As a small business CEO, you have a lot on your plate. You know social media marketing is important, but will it work for you? Have you tried running ads or posting to social media with little results?
Social media marketing can certainly feel like a daunting task. It’s fast paced, and factors beyond your control can impact the success of your campaign. Social media can certainly seem nerve-wracking, but it doesn’t have to be! You already know that planning and creativity is the key to building up a small business. The same principles apply to building up your social media channels. Below is a quick guide to get you up and running with a successful social media campaign.
Use SMART goals
You’ve probably already learned about, or even used, SMART goals to help grow your business. If you’ve never heard of SMART goals, these are company goals that are:
Having SMART goals not only helps you to narrow down your company’s overall objectives, these also can act as a foundation for a great content strategy. Apply SMART goals to social media the same way you would apply them to profit goals. Define exactly what you are looking to get out of a social media campaign (specific). Then figure out what and how your or your team will track success (measurable). What does success look like? Is it a certain number of sales? Is it a certain level of customer engagement? What’s important to you and your business that would help you reach your specific goal?
Once these components have been outlined, take a look at all of the goals in front of you. Organize them into the goals that are quickly achievable, and those that could be longer term. Take a step back at this point in the process and decide if what’s in front of you is realistic. Can your team, with the resources available, attain your goals? Lastly, set the time frame you would like to accomplish your goals, and make sure “your goal matters to you, and that it also aligns with other relevant goals. We all need support and assistance in achieving our goals, but it’s important to retain control over them. So, make sure that your plans drive everyone forward” (MindTools)
Go in with a small business CEO game plan
You wouldn’t go into a client meeting without a plan. Social media is no different. Taking the time to sit down, plan out a month’s worth of content content, and then mapping that content back to company goals can only help your business. Given the company goals you’ve just outlined above, what information do you need to share with your audience to get them to take action? Is there a sale they should know about? Did you update your services? Did you win an award that proves you are a trusted business? Take it from social media marketing expert Gary Vaynerchuk: “if you’re a small business, you want to focus on spending your time, money, and effort on creating great content (and a lot of it).”
“A social media editorial calendar is an critical tool. Traditionally used by print publishers to control content creation and publication, an editorial calendar helps to efficiently plan content development produced by a wide range of content creators and disseminated across diverse platforms.” (Cohen)
You don’t have to spend big to see big results
If you’re just getting into social media, and perhaps are a little hesitant to jump in because you’ve heard it takes “big bucks to get big results”, don’t worry. You can still run a successful, maybe even viral, social media campaign with little to no ad dollars behind your content. Start small with promoted posts or Tweets! Take whatever your budget allows and your best pieces of content (those that have performed well in the last few months), then push the content to your target audiences (using targeting features in the ad platform) to not only drive traffic to your business or website, but to also test out the types of content your customers react to.
Test out a broad target audience for your first few promoted posts or ads. Then refer back to the analytics to see what worked, what didn’t, which groups of people responded best, and then develop out future content that replicates what was done in your successful campaign. Get creative! Think outside of the box! What would catch your eye? Have fun with it and show off your business!
Rinse and repeat
Which leads us to our last tip: “rinse and repeat.” Once you’ve gotten into a good rythm of creating content and publishing, the last step each month is to review your performance, check it against your SMART goals, and then adjust your content (blogs, pictures, graphics, videos, blogs, etc.) to try and move the needle closer to success.
Great social media marketing takes time, and it takes a lot refinement. More often than not, it will take a few months to start seeing some great results. Don’t get discouraged! Stick with it! In time, you’ll start seeing those leads, or sales, or just positive reactions from your customers.
Want more information? Check out this great article, “5 Small Business Tips for Social Media Success” from Social Media Examiner for awesome tips on social media for small businesses.
Cohen, H. (2012, August 06). How to Develop a Social Media Editorial Calendar. Retrieved July 20, 2017, from http://heidicohen.com/how-to-develop-a-social-media-editorial-calendar/
SMART Goals: How to Make Your Goals Achievable. (n.d.). Retrieved July 20, 2017, from https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/smart-goals.htm
Vaynerchuk, G. (2016, December 31). 2017 Key to Small Business Social Media Marketing. Retrieved July 20, 2017, from https://www.garyvaynerchuk.com/2017-key-small-business-social-media-marketing/
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