How small businesses can create a social media strategy – from a social media manager

How small businesses can create a social media strategy - from a social media manager michalah francis

So you’re ready to take your business to the next level, show up online and finally expand in the way you’ve always imagined? Then you’re in the right place.

Our grandparents turned the radio up when they heard a business being advertised on air and relied on neighbours and friends for product updates and any latest news. But, in the 21st century, we have THE INTERNET

Social media has become one of the easiest and most affordable ways for small businesses to grow brand awareness, increase their reach, target their ideal audience and boost sales.

But, if you fail to plan you plan to fail. That’s why it’s so important to understand how small businesses can create a social media strategy.

What is a social media strategy?

A social media strategy is like a road map for your business. It guides you up steep cliffs and around sharp corners. It clearly indicates where to pick up speed and when to slow down. Ultimately, it leads you to your destination – your long-term goals.

This is one document where detail is crucial and every single touchpoint needs to be mentioned. Everything from the type of content your brand should post to which platforms should be used and who your brand will be speaking to online needs to be mentioned.

Don’t skimp on the details because your strategy will encourage consistency and help your brand stay on course while posting and engaging with intention.

What do you include in a social media strategy?

  1. Define your goals
  2. Identify the right social media platforms for your business
  3. Clarify your brand tone
  4. Map out your content pillars
  5. Create content in line with all the above points
  6. Track, measure and adjust as you go

Number 1: Define your goals

Starting from ground zero and staring at a black page can be daunting but, there’s a way around that – focus on SMART goals.

When small businesses create a social media strategy, SMART goals should take centre stage. 

A SMART goal will always be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Timely

What does a SMART goal look like in reality?

As a social media manager for small businesses, I help brands strategically position themselves online and one of my SMART goals would be:

  • “To organically grow my business Instagram account each month (M/A) by 100 followers (S) with an audience that includes small business owners looking to increase their reach on social media. This will be done by following my own social media strategy consistently for 6 months ( R ) (T)”

Number 2: Identify the right social media platforms for your business

While “social media” is more of a blanket term, the platforms that exist on the list are incredibly diverse. Each social media platform has been uniquely designed to serve different functions and they each help brands accomplish different goals.

The biggest social media platforms in the world currently include:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter
  • TikTok 

Picking the right social media platform is like picking the perfect strawberry, you don’t pluck the very first one you see, you need to know what you’re looking for.

While I could include long lists about each of them here, I’ve created a separate article where I give each platform the limelight it deserves, and you can find the full breakdown in the ultimate social media management guide for small businesses.

Number 3: Clarify your brand tone

If your business was a person, what would their personality be like? Would they throw around light-hearted jokes or prefer to get to the point? Your brand tone is the way you’d speak to your audience if they were right there in the room with you.

How to define your brand tone: if you do need guidance, go back to the vision you have for your business and write down everything you associate with it. Now, carefully group everything you’ve listed into personality traits and curate your brand tone from there.

Number 4: Map out your content pillars

You’ve defined your goals, identified the right social media platforms for your business and clarified your brand tone, now it’s time for that content.

As the name suggests, content pillars hold up your brand on social media by giving it credibility plus they give you support when you’re low on inspiration or ideas.

Before you ever jump into writing content, you need to have those pillars in place. They will help guide your train of thought and give intention to every piece of content that your brand ever posts.

What are content pillars?

They are 3 to 5 topics your brand consistently talks about and creates content around.

How do you identify your content pillars?

Write down topics that reflect your brand, any themes that resonate with you as a business owner and themes your audience is most interested in. Now, do competitor research to discover what’s already being discussed within your niche and pick the points you’d like to focus on.

Why are content pillars so important?

Having them makes it easier to create a cohesive message across all your social media channels. Your audience will also know exactly what to expect from your brand and it will make it a lot easier to speak to your ideal customer and their pain points.

Content pillars will be especially useful when you’re feeling creatively stuck or need to post something very last-minute.

Number 5: Create content inline with all the above points

Now that you have the topics you need to focus on, start creating your content.

As a business owner, the last thing you want to add to your plate is learning the ins and outs of copywriting and how to build a brand online, but you could outsource it.

As a social media manager for small businesses, I’ve helped dozens of brands around the world strategically position themselves online. The only thing better than dreaming about building your brand online is to actually see it happen and I can help you achieve that.

Number 6: Track, measure and adjust as you go

You won’t see me raising my hand to tackle pages and pages of data and if you’re the same, then let me change your perspective.

Would you aimlessly walk around an area looking for a restaurant OR would you check a map for directions to make sure you actually arrive without wasting too much time?

Data is your map and it will always give you all the direction you need. While data can sometimes be overwhelming, it provides incredible insight.

Keep track of your best performing posts and least performing posts. Use those insights to drive future marketing campaigns and give your audience more of what they love.

Remember to also regularly audit your social media accounts.

Set aside time throughout the year to work through every aspect of your account like your bio and content pillars to ensure that everything is still aligned and working towards bigger goals.

Now that you know how small businesses can create a social media strategy, create your own path to success on social media! 

If you need help along the way, feel free to DM me on social media or easily contact me here.

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