We all know that it’s crucial “these day” to have a social media presence. However, creating a strategy to accomplish a successful social media campaign can be overwhelming. Most people don’t even know where to begin. And some even question whether they really need to be on social media? So, do you? Maybe not.
However, if you’re not… you will be missing out on the 72% of internet users who are now active on social media.
That’s a pretty “large and in charge” statistic (and a massive audience) that might provide just enough motivation to kick a business owner in gear to start thinking about their social media strategy. Creating a strategy doesn’t have to be as intense as some make it seem. You don’t need a marketing or advertising agency to do so. You don’t even have to be on every social media platform. And you especially don’t have to spend countless hours a day engaging on social networks.
Read this step-by-step guide and hopefully it will help you get your social media up and running with ease:
- Determine your objectives. Why do you want out of your social media channels? Raise awareness about your company? Generate leads? Sell more products? Like most small businesses, it’s probably a combination all the above. You need to clearly define what you’re looking to get out of social media, though. You also will need to establish some numbers associated with those objectives. How many leads do you want to get? How many sales?
- Revisit your buyer personas. Who is your target audience? Look at your audience demographics. Know who your audience is, how they interact and what they want to get. Start considering how your social media strategy can deliver that.
- Choose your social media platforms. Depending on where your prospects are hanging out based on your buyer personas. This will really help determine what social media platforms you want to be on. For more help take a quick look at this infographic above.
- Create a road map for your social strategy. Now that you’ve established the platforms you are going to be a social machine on, set some parameters. How often are you going to post on those platforms? What are acceptable types of content to post? For example, are you going to post positive things about your competitors? Are you going to post anything political? (HINT: The answers to these questions should be NO NO NO!!!) Make sure all the content you are posting is inline with your brand… and be a brand that EVERYONE can get on board with.
- Have guidelines. Creating a guidelines document will help everyone involved, even if it’s just yourself, stay organized about what you’re posting and keep your branding and messaging consistent. Determine what tone/voice you will be using when you craft posts. Add to your guidelines sheet as you run into issues. For example, if someone has a very specific type of complaint, clearly define how that should be handled.
- Establish roles. Who’s going to be responsible for what? Typically, there are two parts to an effective, engaging small business social media strategy. Part one: schedule out your content for the week or the month so you are getting consistent posting. Part two: take a few minutes each day to do some live engagement. Who’s going to be responsible for what?
- Find helpful technology. Now that you know who’s doing what, how are you going to schedule out those messages? Are you going to use Hootsuite? Buffer? Finding some different applications to make your live social media engagement part of your everyday work life is also a great idea.
- Track and measure. Remember those objectives you established way back in step one? Don’t forget to continuously go back to check to see if you are meeting those objectives! Try to determine why or why not and if it’s something you can work on.
Social media marketing is no doubt a great tool to have in your marketing arsenal for your small business. Having a solidified strategy is a must. It will help you get organized and keep you focused.
Which of these steps do you struggle the most with when it comes to creating a working small business social media strategy?
Social Media Comparison Infographic in Words
- 20 million active users (70 million total users)
- Social site that is all about discovery
- Largest opportunities are in decor, crafts/diy, cooking, health, and fashion
- Users are 17% male and 83% female
- 241 million active users (over 600 million total users)
- micro blogging social site that limits posts to 140 characters
- largest penetration in the US but spreading slowly and steadily
- 5,700 tweets happen every second
- Social sharing site that has over 1 billion users worldwide
- Largest opportunities communicating with consumers in a non-obtrusive way
- Users share 1 million links every 20 minutes
- 200 million active users
- Social sharing site all around pictures and now 15 second videos
- Many brands are participating through the use of hashtags and posting pictures consumers can relate to
- Most followed brand is National Geographic
- 540 million active users
- Social network built by Google that allows for brands and users to build circles
- Not as many brands active but the ones that are tend to be a good fit with a great following
- 25 – 35 year olds are most active
- 300 Million users
- Business oriented social networking site
- Brands that are participating are corporate brands giving potential and current associates a place to network and connect
Powers 50% of the world’s hiresCustomer Value Proposition: Power 50% of the world’s hires
- 79% of users are 35 or older