple conditions govern how a user uses, interacts, and experiences content. Social media platforms are built around these instructions. These instructions make up the social media algorithm.  

Think of the algorithm as a friend who tries to show you relevant content based on your preferences. This friend is responsible. They bring you funny memes or niche-specific social media posts to your feed. 

The algorithm is often updated to improve a user’s experience. This is why a Social Media Marketer or Manager must always stay updated on how the algorithm works. How? Through releases, competitor analysis, or pure strategy and experimentation.

All this might make social media sound like rocket science. But if we break it down into steps and follow them, social media success becomes achievable.

Step 2: Setting Goals for Social Media Marketing

To create an effective social media strategy, you start with his question! 

What do you need from social media?

To find out let’s break social media marketing into two broad parts.

  1. Organic Social Media Marketing: 

The original social marketing isn’t going anywhere! Organic social media marketing is still important, even though we can now pay for reach. 

In 2024, Organic Social Media Marketing means: 

  1. Social Media Content Creation
  2. Social Media Branding 
  3. Community Building

Should you focus on organic social media marketing?

If you need a loyal, long-term audience, focus on organic marketing. While it may seem time-consuming, this method has proven to increase brand awareness. Organic Social Media marketing is also low-cost and effective. 

  1. Paid Social Media Marketing: 

More than 60% of the world’s population is on Social Media today. This means there's no better way than social media ads to push your product/service. 

Every active Social Media Platform today has its offerings for Advertising. The paid social network advertising options available today include:

  1. Boosted Posts/Content
  2. Paid Advertisements
  3. Display Advertisements

Should you focus on paid social media marketing?

If you need quick results and high ROI, focus on paid marketing. Social media ads allow you to reach a specific target audience to generate leads. Paid social media can also drive website traffic within a short timeframe.

Step 3: Understanding your target audience and buyer personas

Yes! You’ve set goals for your social media efforts, giving it a direction. Now, you have to ensure that you move in that direction. And the only way to get started is to find your buyers.

How should you define your target audience and buyer personas?

Ask these questions to categorize and understand your target audience better:

  1. Who are your potential customers? 

    For example, the potential users of an AI-powered report-creation tool work with reports. They could be of any age or industry.

  2. What do they do? 

    They could be marketers, analysts, business owners, or content creators. They could seek efficient, data-driven digital marketing. Or, they could just want to finish their jobs quickly.

  3. What would they like? 

    A FREE Trial? Quick report creation and integration to Google Sheets and Looker Studio? Integration with 75+ data sources like Google Analytics 4, Facebook, or TikTok?

Defining your target audience gives a direction to your social media marketing strategy.

Step 4: Choosing the right social media platforms 

It’s well-known that every platform has unique users, algorithms, and content. Each platform has specialized features for content types or audiences. For example, Instagram is more visual, but X (Twitter) is more textual. 

But, a lot of social media marketers try to focus on all the platforms at the same time. While this may sound ideal, it is counterproductive. 

How to select the best social media platforms for your business?

Consider your business goals and target audience to choose the platforms. 

For example, a clothing business can choose something visual, like Instagram, or Facebook. 

Or a food-delivery app can choose platforms where they could listen to their audience.  A great example could be X (Twitter). Food apps could also focus on visual platforms like Instagram and YouTube.

These questions also help in choosing the right platforms for your strategy. 

  • What type of content does your audience/customers consume?

For a report-creation tool, potential buyers are on LinkedIn and YouTube. They could also be in marketing forums or groups on Instagram and Facebook.

  • How does your potential buyer consume their content?

If videos, we can focus on a video-driven platform like YouTube. If it’s text-based or other visual content, we can focus on X or LinkedIn. 

Finding the right platforms helps you distribute your social media efforts. Understanding each social media platform clarifies the requirements to build a purposeful strategy. 

It is also important to diversify your efforts into different social media channels. 

For example, Instagram might be the primary platform for a clothing brand. But being on Twitter could help them listen to their audience.

Experimentation is great, but experimentation with purpose is crucial! 

Step 5: Identifying key metrics

Today’s world is heavily data-driven. Metrics are crucial for your social media strategy. 

Based on your goals and social media platforms, identify the key metrics. These metrics help you create areas of focus for your strategy. 

Here’s an example. A business/brand new to social media must focus on engagement metrics. They can pick metrics like Amplification Rate, Engagement Rate, and Audience Growth Rate. 

CTR or CPC could be more relevant for a business that needs Social Network advertising. 

Want to identify the top metrics?

Tracking social media metrics has become an absolute necessity today. The most important social media metrics can be broadly categorized into:

  1. Engagement Metrics
  2. Growth and Awareness Metrics
  3. Marketing Metrics

Understand the top metrics for social media in 2024 to make the best out of your social media efforts. 

Step 6: Competitor Analysis: Analyzing and Learning from the Competition

“A smart person learns from his mistakes, but a truly wise person learns from the mistakes of others” - Ken Schramm 

We’ll do one better and say, the wisest person learns from the success of others too! 

Understanding your competition helps you identify what has worked out for them. For example: Brand B has the most engagement on Instagram in the industry. Potential reasons could be User-Generated Content, Polls, and Reels on their page.

Inspiration? 

These insights can help you assess your social media strategy and redirect it. They can also help you identify opportunities that your competitors have missed. 

Here’s a great example. Brand A has focussed on Instagram and excelled in it. But they haven't engaged much on YouTube or X.

This is a chance for your brand/business to make the best of an untapped audience. 

How to conduct competitor analysis for Social Media?

Competitor Analysis could be a little tricky. There are many aspects that you consider for comparison. But, it’s important to stick to aspects that matter to your social media marketing goals. 

Analyzing competition could seem daunting because you don’t have access to their actual metrics. Platforms like LinkedIn have features to list your competition and compare key metrics.

In other cases, we can always rely on social media listening tools. Some popular tools include Hootsuite, Brandwatch, Keyhole, and SproutSocial. 

Step 7: Unique and Engaging Content Creation 

It’s 2024, and experts think Social media content creation is becoming saturated. The same type of content seems to circulate in different versions. While this doesn’t seem ideal, it is an opportunity. Unique content has tremendous value in social media today. 

Good content offers value. It could be about your product or service or a problem your buyers face. And value is why a prospect might want to follow, engage, or even convert into a customer. 

How to create engaging content in 2024?

Let’s set something straight: unique content is not “new”. Think about it. There's nothing new that you can talk about... unless you've created something brand new!

So it’s impossible, doesn't it? Well, unique content is not new. It could offer a fresh perspective. It could empathize with our buyers. Or, it could give buyers a new way to solve their problems or needs. 

Below is a checklist for you to incorporate while creating content for social media: 

  1. Is your content audience-centric? 

Your content could be about something that none other has ever spoken about. But does it add value to your audience? 

You’re creating content for your audience. Make sure your content keeps your audience's needs at its crux. Check if your content adds value, solves problems, and interests an audience.

Here's an example. Social Media Strategymight not be relevant for a user looking for Email Marketing tools.

  1. Is your content engaging? 

You might have crafted the best solution for your potential buyers’ problems. But you cannot take the solution to your audience if it doesn’t keep them engaged. Engaging content comes from a proper understanding of your audience. Consider their likes, content preferences, and pain points while crafting content.

Ensure that your content inspires your audience to engage with your brand. Share content that your audience might want to share with their people. Great engagement can convert prospects into loyal customers. Here’s an example: A shoemaker is crafting a video about “Durable Shoe Materials”. Should they focus on the material alone? Or should they explain the material as a part of “Top 5 Shoe-Types for Dusty environments”?

One is more specific, unique, and engaging than the other. 

  1. Is your content optimized for the particular social media platform? 

Every social media platform has specific types of users and formats. Their algorithms work to offer the best user experience. 

This makes content optimization an absolute necessity. Optimizing content could mean something as simple as choosing the right format. Or, it could mean adding keywords and tags relevant to your audience. 

Here’s the perfect example.

A platform like Instagram or YouTube might favor more videos. You can also optimize titles and captions with relevant keywords. 

Every user group has a specific preference for formats or content types. Your content needs to match these preferences. 

Here’s an example. The younger generation prefers short-form video content, like reels and shorts. 

The older generation prefers text-based content, infographics, or photographs

  1. Does your content follow the trends?

Following trends is a smart way to engage with your buyers. If something’s popular on social media, try to make the best of it. Look out for hashtags, challenges, or global events.

Tailoring your content around trends boosts your reach and helps nurture an audience. Think of it as content-creation hacks that social media provides. 

Following trends could also create a strong brand identity. Brands that hop on to trends are often placed deep into buyers’ minds. 

Here’s a great example. A famous sporting brand posted a quote from a WNBA athlete right after the NBA All-Star break. This event amassed views from all around the world.

Like that, they placed themselves in the hearts of all female basketball players. 

  1. Are your social media posts consistent?

The penultimate factor to add to your social media content strategy is consistency. Your brand must always show up to stay in your audience’s minds.  

Pro Tip: Maintaining a content calendar

A content calendar is a tracker that maintains your social media handle’s schedule. It has details about posting dates, influencer marketing gigs, and more. 

Maintaining a content calendar ensures that: 

  • You don’t miss posting schedules 
  • Your team stays updated about the strategy
  • You post consistently

You'd need an extra hand if you work with many social platforms. Consider a social media management tool like Hootsuite.

Step 8: Engagement and Community Building

This step is often overlooked.  

And it comes from misunderstanding. Just having followers does not mean a community.

Let’s take an example. A lot of people follow your favorite football team on social media. These people are the team’s audience. 

Only true fans like you comment on their posts and engage with the team and its other fans. All of you make up the team’s community. 

A community is a valuable asset to any brand. Building a community means

  • Higher Brand Awareness
  • Community-Generated Content
  • Valuable feedback
  • Word-of-mouth marketing
  • Consistent results and conversions

How to build a community on social media? 

Community-building requires a true understanding of what your followers seek. Here are a few ways social media teams build communities! 

  1. Posts that build discussions

Unlike an audience, a community means two-way communication. Hearing their points and views are just as important as your brand’s. 

To truly connect with your community, you need to ensure that your brand’s people feel heard. 

A few great examples include open-ended questions, polls, and quizzes. Encourage your followers to share their views about a particular topic or niche.

  1. Community-Generated Content

Think challenges! Think trends! Think reposts! There are multiple ways brands reshare content generated by their followers or audience. These simple posts make your audience appreciate your brand better. 

Here’s an example. Nike’s #AirMaxMondays trends asked their users to post their experience with their shoes. The best posts get curated and reshared on the brand’s official page. 

These posts help influence new customers, and bring existing customers closer to the brand. 

  1. Appreciating your audience

Every person from your following is special. You know it, and it’s time to let them know as well! 

Celebrating your audience’s wins as your shows that you truly care. It showcases your brand’s motive and attracts more potential users. 

For example, this famous Ed-Tech company showcases their students’ success stories actively on YouTube. Content like this acts as social proof, and helps build a strong community! 

Nothing encourages your followers to engage with your brand than actually responding to them. To succeed on social media, timely responses and actions are crucial. And this could be for positive comments, feedback, queries, or even negative comments. 

People appreciate brands that are transparent and honest in ther approach. And nothing screams transparency more than responding! 

Step 9: Analytics and Reporting: Fixing your approach

Social Media Marketing is an evolving process 

It evolves with your audience, trends, and strategy. Remember, there are no perfect strategies but ones that keep improving. 

What should you analyze for an effective social media strategy?

It largely depends upon your goals, audience, and industry. Take into account key metrics that match your business goals. 

For Organic Social Media Marketing:  

For organic social media marketing, engagement and growth are crucial. To improve your social media marketing campaigns, consider the key metrics: 

  • Engagement Rate 
  • Virality Rate 
  • Audience Growth Rate 
  • Amplification Rate 
  • Impressions 
  • Reach

These social media metrics provide insights to improve content strategy and brand awareness. 

Competitor analysis is not a one-time endeavor.  

Constantly track your competition and look for inspiration from their social media strategy. Your competitors could give you crucial insights for your social media content creation. 

For paid social media advertising:  

Cost-effectiveness is an important aspect that defines an effective social media marketing campaign. You should change the strategy if your campaigns spend more than they generate leads.

Below are some metrics to consider when analyzing your paid social media efforts: 

  • Click-through Rate (CTR) 
  • Cost per Click (CPC)
  • Cost per Mille (CPM) 

Want to know more about what each metric interprets? Learn about the top social media metrics to track in 2024 here! 

Top Social Media Metrics in 2024

Social media platforms have business/creator accounts with insights for analysis. But, these insights could be a little hard to track. Here’s where social media analytics tools come in handy. A good tool keeps your social media teams updated with relevant, real-time data.

Build social media reports within minutes! 

People in the social marketing game are more likely to dread creating reports. It is time-consuming, confusing, and sometimes boring. As important as they are, they could take the fun away from social media marketing. 

But what if report creation becomes a two-minute task?

With this goal in mind, we’ve developed a nifty, AI-powered analytics tool, Two Minute Reports (TMR). 

TMR makes report creation, data management, and strategy simple and quick. With this tool, you can draw categorized social media metrics from 75+ popular platforms.

Why Two Minute Reports?

  1. Centralized Data Integration:TMR is an AI-powered social media metrics tracker supporting all major platforms. It enables a seamless data flow from your data sources to Google Sheets and Looker Studio. You will never manually export CSVs again! 
  2. Extensive Integrations and Upcoming Features: TMR currently supports 75+ social media, web analytics, and marketing platforms. Some popular platforms include Facebook, Google Analytics, and LinkedIn. And we’re expanding our grasp further! 
  3. Intuitive Reporting: TMR’s reports are professional and mobile-friendly. The intuitive interface enables you to craft and customize reports quickly. You can also share your reports with unlimited users.
  4. Cost-Effective and User-Friendly: TMR doesn’t need a steep learning curve. It is also priced affordably without sacrificing functionality. 
  5. Native Connectors and API Bridge: Native connectors simplify pulling data from various sources. The API Bridge feature connects to any data source that returns JSON. This feature enables limitless access.
  6. Efficiency and Customization: TMR’s connectors help you set up dashboards swiftly with pre-built templates. These templates can also be customized or duplicated as you wish. 

Two-Minute-Reports is not just about data consolidation. It’s a tool that empowers businesses. With TMR, your business can automate and streamline reporting processes. These features make data-driven decisions quicker and more efficient.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are social media strategies?

A social media strategy is a plan for your social media efforts. It is created around your business goals and audience’s needs. 

What are the 8 steps to create a social media strategy?

The 8 steps of building a social media strategy are

  1. Understanding Social Media 
  2. Defining Goals 
  3. Understanding audience
  4. Choosing the right platforms
  5. Identifying key metrics
  6. Competitor Analysis
  7. Content creation 
  8. Analysis and Improvement

What are social media tactics?

Social Media tactics are steps or strategies to improve social media results. They include understanding your audience, creating unique content, and effective analysis. 

What is social media optimization?

Social media optimization is something as simple as choosing the right format for the right platform. Or, it could mean adding keywords and tags relevant to your audience.

How to improve social media?

The 8 steps of building a social media strategy are

  • Understanding Social Media 
  • Defining Goals 
  • Understanding audience
  • Choosing the right platforms
  • Identifying key metrics
  • Competitor Analysis
  • Content creation 
  • Analysis and Improvement

What is Two Minute Reports?

It is a connector for Looker Studio, which helps you integrate data from sources like Facebook Ads or Google Analytics to Looker Studio, create reports, and analyze data effectively and seamlessly.