Social media is part of our daily lives
Social media has become an intricate part of our daily lives. Our incessant need to share everything (with everyone) has overtaken us.
This need to share includes sharing what brands and products we like and don’t like. When we are happy with our teeth, we tell our friends what brand we use (props, Colgate Optic White.) So it’s more important than ever that your small business is eavesdropping on those conversations, because they are happening around your brand every day.
So you decide to get in on this action and set up Twitter and Facebook pages, only to find your timelines and streams a content wasteland. No comments, likes, or retweets. No shares on awesome blog posts. Zip, zero, NADA.
What gives? Did you launch your Facebook page wrong? Do your blog posts stink? Probably not. But your social media strategy probably needs work. Like all marketing initiatives, you can’t go in blazing. You need to consider what your business is trying to accomplish from your social media investment, and that starts with identifying three crucial strategy components:
- Your small business’ long-term goals
- Your customer audience
- Your products, and how they solve problems
Consider long-term business goals
This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s often overlooked. All too often, small business owners jump into #socialmedia willy-nilly! But, you can’t meet product inventory if you don’t plan purchase frequency for material goods to make your products, can you? The same is true for developing your #socialmediastrategy. Think long-term, NOT “My competitors have a Facebook page – I should too,” or “Facebook Ads are cheaper there.” Don’t get me wrong – those are legit reasons to utilize social media, but think deeper.
Are you looking to broaden your customer base to a different audience demographic? Are you launching an E-commerce sales channel? Are you opening a new restaurant chain location in a new city and looking to build brand awareness? Considering long-term goals will help you develop a social media program that ties into – and as a result will be more measurable – against those goals.
Consider customer demographics
Your small business needs to understand its customer base and what motivates and interests them. Are your target customers consumers or commercial prospects? Do your products benefit men or women? What are your target customer ages? What do they do for work? Are they parents?
These details are crucial: they help your business determine the social media networks your customers are most active on, which tells you where to focus your time and resources. Plus – and I cannot stress this enough – conducing a social media audience audit or customer profile ensures your business invests time and monetary resources developing valuable, relevant and shareable content to share on those platforms.
Consider your products
This goes without saying, but not all social media networks are created equal. In fact, each platform has its strengths and weaknesses and therefore offers users very different benefits. When you think strategically about your products and how they help solve a problem, this information will help determine the kinds of content you should be developing and sharing on your social media platforms.
For example, is your business a home-improvement store, make-up manufacturer or pet-sitting service? Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube are all great, inexpensive platforms ideal for sharing visual content. For example, your home-improvement store can create a “how-to install a faucet,” video, or your make-up manufacturer can create a “best eyeliners for 2016” blog post, or your pet-sitting service can create an inexpensive Facebook rail ad highlighting puppy-sitting services for folks taking an overnight getaway.
Maybe your company is offering a great webinar, or you have a brand new blog you want to drive web traffic to? Twitter and LinkedIn are great for sharing short, to-the-point B2B content, press coverage and Blog posts links! Bonus: Twitter doubles as a great secondary customer service channel.
Interested in offering customers convenient online purchase options? Shopify and ShopTab are easily integrated into your small business or nonprofit website, Blog or Facebook pages.
We hope this post answered questions about strategic social media planning for your small business. Please share your thoughts, follow-up questions and success stories with us below in the comments.
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