The popularity of social media sites grows each day. New players on the market complicate the situation for small businesses and what they need to use to be close to their customers. So, you and your small business need to develop a quality social media strategy and implement it in the right way.
If you want to achieve a certain level of success, it is necessary to start implementing a strategic approach. You, as an entrepreneur, must have a social media strategy for your business because, without the strategy, all your efforts will be useless.
Let’s look at what you need to develop a great social media strategy for your small business. But, first, let’s explain what social media strategy is.
Table of contents
What is a social media strategy?
The strategy is a plan of action that you must implement if you want to achieve your goals. For the implementation purpose, the strategy has more tactics. Each tactic will need to have activities with implementation dates, the responsible persons for the implementation, and the necessary budget for implementation.
But, you already know that you have very different strategies. For example, you have a business strategy related to your overall business goals. Also, you can have a competitive strategy, pricing strategy, management strategy, etc. All of them can be part of your overall business strategy or some separate strategies related to specific topics or business functions. One thing is essential: all of these separate strategies will need to help you successfully implement your overall business strategy.
When it comes to social media strategy, it can be part of your overall business strategy or part of your marketing strategy, or a totally separate strategy. So, social media strategy will give you a clear route you need to take if you want to achieve your business goals. Or specifically, social media presence goals.
Business Goals on Social Media
But, what are the business goals on social media? These goals cannot be tangible as other business goals, but they can be in the form of the following statements:
- To build a business presence on social media.
- To increase the visibility of the brand.
- Or to increase the list of potential customers for your small business.
- To provide customer support for your customers.
- To educate current and potential customers, and so on.
This is only a fraction of the possible goals that a company can have for the effective use of social media. The strategy should provide a list of activities to achieve those goals that you’ve set. You must be aware of your resources’ availability, especially time.
Building a social media strategy
The social media strategy should at least give you an answer to the following questions:
- What social media platforms must you use?
- How will you use those platforms you already select to start using?
- What will be your next activities?
Let’s talk about each of these questions.
1. What types of platforms do you want to use?
This is the first and probably most important question you need to ask yourself. Selecting the right social media platform will define the next steps in your social media strategy. For example, if you select Facebook and Twitter, you can use different content types like text status, image, video, or a combination of them. But, if we select TikTok, then we have one type of content – short videos. If we select Instagram, we can share images and short videos. When it comes to YouTube, we will share short and longer videos.
You can see how the selection of social media platforms will design the content types you will cover in your social media strategy.
So, it would be best to be careful when answering this question. The answer to this question depends on:
- Goals that you have and want to achieve through your social media strategy.
- Type of business, market, and industry where your small business operates.
- Places and social media channels where your potential customers are.
- Where do your potential customers spend most of their time?
How to select social media platform?
The first thing you want to check is the number of active users. I talk about active users because if the platform has a large base of users and they are not active, it will not bring you the results you want to achieve. Once you have the list of the most important social media platforms for your business, you will already know where to narrow your attention. For example, here is the list of all social media ranked by the number of active users in a million from Statista.
The next thing you need to find is where are your current and potential customers. You can start playing on these platforms and check if there are some of your current customers. Check your targeted customers and ensure they are on the platforms you want to select. You can also use surveys or interviews with your customers to research and find where they are and how much time they spend on those platforms. This is essential information for your social media strategy.
If you are a startup company, or if this is your first social media strategy, you will need to do your research and experiment with different channels.
2. How will you use that platforms?
The next question you will need to answer in your social media strategy is how you will use the social platforms from the first question.
Content – Communication
When it comes to communication, start answering these questions.
- With whom will you communicate? You already know your targeted audience, but now it is essential to describe your audience who they are and what they are doing or searching for and liking on social media. This is something you need to include inside your social media strategy. Create a buyer persona for each group of possible social media followers.
- What will you share on social media platforms? This question is about the content you will share and basic rules when it comes to commenting or answering followers’ questions. You need to define them inside your social media strategy.
- How will your business communicate? The third question is related to processes and procedures regarding social media marketing. So, you will need to define responsible persons, the tools you want to use, posting timing, and procedures for responsible persons.
Using the answers to these questions, you will know essential elements of your social media strategy:
- Targeted audience.
- The content you will share to communicate with them like personal stories, questions, behind the scenes, jokes, quotes, tutorials, and so on.
- Processes and procedures for the implementation of your social media strategy.
You can start working on your social media calendar for each selected platform. You need to pay attention to the following things:
- How many times will you share something?
- When will you share a specific type of content?
3. What will be your next activities?
The previous two questions gave us answers about which social media you must use and how you will use it. To answer this question, you must convert answers from the previous two questions into a list of activities eligible for the period you want to achieve the social media goals for your small business.
Before you start making your social media strategy, you must be aware that the strategy’s implementation is the whole company’s responsibility.
Another important thing you must apply in your social media strategy is that it will be a long path to success.
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