The Ultimate Guide To Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing has gone beyond a phenomenon, and Facebook is currently ruling the roost. But it’s not all about social because between Facebook and Google they account for over 85% of all internet ads in 2016 (Meeker Report[1]).

That’s not all! It only looks to continue to rise in favor of Google and Facebook as a variety of stats this year are showing an even higher proportion of the share of growth in US ad revenues, achieving 95% between the two.

Facebook is now so powerful that it is creating micro e-commerce industries in emerging markets. Providing free internet access, where there is currently none. Taking over the world could be their mantra!

Content is shared at a rate that we almost can’t keep control of. Every couple of years that passes by we seem to create more data than in the entire previous history of the world – Forbes[2]

Marketing services spending worldwide from 2015 (in billion U.S. dollars) to 2017 (Statista[3])

Marketing services spending

As you can see spending continues to rise, so it will become even more important to invest your marketing budget in the right place.
But before we look deeper into social media marketing…

What Is Social Media Marketing?

Social Media Marketing is using optimised content, to share with a targeted audience, in the most consistent and engaging way possible.

What Is Social Media Marketing - Theo Smith

You can achieve this through paid advertising or organic posts directly from your social feeds.

Organic Posts

A little-known fact is that Facebook allows you to target your current audience organically via audience-optimization[4].

So What Is Audience Optimization?

‘Audience Optimization is an organic targeting tool to help publishers reach and engage their audience on Facebook and better understand the interests of people clicking on their posts’

If your brand is Pepsi and you have 100,000’s of followers, but just want to post a job advert for ingredient buyers and you don’t want all your happy consumers to see this message, you can directly target those who are most likely to be interested in the opportunity.

With social media channels pushing for paid advertising, this is one way- On the most powerful of social media channels, you can optimise your posts and direct them to the correct audience for no cost; getting the best chance of an organic reach.

Don’t just run off and start posting sporadically all over social media. Start with the end in mind and make a plan!

Here’s a start…

How To Create A Winning Social Media Marketing Strategy?

Here are the seven steps[5].

The best way to conduct your social media marketing strategy is through in-depth research and analysis of real people. It helps to map the market and understand the audience you wish to connect.
Having a social media audit helps too and here’s a how-to[6]. It needs to follow a user journey and if done correctly will help to focus the social media marketing strategy.

A strategy should be focused on four pillars, and those pillars should be linked to your EVP or at the very least your company values.

Once you’ve identified the pillars, a content calendar can be created. This should be more around content themes than a day by day plan; which can be implemented later on.

Create content that is designed specifically to highlight the positive connectivity between your brand and your target audience.

It is not enough to just create a strategy around individual posts. What’s important, as I’ve already suggested, is to start with the end in mind.

Understand your key metrics and plan accordingly. Your user journey should guide you to where there may be gaps in your social media marketing strategy.

When you promote content; firstly it should reach to those people who will engage with it and secondly to those who will experience a paradigm shift; to be inspired and attracted to the positive message you have to share.

Finally, at every stage, you should look for optimum performance. The world moves at a rapid pace, and social media moves at ten times that speed, so it is important that any strategy has the flexibility to adjust minute by minute, hour by hour…

Moving at the speed of social media

3 Common Social Media Marketing Mistakes

  • Lack of research; no strategy
  • No response OR bad response
  • No dedicated social team

1. Lack Of Research No Strategy

Now I’m no Baseball fan, but I do understand team ethics! If you want the proof that creating a good strategy with the right research ever pays dividends, then look no further than the book or the film Moneyball[7].

Through the analytical principles of sabermetrics[8], a manager would pick those players who are most likely to work best together rather than the best set of individual players.

When my clients ask me ‘why we should have a social audit when we don’t have a presence’ or ‘we’re already doing a great job on social?’ I tell them: ‘Just because you’re not out there on social, it doesn’t mean people aren’t talking about you’ or ‘Are you sure this is the best you can be?’

I also tell my clients that they may have a great product and brand, but without a well-defined strategy based on real-time data and analysis, how can they expect to continue to play and win in the major leagues?

A well-executed strategy will ensure your social media marketing performs week in and week out, at its optimum level. It will also protect against failure, just at the point where you need it to perform best.

2. No Response OR Bad Response

Simply this can be explained in two ways…

No response =

Lack of the human touch. You may as well not bother. It’s not just a case of customer service; you need to be a real person with real views.

Burger King recently created an anti-bullying campaign[9], irrelevant of those who don’t like social responsibility in all its manifestations, delivered via global consumerism; here I argue it’s done well.


Because I think that this is a reflection of an employee’s views and experiences of bullying. So through their client, they are promoting a message that can support a shift in thinking.


At the very least it’s a bunch of creative’s in a media company giving something back. Creating social value in the work they do. Because once upon a time they weren’t the cool creative person that everybody loves. They were a vulnerable young child in a school with very different rules of engagement!

Bad response =

I’ll just show you and let these posts do the talking!

Bad response

Maybe if he had have stopped there he would have got away with his rude response!

rude response

But he isn’t giving up…

isn't giving up

And just when you thought, surely he’s going to shut up now; clearly, he can’t!

Maybe he has a top strategy

So, in this case, I’d certainly say having the human voice has not been the best option in this case. However, if he’s targeted rude, aggressive customers who like to be spoken to in this way, then maybe he has a top strategy.

He’s just going to create a lot of enemies and cross a few lines in doing so. Not the company for me though.

3. No Dedicated Social Team

Every company has an enthusiastic employee who is willing to ‘have a go’ at social media. Whether it’s a grad or an apprentice or even the head of marketing who thinks they should have a go! But let’s face it; they are mostly like a child with a new puppy.

There comes the point where they lose interest in taking it for walks because in the cold, wind and the rain it becomes too much like hard work and other things take priority.

Social media marketing is not just for Christmas. It’s easy to have a go and have a bit of fun. But without a defined strategy and without a commitment to look after it and develop it; it will ultimately suffer.

Make sure you give the responsibility to somebody who understands the level of commitment that’s required. But also give them the level of support that is needed. Because nobody gets a success in isolation!

social media is not just for Christmas

But seriously a dog is not just for Christmas, and I’ve loved and owned many pets. Social media doesn’t have feelings, so my comparison is pure to create and to understand rather than a true like for like… 😉

Types Of Social Media Marketing:

Facebook – I’ve said it already from a paid marketing perspective; you can be as creative and dynamic as you want. The hard and fast rule is that Facebook has a stranglehold over social media marketing. It will take a lot more than you or I to change that. So don’t ignore it as part of your strategy, even if ultimately you don’t use it.

Instagram – If you’ve not hit 25 yet and you’re a female, there is a good chance you’re starting to share and engage with images on Instagram. This image sharing site is cool, easy to use and of course owned by the world leader- Facebook.

If you want to show the world your brand in images, I suggest you do it on Instagram.

Twitter – Don’t underestimate the power of Twitter. In the UK, Twitter has several Nurse friendly groups each with over 50,000 members.

Know your audience, know where they live and breathe and target them accordingly. Make no assumptions and be human, but with integrity and respect. Nobody wants to be bullied by another person or a brand!

Read More: 10 Best Tips For SEO Hacks To Get Higher Rank On Search Engines

Organisations only exist because there are consumers, without the human element; there is nothing.

Be original

Be bold

Be yourself… and that’s your social media marketing strategy!

Image Credits
Featured Image: Image Given By Author
In-Post Images: Image Given By Author

Author: Theo Smith

Theo is a passionate social media marketer and blogger.  He makes the impossible #Recruitment possible via #SocialMedia. He writes regularly on  and for a variety of other publications. Having visited all four corners of the recruitment world, spending time in ‘Specialist Recruitment’, ‘Executive Search’, ‘In-House’ & ‘RPO’, he now brings creative ways of recruiting and engaging with key talent across social media, on behalf of his clients.  ‘Social Media’ amplification and engagement with a sprinkle of ‘Content Marketing’ and ‘Community Management’ is where it’s all happening! He’s an avid writer and public speaker, whilst still working in a challenging role within TMP Worldwide UK; a resourcing business that helps organisations hire and retain the right people by leveraging their employer brands. Find Theo Smith on Twitter.