'Anna has shown me that social media is simply about connecting with people by sharing myself and my business, no ‘selling’ required. Rather than feeling intimidated, I’m having fun.'
These days the most common response when we think about writing a social media or any type of marketing strategy is to do one of two things; either we squint our eyes, frown, tense up and throw it in the too hard basket, never actioning anything or just doing our bit here and there with little to no consistency, OR we end up handing it over to a marketing specialist.
It’s not that there's anything wrong with the latter choice, but there are many small to medium businesses out there that rely on their own knowhow when it comes to marketing, usually due to having a minimal budget in this department.
So what if there was a way for businesses to put together a strategy that was simple, not at all painful or frown worthy, and actually enjoyable to execute?
Well there is…and it starts with the understanding that marketing really is just about sharing what it is you have to offer. You can make it about your ‘competitors’ and do all the analysis in the world on what works and what doesn’t, but at the end of the day, it’s just about having integrity and a little digital know how and from our experience, all competitor analysis does is place unwanted pressure, not to mention it can bring out our 'ugly' side.
At Beacon we like to keep our clients, particularly smaller businesses all over their social media and digital marketing by teaching them the foundational steps to build a consistent look and feel along with a marketing plan that works to their rhythm and capacity. This includes honouring the budget, time and skills the business has, and ensuring there is a clear purpose to the marketing – as without this, we commonly see the commitment become scattered and inconsistent.
Listed below are the key components a business will need in order to build a simple and effective social media marketing strategy.
1. Start by identifying your business goals - it's important to be all over this as it helps to keep you connected to step two - your purpose.
2. Clearly state the purpose of your marketing – what are your goals? What are you looking to achieve?
3. Budget – look at how much money/time you have to put into this area of your business and actually write this down in your plan - How much do you want to spend and how much time do you have that isn't going to take away from other areas of your business?
4. Research - have a look around – not to compare and certainly not to compete, but simply to see what goes on in your industry in terms of who is marketing what and also to get an idea of how you might like to market your product/service. In essence, the research element is for inspiration as opposed to manipulative analysis.
5. Identify your potential customers or clients – who is your demographic?
6. Establish your look and feel (and have fun with this) – logo, branding, imagery, - teach yourself a few simple design skills – tools such as Canva are great for 'do it yourself' design and marketing, and you can find some excellent and inexpensive short courses for how to use it on sites such as Udemy or Canva itself.
7. Decide on the avenues for marketing your business ie which social media platforms, website, blog etc
8. Make a plan and schedule - diarise what is realistic for you to achieve and stick to it – consistency is great for any business for so many reasons - not only is it completely satisfying, it builds trust with your audience, and also supports your chances of making news feeds through the social algorithms.
9. Review your marketing and socials at least once a month - dedicate some time to see who is following you, how much you may have grown, your top posts or pieces of content etc. This is more than just an appreciation exercise, it also shows you what your audience are enjoying and what you might like to offer more.
This a basic introduction to keeping a social media marketing plan very simple and effective for your business. If you'd like to learn more, Beacon is hosting a webinar on the 7th of April that will expand on each of these points and answer any questions you might have.
Until next time...keep it simple.
Find out more or register for our next webinar here