Social media platforms provide a fantastic opportunity for small business growth, however a considered plan is required to really optimise what they have to offer. We’ve put together this blog as a “Where to start” for business owners with their small business social media marketing strategy.
When it comes to social media marketing, the following quote perfectly sums it up: Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat – Sun Tzu
1. Establish Your Goals
You should know your business goals. Whether you manage your social media marketing yourself or have a marketing partner to manage it for you, you need to establish realistic goals that you wish to achieve through your social media marketing.
A business generally has one or more of these 6 objectives behind their social media strategy:
- Drive website traffic
- Create brand awareness
- Build audience trust
- Provide customer support
- Attract leads
- Increase sales
Once you know why you are doing what you are doing, you can do it better. Each post you publish will be as a result of one or more of your established goals.
2. Create Audience Persona(s)
Many business owners underestimate the value of audience persons. You should not start a social media marketing campaign without understanding who your targeted audience is.
An ‘audience persona’ or ‘buyer persona’ describes the attributes of your target audience in as much detail as possible.
Understanding the habits and behaviours of your prospects helps you find and create personalised content especially for them. Depending on the nature of your business, you may have to create more than one audience persona.
3. Select the Right Social Media Platforms
As of 2019, 7 social media platforms dominate. Each has hundreds of millions of active users, and its own unique strengths. For example, Facebook has more subscribers than YouTube; however it can’t beat YouTube when it comes to video content marketing.
You shouldn’t limit your business to just one platform, having said this, you don’t need to be active on every social media platform. Use your business goals and audience personas to identify which social media platforms your target audience are on, and also what your capacity is for consistent content creation and distribution.
4. Identify and Study Your Competitors
Studying your competitors will help you identify market trends, establish what is and isn’t working for their audience, and which platforms your competitors are on.
Take out time to thoroughly analyse what your competition is doing. Do not go out to copy what they are doing, but to do it better, and learn from what they are doing.
5. Set Up Your Social Media Accounts
You will need data from all first three steps to implement this step efficiently. While setting up a business profile on a social media platform is not difficult, there are ways to optimise how you do this. It’s worth doing a bit of research.
This step will include having logos properly sized and header images created, and completing text boxes with company information overviews. Much of the information should already be on your website – don’t feel you need to re-invent the wheel!
6. Plan and Schedule Social Media Marketing Content
Planning and scheduling are two different parts of content marketing.
In planning, you have to determine the content that is relevant to your business and attractive for your target audience. In scheduling, you have to plan which content to publish, and when. You also need to establish how many posts you are going to post each day, to each platform. This again will be determined by your capacity to create relevant content.
Consistency is an essential element of social media posting.
7. See What Works and What Doesn’t
Marketing is a continuous process, and you are guaranteed of constant changes and development. An important part of each social media marketing campaign includes gathering and analysing data and using it to improve upon the next one.
8. Run Social Media Advertisements
After you have succeeded in creating the initial presence of your business on social media channels, include paid advertisements. Organic social media reach has plummeted over the past few years, so an element of paid advertising is critical
Every platform offers paid promotion, and it should be a part of your social media marketing strategy. However, make sure you first fully understand your market and audience to get maximum return on investment.
There is more to each point highlighted above when structuring your small business social media marketing strategy, however you need to start with understanding the basics, and then work into the detail from here.