Social Media Marketing for Startups: The Basics - Social Media Strategy: Part 1

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When using social media for business you need to make a plan to ensure that your social networking doesn’t become social notworking. It may be tempting to get lost down the rabbit hole of Pinterest DIYs, throwback Thursdays and clickbait, but the key to successful social media marketing (SMM) is to focus and deliver high-quality and consistent posts that are engaging and shareable.

So, how do you avoid getting stuck in an endless loop of scrolling? Plan. Plan. PLAN.

We’ve previously looked at the vital role that planning plays in social media marketing. Ultimately, A Bad Plan Is Better Than No Plan and at Social INK we practice what we preach. We have a plan (and a spreadsheet!) for everything.

The next parts in this series on Social Media Marketing for Startups will focus on helping you create the perfect social media strategy for your business.

Why Plan?

Let’s start at the very beginning. Why should you make a social media plan?

Small business owners are busy. We know that. So, it may seem counterproductive to spend time creating and maintaining a plan.

If you’re struggling to find the time to juggle all of your responsibilities as a small biz owner, we can help you. Reach out here. Alternatively, we have some great blog posts that could help you out:

But, hear us out. A plan can actually help you save time.

If you set yourself objectives and goals, then you’re more likely to stick to them, than waste your time scrolling online. Let’s face it — though the internet is amazing, it’s also distracting. But if you have a clear idea of what, when and where to post then you’re much more likely to achieve your goals.

With a plan, you can also begin to delegate. If you have a clear schedule for posting, you can begin to assign tasks to your team members, so there’s no risk of duplicating work or missing a post. You can also look into automating some of your processes, which will save you time, money and human resources.

Don’t think of a plan as time-consuming — think of it as time-saving. A small investment of time that will reap huge efficiency benefits in the long run.

Get S.M.A.R.T.

When it comes to making a plan, we think it’s smart to be S.M.A.R.T.

Not familiar with the corporate acronym? We’ll break it down for you.

It may be a bit of a tired cliché, but there’s a reason for that — it’s a great way to ensure that you’re setting yourself achievable goals and not striving for the impossible. Make your goals:

Specific.

Measurable.

Attainable.

Relevant.

Time-bound.

In a nutshell — set yourself up for success, not failure. Take the following two goals as an example:

  • I want to get 1 million new followers on Instagram.

  • I want to get 1000 new followers by the end of this quarter.

It’s unrealistic to aim for millions of new followers, or to see a tweet go viral. You can’t plan for these things, and it will only cause disappointment when the goals aren’t met.

Instead, it’s more reasonable to set yourself smaller, more achievable goals that you can reach or even surpass. We all like hitting targets. Humans are actually designed to feel a rush of happiness when we achieve our goals.

So, what sort of goals should you aspire to for your social media?

Reach — expand the reach that your posts achieve. Either by hashing carefully, paid promotions, or even influencer marketing.

Consumption —  create high-quality content that will be liked, shared, and therefore seen by a wider audience.

Conversation — social media is a great space for fostering loyalty. Interact with followers or your wider network. Show the human side to your business. People like that.

Notice our list doesn’t mention follower count. It’s not the quantity of followers that matters, but the quality. Focus on building up a loyal community who engage with your posts and become evangelists for your brand. Paid-for followers or #followbacks don’t add any value beyond numbers. They’re hollow followers who won’t engage, like or share. You don’t need them!

That’s why, when setting social media goals for your business, think S.M.A.R.T.

What does your startup need? Increased brand awareness? Improved ROI? Or do you just need to gain a better understanding of your industry?

No matter what your end goal is, having targets to work towards that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound will help you stay focused.

What’s Next?

The next part in our Social Media Marketing for Startups series continues our exploration of social media strategy. We look at auditing your audience, how to build your own strategy and the importance of reviewing your plan.

If this is all a bit much, we’re here to help. Focus on your business and we’ll look after your social media marketing. Reach out and find out how we can help your business succeed.

We want to help every SME gain a foothold in the digital landscape and leverage social media for growth and success. If you need some extra guidance, drop Social INK a line. We offer a no obligation free consultation and proposal to help boost your business. Get in touch with us for a quick chat — we’re a friendly bunch and we’d love to hear from you!