Social media is ever-changing. It feels like you blink and the “kids” are into some new platform, chatting about some new trend. As much as we’d love to tell you if you follow these 5 steps that you would magically have it all figured out - sorry, that ain’t happening.
What we can tell you, however, is that it isn’t as complicated as you keep making it in your head. This isn’t plastic surgery. No one is in mortal danger if you “do something wrong”. Social Media is one giant science experiment. You get to test, hypothesize, and analyze results. Once that’s all done you just start over. The learning game is never really over. You just keep going and adapting.
Generally, you fall into one of the following categories. You either have no idea where to start with a social media strategy and are searching for the magic potion to make it worth your time, or you have put in the time, but aren’t seeing the results you so desperately want. We're here to tell you that either way there are options to get you going and on the right path. Sure, you have been told a million times you need to be on social media, but do you really know why?
The top 4 reasons why you NEED a social media marketing strategy:
This is where your people spend the majority of their time! Social media can NOT be ignored! “According to this latest research, people in the U.S. check their Facebook, Twitter, and other social media accounts a staggering 17 times a day, meaning at least once every waking hour, if not more. But Americans aren’t even the most dependent on these networks when compared to denizens of other countries — in fact, smartphone users in Thailand, Argentina, Malaysia, Qatar, Mexico, and South Africa checked these networking apps at least 40 times a day. Seriously, how popular can you be?” (source) If your audience is there, you need to be!
See 150% or more return on investment! Social media is just as important as every other part of your business. Forbes reported a whopping 95% return on investment, with nearly 30% of those polled seeing more than 150%! (source) What if you had a strategy that kept you in that 150% or more category all of the time?
Expose yourself to thousands of potential new leads every month. This has to be built into your business plan. Even if you went to a new networking event every single day, would it be possible to introduce yourself to thousands, if not tens of thousands of new people every month? Social media is one of the few ways to get your message spread far and wide, without you having to do all the leg work.
Convert leads to sales even faster than before! Social media allows your audience of potential customers to get to know you. Over time that builds likability and eventually trust. Trust is ultimately what turns a blind lead into a hot lead, ready to buy. If you aren’t spending your time online you are leaving money on the table . . . period.
How to Get Started
By now you see the potential, but you are stuck about what to do next. Let’s get this strategy in action with some simple next steps and strategies to keep you on target.
Do you know your customers?
Before you can even begin to put wheels in action is important to know where to put your time in and find the right people. First you need to identify your ideal client or customer by finding your muse. You can use our handy worksheet to get started.
Once you have identified what they look like, you need to figure out where they are spending their time online. Not every social media channel works for every audience. Not sure of the answer? Don’t be afraid to set up a survey or even just ask your current clients or customers where they like to hang out.
Set Goals and Start Planning
Before you even write down post ideas or throw out campaign headlines, we suggest you start with some intentional goal setting. Give yourself some real numbers to measure your success against. Maybe it is actual sales referred from a social network, or maybe you start even smaller and just commit to a certain number of posts in a month. Regardless of your goals you have to write them down and start holding yourself accountable.
Some of our favorite tools are these goal setting worksheets we developed inside the Biz Chic Co-Op. They not only allow you to break things down by month, but see the BIG picture set up by quarter. Here you can find more info about these worksheets or get instant access to them here.
After you have your goals set up, we suggest a solid brainstorm. Dump all your ideas out on paper. Start developing a content calendar over the next month. And as the weeks roll by, look at them individually and in much more detail. Need help knowing where to start? You can utilize our social media checklist on both a daily and monthly basis to keep up with maintenance. These tools are all ready for you inside our Biz Chic membership. Learn more or jump in now!
From the time I (Abagail) was little, I felt like everything had to be all or nothing. Like playing sports, or dieting. But business isn’t like that! This isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon, and you have to have steam to keep going. So don’t be afraid to start small. This isn’t about overwhelming changes. This is about taking it one baby step at a time. Do one thing consistently. Eventually do that well and then try to add in more. There is no sense in doing a million things if they aren’t adding up.
Delegate as Necessary
As much as any business owner I have ever met wants to stay in control of their company, especially in the public eye, sometimes that smarter (wo)man knows when it is time to ask for help. It is 100% ok to start going down the path of strategic online marketing and then realize you need to delegate to a member of your team to be successful or even hire outside consultants for strategy.
Get Your Wheels Turning
Once you have a strategy in place, it is important to have a system set up to support it! This needs to be a daily ritual that feels natural for you and your business. We personally utilize plenty of handy tools to make it even easier on us. We have rounded up many of our favorites for you, right over here.
Track Your Results
Just as important as goal setting, you have to see what is and isn’t working. Check out the built in analytics tools for the various social mediums you utilize. Keep tabs on your referrals via Google Analytics. Write down your observations and how your goals did or didn’t pan out.
Give it Time - Tweak & Repeat
Know it won’t happen overnight. This is not Noah’s ark. People don’t just show up. There is a lot of work involved to get everything just right, and sometimes the missing piece is time itself. Allow yourself to tweak what isn’t working and repeat the steps. Set new goals. Write down new ideas. And make big bold plans for the future. You can only get out of it, what you invest in it yourself!
It Doesn’t Have to be Complicated
As much as I love a well laid plan, sometimes you just need a kick in the booty to get started. So here are 4 things you can start doing RIGHT NOW to up your social media game. Are you ready?
1. Show Up Consistently
If you literally did nothing else, this is the part that matters most. You have to show up consistently. No, I don’t mean once a week at 2 p.m. you need to post something. I mean you have to be there and be there often. Gone are the days of posting once and then forgetting you have a social media presence for a week or two. You have to be there every day. And the more often you are there the more opportunity you have to get in front of more people, more often.
2. Get in the Trenches
You have to be relatable to people. If your accounts look like they are run by robots, then you likely aren’t gaining followers at the speed you could or should. You have to get in the trenches with people. Find your common ground. Give people a glimpse into your life that shows that you are a tad more human and a tad less perfect.
Bad: Post photo of bruised ankle. Caption - “I twisted my ankle when I fell off the porch.”
Ok, good try. You definitely are human (aren’t we all klutzes?) But, here’s the other secret, people still like seeing pretty things.
Best: Post photo of gorgeous breakfast spread. Caption - “I’d love to tell you this is the magical breakfast I had this morning. But it wasn’t. Instead the dogs woke me up at 4 a.m. My husband hogged all the blankets. And I ended up sleeping on the couch.”
Now, all of a sudden you have turned that beautiful feed of yours (trust me, people like pretty pictures) into something I understand and relate too. Bonus points if you can tie it back into your business.
3. Create a Sense of Community
Everyone wants to feel like they belong to something. How can you incorporate a sense of community into what you do? Do your customers start being referred to as “VIPs” after they make their first purchase? What are you doing to give these people a chance to interact with each other?
No one is saying you need to go start a Facebook group and invite everyone to start chatting about your products and services. In the same way that you want to appear human to your audience they also need to feel like they are connected to other like-minded individuals. Think about some of the ways you can spark some engagement on your feed. Ask thought provoking questions. See how you can refer your customers to each other. Highlight them and their accomplishments (if or when that seems appropriate). You got this, you just need to think outside of the box.
4. Tell Them Why You Rock
This is where we see the most people struggle. They may be able to curate a beautiful feed. Create a sense of community and appear relatable. But they forget they run a business. You know, the kind that charges money for products or services!
As easy as it is to fall away from talking about ourselves, it is SO FREAKING IMPORTANT. Do you think Apple just sits around and waits for someone to bring their company up?! No, they are out there repping their product, doing launches and yes even leaking their own stuff (shocking I know).
You are not a broken record if you talk about your product more than once. You are not slimy if you tell someone to buy into what you do. You offer amazing things. You have to tell people why they matter, why they need them and why you rock.
You got this. Quit overthinking it and go out and create a foolproof social media marketing strategy.