1. Start With A Plan
Social media platforms are so easy to set up and it is easy for a business to just start posting. This action is likely to have the business lost and disillusioned within a couple of weeks and the social media accounts thrown on the digital dung heap. But like any other part of a business, a social media strategy should be in place to set goals and measure progress. A social media strategy also helps to identify how the strategy can integrate with the rest of the business strategy.
2. Set Goals And Decide On The Platforms To Use
Be S.M.A.R.T with your social media goals, that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and time defined. When you are specific with your goal it makes the rest of the S.M.A.R.T framework easy. A goal may be to increase followers but be specific such as 1,000 followers. This goal is then easily measured as it simple to find out this metric. This goal is also attainable compared to setting a goal of 1 million followers. A goal like this is also relevant as you want to expand your reach for your business to develop more leads. An important structure of S.M.A.R.T is to make the goal time defined. When the goal is time defined you can create attainable goals and then eventually you can grow to 1 million followers.
When you are creating these goals look at the best platform that suits your strategy. Where are you, customers? What platform are they hanging out on? It is important to pick the best platform that suits your customer base. Your customer base may be spread across a number of social media platforms. Also, your customer may shift to different platforms over time. It best to set time aside for social media and but don’t spread yourself thin by being on too many platforms. A the beginning it might be worthwhile to experiment to see which platforms give your brand the best reach and engagement.
3. Find Inspiration And Research The Competition
Once you have decided on your goals and social media platforms, it is time to research and find some inspiration. The inspiration should help you develop a strategy on how to display your brand and how it engages with your customers. Follow accounts that are proactive with their design and how they interact with their followers. It is also a good idea to follow your competition. Identify the market leaders, research their strategy and improve on it for your strategy. Also, you can benchmark against your competition and see how your profile is performing over time.
4. Create A Social Media Calendar
Time is precious in life and by creating a calendar for your social media, it will give you focus and help you perform your social media effectively. There are many tools to help schedule your social media from free to paid, but it is best to start out free, maybe just a Gmail calendar? This will help identify your workflow and help you in the future when you are purchasing a paid scheduling tool. It is also a good idea to create a list of your social media post ideas, therefore you can work ahead of yourself and always have content for your social media.
5. Know Your Audience And Create Your Brand Voice
Another key factor in your social media strategy is to know your customers, know which social media platforms they hang out on and finally how to speak to them. Your brand voice is key and it has to hit home to your audience. Like any aspect of marketing your business, you have to know what your customers/audience wants. And you have to be speaking to your audience, therefore identify them and know the social media platforms that they are members of.
6. Build Relationships And Create Bonds
One of the key secrets that help small business succeed as a brick and mortar business is the personal touch and how the client knows the owner. This is how social media can keep this edge and scale it. It is vitally important to build a relationship and eventually a bond with your followers. This is done by liking and replying to comments, also answering direct messages (DM’s). Basically it’s just adding the personal touch in a social media environment.
7. Share Compelling Visuals And Quality Shareable Content
Social media is a double edge sword as there is a huge audience but you then you have to capture that audience. Depending on the social media platform share a compelling visual but that is engaging and useful for your audience. The content has to be regarded as useful for the audience and not just an advertisement for your business.
8. Engage And Respond To Followers
When you engage and respond to your followers you build a huge amount of trust in your business and brand. It is important to post frequently, at least daily and then to set aside time to engage with any comments or direct messages that might arise. It is also advisable to set aside some time each day to check your messages and respond promptly.
9. Monitor Your Posts And Then Expand Your Audience
Data is king and it is wise to monitor your posts. Study the audience that is interacting and converting to sales. Find the posts that this audience engages most with and scale up your content on this basis.
Bonus: Always Keep Learning.
Always keep researching and learning about social media as platforms change rapidly.