From concept ideation to planning to strategizing to implementation to monitoring to post-campaign evaluation and everything else in between – it is no secret that success on social media requires a lot of dedication, time, and energy.
Social media can be time-consuming. It is often why large corporations hire separate social media agencies to handle these tasks.
But if you’re a small business, you likely don’t have the resources to hire outside social media help. This can make taking on social media feel like a daunting task.
Yet, social media is a highly valuable (and accessible!) tool for businesses of any size. What’s more, you don’t need a large team or unlimited resources to be successful. When done right, social media can be highly rewarding for your business.
So, if you don’t know where to start, here are four tips that can help you start to strategically use social media for your small business:
#1: Develop a social media content calendar
Before diving headfirst into developing your strategy, it is important to establish a system for organizing, planning, scheduling, and publishing content. This is where a social media content calendar comes in.
A social media content calendar is a detailed plan for all upcoming posts across all your social media platforms. It is where you can plan and organize content, copy, hashtags, and more all in one place.
Social media content calendars allow you to keep organized by letting you look ahead and plan content. It eliminates any last-minute scrambles.
Some additional benefits of creating a social media content calendar include:
- Saving you time.
- Helping you maintain a consistent posting schedule.
- Keeping your content relevant.
When you’re a small business, you likely have a small team that wears many hats. Therefore, the time you have to dedicate to social media may be limited. But, if you want to grow on social media, you need to be consistent and keep your content relevant.
Planning ahead can help keep you efficient, save you time, and keep you consistent. This means you can ensure you have plenty of content mapped out throughout the year. Which means you can account for any relevant holidays, events, or seasons.
So, say you own a coffee shop. With a social content calendar, you can start planning and prepping content for the start of pumpkin spice season as early as the beginning of May.
There are many ways you can create a content calendar, such as using a template or creating your own using Google Sheets. For more ways you can create a content calendar, check out this post.
#2: Find your brand voice
When creating your social media strategy, think about how you want your business
to be perceived by your customers. Do you want your customers to view you as an
authoritative source or more like a friend?
Your brand voice will give your business a distinct and recognizable personality. To do this, you must ensure a unified approach to tone, style, and messaging across all your marketing mediums.
To properly develop your brand voice, here are three things to keep in mind:
- Identify and understand your audience. If your audience is female Gen Z, you don’t want to speak to them like you would a 50-year-old male Gen X. This is where creating a buyer persona could come in handy.
- Find where your audience is and tailor your tone to the social platform. Content on Instagram can have a much more informal tone compared to LinkedIn.
- Monitor, review, and adapt. Constantly look to evolve and tailor your language/tone. For clothing boutiques, this means switching your use of #ootd to #fitcheck on your captions.
The key takeaway here is: Your audience is the most important aspect to consider when defining your brand voice.
#3: Optimize your social media profiles
Usually, when people want to learn more about a company or find places to eat they simply conduct a Google search. However, people are increasingly using social media to search and find answers to their questions.
So, it is becoming increasingly important for businesses to optimize their social media profiles. This is called social SEO.
Social SEO is the practice of adding things like alt-txt to your photos. Additionally, social SEO includes tagging your location (if relevant) and including keywords/phrases in your usernames, bios, and captions to help people searching on social platforms find your content.
However, to understand social SEO, it’s important to have a basic understanding of traditional SEO. This article breaks down the top three considerations for creating an SEO strategy.
Here’s an example of a small business based in San Diego, CA, called Local Roots Kombucha, implementing aspects of social SEO on their Instagram profile:
As we can see from the picture, Local Roots has included:
- The product they sell (kombucha) in their username and bio
- Three keywords/phrases “Organic, Delicious, No Sugar Added,” in their bio
- Their location
By including these elements, Local Roots has made it easier for people local to San Diego County in search of hard kombucha to find their brand.
To learn more about social SEO strategies, check out this post.
#4: Use micro-influencers
It is no secret that influencer marketing has become increasingly popular over the years. This is because influencer marketing gives businesses the ability to reach customers outside their typical demographics.
Influencers can be grouped into a few different categories:
- Mega-influencers: individuals with followings of over one million
- Micro-influencers: individuals with smaller followings of anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000.
Comparatively, there is no denying that mega-influencers can offer your brand an immense amount of reach and exposure. However, we should not ignore the ‘little guys.’
Yes, micro-influencers have smaller followings. But they are just as, if not more, influential than their peers with larger followings.
Because people tend to view micro-influencer content as more authentic and credible. Micro-influencers have the advantage of being viewed more like peers rather than ‘celebrities’ with unobtainable lifestyles.
Not sold on micro-influencers? Here are some additional benefits to using them in your social marketing strategy:
- Cost-effective. Micro-influencer rates tend to be lower due to their smaller followings. Therefore, this makes them affordable to work with. Which is incredibly beneficial for small businesses with small marketing budgets.
- Multi-market reach. Since micro-influencers have lower rates, you can often work multiple partnerships into your strategy. Thus, allowing you to expand your reach to consumers outside your usual demographic.
- Niche markets. Micro-influencers often produce more specialized, niche content around specific topics. This can be an incredible advantage for small businesses, as partnering with micro-influencers can give you access to a subset of consumers that you know would be interested in your products.
Note: It is important to seek out micro-influencers that align with your business and your targeted audience. Local restaurant, coffee shop, bar? Seek out local influencers that specialize in foodie content.
There is no hard and fast rule that will guarantee success on social media. While, yes, tackling social media can feel overwhelming, it really doesn’t have to be that way. You don’t need a large team to be successful. With adequate planning and organization, a well-defined brand, proper optimization, and strategic use of social media influencers you’ll be on the right track.
For more information on how to ensure social media success, check out this post.
Header image credit: Search Engine Journal
Category: SEO, Social Media Marketing 101