Creating a social media strategy is critical for all small businesses. With so many social media platforms available, it’s important to understand where and why you need to focus your precious energy and resources.
Follow my guide to learn how to build your own social media strategy leading to successful marketing and sales without burnout.
Overview of Social Media Strategy for Small Businesses
Social media platforms, like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, are a god send to every small business. They don’t charge to set up business accounts, upload posts nor grow a following. Having said that, it is time consuming creating effective posts and growing a large engaged following. And as every small business owner knows – time is money too. Another benefit of social media platforms is that you can also pay for advertising too. This ultimately allows you to really target your ideal customer. But where do you start in the first place? Follow these steps to create your own social media strategy for your business.
With all this in mind, it is critical that every small business has a social media strategy, allowing to your focus, reach your business goals and also importantly avoid overwhelm and burnout.
1. Know your Ideal Client
Understanding your ideal clients needs, problems and motivations is really important here. Survey, quiz and interview your favourite loyal customers. Find out about their lifestyle. Which social media platforms do they actually enjoy using. Try to find out what their pain points are that you can solve. Ultimately you need to upload posts that read their mind.
2. Concentrate on One or Two social media networks
Find out the social media platforms where your clients spend most time. Then concentrate on this platform and learn to use it in the most effective way. The list of popular social media platforms seems to grow all the time, but the most common ones are Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest. Here is a quick overview of their typical user profile. Which do you think you ideal customers are on?
- Facebook – typically users are 40+ and they love to use this to share messages and photos with family and friends. Good for business to consumer.
- Instagram – most users are considered to be around 20 to 40, however it is increasing popular with 40+. Users are believed to be more affluent than Facebook and thought to comment and react more often. Ideal for business to consumer.
- LinkedIn – this is directed at professionals and freelancers. Therefore it is ideal for service based businesses and business to business sales.
- Twitter – More popular with the under 50’s and has a more male user base. Many companies use this as a customer service forum.
- Pinterest – great for products and services that help planners and solve problems. Already popular in the North America and Increasingly popular in the UK with a reputation for cheaper advertising.
- YouTube – good for those who like to watch “how to” videos or entertainment
- Ticktock – aimed at the teenage / 20’s generation and totally video based.
3. Set a goal to grow your following
Growing your following into the thousands is an essential goal for the social media strategy for any small business. One reason is that typical conversation rates for sales are something like 3000 followers to one single sale, if you don’t use advertising. The second important reason is that for advertising to be effective, the social media platform will use the data and characteristics of your following. So you can see how vital it is that you have a large number of followers. And to add to that, they need to be right type of customer for you.
4.Batch Posting and scheduling
A top tip from social media professional is to plan and prepare posts in advance. Followed by taking advantage of free scheduling tools to schedule posts in advance. This is great advice for a couple of reasons. Firstly it helps you create a co-ordinated and focussed content strategy across platforms to help with specific campaigns and goals. Secondly, it helps you avoid overwhelm, you don’t need to be thinking up ideas and posting on a daily basis. You simply need to be available to respond to comments and reactions.
5. Create and Manage an Email List
Did you know that your ultimate social media strategy should be to drive your social media followers to sign up to your email list? With all the buzz around social media, many business owners are not aware of this. In fact some online marketing experts, like Jeff Walker, teach that growing your email list should be your highest priority.
So by creating an email list, you gain greater control over your contact details. Social media platforms can go down at any time and unfortunately accounts can be shutdown without notice. Therefore by having an email list on Mailchimp, Convert Kit or another provider, you own this list of contacts. Plus another significant benefit of email newsletters is that sales conversion rates from direct email marketing are considered to be higher than that through social media platforms.
Of course, remember to get full marketing permissions for your newsletter sign ups to comply with GDPR
6. Consistent Messaging, Communication and Branding
Remember to be always consistent, friendly, positive and professional in your all your posts and comments. Following on from the research about your ideal clients, try to use the language they would use to describe the pain points your business solves for them. Similarly from a visual point of view, always use the same fonts and colours for posts, email newsletters and website to great a brand that your ideal customer will recognise and come to know, like and trust. Finally on the subject of communication, always use a call to action on your posts and emails. Let your client know that you want them to look at your website, buy something, put a comment below. For more information on call to action examples on social media check out my previous guide Call To Action
7. Review Analytics To Enhance Your Social Media Strategy for Your Small Business
Lastly but just as important, make sure you record and analyse the analytics available to understand the progress of your social media strategy. Fortunately analytics are available for business accounts on all the social media platforms and email newsletter systems. Similarly use all the great free information available in Google Analytics. Use all of this information to understand which social media platforms are driving traffic to your website. Then review which social media platforms have the most growth, which posts were the most popular and which platforms might need more attention.
I hope you have found my guide to social media strategy for small businesses really useful. If you would like free tips, follow me on the links below or sign up to my newsletter. Should you need specific consultancy to take any of the these steps further, please contact me through my services page Services