A social media strategy is essential for any business that is looking to benefit from marketing via social media to their customers.
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and other networks allow you to share information about your business activities with people who have an interest in your goods or services. At an advanced stage, you can discover people who are interested in what you’re selling, evolve them into highly qualified leads, engage with them, and nurture them into customers.
Let’s take a look at getting your social media strategy underway.
Social Media Strategy: First Steps
Facebook is the world’s biggest social network. They’ve developed a highly evolved ad-management platform. Plus they own Instagram too, which makes this an ideal place for a social media strategy to begin.
Firstly, bookmark this page, and make sure you have:
- Access to your own Facebook profile
- Business Name
- Business Address
- Phone Number
- Logo (a 1200x1200px version will be best)
- Large Relevant Image or Photo or short Video (1640x922px)
You’re now ready to create a Facebook Page. It’s an easy process that Facebook will walk you through. They also provide a bunch of great ideas along the way.
If you already have a page, great! Either way, you could be stuck for what to do next, so here are a few ideas:
- For new page owners: Write a post thanking new followers and asks them to please invite their friends who might like your products or services. Try and find a suitable image. Then, invite some supportive friends.
- For existing page owners: Write a post thanking new followers. Ask them to please invite their friends who might like your products or services, too!
Next, try these actions:
- Find 10 or so pages related to your industry, but not in competition with your business. Like them as your page. In social media strategy terms, you’re seeking to look relevant. In simple terms, you want to look like one of the cool kids!
- Share at least one post from any of these or other pages every week. Look for the ones that are most relevant. This will give your followers some variety, and you may see some interaction from the source pages too.
- Draft and save 6 different posts describing your product or service. If you get stuck for things to say, try the Wheel of Copy by AdEspresso.
- Save drafts of 3 different posts about your brand. This might not be easy, but you should have an idea of what your brand stands for. If you’re stuck, contact us for help.
- Some service-focussed businesses will struggle to write 6 posts. Product-focused businesses can struggle with brand posts. Ultimately this is also a great chance to discover what your business is all about. So, get some support and coaching if you need it. It’s vital for your social media strategy.
To create your content, you’ll need at least a smartphone with a good camera and some messages that fit with your brand. If you’re finding things tricky, look for inspiration from brands you admire. There are also many content creation strategies processes available.
You can also try to leverage seasons, holidays, or “days of the year” for your social media strategy. Remember, you’re trying to promote an engagement with your content. So, think about what makes you “like” or “react” to content. What prompts you to comment? Would that be the same for customers?
Once you have a few ideas and images, go to your Draft posts, and schedule your Brand and Product posts to publish on your page in the following order.
Start on any day of the week:
- Product, Brand, Share*, Product
- Brand, Product, Share*, Product
- Share*, Product, Brand, Product
*You won’t be able to schedule shares, so make sure you make some time to find those shareable posts. Save the link or take a screenshot, so you can find it easily.
Hint: A simple Google Calendar will work for setting up reminders
At this point, you’re probably weeks ahead and have started your social media content calendar. This is a vital part of any social media strategy! Keeping a few weeks ahead of things allows time to react and refine your approach.
For example, just because you’ve scheduled a post doesn’t mean you can’t edit it. You might find a certain wording or imagery works for you, so try and do the same thing again.
Timing is also important, so your posts are available when your audience is active on their social networks. It’s recommended to post between 1-4 p.m weekdays, and 12-1pm on weekends to start with, but you will find your own niche. This has become less important with the introduction of algorithms, however, if you see a pattern emerging, use it to your advantage.
Just as Facebook apps are available, you can get similar ones to manage your page posts and interactions (like messages) on the go. It’s another way to be available for customers and potential new clients.
These come with access to some analytics, which can help to identify what your audience responds to, and ignores, on Facebook. Maybe this data could be used across your business – another social media strategy win!
Sticking with it
Building a Facebook page takes time and patience. It takes the willingness to fail, learn and finally, overcome. If you stick with it, you’ll start seeing your reach increase, thanks to people engaging with your posts. This can bring increased traffic to your website, or brick-and-mortar store. You may get more phone calls, too. That’s all growth!
The social media strategy basics you learn using Facebook will help you when using other networks. You will also need to either write a bunch of “viral” content (extremely difficult) or set part of your marketing budget aside for advertising. You might even consider the pros and cons of using a social media agency!
If you have questions about the content of this blog or would like help with your social media marketing strategy, please contact Aspiring Digital.