Your Simple Guide to Social Media for Your Online Business [With Worksheet + Template]

Your Simple Guide to Social Media for Your Online Business [With Worksheet+Template]
This page was originally published March 13, 2022 and updated May 4, 2024.

Social media can be a powerful tool for reaching your audience and building your brand whether you’re in the startup or growth stages. Just like you wouldn’t start a cross country trip without a map, you wouldn’t want to start posting on social media without a basic plan.

A plan will not only help you stay organized and consistent, but also ensure that your posts are effective in achieving your business goals. It doesn’t have to be difficult. Just follow these key steps:

Perform a Social Media Checkup

A Social Media Checkup helps you take stock of your current social media presence across different platforms. This step is essential for understanding where you stand now and identify your strengths and areas for improvement. It’s like giving your social media strategy a health check to ensure it’s operating efficiently and contributing positively towards achieving your business objectives.

This checkup should include reviewing your follower count, engagement rates, content quality and frequency, as well as how well your current strategy aligns with your business goals.

When performing your social media checkup, these are the key things to focus on at first:

  • Presence and Consistency: Evaluate whether your brand’s presence is consistent across all platforms. Your visuals, messaging, and tone should align, offering a cohesive brand experience to your audience.
  • Audience Engagement: Look at how your audience interacts with your content. Are they commenting, sharing, and liking your posts? Engagement metrics can offer insights into what content resonates best with your audience.

Conducting a social media checkup is crucial because it provides actionable insights that can help in refining your strategy, ensuring that your efforts are not only consistent but also impactful, thus maximizing your return on investment in these platforms.

You can do it on your own by covering these bases:

  • List All Your Social Media Accounts: Start by making an inventory of all your social media accounts, including the ones you’ve registered but perhaps forgotten about. Ensure you cover all platforms – LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, etc.
  • Evaluate Profile Completeness: For each account, check if your profiles are completely filled out. This includes profile pictures, cover images, bio descriptions, website links, and contact information. A complete profile reflects professionalism and enhances your brand’s visibility.
  • Assess Content Consistency: Analyze your posts across all platforms. Is your messaging consistent? Does your visual content align with your brand identity? Consistency in your posts reassures your audience about your brand’s reliability.
  • Review Engagement Metrics: Look at the engagement metrics such as likes, shares, comments, and the growth of your followers over time. High engagement rates are indicative of content that resonates well with your audience.
  • Identify Top-performing Content: Identify which posts have performed well in terms of engagement and why. Understanding what your audience prefers can help tailor your future content to better meet your followers’ interests.
  • Check Platform-Specific Features: Are you utilizing all the relevant features on each platform? This could include Instagram Stories, Facebook Live, LinkedIn Articles, etc. These features can enhance interaction and engagement with your audience.

By conducting this quick checkup, you gain valuable insights into your social media presence, helping you refine your strategy and better connect with your audience.

Free Social Media Checkup Worksheet

To streamline this process and ensure a comprehensive evaluation of your social media strategies, consider utilizing our Social Media Checkup Worksheet. You can download it for free below.

Social Media Checkup

By regularly using this tool, you can systematically assess your online presence, make informed adjustments to your strategies, and ultimately, enhance your engagement and growth across all platforms. This proactive approach to social media management will keep your brand relevant and resonant with your audience.

Define Your Goals

It’s important to understand what you want to achieve through social media. Are you looking to increase brand awareness, drive website traffic, generate leads, or promote new products/services? Try to be even more specific. Instead of broad goals like “increase brand awareness,” specify what success looks like. For example, aim for a certain number of followers or a specific percentage increase in engagement on your profiles within a set timeframe.

Here are more examples:

  • Increase Twitter Followers: Aim to grow your Twitter follower count by 15% within the next three months by engaging with users through daily posts, interactive polls, and retweeting relevant content.
  • Boost Instagram Engagement: Improve engagement on Instagram by 20% over the next quarter through regular posts, stories, and using Instagram Live sessions to connect with your audience.
  • Drive Website Traffic from Facebook: Increase the number of visitors to your website from Facebook by 25% in the next six months by sharing high-quality, informative content linked directly to your site and utilizing Facebook ads targeted at your ideal audience.
  • Expand LinkedIn Network: Grow your LinkedIn connections by 30% within the next four months by actively participating in industry-related groups, publishing weekly LinkedIn articles, and engaging with your network’s posts.
  • Increase YouTube Channel Subscribers: Aim for a 20% increase in YouTube subscribers over the next five months by creating and sharing engaging, high-quality video content on a consistent schedule, optimizing video titles and descriptions for SEO, and promoting your channel across other social media platforms.

Having clear goals in mind will help guide your content creation and ensure that each post is aligned with your overall business objectives.

Know Your Audience

If you want to create content that resonates with your target audience (and who doesn’t?!), it’s important to have a good understanding of who they are. Know who your target audience is, what they care about, and how they use social media. This will help tailor your goals to meet the interests and needs of those you want to reach and engage with. These tools can help:

  • Social Media Analytics: Most social media platforms provide basic analytics that offer demographic information about your followers, including age, location, and gender, as well as their engagement patterns. Use this data to refine your understanding of your target audience.
  • Monitor Comments and Engagement: Pay attention to the comments on your own posts and those of competitors. Notice which topics generate the most discussion and engagement, providing clues about your audience’s interests.
  • Use Google Analytics: Implement Google Analytics on your website to track how users find your site, which pages they visit, and their demographic characteristics. This information can help in tailoring your social media content.

Research their demographics, interests, and behaviors to ensure that your content is relevant and engaging to them.

Choose the Right Social Media Management Platform

Not all social media platforms are created equal, and not every platform may be suitable for your business. Consider which platforms your target audience is most active on and where you can best showcase your brand and products/services.

Hootsuite is a great option to streamline scheduling and posting across multiple social media platforms from a single dashboard.

Its analytics features lets you track performance, understand audience behavior, and adjust strategies accordingly. Other benefits include:

  • Comprehensive Social Media Management: Enables scheduling posts, monitoring mentions, and managing multiple accounts across different platforms from a single dashboard.
  • Analytics and Reporting: Provides detailed reports and analytics that help in tracking social media performance, understanding audience engagement, and refining marketing strategies.
  • Team Collaboration Tools: Facilitates teamwork with features that allow for task assignment, communication, and workflow approval within the Hootsuite platform

With its intuitive interface and extensive support resources, Hootsuite demystifies social media management, making it accessible for businesses of all sizes. It’s better to focus on a single platform and do it well, rather than spreading yourself too thin across multiple platforms.

Create a Content Calendar

Consistency is key when it comes to social media. Having a content calendar can help you plan out your posts in advance, ensuring that you have a steady stream of quality content going out regularly. It also allows you to plan timely posts around holidays, events, and promotions.

Download our free content calendar. It will help you with ideas, ensuring that your content is not only consistent but also timely and relevant.

_A Month of Content Ideas

Our easy content calendar acts as a roadmap for your social media planning. It simplifies the process of brainstorming content, aligning with your marketing goals, and maintaining an engaging online presence.

Mix Up Your Content

Variety is important when it comes to social media content. Don’t just stick to one type of post or format – mix it up to keep your audience engaged and interested. Here are some ideas to change things up:

  • Educational Posts: Share tutorials, tips, and insights that provide value to your audience.
  • Behind-the-Scenes Content: Give your followers a peek into your company’s daily operations, culture, and values.
  • User-Generated Content: Feature content created by your customers or followers, enhancing community engagement.
  • Infographics: Present complex information or data in a visually appealing and easily digestible format.
  • Live Videos: Host live sessions to interact directly with your audience, answer questions, or showcase events.
  • Polls and Surveys: Engage your audience by asking for their opinions or feedback on specific topics.
  • Testimonials and Reviews: Share experiences of satisfied customers to build trust and credibility.
  • Product Demos and Tutorials: Show your product in action, highlighting its features and benefits.
  • Contests and Giveaways: Encourage participation and engagement by offering rewards to your audience.
  • Motivational Quotes: Inspire your followers with uplifting quotes or success stories related to your industry.

By incorporating a wide mix you can cater to the varied interests of your audience. This not only keeps your content fresh and engaging but also significantly enhances audience engagement and fosters a stronger community around your brand.

Use High Quality Eye-Catching Visuals

Always use high-quality and visually appealing images, videos, and graphics in your posts to grab the attention of your audience as they scroll through their feeds. Today’s online platforms make it easy.


Pixabay is a perfect resource for content creators, offering lots of high-quality, royalty-free images, videos, and music. What sets Pixabay apart is not just the sheer volume of its offerings but the generosity of its community, allowing individuals and businesses to access and use its content without the burden of licensing fees or attribution requirements.

  • Wide Range of Stock Images: Offers a vast collection of free stock photos, vectors, and illustrations available for commercial and non-commercial use without attribution.
  • High-Quality Content: All content is curated to ensure high-resolution and quality, suitable for both digital and print media projects.
  • Global Community Contributions: Features content from a diverse community of artists and photographers around the world, providing a wide range of styles and perspectives

Pixabay empowers creators like you to enhance your projects and social media posts with professional-grade visuals, significantly elevating their aesthetic appeal and engagement potential. It’s an invaluable tool in your digital toolkit.


Its user-friendliness makes graphic design accessible to creators at all skill levels. Its intuitive drag-and-drop interface simplifies the design process, enabling you to craft visually striking graphics, presentations, and social media posts with ease.

  • User-friendly Design Tools: Offers a wide range of templates and drag-and-drop features, enabling users to create professional-looking graphics without extensive design experience.
  • Extensive Resource Library: Access to thousands of images, icons, fonts, and design elements that can be used to create engaging and visually appealing content.
  • Collaboration Features: Allows teams to collaborate in real-time on designs, making it easier to share feedback and finalize creative projects.

Canva truly is a treasure trove of endless creativity without the need for expensive software or professional design skills. Its collaborative features further streamline the creative process, facilitating teamwork and feedback seamlessly. For these reasons and more, Canva holds a special place in our hearts and workflows.

Encourage Engagement

Social media is all about being social – so make sure to actively engage with your audience. Respond to comments, ask questions, and encourage discussions. Other ways to engage your audience include:

  • Run Polls and Surveys: Create interactive polls and surveys to gather opinions and preferences from your audience, making them feel heard and valued.
  • Host Giveaways or Contests: Encourage participation by organizing giveaways or contests with criteria that involve liking, commenting, or sharing your posts.
  • Share User-Generated Content: Showcase content created by your followers related to your brand or niche. This not only boosts engagement but also builds community.
  • Post Behind-the-Scenes Content: Give your audience a peek behind the curtains of your work or personal life. This type of content tends to be more relatable and engaging.
  • Ask Open-Ended Questions: Initiate conversations by asking your followers questions that require more than a yes or no answer, prompting them to share their thoughts and stories.

This not only helps build a relationship with your followers but also increases the reach of your posts through algorithm changes.

Use Hashtags

Hashtags are a great way to make your content discoverable by users who are searching for specific topics or interests.

  • Instagram Search Bar: Use the search bar on Instagram to find popular hashtags related to your content. It provides insights on the number of posts associated with each hashtag.
  • Hootsuite Free Hashtag Generator: A tool dedicated to discovering the best hashtags for your content. It offers analytics on hashtag popularity and trends, making it easier to choose relevant tags.
  • RiteTag: Provides instant suggestions for hashtags based on your content’s text and images. It also gives feedback on hashtag strength and potential reach, helping you optimize your posts for maximum engagement.

Research popular and relevant hashtags in your industry and use them strategically in your posts.

Track Your Results

Don’t forget to track your social media efforts and analyze the results. This will help you understand what content is resonating with your audience and what areas may need improvement.

Perform regular social media checkups and use this data to refine your strategy and continually improve your social media presence. Pay attention to the comments on your own posts and those of competitors. Notice which topics generate the most discussion and engagement, providing clues about your audience’s interests.

Overall, consistently creating high-quality, engaging, and diverse content while actively engaging with your audience are key elements for success on social media. Keep these tips in mind and continue to adapt and evolve your strategy to stay relevant in an ever-changing social media landscape. So, whether you’re a business looking to promote your products or services, a blogger sharing your thoughts and experiences, or an individual building your personal brand – remember the power of social media and utilize these tips to make the most out of it. Check out our business hub for more tools, tips and strategies for your online business. Happy posting! ♥

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