Are you using social media to market your small business? It’s probably a safe bet that you already are! According to Buffer, “Brands are riding the wave of social media marketing. 73% of marketers believe that their efforts through social media marketing have been “somewhat effective” or “very effective” for their business.” Many small businesses start out with a Facebook or Instagram account but struggle with implementing an action plan on how to properly grow and engage on social. In this article, you’ll find three key ways you can build a social media marketing plan and implement it easily, including tips to save time and money!
- Choose the best channel, build your following and optimize your profile
The best channel for your business to focus on is the one that your ideal target audience enjoys and uses most frequently. Your time and efforts should be devoted to growing on the channel that is going to get you seen the most often by your current, past and prospective clients. This is most likely one or two of the top social channels, Facebook or Instagram.
If you already have a profile on Facebook and/or Instagram, the first part of your social media marketing plan is to optimize it. Make sure your profile is named correctly so it’s easy for people to find you! Your “about” description should be clear about who you are, what you do and who you serve. Your profile photo should be your logo or a photo of yourself (as the owner). Your cover photo (for Facebook) can help describe your services, showcase your value proposition or be used as a fun way to send seasonal greetings to your followers.
Next on your plan will be how you are going to grow your pages. First, an email to your list asking them to follow you and share your page. You can also have a sign at your front desk and add your social profiles to your business cards. Your email signature should include inks to your profiles as well. Make sure to include in your plan how you will continue to grow your following!
- Set a posting schedule
The next part of your social media marketing plan should be to map out your posting schedule. You’ll want to post regularly in order to stay top of mind for your audience. For Facebook and Instagram, your ideal posting schedule would be at least 3-5 times per week. This includes posts on your feed as well as “story” posts. You can start by using a simple calendar monthly calendar and mark down important dates and holidays. Map out your schedule for any sales or promotions, birthday, and “national” days that relate to your business and audience. Add into your schedule posts to promote any new content you have planned as well. To fill in any gaps, gather content that is shareable and that provides value to your audience. This could be fun memes, images that describe your services, photos of your team or things going on at your business, or links of content from reputable sites that relate to your industry. While you map out your schedule and gather your content, you will notice that your social media marketing plan is slowly coming together!
Want to schedule your posts out in advance? Use the Facebook Creator Studio to schedule on both Facebook and Instagram!
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- Interact with followers & boost engagement
The last piece of your small business social media marketing plan is very important! Engaging with your followers is critical to success on social media. Your posts should provoke engagement, whether it’s asking a question or getting feedback – always try to work in ways to encourage followers to comment, like and share.
In your social media marketing plan, build in a schedule for daily social engagement. Take 10-20 minutes per day to follow new people, comment on posts, reply back to comments and share content. The more effort you put into being personal on social media, the better success you will have! While you can schedule your posts in a “set it and forget it” manner, engagement is key to making sure that you take full advantage of social media as a business marketing tool.
- Your social media marketing plan should include profile optimization, follower growth tactics, content gathering and planning and engagement time blocks.
- Don’t spread yourself too thin, put effort into the social media channels that your ideal client uses the most.
- Use the Facebook tools to schedule your posts in advance, especially holidays or sales/promotions that you know won’t change.
- Gather up content from valuable and reputable sources as “filler” posts.
- Use pre-made templates from Canva for Instagram Stories that will encourage engagement from followers.
- Make sure to follow new people, comment on posts, and reply to comments regularly!
- Have fun with social! But don’t forget a key part of your marketing plan should be to review your insights and make changes to posting times/content based on what you learn!