How to get started with social media marketing

A woman in an office works on social media marketing strategies using her laptop.

Social media is a critical element of any marketing strategy. But social media is always evolving. Market conditions, technology, industry standards, tools, and consumer expectations shape how businesses should use social media.

There’s value in social media, but you need to invest in this marketing strategy to get results. Whether you’re just starting out or you want to refine your approach, we’ll show you how to craft a more effective social media marketing strategy going forward.

In this guide, we’ll explain how you can get up to date with social media marketing, as well as some actionable tips to help you compose the perfect social strategy.

In this article, you’ll learn:

What is social media marketing?

Social media marketing is a digital marketing strategy that uses the power of social media to connect a business with its target audience. This isn’t about simply existing on social media but creating a strategy that allows businesses to achieve their goals via social platforms, content, and connection.

Every social media strategy is different. It needs to conform to your business’s unique proposition and target audience pain points.

Most businesses participate in social media marketing by:

Consumers flock to social media to learn about companies, check out their products, and even make purchases. Ultimately, the purpose of social media marketing is to foster tighter bonds with your target audience, establish your brand as a thought leader, and increase brand awareness.

No two companies do social media marketing the same way. While there are best practices you can follow, your brand should always try to find its own lane to make a bigger splash with your target audience.

Benefits of social media marketing

Social media marketing obviously isn’t new — it’s been around in some form since the early 2000s. But even though it isn’t a new strategy, marketing for social media still offers plenty of benefits for brands.

  1. Increase brand awareness. There will be nearly 4.9 billion social media users around the globe in 2023. If you need extra brand awareness, social media marketing gives you more opportunities to share content with billions of people — increasing the odds that your content will show to the right audience.
  2. Generate leads and customers. Your customers aren’t just looking for you on Google. They’re searching for brands on social media during the purchase process too. In fact, <u>25.9% of users</u> are on social media to find products to buy. Social media gives customers added confidence in your products. It also offers more context about your products, which can increase both web traffic and sales.
  3. Save on marketing expenses. You don’t have to spend a dime on social media marketing if you don’t want to. Sure, you need to invest time and resources into creating content, but organic social media content is more affordable than other marketing strategies.
  4. Foster relationships with your customers. Before social media, most businesses were large, faceless entities that consumers couldn’t interact with. But social media gives you the option to humanize your brand with one-on-one customer conversations at scale. Over time, you can build real connections that lead to long-term brand loyalty.
  5. Understand your target audience’s needs. Social media gives you a direct line to your customers. It’s a priceless opportunity to learn more about the people who support your business.

4.9B social media users estimated globally in 2023. 25.9% of users are on social media to find products to buy.

<u>Learn how to define your brand with social media marketing</u>.

Social media offers your brand the ability to connect with more leads, boost your authority, and increase awareness. With the right strategy, social media marketing can become one of your company’s top-performing channels.

Components of a successful social media marketing strategy

While social media can potentially propel your brand to internet fame, it’s easier to find success on social media when you have a solid strategy in place first.

A strategy will help you align your business goals with your content, branding, and behavior on social media — and that can have a big impact on your social media return on investment (ROI).

Every successful social media strategy should include these components:

These components are the foundation of a successful social media marketing strategy. Be sure to document these components in writing so you can refer back to them when you’re creating content.

Social media offers your brand the ability to connect with more leads, boost your authority, and increase awareness. With the right strategy, social media marketing can become one of your company’s top-performing channels.

How to create a social media marketing strategy

At this stage, you have the components for a social media strategy. Now you need to synthesize them into an actual strategy. Follow these five tips to create the perfect social media marketing strategy for your business.

1. Determine which social media platforms you will market on

It’s tempting to create profiles on every known social media platform, but that isn’t the best use of your time. Check your buyer personas to see which platforms your audience uses most often.

For example, if you love using Twitter personally but your audience is on Instagram, it makes more sense to build an Instagram account.

Resist the temptation to create a profile on every social network. At most, you likely need two or three to start out.

2. Set goals and KPIs to track performance

How do you know if your social media strategy is effective? Set goals for your campaigns — and use key performance indicators (KPIs) to support those goals — so you know whether your hard work is paying off.

You don’t need to track every single KPI under the sun. You just need to pick the ones that are the most important to you. Depending on your goals, that might include KPIs like:

Choose the most important KPIs for your business goals and track them on a monthly basis. You can create a custom dashboard to track performance across all social platforms, so you don’t have to check your metrics manually.

3. Create useful and interesting content

You don’t want your social media feed to morph into spam. Your content needs to entertain or educate your followers — otherwise, they won’t stick around.

Make sure your content ticks these boxes:

4. Organize your posts in a calendar

Posting consistently is the key to social media success. To stay on track, you’ll need to create a schedule to keep your team accountable.

Whether it’s a social media scheduling tool or a simple spreadsheet, a posting calendar ensures you create content on a regular, predictable schedule. You can pre-plan for the week, month, quarter, or even the entire year at once. This helps you take advantage of seasonal content and reduce the burden of daily content creation.

5. Assess and update your strategy regularly

No strategy is set in stone. Things change, and your social media marketing strategy should flex to fit current conditions.

Don’t be afraid to let go of content or approaches that aren’t working. Check your analytics regularly to see if you need to make any adjustments. Your metrics will tell you which posts were more successful, when your audience is online, and other essential data.

<u>Learn everything you need to know about marketing strategies for social media in 2023</u>.

A graph shows the main social media marketing platforms for business.

The main social media marketing platforms for business

Not sure which social platforms your business should join? Your audience is likely on a handful of these major platforms.


Founded in 2004, Facebook is the world’s largest social media network. It primarily caters to a more mature crowd of millennial, Gen X, and boomer users.

Most people use Facebook to check the news, stay in touch with friends, and access business contact information. It might not be the hippest social network, but plenty of brands rely on Facebook to generate leads, increase brand awareness, or provide basic business information.


Meta now owns Instagram, which is the world’s most popular visual social media platform. On Instagram, users can post photos, videos, stories, and more. They can turn more heads with filters, music, and stickers too.

Since 2010, this image and video-sharing platform has incubated the influencer marketing phenomenon. Over half of Instagram’s users are 34 or younger, so this platform is ideal for millennial and Gen Z audiences.


Twitter is a text-based microblogging platform. Users submit 280-character text snippets, which are called tweets, and share them with the world. Twitter makes it possible to contact just about anyone with an account, so large companies and celebrities often use it to stay in touch with the public.

Twitter has been around since 2006. Although it’s an older platform, it’s most popular with millennial and Gen Z users aged 25 to 34.


TikTok is a short-form video platform where users can submit videos ranging from 15 seconds to 10 minutes long. Known for its virality, users love TikTok’s challenges, tutorials, dances, and more.

The platform is a Gen Z favorite, with 60% of TikTok users in the 16 to 24 age group.


Like TikTok, YouTube is exclusively a video-sharing social network. But unlike TikTok, YouTube allows for long-form video with a search engine-style UX.

Since 2005, this platform has given users across the globe access to explainer videos, demos, tutorials, and more. Most YouTube users are 18 to 34 years old.


First launched in 2003, LinkedIn is a business-focused platform that’s uniquely suited to the needs of B2B companies. The platform is primarily used by white-collar professionals, entrepreneurs, business owners, and job seekers. More than 57% of LinkedIn users are male, and most users are between the ages of 30 to 49.

Because LinkedIn has a professional focus, it’s more popular with B2B businesses. Use this platform to showcase your core values, mission, and corporate culture.


Snapchat is a messaging app turned social network. In 2011, this app introduced the concept of FOMO (fear of missing out) to social media, as messages only live on the app for 24 hours before disappearing.

Users primarily use Snapchat to stay in touch with their friends, so businesses can’t do one-on-one outreach to customers on this platform as easily. Even so, it’s ideal for location-based marketing that targets Gen Z teens and young adults.


Pinterest is an image-sharing social network that’s been around since 2010. People use it to find inspiration for crafts, meals, outfits, and more.

Nearly <u>77% of Pinterest users</u> are female millennials or Gen X. While you likely won’t find a lot of Gen Z users here, the app makes it simple for users to save content and view it again and again.

Social media marketing tips

You’ll need to follow social media best practices to get the most traction out of your marketing strategy. When in doubt, follow these tips to get more mileage out of your social media strategies.

Social media marketing is a crucial element of an overall marketing strategy for most businesses, and it’s always evolving. But you don’t have to manage it manually — or alone.

Learn why Adobe is a leader for marketing automation.

Types of social media marketing technologies

Social media marketing has a lot of moving parts. You’ll need several technologies in your toolkit to make sense of it, including:

Some social media marketing technologies are: to choose platforms, set goals, create amazing content, post consistently, and asses performance over time.

Get started with social media marketing

Good social media marketing increases brand awareness, generates leads, reduces costs, and deepens customer relationships. Whether you’re just getting started or refining your social media marketing strategy, your next steps should be:

  1. Choose your platforms.
  2. Set goals.
  3. Create amazing content.
  4. Post consistently.
  5. Assess your performance over time.

But you don’t have to manage social media manually — or alone. Evaluate your marketing automation solution and ensure it gives you the audience insights you need to develop targeted and compelling content and ads that increase conversions.

If it’s time for a change, try Adobe Marketo Engage for social media marketing. Marketo Engage specializes in customer engagement for complex B2B buying journeys.

Want to learn more? Watch the overview video or take a free product tour to see how you can build engaging, personalized experiences at scale and improve your brand’s impact with Adobe Marketo Engage.