If you ask any entrepreneur, their biggest challenge is managing their social media. Either they struggle with generating content or with being consistent. Yet, they all agree that social media is integral to their business. It’s what drives awareness and trust in the business. So, in this blogging season, I’m going to create a social media marketing strategy for entrepreneurs from scratch. From selecting the right platforms to the tools you need to create content, I will cover it all in the next few posts. Follow along with me or skip ahead to the topic you like using the links below (as they become available).
- Best social media platforms for small businesses
- Social media posting plan
- Top tips to boost your business on Facebook
- Ideas for managing your business on LinkedIn
- Tools to simplify your social media posts
- All you need to know about Facebook boost posts
- How to ace your Instagram promotions strategy
What can you achieve with social media marketing?
Or, to put it differently, why do you need it? Think of social media as your product brochure. People come to your business social media profile to check out what you are doing and how you’re doing it. The engagement with the posts and the follower count gives confidence to the new person that this brand is favoured by other people. The content on the profile helps the new person to assess your quality, pricing and reputation. And since they can see all this without engaging with you, your social media profiles play a key role in being the face of your brand to the world. A business social media profile should always be aiming to build relationships with new people, as that is what converts them to customers.
Having said that, some entrepreneurs may be expecting too much from social media too soon. Building a sales funnel through social media requires time. When comparing yourself to bigger brands who make sales through their social media profiles, think of the money they have invested in print ads, TV ads and events. All these channels work together to drive their sales. In the same way, an entrepreneur should create additional sales channels to aid social media.
What can you NOT achieve with social media marketing?
Theoretically, there is nothing that you cannot achieve through social media marketing. You could gain 1000 followers in one day or have a post go viral. Or you could suddenly get a lot of orders through social media. But practically speaking, these are rare occurrences for the average business. Social media works together with your other marketing activities to keep growing your business. And if it is working alone and is the only channel, then be prepared to invest a LOT of time and possibly money into making it a profitable channel.
Getting started with a social media marketing strategy
Any marketing strategy needs these essential components to be successful:
- The objective of marketing – What is it that you want to achieve through this marketing activity? When we talk about social media, the first and foremost objective is brand awareness. You want your social media content to be seen by new people, who will get to know your brand and trust you enough to buy from you. Social media acts as a gentle but consistent nudge towards purchase. To achieve this, your content has to be compelling enough for your following to grow organically. Your followers may not immediately buy from you, but giving them a reason to follow you will help you to get sales.
- Your audience – Always think about who your audience is and what they like. In the context of social media, you have to understand which segment of your audience is on each platform. Each platform has a dominant audience age group, so what you post will depend on who these people are. You want to create content that these people relate to, in the format that they expect on the platform.
- Your resources – Your strategy will fail if you cannot execute it! Entrepreneurs need to think about what is possible with their other responsibilities. When creating your social media marketing strategy, keep in mind what is achievable. Decide upon the frequency of posts, type of posts, tools you will use and what you will measure. In the next few posts, I’ll help you plan this out.
In summary, a social media profile for a business is almost a requirement, especially if it wants to grow. Starting by deciding what the business is going to achieve through social media is a step in the right direction to creating a social media marketing strategy. I’ll be back in the next blog with tips to identify the best platform for small businesses.