A social media marketing starter pack for small businesses
by Danielle Kelly
Social media is a great, free resource that all businesses should be taking advantage of, but how do you start to build a social media strategy? This overwhelming question unfortunately tends to hinder many small businesses in taking advantage of all that having a social media account can do for them.
So how do you start? I’ve broken it down into 5 quick and easy steps to get your business’s social media marketing strategy up and running.
1. Know Your Audience.
This first step is crucial, but the good news is that you probably already have the answer. Your audience is your customer or potential customer, so picture the person most likely to buy your product or service. What do they look like? Consider their age, gender, interests, where they live, where they work, etc. These are called demographics. Once you have that nailed down, now consider their social media habits. What apps or platforms do they frequent? What types of content do they like most/engage with?
This information will help you decide what platform to use and what kind of content to create. For example, if you own a local coffee shop known for its specialty drinks, your audience might be people aged 16-25 who love fancy coffee and are living within a 25-mile radius of your shop. This audience might love documenting their fancy food finds with pictures on Instagram. Based on this information, you will want to have an Instagram account for your coffee shop that showcases how beautiful and “Instagrammable” your specialty drinks are.
2. Create/Evaluate Your Social Media Accounts.
Once you have your audience defined, it is time to create your account. Already have a social media account? Great! Let’s take a look and make sure it is set up properly. I’m not talking about your personal accounts; you will need an account set up specifically for your business. Why? Well, many social media platforms have special account setups specifically made for businesses. These accounts will let your monitor analytics, create paid ads, and include information like your website, contact information, and business hours. Here’s a brief walkthrough of the various platforms.
Facebook for Business
This is what the backend of a Facebook Business Page looks like. From here, you can create posts as your business, edit your page, and monitor engagement.
Facebook Business Suite
One of the newest features of Facebook for Business is the Business Suite. This site comes with all business accounts and offers special features, like scheduling posts, setting automated responses, analyzing insights, and running ads. Additionally, if you have an Instagram account linked to your Facebook page, you can also schedule Instagram posts through Business Suite.
When you have an Instagram Business or Creator account, you have access to insights like the ones seen here. These track your account’s overall performance, as well as the performance of individual posts.
Similar to Facebook and Instagram, when you have a LinkedIn company page you gain access to a wealth of data. These insights include metrics like engagement, impressions, number of followers, and visitors to your page. Unfortunately, LinkedIn has no way to schedule posts in advance.
For the other platforms (Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and TikTok) there is no differentiation between account types. Just set up a new account with your business name.
If you have already set up accounts for your business, take some time to evaluate the success of these accounts. How often are you posting? How many followers do you have? Is one platform more successful or engaging than the others? Keep this information in mind. We will circle back to it during step 5.
3. Build a Content Schedule.
Now that you have an account, it’s time to get posting! But where do you begin? Recall your audience. Make sure to include the types of content you think they’d enjoy but don’t stop there. Get a calendar and start to plan ahead. Do you have any sales coming up? Any holidays? How about new products or services? Get creative! Maybe experiment with video or start weekly trivia to get your audience engaged. The most important thing is consistency, so try to plan your posts a week or a month in advance. Here are some amazing free resources to help you get started…
Although the scheduling tool on this site is not free, the best thing about the free side of this resource is its user-friendly graphic design function. No more struggling with photoshop, just hop on to Canva and start designing on-brand images to liven up your social media feed! If you do decide to go the paid route, you gain access to scheduling tools like a Content Calendar, as well as a vault of stock images to use in your content creation.
Take advantage of free resources like the ones mentioned above! This will help you make sure you always have something to post, and it will free you up from being tied to your social media every day.
4. Get the word out.
So your account is set up and you have scheduled content consistently going up, now we need to make sure people are seeing it. It’s time to get the word out! Every good social media strategy has to make an effort to gain attention in the beginning. If you have a brick-and-mortar store, like our coffee shop example, hang up signs around your shop with your social media handles to encourage customers to follow you. If you have an email list, send out a newsletter announcing your new social media accounts. You should also add widgets linking to the accounts on the bottom of your emails going forward. If you have a website, make sure your accounts are linked somewhere on your website. You can also add your handles to your email signature and business cards.
Another great way of getting the word out is to cross-post. If you have your own personal social media account, share your new business account with all your friends.
5. Know Your Limits.
Start small. It is better to tackle one platform at a time and become a master of it, before moving on to another. Going back to step 2, did you already have multiple social media accounts for your business? I’m not telling you to delete the others, but just pick one or two based on your initial evaluation to invest in. No one knows your business the way you do, but you have to be honest with yourself. If you’re a one-man-show, do what you can until you can hire someone to help. The last thing you want to do is let your business suffer because you’re spending all your time and energy promoting it.
There you have it! Your 5 easy steps to kickstart your social media strategy. Give it a go and let me know in the comments how it went. If you’re looking to take the next steps in growing your accounts, check out this blog.
Category: Social Media Marketing 201