In this blog post, 5 tips for small businesses to create an effective social media strategy.
How much time do you spend on social media each day?
According to Statista, the average person spends 145 minutes a day (nearly two and a half hours) using social media platforms.
Social media use has risen by almost an hour since 2012, as these websites and apps become a more significant part of our daily lives.
While we could argue that so much social media use is unhealthy, and there are more productive ways to spend our day, it is clear that social media is increasingly important for small businesses.
In this blog, five ways to create an effective social media strategy that raises your profile, engages with new customers, encourages referrals and retains your existing customers.
1 – Know your audience
Before tweeting or sharing that cringeworthy dance on TikTok, spend some time thinking about your audience.
We encourage our clients to create a simple customer avatar before starting any marketing activity.
This customer avatar is a one-page description of your ideal customer or client.
Get as specific as you can and list their attributes; everything from age, sex and location to their job, the car they drive and the publications they read.
The better you know your customer, the better you can create and share content tailored to their current challenges and needs. Without this clear picture of your audience, any social media content you share will likely be hit or miss.
2 – Choose your platforms
There is a lot of choices out there when it comes to the different social media platforms.
Even if you stick with the ‘mainstream’ platforms, you are likely to devote a considerable amount of time to creating and sharing content and managing your presence on each site.
Refer back to your customer avatar and consider the social media platforms your target audience is most likely to use. You can even ask your existing customers to list their top three favourite social media platforms and then focus your attention on these.
Watch out for any preconceptions you might have around who does or does not use different social media platforms; the reality might surprise you.
3 – Work smarter, not harder
Even if you select three or four social media platforms on which to focus your attention, the amount of work involved in building a decent presence on these is likely to be overwhelming.
We recommend a model where you create one piece of ‘pillar’ content each week, and from this, you generate multiple items of social media content tailored to each platform.
This content repurposing approach allows you to work smarter, not harder, with a reasonable small marginal time cost involved in creating content for each additional platform.
For example, you might record a 5-minute video each week or a 10-minute podcast interview, and from these pieces of pillar content extract short video or audio clips, notable quotes, or the entire transcript.
4 – Make it social
Social media is designed to be social, so don’t simply broadcast your messages on each platform. Instead, make an effort to start and participate in conversations.
For each platform, you need to find the right balance between sharing your content, curating content from others, and jumping into existing conversations (where you can add some value, of course).
Another aspect of effective social media use to consider is including a mix of business and personal content.
For example, depending on the platform (LinkedIn, for example, tends to respond poorly to personal posts), you might make 20-30% of your posts more personal in nature.
5 – Get your customers involved
User-generated content is any social media content that originates from your customers or users.
By making your customer the subject of your social media posts, you make it easier for prospective customers to identify with their (positive) experience.
There is more authenticity associated with user-generated content than with the content you create – although this can be authentic too!
When you share content from your customers, you build trust with your brand, and you are more likely to drive purchasing decisions.
World Social Media Day is a perfect time to think about how you can use social media to grow your small business.
The best way to start? Know who you’re trying to reach, which platforms are most popular in that demographic, and make it engaging for them by involving the customer as much as possible.
With these few simple steps in place, we hope your strategy will be effective!
What is your current plan for using social media to grow your business?