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6 Tips for Crushing it on Social Media as a Small Business


1. Identify your business’ social media goals


You wouldn’t build a home without a blueprint, yet many business owners jump onto a social media platform with no strategy in place.


Setting goals is the first step to achieving your dreams.


The questions you need to answer are:

What do you want your social media to do for you?

What do you hope to accomplish with social media?

How will you use social media to enrich your business?



Goal Setting S.M.A.R.T.

Social media can accomplish many small business goals, but here are a few of the most popular:

  1. Leads generation

  2. Brand awareness

  3. Customer service

  4. Community


Leads generation is the process of gaining the trust of your followers to the point where they’re eager to buy from you.


Your social media content must be compelling enough to draw them away from the social media platform, go to your website or landing page, then make a purchase from you. This is a simplified explanation of a detailed and delicate dance.


Brand awareness is the heartbeat of your business. You want your customers to recognize your logo, colors, fonts, jingle, voice, & everything associated with your brand.


Your audience cannot KNOW, LIKE, or TRUST you if they’ve never met you or haven't had exposure to you.


A lack of brand awareness is as effective as walking up to a stranger and asking them to marry you. You cannot show up on your audience’s feed and expect them to buy from you.


Customer service has become more and more popular through social media.


We’ve even seen some hilarious outcomes in this arena. Please tell me you remember Sharon? She was the woman who blamed Marie Callender’s when she burnt their pie to a crisp. If you haven’t heard of it, finish reading this, then go look it up! Marie Callender’s used their social media to resolve her “issue”, but they got a TON of free advertising in the process.


Airlines, phone companies, and many big-name brands use social media as an extension of their customer service outreach.


Community is another powerful use of social media. There are 2 slight variations to this concept.


The first is creating a specific culture within your social media platform. There should be a universal feel, tone, and atmosphere on your social media feed. Followers should know they’re on your page because of the sense of community you’ve created.


The second variation to community is establishing an actual group or membership within your social media. This can be a special place where people go to chat with like-minded consumers. Jeep is a great example of community. They have been successful in both areas of community building.


Jeep is clearly marketing to a consumer who enjoys the outdoors, hiking, camping, and off-roading. But even if you DON’T actually like those things, Jeep has managed to make you think you could BECOME that person, IF you own a Jeep. Side note, I don’t know if you know any Jeep owners, but those guys become DIEHARD Jeep fans.


2. Identify your social media target market


You have to know WHO you’re trying to reach on social media. Get as deep into the details as you can…ALL the demographics you can think of.


How old are they?

What are their hobbies?

Where do they work?

Do they have kids?

Are they married?

Where do they live?

What problems do they face in life?

How’s their health?


Target Audience

These demographics become details in your marketing to set you apart from your competitors.


HubSpot has a great free tool for building buyer personas. It will ask you a bunch of detailed questions and even encourage you to name the buyer. Then it lets you add an avatar and specific color pallet to the persona.


Now you can speak directly to your target audience through your social media. You know EXACTLY what they need and how to communicate to them. You know how to motivate them, excite them, and entertain them.


3. Create a strategy for your social media

This is the step I get most excited about. It gets my brain juices flowing!


One of the biggest decisions you’ll make in this step is deciding WHAT you’ll post about. Deciding what to post will be based on your content pillars.


Content pillars are like the load bearing walls in your new home. They hold up the rest of your social media strategy. You need 2-3 content pillars. If you sell handmade jewelry, one of your pillars will be jewelry. If you’re a small business coach, one pillar would be small business, another coaching. My pillars focus on copywriting, social media management, and branding.


These pillars keep me focused on my area of expertise. Social media can become a VERY loud place to be. It can become tempting to jump on trends with no application to your brand. Then you have that icky feeling like you’ve sold yourself out. Or you don’t see results.



Content Pillars

A social media audit is another step in your strategy phase. This is where you’ll dig through your current social media platforms to make sure they’re fine-tuned for success.


Your name and bio need to accurately and clearly represent your brand. Make sure you have keywords in your profile description, your bio, captions, and content.


Review your posts, reel, and stories to see how they’ve performed. Look for patterns in follower behavior with high and low performing content. This will help you determine what to keep posting and what to avoid. Pay attention to captions, hashtags, and location tags to see if those have an influence.


Your social media infrastructure refers to the systems you establish for the logistics of posting and engaging.


  • Are you going to create within each individual platform or are you using a tool like Canva?

  • Are you going to post manually or use a scheduler like Later?

  • When will you intentionally reach out to people in your following to engage with them?

  • How will you track and record insights?

  • Are you going to create, post and engage yourself or hire a social media manager to run social media for you?


Key performance indicators (KPI) are likes, comments, shares, & saves. BUT it’s important to know WHY you care about those metrics.


You don’t get paid per likes, comment, share, or save, so why are those metrics important to your social media?


This goes back to your social media goals. If you’re using social media to grow your followers and nurture brand awareness, likes and shares are important.


If you’re wanting to build your reputation and authority in your niche, saves are a great indicator of success.


For leads generation and website traffic, you want to look for clicks on your bio links and look at your website analytics to see how many people leave the social media platform to go to your offer.


4. Create a plan and schedule

This is where small business owners tend to burn out. You need to determine how often you can realistically create and post content while ALSO engaging with your audience.


Before posting, ask yourself:

  • What

  • Where

  • When

  • How


Plan and schedule

You may have heard: “You should post one reel, 3 stories, and 10 DM’s every day”. But it’s really important to get advice tailored to YOU.


Your business has very specific needs and you have very specific resources. You may not have the time or energy to create, post, and engage once a day. You have many other responsibilities involved in your small business.


Whatever you do, be CONSISTENT.



5. Monitor your social media analytics


Here’s where all your planning and strategizing gets tested! You’ve already established a method for tracking insights, now you have to figure out what they MEAN for your business.


Do your followers comment on posts with value? That means they appreciate the information you’re sharing with them.


Are hashtags attracting views outside your followers?


Know what's working and what’s not. While there are “market trends” worth listening to and experimenting with, the true test is what works with YOUR audience. Narrow your content down to your audience’s preference.


Analytics


6. Be patient and realistic


You can’t rush quality. Don’t expect to become an overnight, viral sensation. Build your following based on loyalty and trust. Then you can rest assured they’ll stick with you.


Remember, social media is about being SOCIAL. Get to know your audience by visiting their account, messaging them, interacting with their stories, and thanking them for value added.


There’s magic in your little corner of social media. You just have to nurture it.


Nurture



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