Having a business and not being on social media is like not existing.
Sometimes it can give you the impression that SM is a waste of time since it’s not providing you with the results you expected.
And it’s true, SM can be a dangerous way to waste lots of precious time without getting anything of value in return.
If you don’t want this to happen to you, you need first, a good strategy, and second, to craft posts that add value to your audience.
I know what you’re thinking: everyone talks about the importance of having a strategy, but no one tells you how to do it.
In this post I’m going to give you some essential clues not to waste time on SM and to create content that provide results.
In other words, content that boosts sales.
Shall we see these clues?
How to create a social media strategy for small businesses
First of all, you need to choose which channels you want to be active on.
I know that digital marketeers like my dear Neil Patel advise you to be omnichannel.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the time, nor do I have a dedicated community manager, so being everywhere is impossible for me.
If this is your case too, you will have no choice but to choose.
3 or 4 platforms maximum.
And how do you choose these SM platforms?
This graph shows the most used SM channels worldwide.
The first thing you need to do is to analyse where your ideal customer is and make sure you’re there, too.
This brings me to remind you once again of the importance of knowing your buyer persona (ideal customer).
Talk to your current customers and do further research on what your ideal customer is like by reading comments and joining related groups on Facebook.
Check Twitter’s trending topics and be up to date with what people are talking about.
Your product or service is not going to interest everyone but a certain group of people.
It’s your job to get to know those people better.
The next step to make sure your SM efforts give you results and are not just a useless pastime is to define your objectives.
These can be:
- Build brand awareness
- Create a sense of community by adding value
- Get prospects into a sales funnel
- Inform about special offers
- Increase organic traffic to your website
Let’s see what kind of publications work best for each of these objectives.
Build brand awareness
Apple doesn’t need to invest a lot of resources to get people to know them, but you probably do.
These types of publications don’t have to actively sell, it’s what’s known in marketing as indirect selling.Many businesses get this goal completely wrong and think that in order to build brand awareness they just need to talk about themselves. Click To Tweet
Nobody cares if your product is new in the market or you’ve been in business more than 10 years.
People are basically only interested in:
- Being loved
- Not making a fool of themselves
- Succeeding in what they do
- Feeling important
- Being attractive
- Having power
- Feeling safe
These are the core emotions that move people to exchange their precious money for a product or service.
So there is no point in talking exclusively about you and your business. You need to talk about your ideal customer and her desires, fears and dreams.
The copy of your SM posts need to appeal to one of these core emotions in a subtle way.
Depending on the type of product or service you offer, you have to think about which core emotion you’re going to stimulate with your copy.
For example, if you sell fashion products, you’ll appeal to people’s need of being attractive to others.
If you are a coach, you’ll appeal to the need of feeling safe and/or being successful.
Building brand awareness is to tell the world through Facebook, Instagram or Twitter: Hello I’m here to make you happier and this is how I’m going to do it.
I follow FuckUp nights’ account on Facebook because it makes me feel better.
This group has branches in most big cities, they organise events for entrepreneurs or those who are thinking about starting a business.
During these events, different people share their fuck-ups and what they have learnt about these mistakes.
This is excellent because, on one hand, you learn from others’ mistakes and at the same time it makes you feel better since you understand that everyone can make mistakes and it’s not the end of the world.
You also feel more energetic to continue working on your own project knowing that if you fuck it up you can always get up and start again.
Their posts always share some funny and optimistic quotes.
Create a community by adding value
People are tired of businesses trying to sell them something all the time, so they won’t follow your FB or IG account unless these add something of value to their lives.
If you want to create a community of followers who interact with you and with each other you need to provide value.
But real value.
As we saw in my article on how to write texts for Instagram that boost sales and not just followers, both Facebook and Instagram give greater visibility to those posts that have more engagement.
What does this mean?
That these platforms no longer reward only posts with many likes (they know these can be bought) but those that have more comments and where people stay reading (or viewing, if it’s a video) for more time.
That’s why Instagram’s captions are getting longer with more focus on adding value.
There are several ways to provide value to your followers:
– Writing articles on your blog
That provide useful information to your target audience. Because they talk about a solution to a problem they are experiencing, or because it teaches them something handy.
You can craft posts which build up curiosity and encourage people to read the post on your blog.
On Instagram you cannot add a link directly on each post but you can add it in your bio.
– Sharing an experience, a tip, or asking a question to your followers
These types of posts encourage people to leave comments and to share, so FB, LinkedIn, IG or YouTube will give you more visibility.
Get prospects into a sales funnel
Social media is the ideal tool to get prospects into a sales funnel.
If you want to know more about how to create a sales funnel read this article.
The best way to get people into your funnel is to create a post with a lead magnet.
A lead magnet is a form of valuable content that you offer for free when people subscribe to your mailing list.
Once they are part of your mailing list you can send them a sequence of emails with the ultimate goal of selling them a specific product or service.
No one wants to receive more spam so they’ll think carefully about it.
If you create a compelling post that includes a big promise which interests your ideal customer she will have no other option but to click to subscribe.
Once again, it’s a question of how accurately you’re going to appeal to that core emotion so that your prospect can only click to find out more.
Inform about special offers
Do you know what the term FOMO mean? It stands for Fear Of Missing Out.
When we are on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter we find out what’s happening not only around the world, but particularly in our neighbourhood.
I know a lot of people who have not deleted their FB accounts only because it’s a way to keep themselves up to date with events happening near them.
They are simply afraid of missing out great stuff if they are not on SM.
Take advantage of FOMO by informing your target audience about your special offers and events.
They will gladly continue following you if you also inform them about events organised by other people that may interest them.
Talking about other people’s businesses is a great way to show generosity and that you really care about people and not just about their money.
Increase organic traffic to your website
This should be a primary goal of your social media strategy.
Think for a moment what would happen if Facebook and Instagram disappear one day for whatever reason.
You will then lose all your followers in the blink of an eye.
Besides, posts you share on these platforms don’t belong to you, they belong to Zuckerberg.
But if you direct traffic to your website and encourage people to subscribe to your mailing list, you will have greater control over what you share and, moreover, you won’t lose those contacts even if social platforms disappear or are no longer a trend.
Because today it’s Instagram but tomorrow it can be something else.
So keep this in mind when working on your SM content and try, whenever possible, to encourage people to visit your website, either to read a post, to download a free eBook or to watch a video.
I write web copy and engaging content for businesses without borders. I live in the Netherlands, I write everywhere. I love arthouse films and books that make me think. Tolstoy and Chekhov are my life coaches.