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Social Media Marketing for Businesses

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What are the three magic words for business success?

Social media marketing, of course, aka SMM.

Above 4.26 billion people were on social networks in 2021. In 2027, this number is predicted to reach nearly 6 billion. The popularity of social media is huge, and both small and large businesses hunt for the best promotional methods. In fact, 71% of small-to-mid-sized companies use social media for marketing purposes, and 52% of those publish their posts on a daily basis.

Why is SMM crucial for businesses? How to address it? What platforms to explore? How often should you post? What tools to use?

So many questions may be bothering you right now…

But we’ve prepared all the answers! No matter whether you’re only getting started on social media or have already tipped your toes in it, this article is your all-in-one guide on social media marketing.

Key Advantages of SMM for Business

Here’s a list of the top five leading benefits of social networks for business and the percentage of marketers who cited them as such in the survey conducted by Statista:

  • Better brand exposure (85%)
  • Increased traffic (75%)
  • Generated leads (66%)
  • Expanded base of loyal fans (58%)
  • Boosted sales (57%)

social media marketing for businesses

Source: Statista.com

That’s why as many as 91% of business executives plan to spend considerably more on social media advertising and adjust their budgets accordingly in the next three years. In fact, the majority of them are ready to increase their SMM budget by more than 50%.

Determining a budget is one thing, quite another is designing and executing SMM campaigns to achieve the highest results.

How should you do that? Let’s nail social media marketing from top to bottom and develop the best strategy in accordance with your company needs.

Your Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing

Get going with the below guidelines on how to promote your business on social media.

Work out a social media marketing strategy

Everything starts with a good plan and strategic approach.

Taking into consideration your niche, specific business requirements, ads budget, and other aspects, you should do the following:

Identify your target demographic

Who should receive your marketing message?

Define your target audience: their age, gender, location, income, interests, etc.

Discover you competition

Do competitor analysis to learn everything about your primary rivals: their strengths, weaknesses, and tactics they’ve been applying. You can use competitor data to improve your social media strategy continuously.

Analyze and optimize your profiles

Some of the fundamental tasks to perform for successful social media optimization – review your online presence, spot your weakest places, conduct keyword research, etc.

Set SMART goals

The SMART method is as old as the sea (first mentioned in 1981), but it’s still a go-to for everyone who wants to reach a desirable result in anything. Simply because it works.

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Source: Indeed.com

Setting a SMART social media goal, answer the five W-questions:

What result do you want to reach? (Countable: number of followers, leads, sales, and the like)

Why do you need it? (Grow sales, enhance your brand reputation, etc.)

Who will be doing what? (You might need to create an SMM team and dole out the tasks)

Where will it be executed? (In the office or remotely? Which social platforms will you market your business on?)

When will it be achieved? (Exact date)

Arrange your posting schedule

You should know when exactly to post – check the best posting times for TikTok, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. and draft a calendar.

But what are you going to post?

Find out how to prepare purposeful content and use some other helpful tips on SMM mentioned in the next paragraphs.

Produce engaging and creative content

One, two, … and it’s over.

You’ve lost your potential customer…

Why? Because the attention span on social media is only two seconds.

Those two seconds should make a lasting impression, and it matters greatly what you put in them. If you haven’t managed to “serve” your post hot, it means that perhaps it wasn’t “hot” enough.

Engaging social media content has its own ingredients that may “warm it up”.

Experimenting with different types of posts, Logan Mallory, VP of Motivosity, emphasizes that “You should deliver value, pick/create high-quality visuals, and make content emotionally resonant and memorable.

For example, you can engage with your audience via a challenge. People love challenges, because they ignite excitement, motivate them to test courage, and become a source of happiness and fulfillment. Our last SMM campaign implied challenging our clients, interacting with them, and promoting our ThanksMatters Card at the same time. The number of social media mentions grew by roughly 430% during the time it was running.”

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Source: Instagram.com

Moreover, don’t forget to optimize images and craft eye-catching videos.

Why do visuals matter?

It turns out you can generate 94% more views, if you insert a visual element into your post.

Don’t underestimate hashtags

Hashtags can either skyrocket or tank your SMM campaign for good.

And the quantity matters. If you use 11+ hashtags, the engagement rate can grow by 79%.

What about the quality?

Be careful, because knowing the ideal number of hashtags won’t save you from such a phenomenon as shadowbanning. This measure is actively applied by Instagram to prevent spammy activity. The platform bans particular hashtags that evoke floods of spam.

When your post is “shadowbanned”, it gets “hidden”, and the users who don’t follow you won’t be able to see or find it.

Bookstagrammers have reported numerous cases of shadowbanning. So, if you run a book blog or any books-related business, mind that there’s a ban imposed on one of the best bookstagram hashtags – #books.

Here’s a list of some other Instagram hashtags that will get your post shadowbanned:

  • #mustfollow
  • #justdidit
  • #always
  • #snap
  • #like
  • #women
  • #rate

Be on the same wave with your audience

What does this mean?

“First and foremost, speak the same language as your audience does and use age-appropriate vocabulary in your social media posts,” recommends Stephan Baldwin, Founder of Assisted Living.

“If you’re targeting iGeneration (Gen Z), you might want to use some slang phrases like big yikes, I’m dead, dang, creps, hangry, and so on. For Millennials, the well-known expressions are: straight chillin, adulting, doggo, sorry not sorry, I can’t even, etc.

Besides the vocabulary, there should be a proper tone and overall stylistics of the messages you try to deliver. On Twitter, for example, we majorly go with motivational and life wisdom quotes, as our targeted audiences are older generations,” Stephan shares.

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Source: Twitter.com

Some businesses prefer to keep their social media style formal. Others like to sound casual, bold, and cheerful. To achieve this, they add some pinches of humor and fun to their posts.

Here’s an example of a paid advertising campaign on Facebook by Slack. The company appeals to emotions and uses a bright and entertaining visual.

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Source: Elymunt.com

Trying to discard formalities, Missguided, a women’s clothes brand (their intended group of customers are aged 16–35), dared using the F-word in their social media post on Instagram during the pre-Christmas campaign and referred to its users as “babes”. The post gathered around 11,000 likes and tons of comments.

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Source: Instagram.com

Blend SMM with reactive marketing

Reactive marketing or moment marketing is a campaign, advert, or any other method used to demonstrate a brand’s prompt reaction to everyday events and phenomena.

Oreo has a knack for it. It’s one of the companies that create compelling social media ads and win their audiences over. When New Orleans had a power outage and a blackout during the SuperBowl, Oreo reacted instantly with the tweet that went viral: 13.3K retweets, 195 quote tweets, and 6,637 likes.

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Source: Twitter.com

This tweet is an example of fast-thinking advertising and social media rapid response at its finest.

Find a social media brand ambassador

A brand ambassador program can contribute greatly to emotional engagement with your customers and word-of-mouth marketing.

Who can be your social media brand ambassador?

Consider someone from the below list:

  • Influencer
  • Affiliate ambassador
  • Expert
  • Employee
  • Investor
  • Customer

Actually, 75% of customers are more likely to believe the posts shared by shoppers who tell about their purchasing experiences rather than ads published by brands, while 49% of consumers trust influencer recommendations.

Contact social media influencers and concentrate on a long-term partnership.

Avoid SMM mistakes that can cause legal issues

What if we told you that a single tweet can lead you to the courtroom?

If your post is considered to be libelous, for example.

In 2013, a tweet by Sally Bercow about Lord McAlpine was ruled by the High Court of the UK as a defamatory statement and the former had to pay damages.

Aside from defamation, there may be other social media legal concerns, and Ben Michael, Practicing Lawyer and Founder of Michael & Associates, gives the list of them:

  • Copyright and intellectual property infringement
  • Fake testimonials
  • Plagiarized content (check how to avoid plagiarism)
  • Unclear and ambiguous terms of promotions/contests
  • Non-disclosure of influencer partnerships

As for the latter, Ben Michael explains that “The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires influencers to reveal it openly on social media, when they have a personal, financial, or family relationship with a brand. Another FTC regulation related to influencer marketing states that a disclosure has to be mentioned before the “More” button.

In case of breaking the FTC rules or posting a fake review, the fines for advertisers may vary from $20,000 to $50,000. For influencers, such violations may result in millions (USD) in fines. For example, in October 2022, Kim Kardashian paid a $1.26 million fine for failing to disclose she had received money for advertising crypto assets.”

Top 5 Social Media Marketing Channels

The following social media sites are ranked by marketers who’ve been using them successfully for promoting their businesses:

  1. Facebook
  2. Instagram
  3. LinkedIn
  4. YouTube
  5. Twitter

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Source: Statista.com


Monthly active users: 2.91 billion

Average user age: 25–44 (however, 36% of Facebook users are 45+)

Top features for marketers: Ads Manager (for video/image ads, remarketing ads, carousel ads, etc.), Facebook Pixel, location targeting, saved audiences

What works on Facebook:

The most high-performing content on Facebook is:

To master Facebook branding and marketing, learn from the company that does it right: read how Glovo uses Facebook ads to drive sales.

Keep up with the current Facebook trends and maximize effectiveness of Facebook marketing.


Monthly active users: 1.47 billion

Average user age: 25–34 (nearly 49% of Instagrammers are of that age)

Top features for marketers: Reels Template, Instagram shopping, interactive stickers, live rooms, stories highlights

What works on Instagram:

Instagram reels, contests, giveaways, clickable links, and shoppable posts are the best techniques for boosting Instagram sales.

Businesses that do offline sales can also promote themselves on Instagram. How exactly?

“In order to strive for word-of-mouth and virality on Instagram, offline businesses should primarily focus on the instagrammable concept in design and take advantage of photo zones for luring customers to take photos and share them tagging a brand,” recommends Brian Nagele, CEO at Restaurant Clicks.

“For example, in the restaurant industry, instagrammable colors in design can be advantageous for successful social media marketing. They are: terracotta, orange, hague blue, green smoke, deep blue-green, lilac, soft purple, and pink.

Some brands often go to extremes trying to emphasize the visual uniqueness of dishes and drinks. Such bizarre and totally unique variants like Starbucks’ unicorn Frappuccino or Toronto’s toilet-themed dessert bar do work. But the effect doesn’t last long. Normal-looking food is a new Instagram trend today,” Brian notes.


Monthly active users: 310 million

Average user age: 30–39 (they account for 31% of LinkedIn users)

Top features for marketers: Forecasted Results, slideshows (carousel posts with up to 300 slides), audience polls, creator mode, newsletter tool

What works on LinkedIn:

One of the best LinkedIn marketing strategies is putting the spotlight on your employees, sharing their stories, and connecting better to highlight your people-first organizational culture. LinkedIn is centered on people in business, and that’s why proper LinkedIn etiquette is essential for effective branding.

Besides, a live-stream is a sure fire way to leverage LinkedIn for business, especially when it’s a part of a reactive campaign. For example, Johnson & Johnson launched a live weekly educational series The Road to a Vaccine in 2020 with the advent of the pandemic.

The result was amazing: 1,000,000+ total views of the 8-episode series (see the screenshot).

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Source: Linkedin.com


Monthly active users: 2.56 billion

Average user age: 18–24 (nearly 35% of YouTube users)

Top features for marketers: YouTube creator studio, YouTube shorts, Fan Finder, YouTube cards, 360-degree feature

What works on YouTube:

“YouTube shorts are priceless for marketers,” believes Daniel Apke, CEO of Land Investing Online.

“We launched our campaign with YouTube shorts in April 2022. Since then, the number of views has increased by 81% and these videos started converting our watchers into buyers.

How to use short-form videos on YouTube? Pretty simple: ensure the high quality of the video and sound, get straight to the point, use attention-grabbers, and avoid cluttering the screen with too much of everything or too many people,” Daniel highlights.

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Source: Youtube.com

Then there’s YouTube SEO that can help you get your videos to the top.


Monthly active users: 436 million

Average user age: 18–44 (approximately 60% of all Twitter users)

Top features for marketers: TweetDeck, Twitter Spaces, Twitter Moments, Super Follows

What works on Twitter:

If you want to penetrate the realm of Twitter marketing, have a look at the content that works on this platform:

  • Images
  • Quotes
  • Videos
  • Questions and polls
  • Memes

It’s also worth knowing that messages with less than 100 characters have a 17% higher engagement rate, while tweets with image links can double engagement with your audience. Use these tried-and-tested Twitter practices and get the most out of the blue bird.

Best Tools for Social Media Marketing

For banned hashtags check:



For images:




For text/caption:




For analytics:


Rival IQ

Buffer Analyze

There are also some SMM tools that cater specifically to the needs of SaaS companies. Consider adding those to your toolset, if you’re a SaaS provider.

Additionally, peer into the top social media marketing books. Their authors share some little-known tricks, secrets, and tools for harnessing the power of social networks.

Automate Social Media Marketing With Bulk.ly

Be active, experiment with new ideas, and collaborate with professionals to unleash the power of marketing on social media.

Tap the potential of automation and see how smoothly and easily you can implement the best SMM strategies and make your business stand out on social platforms.

Multiply every effort you make and rock the social media with Bulk.ly!

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