Last post, we discussed the importance of a digital strategy for your small business. Now, we’re going to focus exclusively on a social media strategy. This doesn’t have to be long and detailed, but it’s smart to determine what you want to get out of social media instead of jumping in without direction.
In your other business activities, you set specific and achievable goals, allowing measurable outcomes to determine whether you’re on track. Social media should be no different. Let’s look at some possible goals for your strategy.
Early-Stage Social Media Metrics
- Audience Growth Rate: how quickly and broadly your audience grows
- Post Reach: how many impressions your social media posts achieved (i.e. how many people saw it)
- Brand Awareness: how many people are talking about your brand, either to you or to others by mentioning you online
- Applause Rate: whether your audience approves of your posts, through likes, comments, follows, shares, or retweets
- Conversion Rate: how many people—after clicking on your post or link—take action such as purchasing your product or signing up to your newsletter
Once you’re comfortable measuring the above metrics, you might revise your social media strategy to incorporate deeper metrics such as Click-Through Rates, Bounce Rates, CPC (Cost Per Click) and CPI (Cost Per Impression).
You’ve got your goals. Now you’ll need to understand your competition and how they are influencing your marketplace. Research the social accounts of your competition to read the social mood of your industry. Is it positive, neutral or negative? Launching into social media without reading the room first could betray blind spots in your social media strategy and cause a reaction you weren’t expecting.
Take the time to work out what’s working and not working for your competition. You can base this off their following, the engagement levels of their posts (including which posts do better or worse than others), how their audience seems to react to direct marketing, and so on.
Social Media Audit
If you’ve already got a social media presence, it might be time for an evaluation. There are some great social media audit templates online—such as this one by Hootsuite. Read their article for more information and download the template for a closer analysis.
Influencers in Your Industry
A social media influencer is someone with established credibility in an industry, who has a large audience and the ability to influence that audience with their recommendations.
If your industry has influencers, add contacting them to your strategy. You might ask to write a guest post for their blog, or “take over” their Facebook group, or offer them your product/service in exchange for a review or shout-out online.
It’s advisable to have an established social media presence before you reach out to influencers. They will research you thoroughly before aligning themselves with your brand, so make sure your online presence makes a strong first impression.
Social Media Schedule
A schedule will help you and your team post the right content at the right time. Research shows the best times to post depending on the platform—and they differ from one platform to the next. This might not seem important but posting at times when more of your followers are online will increase visibility and engagement (consequently helping you achieve the goals we went through earlier). Check out this 2019 guide to scheduling posts for maximum engagement.
If you’d like assistance with your social media strategy, book in a one-on-one mentoring appointment with Digital Solutions Mentoring, and our experts will be happy to help!