Why You Need a Small Business Social Media Strategy (& How to Create One)

hands-woman-laptop-notebook.jpg

Small business owners are masters at juggling: invoicing, developing products, serving customers, and answering countless phone calls. While marketing is an essential part of expanding your small business, it’s a responsibility that tends to get lost in the fray. Unless, that is, you develop a strategy for it.

This is especially true for social media marketing, which is a practical, affordable way to put your business in front of thousands of potential customers.

In today’s market, anyone can post a Tweet. To see more return on your investment, though, it’s crucial to set up a social media strategy. This strategy will streamline your business’s social media approach and optimize your time, effort, and budget for bigger results, starting right now.

A Social Media Strategy Benefits You

Did you know that 71% of consumers will recommend a brand to friends if they had a positive social media experience with that brand?

With over 70% of the U.S. population on social media, that’s a lot of potential business for you. Not sure how a social media strategy will help you? You’ll see results as soon as you create your social strategy, particularly in time saved, ROI, and audience experience.

A Good Strategy is a Total Time-Saver

Small businesses are strapped for time.

Often this means you’re sending Tweets as they come to mind, promoting last-minute deals and holiday specials on the fly. But when you have a small business social media strategy, nothing is done at the last minute.

Instead, everything is intentional and planned, and nothing is an emergency. Your social media strategy helps you create and schedule posts, reaping the benefits for months to come.

A Massive ROI

A social media strategy helps you set measurable, actionable goals.

These help you understand what works and what doesn’t with your customer base. Over time, this makes your social media marketing more effective and saves you money and time.

A Better Audience Experience

Your customers want consistency, and a social media strategy provides it. A strategy streamlines your message and clarifies exactly what you’re sending to customers.

This is the difference between promoting Mother’s Day specials a month before the holiday, versus promoting it on Mother’s Day only.

A long-term strategy is better for your customers and it’s better for your business.

4 Steps to DIY Your Social Media Strategy

You don’t need to hire the swankiest marketing agency in the nation to create a social media strategy. Follow these quick start tips to make your strategy in an hour or less:

1. Define Your Audience

Audience should inform everything you do to promote your business. Your target audience determines what you say, where you say it, and when you say it.

With this in mind, create an audience persona to guide your strategy. List your customer’s demographics, interests, and pain points and adjust it as your audience changes.

2. Set Goals

It’s easy to create a social strategy with goals in mind first, but audience still reigns supreme. Don’t jump to this step if you haven’t defined your audience first!

Use the SMART system to create goals that are specific and measurable. It’s the difference between setting a goal for “more followers” versus aiming for a “50% increase in Twitter followers in the next 60 days.”

3. Create a Content Calendar

Next, craft your content calendar. A content calendar is a plan for when and where you’ll post. It lets you view your posting schedule in its entirety so that you can make a visual representation of your campaign. A content calendar can be digitized and shared in something as simple as Google Calendar.

Write Facebook posts, Pins, Tweets, and more than align with your audience and goals. Add the posts to your content calendar by date, time, and social media channel.

4. Use Schedulers

You’ve done the heavy lifting by creating your amazing content plan. But hands-on posting time can eat up 5 - 10 minutes of your day. You can use content schedulers to automatically post to social media for you. Check out tools like Hootsuite and Buffer to automate the less glamorous side of social media.

The Bottom Line

It’s never been more important for small businesses to get social. You can craft a professional strategy in just an hour using the tips outlined here. Make the most of your time, energy, and precious budget with a small business social media strategy.