As a small business owner, it can be frustrating to know where to start when it comes to social media for your business. With so many different platforms to choose from how do you know which one would be right for your business? If you are going to be spending time and money putting content on them you want to make sure you are doing it properly to get results right?
Today I am going to break down the 9 steps you are going to need to take to create the best social media strategy for your business.
Set your Goals (Your why)
First things first, before you get started on any new objective or project the first thing you should be doing is setting your goals.
What do you want to get out of this? Deciding on these ahead of time will help you to save time and resources, help you to establish the metrics to track your success and most importantly, make sure you’re not producing content for the sake of content.
To do this write a list of everything you want out of your social media marketing activity, and then prioritize them in terms of value for your business.
Find your Ideal Client (Your Who)
Once you have your core objectives decided, you can proceed by finding your audience or Ideal Client. This is a very important step. Defining who your ideal client is will help you decide on what kind of content to create and what platform to concentrate on.
Analyzing your competitor’s social media is an important and valuable part of your strategy. Since you are most likely after the same audience it’s important to know what they are doing, how it is working and how you can make your content better.
Just to be clear, this doesn’t mean stealing their content. It means analyzing their content strategy and improving it by making it your own. Here are some things to look for:
- What platforms are they most active on
- What kind of content do they publish?
- How much average engagement do they get?
- What hashtags are they using?
- What tone of voice do they use in their copy
- What are their call to actions?
- Do they have any special promotions or freebies.
Decide on your Social Platforms (Your Where?)
After completing the first 3 steps you should have a good idea of what platforms your ideal client hangs out on. Although having a presence on all social platforms may seem tempting in the beginning I urge you to stick to 2-3 to make sure you are not spread too thin.
Managing your social platforms can be time-consuming. So prioritize the ones that will work for you focus on creating content for those platforms that will maximize results.
Set up your Brand Guidelines
These should cover all the details needed for someone to manage your account. By creating these early on in your strategy you will make sure that everyone is on the same page (even if it’s just you, for now, this will help if you ever decide to hire a social media manager or bring someone onto your team internally). Here are some things you will want to include:
- Brand Voice: What kind of tone/language do you use? Is it the same on every platform?
- Do you use emojis in your copy?
- Use of Hashtags: Which hashtags do you want to use and which to avoid?
- How to interact with your audience: Who is responsible for comments and messages?
- Any banned words or topics: There are probably some things that you never want your brand to talk about. Make sure you have those written down.
- Your Brand colors, fonts, logos
- Your Brand Images: Where will you be getting photo or video content from?
The point of these guidelines is to make your audience feel a familiarity with your brand and to create consistency across all your platforms. By doing this you will be able to create an audience of loyal fans.
Planning your content.
Now it comes time to plan out your content. People take in information in 3 ways. They listen to it, they watch it or they read it. So think about which category you would feel most comfortable producing and which your Ideal Client would consume. If you have completed your Ideal Client persona from the step above this should be an easier decision.
From here you are going to need to decide what type of content from each of those categories you are going to want to create.
For example, say your main platform was Instagram and your Ideal client was a 25-year-old girl. You would most likely want to create entertaining and informative images and videos for her to consume on Instagram.
Create your Content Calendar
You know the saying, “A goal without a plan is just a wish”… well this is true with our social media content as well.
If you don’t have a well thought out plan how do you ever expect to reach your goals. The best way to stay organized and have a plan is to create a content calendar that will help you organize what and when you are posting on each social channel.
There are many different tools that you can use to create this, but when you’re just starting out a simple google sheets document will work just fine.
Schedule your Social Media
To stay on top of your content calendar without spending time each day posting to each platform you can use a social media scheduler. There are many great ones on the market but I personally like Later for Instagram, Buffer for LinkedIn and Twitter, and for Facebook I use their native platform to schedule posts.
Track your Analytics
Finally the last step. Once you have planned out all your content and posted it on your social channels you are going to want to track your analytics to see how each post performed. This will help you see what your audience is responding to as well as make sure you are on track for your goals.
There you have it. 9 Steps to the best social media marketing strategy. The biggest thing when it comes to your strategy is keeping yourself organized.
If you know exactly what you are going to post and what is coming down the pipeline you can set time aside to create content before the due date approaches.
To keep yourself organized, make sure you download my free resource below, inside is my content calendar template.
I have tried dozens and dozens of these over the years and none of them seemed to work for me. It took me a long time to create this system and calendar so if you have any questions or comments on it please comment below.