Social media rules the world. Don’t believe it? Look up from your device, and I bet at least half the room is scrolling TikTok or Instagram.
Recent stats report that 4.7 billion people are on social media. Typically, the younger the generation, the more active they are.
Check out the stats from e-Marketer about how many members of each generation are spending time on social media:
- 49% of Baby Boomers
- 77% of Generation X
- 90% of Millennials
If you have a Gen Zer in your house, you already know they are glued to their devices. Stats show that members of Gen Z spend nearly 3 hours a day on social media, which is approximately 30 minutes more a day than members of any other generation.
As a side-hustler with a rockin’ new website, the world’s obsession with social media is excellent news for you. People like scrolling social, and social media influences 71% of consumers’ purchasing decisions.
Translation: for entrepreneurs and side hustlers, social media marketing is a goldmine and a stellar investment.
How to get started with social media marketing as side hustler
While it takes time to catch yourself up to speed on the best practices, and build your social media marketing plan accordingly, this article will cover the steps you need to take to get started.
1. Set smart social media marketing goals
Before you sign up for a bunch of social accounts and start pouring money into advertising, it’s critical to set goals to determine what you want to accomplish.
Here are some questions to brainstorm that will help you write some SMART goals:
- What role does brand awareness play in your side hustle?
- How critical is website traffic to your side hustle?
- What demographic does your side hustle cater to?
- Do you need to build a community to support your side hustle?
- Do you want to engage a local or global audience?
- What kind of leads do you need to generate?
- What are your sales goals?
- How important is brand engagement to your side hustle?
Once you brainstorm and answer these questions, set concrete goals. Having clear goals will help you make the right social media marketing decisions.
2. Do your social media channel research
Here’s the deal. Nearly everyone loves social media, but not everyone enjoys the same social media platform.
For example, I’m a Millennial, and you can find me on Twitter and Instagram. My Baby Boomer mom spends her time on Pinterest and Facebook. My Gen Z friends go bananas for TikTok.
While there is no hard and fast rule for which generations use certain platforms, research does show trends. Here is an example of age and usage trends from Pew Research.
After you know your social media goals, take the time to research each social platform. Learn what demographics live on which platforms and what type of content is popular across various platforms.
3. Define your customer profiles
The next step in setting up a social media marketing strategy is to define your customer profiles. In other words, you learn everything you can about your target audience so that you can market to them effectively.
Here is what you need to address when defining your customer profiles:
- What are the main demographics for your customers (e.g., age, sex, education level, family status, etc.)?
- What are common online behavioral patterns for your customers?
- What are your customers’ psychographics (e.g., goals, pains, lifestyle, interests, habits, etc.)?
- What are the geographic details of your target audience? Do you want to target local customers or customers across the globe?
- Where does your audience spend their time online?
- Which social platforms do your customers enjoy?
Once you know who your customers are, it will be easier to determine which social media channels will be the most effective for marketing your side hustle.
4. Review your resources
Social media marketing goes hand-in-hand with content creation and advertising. As such, you must have enough talented team members and a budget to support social media efforts for your side hustle.
Consider the following:
- What kind of content will you need to create?
- Can you do the content creation on your own, or do you need to hire someone?
- Who will manage your social accounts?
- Do you have someone to help you with advertising?
- How much of your budget will you need to allocate to content creation? Advertising? Management?
Draw out a budget to determine how much you’ll need to invest into social media to effectively drive traffic to your website, and decide whether or not you’ll need to hire help.
5. Create a content calendar
Experiencing success with social media is often dependent on consistency. It’s easier to win on social media if you set up a schedule and maintain consistency.
Here’s what to put on your calendar:
- Which days will you allocate to social media marketing?
- How often will you create a new social post?
- What times will you monitor your social accounts?
- When will you advertise and how much will you spend?
- How often will you review social media analytics?
- When will you create and evaluate reports?
One of the best ways to create a content calendar and keep a consistent schedule is to invest in a project management tool. Check out Asana, Co-Schedule, and Trello. These platforms provide top-notch project management tools for any social media marketing team, large or small. While you’re at it, check out our roundup of the best tools for side hustlers.
6. Set up social accounts for your side hustle
Once you know where your target audience lives online, it’s time to set up your social accounts for your business.
If you have a wide demographic range in terms of age, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to sign up for every social channel and start posting everywhere.
Start small, invest in one or two social channels, and grow from there. It makes much more sense to start small and focus on creating excellent and engaging content for one channel and then scale when you’re ready.
When setting up your social accounts, make sure to fill out your profile and research ways to optimize your social account for increased web traffic.
7. Create content and start advertising
Congratulations! You’ve done all the preliminary work to get started with social media marketing for your side hustle. Now it’s time to put your creative juices to work, stick to your content calendar, and start creating amazing content.
Here are some things to keep in mind when you start creating content:
- Partner with creative people
- Create consistently
- Connect with influencers
- Follow the 80/20 rule (80% of your content should be about your audience and 20% about you)
- Invest in video content
- Share user-generated content (UGC)
- Create content that is entertaining, engaging, emotional, or adds value
- Focus on creating quality content over quantity
- Campaign for social causes
- Offer incentives to help people engage (e.g., contests or giveaways)
- Engage with your audience by answering their comments
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Social media marketing is one of the best ways to draw attention to your side hustle. But remember! Your goal is to use social media to drive traffic to your website and increase sales.
Machielle Thomas curates content for marketing professionals, small business owners, bloggers, and more.