17 Apr

There has never been a more important season for businesses to be relevant in Social Media. Everyone is on some platform. Major brands are working to increase influence to consumers through apps, Ad buys, and clever account managers. And the digital swing is in full effect. So here are four steps to develop a clear and successful social media strategy!

Know What You're Posting & Why

First, let's talk content fundamentals. There are two kinds of content that every business makes. The first is value or equity based content. This is the kind of content you create when you're trying to get a prospective consumer to see the value of your PSM (Product, Service, Mission) and then do something about it: sign up, buy, add to the cart, set an appointment, call the office, etc. The second kind of content is clarity or awareness based. You make this content to inform a broader audience about who you are, what you do, or how you do the work you accomplish. While this doesn't drive ROI, it does increase the understanding (and hopefully interest and engagement) of your audience over a longer period of time.

You need both, in balance. And the need for more of one than the other changes with business needs. For reference, most big name brands only create awareness minded content. They don't have to sell it, they just have to remind you to buy it. Most small business do the opposite, because they are more focused on their bottom line costs, so they try to illicit quick responses and faster buys. Mission-minded agencies and non-profits are almost exclusively awareness minded... and they shouldn't be.

What kind of posts are you making?

Everyone Is NOT The Target

If you sell chewing gum, and your marketing is geared at attracting everyone, you likely miss almost everyone. Great marketing is the right ammunition, in the right weapon, aiming at the right target, from an appropriate distance. Great marketing knows the target!

So if you are doing this on your own, I would suggest creating an avatar of your ideal clients. Yes, make several. Who are they? What do they do? Where do they live? Work? Play? Worship? Shop? Drink? Eat out? And once you know as much as you can about them, answer the most important question in business or in marketing: What needs of THEIRS do YOU meet? Write that question down. Staple to every message board you ever see. Train your staff to think it. Nothing is more important than seeing their needs and discerning which ones you meet.

And if you meet any need they have, tell them. Tell them over and over again that you are the fix to whatever ailment it is that you think they have!

Consistency ≠ Rigidity

What you post this month might not be what you should be posting next month. And posting twice a week might work in April, but you're going to need to be posting daily by July. How will know when to change styles or increase/decrease posting? First, study your posts and their efficacy, then curate a library of what's working and what's not. Then study what other people are doing, and look for how well their style is working for them. And lastly, learn and adapt to the best combinations for your business, brand, and budget! 

It's a simple formula, but it is rarely followed. Far too often, we post what we like, and never spend time thinking about the consumer/client needs. And that's just Business 101.

Be Growth-Minded

If you ever want to pick up a book on developing a growth mindset, it's Carol Dweck's book Mindset. It will give you every concept you need to change your thinking about they way you're thinking. Brilliant book. But I'm not actually talking about your mental state right now.

When I say grow, I mean that you should be intentional about trying to grow your Social Media accounts. If you're on Facebook, you need to be growing that audience with content that they engage. If you're on Instagram, take good photos, write clever copy, and use hashtags. On LinkedIn and Twitter, work within those platform limitations to make the most engaging content that you can.

And remember that whether your audience is 5 people, 5,000, or millions, they are YOUR audience. So enlist them to help you by sharing your posts, linking your profile and website to their content, and giving your business visible recommendations and testimonials.

And if you have some money lying around for that Marketing budget, spend $100 on an Ad Buy on one of those platforms, and see how far it goes for you! It the cheapest advertising you can buy right now, that reaches the largest audience in the world.

Now, Do It!

An entire industry has been built around making content for Social Media. The Social Media management industry is huge, but largely, it's ineffective because they don't get paid to do a target analysis for your industry and location. And most of the content they make is based on whatever they have access to.

But YOU can do this! You can follow these 4 steps to Social Media Strategy and create your own footprint. It does take time, and you'll need to do the homework in order to learn the right material, but it is worthwhile!

And if you've come to this blog confident that you just cannot do it yourself, well, Spark Business Strategies can certainly lighten that load. We will learn your business, research your target, and monitor the effectiveness of our own work. So if you need us, call us! We are right here to take the baton or just point you in the right direction.

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