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How to Develop a Social Media Marketing Strategy for Your Small Business
There has never been a time when it’s this easy to connect with your customers.
We are talking about getting in front of more people than ever before: FOR FREE.
Today, every business knows that it’s necessary to have a social media presence and engage with their audience there. Social Media Stats show just how many people are active on social media and why you need to be there…
But few businesses know how to do it effectively and actually get results.
I’m Torie Mathis, long-time entrepreneur, marketing agency CEO, and lover of the amazing reach of social media, and I’m here to tell you that the key difference between those who succeed and those who fail is planning.
A social media plan for small business
Companies that use social media successfully succeed because they have a solid strategy.
They take the time to plan their strategy with a big picture view and then implement their plan in a systematic way.
And your business can benefit, as well.
Now it does take some time to develop this strategy, but it will more than pay off once you implement it. And the best part is you’ll start getting closer to your business goals and stop wasting time online.
5 reasons you need a small business social media strategy and what you need to do to get started now.
1. Maximize Marketing a Small Business on Social Media
Many people make the mistake of thinking their time on social media works like this: You pop in, check out your feed, post some stuff, interact with the commenters, and watch your engagement go through the roof.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t actually work this way.
If you don’t have a solid strategy and plan, you won’t get great results from your time on social media.
Sure, you may grow some followers here and there by simply being online interacting, but you won’t get closer to reaching your business goals.
All your social media activities should help you get closer to your goals, or it’s a waste of time.
Developing a strategy helps you to link activities with your goals.
For example, if you’re using social media to nurture leads by sending them to your lead magnet and getting them to join your list, you would post different content than you would if your goal were to sell directly.
Goals like raising brand awareness, building a base of loyal paying customers, or building your creditability for offers you pitch will require you to do different things on social media.
The first step is to identify your business goals and what part social media will play in them.
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This is the key foundation of your social media strategy.
🎬 How You Can Take Action
- Identify your current business goals.
- Identify what part your social media activity plays in achieving those goals.
2. Focus Your Energy and Save Time
When you develop your social media strategy, it streamlines your activities, so you know exactly what to do and where to focus so you can get results.
Without focus, you’re taking shots in the dark and hoping that people will see your posts and take the action you want them to take.
With a solid strategy in place, you’ll lead them to take that action.
For example, you post a video and discover that it gets five times as much engagement as your normal text content.
This means you may want to work video into your content mix, maybe even sharing a new video each week to your audience.
The time you spend producing videos will pay you back more than the text content you were posting.
You’ll start to get more for the time you put in and find new ways to get more bang for your buck.
Another important part of any social media strategy is your automation.
Automation means letting a software program or an app handle certain tasks and aspects of your online activities.
Automated tools include things like social listening, chatbots, content curation, engagement, and even growing your followers.
Implementing software and apps to do these tasks helps you further save time and focus while getting more done.
An example of an automation program you can use is scheduling software.
These are programs that post for you on a schedule you set, so you don’t have to do each post manually.
This is a game-changer, a time-saver, and it’s another task you don’t need to do yourself each time.
Remember that authenticity is a key to good social media marketing, so there are going to be some tasks you can’t automate.
You will still have to be there personally interacting with your audience.
Your strategy will give you a clear plan for separating what you can and can’t automate and using each for best results.
🎬 How You Can Take Action
- Create a schedule and content strategy so each day, you know what needs to be done when you sit down to log in.
- Look at some social media automation tools, such as MEET EDGAR OR ZOHO SOCIAL, and consider ones that might work well with your strategy.
3. When Using Social Media in Small Business Create Content That Converts
Ultimately, the content you post will determine your success with social media.
Your content needs to be both engaging and interesting.
It has to address the challenges and pain points of your audience so that they will take some action – like, share, comment, follow you, sign up, or even buy.
Your content should frame you as the helpful expert who has amazing value to offer.
Strategic planning gives you power over the content you post.
You can decide on the topics, what formats, and the content type and create a mix of it to schedule so that you’re offering your audience variety.
Once you start posting, you’ll begin to get feedback instantly to see which content is working best, and then you can refine your content for even better results.
Part of your social media strategy is also learning about your audience.
You’ll want to research them and create a profile that will include their interests and preferences and the type of content they engage with most.
This will be essential for your content planning.
As part of your research, you’ll analyze competitors and influencers to see what type of content performs best for them on each platform.
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You’ll choose some competitors and influencers to follow and gain insights from their content to help you create your own unique content.
You’ll find your content will have a better reach, and it will engage your audience and help you get closer to your business goals.
🎬 How You Can Take Action
- Identify what topics, formats, and content types you’ll share, and then create a posting calendar to get started. You’ll refine it once you start implementing it.
4. Motivate Yourself to Implement and Post Every Day
One of the best parts about having a solid content plan is you have something to get you going.
It’s super easy to get into a slump with social media where you’re not sure what to post each day, especially if you don’t see results and your motivation starts to lag.
When you have a good strategy, you’ll know exactly what to do each day.
Your to-do list of essential tasks will be ready to go.
This takes the guesswork out of interacting with your audience so you can just have a good time and enjoy it.
It won’t feel like work but more like hanging out with your people but with purpose.
When you’re enjoying what you’re doing on social media, it will translate to making better content and being more authentic, which your audience will enjoy as well.
The best way to create your daily task lists is to start big and work your way down smaller and smaller.
Start with the business goals you identified earlier and how social media fits into them.
With that and your content schedule, you’ll see the milestones you need to reach.
Each day is a step toward those milestones.
You can also break up tasks and prioritize them according to your goals.
For example, your first priority might be posting new content.
Next is replying to your comments and following back people who started following you.
With your leftover time, you might scroll your feed looking for some content ideas or other content to share or spending time researching your audience.
🎬 How You Can Take Action
1. Create a plan for each day of social media tasks and finish up each session with your list of things to do for the next session to get you started.
5. Provide the Tools to Measure Your Social Media Success
How do you know if you’re actually making progress toward your goals?
One of the advantages of a social media strategy is that you can set out your plan for monitoring the results of your time spent using objective data.
You do this by setting performance metrics that you’ll check.
For example, if your goal is to grow your following, you can set a goal of a specif amount of new followers per week.
This data will tell you if your strategy is working and, if it’s not, what you need to do in order to fix it.
Your strategy also includes documenting your efforts.
This will help you to refine your strategy and make it more effective.
You can learn from your successes and your mistakes and use this to create a better strategy in the future.
🎬 How You Can Take Action
- Take your business goal and decide which metrics would help you determine whether you’re reaching it or not. Choose the metrics and put them into a timeframe so you can measure results.
How do I create a social media strategy for my small business?
Now that you understand the importance of crafting a well-planned social media strategy and you’ve taken a few initial steps toward realizing it, you may be wondering what are the best strategies for social media marketing?Here are the next steps to get you started.
First, Create Your Target Audience Profile
Since every aspect of your social media strategy revolves around your customer, you should research, learn about them, and create a customer profile.
You’ll then use your profile to find out where they hang out on social media, how to connect to them, and what content they like so they’ll become your loyal fans.
Perform a Content Audit
You have probably already created some content that you can use, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel here.
You can also gain some useful insights through your previous content marketing efforts.
Go back and look over the content you’ve already created and find pieces you can repurpose and use again.
Create a Social Media Schedule
Create a schedule for your strategy so it will align with your goals.
Remember that this schedule isn’t set in stone.
You’ll learn through trial and error once you implement and start interacting with your audience, and you can make any adjustments to it as necessary.
But you need to have some ideas in place to get you started.
Refine and Perfect Your Social Strategy
As you start posting, watch your metrics and get feedback from your audience so you can maximize your efforts and perfect your strategy.
Remember that each market segment, each industry, and even each business within that industry has different things that work, so don’t think you can just copy what you see others doing. You need to try things out yourself.
You learned a number of reasons why you need a social media marketing strategy for your small business
The most important is that your success will come faster and easier with one.
You don’t want to waste time and effort, and with a good plan in place, you can make the best use of your resources.
Want to learn more about social media strategy? Check out my digital marketing courses here.
About Digital Marketing Expert Torie Mathis
Torie Mathis helps entrepreneurs, like you, use digital marketing to grow your business without wasting time, money, or your sanity. She is a best-selling author, Army veteran, speaker + trainer, and your digital marketing coach. You don't need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. In fact, you don't even need a lot of time. What you need is to be SMART.
Torie hosts SMART AF, a show for non-techy entrepreneurs looking to grow their business, with her husband Sean and is the creator of SMART AF Magazine. Learn from Torie at the Smart Arsenal and on her channel.
What do you think? Let's talk! Leave a comment.
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Hi! I'm Torie!
I help entrepreneurs (like you) use digital marketing to get more clients + make more money. And I make it easy!
You don’t need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. You don’t even need a lot of time.
What you need is to be SMART.
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