Are you thinking of launching a social media strategy for your business?
Is it time to revamp the one you already have?
STOP RIGHT THERE.
Just for a second.
As a social media strategist and manager, I beg of you… do NOT launch into a new social media strategy before asking yourself some hard questions.
When a potential clients sits with me for an initial consult, these are the typical questions I ask.
The answers I get help me understand what the business owner before me is going to need in a social media strategy or — more importantly — if they’re even ready for a social media plan.
Here are 7 questions every business owner needs to ask BEFORE launching a new social media strategy…
1. Where is your business going?
Where do you see your company in 3 months?
Don’t make a social media strategy that’s going to make your current audience happy. Strategize for the audience you want in 3 months, in 6 months, and beyond.
I’m not a huge fan of making super long-term goals (3 years, 5 years, 10 years, etc.) because so much can change in the short-term and you’re likely going to have re-approach things anyway.
But, you should still have a clear idea of what your business goals are, at least for the next year or so. And your social media strategy should reflect those goals.
If you’re struggling at this stage you might need to seek the guidance of a business advisor to help you with a business plan.
2. How’s your branding?
Your company’s brand is how people perceive your business.
Your brand is your reputation.
And your reputation can be accurate, or it can be way out on left field.
It doesn’t matter who YOU think you are — what matters is who your audience thinks you are.
If there’s discord between who you think you are and what your audience thinks, you have faulty branding.
It means your messaging isn’t clear.
Knowing where you stand is the first step to managing your social media presence.
You can’t manage or change what you don’t acknowledge, so have a good sense of where you stand before you get started on that social media strategy.
It might be complicated, as in people aren’t familiar with what it is you do or how your product or service benefits them in any way.
Or, it could be simple, and they don’t know who you are or that you even exist at all!
Either way, get a realistic grip on your brand and then go from there.
3. Who is your audience, anyway?
Be really specific when you decide who your intended audience is.
You can create content that attracts lots of followers, but what’s the point if they are the wrong audience? What if they have no interest in buying your product or service?
We see this all the time in the fitness industry, with personal trainers who have tons of followers but no sales. This is because their audience is more interested in watching trainers flex for the camera, as opposed to getting guidance on fitness and nutrition.
The same can be said about the real estate industry. A realtor may have tons of followers gawking at their high-priced properties up for sale, but their audience is indulging in fantasy viewing, and nowhere in the market to buy an expensive downtown penthouse.
Identify your audience’s pain points. What problems do they need to solve? What solutions do you have to offer them?
Find out which social media platforms are best to reach them. Are they watching YouTube videos or are they on Instagram? Are you better off focusing your limited time and resources on LinkedIn?
Also, think about what kind of content appeals to them the most. Do they prefer reading articles? Engaging with memes? Long blog posts? Short micro-content? Do videos appeal to them?
Do they have a sense of humour when it comes to doing business with you or would they rather engage with a business who adopts a more serious tone?
Above all, don’t try to be everything to everyone. Zero in on your ideal audience and serve them to the best of your capabilities.
4. Time to get real! How are you going to execute your plan?
Alright, you have a plan! But, is your plan sustainable?
Is it a plan you can execute, given your time, abilities, and resources?
Do you need to scale back and break your plan into smaller, more manageable steps? Maybe 4 videos per month isn’t realistic. Can you shoot one every other week instead?
Do you want to test any content and strategies before you invest too much?
Social media content creation and strategy require a variety of skills and hardware.
Do you need training?
Are you any good at photography? Video editing? Graphic design? Canva Pro is a great platform that offers stock photos, stock video footage, photo editing tools, and video editing tools. Try Canva for free here.
Do you need to purchase equipment or enlist help in these areas of expertise?
Or, just get in touch with me and let’s see if we should work together!
Do you have the time and know-how to put together a social media content calendar and schedule your content? Do you need an app to help you with your social media calendar and scheduling?
5. Do you have a website that converts?
Imagine going through all the time and effort of putting together a social media strategy, investing in its execution, only to have your company website drop the ball.
If your social media content does its job and directs traffic to your website for conversion, and your website doesn’t function well, you’ve let it all go to waste.
You’ve left leads (money) on the table.
Make sure your website is clear and gives the audience what it’s looking for. If you want them to download an ebook, that should be clear. If you want them to purchase something, their online shopping experience must be seamless and quick. If you want them to call you or set up an appointment, have an online booking service available to them that a child could figure out.
Whatever you do, don’t leave your social media efforts hanging without proper backup.
Social media can get your brand noticed and drive traffic to a landing page or website that converts, but it can’t close a sale on it own.
Social media is the vital first part of your sales funnel, but it’s not your whole funnel.
6. Do you have an email list?
Finding an audience on social media is one thing.
Keeping that audience coming back for more is another challenge altogether.
All marketers know that you need to make contact several times before a lead converts into a customer or client.
In the early days of social media, we all had this idea that if we got someone to follow or subscribe, they would automatically see our content every time we posted.
We were so young and naive back then, weren’t we?
Thanks to saturation and algorithms, getting someone to see your content repeatedly is extremely difficult — even if they are followers or subscribers.
The way around this is to get your social media audience to give you their email address so that you can continue the conversation in a controlled way — in their email inbox, where they are more likely to see you.
You of course then have to have a way of collecting and managing an email list. You also have to come up with email content in the form of an e-blast or e-newsletter that again offers value to your potential customer.
Find out more about Constant Contact here.
7. Do you have a lead magnet?
A lead magnet is a great way to grow your email list in a qualified way.
Basically, a lead magnet is a downloadable product that you give away for free, on your website or a landing page, in exchange for an email address.
It can be a free ebook, video, white paper, infographic, slideshow, checklist, audio recording — really, anything that can be downloaded for free without too much hassle.
You should then create a form on your website or landing page so that people can opt-in for your lead magnet in exchange for their email address and automatically get added to your list. Constant Contact has features that can create forms and landing pages for you. Learn more about Constant Contact here.
Building your email list in this way will help you add value to the right audience and get them to opt-in for more communication from you.
Before you dive head first into a social media marketing strategy, make sure you’ve put some thought into what you want to achieve. Make sure you have clear business goals. Have an idea of where your brand is and where you want it to be. Know your audience, how to reach them, and what they are looking for in terms of content. Make sure you have the tools, bandwidth, and personnel to execute your social media plan. Invest in a company website that converts. Have an email list and put a system in place to maintain and grow it. Have a lead magnet in place to grow that email list via a landing page or form on. Your website.
If you need help with your social media strategy, content creation, and social media management, get in touch!
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