With more than 22 million Canadians active on social media, it only makes sense for business owners to engage with customers via social media.
If you are ready to commit some time to nurturing your presence on social media for your small business, here are four steps to getting started:
Start by gathering information about your customer, competitor and industry leaders.
As a business owner, you know your business best, and you know who your ideal customers are.
Write out a detailed description of your ideal customer including their sex, age, geographical location, right down to their interests, hobbies, and values.
Find out the demographic on each social platform and cherry pick the ones that your customers fall under.Then take a look at the times they log in, when they are the most active, what and when they post. And the frequency of their posting and engagement. This will help you tailor your efforts on social media strategically to reach your customer past all the noise.
Next, gather data on your competitors; what kind of content are they producing? which posts are getting the most attention? what is the engagement like on their channels? and whether their efforts are successful or unsuccessful . Looking to your competitors will give you insights into their efforts, and what has worked and doesn't work before you start your journey.
Finally, hand pick your favourite brands and follow leaders in your industry. This can help you stay up to date in your industry without having to be look up news stories relevant to your business. Hand picking favourite brands and leaders in industry also helps you get a sense of different styles and come up with your own voice for your brand.
Start by defining your company's value, and positioning statement. Define your position to attract like minded audience. Think about what your defined audience values, and whether those values are going to come in conflict with the way you present your brand online.
Define your social goals; what do you want to get out of your social media efforts? Is it a set number of clicks to website, engagement, likes, follow, subscription or will you be measuring your social media success solely based on sales you make online?
Once you define your social goals, you can also define the metrics you will rely on for measuring social goals for your business.
In order to build your online community, you need to create content that attracts your audience.
To do so, begin by creating a content calendar for the month. Conceptualize content for each of the days, when you will post, what you will post, and where you will be posting. Curating a pre-conceptualized calendar helps you stay consistent.
Facilitate engagement between your brand and members of your online community, but also within the community itself. Encourage engagement between members, foster a space for an active community.
Lastly it's important to keep track of efforts on social media platforms. Measure your results based on the social goals you set for your business ahead of time.
Look at the posts with highest engagement, analyze the content and the time it is posted at. Lots of social media have made this part extremely easy to do. For instance, Facebook and Instagram have their own insight that measures for popular posts, engagement, impression, demographic etc.
If you are beginning your social media journey, these insight might be limited until you have greater following. For instance, Instagram insight requires 100 followers to view demographics for your business account.
Regardless there are lots of tools out there to help you measure. If you have less than 50 followers the first month, you can highlight data yourself on an excel sheet.
Note: Don't get tempted into buying following or using generator, approach social media with strategy and efforts to organically grow your following. This ensures that you have relevant audience, who are more likely to engage with your content and brand.
Easy to use tools for tracking your results:
Once you go through Steps 1-4, repeat the cycle over again.Gather data from your first month, examine what works and what doesn't then come up with better strategy for the following month.
There is no fixed social media strategy for business, each business is unique, and so are their audience. Make changes as it is required, and implement different strategy. Always have a social goal for your business and measure your results from your social media accounts.