7 Steps to Creating a Social Media Strategy that Generates Business
In 2014, LinkedIn conducted a study to investigate how small businesses are using social media and whether their investment was paying off. According to their research, the #1 problem facing most small businesses is attracting new clients, and 61% of small businesses believe social media is helping them solve it.
However, social media marketing without a STRATEGY is just a fun way to kill time.
Here are 7 steps to create a social media strategy that actually generates business.
1. Identify your objectives. Kissinger said “If you don’t know where you are going, every road will get you nowhere.” You can’t evaluate your efforts if you don’t know what you want. Write down 3 goals, what success looks like and how you will measure it.
2. Create Buyer Personas. In order to ATTRACT customers and provide value, you need to know your target customers inside and out. What keeps them up at night? What solution can you provide to make their life easier? Where do they hang out online? If you don’t know the answers, survey your best customers to help find more like them. One of the benefits of social media marketing is the ability to micro target but that only works if you know who you are targeting.
3. Define your Brand Message. Before you jump into social media, know your brand’s value and how it’s unique so you have something to say. What do you want your target to know and remember about you? What do you want them to do once you have their attention? Then, how do you communicate it in a way that is relevant to your target? Be ATTRACTIVE. Believe it or not, this is where companies get stuck the most. Spend some time here and get feedback on your messages from current clients.
4. Craft Valuable Content. In order to attract people to your web site or blog so they find you instead of you having to chase them down, you need to provide content that they are actively looking for. What would they be searching for to solve a problem? Write about that! Now, how do you serve up that content in multiple ways to get more traction? Podcast. Video, Guest blog post. Top 10 lists. Repurpose, repurpose, repurpose. Don’t forget to include a call to action!
5. Choose your Hub and Spoke. The goal here is to create a system that capture leads or results in a sale. You need a system for that. Where will your content reside (hub)? What social media platforms will you use to engage (spokes)? How will you collect email addresses? What landing pages are needed to get people to hit the BUY button? Set it up and automate where possible then test it to make sure it is easy for the customer.
6. Get Social. There are distinct phases of social media marketing that have different strategies and desired outcomes. The first phase is all about building your audience. If you have no followers then you are just talking to yourself. Next phase is all about engaging, building relationships and building trust. Bring on the comments, retweets, likes, sharing, questions, educating, entertaining, and commiserating. Once the relationship is strong, build your business. Ask them to register for a workshop, take a survey, purchase your product, or refer you to others. This may take 12 months. Relationships aren’t built in a day and if you take things too fast, the relationship is over.
7. Analyze. Rinse. Repeat. Dig into the analytic data. Are you seeing increases in traffic to your site, new newsletter subscribers, more social media fans and followers and engagement, and ultimately a boost in sales? What didn’t work? Dump it and focus your energies elsewhere. What worked? Do more of it and replicate your success.
So, what are you waiting for? As Arthur Ashe said, “Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.”
Start the journey to Brand Strong™.
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