Creating a social media strategy is very important for growing your business. Knowing how to get started can be overwhelming but this social media guide can help.
Social media has become a huge part of our lives. Social media now influences traditional media and even political policy! It’s in every part of our life, for good and bad.
3.5 billion people use social media, about 42% of the population and that number continues to grow. When I think of the people in my life I can honestly think of very few that don’t use social media, even my great aunt in her 80s is on Facebook.
Ignoring social media when it comes to your business is no longer an option if you want to have an effective marketing strategy. I’ve worked with people in the past in a few different industries that thought they could just have a website and ignore social media or just post occasionally with no thought.
Those people consistently performed worse than those that embraced social media and used it to help them get new fans, clients, or members.
Word of mouth is great but it will only get you so far. And traditional media is expensive and for some industries not nearly as effective as it used to be. Social media is where we go now for news and entertainment, it’s where you want your business as well if you want people to actually see it.
Social media can be very overwhelming at first. It’s always changing and there are so many platforms out there. How do you keep up? Do you need to be on every platform? This quick overview will help you answer those questions and grow your business using easy social media strategies.
Creating Your Social Media Strategy
1. Know Your Goals
It’s important that you know what you want to get out of social media. Is it brand awareness? Gain clients? Increase your blog traffic? Maybe you want to be an influencer and you want to monetize your social media accounts.
Your goals will help you decide how to use social media so it’s a very important first step. Make sure these are specific goals, don’t just say “I want to have a large social media following.”
For a blogger, a specific goal could be “I want to use social media to increase my blog traffic by 25% this year.” This goal is specific and it’s also measurable. You will know when you reach this kind of goal and you know what you are actually trying to do.
This would mean you want to make sure you target people on social media that would enjoy your blog. If your blog is about Instant Pot recipes you wouldn’t want your social media accounts to be attracting people who are only looking for sports news.
Think about your goals and write them down. Spend a lot of time on this step because it’s very important for your overall success.Creating a social media strategy with no goals is a great way to fail. You need to know what you want to get out of social media before you get started! Click To Tweet
2. Choose Your Platforms
You don’t have to be on every social media platform! While I do recommend signing up for any you think you could possibly decide to use to make sure you can get your username, you don’t need to actually use them all.
It can actually be very beneficial to pick one that you think will help you reach your goals the best and start with building it. Many find it easier to focus on one platform at a time, especially if you are new to social media and need to learn how to use the platforms.
Do some research on demographics for different platforms, look for people in similar industries and see where they are most active, and see where you will likely get the most out of your time spent.
Once you are feeling pretty good about one platform move on to another and start learning to use it. For most Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram are useful platforms so be sure to look into each of those.
3. Track Your Accounts
Most social media platforms offer analytics, use them! You want to see what is working and what isn’t. When you see something that works you can try to do more of that and ditch those things that didn’t work.
I recommend creating a spreadsheet on Google Drive or Airtable to track different stats that are important for your business. Social media can be very seasonal and being able to easily look back at trends through the year can be helpful for future planning.
If you have a website be sure to also use Google Analytics to see what traffic is actually coming into your site from social media sites. Sometimes we get a lot of engagement on the social media platform but it doesn’t translate to clicks. For some businesses, this isn’t important but for something like blogging it is extremely important.
4. Be Willing to Change
So often I see people get stuck using a social media strategy that used to work for them but isn’t anymore. Social media changes a lot and what works now may not work next year, maybe not even next month.
When tracking your social media accounts you will see somethings just totally fail. It happens to everyone, sometimes it’s the things we think are amazing and everyone will love.
Just because you thought it was a good idea doesn’t mean it was and you can’t be stubborn. You have to be willing to adjust to what your customers want. Sometimes this means small tweaks and sometimes it means total overhauls. As you get better at social media you will find that smaller tweaks are needed because you will learn who your audience is and what they want.
You still need to be yourself, occasionally it’s even the audience that needs to change but be aware of what’s working and what’s not and always consider if you need to change what you are doing.
5. Get Help
Social media can be time consuming and overwhelming. You likely have a lot of other business tasks on your plate and can’t put in the time you really need to.
Don’t be afraid to get help. There are people out there that can run your accounts if you don’t have time or don’t feel skilled enough. Or you can just hire someone to do some of the more time-consuming tasks.
If you aren’t able to hire someone yet you can also save time and get help by using schedulers. This allows you to batch your content and also means you are less likely to waste time on social media because you will need to get on less often.
There are many programs out there but these are what I use and suggest.
- Facebook- The native scheduler. It’s not the easiest to use but Facebook tends to prefer you use it and gives better engagement than if you use an outside program.
- Twitter- TweetDeck is a great option, especially if you have multiple accounts to manage. You can have your accounts in one place and schedule tweets to all of them in one place.
- Pinterest- With Pinterest, you need to be careful because if you don’t use one of their approved schedulers they may see your account as spam. Thankfully there is a great, approved scheduler called Tailwind. They have many tools that make scheduling faster like SmartLoop. They also have great analytics to help you track everything.
- Instagram- Tailwind also works for Instagram. Their hashtag tool is extremely useful and can help you find the right hashtags a lot faster than doing it on your own.
You may want to try a few different schedulers to find the right one for you. You can also hire someone for one platform and schedule the others yourself. Keep trying and adjusting until you find the right system for you.