As a small business owner, you may not be a classically trained marketer…But one thing you probably are is passionate and knowledgable about your products or services! Let’s Dive into what you can do as a small business owner to smash your social media goals…
Step One: Plan
Set goals and objectives. What is it that your business hopes to achieve by implementing a social media strategy? As an owner, are you hoping to grow brand awareness, increase sales, or promote a new product? Taking time to review what is important to you and your business specifically will help guide all of the actions you will take for the rest of the social media campaign and smash your social media goals.
To set measurable goals and keep your business’s social media strategy in the forefront, use S.M.A.R.T. goals as a guide. This image is a perfect visual to easily identify what a goal should consist of.
This acronym helps marketers avoid vague and unobtainable goal setting. For an example, if you are launching a new bagel line in your coffee shop, a S.M.A.R.T. goal may be “Increasing bagel sales by 10% over the next 6 weeks with the use of a digital coupon”. This measurable goal will help you as a business owner easily recognize if this is achieved or not and how to adjust your marketing efforts in the future to make it happen.
Step Two: Find Your Audience
Once a S.M.A.R.T. goal is identified, it is important to know who to market to and when. Whether you have an internal data audit or scour Google for information, choose who it is you are marketing to. There is plenty of research on the web to align your target audience with data to understand when they are online and which platforms they are frequenting.
Step Three: Build Relationships & Find Your Voice
People want to connect with brands, especially local small businesses. Creating lasting connections in your community and beyond will help you soar. Engaging on social media is so much more than posting on your business page once per day/week. It is about commenting, liking, engaging with customers constantly to nurture that bond. One international company that does this seamlessly is Wendy’s. Wendy’s tweets and retweets with their customers to create buzz around their products. Once in a while they even poke fun at competitor, McDonald’s to remind customers that their offerings are fresh, never frozen. As a small business, you can also interact online with customers and remind them of where you are and what you offer. Like the old adage, “Out of sight, out of mind”.
As Newberry states in her blog, “When people engage with your organic content or ads, it’s a great idea to engage back. This helps to build trust and form a loyal following. As fans share and like your content, you rise in the social algorithms and gain new, free, exposure.” Understanding the algorithms can place a small business at an advantage over other local competitors.
Some ways to engage to smash your social media goals are:
- Creating a blog
- Blogging can be a great way to give customers a “behind the scenes” view of your business. This create a brand personna and helps customers engage, share, and understand your business in a new way. This also gives small business owners the opportunity to become industry leader as subject matter experts.
- Joining or interacting in social media groups
- Interacting in social media groups creates community. These specialized groups are a great place to start sharing posts or organically speaking with people who you know are interested in your product, or products like yours. Use them as sounding boards, they are invaluable for social listening.
- Be Trendy
- Make sure your posts and interactions are exciting! There is nothing worse than reading a boring advertisement. One quick way to gain followers and interactions is posting trendy content. An example of this was the Bernie Sanders meme that went rampant in the wake of the 2021 inauguration. Many local businesses photoshopped Bernie outside their establishments and raked in the likes, shares, and comments. Below is an example of a posting.
…And Lastly, BE YOU!
Taking these best practices will only get you so far in social media marketing. Your social media goals can only be SMASHED if you work hard to SMASH them! Use your networks, creatively, and talent to connect organically with users.
Category: Blogging, Social Media Marketing 101, Social Media Marketing 201