Every small business owner feels the pressure to develop and maintain a social media presence for their business. Where it used to be considered a great strategy to put “AAAAA” in front of the name of your business so that it would be listed first in the telephone book, now it feels like you need an advanced degree in communications to begin learning how to create effective social media profiles for your business across platforms that seem to multiply daily. How are you supposed to manage all of this new media marketing and still have time left to oversee production, complete projects, manage human resources and do all of the other things you are required to do when you run your own company?
Take a deep breath. There are ways you can break up the task of managing your social media marketing into chunks that can be accomplished by a normal human being. It may be a technical solution, like getting the right software, or it may be a soft solution, like mapping out a deliberate strategy to tackle your social media priorities. There are concrete steps you can take to set your business on the right path to an effective social media presence.
The Soft Suggestions
These are the tips that help you think about the big picture of where your company is going and how social media can help take it there. Following these suggestions helps you save time by keeping you focused on the results. When everything seems urgent, it can be hard to prioritize. Pruning away extraneous ideas, tasks and media lets your company move forward.
- Start from the end. Pick a specific, measurable goal for your social media campaign: something like a target number of “Likes” or “Followers” or an increase in the number of your newsletter subscribers.
- Determine the best social media platforms for your business to reach its customers and in turn, achieve the goal. If you want “Likes,” you’re going to target Facebook. If you want to grow your newsletter, you’re probably going to use multiple platforms and include a
- Create native content tailored for the platforms on which you and your customers engage. Ideally, you want your content to expand virally, so that it reaches more than your self-selected audience and brings your company in front of new eyes and therefore potential customers. The best suggestion we’ve seen is that as you create content, you should ask yourself, “Is this something I would “Like,” or would I “Share” it?” If your answer is “Like,” your message isn’t strong enough. You want your customers to feel that connection with your ideas so that they just have to share it.
- Consider writing a “strategy plan” for your marketing. Most of our Stitchcraft Marketing clients have a written plan that we review with them monthly. We consider it our “road map” so everyone knows what content is going to be posted where. Begin with your major themes for the month such as a new yarn or the launch of a pattern collection. Write them all out so you don’t miss covering the important messaging. Use it as a checklist throughout the month to guide your efforts.
The Practical Solutions
- Streamline your social media publishing. Social media dashboard software like Hootsuite helps you manage your message across platforms. No longer will you have to upload content individually to your different social media accounts–Hootsuite can be configured to post to all your chosen platforms on a predetermined schedule. That means that you or your marketing team can sit down and program your posts and content for a week, a month or quarter ahead, eliminating the piecemeal approach and planning and executing an integrated social marketing campaign.
- Use the analytics included in Hootsuite. Knowing whether you’re reaching your campaign’s goals gives you the opportunity to correct in mid-course. You don’t have to keep doing the same thing if it’s not working.
- Delegate the social media marketing tasks. If your company is big enough to have a marketing team (or at least a marketing specialist), let that person or those people do their jobs. Especially as a company grows from a one-person operation into a business with employees, it can be hard for the principal to step back from doing everything herself. You want to make sure your message is consistent, but you have to be able to trust that your vision is clear enough that other people can execute it for you. Let them.
- Consider outsourcing your social media marketing. Sometimes you can’t find the right person to keep it in-house, or you’re not yet at a point where adding employees makes sense for the direction your company is growing. Let the experts at Stitchcraft Marketing create and work your social media marketing strategy. We can do this for you so that you can do what you do best.
This article provided courtesy of Stitchcraft Marketing, a full service agency specializing in Yarn Companies. If you’d like more information about anything contained in this article, feel free to contact the owner of Stitchcraft Marketing, Leanne Pressly at 719-539-3110 or email Leanne@stitchcraftmarketing.com for more information.