Social media is one of the most inexpensive and easiest forms of marketing available to small business owners today. If your business doesn’t have a social media strategy, you really need to plan one and begin implementing steps to make your social media presence strong.
More and more consumers are turning to social reviews and sites to determine where they are going to spend their money. Having social profiles is only the first step to getting conversions out of social media. So you must engage with your customers to meet your social media goals, and the best way to do this is to form a social media strategy for your small business.
The first step in laying out your social media strategy should be creating goals so that you can measure your progress. This step will include deciding how you want to use your social platforms to help your business grow.
Your goals should be quantifiable, meaning they are concrete and achievable. Decide that you want to gain a certain amount of followers each month or that you want to have a certain percent increase in engagement. That way you can track your progress as you go along.
The objectives that you set should help you define your whole social media presence and make effectively marketing your business on social platforms easier for you. Your goals should include engaging your followers, attracting new leads, building your brand, and supporting sales and customers
Next you need to decide and select the scope of your social media efforts. Which departments and aspects of your business will be using social media?
Once you decide what areas of your business you want to include in your social media strategy, you need to map out what each department will use social media for:
- Customer service can use social media to reach out to reviewers and customers who are having issues as well as to get insights and feedback.
- Marketing can use social platforms to advertise and reach your target demographic to increase sales and conversion rates.
- Sales can use social to research and follow up on leads.
You will need to do some market research to determine where your target demographic and current consumer base is spending their time. If most of your consumers are on Facebook, you also want to find out what times they are most active on that specific social site.
Different demographics frequent different social media platforms. For instance, professionals spend a lot of time on LinkedIn whereas college students and high school students spend a lot of time on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Twitter, on the other hand, has a wide range of users. So the best way to reach your customers is to go to where they are.
Creating social media profiles doesn’t always equal social media marketing success. You have to turn your small business into a trusted industry influencer so that your social sites will be searched for when someone has a question about your industry vertical.
You can achieve this by publishing interesting, noteworthy content that provides your followers with valuable information. If you want your content to be seen on social sites these days, it has to be relevant to your followers.
Create a Budget
Although social media is an inexpensive marketing alternative, it isn’t always free. Creating and planning content means you will need a writer and a social media manager.
You will also have to decide if you want to allocate any money for paid advertisements on social media platforms. For example, you can pay to boost your posts on Facebook and also pay for ads that are on the sidebars. Decide how much you can afford to spend on social and go from there.
Implement and Promote
After formulating your plan, you have to put it into action and continuously promote your social media presence. One of the best ways to do this is to embed social media icons into your website so that your content can instantly be shared. Promote your content from your blog on all your social sites and offer industry-specific expertise that will drive traffic to your website. You must also constantly engage with your followers on social media sites to gain traction.
Social media has drastically changed the way that we market and reach out to our target demographics. Social media can be used to engage with our customers, seek feedback and insights, run promotions and sales, and handle customer issues. To get the most out of your social media presence, be sure to create a social media strategy and stick to implementing all of your goals.
About the Author
Victoria Treyger has more than 15 years of experience in building brands and customer loyalty. She joined Kabbage because she loved its mission to understand customers better and provide them with cash when they need it. Kabbage has provided $150 million+ in funding to small businesses since 2008.