When you started out in your small business, did you set up your social media platforms and just start posting? Social Media Strategy – what’s that?
You knew your target audience, what content they kind of liked and where they went to get their information and research, right?
We all did that, even if we don’t want to admit it! I know I did when I started my own business 3 years ago. Guilty….as….charged!
As my business progressed and grew into the model it is today, my business partner Annabel and I realized that without a social media strategy, you really are throwing a dart and hoping it finds the 100 point circle.
We have 11 steps in our social media strategy, all designed to step you through creating a social strategy for your business, ensuring you have success right from the get-go with your social media. We know that many small business owners say that “Social media just doesn’t work for me”, or “It takes too much time”. It won’t work and will take too much time if you don’t put in the effort at the start of your business social media journey.
Our 11 Steps are:
1. Setting social media goals
If you don’t have goals, you may as well throw that dart. How long is a piece of string? Goals let you benchmark your success in increments.
2. Undertaking a social media audit
Do you know if you’ve filled out all the areas of your Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn page? Do you have your latest contact information? Is your product range up-to-date? If not, you need to do an audit.
3. Doing a competitor review
What are your competitors up to? Are they running a sale or event that your customers may be interested in? Reviewing what they’re up to helps you see what’s new and happening in your industry and where your potential customers may be being convinced to go!
4. Creating a target audience profile
Who’s your customer, where do they live, where do they work, where do they go for information and research? You need to understand everything about them so you can create content later in your strategy that’s engaging and on point for your potential customers.
5. Setting up or updating your social media platforms
Have you found out that your audience is on Instagram, but you don’t have a business page yet? This is the time to now create the social platforms you need to engage with your customers or go back and update them.
6. Social media tactics
Now work out which platform is best for your various content. Instagram, for instance, is all about imagery. LinkedIn is about B2B communication, Facebook loves the video, Twitter likes hashtags but has a limited character type. Work out your tactics to ensure engagement is maximized.
7. Creating a social media calendar
Having a calendar is paramount to keeping you on track and motivated to post regularly. It also helps you keep track of what you’ve posted, where and when. A calendar also helps you ensure you’re not all about me, me, me – but you’re finding interesting articles that you share from other sources.
8. Allocate budget and define roles
Now you need to see if you have to invest any money in what you want to produce. Do you want to outsource blog writing? You may want to get specific photography done that highlights your product inline with your brand strategy. Don’t go crazy and over-spend here, but spending a little will make a significant difference to what you publish. Someone else a little savvier in social media that works for you – give them the job. You need to do the calendar though – get them to populate, source and publish.
9. Create engaging content
Make sure your posts look good – quality pictures or graphics and that your message is on topic. Don’t publish anything that your audience isn’t going to associate with your brand. Another tip – don’t always make it about your business. Talk about the pain points of your customers, and show them how you can help them.
10. Strategy implementation
This is where you’re ready to post, post, post. Do a final check that images match your written content, you have no typos and that everything is scheduled ok. Facebook allows you to schedule in advance, so save yourself some time. The others are manually posted. It’s a commitment, but so worth it in the long run.
11. Review and adjust
Don’t just leave your content out there once it’s posted. Get into the analytics of each of your platforms and see what’s working well with your audience. Create more content like that. Drop the stuff that isn’t working.
We’ve produced a handy 11 Steps Social Media Strategy e-brochure you can DOWNLOAD HERE.
I’d love to hear what strategy steps you found really changed your social media experience for your business. Feel free to reach out and let me know.
I look forward to writing more blogs on social media strategy for you.
Image Credits: SSP