Social Media Advice for the Small Business Owner.
Choosing the Right Social Media Channels:
The amount and types of social media channels a small business owner should use, strictly depends on their audience. If you know your audience, you will also know where they socialize. For example, if you are a B2B company, LinkedIn is probably going to more advantageous than Instagram. Each social media platform exists for a purpose. It’s important to understand the reason you are using each social media platform and make sure that your content blends into the environment so that you stay relevant.
How to build an editorial calendar for social media:
Editorial calendars are important for several reasons; however, the main reason is they shift companies from being reactive to proactive. Without an editorial calendar, a company’s reactive marketing plan leads to one of two things; not enough communication or over communication. Balance is key and an editorial calendar is the solution.
When we create editorial calendars for our clients, we refer to three elements found in our customized marketing plans:
1) Identifying Monthly Communication Themes
2) Creating a Social Media Content Marketing Matrix
3) Completing a Communication Worksheet
Identifying Monthly Communication Themes:
Each month of the year has a theme that helps inspire and drive content for our client’s editorial calendar. For example, In January, our health and wellness clients will focus on content that relates to the theme: New Year, New You.
Creating a Social Media Content Marketing Matrix:
Many small business owners struggle to come up with content for their social media platforms. Our social media content marketing matrix contains three columns. The first column is “What we post.” The second column is “Description of that post.” The last column is “Frequency.” Row by row, we will brainstorm creative ideas for content marketing.
Completing a Communication Worksheet:
Based on our monthly communication theme and social media content marketing matrix, we can create a communication worksheet that is filled out at the end of each month for the following month. Completing a communication worksheet with our clients is essential in making sure that the editorial calendar can be strategically populated.
How to set social media goals:
Many small business owners think that their social media goals should consist of growing their followers; however, we believe that increasing their reach and people engaged is more important. For example, one of our local restaurant clients has less than 3,000 followers, but on a monthly basis, their Facebook page alone reaches more than 80,000 people, of which more than 5,000 people are engaged. Ultimately, because we are swayed by our direct sphere of influence, our goals are to reach friends of our friends since they will be more inclined to convert into a customer.
It’s important to review your results from all activity. When we meet with our clients at the end of each month, the first part of our meeting is dedicated to reviewing results. We use the following tools to monitor our success:
1) Google Analytics
2) Hootsuite (For Twitter and Instagram)
3) Facebook/ LinkedIn Insights
Google Analytics allows us to monitor website acquisitions, conversions, and referring channels. We can inform a client on the number of visitors who came to the website from social media and out of those visitors, how many of them converted (i.e. made a purchase, clicked the call button, filled out a lead form, etc.).
Hootsuite’s reporting feature gives us a snapshot of a change in followers, people engaged, and people reached.
Facebook and LinkedIn, in our opinion, offer the best solution for analytics. Reports for each include, but are not limited to, the following detailed information on both visitors and followers:
- Job Function
- People Reached
- People Engaged
- Likes and Unlikes
About the author: Brandon Forschino is the President and Founder of Out of Dust Marketing and Communication. Out of Dust Marketing is a full-service online marketing and communication agency located in Jacksonville, FL. Brandon has over 10 years of professional experience running many companies’s social media platforms.