Getting started with social media

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19 Jul 2023

Getting started with social media

For a business owner, social media can be a powerful tool to reach new customers and build loyalty. However, with so many social platforms, tactics and ever-changing trends, it can also be difficult to know where to start. So it's best to have a clear plan. In this article, you’ll find our small business advice on how to put together your social media strategy and choose the type of content that makes the most sense for you. Let’s start by asking some key questions:

1. What are your business goals?

Before diving into social media, it's important to know what you want to achieve. Are you looking to increase sales, spread the word about what you do, or establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry? Knowing your overall business goals will help you create a social media strategy that aligns with your business objectives.

Other examples of business objectives:

  • Generate leads

  • Expand into new markets

  • Improve customer service

  • Increase website traffic

It's important to know that social media can't magically help you achieve all of these goals. Most businesses identify one or two of the above goals and focus on creating a strategy to help achieve them.

2. Who is your audience?

To effectively reach your target audience, you need to know who they are. This task shouldn't be underestimated – it's a powerful way to cut through guesswork and start talking with people who really want or need what your business provides. So don't skip this task. Let's ask some more questions:

Target audience and demographics

  • Are they a business or an individual?

  • Are they male/female?

  • What age are they?

  • Do they make the purchasing decision, or is it someone else?

  • What is their average household income?

What are their interests and pain points?

The most successful businesses know their target audience so well that they become obsessed with understanding their customers' interests and 'pain points'. This research can be done through online surveys, focus groups, and other market research methods.

Which social media platforms does your target audience frequent?

It's important to identify which social media platforms your target audience frequently visits, depending on your type of business. Common platforms include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest, and if you are a business-to-business (B2B) company, then LinkedIn is likely to be your priority. Similarly, if you are a business-to-consumer company (B2C), then Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and Instagram are likely to be useful.

3. What type of content should you produce?

Once you know your goals and audience, it's time to decide what type of content you'll create. Here are some content ideas:

  • Focus on sharing industry news and thought leadership pieces via blog posts shared on LinkedIn.

  • Create visual content like infographics and videos and share on TikTok or LinkedIn.

  • Showcase your products and services with images and videos on Instagram or Pinterest.

  • Ask for user-generated content – would your customers share reviews, videos or images about your products on Instagram, TikTok or Facebook?

  • Share behind-the-scenes content on Instagram, TikTok or Facebook, including how you create your products.

  • Create ‘Stories’ on Instagram or Facebook – these are videos or images that disappear after 24 hours.

  • Live-streaming content – interesting conversations about the topics that concern your audience, live-streamed on TikTok, Instagram or Facebook.

  • Have you thought about advertising or paid promotion?

Important: Remember that social media is all about having two-way conversations and listening. It's not a one-way broadcast.

Choose the content types that feel aligned with your goals and the audiences you want to connect with. The key is to experiment with different types of content and see what resonates with your audience.

4. Do you have the time/resources for social media?

Social media can be time-consuming, so it's important to assess whether you have the resources to manage it effectively. If there isn’t someone on your team who’s suitable, consider outsourcing it to a virtual assistant for a few hours a week.

5. Do you have a system in place to measure the success of your social media efforts?

To understand which types of content are working and which are not, it’s best to measure how popular it is. You can do this by recording audience engagement such as likes, comments and follows, on a simple spreadsheet, or by using more expensive software like Hootsuite.

By answering these questions and having a look at our 'Which Social Media platform?' flowchart, you can create a social media strategy that supports your business goals and connects with your audience.

Need more digital advice for businesses?

If you need one-to-one advice about managing digital for your business, including your social media strategy, why not speak to one of our V-Hub Digital Advisors by phone?

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