Want to boost your online presence? Learn how to create a successful social media strategy for your small business.
In this day and age, to build a successful brand, you have to have a social media strategy. Social media offers almost unlimited possibilities for small businesses – especially those with limited budgets. If you’re unsure where to start, we’ve put together some tips, tricks, and tried and tested formulas to help you create a successful social media strategy.
What Is a Social Media Strategy and Why Do You Need One?
Your social media strategy should outline how you want to utilize social media to promote your small business and achieve your business goals. Your strategy is a roadmap to keep your socials on track, including your content, audience, and results. You should check in with your strategy regularly to ensure you’re getting closer to reaching your goals.
What Does a Good Social Media Strategy Look Like?
The easiest way to create a winning strategy is by following a formula that works. The SOSTAC model is a tried and tested formula that tells you exactly where to focus your attention.
- Situation analysis – Analyze your current situation and your competitors.
- Objectives – Set goals and define what you want to achieve and when.
- Strategy – Once you’ve defined objectives, consider how to reach them.
- Tactics – Decide on specific marketing approaches, e.g., if you’ll be investing in ads or relying only on organic traffic.
- Action – Specify who will be responsible for particular activities.
- Control – Analyze key performance indicators (KPIs) and overall strategy success.
Ready to start crafting your successful social media strategy? Here are our top 5 tips for slaying your socials.
1. Analyze Your Competitors
Your first step should be to look into your competitor brands and businesses. You’re not the only player on the market, so to stand out from your competitors, you must get familiar with their products, audience, and social media presence.
This can also help you avoid similar branding or duplicating your competitors’ content – like this mistake TicTac and Mentos made by posting similar graphics on their Instagram profiles in May 2022.
To identify and analyze your social media competitors thoroughly, here are some questions to consider:
- On which channels are they active?
- How often do they publish content?
- Do they run only organic communication or invest in ads, too?
- On which products do they focus?
- Do they actively communicate with their followers, e.g., in the comments section?
2. Set Specific Goals
Why do you need to set goals and objectives? Aside from keeping you and your team accountable, they can help you track your strategy’s success and progress and let you know if you’re heading in the right direction.
You should check your objectives regularly to ensure you’re ticking off tasks and meeting deadlines. If you’re not achieving results or meeting deadlines, it’s a clear sign you should update your strategy.
The easiest way to set and track your goals is using SMART goals. By using this method, you can ensure your goals are:
- Specific. Make your goals easy to define and understandable for everyone involved.
- Measurable. It has to be easy to measure whether or not the goal was achieved.
- Achievable. Make sure your goal is realistic at this moment in time.
- Relevant. Your goal has to be relevant to the central business goal.
- Time-bound. Your goal should also have a time frame set (both long-term and short-term goals should have an end date).
Following this formula will make planning more precise and setting goals easier.
3. Identify Your Audience and What Channels They Use
Knowing your audience is the most crucial element of your strategy. Before promoting your products or services, you must know who you’re selling them to! Learn everything your can about them – such as their gender, age, and location, as well as their challenges, interests, and daily routines.
Consequently, you’ll also need to understand their most-used social media channels. This will strongly impact your social media strategy – investing in platforms your audience isn’t active on doesn’t make sense.
For example, if you’re targeting young adults, they are most likely avid TikTok users. So if you’re considering using TikTok over Instagram as your primary communication channel, you may need to readjust your strategy.
As a freelancer or small business owner, you should use all available free channels. However, you probably won’t have the budget to run paid ads on every social platform. Invest in the channels your audience frequents and that you feel most confident with.
Use time-saving social media templates to keep your posts and branding consistent across channels.
4. Utilize Content Creation Tools
Visual content is critical to building a brand’s social media presence. After all, this attracts users to a profile, engages them, and makes them more likely to stay.
However, when working as a freelancer or for a small brand, you may not have the capacity or skills to spend hours in Photoshop or other advanced design tools. The good news is many online content creation tools can help you deliver professional graphic designs.
For example, Envato Elements enables you to quickly, easily, and affordably create unique social media content aligned with your branding. From Instagram posts and Stories to YouTube banners and Twitter headers, it offers everything you need on a day-to-day basis. You can take advantage of Envato Elements’ fantastic selection of graphics, photos, and templates to streamline your content creation process.
Another example of a useful content creation tool is an AI caption generator, as it helps you easily create catchy and engaging captions for your posts and stories.
5. Analyze Results & Performance
Whether you’re setting up your first social media profile or have been working in digital marketing for years, there’s always room for improvement.
You’ve already analyzed your social media competitors, but monitoring your overall results is critical to a successful social media strategy. Your SMART goals are one thing, but you must also assess the bigger picture of your strategy’s performance.
This is where external social media analytics apps will come in handy. Although social media channels usually offer built-in analytics, third-party tools store data for all your profiles under one roof and provide a unified presentation.
By using them, you’ll be able to learn:
- Which content performed the best
- What’s the best time to post new content
- Which content types does your audience engage with
- Your follower base growth?
- Platform growth.