Social Media

Small Business, Big Social Media: Cracking the Code to Success

How to Create a Winning Social Media Strategy
Justin Knepper

Small Business, Big Impact: How to Create a Winning Social Media Strategy

Admit it, people - social media is no longer just a place to post and share your favorite cat videos and holiday snaps! It's a vital tool for small businesses looking to make a name for themselves and connect with their audience. Now, I know what you're thinking - where do you even begin? Well, don't worry, my fellow business owners, because, in this article, we'll be breaking down each essential tip to help you navigate the social media world with ease. And, to keep things interesting, we'll be featuring a variety of small business examples to show you how it's done. So, sit tight and get ready to become a social media pro!

The Importance of Identifying Your Purpose

It's the age-old question - why are small businesses on social media? Well, the answer is simple: to build their brand, attract new customers, and keep their existing ones engaged. Now, depending on the industry, the reasons for using social media may vary. For example, a dentist may use social media to showcase patient success stories, while an accountant may use it to provide tax tips and advice. But, let's not forget the importance of providing customer support through social media, folks. Whether you're a dentist or an accountant, being responsive to your customers on social media can be a game-changer for your business.

To help identify your business purpose on social media, you need to look at your overall brand strategy first to clearly understand how you want to appear and be portrayed. It's essential to inspect your products and services to comprehend not only the features, but also their advantages (value) for your customers. Why are you offering the product/service? What problem is it solving for your target customer? By recognizing the answers to these inquiries, you can compose content tailored to your customers and interact with them in an effective manner.

At the end of the day, having an identified purpose for your business on social media is key to success. Knowing why you're present in this space allows you to craft unique content that appeals to your target audience, drives engagement, and increases your customer base.

Getting to Know Your Customer

Now it's time to get down to the nitty-gritty of social media strategy. And it all starts with identifying your target audience. Yes, that's right - you can't please everyone, so it's crucial to understand who you're trying to reach. Luckily, social media analytics can be a powerful tool for small businesses looking to determine their customers' preferences and interests. 

Thanks to insights from social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, you can now get an in-depth look at who your customers are. You'll know their location, age group, gender (if applicable), language they speak - the list goes on. With these facts in mind, it's easy to craft content tailored specifically for them. 

Have no social media followers yet? Don't sweat it! Take a look at what your competition is up to. Pay attention to who is following them and the content that they are sharing. This will give you some ideas of how you can engage with potential customers on social media platforms.

Another easy way to build a customer persona is to go directly to the source - your customer!  Send out surveys or interviews to people who are already buying your product or service. Ask them questions about their journey, what they love and hate, etc. You can gain a ton of valuable information this way that will help you create content tailored to their needs.

The bottom line is that understanding who your customer is and what they want should always be the starting point for your social media strategy. Don't guess - use data to back up your decisions and watch as your following grows!

Cracking the Code: Finding Your Audience on Social Media

Now, the real question is - where are your customers hanging out, and how can you reach them? Lucky for you, small businesses can use social media analytics to identify the most popular platforms among their target audience. Research and consult with Google Analytics to see which social media platform your viewers are coming from. This can help you determine where to focus your time and energy, as well as your advertising budget (if you have one).

So why bother being active on multiple platforms? We’re so glad you asked - the answer is simple. The more platforms you use, the more opportunities you have to reach potential customers. That said, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to be active on all of them - just make sure you are active where your target audience is likely to see and engage with your content. This will help ensure your brand reaches as many people as possible.

Businesses have a variety of ways to leverage social media platforms for their benefit. Some examples include:

  • Facebook is the perfect platform for sharing your company's news and success stories, giving customers a unique look into your team, operations, and customer service. Keep in mind that people are searching for more fun and amusing content when they visit Facebook.
  • Twitter is great for live updates and short snippets of information that can include product releases, company news, customer service updates, special offers, promoting a blog post, and helpful tips.
  • Instagram is perfect for displaying beautiful visuals that capture the essence of your brand and give people a better understanding of the products or services you offer.  It can also be used to show off customer success stories and behind-the-scenes content.
  • YouTube is useful for creating product tutorials, industry-related videos, and client interviews to give your brand an authentic voice.
  • LinkedIn is primarily used for professional networking, but also provides a great platform to share industry-related content and success stories. B2B businesses, such as those in the manufacturing and SaaS industries, stand to benefit greatly from posting and interacting on LinkedIn. Additionally, both individual professionals (freelancers, consultants) and companies with products or services that are designed for business owners can leverage this professional platform to connect with other customers and show them their expertise.
  • TikTok is excellent for creating fun and shareable content, encouraging user-generated content, reaching new customers, increasing brand awareness, and providing unique insights into your company culture.
  • Pinterest is ideal for promoting product images and giving customers ideas for how to put your products or services to use.

So, don’t be afraid to explore the vast world of social media and find out which platform best suits your business! With a bit of research, you can make sure your content is reaching the right people in the right places.

Unlocking Social Media Success Through Goal-Setting

Setting goals is an important part of being successful at anything, but when it comes to social media, this is even more important. Without goals and a plan of action in place, gaining recognition through digital platforms like these can be daunting - if not impossible.

Rather than haphazardly sharing posts and hoping for the best, setting achievable goals provides a roadmap to success. Whether you’re looking to increase brand awareness, grow your audience, generate more leads or sales, drive traffic to your website, provide customer support or boost community engagement - SMART goals can guarantee that you reach your desired end result.

SMART stands for:

  • Specific =  The goal should be as specific as possible, with a particular outcome in mind. This could be increasing website traffic from a particular social media platform by "X" percent or expanding your brand awareness with more Impressions and Engagement.
  • Measurable = Understanding how to measure your goals depends on the social media platform and can include metrics such as Reach, Impressions, Engagement, Click-Thru Rates, or Video Watch time.
  • Attainable = The goal should be realistic and achievable. Consider how many customers and followers you currently have, as well as your marketing budget, before setting your goals.
  • Relevant = The goal should make sense for your company’s objectives.
  • Time-bound = There should be a timeline for when the goal should be achieved.

To ensure that your objectives are SMART, use social media analytic tools to provide measurements on different factors. For instance, if you’re using Facebook Ads to drive website traffic, make sure that you set up the Pixel beforehand so events can be tracked and reported when they occur. Doing so will provide you with invaluable insight into the success of your campaigns.

With this in mind, aim to create objectives that are clear and precise from the very start - detailing exactly what you want to achieve and by when.

So don’t hesitate! Start setting SMART goals and making calculated moves in order to unlock the success that social media can offer. The rewards will surely be worth it.

Content Creation: Captivate Your Target Audience

Now, it's time for the fun part - creating content that grabs your audience's attention and keeps them coming back for more. With so many digital platforms to reach your target audience, it's important to know where and in what format you should be creating content. Social media sites like Instagram and TikTok are great for stories, short videos, or GIFs that can quickly grab attention. Other sites like Facebook and YouTube are better suited for longer-form video content.

Creating content can be a daunting task for many, but with the right resources on your side, it doesn’t have to be such a chore. Consider the wealth on AI (Artificial Intelligence) tools now available (such as ChatGPT, Pictory, even Canva) that are fantastic options to start creating content. But be careful to not rely on AI solely for creating all your content. It takes a lot of input and coaching from you to ensure it is accurate, engaging, on-point, and authentic.

Ideas for Content

Showcase your brand's personality on social media with behind-the-scenes content, interviews or a team Q&A session, product descriptions and teasers of upcoming releases. Ensure to cross-promote all your channels so that followers know what they can anticipate from each.

Push your content to the next level by including a link in your stories or bio that connects viewers directly to related videos on your website or YouTube channel. This will drive interested people to where they can find more interesting information and keep them engaged with what you have created.

Above all, ensure that your business's social media accounts are utilized in a professional manner and not as personal profiles. It's important to stay professional and use the right tone of voice to ensure your content is well-received by your target audience. Let's face it, no one wants to read a boring post - be creative, witty, and informative!

Get the Advantage of an Expert by Outsourcing

Outsourcing content creation will help free up your time and energy so you can focus on creating more engaging content that drives brand awareness and encourages customer engagement. Whether it's stories, blogs, or videos - create content that holds viewers' attention, resonates with them, and makes them come back for more.

Perfecting Your Social Media Strategy

The work doesn't stop after creating a killer social media strategy. It's important to assess and adjust your plan to ensure you're getting the most out of your efforts. Luckily, small businesses can use social media analytics to monitor the performance of their campaigns and make any necessary changes. 

After 30, 60, and 90 days, take a breath and reflect on the progress of your strategy. If you have achieved your goals, don't be complacent! It's time to set new goals or adjust old ones so they remain achievable. If you're not seeing the results you expected, then it could be time to try A/B testing to see which content is performing better. 

Marketing budgets are a tricky business but also incredibly important. If you're making the most of your strategy, then consider adding more funds to successful campaigns or redirecting them where they might be better spent.

Don't forget to think outside the box as well! This is the time to reach out to potential influencers or brand ambassadors who can help spread your message and create more awareness of your brand. Take a look at what your competitors are doing, too; you may be able to gain useful insights from their social media strategy.

No matter what kind of business you have, analyzing and refining your social media strategy is key to increasing your brand's visibility and reach. So, stay on top of it, tweak where necessary, and keep pressing forward! Soon you'll see your hard work pay off as you build a powerful social media presence.

Cracking the Social Media Code: Strategies for Success

Creating a social media strategy that works for your small business may seem like a daunting task, but fear not - with the right approach, it can be a piece of cake. By understanding your audience, determining which platforms they prefer, setting specific goals, creating compelling content, and analyzing your performance, you'll be well on your way to cracking the social media code.

But don't get too comfortable - social media is a fickle friend, and keeping up with the latest trends and changes is crucial. Don't be afraid to shake things up, try new things, and step outside your comfort zone to find what works best for your business. By staying active and engaged on social media platforms, small businesses can establish a strong social media presence, build their brand, and connect with their audience.

So what are you waiting for? Get cracking and watch your social media presence soar!

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Justin Knepper