• Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

How To Market Your Business on Social Media: 15 Easy Ways (2024)

These days, there’s no question brands should market their businesses on social media. Having an online presence on popular social networks is a must. But it isn’t enough to slap up an idle account or sporadically post static images. 

The average person spends 147 minutes per day on social media. That’s more than two hours of attention dedicated to posting and consuming content. Brands who want a piece of that attention need a solid social media strategy to stand out in users’ feeds.

Ahead, learn how to market your business on social media, with examples from successful brands and tips to get the most out of your marketing efforts.

15 ways to market your business on social media

  1. Start with a social media marketing strategy
  2. Choose the right social media platforms for your brand
  3. Optimize your social media profiles
  4. Introduce yourself
  5. Use hashtags strategically
  6. Run social media ads
  7. Work with influencers
  8. Set up shop
  9. Go live
  10. Engage with your audience
  11. Run a contest or giveaway
  12. Leverage trends
  13. Create community
  14. Use the right tools
  15. Test and track performance

1. Start with a social media marketing strategy

Before you get started, developing a social media marketing strategy will help you focus your efforts. 

First, identify your brand’s social media marketing goals. These could include: 

  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Driving traffic to your website
  • Generating leads (capturing emails)
  • Growing revenue
  • Improving customer service
  • Building brand affinity and loyalty
  • Growing your professional network

If you don’t already have your target audience defined, this is a great time to do that. Describe your audience with as much detail as possible to help you understand which platforms they frequent, what types of content they engage with, and when they’re typically online.

You can learn about your target audience in a number of ways:

  • Ask them. Ask your audience about themselves and what they hope to see from you. This can be done through surveys, polls, or the comments section of your posts.
  • Use social media insights. Data from built-in analytics on social media platforms can give you information about the age, gender, location, and interests of your audience.
  • Check your competitors. Other brands who have similar audiences may offer clues about your own. What content resonates most? How are users responding?

Next, as part of your social media marketing strategy, create a content plan. Pivot your plan as you start to understand user habits and preferences on each platform. 

Side by side views of social media content in a mobile view

A content calendar can help you keep on track and plan ahead for shopping holidays and product launches. The TikTok examples above from Hauste and YETI demonstrate relevant brand content centered around special occasions. Remember to also build in spontaneity—social media is all about trends, so be ready to respond.

2. Choose the right social media platforms for your brand 

Your brand doesn’t need to have a presence on every social media platform. In fact, in some cases, you may be wasting your time. For example, if you sell to an older demographic, Facebook is a must—but you might be spinning your wheels on TikTok. Here are a few social media channels popular with ecommerce brands.

Instagram

Instagram marketing is a smart tactic for brands who want to reach millennial buyers. It’s an ideal platform for visual brands that can share beautiful, entertaining, and educational static and video content. Instagram is a must for beauty and fashion brands but is popular among a wide variety of businesses from pet brands to bookstores. With more than 1.4 billion monthly active users, Instagram is a great platform for social media marketing. 

Facebook

Facebook is a social networking platform with more than three billion monthly active users. It’s an ideal platform for reaching older demographics but it’s also popular with users aged 25 to 34. Facebook is a great place to capture business reviews and ratings, and to connect directly with your customers. Integrating your Shopify store with both Instagram and Facebook allows you to sell directly on the platforms.

A Facebook business page
A Facebook page like this one from Gymshark can help a brand earn social proof, with built-in reviews displayed on the page.

TikTok

On this rapidly growing platform, users are engaged and open to discovery. Because TikTok has become a destination for product discovery, users are conditioned to seeing brand content and sponsored videos from their favorite creators. And, 44% of Gen Z users agree that TikTok has helped them discover new things. If you want to reach a younger audience, TikTok marketing is where it’s at, with the largest demographic falling into the 18-to-24-year-old group.

Pinterest

With more than 500 million monthly active users, Pinterest isn’t the largest social platform in the world. But, its unique audience and their motivations make it the perfect place for brands to get discovered: 80% of Pinners say they have purchased something they found on Pinterest. Pinterest marketing is ideal for brands wanting to reach an audience of women (almost 70% of users identify as female).

LinkedIn

While LinkedIn might not be the first social media marketing platform that comes to mind, it’s a great way to connect with other professionals and potential customers, especially for B2B marketing. By creating a company page and sharing relevant content, you can reach a wide audience of people who may be interested in your products or services. It’s also helpful for connecting with influencers in your industry.

YouTube

YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine. Not only do users turn to YouTube to find best-of lists, unboxings, and demos of products they want to buy, YouTube videos can also rank in search engines like Google. This makes it an effective social media marketing opportunity for brands. Users spend an average of 28 hours and five minutes a month watching videos on the platform. Create video content that adds value and optimize it for search to get the most out of marketing on YouTube.

Snapchat

Snapchat is a messaging app that allows users to send and receive photos and videos. These images and videos are called “snaps.” You can use Snapchat to market your business by using Snapchat ads. If you’re looking to reach a younger demographic, more than half of Snapchat’s 422 million monthly active users are Gen Alpha and Gen Z, between the ages of 13 and 24.

Other platforms

Depending on your audience and their location, you may find social media marketing success on smaller and niche social platforms, or even platforms popular in other countries (e.g., WeChat). Your target audience discovery exercise will help uncover these other platforms.

3. Optimize your social media profiles

Your social media bios are yet more customer touchpoints—and opportunities to cement your brand in their minds. Maximize this space by using branded visuals and showcasing your brand voice in your bio. Most platforms offer a bio link, and you can use a link consolidator like linkinbio to include more links in your profile. Many brands link directly to their homepage, but you may have a dedicated landing page for social traffic or a current campaign or promotion.

Pinterest bio and page for Doe Lashes

On some platforms, signing up for a business account gives you even more options. In the example above, Doe Lashes uses branded imagery and essential keywords while also applying tags (a feature only for businesses) to tell Pinterest users about its brand values.

Side by side views of social media accounts in a mobile view

In the two examples above, brands The Herbivorous Butcher and Revol Cares both took advantage of business features on Instagram, adding contact information, a street address, and calls to actions (CTAs) like “Sign up” and “Order food.”

4. Introduce yourself

Increasingly, consumer trends point toward buyers wanting to develop genuine connections with the brands they support. The best way to make this connection is to humanize your brand. As a founder, you can highlight your own journey within your brand story. Find ways to address your audience directly through content across channels. 

On YouTube, you can upload a channel trailer to introduce your brand. This helps new visitors understand your story and values right away. Here’s how it looks on Blenders Eyewear’s channel:

YouTube channel for Blenders Eyewear

Social media marketing is ultimately about achieving your business goals. But to get there, don’t treat social platforms like traditional advertising channels. Authenticity, creativity, and vulnerability can go a long way.

5. Use hashtags strategically

Your social media marketing strategy should include details about your hashtag use. Using popular and trending hashtags on your account won’t do much if they don’t make sense for your brand and content.

Use hashtags that are relevant to your brand and your audience. Are there niche hashtags and communities (think #booktok on TikTok) that give your content a better chance to appear in search results? Here, Glassette took a seasonal approach on Instagram, tagging its content with trending hashtags around a gifting holiday:

Social media post example from Glassette

Trends move fast, but some hashtags have staying power. While these can be saturated, a few, like #tiktokmademebuyit are perfect for social media marketing for ecommerce sellers. 

Trending page for TikTok hashtag

Branded hashtags help create a sense of community and connection among customers and followers. These are also useful for collecting user-generated content (UGC). But, apply them wisely—if you don’t incentivize use of your branded hashtags, they won’t get any traction. Include them in posts, add them to your bio, and run giveaways using the hashtags.

In its posts, Gymshark uses an easy-to-remember branded hashtag that’s simply its brand name.

6. Run social media ads

Facebook ads are a popular form of social media advertising that let you promote your business on both Facebook and Instagram. You can target ads to specific groups of people based on interests, demographics, and behaviors. 

While Facebook and Instagram ads are popular, other platforms also offer ads to business accounts. On Pinterest, there are a number of ad products including quiz ads, video ads, and carousel ads. In the example below, ads for Ruggable and IKEA show up in search results. Pinterest ads look like regular pins with the exception of a “Promoted by” tag.

Pinterest search results

Set up your social media advertising campaigns to achieve specific goals such as growing your email list, building brand awareness, or creating hype around a new product launch.

Side by side views of social media ad content in a mobile view

When creating your ads, remember to be authentic and create value for users. Ads should blend with other content in the feed or offer a compelling deal, like the Instagram ad examples from Knix and Casper, above, that make them hard to scroll past. 

Show real people using your products, test different ad types, and identify the metrics that matter most to your business. 

7. Work with influencers

Partnering with influencers and social media creators is another way to extend your reach. But, be sure your product and brand are a fit for the creator you’re working with. Choose a partner that has genuine enthusiasm for your product so the content is authentic.

“I think authenticity is really what’s important, because today a lot of brands pay people to wear stuff, but it looks like it’s paid for,” says Mackage founder Eran Elfassy. “Go with smaller influencers in the beginning, but somebody that really fosters your style.”

In this example, Inkbox partnered with a creator Mollie Rose on TikTok to promote its finger tattoos:

8. Set up shop

You can take your social media marketing a step further by enabling shopping features across social platforms. These products and integrations make it easier for people who discover your products to buy them in fewer steps.

To set up a Facebook and Instagram shop and sync it with your Shopify store, add Facebook as a sales channel. This in-app shopping experience creates less friction for customers while also simplifying your operations by syncing sales and inventory across channels. Here’s how it looks for apparel brand Miracle Eye:

Side by side views of Instagram Shop in a mobile view

You can also switch to a professional account to access TikTok shopping features. And on Pinterest, catalog pins sync with your store to pull up-to-date stock and pricing information directly from your website and into the pin. Here’s an example of a catalog pin from Herschel:

A catalog Pin for Herschel Supply

Shoppable pins appear at the top of search results, like this example for the search “running shoes.”

Pinterest search results

9. Go live

Going live is one of the most intimate ways to connect directly with fans and customers in real time. There are many ways you can use livestreaming to promote a product. You can use Facebook Live, Instagram Live, Twitch, YouTube Live, or TikTok LIVE to demo your product, answer questions via an AMA, and even take your customers behind the scenes in your studio or warehouse.

On TikTok, users can access random live content by tapping the icon in the top left corner of the app:

Social media content indicating the TikTok live feature

On Instagram, Zen Art Supplies schedules regular live interviews with artists, promoting them through Reels and Stories to create anticipation.

Side by side views of social media content in a mobile view

10. Engage with your audience

Social media isn’t a one-way street. If you post content and forget about it, you’re missing out on one of the most powerful loyalty builders: engagement. Engage often with your target audience, including responding to comments, asking for their opinion, running polls, and reposting UGC.

In this example from Huha, the brand used its Instagram account to engage with followers and poll them for their opinion:

11. Run a contest or giveaway

Contests are an easy and affordable way to increase reach for your brand on social media. These can incentivize users to engage with your brand, share your content, follow, or take another action to meet a business goal. Partnering with other brands is another way to reach compatible audiences and create a compelling prize package together.

If you run an Instagram giveaway, you can promote it across your content in posts, Reels, and Stories, like these examples from Pinsy and NoochPOP:

Side by side views of social media content in a mobile view

Tips for running a successful social media marketing contest or giveaway:

  • Align your giveaway with a product launch or other event to create buzz around it. 
  • Get the most out of entries. Ask users to follow or subscribe, like or comment on content, submit UGC, or tag a friend.
  • Check the rules around contests for each platform and local laws that govern them, too.

12. Leverage trends

On every social media platform, trends will come and go almost daily. It’s hard to keep up as a brand, but you should pay attention to the trends that rule your specific industry. Once you spot an emerging trend, it’s tempting to jump on it right away. But before you act, ask yourself whether it’s relevant to your brand and if you have a unique spin or POV. 

If you spot wide trends in fashion or food, for example, see how other creators are making content around it. This will help you understand what types of content are going viral. Here’s a sample of popular video content for the search “pastel makeup look”:

YouTube trending search page

Many social platforms have insights around trends, designed to help creators and businesses keep their edge. On TikTok, you can filter trends by time period and toggle to songs, creators, hashtags, and more.

Chart showing top TikTok trends

13. Create community

On social media, community is key. There’s a reason they’re called social networks, after all. 

As you engage on each social media platform, you’re growing a base of potential customers—and also a community of fans around your brand. 

If one of your social media marketing goals is to grow brand loyalty and awareness, there are no better ambassadors than your followers on social media. Engage them in conversations and reward them for sharing your brand and their experience. This can help them feel like part of a community of other followers.

Community in social media marketing also includes creating a network of other brands, businesses, and creators. Creating content with your network can help you grow your reach and earn trust with new followers. Partner with a compatible brand and create engaging content that works for your shared audiences. 

A YouTube video with Trixie Mattel

Drag queen Trixie Mattel, founder of Trixie Cosmetics, partnered with fellow queen Kim Chi on YouTube. This partnership gave both brands a chance at exposure with a compatible audience.

14. Use the right tools

It’s hard to keep up with the pace of social media without social media management tools. These tools help automate posts, track engagement, and analyze data to help you better understand your target audience and how to reach them.

Some of the best social media management tools to add to your toolbox to manage social media marketing include:

Shopify social media apps that integrate your social efforts with your store include: 

15. Test and track performance

Social media marketing trends change constantly and what works today might not tomorrow. As algorithms and user preferences evolve, so too should your social media strategy. Test content across various channels and formats to see what sticks, then iterate on it.

Social media analytics charts
Audience analytics on Pinterest.

Most social media platforms have analytics built in so you can track performance of your posts, understand your audience, and get insights on the best time to post. As you gain more data, continue to refine your social media marketing approach. 

Social media marketing tips and best practices

As you apply the ideas outlined above, there are a few social media marketing best practices to keep in mind as you develop the social media presence of your brand.

  • Develop a social media strategy for each platform. What works for one platform might not work for another. Creating content across multiple platforms means understanding the unique needs of each audience.
  • Create a social media calendar. A calendar will help you and your staff or agency partners stay on track and plan for upcoming events.
  • Experiment with different platforms. Is your marketing strategy falling flat on TikTok? Explore other platforms and increase your brand awareness at the same time.
  • Stay on top of social media trends. While you’ll rely on your content calendar and social media marketing plan to guide you, leave room for spontaneity so you can react to trends and create relevant content for your brand.
  • Look into social media marketing courses. If you’re new to using social media for your brand, there are plenty of free and paid courses online to help you. 

Free social media marketing course

Learn about marketing best practices for ecommerce, how Shopify supports marketing, and how Partners can help merchants with marketing strategy and execution.

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Achieve your goals with a winning social media strategy

Social media marketing can be rewarding for brands who start with a solid strategy. As you start to build your brand across social media platforms remember to stay authentic to your brand while keeping your potential customers in mind with every post. 

Attract social media users with engaging content and gain valuable insights about them through each social channel’s built-in analytics. Pivot your social media marketing strategy as you go, and evolve with trends and your social media efforts will deliver results.

Market your business on social media FAQ

What are the benefits of social media marketing?

Social media marketing has many benefits to brands including:

  • Cost effectiveness
  • Higher conversion rates
  • Increased brand awareness
  • More inbound traffic
  • Better customer satisfaction
  • Improved brand loyalty
  • Opportunity to generate leads
  • Source for user-generated content

What are the best ways to market on social media?

The best way to get started in social media marketing is to create a social media strategy that includes target market research and a content calendar. Be clear about your goals whether you intend to generate leads, boost brand awareness, or grow website traffic. Incorporate a number of content formats, lengths, and topics into your initial tests to see what resonates with your target audience. And, remember to test and measure as you go, tweaking your plan in accordance with your learnings.

What are the best social media sites for marketing?

The best social media channels for marketing in the US are TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and Snapchat. If you sell in other markets, research those markets to determine which platforms are most popular with your audience in those regions.


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