Are you the owner of a small (but mighty) business?
With a load of spare time to execute a complicated social media strategy? Like the not-so-small businesses do?
Do I ask dumb questions?
I’ve been told that before, so get in line.
But, I’m also here to help you with an absolute-bare-minimum social media plan.
So you can go from feeling overwhelmed, dumb and numb to sharp, focused and ‘I got this’.
You’re such a smart business owner. Now, use your business savvy to create a social strategy to attract more leads, have more conversations, and win more sales.
Bonus: Download our free, customizable social media calendar template to easily plan and schedule all your content in advance.
Why might you need a paired down strategy?
Because you’ve got a business to run. You’ve got to do things like…
Hire, fire, train, and manage. Increase sales, lower costs, and improve profits. Launch a website, or a new product or service. Read a book, attend a seminar. Buy software programs to run your business. And all the other activities to make a buck, so you can live in your home, and vacation with your family, while working for yourself—not others.
Okay, I’m projecting on that last one.
It’s easy to focus excessively on a social media strategy. Which eats up your time when trying to make more $$$.
Yes, social media is important to:
- Help others know you exist
- Gain new leads from your website
- Improve your search engine rankings
But, be smart about how much time and sweat you apply.
Here’s some tips on how to stay focused (and unwhelmed) with just ‘the right amount’ of social media for your small business.
How to create a minimalist social media strategy
Some simple tips for a simple strategy.
Set your digital marketing goals
Before setting your digital sail, know where you want to go. Better you choose then leaving it up to the e-wind.
Understand your audience. Are they Millennials, single musicians, older parents who want to send their kids away to summer camp? Do a little thinking, and write a few notes, to know what to share, and on which networks.
Start with any current customers. Got some people who’ve already bought from you? Consider finding new leads with some of the same traits. Like: their age, where they live, their income, how they spend their spare time, stuff like that.
See more social media best practices.
Pick a couple channels
You’ve set a few goals and chose a few demographics for your audience. Nice job.
Now choose two networks to show and share your posts. No need to spread yourself thin across many platforms.
Which networks to choose?
Are you using some now? If so, which ones are working best? Consider the number of followers, likes, shares, and comments to help you pair down. Integrate that along with your goals, to make a good choice.
Not using any networks yet? Fine. Learn which demographics matter to marketers. This will help you make a wise choice.
LinkedIn is the backbone for my social media right now. I’ve gotten good at: sharing articles twice a day in my feed, inviting new connections, planning and sending messages to those connections over a few months, and asking them to talk with me on the phone.
Get good at a few. Later on, add a few more. Iterate.
Create a social schedule
Because if you don’t, you’ll waste precious time by:
- Responding to comments longer that expected
- Spending hours creating social media images
- Reading interesting content that doesn’t benefit your business
- Doing things others might be better at
There’s all kinds of ways to get lost in a sea of social surfing.
Instead, create a couple schedules to do specific social tasks. Say, every day for 30 minutes, some combination of:
- Read (or scan) an interesting post for your business
- Save it to share later with your fans
- Respond to comments
- Like posts from others
- Update your profile image and text
- Write a new post (even if it’s just once a month)
Then, 30 minutes every Monday morning, login to Hootsuite to schedule those 10 useful articles a week (2 a day).
You get the idea. Develop your own schedule to stay focused. The keys being:
- Develop a new habit
- Block out some time
- Don’t answer calls
- Shut down email
Another thing, you don’t have to do everything yourself. Hire a VA to do some of the above. Or hire an expert to create a video, write a post, or record a podcast. Put it in your schedule to find and interview one of those experts.
Publish awesome content
When paring down your social activities, your number one priority should be content—content worth sharing, because it’s worth reading.
By this time you should have some good notions about your target audience:
- What do they want?
- What pains or problems are they experiencing?
- What are the root causes for those problems?
- How does the above make them feel?
- How can you solve those problems?
- How will their life improve after solving their problems?
Ponder and answer these questions with your posts and content.
Remember, creating great content—whether it’s an Instagram post or a long-form blog post—is more about your readers than you and your business. Too many businesses use ‘we’, and ‘ours’ -vs- ‘you, and ‘yours’. In fact, count the number of times you use these words.
Change your content accordingly (do the same for your web pages, too).
Make your readers the hero in the story, like Luke Skywalker. Positioning you as the guide, like Yoda.
More people will listen, respond, like, and share your posts when it’s about them.
Track your results
Pick one or two KPIs for each network to know how your social strategy is performing. See what’s working and what’s not. This will help you gain insights for what to change and test.
What is a KPI?
It’s a type of metric to measure performance deemed valuable to your business. Track it over time to measure progress (or not). This will help you know if you are achieving your goals and targets.
What are some KPIs worth tracking?
Here’s a few:
For reach: How many people might see your posts across all of social media
- Audience growth rate: Rate of growth for your social media followers
- Post reach: Number of people having seen your post since it went live
For engagement: How people are interacting (or not) with your posts
- Applause rate: How many people like your posts, relative to your total followers
- Average engagement rate: Similar to above, but for likes, shares, and comments
- Amplification rate: How your followers care and share your content with their people
For conversions: How effective your campaign is performing
- Conversion rate: Number of visitors that take the action you asked them to
- Click-through rate: The rate people click on your call-to-action (CTA) links
- Bounce rate: The rate people are leaving without completing your CTA
There’s plenty more. That’s just a few social media KPIs you can choose to track for your social media strategy.
Whichever ones you choose to track, here’s a social media report template to input your results month-over-month.
Create a backlog of images and content
Some times are busier than others for your business. I get it. So when you’re on a writing-content-creation groove—roll with it.
Maybe you can write two (or three) posts this month or week, even though you only publish one piece during that time. Write and create when you can, to build up an inventory of content and ideas.
You’ll be glad when your workload is high, and time to write low. When all you have to do is hit the publish button. Better than always writing under pressure.
While this piece is about a minimal approach for your small business, it’s still critical to act like the biggies, to get an ROI for your time and effort.
Be focused. Be consistent. Measure results. Lather, rinse, and repeat to do better this month than last, better this year than last.
Easily manage all your social media profiles using Hootsuite. From a single dashboard you can schedule and publish posts, engage your followers, monitor relevant conversations, measure results, manage your ads, and much more. Try it free today.