Social media is here to stay! And if you’re a local business who is not using social media to grow your business, you’re falling behind. Over the last decade, many smart companies and organizations have learnt to create a social media marketing strategy for their business and seen the incredible power of social media in growing brands, driving leads and increasing sales.
So, you want to take this social media thing very seriously.
You want to find a way to use social media to attract customers, build a strong brand and grow your business. You want to find a way to use social media to engage with potential and current customers, find their needs and build a strong relationship with them.
To do this, you need to develop a social media marketing strategy. When it comes to social media marketing, what most small businesses owners and marketers do is posting. They like a picture, video or text and feel it is good, and then bum—they post. There is no focus, no direction, no strategy, no KPI—there is absolutely nothing!
If you want to get great results from your social media marketing, you have to take it seriously.
You have to develop a plan, invest in social media management resources and look for expert social media managers in Ghana if you don’t have the internal expertise to get the job done!
Instead of just firing posts now and then with absolutely no focus, you want to develop a strategy to guide and regulate your social media marketing activities. If you create a social media marketing strategy, the next step is to focus and use the strategy as a tool to achieve your online marketing goals.
To get started, there are seven steps you have to take to create a social media marketing strategy for your business—whether it is a plumbing business or consulting business, an online business or a mortar & brick business.
- Conduct a social media audit
This is the first step. It is the foundation of a successful social media marketing. What you do here is to research, analyze and find out what is going on in your industry on social media. You want to look at the internal environment of your business and find out what is going on.
Run across the major social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, Tumblr, and all others. Look at the platform, understand the rules and how the platform works. If you are going to do well in social media marketing, you first have to understand the social media you want to use.
Which people use social media most? Who is doing well on that social media? Which businesses do they run? What kind of posts do they post? How often do they post? What are funs saying about them? How do they use social media to grow their brand, business and bank accounts?
You see, you want to know everything you can about your target customers and how he/she behaves online.
The essence of your social media audit is to know what your customers and competitors are already doing online and then use that information to create your social media objective.
- Clarify your ideal customer
The essence of marketing is not fun. The essence of social media marketing is not to have fun online. You want to connect, engage and convert your target customers. So, if you’re going to do that right, you have to be clear who your target customers are.
Most people just create pictures, texts and videos without having a clear idea of their target customers. If you don’t have a clue who you are trying to reach on social media, you can reach millions through social media advertisement and still fail.
So, you have to be clear about who your ideal customers are.
Who are your customers? What are your customers doing on social media? What posts do they like? Which pages do they flock? Which social media groups are they in? Which news media do they follow? Which social media accounts can you find them? At what time do they normally come online?
What is their favourite social media platforms? Who are they following online? Why are they following them? Which brands are already selling to them? What messages are working on them? Which celebrities, influencers or brands do they follow online?
Which competing business is already selling to them? Which competing business is winning their hearts? What are the competitors doing well? What are they not doing well? What kind of content are the competitors using to win their hearts?
- Create a social media objective
You need to have a social media objective. This is your aim, purpose and mission on social media.
It is supposed to define and regulate all your social media marketing activities. It will help you stay focused, stay on track and eventually become a market leader in using social media to grow your business.
The question you should ask here is: “So, what do you want to use social media for? How can we use social media to grow your brand, business and bank accounts? You need to be clear in this area. Your social media objective will become your mission to guide the types of content you post and share with your audience.
For example, your social media objective can be: “To connect with customers by creating educative, interesting and engaging content that adds value to their lives!” That is quite a bit general, but you can narrow it down to your industry.
We’ve been working with Frimprince Transport Services for a while, their objective is to use social media to create engaging and educative content to make life easier for all local and international tourists in Ghana while offering them the transport, tour and hospitality services they need.
We started working with a health organization recently, LurraLife Africa. Their social media objective is: “To create content that makes people live a healthier and happier life!” It all starts here, if you don’t create a social media objective, it will become very difficult to know what content to create and what to share to your target audience on social media.
- Determine your Social Media Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
In the end, you’re in business to serve customers and make money. So, the game is to find more customers, serve them with exceptional services and keep them for the long term to grow your business.
To leverage social media marketing to grow your business, you need to define your KPIs.
Your KPIs are clear, specific and measurable goals you want to achieve through the company’s investment in social media marketing. While your social media objective regulates your entire social media marketing activities, your social media marketing KPI’s gives your direction, focus and energies to growing your business.
Each business’s social media marketing KPIs will vary.
But, ideally, you want to use social media to grow your brand, business and bank account. You need to keep those three words in mind and in that order. On social media, the brand is what sells. People will follow their favourite brand: like their posts, share their posts and promote their posts online.
Brand: Just go on Instagram and look at your favourite celebrities. Check what they have posted and try posting the same thing or similar thing on your page. And then check what happens in 24 hours later. You’ll realize that they will get hundreds of thousands or million likes/shares while your post is still struggling.
What’s the difference? Brand strength! Your brand is weak, so your post gets little attraction. The stronger your brand, the more people react to your posts. Therefore, you want to first focus on growing your brand and getting yourself out there through social media.
Business: Once your brand grows, you will recognize that business starts booming. People buy brands, not commodities. Your brand will sell your products and cause your business to boom. The stronger your brand, the easier it is to attract, engage and get customers for your business online. But building your brand takes time, energy, and patience.
Bank Account: Imagine what happens when your brand is getting stronger, your products/services are getting traction online? You feel the effect in your bank account. You see cash flowing from social media marketing and other digital marketing efforts to grow your business and cause an increase in sales. Social media drives your leads, sales, and revenue.
In setting your social media marketing KPI, focus on these three key areas: brand, business and bank account. Set goals to achieve using social media to grow your brand, business, and bank account. How many followers, social media mentions, leads, sales and revenue do you want over the month/quarter/years?
- Create Engaging and Converting Content.
Content is king! If you’re going to do well online, focus on the quality of content you create.
You need to create a ton of content. But it’s not just enough to focus on the quantity of content, you also have to focus on quality. Put quality before quantity always.
What’s content? It’s the message you share with your target audience—potential and current customers online. It’s the information you get across to your fans online. It is any video, audio, text or graphic used to engage, convert and connect with your potential audience. Consider creating a social media content calendar!
The mistake many people make is to just create content without a clear social media objective.
The content you create for social must be in line with your social media mission and objective. If your mission is to help people live a healthier and happier life, then you ensure that all your content is consistent with your mission. This is how you build the brand.
You create content that is in alignment with your social media mission and objective.
You follow pages and people who are consistent with your brand. Your comment on pages and people who are consistent with your brand. Your image has to focus on delivering and fulfilling your mission.
In doing that, you have various content formats. The following are some content ideas to consider for your social media marketing:
- Blog posts
- Live event shows
- Company news
- Industry news
- Products/Services info
You don’t have to use all the content types, you just have to use what will work best on your target audience and grow your business.
You also have to look at the skill set of your social media manager Ghana in getting the job done. Analyze and see what types of content your social media manager Ghana can easily create and then outsource the rest for others.
- Share and distribute the content on social media platforms.
It’s one thing to create content and another to distribute that content. No matter how good the content you create, if people don’t see or feel it, there will not be any result. So, what you want to do is to create great content that people will share and then distribute it on all your selected social media platforms.
In sharing and distributing your content, you can get your social media manager Ghana to use quick tools to streamline the process. Social media management tools such as Hootsuite to help schedule and send posts to all social media accounts with little effort on your part.
The posts can be scheduled and then the system will post at their right time. The key is to check how the software shares and posts online. Consider how many times to post and what times to post? Frequency and timing count when you are promoting your content to increase reach.
Consider sharing to groups and communities on social media platforms. Create a community that will share, promote and distribute the content. Encourage your staff, team, and fans to share the content.
The more they share the content, the more other people see it, and the more it goes viral.
There are two ways to promote your content on social media: paid media and organic media. When you use organic media, you grow your brand through your sweat, hard work and energy. It can sometimes be slow to grow enough following and page likes for your brand.
To speed up the building of your brand, you can use social media ads such as Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads, Instagram Ads and LinkedIn Ads to increase the reach. This involves some form of cost but it helps to grow your brand and page faster. Planning and budging for monthly social media ads is crucial for growing your page.
- Track, Measure, Analyze and Report On Monthly Basis
Did you remember the Key Performance Indicators? They are not for fun! They help to stay focus on your social media marketing objective. They enable you to avoid losing focus and posting irrelevant information online. They help you to avoid going off track with your social media.
So, you have to develop a way to track, measure and analyze your social media marketing activities using the three B’s: Brand, Business & Bank Account.
Run monthly, quarterly and annual reports in this area and see how your investment in social media marketing is helping your company or organization to grow.
Find and see how your social media marketing is helping your business to grow in these three areas. Analyze the reports and see if you can tweak adjust and reevaluate what you do to get better results for your company/organization.
You can develop a simple pie chart to tabulate your social media results in the area of follows, engagement rate, reach, leads, prospects, and sales. Collect the data from the insights session of your social media pages and then use that information to create a well-develop social media report for your business monthly.
Based on your monthly BBB Goals, you can now analyze and track the results to see how best you are performing. See how far social media marketing is helping to grow your brand, increase your business and improve your revenue. As you see progress, invest more time, energy and resources into it.
In the beginning, you might not see the value of social media marketing in your business. But as your social media manager in Ghana, you will begin to see results and this experience will change your perspective about social media marketing.
If you play the game right, put in the work and invest the resources required to grow your business through social media marketing, you will surely get the returns. Other businesses and organizations are already doing it and so can you!
Need a social media manager to develop a marketing plan, strategy, and manage your social media handles? We’re building a wide network of social media managers, focused on growing your brand, business and bank accounts through result-driven social media marketing packages.
Francis Sabutey is the founder and CEO of Think Expand. He is an author, digital entrepreneur, digital marketer, top-notch blogger, and a social media strategist. He and his team works with local businesses and organizations to use digital marketing to attract more customers and build strong brands. To reach him, shoot an email to email@example.com or call/WhatsApp +233548334499.