In this ultimate guide we are going to be exploring why creating a social media strategy for your small business is the productivity boost you need right now and how best to do so.
A social media strategy is a plan which lays out:
Which social media platforms are right for your business
Understanding what you are using each platform for
How you are going to position your small business on the social platform
Best ways to optimise your social media profiles for your brand
Which social media platforms are right for your business?
This is a two part question;
Which platforms do you want to use, which do you enjoy being on?
Which platforms are your ideal clients on?
Which platform is best for supporting and connecting with others who have a similar audience?
There is no reason for you to be on a social media platform which you don't enjoy using. After all the main concept with social media is being social! You need to choose a platform you enjoy using or at least be prepared to start enjoying using your chosen platforms.
Then which platforms are your ideal clients on?
Where are they hanging out and which platform/s are they consuming regularly?
Where are they posting their problems / turning to for support / inspiration / entertainment?
Another way to utilise the power of social media in your small business is to look out for others with a similar audience to you, who you can connect with to offer mutual help and support.
Which platform is best for supporting others in your industry?
Understanding what you are using each platform for:
Every platform you choose to include in the social media strategy for your small business must have a purpose.
For example - are you posting on facebook to nurture a community and grow your facebook group or email list? Are you posting on instagram to inspire and give an insight into your behind the scenes working day to encourage followers to click through links or join your email list? Are you hanging out on LinkedIn so you can be known as the expert?
What do you want the platform to do for your business? How do you want to use each platform? What is your objective for each one?
Similarly, think about what your ideal customers are using each platform for.
Are they looking for education or advice? Are they there to escape and be entertained? What do they want from each platform and how can you use this information to strengthen the way you show up there?
Social media strategy is never one size fits, you can choose as many or as few platforms as you like IF you feel you can consistently show up, deliver and engage on them.
Choose the right platforms that work for you easily incorporating them into your day.
How are you going to position your small business on the social platform?
In order to position your brand on your chosen social media platforms you need to answer the following questions.
What is the aim of the specific platform?
For example - drive traffic to your opt in / start conversations.
How do your ideal customers love to use the platform?
For example - they love using instagram stories but aren’t exploring grids as much, maybe they are always searching on insta so you will need to up your hashtag game?
What can you do to thrill them?
For example - show up in insta stories with a daily tip they love, maybe you document your daily life, maybe have a fb group and you give loads of value. Twitter your audience love that you are opinionated and they never know what you're going to say but love following you.
What does the platform want you to do?
For example - go directly to the platform and get clear on specifically what the platform requires of you. This is the best info you will get. Instagram creates features so you use them. IG stories / IG lives / IG filters for your grid etc.
Best ways to optimise your social media profiles for your brand
The following 3 principles are at the core of my branding process:
Telling the right story
#1 profile picture
Is your social media profile photo instantly recognisable? is it engaging / approachable?
Does it represent you in the way your audience know and recognise you?
Does your profile photo tell your story?
Is your profile picture impactful?
#2 Cover image
Is your social media cover image branded?
Is it sized correctly for the platform?
Is your cover image doing a job for you? For example does it have a strong call to action taking your tribe through a journey?
Does your cover image act as a shining beacon for your brand? Is it impactful?
Does your cover image tell your brand story?
Is your cover image recognisable to you and your branding?
Mind shift - no one cares what you do! What your audience care about is what you can do for them.
Think to yourself are you describing the transformation you offer?
Is your headline impactful?
Does your headline tell a story?
Is your headline recognisable as your brand voice?
Are your links, URLs and website up to date?
Personal profiles on FB are the most visited place, when people meet you in groups or want to connect with you 9 times out of 10 they will connect via your personal page. Make sure your links are up to date.
Keep in mind, if you are connecting with someone for the first time you want some background info. Especially if you are going to opt in to a challenge or look to work with them. They will want to know you are clearly who you say you are. Make sure you personal profiles are strongly branded in line with the values of your business. Make sure it is clearly aligned with your values, personality and character and that they shine through strongly.
What ever is the top of your focus, for example growing your email list, make sure that link is absolutely highlighted. Remember: if you don’t push it and make it easy for your audience then they won’t look!
#5 Using all the features
Are you utilising all the functions of the platform AND have you optimised all these places?
For example have you chosen a featured image on Facebook? Does it have a clear call to action?
The Social Strategy for your small business is:
which platforms you want to use and what you want to use them for
what job that platform is doing for your business
types of content you are posting
Frequency of posting on social media platforms
Here is an example social strategy for small business:
Which platforms have you chosen?
What jobs does each platform have?
Funnel to the website
Positioning for partnering with other brands with a similar audience
What types of content most suitable?
Facebook: Blog promo, Tips, Questions, Story posts ,Live video FB
LinkedIn: Pre recorded videos, Education opinionated posts, Blog promos
Frequency you want to post
Once a day on both platforms.
Don’t make your life difficult - use engaging and captivating images and graphics that you can easily resize and repurpose over multiple platforms for slightly different uses.
Avoid social media jail with your strategy for your small business
A social media strategy helps you utilise social media for your business without overwhelm.
As we all know too well, it’s very easy to fall down the social media rabbit hole. You just popped onto instagram to post on your grid then started having a nosey of likes, checking out some of your hashtags, then look through your feed and you end up watching a soap shaving video before you know it 3 hours have gone.
The more you spend CONSUMING social media. The less time you are spending providing value to your audience.
Schedule time to post and interact on social media - stick to it like glue.
Deliver show up and be there for your audience your readers
Don’t get taken away by looking at other social pages - pulling you away from delivering value and showing up for the people who are showing up for you.
Schedule your interaction time. In an hour im going to check insta and comment for two minutes. Different platforms have different requirements. You do not need to be spending hours scrolling through waiting for people to comment and waiting for “it” to happen.
By developing the habit you are going to reap the rewards of consistency! Consistency always wins!
Mistakes to avoid using social media for your small business
Thinking that anything other than providing value to your ideal customer is going to boost your business
You spending time doing anything that isn't posting on your own social media accounts, developing values for your readers - offerings, resources, reviews, videos, blog posts live streaming - is taking you away from what you need to be doing. Thinking that doing anything else, looking at what others are doing, posting in groups asking for people who AREN’T your ideal customers to come look at your stuff etc, is just taking you away from the people who actually want you to be there for them. They will lose interest and leave you. Keep focus on them and they will keep focus on you.
Showing up inconsistently - one day i'm going to stick to everything, next month cant be bothered. I'll just post on fb everyday. By being flaky and inconsistent you will lose followers lose readers and lose engagement.
Forgetting to engage with people who are taking the time to comment. They are taking time out of their day to engage with you - why would you not engage with them? Why is scrolling through someone else's page more important than engaging with your tribe?
Forgetting that each platform has a purpose and utilising that to the fullest. Don’t forget you have a specific reason to showing up on each platform
Getting caught up on vanity metrics! 10,000, 100,000, 500 followers of the wrong follower is no followers at all. You might as well have 0. If your followers are not your target customer they do not matter. You can not serve them fully. Your purpose is to serve your ideal reader - the person who you know you have a solution to their problem. If you have 10,000 followers who have a problem that you don’t have a solution for what is the point in them following you? Quality over quantity.
Make your brand wishy washy with irrelevant content and random reviews. Don't dilute your brand by posting irrelevant content. Irrelevant chit chat. Everything you post has a purpose. You are filling your social platforms with fantastic value filled relevant content. Don’t dilute that by posting irrelevant rubbish that your ideal customer doesn’t care about.
Don't jeopardise your brand for a quick fix. Don't ask people to follow you who aren't your Ideal client. Don’t buy followers. As you bring people, the right people to you, you will get everything you want. Have patience and work with purpose. 500 engaged fabulous followers worth a million times more than 1,000,000 false ones.
Focussing your time on people who aren’t your target customer - buying followers, asking people for opinions, comments, shares, that aren’t you target customer - irrelevant.
To summarise avoid putting yourself into social media jail, where you are time restricted and beholden to people who do not matter to what you are doing. Focus all of your time and energy onto the people who you can help and your business will thrive. You won't feel like you have a business that rules your life. You will be in control of your social media and feel empowered because of that.