Social media strategy for smaller businesses

Building a Strong Social Media Strategy

Over on the AZ Big Media website, Aditya Narula, from Kabbage, has a post from late 2018 that provides some great insights into how a company can establish an effective social media strategy. He breaks those insights into digestible, and easily-understood “steps” that anyone can use. However, a few of them could use a bit more info, especially for businesses in Arizona that are on the smaller side and that don't have massive time and money to spend on building their social media brand. So, here we go.

Set Clear Goals

Goals are great, and extremely important to help determine the overall success of your efforts. However, some goals can be a bit hard to track down, at least not without some effort. Sales goals are generally the ones most people think about, but tracking that can be difficult unless you have a business that allows you to promote specific sales or use promo codes geared towards a specific social media platform. Service-based businesses, and in particular, single owner service businesses, may find it more difficult tracking effectiveness based on sales. Their time is more valuable as it’s time spent actually making money.

So, here are some other ideas:

  • As suggested, use an increase in followers or page “likes”
  • Track new business calls or emails -- new “leads”
  • Watch the “engagement” of your posts: re-tweets, comments, likes, etc.
  • Watch the “reach” of your posts: how many people actually see what you put out there
  • If you have a website, track visitors before and after you start your strategy
  • If you have a website, see where your visitors are coming from. Most analytics apps break down traffic based on the type of traffic it is: organic, by social network, etc.

There are, of course, many others. However, the above can get you started thinking about things outside of simply using sales as a way to set goals and track the effectiveness of your efforts.

Join the Right Platforms

This can’t be stressed enough. Not everyone HAS to be on Instagram. Not everyone HAS to be on Facebook. Each social media platform has its own audience, and being on the wrong platform for your business can lead to wasted time and effort.

For example, a contractor may not need a Facebook page, but a listing on Yelp, HomeAdvisor or MyGuy.com is invaluable. (Yes, review sites ARE social media outlets.) A heavy equipment seller may want to use Instagram to show off the vehicles they have to sell, and to highlight sales they make, tagging the business they’re selling to in the process.

Knowing the platform that reaches the widest audience for your particular business is crucial. Everyone thinks Facebook is the place to be, but for you, it may not be.

Be Authentic

This, too, cannot be stressed enough. Many times, a prospective customer’s first impression of you is from your social media posts. You want to project to them the way you do business -- your beliefs and mission and what makes you the best choice for them. The last thing you want to do is project one set of beliefs, however, and deliver another. This is especially true for smaller companies as, many times, you’re selling yourself as much as you’re selling your business.

Use Third-Party Tools

Using a tool that allows you to post across multiple social media platforms at once can be a blessing and a curse: a blessing because you don’t have to log in to each platform individually to create your posts, but a curse for the exact same reason.

That’s because if you get in the habit of posting to, say, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at the same time, you can get in the habit of creating posts that fit one platform, but not necessarily another. Twitter has a relatively small footprint in terms of character count whereas Facebook allows you to post much more.

What you don’t want to do is craft your Twitter post and then post that same thing to your other outlets. Thankfully, social media tools like Buffer allow you to craft a post for each platform separately, but still offers the convenience of scheduling them and posting them at the same time. So using third-party tools is great, as long as you use them wisely. In addition, most have lower-end plans that fit well within even the meagerest of marketing budgets.

Those are just some additional tips. Take a few minutes and read over the article on AZ Big Business, and follow some of the links in Aditya’s article. They’re very informative and packed with great advice.

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