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Congrats on launching your website — now you’re ready to start spreading the word about your online presence! (If you’re still building your site, check out our Build tutorials.) The following guides will walk you through the process of curating an audience for your site.

How to Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy for Your Website

Social media is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal to drive traffic towards your website or blog. However, to succeed at social media, you have to do more than post the occasional update. What you need is a comprehensive strategy you can optimize and scale.

With a social media marketing strategy, you’ll be able to approach growth with clear goals in mind. You can be methodical, test what works and what doesn’t, and figure out the optimal way to grow and engage with your audience.

In this article, we’ll teach you how to approach social media marketing with a strategic mindset. We’ll lay out clear steps you can follow to develop a marketing strategy that’s unique to your website and that you can adapt over time. Let’s get to work!

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Why You Need a Social Media Strategy for Your Website

It’s impossible to deny the power of social media, whether you use it for pleasure or to grow your business. Most people you know are probably on social media, although they may prefer a variety of platforms.

In some ways, social media can be as powerful as search engines when it comes to getting your brand’s name out there and bringing in new business. Those are just two of the ways your website can benefit from a social media presence.

The other pros of being on social media include:

  • It gives you a direct channel of communication with your users, which helps encourage engagement.
  • You can use social platforms as additional support channels.
  • Social media can help you drive growth without increasing your ad spend.

However, if you want to succeed at social media, you can’t go in without a game plan. It’s the same story as with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) — if you want to get scalable returns from social media, you’ll need a strategy. 

That may sound intimidating, but remember that there’s no barrier to entry with social media. Unless you want to spend money on advanced marketing tools (which we’ll cover shortly), all you need to do is set up accounts on the right platforms and start experimenting.

How to Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy for Your Website (In 6 Steps)

The first step to any successful campaign — whether you’re looking at content marketing, email marketing, digital marketing, or social media — is figuring out where to focus your efforts. In other words, you’ll first need to determine which social media platforms to target.

Step 1: Narrow Down Your Target Platforms

If you open your phone right now, we’re willing to bet there are at least two social media apps in your collection. However, not everyone will have the same apps.

Some users are all about Instagram, while others still prefer Facebook, and the younger generation is flocking to TikTok. If you look at the numbers, over one billion people use Instagram each month, whereas about 800 million use TikTok. On paper, that might make Instagram look more attractive as a marketing platform.

However, the real question you need to ask yourself is where your audience hangs out. If your website’s demographic skews older, chances are they’re not spending most of their time on either TikTok or Instagram. Instead, they may prefer LinkedIn or Facebook. You don’t want to waste time promoting your website on platforms where your audience is largely absent.

Determining which platforms your audience spends most of their time on comes down to demographics and the kind of content you create. If you run a cooking website, for example, you’ll probably want to focus on sharing highly-visual content via Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Some interesting statistics to keep in mind as you evaluate the many platforms out there include:

  • Image posts on Facebook average 4.42% engagement, whereas on Instagram, that number goes down to 1.11%.
  • Video content is king across all social media platforms, with an engagement rate of 1.87% on Instagram and 10 times the average on Twitter.
  • Pinterest is the most female-friendly social media platform by the numbers, with a user base that’s 72% female.

When you start looking at the numbers, social media is a lot more complicated than you might initially give it credit for. You’ll need to select which platforms you want to focus on carefully because it’s next to impossible to maintain a strong presence across all of them.

For starters, we recommend that you concentrate on one or two social media platforms at the most. If you don’t have profiles for your website set up yet, now is the time to sign up.

Although there are tools you can use to publish the same content across multiple platforms, you will generally get better results if you tailor posts for each one. To do that, you’ll first need to know what your goals are.

Step 2: Establish What Metrics Are Most Important to You

Before we can talk about how to determine if your social media campaigns are successful, we need to discuss metrics. If you use an analytics tool for your website, then you should already be familiar with standard metrics such as hits, click-through and bounce rates, and more.

When you shift your focus over to social media, a lot of the same metrics still apply. For example, you will pay close attention to click-through rates from social media platforms to your website. However, some metrics are unique to social media, and you’ll need to know what they are so you can set practical goals.

Some of those metrics include:

  • Likes, comments, retweets, and other engagement measures. On social media, you measure engagement using metrics such as likes, comments, shares, retweets, and more. The specific metrics available vary from platform to platform.
  • Post engagement. The percentage of people who engage with your posts as compared to overall impressions (views) determines your engagement rate.
  • Mentions. When other social media accounts mention you, this can work as a referral and convey trust from one brand to another.
  • Reach. Some platforms give you an idea of how many people your posts can reach, which varies depending on your follower count.

Social media platforms understand the value they provide to businesses. That’s why most of the big names in social media include built-in analytics tools out of the box, so you can measure individual metrics without the need for third-party tools.

Twitter, for example, enables any account to access analytics data.

An example of basic Twitter analytics data.

On other platforms, such as Instagram and Pinterest, you’ll need business accounts to access their metrics (or “insights,” as Instagram calls them). Fortunately, these accounts are generally free to create.

If you want to, there are also a lot of third-party tools that enable you to access more in-depth analytics and peruse data from multiple platforms. We’ll talk about tools later on — for now, let’s stay on the process of setting goals.

Step 3: Set Meaningful Social Marketing Goals

Once you know where you want to focus your efforts and what metrics you care about, it’s time to set actionable goals. Using social media to “grow your website” is fine, but that’s not the kind of thing you can measure. 

When it comes to marketing campaigns, the smart move is to set incremental goals that you can easily track to see how you’re progressing. 

Let’s say, for example, that you decide to focus on Facebook as the heart of your social media marketing efforts. Some of the goals you might want to set include:

  • Aiming for a specific number of followers for your business page.
  • Increasing your engagement rate to X percent.
  • Publishing a set number of posts during a specific period.
  • Increasing the click-through rate to your website by X percent.

For most websites, the underlying marketing goal of social media is to get more traffic and conversions. That means you can either direct traffic back to your website or use social media to promote specific offers.

The approach you take will depend on what your endgame is. However, it’s necessary to set goals that are both realistic and measurable. That way, you can look back on your progress after a few months and see whether the approach you’re taking to meet those goals is working.

Step 4: Choose Which Social Media Marketing Tools to Use

Despite what a lot of people might say, you don’t need fancy tools to tackle social media marketing. Almost all the major platforms enable you to access analytics data if you have a business account. However, with the right tools, you can simplify much of your workflow, such as scheduling content, posting to multiple platforms, etc.

Many tools can make your life easier when it comes to social media marketing. Let’s look at a few of the key categories they fall under:

  • Customer persona research. If you’re struggling to understand what type of content your audience wants or who your audience is in the first place, this type of tool can provide you with the insights you need. For researching customer personas, we recommend using Socialbakers.
  • Third-party analytics. As we mentioned before, most platforms offer built-in analytics for marketers. However, if you want to access data from multiple platforms at once, or you need to look at more in-depth metrics, you may want to use third-party tools instead. Some great options include Agorapulse, which supports multiple platforms, and Followerwonk, which is designed for Twitter users.
  • Content management and publication. If you want to manage and publish content across multiple platforms using a single tool, we recommend checking out BuzzSumo, Sprout Social, and Tailwind. WordPress users can schedule content for social media publishing using plugins such as Revive Old Posts.

Keep in mind that we’re only touching the tip of the iceberg here. There’s so much work that goes into social media content that we could talk for hours about tools that can help you. For example, if you want to connect with influencers, there are platforms such as Influential. If you need graphics for your social media content, then you can use a service like Canva

One tool that you should already be using for your website is Google Analytics. With Analytics, you’ll get access to a remarkable amount of data concerning your users’ behavior. Plus, you can find out which social media platforms are sending the most traffic to your website.

Many social media beginners dive headfirst into using as many services as they can, expecting instant results. The best thing you can do is to gain a little experience publishing content and reviewing analytics using the built-in tools your target platforms offer. Once you have an idea of what your weak areas are or what tasks are taking up a disproportionate amount of time, you can look into tools that will help you shore up those deficiencies.

Step 5: Create and Curate Engaging Content

So far, we’ve talked a lot about planning and the tools you can use to make your life easier. However, whether you’re growing a website or a social media presence, what matters most is the content you publish.

You can have a rock-solid strategy based on data and an impressive array of measurable, achievable goals. However, if you don’t publish engaging content regularly, your social media presence isn’t likely to grow.

Your mission, therefore, is to create and curate content that your audience cares about. Fortunately, content marketing and creation is something you already have experience in if you’ve been running your website for a while. However, social media is all about easily-digestible content: images, short videos, on-the-mark tweets, and more.

An Instagram feed.

In other words, you’ll need to adapt to a new model if you want to succeed. If you’re new to social media platforms, here’s what you should be doing:

  1. Look up the social media profiles for your website’s top competitors. Chances are they’re already on social media, so check out which of them have a decent following and take note of what they’re doing.
  2. Keep a finger on your industry’s pulse. Timeliness is essential when it comes to social media content. We can spend hours every day on social media, which means that for a lot of people, it’s the primary channel through which they consume news and gossip. By focusing on the latest developments, it becomes easier to get your audience’s attention.

When you look at your competitors’ profiles on social media, you’ll want to pay special attention to what types of content they’re posting and how often. Chances are that some posts get more engagement than others, so pay attention to what the common elements might be.

Your ultimate goal is not to emulate the competition altogether, but to take what works for them, improve on it, and add in your own unique twist. That can mean publishing better content, doing it more often, or interacting more with your followers.

Finally, keep in mind that each social media platform has an optimal “window” during the day where you tend to get better results since there are more people online. Facebook, for example, peaks at 11 a.m. and 1 to 2 p.m. on Wednesdays. Keep these times in mind to maximize your effectiveness.

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Step 6: Assess Your Results and Optimize Your Approach

Since you’re working towards very specific goals, it makes sense to pause from time to time and see if what you’re doing is working. Let’s say, for example, that your goal is to increase your Instagram following to 10,000 within a three-month period. To get there, you’ve been publishing new content, with a focus on infographics.

Examples of infographics on Instagram.

At the end of those three months, if you hit your goal, then you’ll know you’re doing something right. That means you can double-down on the strategy you’ve been using by increasing your posting frequency, spending more time and money on better infographics, and so on.

If you didn’t hit your goal, it could be due to any of the following reasons:

  • The type of content you’re publishing doesn’t resonate with your audience.
  • You haven’t been using hashtags effectively to expand your content’s reach.
  • You’ve been posting at the wrong times, which caps your potential reach.

At this point, it wouldn’t make much sense to double down on the same strategy. That means you can either a) try a different content strategy or b) switch gears when it comes to the times you post and the hashtags you use. You could also try something new entirely, such as using influencer marketing.

In a nutshell, what you’re doing is running experiments in social media marketing. You’ll make a hypothesis and test it as thoroughly as possible. If it turns out to be false, then you return to the drawing board to brainstorm with your team. Failure is part of the process, so don’t get discouraged.

Your Social Media Marketing Plan

A lot of us rely on social media for more than just fun. It’s one of the ways we find new voices, brands, and content. If you run a website, you want to be part of the “conversation,” which means you need to have a strong presence on social media.

However, just posting updates from time to time does not constitute an effective social media campaign. In a nutshell, here’s how you should approach social media marketing:

  1. Narrow down your target platforms.
  2. Establish what metrics are most important to you.
  3. Set meaningful social marketing goals.
  4. Choose which social media marketing tools to use.
  5. Create and curate engaging content.
  6. Assess your results and optimize your approach.

Before you get started with social media marketing, you’ll need a website that works flawlessly. Our shared hosting plans make it easy to launch and maintain a site that perfectly complements your social media presence!

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If you have questions or just could use some help figuring some thing out, get in touch. Our team of web experts has been in the business for over 20 years and knows how to help you figure out the right next steps.