Social media can be a fun tool to connect with your friends and family, but how can you use it for your business? Businesses benefit from a positive social media presence by creating brand awareness, showing products and how they work, growing an audience and most importantly: engaging and connecting with (potential) customers!
Creating a social media presence can be a fun way to express your brand, but how do you do it?
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Why should I have a social media strategy?
If you’ve ever made New Year's resolutions, you’ll understand the importance of having a strategy in place in order to accomplish your goals. From a simple to-do list, to in-depth planning, different goals require different approaches. What they do have in common, is that a strong strategy can help you tackle the smaller tasks that eventually will help you achieve your goal! Let's take the example of your local "Bo's Bookstore.”
Formulate your social media marketing goals
In order to create a strategy, Bo will need to formulate her social media goals. We recommend using the SMART goal principle for this:
- Specific - what exactly do you want to accomplish and how will you do this?
- Measurable - how will you measure if the goal is accomplished?
- Achievable - do you have the necessary resources available to obtain your goal?
- Relevant - how does this goal fit into the bigger picture?
- Time-bound - what is the time frame for accomplishing the goal?
Formulating a SMART goal can be challenging, so break it up in steps and start simple. For example:
- Goal version 1: Gain more followers.
This goal is a good starting point, but how does this fit into the bigger picture? Bo wants to create brand awareness for her newly opened bookstore, so let’s include that:
- Goal version 2: Create brand awareness by gaining more followers.
It still isn’t specific, measurable or time-bound. In order to make it time-bound, you could say:
- Goal version 3: Create brand awareness by gaining more followers by the end of the year.
We need to make this goal measurable, or else you’ll never achieve it.
- Goal version 4: Create brand awareness by gaining 200 followers by the end of the year.
Almost there, but let’s make it a little bit more specific:
- Goal version 5: Create brand awareness by gaining 200 followers on Instagram by the end of the year.
Think of what it is you want to accomplish with your efforts and why. Then specify that using the SMART formula.
Step-by-step plan to create a social media strategy
Although social media fame can be achieved overnight, a long-lasting positive social media presence often requires more planning than that. Let’s create a social media strategy using the SMART framework.
Step 1: Be SPECIFIC
Bo’s Bookstore wants to gain followers on Instagram. Before setting that goal, Bo should have already researched whether her target group is using this platform, or it will be very hard for her to reach her goal. A quick look at the competition shows that her potential customers are actively engaging with Instagram content.
Step 2: Make it MEASURABLE
Bo wants to gain 200 new followers by the end of the year. In order to achieve this goal, she needs to push out content consistently, but also take the time to review content performance to see where she can improve.
Every Monday morning, Bo reviews the performance of her content the week before. She learns:
- What performed well - and creates similar content for the upcoming week, keeping in mind:
- The type of content (image, video, text, story, etc.)
- Publishing date, day, time
- Call to action (CTA)
- What could be improved - by reviewing what performed less well and trying to figure out why, using the questions above.
Then she updates her strategy as needed.
Get Ready to ACHIEVE
Consistency is key in the world of social media marketing. In order to create a regular posting schedule, a content calendar can be a great help! Bo creates her content calendar weekly but depending on your business, a monthly calendar can work too. Each Monday after Bo reviewed the content of the week before, she will:
- Brainstorm new content ideas. Look at holidays, anniversaries, launches and campaigns for inspiration. Make sure that what you select is relevant to your business and your audience.
- Write catchy captions. Start with a catchy phrase or a question, followed by the message and ending with a CTA.
- Find relevant visuals. Select images or videos to go with the written content or create them. Invest in authentic photography and keep in mind that video content is becoming increasingly popular on various platforms. Let’s talk photos!
- Research relevant hashtags and tags. Include hashtags and tag relevant partners, clients or customers in each post.
- Schedule new content. There are great tools out there that can help plan and schedule social media content.
Keep it RELEVANT
Bo needs to create content that is not only relevant to her bookstore, but also to her target audience. In order to do so, she monitors their behavior:
- At what times are they most active on social media? Bo checks Meta Business Suite’s optimal times for scheduling posts and stories, to learn when her audience is most active.
- What type of content do they like? Checking her previous posts, Bo learns that her audience most actively engages with stories, reels and posts. Glancing at the competition tells her that reels seem to be hot for her target group.
- How do they interact with content online? Bo wants her followers to come visit her bookstore, or shop her books online. She learns that her audience gets most excited about giveaways and special offers, as well as blog posts.
With social media, it is important to note that your audience might not be looking for your business, products or services. They may just be scrolling through their news feed unaware of your business's existence. You need to not only make them aware of your existence, but also gain their interest in order for them to consider your business when they need what you have. In other words, consider the marketing funnel.
No TIME Like the Present
Work towards your goals, and then keep going. Milestones are great, but things don’t stop once you’re there. Keep posting and sharing if you want your platform to remain healthy and keep your followers engaged.
We hope you’ve learned from this brief summary of Bo’s Bookstore’s social media approach, and we’d be honored to help you create yours.