A Step-By-Step Guide To Start Social Media Marketing For Small Businesses

In this modern-day, digital era, if your business is not on social media, it doesn’t exist. So, having a social media strategy is paramount for brands to garner the required brand awareness, reach the right target audience and drive sales.

With more and more brands springing up day in and day out, it is absolutely essential to up your social media game to stay relevant in the rapidly changing digital medium. However, the most pertinent question that every marketer faces is: “what content to post for driving the month’s social calendar?” With a robust social media strategy in hand, you’ll not run out of ideas as to what to post and on top of that, you will have created a genuine, loyal and engaged community that waits for your content on their feed.

So, What Is A Social Media Strategy For Small Businesses?

A social media strategy is something that covers everything that you want your business to do and achieve on social media. It encompasses the whole nine yards right from detailing the content that you’ll post, the channels that you will use, and also outlines the metrics that you will measure to support your specific business needs.

A well-thought-out social media strategy can increase your brand awareness, grow your followers, and also increase your revenue. However, it must be kept in mind that it is not an overnight success, and rather it requires a resilient, consistent and strategic approach.

For example, say you’re an F&B brand that sells coffee and you want to cater to a younger, youthful and more vibrant audience. You can engage with your audience through platforms like Instagram or TikTok by putting out relevant content. For instance, you can create informative and educational recipe-based content, partner with youth influencers to showcase how cool your brand is and depend on product photography for direct sales and promotions. You can also create a content calendar so that all of the content that you have curated works seamlessly as one solid social media strategy.

How Do You Create A Social Media Strategy For Small Businesses?

Step 1: Define Your Social Media Strategy By Setting SMART Goals

In case this is your first time creating a social media strategy, it may seem a little overwhelming and intimidating. However, if you keep setting SMART goals as a priority, it would make sure that your process is more realistic and streamlined. A SMART goal is something Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound.

Even if you have no clue or idea as to where to begin your social media journey, apply this method to devise goals on metrics that are specific to your brand. For starters, you might want to know the month-on-month follower growth rate on your social handles, or you might want to track the reach and the rate of engagement. In case this is your first time creating a social strategy, you should have a handful of specific goals.

This way, you can keep track of the progress that you make over time, using the tracked metrics as the baseline to build upon in the future.


Step 2: Identify the Platforms That You Want To Establish Your Business’s Presence

Every social media platform has its own unique set of benefits and downsides. And depending on the audience you’re trying to reach, you can choose your social presence accordingly. It is wise to start your social media journey by choosing the platforms that make the most sense for your business. This doesn’t just save you time, but also makes you avoid feeling utterly overwhelmed by your content calendar.

In case you’re quite new to using social media, don’t be deterred. Here are the 5 top social media platforms that you can leverage the most out of for your business.

Instagram:

With stunning visuals and aesthetically pleasing images being the medium’s major content base, Instagram can be the perfect platform to showcase your products/services. Additionally, if you want to give your brand a youthful and vibrant look and feel, Instagram can be your go-to medium to not just create brand awareness for your business but also to grow a community that loves your brand.

Further, the recent updates of Instagram have a plethora of eCommerce features. By utilizing these features, you can actually turn your followers into your regular, loyal customers - all in just a couple of clicks.

In addition to that, Instagram is like the Mother-ship that houses tons of social media influencers. And partnering with an influencer or a creator that resonates with your brand to create sponsored posts can be an amazing gateway for widening your reach and finding new potential customers.


Facebook:

Facebook is one of the most widely used platforms across the world and is almost age-neutral. With over a billion daily active users and two billion monthly users, you have almost half the world active on this platform, and if targeted right, chances are you’re definitely going to find your audience here. In short, it is an all-purpose platform where you can share photos, and update company information, videos and other educational content to build brand awareness and trust.

In addition, much like Instagram, Facebook is also packed with a plethora of eCommerce features and is home to some of the most sophisticated targeted advertising tools. Furthermore, you can also leverage Facebook’s analytic tools to learn more about your audience and also to track your SMART goals.


Twitter:

Unlike Facebook or Instagram, Twitter is heavily driven by text, short messages and shareable media. This makes it a great platform for sharing company announcements, articles or blog posts. Additionally, Twitter can also be used as a platform for instant customer support.

Twitter is a great platform for connecting instantly and brands of today use it extensively to share a lot of company updates and resources.


YouTube:

What started off as a video-sharing platform is now a social media giant that’s being capitalized by millions of brands across the globe. It would be an understatement to say that this is the only platform that allows sharing longer-form videos with a maximum upload file size of 128 GB. This means you can share even 12 hours' worth of content.

Since this is heavily driven by video content, this makes it the perfect platform for sharing in-depth and educational content such as tips, tricks and hacks, interviews, and tutorials.

That being said, YouTube is a medium that takes up an enormous amount of time to create content, but then, when you see the results, you’d realize that it’s all worth the effort. You can see YouTube as a video search engine, so it must be kept in mind that the user more often than not searches for specific content, and once they discover yours to be worth their while, there are high chances that they will have a genuine intent to engage with your brand.

LinkedIn:

LinkedIn is an amazing platform to grow your network, build brand awareness and more importantly, it can attract top talents to join your business.

Almost in line with Twitter, a lot of brands capitalize on LinkedIn to share company updates, new product launches, press releases, media coverage, articles and blog posts.

With a whopping 722 million active users on the platform and a plethora of engagement-driving features, LinkedIn is worth taking a shot at to create a strategy for.


Step 3: Define Your Brand’s Tone

This part is tricky and if you manage to crack your brand tone, you’ve set the ball rolling in the social media spectrum. Your brand voice resonates directly with your company’s personality - in short, it is how you speak to your audience, and it might slightly vary from platform to platform.

For instance, you would put out your company updates and share the highlights of your organization as short messages on Twitter, whereas you can dabble with a little comedy and create funny content on Instagram reels.

And as far as your brand’s tone is concerned, you might not be able to crack it in your first attempt and that’s okay. In case you’re struggling to find your brand’s tone, consider your brand’s core values and missions. Is yours a brand that is serious and formal, or would a more relatable and fun tone of voice suit your brand best?

One pro tip here before you nail your brand’s tone of voice is to consider how you’d explain your business to your friends and refine it as you go.


Step 4: It’s Now Time To Create And Manage Your Social Handles

So, now that you’ve written down your SMART goals, you have chosen the channels that you’ll be posting your content on and you have defined your brand’s tone of voice, it’s finally time to start creating your content and post them.

Creating content for the first time can be a daunting task and it could become overwhelming for starters, but deter not. So, it is a good idea to practice content batching where you can create multiple content buckets in the form of photos, captions and videos in batches for the month. This way, you have enough content to post and also plan your next month’s social calendar accordingly.

And once you have a plan in action, you can use platforms like Hootsuite to schedule your content so you can schedule them all at once and save time. You can also infer the analytics concerning the different platforms and find the best time to post across different channels.


Step 5: Track and Measure Your Goals

Voila! You’ve nailed your content strategy for the first time. However, as a small business, you must be mindful that you’re up for fierce competition, and consistency is the key to success.

Track your SMART goals by garnering analytics and see how many people you’re reaching and how they’re interacting with the content that you put out. This will show you what’s working and what isn’t. Take what’s working and see how you can build more content along the same lines, and take what isn’t working and see how you can make it work or how you can create a different kind of content to appeal to your audience.


There you have it! A quick go-to guide to creating a killer strategy for your small business.

In case you’re stuck or want a professional touch to nailing your social media strategy, get in touch with our experts today!

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