If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that the online world is far more powerful than we ever thought it could be.
Companies were setting up online stores within a week of the lockdown announcement, social media erupted and platforms like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn saw a huge increase in the number of users. Let’s not forget about the use of Zoom to keep connected with your colleagues and your family and friends.
So, when we look ahead to 2021, most of us are online and have a social media presence for our business but are we using social media to its potential? As a business owner are you accounts set up correctly? Are you curating content that engages with your followers? Are you replying to customer queries online effectively?
Many business owners feel overwhelmed with social media, that’s why it’s so important to have a social media strategy. It gives your online presence a purpose, direction and helps you find out if your strategies are working and change them if need be.
Being online is not just about increasing you sales
It’s a common misconception amongst local independent business owners that being online is about increasing sales. Yes, we all want to drive traffic to our website, allow customers to find us and walk through the doors and buy our products. But having a social media presence goes deeper than sales. Social media gives us the opportunity to connect with our existing customers which is great for customer retention, at the same time, it creates a brand awareness, and allows you to conduct market research cleverly tapping into a pool of potential customers.
Building a good social media strategy will allow you to incorporate all these aims and find the best ways of achieving them.
Consistency is key
As a business owner, we’ve all been there, we have the best of intentions to keep posting to all our social media platforms. Everything is great for a month or so and then it tails off. We try and give the responsibilities to another member of staff (usually a family member) and they just can’t keep up either.
However, consistency is key in social media. For your audience to recognise your brand, you must be consistent. Being consistent in your brand allows you to grow your audience engagement and reach.
A good social media strategy will plan out how and when you will show up on social media and take away that pressure of ‘posting something every day’.
Likes and shares are a vanity metric!
We all get hung up on how many people are following our account, who liked our posts and commented on them. But a carefully curated audience and following can go a long way. I’ve often heard the phrase ‘But they have 10,000 followers’ but you need to ask yourself how many of those 10,000 people are engaging with the company?
A good social media strategy will create an engaged following and you will be able to interact with the right audience who will buy from you. For example, there’s no point in having a large following of people all over the country if you are business based in a small village.
Which platform to use?
A clearly defined social media strategy will pave the way and show you which social media platforms you should be on. Just like in everyday life, we can’t be everywhere, we can’t be on every social media platform either.
Your strategy will look deeper into your current customers and your ideal customer and that will give you a better indication on which platforms to focus your efforts on. For example, if you are a company that serves people over the age of 50 but you want to shift the trend to attracting women over the age of 35, you will look at which platforms will serve you best and make a presence there.
You have to be clear about the platforms you are going to use and be clear to your audience what you’re using it for. It’s important to pick the platforms which are right for your business goals.
A good social media strategy will allow you to plan months in advance and save you time in the long run. Social media is not just about posting content to your feed or producing videos – it goes far deeper. Planning your content and getting those that work for you to engage and curate content is fun and helps you delegate the social media related tasks you thought you would need to do alone.
If you’re wondering where to start when building your social media strategy, get in touch and we can have a chat.