8 Steps to Creating a Social Media Strategy for Your Small Business

June 8, 2023

Creating a well-structured and cohesive plan for your social media marketing will make content creation a breeze, and is a must if you want results. But how do you go about developing one that works for you and your business?

8 Steps to Creating a Social Media Strategy for Your Small Business

You probably don’t need me to tell you that in today’s digital age social media is an essential part of running a small business. It connects you to your clients, allows you to market your product or services, and promotes your brand in a visually enticing way.

Implementing a social media marketing strategy, however, can be an arduous task, especially if you don’t have much time. As someone running your own business you’re probably accustomed to wearing many different hats, but with the social media landscape ever-evolving, crafting an effective strategy can be challenging.

Creating a plan that is well-structured and cohesive in advance is the key to success across all platforms - creating content will be easier, you’ll know what you’re posting, why you’re posting it and the best time to post it. But how do you go about developing a plan that works for you and your business? Let’s explore below.

Define and Set Your Goals

Before you jump into creating a social media marketing strategy, it’s worth looking into what it is you want to get out of one. Are you hoping to gain more followers? Do you want to increase traffic to your website? Are you looking for more sales or leads? Jot down one or two objectives and align them with your overall business goals to ensure that they fit well.

Having a well-defined goal will serve as the foundation for your strategy and guide your decision-making process. It also allows you to keep track and re-focus if you ever find yourself steering away from your original objectives.

Learn About Your Audience

To effectively reach your audience, it’s important to understand who they are and what they want. Conduct thorough research to identify your target demographic, including looking into their interests and behaviours. This will help establish who you’re directing your content at, which in turn will aid you in deciding what types of subjects to focus on.

Determine which social media platforms your audience uses the most and what type of content resonates with them. Are they more likely to use Instagram over LinkedIn? Do they connect better with videos than static images? Do they engage more with funny content than educational? This will help you focus on one or two specific platforms without stretching yourself too thin.

By gaining insights into your audience's preferences and pain points, you can tailor your strategy to meet their needs.

Check Out Your Competitors

An important aspect of the planning and research process is scoping out your competitors and checking out their feeds. What are they doing right (or wrong)? What aspects of their strategy do you like or dislike? Pay particular attention to their engagement levels, content types, and tone of voice, and see how you can utilise (or avoid) them in your own strategy.

Remember, social media is a saturated market, and it’s hard to stand out from the crowd! This analysis allows you to differentiate yourself from your competition as well as offer up opportunities for improvement to your existing content.

Do A Social Media Audit

As well as looking at your competition, it’s crucial to analyse your own content and identify what is working and what isn’t. Look into what types of content gain the most engagement (whether that be likes, follows or comments), and take note so that you can incorporate similar content into your future strategy.

Check out which platforms are working well for you and focus on them – this will help you with future decision-making and ensures that you build upon what is already effective.

Choose the Right Platforms

Rather than trying to maintain an active presence on every social media platform (and burning yourself out in the long run!), focus your efforts on the ones that align with your target audience and goals.

Consider factors like platform demographics, content formats, and engagement levels. Then, select one or two platforms that will allow you to reach your audience effectively and concentrate your resources there. By focusing your efforts, you can avoid time wasted and maximise your impact.

Decide on Your Content Mix

Your content mix is a combination of three essential components that assist with the creation of content:

-       Core Pillars

These are 2-5 different themes or focus points that align with your brand, resonate with your audience and drive your content.

If you’re a wedding photographer for example, your core pillars could be wedding inspiration, behind-the-scenes on shoots and sharing recent work.

This ensures consistency across your content and helps establish you as an expert in those areas.

-       Content Mediums

Select the types of content you will use such as videos, carousels, single images or articles. If you’ve done your research, you’ll know what content works well with your audience and what receives the best engagement.

Think about the information you’re trying to share – would it be best presented as a video or an infographic? Could the article you’ve written be better understood or consumed as visual content?

Consider the preferences of your audience and the platforms you have chosen, and strike a balance between different content formats to keep your feed visually appealing and engaging.

-       Content Purposes

It is essential to define the purpose of your content – what is it you want your audience to get out of it? Will it inspire, inform, educate, or entertain? Tailor your content mix to reflect your brand's personality and the preferences of your target audience.

How much do you want to create for each type of content? For example, if you’re a videographer, you may want to offer up inspirational content peppered with entertaining videos of you having fun on set. If you’re a beauty business, your main focus could be useful tips and tricks on how to get the best out of your makeup, but you may also want to feature inspirational posts.

Striking a balance between two or three purposes often works best, but examine your previous research and see what works well for you.

Create Your Content!

Now that you’ve got a solid understanding of your audience and content mix in place, it’s time to create your content. Craft visually appealing and informative posts that align with your core pillars and resonate with your audience. If you’re feeling overwhelmed choose a pillar or purpose for set days each week so you’re not staring at a blank page each time.

Pay attention to the quality of your visuals, use engaging captions, and include relevant hashtags (if they work for your chosen platform). Also, experiment with different formats and monitor the performance of each post to refine your content creation process continually.

Track and Adjust

Measuring your success and adapting accordingly is the key to a winning strategy. Track your performance using relevant analytics (a lot of social media platforms have ones that are incorporated into their systems) and focus on the metrics that link back to your goals. Evaluate the effectiveness of different content types, posting times, and engagement tactics so that you can continually optimise, adapt and improve.

Remember, social media is an ever-evolving landscape, and experimenting until you find the sweet spot is essential to long-term success.

Developing a solid social media strategy is an ongoing process that requires careful planning, continuous monitoring, and adaptation. It is also an essential part of the growth and development of your business due to its incredible reach and conversion potential, and a must-have in your overall business strategy.

If you’re finding that you’re struggling to keep up with the world of social media while managing your business, hiring a virtual assistant is the perfect way to take the strain off. We can create a solid strategy for your business, identify key strengths and weaknesses and/or create content for your platforms (which is often the most time-consuming step!).

Get in touch today and let's build a social media presence that works for you.