Considering that 30% of the world population is active on some social media platform or the other, ignoring the need for a killer strategy can pave the way to immediate marketing failure.
Much before creating a strategy that works, many start-up businesses are still struggling with understanding what social media exactly is.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Put in simple words, a social media strategy is the summary of all the actions you plan to make and goals you hope to achieve through various social networks. The more specific your plan is, the more effective it will be for your small business. Having a plan will give direction to your actions and also help you measure your performance on various social media platforms.
Creating a Social Media Strategy for your Small Business
1.) Listing your Social Media Objectives and Goals
Creating a killer social media strategy starts with identifying the goals you intend to achieve. this will help you remedy your campaigns as soon as you recognize that your expectations are not being met. Without goals, you will have no way to assess your social media ROI. The goals you set should also line up with your overall marketing efforts and go beyond typical vanity metrics such as Likes and Retweets. Make sure you focus on more advanced metrics such as conversion rates, web referrals received and leads generated. Rely on the SMART framework to set your objectives. Make sure they are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based
2. Conducting a Social Media Audit
After setting your goal and before creating your strategy, you want to assess your existing social media use and how it is functioning. If you already have existing social media profiles for your small business, you want to evaluate the profile of people who are currently connecting with you on these profiles. Are they fitting your target demographic? Where is your target market hanging out online? How is your social media presence compared to your competition?
3. Create or Enhance your Social Profiles
It is now time to commence honing your online presence. Start by selecting networks that help you best achieve your goals. If you are yet to create profiles on this platform, make sure you build them well from scratch while keeping in mind your broader goals and target demographic. If you already have existing accounts, update them, refine them and make use of the new tools introduced to achieve the best results. Make sure you fill them out completely with images and text where relevant. Also consider SEO factors when optimizing profiles. This will help generate more traffic towards your social profiles.
4. Creating a Content Plan and Calendar
Eventually your social media success boils down to the quality of content you post on your pages. Make sure your strategy includes a killer content marketing plan from a creation and curation perspective. When curating content and creating a calendar consider the following –
Your content calendar will list the date and time you intend to publish posts, blogs, tweets and other content on various social media platforms. Here is a sample calendar –
5. Evaluating, Testing and Fine-Tuning your Social Media Marketing Plan
To make sure that your strategy is on the path of success, you want to make sure you are constantly testing it out. Build testing capabilities into every comment you make, post you share or tweet. For instance, you can track the number of clicks your link received through a specific platform by using UTM codes of URL. Make Google Analytics your best friend to track page visits that are driven by social media. There are a number of other analytics tools that will help you track the success and reach of your campaigns across platforms.
Navigating through the world of social media, when there is business reputation at stake is often a daunting endeavour to take on. Especially for small businesses who are already struggling to break through amidst stiff competition. By taking a continuous learning approach, tweaking and fine-tuning your strategy, you will soon be on the path of social media success as a new brand.