social media marketing

7 Steps to Effective Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses

Did you know that, according to Pie Insurance, there are 30.2 million small businesses that exist in the US? Additionally, almost half of the American population, at 47.5%, is employed by a small business.

Considering how many small businesses are out there, you need to use all the right strategies to put yours on the map.

The best way to do this is by having a strong social media marketing strategy.

However, there’s so much that goes into social media advertising, and it can get confusing when you think about all the different social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

How do you get started? Is there a way to make a social media plan? If you don’t have any of this information, you might feel overwhelmed or stressed about getting started.

That’s why we’ve put together this article. In it, you’ll learn about all the steps you have to take to have effective social media marketing for your small business.

Finally, your business can be more successful than ever. Read on to learn more.

Step 1: Perform a Social Media Marketing Audit

Chance are, you already have a bit of a presence on social media. To figure out where you need to from here to make your social media management more effective, you need to perform a social media marketing audit. Think about:

  • Which platforms your business is active on currently
  • Which platforms are getting you the most value
  • How your profiles look in comparison to your competitors’

Additionally, you’ll want to assess how effectively you’re optimizing your social media profiles. To do this, you need to think about the URL, your bio, cover images, and your profile picture photo. Do they reflect your business and your brand?

Once you’ve performed your social media marketing audit, you should have an idea of what changes you need to make to the profiles you’re already using so that they work in your industry and match up with your business’s brand.

You’ll also be able to make any changes to make your profiles more personable and accessible to your customers. This brings us to the next step…

Step 2: Create an Ideal Customer Persona

If you haven’t already created an ideal customer persona that helps you direct your business, your brand, the products you sell, and the social media post and other types of content you create, it’s time to do that now. Or maybe you need to get more specific.

For example, let’s say you run a small restaurant. You might have a general idea of your clientele from looking out from the back to see who’s sitting there. Maybe you draw in many families, for example.

This is a start, but when you create an Ideal Customer Persona, you need to get as specific as possible. This will help you create the best social media content for them and know where to post it so they find it.

To create an Ideal Customer Persona, think about details such as:

Additionally, something important you want to think about is your Ideal Customer’s pain points. This is the problem that they have and that you can solve best. By depicting this in your social media content and branding, they’ll be more likely to become your customer.

Let’s return to the restaurant example. Maybe it turns out that your Ideal Customers are families with two working parents.

When they come to your restaurant, they want an escape from their busy life while still spending some family time together.

You can change your offerings to reflect this, such as providing a discounted Kids’ Menu and even some activities for kids to do while the parents are enjoying a glass of wine together for the first time that week.

In your social media marketing, you could specifically talk to your customers about how you relieve them of these points.

Because you know all the other details, such as income and age, you’ll know how to speak to them and what deals to offer.

You’ll also know where to post because you know what social media sites they spend the most time on.

As you can see, by having a detailed Ideal Customer Persona, you’ll know exactly what to aim toward when creating social media content, as well as when and where to post it.

Step 3: Create a Mission Statement for Your Social Media Presence

Next, you’ll want to create a mission statement for your social media presence. This will help you know exactly what to aim toward when you’re creating your social media posts. Let’s use a different example this time to illustrate this.

If you run a small security software company and most of your clients are other businesses, your mission statement might look like this:

“Using social media to teach potential customers about the importance of security in their businesses, what the risks are if they don’t have it, and how they can solve it in an easy, simple way with our software.”

By having this statement, you know that most of the content you create will be about the importance of security because of what the risks are to businesses that don’t have it.

Then, at the end of most of your posts, you can demonstrate why you’re the one who can give them the best security software that solves all their problems.

This gives all the content you create focus. Instead of writing posts about other technological or IT issues businesses might have, you’ll be writing specifically about the issues you can solve for them.

Step 4: Choose Your Metrics

If you’re posting on social media without checking to see if your efforts are working, you’re likely to not have a very successful social media management strategy. This is what makes metrics so important. They’ll help you fix your strategy to make it more effective.

There are different metrics it makes sense to measure when you’re looking at your social media efforts. These include:

  • How long visitors are on your website
  • Your conversion rate
  • How many people you reach
  • How many brand mentions you get

Additionally, they include how often your social media posts are liked, commented on, or shared. This will give you an idea of how much customers are interacting with you on social media and whether you need to find another way of reaching them.

Step 5: Make Awesome Content

When you’re posting on social media, what you’re posting is content. No matter how often you post or how well you know your Ideal Customer, if your content isn’t high-quality, your customers will quickly figure this out and stop visiting your social media pages and website.

So it’s very important to create awesome content. What do we mean by “awesome?” It has to be engaging, informative, and bring delight to your customers.

Fortunately, because you’ve created a mission statement for your social media posts and know who your Ideal Customer is, you already know what topics you should cover in your posts.

Now it’s just a matter of deciding what type of content you want to share on social media. This could include:

  • Videos
  • Images
  • Company news
  • Interviews
  • Blog posts
  • Infographics

Additionally, it could include eBooks. eBooks are a great choice because you can also use these as a lead magnet to get more information from your customers when they’re in a later stage of the sales funnel.

Another great way to make awesome content is to work with people in your industry your customers admire, such as influencers.

You can also invite your customers to create content.

For example, if you run a clothing store, you can reward your customers with the chance of winning a prize if they post an Instagram picture with a piece of your clothing and tag you in it.

Step 6: Create a Social Media Calendar

Now that you’ve started thinking about the type of content you’re going to create, you need to think about when and where you’re going to post it. This way, you can draw your customers in with the right educational and informative information first.

Then, as they learn about what you know about your industry and what you have to offer, they can start to get more of the information they need.

You can also plan for industry events or specific seasons. For example, if you provide moving services, then you’ll be posting often on social media during the summer, which is when many families choose to plan their moving date.

Having a social media calendar also makes it easier for you to vary your content like you want to, posting a combination of pictures, videos, eBooks, and more.

This will make your customers feel like you’re providing a large variety of content.

Finally, you won’t have to worry about last-minute scheduling a post or forgetting to post a blog post that you usually post and share three times a week.

This is important because your customers will trust your brand more if you consistently post on social media.

A social media manager can make this job easier for you. However, if you can’t hire one, you can always hire a social media management company or use a content management system to make creating a calendar easier.

Many content management systems have the added bonus that you can schedule posts in advance, after which they’ll be posted automatically at the date and time you set them to.

Step 7: Do Your Tracking, Analyzing, and Optimizing

Finally, you’ll want to do your tracking, analyzing, and optimizing. If you skip this step, then you could be putting a lot of content out there but find that you aren’t getting any bites. Like any action you take in business, you have to test it to find out if it’s working.

Let’s return to the restaurant example. Let’s say that you’ve been posting often on Facebook because you found out that your Ideal Customer spends a lot of time on that platform.

So you track their activity. It looks like they’re liking and sharing your Facebook videos about the different fun things their kids can do while they’re enjoying your meal.

But then, when they visit your Facebook page or website, they don’t make a reservation at your restaurant. They don’t even visit. What’s going on?

By analyzing their behavior, you could find out that they’ve been contacting you on Facebook Messenger to make reservations.

So, even though you’ve been diligent about posting on Facebook, you haven’t actually been active on your page.

You might even find that many of these parents are asking questions on your Facebook page about your menu options and you haven’t been answering them.

After this discovery, you can optimize your social media strategy by spending more time interacting with customers on Facebook. Over time, your customer base will grow.

Need More Information?

Now that you’ve learned about the 7 steps to effective social media marketing for small businesses, you might need additional information. Maybe you want to find out about the best content management systems you can use.

Or maybe you need help performing your social media audit.

Whatever information you need, we can help. At the Blissbranding Agency, we’re experts when it comes to social media marketing. We also offer social management services. To learn more about how we can help, contact us now.