6 Steps to a Small Business Social Media Strategy

Stephanie Winans
Stephanie Winans Social Media Specialist, Stephanie Winans Digital

Posted on December 1st 2012

6 Steps to a Small Business Social Media Strategy

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

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  • 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.

 

Did I miss anything? Don't be shy! Leave a comment below or send me a tweet @StephanieWinans.

 

Photo credit: plffft on Flickr via Creative Commons

 

Stephanie Winans

Stephanie Winans

Social Media Specialist, Stephanie Winans Digital

Stephanie Winans specializes in social media strategy and content curation for small businesses, startups, radio, and artists. With a background in Marketing and Psychology and hands-on social media management experience, her focus is on helping brands use digital platforms to achieve business and marketing goals.

Follow her on Twitter @StephanieWinans or check out her blog at stephaniewinans.com.

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Comments

Stephen Tamlin
Posted on December 3rd 2012 at 10:33AM

Great advice Stephanie!

I think Small Businesses are under utalising the benifits of social media! In fact My job is to try to help SME's with exactly that, and I couldnt agree with you more! Most people miss out the first step and just put a lot of effort in with no clear goals.

Stephanie Winans
Posted on December 3rd 2012 at 12:06PM

Stephen,

I agree with you, and unfortunately, a lot of effort with no clear goals equals little ROI... Much like anything else in business!

Thanks for your comment,

Stephanie Winans

Stephen Tamlin
Posted on December 3rd 2012 at 12:13PM

You're right. If you did ran a business wihtout a pricing strategy, costing strategy etc you would't see results. It's the same with Social Media, and online marketing as a whole, it needs objectives, then you work out how to reach them.

CXthecloud
Posted on December 3rd 2012 at 3:36PM

Nice post, Stephanie! You have a lot of good tips in here!

Stephanie Winans
Posted on December 4th 2012 at 9:41AM

Thanks! Glad you thought it hit the mark.

Stephanie

Samuel Chan
Posted on December 4th 2012 at 10:19PM

Hi Stephanie, 

Nice step-by-step post here and definitive a big help for anybody who wish to get started with social media right away.

For me personally, I find most beginners struggle with step 2. Not because of the lack of the information (quite the contrary - any decent research would return a user with tonnes of information regarding the suitability of each platform) but because we don't quite know what it is we really want to achieve - yet.

Thank you again for the practical guide here.

Samuel Chan
www.OfficialSamuel.com

Stephanie Winans
Posted on December 4th 2012 at 10:23PM

Samuel,

Your experience brings up a great point. Often businesses start out with the obvious and add niche platforms once they feel comfortable with the others. And sometimes we're surprised by which platforms deliver results!

Thanks for your comment,
Stephanie

Anne Collet
Posted on March 23rd 2013 at 11:15AM

Hello Stephanie,

Very interesting post. the last step is often overlooked. Small business owners have plans and dreams, they may get into the swing of doing things for a while but then it's not sustained and they lose momemtum before they've seen the benefits.

I'd be interested to see what you think is a good example of social media editorial calendar. Are there any templates ready to use out there?

Thank you!