Social media is an invaluable tool when it comes to growing your small business. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, TikTok, or a brand new platform rising in popularity, social media is where many of your customers will find you and engage with you on a regular basis. How can you ensure your digital presence is as effective as possible? Here are some tips to make your social media stand out in 2023:
1. Determine your goals.
Think about what your business wants to achieve with its marketing and set simple, measurable goals for social media engagement. These goals may include getting a better understanding of your target audience and learning about the social media platforms that interest them. Ask yourself these questions:
• What does my business want to accomplish using social media?
• What are some of my business goals and can they be supported through social media engagement?
2. Conduct a social media audit.
If you’ve already been using some social media platforms, take a step back and evaluate what has been effective so far and what could use improvement. Identify the audiences who have been engaging with your business and find out what they’re saying about you. Let these questions guide your audit:
• Who is the target audience for my business?
• What protocols and policies are in place to effectively manage social media engagement?
• What types and sources of content are available for social media engagement?
3. Research where people are talking about your industry.
Think about which platforms your prospective customers are most likely to be active users. Your restaurant may find that Instagram is the best place to post tantalizing photos of your most popular dishes. If you’re marketing software to other businesses, LinkedIn may be the best place to build an audience. Research your competitors and identify which social media platforms they are using the most. Then refine your strategy accordingly.
4. Develop a content plan.
Develop a long-term content strategy that you can commit to as you grow your business. Take into consideration what kinds of posts will help you meet your goals, which social networks will help you reach your current customers and find new ones, and how your target audience generally engages with brands on social media. Let the 80-20 rule guide you:
• 80% of your content should inform, educate, or entertain your audience.
• 20% of your content should promote your brand or sell your products.
5. Create a social media calendar.
Schedule, track, and edit your social media posts using an editorial calendar. Organize your content by platform and date. Schedule posts to promote blogs, events, favorable press, special sales, and anything else you would consider worthy of a social media moment. You can use social media scheduling tools or gather all of your content using a simple spreadsheet.
6. Pay attention to trends and adapt accordingly.
Once you’ve implemented your content strategy, pay close attention to the analytics of each social media platform as you try out different tactics. Are you seeing the engagement you’re hoping for? Is the data showing you progress toward your goals? Be willing to rethink strategy over time. Let your audience tell you what platforms you need to focus on, and how to utilize those platforms. Never stop learning and growing.