“Social media has had a real and irreversible impact on our lives, both personal and professional. In a marketing context, the priority given to social media continues to grow, as marketers and managers seek to reap the benefits of its unique potential for virality for their own businesses.”
The most unique element of social media has been the ability to create grassroots movements with little money. Gone are the days of hiring expensive marketing firms and publicists in order to spread the message of a brand or individual.
With a simple social media strategy, your small business can share your message and products with a ready audience that is already looking at their devices. With a simple post, you can bring your company to your customers in 2020 instead of hoping they show up on their own!
Let’s look at a simple social media strategy that your small business can implement for the new year!
If you set out on a journey without an end goal, you will end up nowhere. Before you begin implementing a social media campaign for your business, you need to make sure you’ve clearly set your goals.
Goal setting for your social strategy can include two steps — defining your long-term goals and short-term objectives. Having an end goal — be it sales figures or engagement numbers — can give you and your team an end goal as well as milestones to strive for as you implement your strategy.
Once you have a goal or two in place, you need to take time to sit down and…
Once you set your goals, you must begin to research your audience! As you begin to develop your strategy, you need to ask yourself some very important questions:
● Who are you trying to reach with your message or product?
● What social media channels your audience uses most?
● When are they most active online?
● Where are they located?
● Why would they be interested in what you have to offer?
Once you land on the answers to these important questions, you can then develop a winning marketing strategy for how best to reach your customers through the proper social media channels. Now that you know your audience well, you can…
What are those areas that are most important to your business? What does success look like for you personally?
The most common and important metrics to pay attention to are:
● Engagement (who is actually clicking your content)
● Impressions and Reach (who is seeing your content)
● Share of Voice (what type of content is working)
● Referrals and Conversions (what content is leading people to your website)
● Response Rate and Time (how fast they click, order, and make a sale)
By taking each of these areas into consideration individually and together, you will begin to get a full picture of what areas are most important for reaching your specific audience. Begin tracking these metrics using a basic excel spreadsheet or a robust system such as Hootsuite or Sprout Social to keep an eye on how your content is working for you and your business.
Speaking of keeping an eye on things, it is smart to always…
Knowing what is working for your competitors is a great way to stay up on how you can better use social media to reach your customer base! Don’t dwell on how your competitors are doing it better — take the chance to learn from them!
Once you begin to run your social media strategy for 2020, take time to complete a “competitor analysis”. A competitor or competitive analysis is an evaluation of the competition’s strengths and weaknesses relative to your own.
For social media, a competitive analysis will help you:
● Identify which of your competitors are using social media
● Know which platforms they’re using regularly
● Know what they’re doing on those platforms now
● See what content they used to use
● Discover how well their social strategy is working
● Know their threats to your business
● Learn and identify gaps in your own strategy
Knowing the competition is a great way to become a better social media user. Don’t be discouraged when your competition has ten times as many followers as you. That list is a healthy crop of new customers ready to be harvested!
Now the real fun begins! In this part of the process, you will begin to create engaging content that will “stop the scroll” of your customers on their social media channels. Common content looks like funny videos, professional images featuring products and faces, and fun, quirky content such as quizzes and comics.
There is no end to the types of content you can create to promote your social media. Need some help to develop content for Instagram or Twitter? Look at your competitor analysis and see what is working for them. Hire freelance graphic designers and videographers who are ready to create content to reach your goals. You never know, you may have the next viral tweet!
You never know what will work until you try — and must try often. That is why you must…
Social media is changing and morphing constantly. What was popular today will be old news tomorrow. Attention spans of those scrolling the endless new feeds online are getting shorter, and online algorithms reward those social media channels that are novel and consistent.
In order to keep your content before hungry eyes, you must post and post often. An easy way to keep social media content going out consistently is to utilize social schedulers such as Buffer and Hootsuite. These online systems will allow you to schedule your curated content and schedule posts ahead of time, freeing you of the stress of posting constantly.
Need to send out a quick update? A limited-time offer? Posting in a timely manner will keep your engagement with your customers feeling personal and friendly.
Now that your strategy is alive and kicking, its time to stay fresh and…
Don’t stand still! Bob and weave! As quick as viral social media changes so do the best ways to reach and engage your audience.
Now that your strategy has been developed and put into motion, you must be diligent to stay on top of which areas are still effective and which are starting to lag behind. Don’t be afraid to pull the plug on a specific part of your strategy that seems to be slowing down or not working as well as it once did. Those businesses that are willing to be brave and try new things when it comes to social media will see the greatest return on investment!
The big picture? When it comes to social media in 2020 and beyond, you have an opportunity to stand out against your competition and reach a growing audience.
Don’t let the fear of being overwhelmed stop you from wading into the waters of social media. By following this simple guide and going a step at a time, you will have a growing and thriving social media following in no time!
Originally published at https://hackernoon.com on February 16, 2020.