Is your business a startup or a small business? Then you likely to be wearing a lot of hats, i.e. with limited human resources at hand, you’re doing more than one role in the business.
Some areas like marketing, seem easy to do, so you’ve probably taken this task taken on, only to discover there’s a lot more to it and it’s taking up too much of your precious time. Especially when you include social media – which is really a job in itself, when it’s taken seriously by businesses.
Social media is more than just something you can get around to using at some stage. If your business is not using it, it’s missing out on customers, advocates and supporters. In social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube, where you can readily become an influencer, the world’s your oyster so to speak and you can communicate with everyone!
Social media is a great tool for marketing and it’s also ideal for research, insofar as it’s a window into how your business is perceived.
The opportunity is there for you to ask questions and get feedback, which we know is precious, as a trending post, can make or break a brand. It’s safe to say, every company striving for success, wants to know whether their customers and followers are liking the products, services and the brand! A small caveat emptor here – we recommend using your good judgement, when assessing feedback, and comments. Not all will be true.
However for startups particularly, feedback, in any form is welcomed, as it can drive the business forward either in the same or a different direction. It does make you wonder though, with the power of social media, just who is in control of businesses – consumers or owners! 🙂
Let’s get into the strategy. This article will cover what you need to do, to have a strategic plan that aligns with your business objectives.
To get started, you’ll want to set goals for your social media strategy. Ask questions like:
- Which industry are you in? – B2B or B2C? Are you in a service-based industry?
- What are competitors doing? – Look for inspiration from leaders in your industry.
- What do you want to achieve with your social media? – Drive new customers or more sales? Increase brand awareness?
Create a strategic social media plan that includes:
- Investment – your time and money
- Content Strategy – what content you will create, where it will reside and how to share it
- Analysis – Measure activity
- Reward – Give your followers a reason to stay and share
You’re in business to make money and it needs startup funds and ongoing working capital, which should, as soon as possible come from the profit made on your sales. However, marketing is often overlooked and therefore under-resourced. Whether it’s your time or money, it costs your business, so you’ll want to be getting a healthy return on investment. The good news is it’s measurable so you can change tact as required to get a great result.
Once you’re familiar with the platforms that work best for your business, set aside time to regularly view their analytics to find out how often customers are using social media and other channels to refer friends or family to your business.
On your website set up tracking on your online products’ URLs, and also website pages and posts, so you can track all inbound activity. Measurement is everything. It empowers you to understand your website visitors and what brings them to your site. It also informs you, which type of content is of interest to them. Then all you need to do is more of it.
Content has never been so important. SEO practitioners dedicate a lot of resource to it to improve their clients DA (domain authority) and PA (page authority).
Regularly create, and publish unique content on your website, ideally in a blog. Then share it in social media so you’re actively engaging with your audience in a meaningful way. By sharing links to content you’re also giving your followers a reason to like, share and add a comment, so their followers and yours can engage further.
Also commit to content publishing on other reputable websites. This will help grow your reach i.e. their visitors can learn about you and business. This is called content marketing and it’s a strategy that’s now generating $$billions in advertising and SEO services revenue.
Small businesses can act on feedback from engagement faster than the big box companies or retailers. You can easily tune into what your customers are telling you, and make immediate changes to your services. processes etc. to suit them. Therefore engagement is hugely valuable to startups and SMEs. If a small business isn’t engaging with its customers in social media, chances are success will be harder to get. For example, 29% of people are more likely to visit a competing business if they’re ignored on social media.
There is a time to reward your loyal followers. Acknowledging their worth to you is smart. Set up a competition that rewards the winner/s with a discount, or give away or maybe a donation to a charity of their choosing. We all like to know we’re appreciated.
And now we will reward you for reading this article…here is a helpful step-by-step guide to building social media for small business, check out the in-depth guide by Valpak. It covers everything from creating the right mix of content to perfecting your engagement strategy. Get started with this guide and you’re on your way to improving your small business social media presence.