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What to Consider When Trying to Market on Social Media You don't have to be on every social media platform, but you do need to be consistent about posting.

By Brett Relander Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

If the last decade has shown us anything, it's that social media is here to stay. As it continues to evolve, it can be difficult for startups and entrepreneurs to determine where to focus their marketing efforts.

While there are certainly many options out there when it comes to social media marketing, there is no need to let your plans become derailed by analysis paralysis. Instead, focus on the following steps to launch a successful social media marketing campaign.

Which social media platforms are best for your brand?

There is often a misconception that in order to make the most of social media marketing, you need to be visible on every outlet. This approach can quickly spell disaster for startups that might already be stretched thin in terms of time and resources. Not all outlets will be relevant to your brand. A better approach is to identify and focus on the outlets that are most relevant and valuable. Social media marketing works best when you can generate a consistent content strategy and maintain an active presence. That can be difficult to accomplish across multiple platforms. In this regard, less is more. Take the time to determine which platforms will be most beneficial and use those as your launching point.

Related: 5 Social-Media Hacks to Boost Your Brand Starting Right Now

Consistency matters

As previously mentioned, social media marketing works best when it is consistent. This cannot be a hit or miss proposition or you will miss the target entirely. The best way to approach this is with a content posting schedule. There should be no reason why you do not post on your chosen outlets, particularly with a plethora of tools that make it easy for you to schedule and automate posts, such as Sprout Social.

Related: Too Much Social Media Can Drive Away Your Customers

Viral content

The goal of any social media marketing strategy is to attract attention to your brand and engage customers. Any social media marketer's ultimate dream is to have his or her content go viral, which is not always easy to accomplish. This is particularly true as more content is posted each day and the attention of users becomes divided. Social Media Today points out that content tends to go viral when it meets these three characteristics: it's unique or exceptional, it appeals to influencers, and it can be easily shared. Content with the ability to go viral should also be engaging to viewers, meaning that it is easy for users to become involved and comment. Not all the content that you produce will go viral, but it is important to aim for that goal by ensuring that each piece of content you produce meets the three characteristics of viral content.

Social media marketing can be challenging, but not so much so that you become overwhelmed to the point that you never even get started. When handled properly, social media truly does have the power to transform and launch any startup. Airbnb is an excellent case in point: the apartment-rental service got its start back in 2007 when its founders could not afford to pay their rent. They converted their loft into a lodging space using air mattresses and launched a website to advertise their space. Since then, however, the company has launched a number of innovative campaigns and social media movements. Today, Airbnb is a global company and a strong candidate for an IPO this year, according to Nasdaq.

By taking the time to develop and stick to a social media marketing plan, your startup has the potential to soar.

Related: The Secret Ingredient for Succeeding at Content Marketing

Brett Relander

Top 50 Social Media Power Influencer, Founder & Chief Strategy Officer @LaunchandHustle

Brett is a growth hacker, consultant and speaker with specialties in social media, mobile, and digital marketing strategy.   He’s the founder of Launch & Hustle and a Top 100 Social Media Power Influencer 2015. His first book, Imperative – How any business can quickly and easily leverage mobile marketing for radical success, was published in Nov 2014. Join him on TwitterFacebook, and Google+ today. Take your social media marketing to the next level with these 25 FREE Editable Quote Graphics.

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