One billion people actively use Facebook each month. Twitter boasts 500 million users. Seventy-two hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. Sixty-two percent of adults worldwide now use social media.
Because your customers or clients are using social media daily, communicating and marketing on social platforms is no longer a luxury. It’s a necessity.
6 Steps to Create A Small Business Social Media Strategy
- The first step to developing a strategy is to define your goals. Consider your overall business and marketing goals. Which of these translates to social media marketing? Create both quantitative and qualitative goals. For example, you may want to “generate six leads per month from social media,” “increase website traffic from Facebook 30%,” or “increase brand awareness.”
- The second step is to choose the platforms that fit. It’s obvious thatFacebook and Twitter are rocking social media, but if your product or service is visual, you may consider Pinterest or Instagram.
- The third step is to plan both content categories and content types. If you are a PR Consultant, for example, your content categories might include PR tips for small businesses, stories of how big companies handle PR crises in the media, client successes, and “behind the scenes” sneak peeks.
Your content types might include links (to your own blog and outside websites, too), infographics, videos of yourself explaining a hot PR topic, or podcasts interviewing happy clients. Your content types may vary by social media platform, as some are more conducive to certain types of content than others.
- The fourth step is to determine the posting frequency for each social media platform. Do research for the platforms of interest. Create a plan for how often you will post.
- The fifth step is to create an editorial calendar. I suggest creating your own in Microsoft Excel (or Numbers for Mac). You can setup the spreadsheet in a way that makes sense for you. Plan a month in advance, and map out when and what you will post each day on which platforms. This will hold you accountable and help you spend less time on a daily basis, as the work is mapped out for you in advance.
- The sixth step is to determine who will execute the strategy daily. Do you have time to manage your company’s social media presence in a way that will achieve the goals set? If not, you may need to hire a social media manager.
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Photo credit: plffft on Flickr via Creative Commons