You run a thriving business, so you know every minute of the day counts.
While you’re busy with a million tasks from managing employees to keeping customers happy, your social media profiles sit neglected. Big mistake.
Social media is one of the most powerful ways to spread the word about your company and bring in new customers. If you want your business to really take off, it’s time you take social media seriously.
This social media guide will show you how to develop a strategy tailored to your unique company. With our help, you can:
- Figure out exactly what you want to achieve.
- Dive deep into who your customers really are.
- Discover why researching competition is important.
- Create a smart plan to keep your posts going strong.
- Learn how to optimize your social media content calendar.
- Find inspiration from similar businesses killing it online.
Follow these steps and you’ll gain new followers and drive more sales. Let’s get started!
Define Your Social Media Goals: Why Are You On Social Media?
You need to start with a clear goal to crush it on social media.
So, why are you even on social media? Think about what you want to achieve for your business.
- Specific: Clearly describe what you want to achieve. For example, “Increase brand awareness among small business owners in the Pacific Northwest.”
- Measurable: Use metrics to track progress. Such as “Gain 500 new followers across social platforms in Q1.”
- Attainable: Set realistic goals based on available resources and time. Don’t aim for 1 million new followers in a month if you currently have 500.
- Relevant: Align goals with your overall business strategy. E.g. “Drive traffic to the website to increase online sales.”
- Timely: Give each goal a deadline to work toward. For instance, “Generate 100 leads through social media in the next six months.”
With concrete S.M.A.R.T. goals established, you can then:
- Determine your target audiences and buyer personas to tailor content.
- Analyze competitor social presences and hashtags to avoid duplication.
- Develop a content calendar and strategy for achieving goals, including various posts.
- Continuously track key metrics around audience growth, engagement, traffic, and lead generation to evaluate progress and make changes.
You’ll be well on your way to social media success with the right goals and strategy. But remember, it’s an ongoing process.
Keep listening to your followers and optimizing to crunch your goals and grow your business. The power of social media is real if you use it effectively!
Know Your Audience: Who Are You Trying to Reach?
Now that you have defined your social media goals, it’s time to understand your target audience more deeply.
Understanding your customers inside and out will help you produce social media content that truly resonates with them. Do some research to find out:
- Their age, location, gender, education level, income, interests, values, and behaviours. The more details, the better!
- What social networks do they use, and how often. If your audience is all on Snapchat and you only post on Facebook, that won’t work.
- What kind of content do they like and engage with? Maybe they’re into video tutorials, inspirational quotes, or behind-the-scenes photos. Give the people what they want!
- Who your competitors’ audiences are, and what they are doing to reach them? You can get inspiration from them but do your own thing too.
Once you know your ideal audience, you can create an excellent social media strategy just for them!
Make your profiles and posts so interesting that they must follow and share. And keep improving based on how they respond. The better you reach your audience, the more you’ll crush your goals!
Analyze the Competition: What Are Other Businesses Doing?
To stay ahead in the competitive world of social media, it’s crucial to analyze what other businesses in your industry are doing.
Re-evaluating their strategies regularly lets you have the most up-to-date information to make the best decisions for your business. It also gives you that rare chance to outpace them online!
Here’s how you can effectively analyze the competition:
- Search for competitor names on sites like Social Mentions By Brand Mentions. Once you enter a competitor brand into it, the tool will track and show you all the conversations about them. This includes information about who is talking about them, what they are saying, and on which platforms. Use the data to improve your social media strategy.
- Look for patterns in the types of content they share, like behind-the-scenes photos, promos, educational stuff, or memes. From their posting practices, think about what your audience would like best!
- Pay attention to when competitors post and how often. For example, do they post daily inspirational quotes or once-a-week blog updates? Figure out if their posting schedule works for you too.
- Check how many likes, comments, and shares competitors get. The more engagement, the better! See if you can beat their numbers with high-quality, attention-grabbing posts.
- Look for weaknesses or gaps in their social strategies. Maybe they barely use Instagram Stories or don’t respond to many comments. You can swoop in and do better!
Learning from businesses already doing well on social media is the most brilliant way to create your winning strategy. You get to know all the tricks from your fiercest rivals and construct a solid plan to boost your social media engagement. This can take a lot of work (and patience), but if done correctly, this will surely help you win social media!
Create a Social Media Content Calendar: Plan And Schedule Your Posts
Even with mounds of consumer and competitor data at your hands, posting without a social media calendar will be like going on a road trip without a map. You might end up somewhere good, but you’ll probably waste a lot of time getting lost along the way.
What Is A Social Media Content Calendar Anyway?
A content calendar is like a schedule for your social media posts. You plan out what you want to post and when you want to post it. This helps make sure you don’t forget to post and that you have a good mix of content going up. On top of that, it also lets you:
- Save Time
Planning your posts in advance means you won’t be scrambling for content or ideas each day.
- Optimize Your Posts
You can evenly space out different types of posts—like blog updates, curated content, and promotions—over time.
- Improve Engagement
When you have a consistent posting schedule, your followers know when to expect new content. This keeps them engaged with your brand.
- Reduce Stress
Knowing what you’re posting and when means less worry and panic about your social media marketing. You’ll feel in control and on top of things.
What Should Be In A Content Calendar?
Typically, your calendar should include:
- Social media networks and accounts. This will help you keep track of which platforms you’re posting on and which accounts you’re using.
- Date and time. This will ensure that your posts are published at the right time to reach your audience.
- Social copy, including hashtags and links. This is the text that will appear on your posts, including any hashtags or links you want to include.
- Media (GIFs, images, video, etc.) This is the visual content that will accompany your posts.
- Approval steps. This is who needs to approve your posts before they’re published.
- Space for collaboration and feedback notes. This is where you can collaborate with your team and leave notes about your posts.
- KPIs. This is how you’ll measure the success of your social media campaigns.
- Campaigns and events. If you’re running a social media campaign or event, you’ll want to include it in your calendar so you can track your progress and make sure you’re posting the right content at the right time.
- Content ideas. If you’re not sure what to post, you can include a list of content ideas in your calendar so you can plan ahead.
- Budget. If you have a budget for social media marketing, you’ll want to include it in your calendar so you can track your spending.
Here’s What Your Calendar Can Look Like:
A social media content calendar takes a little work to set up, but the payoff is huge. You’ll gain valuable insights and watch your social media success and engagement skyrocket. Give it a try —your followers will thank you!
Audit Your Current Social Media: What’s Working and What’s Not?
So you’ve been posting on social media for a while now, but how do you know if it’s actually working? The only way to really tell is by conducting a social media audit.
This basically means reviewing all your social accounts to see what’s working, what’s not, and how you can make your strategy even better.
Here’s an example of how you can do your review:
Find Out The Metrics To Monitor
Begin your review by creating and tracking key performance indicators (KPIs). Pay attention to metrics like:
- Engagement (likes, comments, shares)
- Impressions and reach
- Web traffic and conversions from social
- Share of voice compared to competitors
See what’s working and make adjustments. For example, post types with high engagement can be reused and expanded on. Content that drives traffic or conversions should be a focus.
Evaluate and Adjust
Review metrics regularly—at least monthly or quarterly. Ask questions like:
- Are you achieving your initial goals? If not, how can you improve?
- What networks and content are most effective? Focus efforts there.
- Are there any issues with performance or audience feedback? Make changes as needed.
Don’t be afraid to experiment. Try different post types, scheduling, visuals, and messaging to see what resonates. Your audience and networks are always evolving, so your strategy should too.
Social media marketing is an ongoing process. Keep monitoring metrics and making incremental improvements to achieve the best results over the long run. Make optimization part of your regular routine, and never stop learning and improving. With time and practice, you’ll gain valuable insights into your audience and business.
Looking at key metrics, testing new approaches, and continuous improvement are all part of an effective optimization strategy. Keep your goals and target audience in mind, and your social media marketing efforts will thrive!
Follow Your Role Models: Check What Big Brands Are Doing
Some major brands are total social media rockstars. Check out what they’re doing and see what you can copy!
Nike, Starbucks, and GoPro post amazing pics and videos that get tons of likes and shares. Their content shows people being active and having fun with their products. Copy them by posting great visuals of your customers enjoying what you sell!
Wendy’s, MoonPie, and Denny’s have hilarious social media writers. Their funny tweets and snappy comebacks get them a lot of attention. You don’t have to be as sassy as them, but posting things that make your followers laugh or smile is always a good idea.
Companies like Dollar Shave Club share helpful tips and lifehacks related to their products. Post useful content your customers would value, whether it’s advice for getting the most out of what you sell or industry insights they’d find interesting.
Following brands that are rocking social media will give you lots of ideas for:
- The types of content your followers will love
- Posting schedules that keep people engaged
- Responding to comments and messages
- Running contests and giveaways
- Partnering with influencers and more!
Study what the big kids are doing and you’ll be well on your way to social media mastery in no time.
Their success didn’t happen overnight though, so stick with it and keep practicing. With time and consistency, you’ll build an audience as loyal as Nike’s sneakerheads or Starbucks’ coffee addicts!
Turn Likes Into Leads One Step At A Time
You now have all the tools to create a solid social media strategy to reach new customers and serve your existing audience.
While it may seem like a lot of work, if you start implementing these tips one by one, you’ll gain momentum and be winning on social media in no time.
Stay focused on your goals, keep learning about your audience, and never stop improving your content and strategy. The key is consistency—post regularly, engage with your followers, and prioritize social media.
Before you know it, you’ll have built a community of raving fans, and social media will become second nature. The rewards of increased brand awareness, more traffic, and new sales will make all your effort worthwhile.
So go for it—start posting, tweeting and sharing today. Get out there and show everyone what you and your biz are made of.
If you ever feel overwhelmed or need social media guidance, Beanstalk Growth Marketing is here to help. Our team of professionals can take your social media efforts to the next level, saving you time and maximizing results. Don’t hesitate to reach out and let us support your success.