As a small business owner, it can be tempting to treat social media as an afterthought or simply a way to post pictures and updates. However, having a solid social media presence is crucial for increasing brand awareness, driving sales, and reaching your target audience. But where do you start? What's the best way to use social media marketing to achieve your business goals?
The answer is a strong social media strategy. By taking the time to develop a plan and set some social media goals, you can ensure that your social media efforts are focused and effective. Keep reading to learn more about how to create a social media strategy for your small business in five simple steps.
The Five Steps of Your Small Business Social Media Strategy:
- Determine Buyer Persona(s) & Define Goals
- Choose The Right Platform(s)
- Define Visuals and Tone of Voice
- Create and Post Your Content
- Monitor and Measure
Step One: Determine Buyer Persona(s) & Define Goals
Understanding your buyer persona is crucial for setting effective goals and determining the right platforms to market your product or service. A buyer persona is a fictionalized representation of your ideal customer based on market research and data analysis. By creating a buyer persona, you can better understand the motivations, goals, pain points, and buying behavior of both existing and potential customers.
To get the best results from your buyer personas, it's important that you establish goals using the SMART framework.
The system offers a way for marketers and business professionals alike to identify what they want in their targeted audiences so as not only to optimize messaging but also to increase conversion rates! The four components of the framework include:
- Specific: A specific goal is clearly defined and easy to understand. When setting a specific goal, you should answer the following questions: Who is involved? What do you want to achieve? When do you want to achieve it? Where do you want to achieve it? Why do you want to achieve it?
- Measurable: A measurable goal can be quantified or otherwise evaluated. This means that you should be able to track your progress toward the goal and determine whether or not you are on track. When setting a measurable goal, you should answer the following questions: How will you know if you have achieved the goal? How will you measure progress?
- Achievable: An achievable goal is realistic and within your power to accomplish. When setting an achievable goal, you should answer the following question: Is this goal something that you can reasonably accomplish given your current resources and abilities?
- Relevant: A relevant goal is aligned with your larger goals and objectives. When setting a relevant goal, you should answer the following question: Does this goal support my larger goals? If not, why am I setting it?
- Time-bound: A time-bound goal has a specific deadline associated with it. This means you need to set a date by which you will complete the goal. When setting a time-bound goal, you should answer the following question: When do I want to achieve this goal?
It's easy to get caught up in lofty ideas and goals, but if they aren't achievable or realistic, you're setting yourself up for disappointment. Instead, focus on achievable goals that align with your larger marketing efforts and business objectives. These could include increasing engagement on a certain platform or reaching a specific number of followers by a certain date. By taking the time to define your social media goals now, you'll have a clear roadmap for success in the future.
Step Two: Choose The Right Platform(s)
When deciding what social media platforms to use for your business, it's important to consider the unique qualities and experiences each one has to offer. They all have their unique features, audience demographics, and modes of communication.
It may be helpful to have a presence on multiple platforms, but don't spread yourself too thin by trying to manage too many accounts at once. First, focus on creating unique and engaging content for the platforms you choose, and continually assess their effectiveness in reaching your target audience. By carefully considering the unique qualities of each platform, you can choose the ones that will best serve your business goals.
Some of the major social media platforms include:
- Instagram is a visual platform and perfect for those who want to showcase their products or services in action. More recently, the platform has added several e-commerce features that make it super easy to convert followers into customers.
- Facebook is the most widely-used social media platform. You can share photos, company information and updates, videos, and other informative content to build brand awareness. Similar to Instagram, Facebook is loaded with e-commerce features and has brilliant targeted advertising tools.
- Twitter is most commonly known for sharing short messages and shareable media. This makes it ideal for sharing company announcements, clips of blogs or articles, and customer support.
- LinkedIn is all about creating a network, which is great for building brand awareness and creating potential business partnerships. It’s often used to share company updates, news, articles, and blog posts.
- Youtube allows you to share longer-form video content, unlike any other platform. It’s often used to share more detailed, educational content.
- Pinterest, much like Instagram is a visual platform that allows users to share photos and videos that are linked to resources, product pages, and content across the web. It’s a great platform for driving traffic to your website.
- TikTok, the newest and most talked about platform, is a video-driven platform full of creative, entertaining, and informative content. It’s a great platform to show how products work, provide tips, and join in on current trends.
As you can see, there are many different types of social media platforms to choose from. Take the time and do your research before jumping into an account without knowing how it will benefit or affect business growth!
Step Three: Define visuals and tone of voice
To provide a quality social media experience, it's important to consider what your brand personality is. How do you want your pages to look, feel, and sound? Are you a professional, formal company or a more relaxed and friendly brand? This is where your company's values and mission come into play.
Developing a clear sense of your personality will not only guide the visuals and tones of your social media channels but will also enhance the overall customer experience. Your unique personality will shine through in everything from the images and videos you post to the language used in interactions with followers. Defining this personality will ensure that your social media channels accurately reflect your brand and effectively communicate with customers to increase brand awareness and brand loyalty.
Visual appeal is key when it comes to social media, and there are many ways you can go about creating an eye-catching feed.
- Use High-Quality Images: One of the best ways to make your social media content more visually appealing is to use high-quality images. This means using well-lit images that are in focus and free from any distractions. Additionally, try to use images that are relevant to the text of your post, as this will help to capture the attention of your audience.
- Create Awe-Inspiring Graphics: Another great way to make your social media content more visually appealing is to use eye-catching graphics. This could include using bright colors, interesting fonts, or creative layouts to showcase customer testimonials, new product releases, or upcoming sales. If you’re not a graphic designer, plenty of online tools can help you create professional-looking graphics for your social media posts.
- Include Video Content: Video content is another great way to make your social media posts more visually appealing. People are more likely to watch a video than read a long block of text, so including videos in your social media content can help to capture the attention of your audience. Additionally, videos are a great way to showcase your products or services more engagingly; share behind the scenes and join trending challenges.
Step Four: Create and post your content
After putting in the work to define your goals, select the right platforms, and establish your visual brand and voice, it's finally time to start creating and posting content. As a busy small business owner, it can be challenging to find time to craft a new post every day. One solution is to batch-create and schedule your content using social media management tools. This allows you to plan ahead and keep up with a consistent posting schedule without feeling overwhelmed. Plus, having all of your content planned out in advance in a social media calendar gives you more time and mental space to engage with followers and monitor the performance of your posts. Don't let limited time prevent you from engaging with existing customers or reaching new customers through social media – the benefits are well worth the investment.
Step Five: Monitor and Measure
An effective and successful social media strategy requires consistency and patience. While it can be tempting to focus on tactics that quickly boost engagement, true success comes from gradually building a dedicated audience through consistently providing valuable content. It's also important not to get too caught up in measuring numbers alone; while analytics can certainly provide useful insight, the true success of a social media strategy should also be evaluated through harder-to-quantify metrics such as brand recognition and customer satisfaction.
As you develop your strategy over time, don't forget to regularly monitor and analyze progress through key performance indicators (KPIs) so that you can make necessary adjustments along the way. Overall, maintaining consistency is key to achieving long-term success with any social media presence.
Now that you know how to create a social media marketing strategy tailored for your small business...
It’s time to start executing. Remember to focus on creating quality content, being consistent, and engaging with your audience.
If you need help getting started or maintaining your social media presence, contact our team today. We’d be more than happy to provide guidance or management for your accounts.