Social Media can benefit businesses of any size. Many small- and medium-sized companies see growth in brand awareness, site traffic, shares and customer engagement when there’s a plan in place.

It allows smaller companies to compete against some of the larger businesses to reach more customers. One of the biggest advantages of social media marketing is it’s less reliant on a large budget.

Being successful with Social Media for business comes down to creativity and engagement. The lower barrier to entry make it possible for any business to compete.

Creating a Social Media strategy that works, consists of the following steps:

  • Understanding your goals: What is the purpose of your social media marketing efforts? Do you want to create or raise awareness of your brand?
  • Creating measurable objectives: set clear objectives based on your goals. Focus on the S.M.A.R.T. strategy for goal setting to ensure your objectives are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time based.
  • Understanding your audience
  • Stealing like an artist from your competition
  • Developing your messages and brand voice: It’s important to be consistent on all your messages, as well as figuring out the best way to communicate with your audience.
  • Choosing your channels carefully
  • Building a content calendar: Your social media marketing plan should include a content marketing plan, comprised of strategies for content creation and content curation, as well as an editorial calendar.
  • A/B testing and optimizing: It doesn’t stop once you define your strategy. You have to keep constantly optimizing and testing different messaging, posting times, content, etc. and refining your Social Media strategy for the best results possible.

Probably the most significant thing to have in mind about your Social Media strategy is that it should be constantly changing.

As new networks emerge, you may want to test them and evaluate their fit for your brand/company so you can add them to your plan. As you achieve your goals, you will need to set new targets. Unexpected challenges will arise that you need to address. As your audience starts responding to your messages, you need to measure that engagement, keep what works and get rid of the rest.

You should always be updating your Social Media strategy to reflect your latest insights, while making sure that your team is aware of the latest changes.