How to Use Social Media to Grow Your Business: 22 Must-Know Strategies and Hacks for Growth
If you’re a brand owner or marketer there’s a high chance you’re already using social media to grow your business. If you’re not… It’s time to fix that; in 2022, almost 92% of marketers are using social media for their businesses.
According to the latest statistics, there are 4.65 billion social media users worldwide in 2022—a 4.8 percent increase from a year ago. Each user spends an average of 2.5 hours per day on different networks.
But it’s not enough to simply be on social media and post for the sake of posting. In order to grow organically, stay ahead of the competition and convert your target audience into paying customers you need a rock-solid strategy in place.
3. Take time to research your target audience
Only 55% of marketers use social data to better understand their target audience, making it a huge opportunity for both leaders and practitioners. Much of what you need to know about your audience to influence your social media marketing strategy is already available. You just have to know where to look.
Remember: different platforms attract different audiences
Take today’s social media demographics, for example. These numbers speak directly to which networks your brand should approach and what types of content to publish. Here are some key takeaways for your 2022 social media marketing strategy:
Do your homework on your existing social media audience
Although the demographic data above gives you insight into each channel, what about your own customers? Further analysis needs to be done before you can determine what your real-world social customers actually look like.
Sprout’s analytics dashboard puts your audience demographics front and center. It also highlights which social networks are seeing the most activity, helping you ensure you spend your time on the right networks.
There’s plenty of other sources of valuable audience data to supplement your social media insights. This includes your Google and email analytics, your CRM, your customer service platform or even your best-selling products.
4. Establish your most important metrics and KPIs
- Reach. Post reach is the number of unique users who saw your post. How much of your content actually reaches users’ feeds?
- Clicks. This is the number of clicks on your content or account. Tracking clicks per campaign is essential to understand what drives curiosity or encourages people to buy.
- Engagement. The total number of social interactions divided by the number of impressions. This sheds light on how well your audience perceives you and their willingness to interact.
- Hashtag performance. What were your most-used hashtags? Which hashtags were most associated with your brand? Having these answers can help shape the focus of your content going forward.
- Organic and paid likes: Beyond a standard Like count, these interactions are attributed to paid or organic content. Given how much harder organic engagement is to gain, many brands turn to ads. Knowing these differences can help you budget both your ad spend and the time you invest in different formats.
- Sentiment. This is the measurement of how users react to your content, brand or hashtag. Did customers find your recent campaign offensive? What type of sentiment do people associate with your campaign hashtag? It’s always better to dig deeper and find out how people talk or feel about your brand.
The importance of sticking to content themes
From graphics to Reels and beyond, many brands rely on the same content formats and creative touches time and again. These themes can help you become more consistent and zero in on a content strategy that makes sense.
For example, you might cycle between memes, product photos and user-generated content while sticking to a defined color scheme. If you’re struggling to keep up with all these sources of social content, consider social media management tools that help you organize your media library and schedule your posts in advance.
Content ideas for social media marketing in 2022
Stories and time-sensitive posts
Stories aren’t going anywhere. Tapping into your followers’ FOMO (fear of missing out), Stories-style content is both interactive and can’t-miss. Popping up first in your followers’ feeds by default, this content can help your brand’s account “skip the line” and stay fresh in your audience’s minds.
Stories are especially valuable for taking your followers behind-the-scenes and making your social feed feel more personal. For example, consider how you can use Stories to cover an event or take your followers on a journey without them having to leave the comfort of the ‘gram.
Fifty-four percent of marketers say that video is the most valuable content type for achieving social goals, and for good reason. Social video is booming, especially with the rise of TikTok and Instagram Reels. Both long-form and short-form productions continue to dominate the social space across all platforms due to their high engagement rate.
Posts that show off your human side
Particularly important as we (eventually) come out of COVID-19, both personal and personable content should be a cornerstone of your social media marketing strategy. Don’t be afraid to remind followers of the humans behind your posts.
Pro-tip: conduct a competitive analysis to help your content stand out
Then, see how their social channels compare to your own promotion strategy. The goal here isn’t to copycat or steal your competitors’ ideas. No two companies’ social media marketing strategies can be (or should be) the same. Instead, determine what’s working for them and what conclusions you can draw to adapt your own campaigns accordingly.
See what they’re posting on Facebook. Contrast your Twitter engagement with theirs. Find out how they’re tagging their content on Instagram. Optimize your own strategy. Rinse and repeat.
You can also go a step further using Sprout’s Advanced Listening. Using social listening, you can spotlight unfiltered consumer feedback regarding competitors, as well as their products and services.
How to Promote Your Business on Social Media
According to a 2020 report published by Datareportal, We Are Social, and Hootsuite, social media users are spending an average of two hours and 24 minutes per day across an average of eight social networks and messaging apps. Of those networks, Facebook continues to be the most used, followed by YouTube and Instagram  .
In short, there’s a huge advantage to learning how to promote your business on social media—if done successfully, you’ll be marketing your business to your target audience and drawing people to your website or location, hopefully resulting in more sales, and consequently, increased revenue.
1. Properly circulate—and cross-promote—your social media profiles.
When you’re figuring out how to promote your business on social media, one of the first steps you’ll take is setting up your profiles on the various platforms that you think best-suit your business—whether Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
Once you’ve set up your profiles, however, they’ll do no good in helping promote your business if no one knows they exist. Therefore, one of the best things you can do is promote your social media profiles across your business website, email communications (as shown below), and even in your physical store.
In addition, it’s also worth cross-promoting your social media profiles across different channels. In other words, this means you can use your Instagram profile, for example, to promote your business Facebook page.
If you start to gain a particularly large following on one platform, you might use that platform to market your other channels as well—and therefore, reach the different audiences that frequent those particular channels.
2. Use a content calendar and schedule your posts.
One of the most difficult parts of learning how to promote your business on social media is staying organized—especially if you’re using multiple channels. Therefore, in order to streamline your social media efforts, you might consider using a content or social media calendar to plan your posts ahead of time.
Depending on your schedule, you might make your calendar a month, or a few weeks at a time—but either way, planning in advance will help you stay organized—plus, it will give you the opportunity to think about your social media marketing strategy and put additional thought into your processes.
Although you can certainly make a calendar in Google Sheets or Excel, you might also opt to take advantage of a social media scheduling platform, like Hootsuite or Buffer, which allows you to create your calendar within their software. Even better, these platforms give you the ability to schedule your posts ahead of time, which can be a huge time-saver for busy business owners.
3. Capitalize on trends, especially those that relate to your audience.
When you’re learning how to promote your business on social media—a great way to get started if you haven’t necessarily gained traction yet (and even once you have) is to capitalize on social media trends, popular hashtags, and even social media “holidays.”
As an example, if you’re building a social media strategy for your restaurant, you might capitalize on trends like “#thirstythursday,” or “National Pizza Day,” or even simply “#Instafood.” All of these trends will not only help you connect to your existing followers, but place your business amongst the larger community that’s participating in those hashtags or holidays.
Of course, you’ll want to capitalize on trends that relate specifically to your business, your audience, and the particular social media platform in question. With those examples we just mentioned, you would want to incorporate them into Instagram posts, as opposed to Facebook or LinkedIn posts.
Additionally, like with restaurants, you’ll find that your industry has its own trends that you can participate in. As another example, if you’re a fashion business, you’ll be able to post “#OTD,” or, outfit of the day, as well as “#fashionfriday.” A simple Google search, or search on your social media platform, will help you identify trends and popular posts that may work well for your business.