If you're looking to build a well-rounded, "all-in" Social Media Strategy for your small business, there are 6 main categories of items you'll want to consider.
1. Your Social Media Mindset: We've blogged before about the perspective most small business owners should have on their follower count. Your mindset in how you approach social media will likely make or break how long you'll stick with it. If you're expecting millions of followers, you'll likely be disappointed and abandon your accounts. Your approach should be about process and connection - have a plan, help people, share, and be human.
If this is your first venture into social media, it's important to remember you'll get better by doing. The more you do (with purpose), the better you'll get, and the more impactful your social sites will become to an audience. If you're in small business, regardless of how motivated you are to be active on social media today, there will come a time when you'll struggle to stay active (we've learned this first hand) - be prepared for these times.
Question to Answer: How do my Social Sites help people?
2. Social Media Site Optimization - This is where the visuals located on the sites are enhanced, or created images for your social media pages are optimized to fit the appropriate sizing required by each social media site. Business Information is updated in all of the appropriate places and the language that you use for your copy serves to accomplish your goals. Work to ensure all applicable business information is prominently displayed across the site, and that the company website is easily accessible from the social media home page.
Question to Answer: Do my Social Sites communicate my brand and contact information well?
3. Content Curation & Posting - As a Small Business, you may have finite resources for creating content, however, anyone can share existing quality content. You can source relevant articles and content from across the web and post them to your social media sites to help maintain your visibility to your audience, as well as spur online discussion and provide value to your followers. All of this should be done on a schedule that promotes optimal visibility. Use scheduling tools like Hootsuite to schedule out your posts and better manage your time.
Question to Answer: What content is available that could be helpful to others if shared on my Social Sites?
4. Content Creation & Posting - Unique content posted to Social Sites often has a greater reach and higher levels of engagement than curated content, making this step a crucial one in a robust Social Media Strategy. Visuals are important here, as are the words/copy you use, so remember to double check your content before you share it and ensure its presentation is in keeping with your brand.
Question to Answer: What do I have that I can share online that could be helpful and/or make a positive impact on others?
5. Social Listening & Engagement - Social Media is about online conversation and interaction. We set up what we call personality and opportunity criteria for identifying the right types of conversation partners, as well as engagement criteria to tell us when it is appropriate for us to interact with an individual or company online. Once those are in place, we're searching online for conversation opportunities or engaging with existing contacts.
For those looking to get more advanced, there are software tools available to locate social media discussion and potential customers and partners that meet your criteria.
Question to Answer: Who should I engage in an online conversation with, and when should I engage them?
6. Social Media Reporting/Analytics Measurement - If its not important enough to measure, then its not important. Reporting provides data and insight as you work to understand how Social Media impacts the company's overall Sales and Marketing Strategy. We recommend you use a tripwire when embarking on the execution of Social Media Strategy - something to the effect of: "if we don't see X results by X date, then we're going to re-evaluate our Social Media Strategy and possibly make changes." Social Media Reporting will help you during these times, and most major Social Networks have reporting built in.
Question to Answer: What do I need to measure in order to know that my Social Media presence is growing or that I am getting a return on my time investment?
Keep these 6 categories in mind when designing your Social Media Strategy, and take your Sales and Marketing to the next level.