11-Step Social Media Marketing Strategy That Works 


A social media marketing strategy is your game plan to build awareness for your business and grow your following on social media. Creating a social media strategy includes setting marketing goals, choosing the right networks to use, and measuring your desired results. Your strategy ensures social media has a positive impact on your business.

Free Social Media Marketing Strategy Template

We created a social media marketing strategy template to help you take the steps to solidify your own strategy. From setting goals to growing your following and measuring your results, our template guides you through every essential step of a strong social media marketing strategy.

Download the free Social Media Marketing Strategy Template as a.PPTX or PDF file to create your social media marketing strategy.

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Let’s look at how you can create an 11-step social media marketing strategy of your own:

1. Set Your Social Media Goals

To set your social media goals, you want to think about what you want to accomplish and create a goal that is SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.) Different businesses will have different goals, so consider your options and let your goals guide the rest of your strategy.

Here are five general social media goals to use as a starting point:

  • Increase brand awareness: This is good for newer businesses that are trying to make their brand more well-known through growing and engaging a social media following.
  • Generate new leads: If you’re looking for new leads, you can use social media to get email subscribers, event registrants, and new leads.
  • Drive website traffic: If your business wants to increase traffic to blog posts or product pages on your website, you can share links on social media to drive traffic back to your site.
  • Increase online sales: If you have an e-commerce business, you can use social media to run promotions and ads to increase sales.
  • Strengthen customer support: If your business needs a central place to address customer questions and concerns, you can use social media as your hub to interact with customers online.

Consider the goals above and choose one or two goals that will be most beneficial to your business. Then make the goal stronger by applying it directly to your business. A strong goal includes a number and a time frame. For example, a jewelry store might want to use social media to increase their online sales by 20 percent in December. A marketing consultant’s goal might be to drive 100 new leads in three weeks by promoting their upcoming webinar on social media.

Start by identifying one to three goals for your social media efforts. You can use our template to list your goals so you can reference them as you continue to build your strategy.

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Use The Social Media Strategy Template

2. Determine Which Social Media Channels Are Right for You

Choosing the right social media channels starts with understanding your target audience and which social networks they are most likely to use. The social media channels you choose to focus on should also be well-suited to your goals. For example, if you are a B2B looking to get generate more leads, LinkedIn is a good channel to focus on.

If you’re brand new to social media, it’s absolutely fine to focus on just one channel initially and grow a presence there first. Facebook or Instagram is often the best place to start. As you get more comfortable, you may want to expand to a few more networks to reach more of your audience if they use additional channels.

When deciding which channels to develop a presence on, think about your customers and your competitors. What are your customer demographics? Which channels are they likely to use? If you need help digging into your target audience, we have a customer profile template to help you create a thorough description of your ideal customer.

As for your competitors, run a Google search of their business name to see if any social media pages pop up. Then visit your competitors’ websites to see if they have buttons to any social media sites. If your competitors have followings on social channels, you probably should too.

Take some time to familiarize yourself with the major social media channels, each channel’s key demographic, and what it’s best for. The main social media channels you need to consider are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and Snapchat.

Social Media Channel Overview

Social Media Channel
Audience Demographic*
Best For
Facebook Over 2 billion daily active users,
56% men and 44% women,
Popular for all age ranges
Businesses that want to reach a wide audience, run advertisements, and post live videos.
Twitter 335 million monthly active users,
Even split between men/women,
Most popular for 18-29-year-olds
Businesses that want to share timely updates, provide customer service, or share relevant articles.
Instagram 600 million active users,
Used by 38% of online women and 28% online men,
Most popular for 18-29-year-olds
Visual brands that want to share photos and videos of their products, staff, and customers.
LinkedIn 467 million registered members,
Used by 31% of online men and 27% of women-,
B2Bs that want to make professional connections, share industry or company news, and post jobs.
Pinterest 175 million monthly active users,
Used by 45% of online women, 17% of online men,
Popular with 18-49-year-olds
Ecommerce businesses that want to share product photos, drive website traffic, and increase sales.
YouTube 1.57 billion monthly active users,
Even split between men and women,
Popular with all age ranges
Businesses that want to share instructional videos, funny videos, or product review videos.
Snapchat Over 300 million monthly active users,
70% of users are women, 30% men,
60 percent of users are under 25 years old
Businesses that want to connect with a younger demographic through images and videos.

3. Set Up Your Social Media Accounts

Now take a few minutes to sign up for your accounts. This will probably be the easiest step on this list. All major social media channels are free to set up, and most make it easy right from their homepage. Some networks, like Facebook, require a personal account before you set up a Page for your business.

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Facebook Sign-up Page

Here are the links you need:

  • Facebook: To create a Facebook business page, you need to create a personal profile first. Creating your account is possible in a matter of seconds.
  • Twitter: Creating an account will require you choose a Twitter handle, but don’t overthink this step. You will be able to update your handle if you want to later on.
  • Instagram: Download the Instagram app on your mobile device to set up your account. Select a business account for better recognition and analytics.
  • LinkedIn: Create a personal account first so you can easily create a Company page for your business.
  • Pinterest: Make sure to create a business account (or convert your personal account to a business account) so you can run Pinterest ads in the future.
  • YouTube: YouTube is owned by Google, so you’ll need a Google account first. Then you can visit YouTube and customize your page with your business information.
  • Snapchat: Download the Snapchat app on your mobile device. Note that you can’t change your username on Snapchat, so use a handle that will be recognizable as your business.

While all of these social media platforms can be accessed through a web browser, Instagram and Snapchat are both primarily mobile apps. All other major networks also have mobile app versions that are worth downloading so that you can access your channels on the go.

At this point, you only have to sign up for your accounts. Don’t worry about filling in any additional information yet. There’s a little research and analysis you should do first to make sure you’re setting up your pages for success.

4. Analyze the Competition

Before diving into posting content, take a little bit of time to research your competition and analyze their approach. Take note of how many followers or Likes they have, what content they’re posting, how often they’re posting, and how many Likes and Comments they’re getting on average. Pay attention to how they are positioning their business on social media so you can do something similar or intentionally different to stand out.

List a few things you like about their account and a few things you think you could do better. This analysis can provide some good inspiration for how you want to approach your social media channels and what benchmarks you can set for your own accounts.

If you don’t have any direct competitors, just try to find a few accounts that are in an industry similar to yours. Again, you can use our Social Media Strategy Template to keep track of your findings.