Posting is NOT marketing: What is effective social media marketing?

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Social media is undoubtedly one of the most effective ways for brands and businesses to reach and market to their target audience.

But how exactly does ‘marketing’ work? And how is social media marketing different from just posting?


In this article, we’ll go over the principles of social media marketing and debunk the idea that merely posting on social media equals good marketing.

We’ll look at the methods and principles that underpin effective social media campaigns, such as giving value and building true connections with your audience.

Let’s dive in.

Table of contents:

Posting vs. Marketing: Understanding the Difference

There’s a common misconception that simply posting content equals to effective marketing.

However, it’s a little more complex then that.

Effective social media marketing goes beyond mere posting—it involves strategic planning, thoughtful execution, and a clear understanding of your objectives.

At its core, posting on social media refers to the act of sharing content with your audience.

This can include anything from photos and videos to text-based updates and links to external resources.

While posting is definitely an essential aspect of a social media strategy, it’s only one piece of the puzzle.

On the other hand, social media marketing includes a broader spectrum of activities aimed at achieving specific business goals.

It involves not only creating and sharing content but also analyzing audience insights, engaging with followers, and optimizing your approach based on data-driven strategies.

The key distinction between posting and marketing lies in the strategic intent behind each action.

Basically, while posting is a necessary part of social media marketing, it’s only effective when combined with a comprehensive marketing strategy.

By understanding the difference between the two and prioritizing strategic marketing efforts, businesses can maximize their impact and achieve meaningful results.

How to create an effective social media marketing strategy?

Creating an effective marketing strategy involves several key steps. Here’s a breakdown:

  1. Set Clear Goals: Start by defining your objectives for social media marketing. These could include increasing brand awareness, driving website traffic, generating leads, or boosting sales. Make sure your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).
  2. Know Your Audience: Understand who your target audience is, including their demographics, interests, behaviors, and pain points. This information will guide your content creation and messaging to resonate with your audience.
  3. Research Your Competitors: Analyze what your competitors are doing on social media. Identify their strengths and weaknesses, as well as opportunities for differentiation. This can help you refine your own strategy and find ways to stand out in the market. Metricool is the app we use for competitor analysis and it works wonders!
  4. Develop Engaging Content: Create a content plan that delivers value to your audience and aligns with your brand identity. Mix up your content with a variety of formats, including images, videos, blog posts, infographics, and polls. Incorporate storytelling and user-generated content to foster engagement.
  5. Implement a Posting Schedule: Establish a consistent posting schedule to be visible and engaged with your audience. Make sure to consider what unique platform algorithms push the most. For example, Instagram users are more likely to achieve results by uploading 3-7 stories daily and approximately 3 reels and 2 static pieces of content weekly. However, TikTok recommends that its audience post at least 1-3 times every day!
  6. Engage with Your Audience: Engage with your audience by responding to comments, messages, and mentions. Foster meaningful conversations, respond to customer inquiries, and express gratitude for feedback and support. If you’re not getting them on your own videos, the next best thing is to connect with other creators and viewers in your niche.
  7. Measure and Analyze Results: Track metrics such as reach, engagement, website traffic, conversion rate, and ROI. Use this data to fine-tune your strategy and optimize future campaigns. We use Metricool for all of these as well!
  8. Adjust and Iterate: Be prepared to adapt your strategy based on changing trends, algorithm updates, and audience preferences.

Check out our blog post “How to Use ChatGPT and Canva for Bulk Content Creation” for a quick and easy guide to creating a month’s worth of graphics in one day!

The Power of the ‘V’ in Social Media Marketing

No, not that V.

The four Vs to be specific.

Using the Four Vs (Value, Vulnerability, Variety, and Viral) to your advantage in social media marketing can greatly improve your approach and results.

Let’s deep dive into each of these components:

Value: Providing Value to Your Audience

Value is the cornerstone of effective social media marketing.

You need to make sure that the content you are delivering is meaningful, relevant, and beneficial to your audience.

  • Education: One of the most effective ways to provide value on social media is through education.
    • This could involve sharing informative articles, how-to guides, or tutorials related to your industry or niche.
    • By educating your audience with knowledge and insights, you position yourself as a trusted authority and resource in your field.
  • Entertainment: Social media is also a place for entertainment and enjoyment.
    • Consider incorporating humor, storytelling, or visually engaging content into your posts to capture your audience’s attention and keep them entertained.
    • Memes, behind-the-scenes glimpses, or user-generated content can all contribute to a more engaging and enjoyable social media experience.
  • Problem-solving: Another way to provide value is by addressing your audience’s pain points and offering solutions to their problems.
    • This could involve sharing tips, hacks, or practical advice that helps your audience overcome challenges or achieve their goals.
    • By demonstrating empathy and offering tangible solutions, you build trust and loyalty with your audience.


For instance, let’s take the example of our UGC Masterclass eBook. By offering this valuable resource for free, we provided our audience with actionable insights and strategies on how to become a UGC Creator.

In return, we not only established ourselves as a go-to source for expertise in this area but also generated over $520 in profit from digital product sales within the first month alone.

So, whether it’s sharing informative articles, entertaining videos, helpful templates, eBooks or practical tips, the key is to offer content that resonates with your audience’s needs and interests.

Vulnerability: Authenticity and Connection

Vulnerability is about being authentic and transparent in your communication with your audience.

It’s about showing the human side of your brand and building genuine connections.

  • Authenticity: Authenticity is at the heart of vulnerability. It’s about being true to yourself and your brand, even if it means being vulnerable or exposing your vulnerabilities. Authenticity resonates with audiences because it feels genuine and relatable, fostering a sense of trust and authenticity.
  • Genuine Connection: Vulnerability allows brands to connect with their audience on a deeper level. By sharing personal stories, experiences, or challenges, brands can humanize their presence on social media and create a sense of empathy and understanding. This genuine connection fosters loyalty and strengthens the relationship between the brand and its audience.


For example, consider a fitness influencer who shares not only their successes but also their setbacks and struggles on their social media channels. That can be done by showing their weight loss journey, or maybe an eating disorder they may have struggled with, or even the reason they decided to begin their account.

By being vulnerable and transparent about their journey, they create a sense of authenticity and relatability that resonates with their audience.

This genuine connection fosters trust and loyalty, ultimately driving engagement and loyalty.

By sharing personal stories, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and honest reflections, you can foster deeper relationships with your audience and earn their trust and loyalty.

Variety: Diversifying Your Content Mix

Variety is essential for keeping your audience engaged and interested in your content. It involves diversifying your content mix to offer a range of formats, topics, and perspectives.

  • Diversifying Your Content: This includes exploring different formats, topics, and styles to cater to the diverse interests and preferences of your audience. It can include a mix of text-based posts, images, videos, infographics, polls, quizzes, live streams, and more. By offering a variety of content types, you can appeal to different learning styles and consumption preferences, ensuring that your content resonates with a wider audience.
  • Balancing Effectively: Finding the right balance of content types is also important for maintaining engagement and interest. Too much of one type of content can lead to monotony and disengagement, while too little variety can limit your reach and appeal. Aim for a balanced mix of content that provides value, entertains, and informs your audience while staying true to your brand identity and messaging.


For instance, a beauty brand might diversify its content by sharing a combination of product tutorials, behind-the-scenes glimpses, customer testimonials, beauty tips, influencer collaborations, and user-generated content. By offering a variety of content types, the brand keeps its audience engaged and interested, while also showcasing its products in different contexts and settings.

Viral: Creating Content with Impact

Viral content has the power to reach a massive audience and generate significant buzz. While going viral isn’t guaranteed, there are strategies you can employ to increase your chances of success.

  • Stressing Creativity: The foundation of viral content is creativity. Dare to be unique and think beyond the box. Provide unexpectedly surprising, entertaining, or inspirational content for your audience. Whether it’s a funny video, a touching tale, or a clever meme, use your imagination to draw viewers in and encourage interaction.
  • Timing is everything: Content’s virality is greatly influenced by timing. Keep an eye out for moments in culture, trends, and current affairs that your audience finds compelling. Your content will be more likely to be shared and amplified across social media platforms if you take advantage of trending topics and ride the wave of pertinent conversations.


As an example, consider the “Ice Bucket Challenge” campaign, which gained popularity on social media and raised money and awareness for ALS research.

The campaign’s broad participation from celebrities and influencers, straightforward execution, and innovative concept were all factors in its success.

By utilizing peer influence and social media sharing, the Ice Bucket Challenge went viral, raising millions of dollars in donations and igniting discussions about important causes.


Your capacity to innovate, adapt, and establish a deeper connection with your audience will determine how successful you are.

The main concepts of successful social media marketing have been covered in this article, which range from offering value and embracing vulnerability to diversifying content and going for virality.

Make sure to check out our article on, “How To Use ChatGPT And Canva For Bulk Content Creation: Quick And Free!



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