Carving out a digital presence for your business does not have to be the intimidating challenge many view it as. In fact, getting started on creating your accounts and beginning your social media journey could not be easier, and with more and more customers orienting themselves towards increasingly-digital mediums, you’ll be glad you did. This article will cover the basics on how to get started.
Social Media Strategy Step #1: Plan/Brainstorm
Before you actually do anything, it’s important to take some time to plan and prepare. Social media is constantly evolving–this means the best practice methods may change drastically over a short period of time… so it’s important to make sure your knowledge and approach are as relevant as possible.
The most important question to ask during this process is a simple one: where are my customers? Think about your business and consider your ideal customer: where are they on social media? A B2B software company will probably be focusing most of its attention on LinkedIn, but a B2C company selling apparel would want to direct its efforts almost exclusively to Instagram or Pinterest.
There are so many channels and the fact of the matter is that for most businesses, deciding to focus on one or two social channels as opposed to all of them is wise. So many companies feel as if they have to be everywhere and do everything–they end up wasting a lot of time and resources on things that quite simply don’t benefit your business. Focus on your niche and build the funnels where your audience is.
Social Media Strategy Step #2: Consider Brand Voice & Design
Once a business has decided where it will live on social media, the next step involves figuring out your unique online brand, a multifaceted entity. Again, it’s important to think specifically about your business and what makes it unique. Let’s use the same examples from earlier: what would a B2B software company look like? Since most of this company’s efforts will be focused on LinkedIn, their brand design and voice must align with best practice for this channel: the design profile should be modern and sleek, while the brand voice should be trustworthy and somewhat formal.
The other company we used as an example, the apparel company, would obviously take a different approach. A brand profile that is fun, festive, and fashionable would work best here, and a voice and tone that sound flirty and sassy would fit great for this medium and this business’s target audience.
This type of information also works well in a generalized social media strategy document, so I encourage you to create one as you work through these decisions. That way, you’ll be able to revisit it yourself or refer new hires to it as a way to bring them up to speed on your business and the way you operate on social media.
To learn more about brand voice (and why it matters!), check out this great article from Sprout Social.
Social Media Strategy Step #3: Build Your Profiles
At this point, we’re now ready to get our hands dirty by creating our social media profiles. You will need to use your email, but I recommend creating a separate email account for this purpose since a lot of social media applications are known for sending a high volume of emails. You can adjust these preferences, but creating a new email would also be helpful in the event that you have multiple people on your social team or simply don’t want to use your personal account.
Once you create your profiles, it’s time to fill out your account. Profile pictures should fit neatly into the circular shape and be both clear and visible. Heading images, where applicable, are banner-shaped images that live above your profile. This can be a great place to put large brand collateral and to include your tagline. Need more help? Read this article, 9 Tips to Nail Your Social Media PFP.
After this, you’ll then turn your attention to your profile itself. Regardless of channel, you will have a spot for a bio, the only variable being the limit on length. Your bio should be clear, concise, and actionable. It should directly communicate who you are, what you do, and how you do it; most importantly, it should include a CTA that is aligned with your goals. If you’re trying to direct traffic to your website, use an arrow emoji and ask visitors to check it out. If you’re trying to grow your following, it’s okay to encourage visitors to follow you in your bio itself.
Don’t be afraid to be direct with these–the right visitor will immediately see the value of the content you create or the services you provide. With this in mind, a direct CTA is not too salesly, it’s just a means of showing you believe your content and the product/service you provide are valuable. So go for it!
Social Media Strategy Step #4: Go Be Social!
Although all the growth hackers and social media gurus saturating the internet may tell you differently, there is truly only one way to achieve consistent, organic growth on any social media platform… and it’s hidden right in the name. Go be social! Interact and engage with your community and other accounts like you. Explore hashtags and leave genuine comments without expecting anything in return!
So many accounts fail because they think their content is so good it can standalone. They post and post and post without seeing any real traction, even if their content is tremendous. The reason is simple: these are not anti-social networks. They do not reward this type of behavior. They reward accounts that do what they built the platform for–connecting with the online community. Do that, genuinely, and your business will thrive. More than anything else: be patient! Gaining momentum takes time, so just continue to post, engage, and believe in the trajectory of your business.