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How to Create a Social Media Strategy for Your Small Business

In this blog you will understand how to effectively execute a social media strategy for your small business and understand why it’s important to create one.

Topics covered:

  • Why do you need a social media strategy? 
  • How to create a social media strategy that fits your business needs, goals and objectives
  • Not all social media platforms are created equal – know your audience first, then determine where to position your digital content 
  • How to develop a content plan and how to effectively execute one 
  • How to measure your results and how to optimize your successes

Before we dive in, let’s first talk about what social media strategy is. In essence, it is a document that outlines what your business will post on social media, who is responsible for posting, what channels you would use to promote your business and measuring your results so you can track your progress.

The strategy includes: 

  • What is your posting cadence?
  • What are your campaigns about?
  • What are your creative plans to capture the attention of your audience?
  • How do you facilitate engagement?

Why do you need a social media strategy?

It’s hard to navigate without a map – having a plan is always a sensible solution and a key starting point. Here are some other reasons why you need a social media strategy:

  • To tell your brand’s story
  • Reach your target audience more effectively
  • Setting your KPI’s (key performance indicators) 
  • Setting expectations, measuring results and making adjustments to optimize performance

It’s important to keep track of how you are progressing toward the goals you have set. For example, let’s say you want to build brand awareness. Your KPI might be, how your engagement rate changes over a specified period of time and if you are increasing your followers and so on. Evaluating how your social media performance is compared to industry standards, your competitors performance and your past performance is key.

How to create a social media strategy that fits your business needs, goals and objectives:

TIP: Always begin with your goals and objectives before you do any marketing execution.

Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable 
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

Social media goals should align with your marketing objectives. Your value is shown through this more effectively. 

Hootsuite shares good examples of this:

Example 1: Grow Your Brand

  • Business Objective: Grow the Brand
  • Social Media Goal: Awareness
  • Metric: Followers, Shares

Example 2: Drive Sales & Leads 

  • Business Objective: Drive Sales & Leads
  • Social Media Goal: Conversions
  • Metric: Website clicks, email signups, etc. 

Example 3: Improve Customer Retention

  • Business Objective: Improve customer retention 
  • Social Media Goal: Consumer (these metrics demonstrate the effectiveness of your social engagement) 
  • Metrics: Testimonials, social media sentiment, average response time for customer support

TOOLS: Having a marketing plan created for your small business is crucial. There are countless articles out there that can help you build one. Don’t have time to do it yourself, consider working with a marketing consultant to help provide expert guidance.

Whether you are looking to build brand awareness or drive leads through your social media marketing – having a plan, setting goals and objectives should always be your first priority. Don’t think about what platform is “hot right now,” think more about what you are ultimately looking to achieve and where your audience is at.

For more information on hiring a marketing consultant to help you develop a marketing plan, contact [email protected]

Know your audience, not all social media platforms are created equal

The one question I get asked more than anything else is, “which social media platform should I be posting on?” This question always makes me stop and wonder why the focus is on the platform first instead of the person. I always respond with, “you should be posting where your audience is at.”

“Your audience” doesn’t mean everyone on social media – your audience is specific to your business, it’s the people who are interested in learning more about your business and have a need for your product or service.

One way to identify this audience effectively is by creating a buyer persona. In my blog, 10 Branding Essentials for Small Businesses, I describe the characteristics you should know about your audience. This will help you craft your marketing messaging and identify exactly where your audience is consuming content.

4.65 billion social media user on the planet, according to the Digital 2022 April Global Snapshot Report. “For marketers, these are more than just eye-catching numbers – they’re potential customers. And if you have a proper social media strategy, they can become realized customers.”

Seth Godin Quote

With this caveat – it’s important to know your audience because you will waste your time and resources if you think you can cater to every single person who is on social media. Be as niche as possible, sell only to those who want to hear from you, as Seth Godin states. 

Once you know who your audience is, then you determine where to position your content. Create that buyer persona, it will be your guide through everything in your social media marketing efforts. 

How to develop and execute a content plan

So now that you understand why you need a social media strategy, what your goals and objectives are, who your audience is and where they are consuming content now you can map out your content plan.

In my blog about, 10 Branding Essentials for Small Businesses, I dive in deep around creating a content plan: 

Content is king! And so is consistency. You need both to have a successful content plan for your social media platforms.

Content is King: Brief Explanation

The quote ‘content is king’ is originally from an essay Microsoft founder Bill Gates wrote in 1996. In it, he describes the future of the Internet as a marketplace for content. The phrase “content is king” is not new, but because of the increased focus on content marketing strategies, the quote is used very often.

You must have quality content. 

Content marketing is a marketing strategy centered around the visitor’s interests with quality content instead of advertising. This evolved from the fact that users no longer pay attention to the daily onslaught of advertising messages on sites. In online advertising, this is known as banner blindness.

For this reason, companies try to create content that provides value to the visitor. Thus, the perception of the company is positively influenced by the public. In addition, companies can keep track of different content marketing strategies:

  • Positioning yourself as an expert
  • Improve brand awareness
  • Improve search engine ranking
  • Acquire and retain customers
  • Generate (blog) traffic
  • Generate new leads
  • Generate backlinks

TOOL: Check out the full article from Text Broker here for great insights on why “Content is King!” 

TIP: In order to have a successful content strategy, you must dedicate time to content planning. I do this on Saturdays by carving out 3 hours where I research topics, write my ideas in my notebook, draw my final topics on a whiteboard (so I see it everyday as a reminder), and then I begin writing my social media posts, website content, blogs and so on. Then I build all the final content in my marketing automation tool (scroll down to brand essential #10 to find out what tool I use).

If you want your brand to grow, one of the key pieces to that growth is to understand how and why “Content is King.” 

Utilizing marketing automation tools is also a tremendous help in content planning. Check out HooteSuite – I use this and it’s a life saver! 

Measure Your Results and Optimize Success

All great marketing plans have metrics. Without identifying where you are at, how will you know where to go next? 

When you measure your results, you can observe what is working and what is not working. You are able to track where your leads and sales are coming from and identify areas of improvement.

TIPS: Here are tips of how to measure your results and optimize your successes according to Ruler Analytics

  • Start with a clear goal and objective.
  • Decide what metrics to use.
  • Establish a timeframe.
  • Set a schedule to monitor campaign results.
  • Choose marketing tools to support your goals.
  • Use a marketing dashboard to present your results.
  • Benchmark your performance data.
  • Send marketing performance data to your CRM.
  • Check your online feedback.
  • Start your campaigns small.

One of my favorite parts of being a marketing professional is that I get to test a variety of tactics. Marketing is both an art and a science. There is risk involved with testing however, if you don’t try, you will never know.

Apply these tips & tools

Need someone to help you further understand how to use the tools or leverage the tips mentioned in this blog? Schedule a meeting with ThirtyThree Marketing to learn more.

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