How To: Social Media Strategies for Small Business In 2024

Social media has transitioned from a place where people connect and socialise online to a buzzing marketplace with millions of potential customers trying to find interesting products and offering services. Droves of businesses are directing their marketing efforts to social media to capitalise on this potentially game-changing opportunity. Although most of us know what goes on social media these days, understanding how to use these platforms for a business’s benefit is something very different. With experts’ intervention and effective marketing strategies, countless businesses have cut through the murk of social media, achieving transformational business growth.
  • Mel Gibbons

    6 February, 2024

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How To Develop A Successful Social Media Marketing Strategy

Here are ten steps to build an effective social media marketing strategy to help grow your marketing efforts and sustain them in 2024.

  1. Set Realistic Marketing Goals

While some businesses succeed using simple social media marketing strategies, others need further consideration and improvements. Many businesses fail in their marketing by setting unrealistic goals from the get-go – the key is to start sane, not small. Although most businesses control their own social media channels, they can invariably do with some guidance in understanding how to leverage social media appropriately. Start by setting realistic goals that align with your business plan. Any social media marketing goals you devise must also resonate with the business’s long-term goals. Setting SMART goals to deliver the right results.

Your goals should be:

✔     Specific

✔     Measurable

✔     Attainable

✔     Relevant

✔     Time-Based

  1. Define Your Social Media Audience

Having a huge following on social media is great but translating it into an actual conversion takes work. Engaging your following is key – a follower who does not engage with the content on your platform will be considered vanity metrics.

Identify posts that do well, gauge the comments, and then step towards building a clear marketing strategy to set yourself apart from the crowd. If your business operates within a single region, target local followers to boost your sales.

It is important to take time to understand your audience. Grouping target markets by demographics such as location, hobbies, income, and interests can help to personalise your social media marketing campaigns.

  1. Set Up Your Social Media Platforms

Review your current social media channels and evaluate how you can align them towards your goals before building your marketing strategies. You do not need to have a profile on every platform. Instead, choose channels with high engagement and grow through them.

Success on just one platform can transform your marketing, while also letting you maintain total control. Explore ways to benefit from that channel further. If your YouTube soars, research YouTube marketing tips and ways to better meet your customers’ expectations through this platform. Lastly, check the type of audiences your social media channels are engaging and determine if they align with your business goals.

  1. Assess Your Competitors’ Social Media Strategies

Gauging the competition can be a key driving force in developing a brilliant social media marketing strategy. Your competitors are likely already using social media strategies, which can be a great way to guide you on some steps.

A quick competitor analysis can give you great insight into the target markets your competitors are focusing on including keyword selection, and optimisation tools. If you look closely, you can determine where they are failing. Focus on strengthening these areas, and you’ll certainly build a brilliant strategy. 

  1. Set a Marketing Budget

Growing traffic and boosting conversions requires investing time in your social media marketing strategy. Social media should be treated just like any other form of marketing that’s worth investing in. A well-thought-out budget should allow for the different forms of paid social media advertising.

It is important to manage your budget and avoid spending more than you earn from a platform. Though your main goal may be building brand awareness, creating a return on investment is equally important.

  1. Build a Content Strategy

High-quality and original content can transform your social media marketing strategy and how your brand is perceived by your followers. Be creative when creating social media content and give people a reason to follow your account. Posts that are constantly self-promotional can become tiresome quickly. Focusing on using social media as a tool for building interaction and engagement will promote an image of genuineness to your followers.

Although most platforms have become marketplaces, the social aspects are still relevant. Build a content strategy by understanding your audiences; they are more likely to engage with your business personally. The type of content also depends on the platform, and look to use the right tools for posting and sharing content.

  1. Create Content that Resonates with Your Audience

After building a content strategy, the next big step is selecting the right content for your audience. Visual content reigns supreme across most social media platforms, with giants like Facebook and Instagram being hubs for multimedia sharing.

In today’s digital landscape, video content holds significant sway, as it captures the attention of customers and showcases products in a dynamic light. However, it’s essential to diversify your content to engage various audience personas effectively.

Customising content for each platform is paramount to ensure your posts seamlessly integrate with the platform’s unique vibe and audience expectations. For instance, on Twitter, concise yet impactful messages accompanied by striking visuals can amplify your brand’s voice. Meanwhile, platforms like TikTok and LinkedIn require tailored approaches, with TikTok favouring short, attention-grabbing videos and LinkedIn demanding more professional, informative content.

Remember, a one-size-fits-all approach won’t cut it across all platforms. By crafting content that feels native to each platform, you’ll captivate your audience and foster deeper connections with your brand.

  1. Determine Your Success Metrics

After devising a strategy for social media marketing, you must set metrics to determine how audiences respond to your strategies. After investing time and resources on social media platforms, determine the metrics to measure success. You can create metrics with some good marketing tips relevant to your business goals.

If you want to increase brand awareness, your metrics will revolve around post-reach. If your marketing goals are to increase sales, consider the number of clicks on your posts. This metric indicates the key drivers behind buyer decisions.

  1. Use Social Media Tools

Social media users may reach out to you through Facebook Messenger, Instagram Messaging, or WhatsApp. Unfortunately, you may be unavailable when they need you to respond to queries. Consider adding automation tools to your pages, such as a message auto-reply, to maintain an ongoing customer-business relationship.

Chatbots on messaging apps or websites address customer concerns before directing them to customer support teams. Alternatively, use automation tools to schedule your posts when audience traffic is at its peak. You can integrate numerous tools for free or at a cost to ensure your social media strategy works as intended.

  1. Track and Measure Strategy Performance

Proper tracking of social media marketing results is a way to ensure that things are working as expected. Tracking your strategy’s performance makes it possible to understand its impact. After setting goals and defining metrics, keep track of their progress.

Consider Social Media Marketing services with numerous analytic tools for social media platforms. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have analytics highlighting your engagement level with your accounts. Use these insights to improve your content and develop ideas that may improve the performance of your strategy.

Using these ten points as guidelines for creating a social media strategy to deliver results on an ongoing basis. They’ve proven their worth for many, and unless there’s a major shift in the social media landscape, they’re here to stay. Start off with these strategies—they’re flexible and suitable for businesses of any size.

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