Social media has become so entrenched in our society, it’s essential for businesses to create a social media strategy that dictates how it’s used to engage customers and prospects.
Just in case you’re not sure about the value of social media, here’s a quick snapshot of how widely the top social media platforms are used. Global active users per month:
- Facebook – more than 2 billion
- Youtube – 1.5 billion
- WeChat – 889 million
- Instagram – 700 million
- Twitter – 328 million
- Snapchat – 255 million
- LinkedIn – 250 million
That paints a pretty clear picture – we should be where our customers are hanging out.
60 million businesses have a Facebook Page.
But many of us are still unsure how to use social media for their business.
Of all the questions I get from clients and from people in my entrepreneur Facebook group, this is one of the most common:
Which social media platforms should I be using?
The answer I always give is a question – Which platforms are YOUR customers and prospects using?
It’s very unlikely they are using all of the platforms, so your task is to figure out which platforms are most popular for your own customers.
How to create a social media strategy for your business
Step 1: define your ideal customer
No matter where social media fits into your business strategy, the first step is knowing who it is you are wanting to reach.
Create a profile of your ideal customer so you can figure out which platforms they are using.
I say ‘Ideal Customer’ because you should be putting your efforts into attracting the ones you really want, who are best for your business, not trying to attract anyone who might have potential to buy from you.
If you haven’t already done so, I recommend putting aside an hour of your day to build a customer avatar of your ideal customer.
Creating a customer avatar is a really good way to personify your target, once they are a ‘person’ in your head, you’ll find it easier to talk to them about their problems and how you can solve them.
Try my customer avatar worksheet and template to create a detailed profile. This will give you the insights you need to work out which social platforms your ideal customer is most active on.
Step 2: choose your social platforms
Now you know who your ideal customer is you can make some educated guesses where they are hanging out so you can engage them.
My number one tip for those of you starting out or running your business solo, don’t try to be everywhere.
Quality over quantity, choose one or two platforms to focus on and leave the rest for now. You will know when you’re ready and able to take on another one, although you may not need to!
Here’s a quick snapshot of what each social platform is generally used for.
- Keeping in touch with family and friends
- Reading news and articles from favourite sources
- Researching businesses
- Promoting and managing events
- Participating in community groups for your interests – local, social, business, hobby
- Keeping in touch with family and friends
- Sharing inspiration on whatever you love
- Finding inspiration
- Tracking current events
- Shopping (more recently)
- Collecting ideas, images and inspiration
- Creating moodboards
- Keeping up to date with current events and news
- Sharing news and thoughts
- Keeping up to date with colleagues past and present
- Keeping up to date with company news
- Job seeking or recruiting
Step 3: map out your customer journey
Now you know what platforms you’re going to focus on, next you need to work out how and where social media fits into your marketing and sales funnels.
What are your goals and how can social media help you to achieve them?
It can support your business throughout the whole customer journey, but you’ll need to be specific about it’s purpose during each phase, because this dictates how you use it.
Consider these key phases in your marketing funnel:
- Top of the funnel – brand awareness and audience building
- Middle of the funnel – website traffic and lead generation
- Bottom of the funnel – sales conversion
- After sales – customer relationship building and engagement
You might consider using different social platforms for different purposes, or a bit of a mix.
The choice you make will depend on a few factors, including your business model and how your customers want to buy from you.
Think about what would be the best experience for your customers and try to design your customer journey to deliver that amazing experience.
Step 3: Test, analyse and optimise
The bottom line is, no matter how good your research and planning is, you’ll only know for sure if it’s a good plan once you try it out!
Don’t be afraid to try something, just give it a go and optimise once you can see how it’s performing.
Do you have all your tracking and analytics tools in place?
Before you start, make sure you have:
- Facebook pixel installed on your website
- Google analytics tracking installed on your website
- Google Search Console activated and linked to Google Analytics (to track organic search)
With these stats at your fingertips you’ll be able to see how you’re tracking with your different social media activities.
If something is under-performing, try to work out why.
I see many people throw the towel in after trying out Facebook ads, however if they just spent a little time to analyse what they did and make some changes, it could have a whole different outcome.
Adapt your process, adjust your content, and test again. Sometimes a small change is all that is needed to get the results you were looking for.