Social Media Marketing 101

By November 1, 2021 February 2nd, 2024 Digital Marketing
Woman scrolling her notifications created by Laundry Lane Productions

Social Media Marketing involves using social media in order to promote your brand or organisation.  This can be through a variety of paid and unpaid formats and platforms.  Social media is part of our daily lives as a global community, the reach and potential of which is only increasing.  It also provides an opportunity for direct marketing, brand awareness and shows brand personality and authenticity which in turn creates trust and strengthens brand consumer relationships.

In this guide we’re going to go through the basics of social media as a marketing tool, the main social media platforms in 2021 and how to best use each one, and key words and phrases you need to know.

Why Use Social Media as Part of Your Marketing Strategy

At this point digital marketing is a well established marketing segment and social media forms an integral part of this. More than 3.6 billion people across the globe are active on social media and this figure is only expected to grow year by year. No matter your audience, it’s a safe bet at least some of them are using social media.  Of active users, people spend on average 144 minutes a day (that’s about 10% of their day).

Users are not just scrolling mindlessly, many platforms have in-built shopping and more than 50% of users use social media to research products and inform purchasing decisions.

Social also provides an opportunity to establish brand identity, nurture audience relationships and show customers who you are.

It’s about quality not quantity

Whether you are just getting started in the complex world of social media marketing or you’ve been running accounts for a while now you have probably heard something about how many times you should be posting per week on each platform.  While there are better times of day to post (more on that later), what is more important than posting every day is making sure the content you post is high quality and you are consistent.  Your content needs to add value to your audience, does it educate, inspire, entertain or convince? Does your audience stay engaged because they know that once a week you post something valuable to them?  Creating consistency (and therefore trust) and providing value in your content definitely needs to be the focus as opposed to posting all the time and not providing any real value.

Creating a social media strategy

Social Media is great for direct selling, brand awareness and creating or building an audience. Establishing a comprehensive strategy and deciding ahead of time how and why you’ll use social media as part of your marketing mix is essential to success.

Social Media Marketing Goals Minimal Colourful Infographic

Does it really matter what time I post?

In short, yes.  For each brand, platform and audience the specific best time to post is different.  However social media is designed to be up-to-date so fresh, new content is what every platform prioritises.  Therefore it’s important that you take the time to understand your audience and the ways in which they interact on social media. If your audience is likely to be scrolling on social media during their lunch break, their commute, late in the evening or mornings you can tailor your post times directly. When you know what times your audience is active online you will be able to post so that your content has maximum engagement and reach.

Read about our ‘Australia’s Biggest Waiting Room’ campaign with the Royal Flying Doctors service here.

The Platforms

Social Media Number of Users by Platform 2021 Infographic

With more than 2.74 billion active users, Facebook is the worlds most widely used social media platform.  With the kind of reach and influence of Facebook it’s not new that every business should have a presence on the site.  For some businesses posting regularly, creating conversations and staying engaged with customers in a community on Facebook is essential.  For other businesses a Facebook page can be maintained with up to date information similarly to a website where your customers can find you if they are already looking.  Similarly Facebook Ads has a huge reach and is a must for any business whose audience is active on Facebook.  Relatively low cost and highly effective, Facebook ads are great for promoting products, events, services, brands and more.  The Facebook Ads platform is also where you set up and run Instagram ads.


If you have engaging video content you can use it to create a Youtube channel helping to show your videos to your audience and allow them to be found on search engines. Google prioritises video results where possible so making sure your videos are good for SEO. With more than 2.3 billion users each month, Youtube is the second most popular social media platform. Hobbies, how-tos, and career/job help are the most common uses of people on Youtube.  If you’ve got valuable content (especially if people might search for it) it’s worth uploading to Youtube.  If you’re considering using Youtube for ads these are served across the site including before and during other videos.  To set up and manage ads it’s done in Google’s Ads platform.


These days Instagram is so prolific and widely known that many people have created and maintained entire careers on the site.  With the rise of social media use, digital and non-traditional business styles (think online only stores, 3rd party sellers like Etsy and Influencers) it’s no surprise that so many businesses are now on this app. To add some numbers, more than 1 billion people use Instagram every month, more than 90% of people follow at least one business and more than 81% of people use instagram to search for products or businesses.  As Instagram moves towards direct selling and product listing it’s more essential than ever before that businesses create a presence there.  While it’s a predominantly visual platform – initially photos but now a stronger focus on video – there are plenty of users who post microblogs in captions or guides and see great results.


Well established as the main social networking site for professionals, LinkedIn is a great place to promote a business.  LinkedIn may not have the highest reach or the most users but they do have more than 774 million users worldwide.  It’s primarily used for job searching, recruiting and networking with over 40 million people using it to job search every week and more than 57 million companies listed.  It has got some great features to help show more about your business and the real world of your organisation.  Beyond utilising it to show the ins and outs of your business and recruit great employees you can use this platform to establish a brand identity, build trust and advertise.  There are a number of advertising styles on LinkedIn that could be effective depending on your campaign and audience.  This does tend to be more expensive to advertise on but the leads and results in general are higher quality so you should get a great Return On Investment (ROI).  Because of the professional nature of this platform it’s perfect for B2B promotion as well.


The go-to platform for visual inspiration, Pinterest has transformed into a hugely profitable space. With more than 459 million active users Pinterest is great for generating interest and creating brand awareness. The majority of users search Pinterest for purchase inspiration and 97% of searches are unbranded and users are open to finding new products and brands. Hero-ing visuals – primarily still images but a move towards more video content – Pinterest is great for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and creating a way for your customers to discover your business.  It’s important to note that this platform is almost entirely visual so you need to create visual assets which you can then link to external sites. Like many other platforms Pinterest now has shopping features that help show products to consumers for direct sales.  You can set up and use your account to help create brand awareness, connect with your audience, generate traffic to your website or create paid ads.


The format of this platform lends itself to high volume content, consistency and frequency are especially important.  With more than 206 million active daily users, Twitter is the fifth most popular social media platform. Creating a successful brand on Twitter away from the paid advertising you probably need to be either news and journalism related or have a unique, personal tone of voice. One of the great things about brands on Twitter is the creativity, often brands create a persona on Twitter that’s fun and entertaining or use humour to promote their brand.  For paid advertising Twitter tends to be on the cheaper side generating high impressions and views but potentially lower click throughs and conversions. 

Key Terms

Getting started marketing on social media can be so daunting when you see all the acronyms, terms and buzzwords people are using.  We’ve compiled a list of the most important terms, acronyms and metrics you need to know so you can make the most of your marketing.

Organic – This refers to posting directly to your account (much like we do on personal social media accounts), there is no payment required and reach depends on the platforms algorithms and people who follow your content.
Paid/Ads – This refers to the paid and sponsored content that appears across different social media e.g. Facebook sponsored posts, Youtube ads, sponsored tweets etc.  You pay to have your post served to additional viewers beyond your organic reach.
Engagement – This refers to people interacting with your post such as likes, shares,  and comments.  People engage with content that interests and excites them so highly engaging posts are usually a success indicator.
Reach – This is the total number of individuals who have seen your post at least once, if one person has seen it multiple times it would count as a single person reach.
Impressions – This refers to the total number of times your post has been viewed, if one person has seen it multiple times it would count as multiple impressions.
Algorithm – In this context each social media platform has a unique algorithm that determines how and when your post would appear to people organically.  Usually this is based on other things a person interacts with so that posts are served that people would enjoy.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – Optimising online content so that it is easily searchable for search engines (e.g. Google) is essential to ensure your content appears in search.
User-Generated Content (UCG) – This is content that is created by people or consumers rather than brands or companies.  For example if someone buys a product and posts about it on social media.
Click Through Rate (CTR) – The number of clicks divided by the number of impressions (displayed as a percentage), that is the rate at which people who saw your ad decided to follow the link.
Cost Per Click (CPC) – This is the total cost divided by total clicks (displayed as currency), that is the cost of each time someone clicked on your ad.  This is a great indicator of how well your ad is performing and valuable in calculating Return on Investment (ROI).
Pay Per Click (PPC) –  This refers to any advertisement that is cost based on an action such as a click – the main platform for PPC is google ads but includes any site.


Across social media platforms there are plenty of similarities.  Namely consistency and value are rewarded and your audience expects you to be on the platforms they are so if your audience or community exists on a social platform so should you.  You don’t necessarily have to be spending money on ads every week but having a presence, engaging with your audience, building a community and direct selling are all essential practices in modern business promotion.  The key to success on social media is focusing on your audience and creating a community.  Engage with your audience, genuinely listen to what they are telling you and respond with authenticity.

At Laundry Lane we are communications and video experts and we offer a full range of marketing services including social media audits, training, campaign management and more.