How to Create a Social Media Strategy for your Small Business

Trying to navigate a social media strategy for your small business? With a jam packed schedule, you hardly have time to eat lunch, let alone post about your product or service on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.

Not to put any pressure on you but according to a Global Digital report, more than 3 billion people around the world now use social media each month, with 9 in 10 of those users accessing their chosen platforms via mobile devices.

Social media can help build awareness of your brand, show authenticity, encourage engagement, provide support and might even land you clients. Even if your product might not seem that exciting, there is something to be said about making a presence for yourself and sharing more about lifestyle behind the brand to increase engagement.

Gone are the days where a business is required to spend thousands of dollars on advertising to reach its prospect. ~Huffington Post

If you’re new to the world of social media, this article and the 5 W’s can help point you in the right direction. Consider this your Social Media 101 lesson! Grab your pencil and notebook – time to jot down some notes. There could be a pop quiz at the end!

Who is your audience?

The first step of communicating to your audience on social media is to figure out who they are. What are their ages and genders? What are their habits and values? What do they care about? While you may know to whom you want to sell, your audience may include types of people you have yet to consider. A Forbes article titled, How To Connect With Your Audience And Authentically Communicate Your Brand, states:

Imagine that your brand is a person. How would he or she act, look and speak? Everything you say as a business, including your email marketing, tweets, social media updates and blog posts should convey this unique voice so that people can connect with your brand on a personal level.

NumberBarn knows that our audience can vary from home phone users in their mid-30s and up trying to ditch a landline, millennials in their 20s traveling or studying abroad as well as small business owners and entrepreneurs in their 20s and above working to create their own company. We tailor our posts around what we think these individuals would actually need in their lives.

Resource to Check Out: 7 Ways to Tap Into Your True Target Audience 

What message is your brand trying to share?

Your product or service might be something that you don’t necessarily consider interesting. How do you communicate what you can offer in a way that will gain attention? Go back to your audience and look at your product or service from a lifestyle point of view. In what is your audience interested? What type of person uses your product? What else does that person do in their life? How can you connect with your audience through your messaging?

The article titled, 3 Ways To Make Your Social Media Messages More Impactful, advises:

Rather than focusing solely on creating new content and posting it, spend time reading and reviewing relevant posts, videos, articles and other content from your customers or target viewers. Viewing and understanding their posts allows you to create content of your own that is similar or reflective to their content, which establishes a great bridge of communication. 

On Instagram for example, NumberBarn communicates how with our service, you can go anywhere. We make this come to life through photographs of our stuffed mascot, The Pig, traveling around with our employees. What does this have to do with phone numbers? Not much. But it has a lot to do with the message we’re trying to share – that you are a NumberSmart individual, looking to save time and money on phone number management while still having the ability to be out and about in the world. On our other channels (see the section below for those we use), our goal is to educate potential and existing customers about our product and services through our blog content and tutorial videos in a casual, informative way.

Resource to Check Out: 7 Ways Brands Can Connect with Social Media Messaging

Where will you post?

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, SnapChat, Pinterest – there are many channels to consider when it comes to sharing on social media. Ultimately, the goal isn’t to feel obligated to connect with your audience on all of the channels. Think: quality over quantity. Pick one or two channels and do them incredibly well instead of trying to do everything and giving a mediocre experience.

The article titled, Why Quality Over Quantity is Key in Social Media, clarifies this further:

People become social media followers and fans of an organization because they trust that the content provided (the posts they will see in their daily feed) is both reliable and relevant to them. So when people decide to follow you or become a fan of yours on social media, it’s likely that they saw a few posts of yours they liked before they made that decision. Your social media posts and tweets contribute to a reputation over time and if you spend more effort on trying to post often without paying attention to the quality and reliability of what you’re posting, they’ll stop listening by unfollowing you or simply ignoring your posts.

NumberBarn wants to keep it simple and manageable. Our channels include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. We repurpose our blog content on LinkedIn as well. Check out our social pages for examples of how we use each channel.

Resource to Check OutSocial Media Use in 2018

When will you post?

Consistency is key when it comes to posting on social media. Creating a schedule to which you’ll share your posts is going to be necessary. How do you know when to post? In the article, Best Times to Post on Social Media: 2018 Industry Research, they give some hard truth:

It’s important to know there’s no exact magical time of the day to solve your publishing problems. ~SproutSocial

Learning from experience is how NumberBarn best determines the days and times to post. We began by researching using the statics provided in the articles linked here. We then track the engagement from each post. We’ll then run tests to move the times and days around to compare metrics to find the right time for us and our viewers.

Resource to Check OutThe Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2018

Why will you post?

Why do you even want to share your brand on social media? What are your ultimate goals? Gain new customers? Bring awareness to your brand? Be available for customer service questions? Consider the “why” behind your reason to post. Entrepreneur, in their article, Up Your Social Media Game By Answering These 8 Branding Questions, mentions:

Vision and mission matter to today’s consumers. To make money is not a sustainable answer for customers or employees. What does the company behind the product or service stand for, and where is it headed? This could be a focus on solving a greater problem or spreading a bigger message. Maybe the business supports a cause, community or the environment. Perhaps the mission is simply being the absolute best at something specific.

When you join us here at the barn, you’re doing more than just adding a phone number to your life. You’re NumberSmart! We see this as a way of being in the world: curious about new opportunities, and courageous enough to go after them. You’re using phone numbers as an asset and tool for business growth, not just another annoying expense.

Resource to Check OutHow To Identify And Build The Purpose Behind Your Business

How will you post?

Determining what tool to use for social media is a big step. There are many out there, several with demos, and some are even totally free to use for small teams. What we suggest is to find one that works best for your company and build a habit of scheduling your posts. In the article, 3 Reasons to Schedule Social Media Posts, scheduling creates more free time:

Scheduling “evergreen” content for holidays or milestones that happen every year means you have more time to focus on things that pop up unexpectedly.  It also means you’re ready when you have an off day, take vacation, or are out sick — because your content is covered.

While there are many social media scheduling tools out there, NumberBarn uses a software platform, Later. With Later, we can queue up and organize our weekly and monthly visual content across the social channels we need. Facebook and Twitter allow for auto-posting, but Instagram does not. Later gives us the tools to upload and schedule our Instagram photos in advance, complete with the captions and hashtags. Using the Later app, a notification on the phone will remind you it’s time to post. The app then logs you into your Instagram, copies the text and gives you the option to add a filter to your photo before posting. This all takes a few moments, unless you’re indecisive on which filter to use (which happens to the best of us).

Resource to Check Out: The One Resource You Need to Schedule Your Social Media

Don’t worry – we were just kidding about the pop quiz. We wish you luck on your social media adventure!

We’re NumberBarn, we take phone numbers very seriously. But, we also like to have a little fun. To sign up, visit NumberBarn.com and follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.