The beginning of a New Year is a busy time for most of us! It’s never too late to craft a new strategy for social media.
Regardless of how you’re feeling about this coming year, one reality is certain: social media is more integral than ever for marketing businesses today. Whether it’s from an advertising, awareness boosting, customer service or connection basis, social media remains the most cost-efficient and targeted form of marketing we small business owners have at our disposal.
With that said, there’s no better time than NOW to craft a social media strategy that will focus your business’ initiatives online, and get clear on ROI-based goals moving forward.
Good news is, you don’t need to pay thousands to an agency to get really clear on your social strategy. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort necessary, you can craft the plan yourself. Sound good? I’m excited for you to design your own killer social media strategy for 2019!
Now, enough talk. Let’s get started:
Overview of your business.
The Summary portion of your strategy goes right at the beginning of your plan, on its own independent page. The importance of this piece is that you lay out the entire skeleton of your business as a whole, and how social media comes into the mix. If you were to bring on additional team members, or a co-op student, this page would serve as a snapshot of your overall business. It is meant to be efficient and clearly communicated.
Consider answering each of these questions in their own paragraph on the Business Summary page.
Lock down your target audience.
This step of the strategy can often be one of the more time-consuming ones. It can also feel daunting to start this process, because you might not quite know where to start. My blog post on Locking Down Your Target Audience outlines the process I went through to successfully identify my own target. In brief, the steps are:
Once you get clear on who your target audience is, outline them in your social media strategy. Even within your target audience, there will be different categories under that umbrella. For example, my general target audience are local small businesses and entrepreneurs. My target gets even more niche when I break it down with a fine-toothed comb. My key audiences as defined in my own social media strategy are:
Get clear on your main goal.
This is the singular, overall reason for why you are choosing to be active on social media. There should not be multiple goals in this portion: only one. Some solid social media goals include, for example:
While you’re creating your overall goal, keep it as SMART as possible. What does a SMART goal look like?
Create your strategic plan.
Now it’s time to outline the ways you’re going to achieve your goal. You do this by taking the SMART criteria I outlined above, and breaking down the strategies of those goals for more actionable, practical ways to achieve your goal.
From there, dig even deeper in your tactics. These are administrative bullet points to your strategies, are highly specific, and leave no room for question of what needs to be done more forward.
Strategy #1: Send out consistent, quality content.
Create your platform strategy.
This is the second section of the strategy. In this portion, you will identify the social media platforms you will be actively posting on, and will explain why you have chosen them. This process prompts you to do significant research on each platform you’re considering to determine if they’re right for your industry, and whether it is the best fit for your business’ audience
Break down each platform and indicate the research you’ve found. It is also important to indicate the following:
State the tone used for this platform
Find the social media platforms you enjoy actively participating on, and work for you. The same goes for how often you are posting. These goals and numbers need to be obtainable and reasonable for you to achieve. Be honest with yourself, but challenge yourself as well for growth and development moving forward.
Create your content strategy.
Often creating consistent, quality content is the biggest headache and difficulty of social media marketing. This portion of the strategy will help you find inspiration and stay on track with the messaging of your brand, as well as the consistency you are looking to achieve as you post.
Research the content which your audience most cares about. Be prepared for this differing from what you think is important. Some questions to consider:
The answers to these questions will be how you provide the most value to your audience. Through helpful content, you give followers a reason to pay attention to what you’re posting, and you give them a reason to keep coming back for more.
2019 is your year!
A New Year is always an exciting time for planning and preparing in a business. It is also often the time that we create goals for how we will make this coming year the best one yet. Your social media marketing strategy is the best place to start.
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