Small Business Matters
Short Articles About Big Issues for Small Business
Social Media Marketing Strategy: What it is and why Your Business Needs one
In the US, about 70% of small businesses have a social media presence...93% of these businesses admit they're struggling with social media and 62% report their paid advertising efforts on social media are "wasted".
Why is this happening? The answer is actually pretty simple: poor planning or failure to plan. Although small businesses invest an average of 6 hours a week on social media, only 50% have a Social Media Marketing Strategy!
What It Is
A Social Media Marketing Strategy is a detailed plan that defines your goals and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and outlines how your business or organization will use social media to achieve them. It involves defining target audiences, selecting appropriate social media channels, creating engaging content, and implementing tactics (and setting a budget) to promote the business, products, and/or services.
Why Your Business Needs One
You wouldn't go on a thousand-mile road trip without knowing where you were going and how you were going to get there, right? Of course not! You'd probably use a tool like Google Maps, Apple Maps, or a GPS to help plan the route, the stops along the way, and determine your budget for the journey.
Marketing your business on social media without a Social Media Marketing Strategy is like going on a road trip by driving aimlessly in a vague direction. If you're lucky, you might get to a desirable destination...but chances are you're going to spend a lot more time, effort, energy, money, and fuel to get there than if you'd had a well-planned route!
Think of your Social Media Marketing Strategy like your Social Media Marketing GPS: It details where you're starting, where you want to go, how you're going to get there, how far the journey is, what milestones you'll encounter along the way, how long it will take you to get there, and how much you'll spend throughout the trip.
Key Components of a Social Media Marketing Strategy
SMART Goals: Know what you want to achieve! Clearly define the objectives you want to achieve through social media marketing. This may include include increasing brand awareness, driving traffic to your website, generating leads, boosting sales, improving customer engagement, or enhancing brand reputation.
Audience identification: Identify your target audience or customer persona. Understand their demographics, interests, online behavior, and preferences. This knowledge will help you with platform selection and enable you to tailor your content and messaging to resonate with your audience.
Platform selection: Choose the social media platforms that align with your target audience and business goals. Where do your customers spend their time on social media? Popular platforms include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and YouTube. You don't have to have a presence on ALL these platforms, just the ones where your customers spend the most time.
Content strategy: Develop a plan for creating and sharing content that aligns with your brand and resonates with your audience. Consider the types of content you will produce, such as images, videos, blog posts, infographics, or live streams. Determine the frequency of posting, the tone of voice, and the topics you will cover. Be consist. Provide value.
Engagement: Social media is a two-way communication channel. Engage with your audience! Respond to comments, messages, and mentions. Actively participate in conversations, ask questions, and encourage user-generated content. Engage with user accounts! Social media is a powerful tool you can leverage to build a strong community and foster relationships with your audience.
Advertising: While you absolutely CAN boost reach, visibility and engagement through organic methods, you should evaluate whether paid social media advertising can help you reach your goals. You can use paid advertising to develop targeted campaigns based on your goals and audience. Use features like demographic targeting, retargeting, and lookalike audiences to reach the right people.
Analytics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Use analytics tools to track the performance of your social media efforts; most social platforms have free analytics tools built into their interface. Monitor metrics relevant to your KPIs like engagement, reach, click-throughs, conversions, and follower growth. This data can help you gain valuable insights into what works and what doesn't, and make data-driven decisions to optimize your strategy.
Updates and Improvements to Strategy: Your social media strategy isn't set in stone! It's flexible and adaptable. Regularly evaluate your strategy's effectiveness, learn from the data, and make adjustments accordingly. Experiment with new tactics and stay up-to-date with industry trends and platform updates.
If you want to make the most of the time and money you invest into social media marketing, your business NEEDS to have a written Social Media Marketing Strategy! It is an essential plan to help your business build brand awareness, engage with customers, drive website traffic, generate leads, stay competitive, gather insights, and establish authority. By leveraging the power of social media, you can effectively reach and connect with your target audience, ultimately contributing to the growth and success of your business. Your strategy should be aligned with your overall marketing objectives and integrated into your broader marketing efforts. It should evolve as your business grows and as social media platforms and consumer behaviors change.
Four Reasons Your Business Needs Social Media
Social media has become an integral part of our lives! With the apparent rise of social media influencers partnering with businesses to promote products or services, it is easy to think that you need to pay an influencer to successfully grow your business and drive online sales. The truth is, you can grow your business and your influence on your own.
With the right strategies in place, social media can help you reach a wide audience, attract new customers, build relationships with your existing customers, share knowledge about your industry, and stay up-to-date on industry trends. By understanding how your current and potential customers use social media and what content resonates with them, you can create a successful online presence and build relationships with potential customers.
Let’s explore four reasons why your business should be on social media and how it can benefit you.
1 - Reach a Wider Audience
First, social media gives you the opportunity to reach a wide audience. Simply put, social media is an effective and low-cost tool that can help you reach more potential customers. Potential customers are out there and they want to hear from you (they just don't know it yet). It's a great way to get your message out there without having to spend a lot of time or money and you can target your message to specific demographics and tailor your content to the interests of your target audience. With the right strategy, social media can be an invaluable tool for reaching a wider audience in a cost-effective way.
2 - Reach & Engage New Customers
Secondly, social media is an invaluable tool for businesses to reach out to potential customers who may not have heard about you yet. It can help you attract new customers by showcasing your products and services in an engaging way. Use your social media to create engaging, targeted campaigns that draw in potential customers who are interested in what you have to offer. By connecting with target markets, you can make sure that you’re reaching out to the right people and giving them the opportunity to learn more about your product or service. Then, engage with them and keep them engaged with your brand. With the right strategies in place, your business can use social media to reach potential customers who need your product or service but don't know it yet.
3 - Build Relationships & Provide Excellent Customer Service
Third, social media enables you to build relationships with your existing customers by connecting with them directly and responding to their comments or questions quickly. You will hear and see their wants, needs and fears directly; respond promptly, making sure you understand their question or concern before you respond (if you don’t, ask questions to make sure you do). This helps create trust and fosters a relationship that could lead to more sales down the line. Relationship building involves establishing credibility and authenticity with your customers, partners, and other stakeholders.
Relationships are built on trust and mutual respect. To achieve this, it is important to be genuine in all your social media interactions. Some of the most loyal customers are those who have had a problem with a product or service and received a prompt response and excellent resolution from the business. Showing empathy and understanding their needs, particularly when a problem arises, will go a long way in strengthening these relationships. Additionally, providing value to your customers will help them see you as a reliable brand who they can count on for support when needed.
4 - Share Information and Become a Thought Leader
Fourth, social media is an effective tool to share information and impart knowledge to your audience, establishing yourself as a Thought Leader. Becoming a Thought Leader is a powerful tool to grow your social media sphere of influence. It’s a way to share knowledge, gain recognition, and build credibility in your niche.
Thought leaders have the ability to influence decisions and shape the opinions of those around them. Yes. I said it! Thought Leaders are Influencers. What they know and what they think draws people in. They possess an in-depth understanding of their subject matter and share their insights with others. By sharing knowledge and becoming a thought leader you become an influencer, which can help drive traffic to your content and website, and eventually your sales funnel, all while positioning yourself as an expert in your niche.
With the right approach and dedication, anyone can become a thought leader in their industry. Read an interesting article? Share it! Have a compelling perspective on an industry trend? Blog it! Post about it! Have a little know-how in a topic your audience is interested in? Live-stream it (then post the recording)! Have some in-depth expertise in your niche? Offer a workshop or speak at an event!
Establishing yourself as a Thought Leader in your niche means that you become known as the expert you are (and you ARE an expert, I promise you). People will come to you to learn - and perhaps end up a customer in the process.
The Big Picture
Social media is an essential tool for you to reach a wider audience, engage new customers, build relationships, and share information. It can also help you become a thought leader in their industry.
By leveraging the power of social media, your small business can create meaningful interactions with existing and potential customers. You can also gain insights into what your target audience wants and needs. With the right strategy in place, your business’s social media can be a powerful tool grow your sphere of influence, establish brand credibility, and scale your business.