A lot of times, small business owners tumble into projects rather than plan them out. Just because you are operating small, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to sit down and plan out your move carefully. There’s a lot to be said about creating a structured, documented strategy that focuses on processes and goals. And social media marketing is not an exception.
In this blog post, we’ll show you how you can create a social media strategy plan for your small business using no-fuss tools and processes.
What do I need?
1. Social media calendar and scheduler
You can plan out and execute your strategies well if you have one central calendar where you can visualise all your posts side by side with your other content and campaigns. You can use an Excel spreadsheet for your plan or an actual desk calendar. Or you can use free online tools like our favourites ContentStudi.io, Airtable or Buffer.
2. Content curation tools
Finding content ideas can be as difficult as creating them. If you find gaps that you need to fill in your social media content calendar, you can seek the help of content curation tools like Feedly and CoSchedule.
3. Google Analytics
This tool will help you gather insights about your social media referral traffic, or traffic coming from social media channels to your website. Google Analytics will also help you find where your target audience is most active.
4. Internal analytics
Each social media network features built-in analytics that provides useful audience and campaign performance data.
Which social network should I be in?
While it’s tempting to be present in all social media platforms, there are only a few (or maybe one) that can be your ultimate social channel. Here’s how you can decide on a platform to focus on.
1.Find out where your audiences are most active
Don’t throw your content at social media platforms where your audience is inactive. Determine the channels that are popular with your audience and focus on them. You can use your Google Analytics social media referral data for this.
2. Research your competitors and where they are most active
Another way is to find out where most of your toughest competitors are active. Take note of the number of followers on each network and determine which network their audiences are most active.
3. Check your competitors content and find out what works for them
Look for posts that are popular among your competitors’ audience. Focus on the types of media they use, voice and tone, and types of messages.
What content will I share?
Just as how careful you plan your blogs, you should also strategise your social media content. Here’s how you can plan your content effectively:
1. Identify your topics of expertise
Focus on the topics your audience cares about. Find out the problem you want to address and connect with your audience by showing what your product or service can do.
2. Find out what people enjoy about your content
Why are they following you? It’s important to know why people love you and support your business so you can attract more followers over time. You can create a simple survey using Survey Monkey or ask your social media fans directly through a post.
3. Plan curated content
A good social media strategy also includes sharing of outside content (or content from other relevant sources). These curated posts should also be planned accordingly.
What content should I create?
For most of us, this is the most challenging part of the process. Your content will drive your audience to your social media pages and get them to interact with you. If you’re unsure of what kind of content to create, here are some helpful strategies.
1. Identify your content creation strengths
Before deciding on the kind of content to create, ask yourself first: Do I have access to apps and software for content creation? How well can I write blogs / design graphics / create videos? Do you have a team to work with you? The key is to find your strengths both in resources and talents when it comes to content creation.
2. Use your unique voice and tone
Your brand voice is the unique and distinct expressions you use when communicating with your customers. Tone is the manner in which you use your voice in different situations, depending on your topic. The idea is to utilise your unique voice and tone in your social media content. Read this blog to find out how to capture that distinct voice for your brand.
3. Create your campaigns
The campaigns you create can be focused on promotions for a certain product line, events, holidays, contests, etc. Your campaigns should also be planned in your content calendar along with other content.
What are your goals?
Don’t skip this step! What do you want to accomplish on social media? Do you want to grow your followers? Gain more traffic to your website? Increase sales? Get more email subscribers? By determining your goals, you will know your general strategy for each campaign.
1. Determine how social media can contribute to your business objectives
Outline your business objectives and find out how social media can help you achieve.
2. Create social media goals.
Plan your goals around your business objectives and create campaigns that would help you accomplish them. For instance, if you want to reach out to a certain segment of your target market, you can create ads targeted to them.
What are your social media scheduling and promotion plan?
Once you have all the above steps carefully thought out, time to get started with your plan. Remember to use your social media calendar or your favourite online tool.
1. Plan how often you share
Think about your commitment to social media marketing and plan how consistently you can post to grow your following. This guide by CoSchedule will give you tips on the best times to schedule your post.
2. Plan your promotional budget
Promoting your content on social media will help you reach more audiences and potential customers. You have to decide on a budget and plan it out accordingly. We recommend starting with an amount you can easily fit into your marketing budget and work your way up as you go.
Do you have other planning insights to share? Let us know in the comments!