Whether you’re starting from scratch with social media or you’ve been in the game for a while, having a plan is essential.
Small businesses I’ve worked with have expressed that they don’t quite know where to start when it comes to their social media strategy or how to best use the networks to the advantage for their business. There is nothing wrong with that! Their focus is on getting their business going, and rightly so.
That’s where I step in!
I have 5 key steps I use with clients to make the strategy process just a little more manageable.
Step 1: Do your foundation work
This is one of the most critical steps. If you know
- who you’re talking to and
- how to talk to them,
you’ll reach the right followers that align with your business goals.
If you haven’t done this already, do a little brainstorming to create your ideal client profile. Who is most likely to interact and become someone who will
- like, and
- trust you enough to become a customer?
Take your social media platform seriously. Viewing it as a side project can be a missed opportunity. Think of them as a platform that mirrors and enhances what you’re trying to do in your business. Your business goals should also apply to your social media strategy.
- what you want to accomplish through your platforms and
- how do they contribute to your goals?
Step 2: Build your strategy framework
If you put in the time and energy for this step you will save yourself frustration and inconsistency in the long term.
Pick a Platform
Once you find your ideal audience, you will want to find the content they engage with the most. Where do they spend most of their time, what sites do they shop, etc.
Begin with one platform and branch out as you become more familiar.
Think ahead to the kind of content you’d like your feed to have that best represents your brand. Also take into consideration what your audience wants to see.
After all, you’re there to connect with them in a way that will make them want to keep coming back.
Whether you will be managing your own channel or if you will have someone else heading it up, find out the realistic frequency on posting.
We often want to jump in and say, “I’ll post every day!” but if you’re starting a business that isn’t always feasible. Be real with yourself or whoever will be managing your platforms and come up with the maximum number of posts per week to consistently post.
Consistency over quantity is the way to go! You can always increase or decrease posting as time goes on.
Step 3: Optimize platform resources
This step can get overlooked or not be seen as a priority. But everything on the platform you choose should be used to the optimum capacity. This will create a solid look and feel to your business that will attract people.
Be sure your profile image represents your business. If you are a freelancer, use your face to represent your brand. If you’re a product, have your logo or product for others to see.
In your bio, let people know
- who you are,
- what you offer, and
- how it helps them.
You are ultimately offering them a form of solution to their need. The bio is your first chance to connect so be clear and concise. Include your website in both your bio and profile image description on Facebook.
Use every format that the platform has to offer.
After some time, you’ll find the type of content format your audience engages with and you can build on that. These platforms are meant to create engagement and having a diverse feed can draw even more people to your business.
Test each one, the results may surprise you.
This resource should align with your business goals. Find the metrics that apply to the vision of your business and track those monthly. How will you know if you’re connecting with your ideal audience if you don’t look at how they are interacting with you?
Likes aren’t enough.
Through your insights you can see
- how many people are clicking through to your website,
- if they are sharing your content with others,
- what kind of reach you’re getting,
- the best day and time to engage your audience, etc.
Don’t overlook this one!
Step 4: Plan ahead
Once you’ve done the heavy lifting of setting up your strategy, take some time to plan ahead. Campaigns, partnerships, new product launches, and events are all things you can plan and save yourself time by outlining how you’ll promote on your platforms without a scramble.
Creating a social media calendar is the best way to organize this.
Whether you have multiple platforms, use brochures, print business card, to have signage, be sure that your social media platforms are visible on all your marketing pieces.
If you have partners now or have some in mind, reach out and have them collaborate with you. Create an outline of how you’d want to promote with them as well as the process of the contest or offer.
For some businesses this is represented by seasons or times of year their product or service is most used. For others it could be attached to product or service launches.
Try your best to plan these out as soon as you know the timeframe you want to run the campaign.
Step 5: Moving forward
Don’t think just because you’ve made your initial strategy that it will stay the same. As your business and audience grow, you’ll want to make changes to reflect that growth. I suggest doing a social media audit at least every quarter to see if you need to redefine your goals, metrics, or content.
Pay attention to what your audience is interacting with and as you grow, cater your content to what they are looking for from your feed. Adding value to every post is what’s going to have people coming back and other’s finding your account through interests.
One thing I love about social media is that it can be different for everyone. There are best practices to follow but you can go deeper with each of these steps in order to fit your business.
My advice to new business owners is to save yourself some time later by establishing your social media strategy early so your growth can go unhindered.
Meet the Guest Blogger
Danielle Kelehan is a social media specialist that’s been in the industry for 9 years, both at an agency and in-house for brands. Now, Danielle is the owner of Hello Socially, a social media marketing company. She has a passion for helping businesses grow communities that know, like, and trust.
She is an avid traveler, cupcake lover, and believes that mindset is what makes success. Always open to connecting with anyone interested in social media so feel free to reach out to her on Facebook and Instagram.