Ahhhh!!! Social Media marketing Strategy!!!! What?! How?! Why?!
Ok, so you want to build a social media marketing strategy for your small business? When you first attempt get to grips with social media it can feel like a whole universe of information is trying to knock your door down with offers of help. You don’t know where to start, what to prioritise or what is applicable to you or not. In short it’s a minefield and you haven’t brought your metal detector. I’m not going to add to that feeling of being overwhelmed, in this post I will simply outline some simple tips and a structure which will allow you to get started.
Know your target consumer
This is simple and doesn’t require too much thought as, if you’re already running a business then I assume you know what your main demographic is. Your target audience is directly related to which social media platform(s) you choose to use – for example: Say you own a little artisan bakery/cake shop, you may also cater for special occasions, weddings, birthdays etc. I would always suggest having a Facebook business page and Instagram but you may also want to look into Pinterest. Pinterest is perfect for uploading fantastic pictures of cakes, bread, food in general plus, a great way of offering something to your audience for nothing would be to post one of your recipes. Perhaps your business is a skate shop, music or video game store, if so then your target market would be a lot younger so you might want to add in the to mix Snapchat or Music.ly.
Engaging your audience
Gaining that all important brand loyalty is key and is probably the most sought after benefit of a good social media marketing strategy. Bombarding your audience with ‘salesy’ promo offers, one after the other is going to very quickly turn people off, and more than likely they will unfollow your page. Engagement is your objective, try and put yourself in your audience’s shoes. What do they want to see? Try to have some fun, develop posts that have less to do with your business but that are of interest to your core demographic. Also, try to give something back, I don’t just mean discounts on your latest, glow in the dark speedos that you’ve recently got in stock but perhaps a lifestyle hack or try promoting something that’s happening in your community/town like a fair or concert. I mentioned the cake shop owner posting a recipe on Pinterest – if this was made a regular thing then his/her audience would almost certainly visit your board again and again, therefore building that special brand loyalty I talked about.
Now, I’m not going to go into too much detail here as, in the previous paragraph, I alluded to what types of posts you should be looking to create, mainly focusing on your consumer’s interests. I did say that you shouldn’t be too ‘salesy’ and I stand by that, but there is a place for it as long as it’s not too frequent. What you should be looking to do is stand out, this means don’t be too frightened to use eye catching colour, fonts that are easily read and great images. Here are a few best practice tips for any social media marketing strategy:
- Posts involving a question get 162% more interactions than those without.
- A powerful image brings scrollers to a halt.
- Include a “call to Action’ eg. ‘Send a message’ or ‘Call now’. (Also, try to respond to all interactions – it builds those consumer relationships).
- Share your best content on your other social media platforms.
- Photo posts get 39% more interaction.
- Make a video – 34% of B2C marketers say pre-produced video will be critical to content marketing success in 2017.
- Keep it snappy, people these days have short attention spans. Posts with under 250 characters perform 60% better.
- Remember the ‘fun’ element. Use emoticons.
- If you are posting to promote your business directly offer your consumer something like a coupon or discount.
- Use humour – this will increase the chances of reposting/sharing.
- Last but certainly not least is, keep your posts consistent. Develop your own style, filter or even a template to use in every content design. In time your audience will recognise it while scrolling through their feed.
Regular and consistent posting
Developing a social media strategy requires consistency. The best way to do this is to work out a weekly schedule. For example;
Monday – a motivational quote to help get your audience focused ahead of their week.
Tuesday – that recipe for a great Belgian waffle followed by…
Wednesday – a weekly offer of five donuts for a pound.
…and so on.
I have set up a simple spread sheet using Excel so I can refer to it whenever I need reminding of what I need to be posting that day. If you are ultra organised you can even pre-develop your content and set up a calendar, showing in advance what specific posts you will be sharing and on what platform for the coming month. The timings of these posts can differ – gradually you can analyse when you’re getting the most engagement and use this information to gain an insight in to when are the best hours of the day to post. Remember, that if you follow your schedule then your audience will begin to know when and what to expect.
Content creation tools for your social media marketing strategy
Frightening as it may seem, designing your own content if you don’t consider yourself the creative type, isn’t too difficult. There are a plethora of design tools that you can use, either online or on your smart phone. I have listed a few that will make developing great graphics, stunning text and eye catching images that bit easier.
- Canva – online developing tool.
- Phonto – App for smart phones.
- Beam – for charts and graphs.
- Pixlr – photoshop without the huge cost.
- Powerpoint – simple but can be effective.
- A Beautiful Mess – App for smart phones.
- iMovie – simple way to develop video content (Apple).
For further advice on content creation tools have a read of this excellent article on Social Media Today’s website.
Feel free to follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or visit my contact page for a free consultation – thank you for reading and happy creating!!!