Small and medium-sized businesses need well-developed strategies for increasing brand awareness and gaining traction with new audiences. That's where a strong social media strategy comes in.
According to SmallBizGenius, "93% of all marketers cite more exposure for their business as the number one benefit of social media marketing." While social media marketing offers businesses numerous advantages for selling, cultivating long-term customer relationships, and even providing 24/7 customer support, it's an excellent tool for exposure.
Let’s explore how to get started creating a social media strategy that puts your brand in front of your target market.
Creating social media strategies from the ground up is a challenge. With all the information on the Internet, it can be overwhelming to figure out your first move. So get started with these clear-cut actions.
1. Understand Your Target Audience
There are millions of social media users online in the United States alone. While you don't want to alienate anyone, you don't want to cater to all of them, either. Instead, determine the types of shoppers you have the most success with. Pinpoint your top buyers or the customers that are easiest to sell to. Once you know your ideal consumer, you can build a profile.
Create a buyer persona that describes the unique attributes of your ideal customer. This allows you to formulate messages that address their needs, create relevant solutions, and ensure your message resonates with their tastes.
Useful attributes include:
- Interests and hobbies
- Pain points your products and services can resolve
Trying to appeal universally can water down your message. If you don't address specific needs or have an identifiable tone, your audience will scroll past you or find your content unmemorable.
2. Know What Social Media Platforms Your Audience Is Using
Every social media platform draws its own core buyers from the billions of global users. Based on the unique identifiers in your buyer persona, your target customers may spend time exclusively on Reddit and never visit Facebook. Alternatively, your audience may have Facebook accounts but spend significantly more time on YouTube. Once you know where your audience spends time, you can devote your marketing resources toward those specific channels.
SmallBiz Genius reports, "The average American has 7.1 social media accounts." Not only do you need to know precisely which social media platforms your target audience is on, but you need to understand how they prefer to use them. For example, your audience may spend a lot of time on both LinkedIn and Instagram, but they only shop through Instagram posts and don't spend money on professional services. But if your ideal buyer shops across both Instagram and Facebook, you can cross-promote.
3. Create Valuable Content
Once you know who you're talking to and where you're engaging them, it's time to start creating social media posts. Don't let this stage be an afterthought: it's important to produce valuable, memorable content that drives your target market to take a certain action and positively remember your brand.
This can take the form of:
- Short videos that showcase how your company solves problems
- Witty or fun messages that entertain
- Snippets of recently released blog content, articles, or long videos that take viewers to those pieces of content
- Promotional statements about approaching sales, store openings, or other important events
Ultimately, the message should provide value to the customer you devised in your buyer persona. It can educate, entertain, or persuade depending on your campaign's needs, but it should always give something for the viewer to take away.
4. Keep It Consistent
First, create a steady posting schedule. Depending on your chosen social media channel, your audiences may be anticipating routinely timed posts. The algorithms behind the scenes of many social media platforms also take dependable posting schedules and viewership into consideration when deciding which posts to put on users' feeds.
Also, keep your branding elements coherent. This includes visuals like logos, colors, and fonts. When these aspects are consistent, your brand becomes more recognizable and familiar. But it's just as important to keep an unvarying tone so audiences know what to expect, especially if they're following your posts because their ideals align with your brand.
5. Engage With Your Audience
Don't just post into the void and wait for audiences to come to your site. If your buyers are engaging with your posts on social media, interact with them. Reply to their responses, leave comments when buyers create posts that discuss your products or services, and chat with your audience. Being interactive lets you form deeper connections, which is great for cultivating life-long customers.
Build Your Social Media Marketing Strategy With Meredith
If you want to expand your brand's reach and stay top-of-mind for more consumers, start building your social media strategy today. Meredith Arizona is here to help with timely insights into social media trends and marketing support.