As a small business owner, social media strategy might not mean a great deal to you. However, as you will know, social media is everywhere and there is no escaping it. This is even if you don’t use or understand it yourself!
Social media is an extremely useful tool which you can utilise to expand your reach and gain engagement from customers. You might be thinking how do I go about creating a social media strategy and what will be the benefits to my business?
Within this blog, we will talk you through the basics of a social media strategy and the benefits of creating one.
What is a social media strategy?
A social media strategy doesn’t need to sound complicated or daunting.
It is simply working out what your goals and objectives are, both in the short and long-term. It also details the steps you’re going to take and the plans you have in place to reach those goals.
Having a strategy for your social media will guide you as you go, giving clear direction and reason behind your decisions. Posting without strategy is a little bit like taking a stab in the dark.
The social world is enormous. There are 4.57 billion people who use it in one way or another. To put that into context, that’s half the world’s population. There’s no doubt about it: Navigating it without a clear plan will not get you the results you want.
The benefits of having a social media strategy
There are many benefits which can be achieved by creating a social media strategy.
Although, the task might seem a tad overwhelming the results can a have major impact on helping your business to grow its online presence.
Through a strategy you can:
- Increase traffic to your site by linking your website to posts
- Promote your products/services
- Create brand recognition
- Gather audience data in order to improve
- Justify your time and resources spent investing in social media
- Get that injection of confidence you might need when you feel your eagerness waning
- Put together a social media content calendar with ease and direction
Social media is considered one of the most powerful tools out there in order to connect to your customers. The important thing to remember is not to get caught up in likes and followers but to build rapport with your existing customer base online then expand from there.
Your buyer persona
Before attempting to even create a strategy it’s important know your customers.
In fancy marketing terms this is known as a Buyer Persona which includes looking at demographics of your most likely customers such as, age, income and occupation.
You can even go further than this and look at their interests and hobbies they have. By doing this, you can get a sense of what type of content your audience may like to see, as well as the best platform to use in order to meet their needs.
As a result of this, you’ll in turn be able to attract high value leads and convert them into customers who are more likely to stick around for the long run. They will have a genuine interest in your brand, and you will know this for sure based on your Buyer Persona.
Customers and potential leads are as diverse as they come so you are not restricted to just one Buyer Persona. In fact, it’s common to have multiple! These will represent each corner of your target audience map.
You can build your Buyer Personas here using this handy Make My Persona Hubspot tool
It’s important to also remember that it’s not about being on every single platform but deciding on what ones are right for you and ultimately which ones will create a return on investment.
Social media strategy and business goals
An important part of creating a social media strategy is highlighting your business goals and objectives.
By doing this you’ll able to monitor your progress throughout your journey and expand your goals once you’re hitting successes.
However, these must be realistic and appropriate for your current business size.
For example, this could be wanting to achieve a certain number of sign-ups to your newsletter by the end of year. A good way of doing this would be to use the SMART method (see below) in which you can brainstorm simply your social media business goals and objectives without feeling you’re being bombarded by marketing jargon.
If you ever feel like you’re getting stuck remember to make use of the many free online tools out there available to you such as, HubSpot, Google Digital Garage and Social Chimp.
The SMART method for your social media strategy
Use this SMART Method to influence your social media strategy and business goals.
- Specific: Make sure it’s well defined and clear.
- Measurable: Have specific criteria to measure your progress towards your goals
- Achievable: It has to be possible to achieve!
- Realistic: Are your goals within reach and relevant to your business?
- Timely: Set a timeline, including a starting date and a target date. For example, “I want to reach X amount of followers by 1st of X month”
Social media platform overview
So, now you have your buyer persona and business social media goals in mind. But you may be feeling overwhelmed by choice and are unsure of features a platform can offer you.
But there’s no need to panic! The following platforms have been broken down for you.
Creating a page on Facebook is the perfect way to create an online community for your business. This should be a business page and not a personal page.
What’s the difference you might ask? Well… a personal page only allows for 5K followers whereas, a business page can allow for millions of followers.
Through Facebook business pages you can also gain access to analytics helping to measure the success of content you’re putting out. Not only this but Facebook allows you to categorise your company by search, add a mission statement, a product catalogue, awards, and gives customers a chance to write reviews.
Having a YouTube channel can help with SEO as YouTube often has the highest referral rates. On search engine result pages, YouTube videos will often show higher up on the page meaning people will see that first, before other content.
By creating video content, this can allow for your customers to see an insight into your brand. You could do product demos or explain the services you offer. You can also do behind the scenes style videos which give people insight into your business… They will love this! This will all, in turn, help you promote a product and build rapport with customers.
As a microblog, Twitter allows you to share bitesize content of up to 280 characters. It’s a great place to start and join conversations and get among your customers and target audiences. Twitter can also be a great place for monitoring reviews in relation to your business.
LinkedIn is more business related. It allows you to organically network, find out the latest news in the business world and create status updates. On LinkedIn, you can make business and industry connections, find out more about a prospect, offer value free targeted advertising and share your content with links back to your website properties.
As a platform whose sole purpose is to share videos and images, Instagram is a great tool to showcase your business visually. It also has features such as Instagram Stories, Instagram Shop and IGTV which all help to create a visually immersive experience for users. You could also use Instagram Live as a way to interact with customers through things such as customer Q&A’s!
Looking for inspiration when getting started on your social media posts? Get our 18 social media post ideas here!
Social media strategy can take time to put together – there is no denying that. But it will be WELL worth it! If you’re ready to put together a strategy and get your social media plan going then use these tips and you won’t go far wrong.
If you still have some doubts, or decided a social media strategy isn’t for you, then get in touch and we can work with you! Give us a ring on 01427 808870 to speak to a member of the team. Alternatively, you can email us at email@example.com