As a small business owner, you’re pulled in what feels like a million different directions on any given day. Not only do you have to be constantly serving the needs of your clients, but you also have to manage payroll, act as HR, operate as a sales team and so much more. With so many different hats to wear, marketing, specifically social media marketing, tends to fall to the wayside.
As a social media and content marketer myself, I’ve even fallen into the trap of, “I know I need to create social content for my business/brand, but it’s more important to finish client work, budgeting…etc.” And while those things are crucial to the survival of your business, (no clients = no business), having an active and credible social media presence is also pretty necessary.
The facts speak for themselves
- 54% of social browsers use social media to research products.
- 71% of consumers who have had a positive experience with a company on social media are likely to recommend the brand to their friends and family.
- Research shows that social media users spend approximately 3 hours a day on their favorite social channels
So, you know you need to be active and engaged on your social channels but you still have the same time and resources as before…what now?
While I can’t magically add more hours to your day I can help you make the most of the hours you do have and plan your content strategically and with a goal in mind.
1. Know Your Audience
First thing’s first. Do you know who your target audience is? If you aren’t sure, set some time aside to create a buyer persona(s). A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.
When making your buyer persona(s), consider the demographics of your customer, what they are trying to achieve and what motivates them. Once you have a strong grasp on who your ideal client is, it will be easier to create content focused on their wants and needs.
2. What is your goal?
You now have your buyer persona(s) in mind and are having fun brainstorming content ideas. While this is exactly what you should be doing, you should also be thinking about the “why” behind your content. Are you trying to increase engagement with your current followers? Maybe you’re trying to increase brand awareness or drive traffic to your website? Whatever your overarching goal(s), it’s important to create content that will help you reach your targets.
3. Entice Consumers With Free Advice
You’ve outlined your buyer persona and your goals are written down. Now it’s time to start creating content that will establish your credibility and provide value to your audience.
As consumers, we typically appreciate content that offers tangible value. Whether it’s a blog post on how to invest spare change or an Instagram caption with instructions on composting, consumers want advice, tips and “how to’s” and they want them free of charge. By sharing free, valuable content, you’re not only proving your expertise, you’re also becoming a trusted resource to your audience.
Now that you’ve laid the groundwork, it’s time to solidify how you create and plan your work.
4. Set Aside Dedicated Time Each Week
Here comes the part where you’ll need to exercise some self-discipline. Whether it’s 30 minutes or three hours, set aside a specific time each week, set a timer and work on creating content until that timer goes off. If you’re slow on Tuesday mornings, set an alarm from 8 – 9 a.m. and spend that hour researching industry trends, checking out what your competitors are doing and creating content. Even if you only churn out one or two social posts, the quality of the content you create is far more important than the quantity.
5. Schedule Your Content
Scheduling your content ahead of time lets you take the, “set it and forget it” approach. You’ve taken the time to create this content, now schedule it ahead of time so you don’t have to remember to post it later in the week. Facebook allows you to schedule social media posts ahead of time. You can also check out social media software like Hootesuite and CoSchedule to-do the heavy lifting and schedule all of your social posts ahead of time.
6. Ask For Help
So, you’ve found your target audience, set time aside each week to create content and have found a system for scheduling your social content. Or maybe you’ve given it your best college try and it’s not your cup of tea. No need to worry! There are content marketing professionals, *cough – me – cough,* here to help you define your audience, create content tailored toward that audience and analyze the results.
Finding the time to create thoughtful and strategic social media content isn’t always easy, especially when you have clients to serve, employees to manage and dozens of things on your to do list. However, we’re confident that if you heed this advice, you’ll have a strong and engaging social media strategy.
Need help with your social media marketing? Let’s chat!