Social media can be a great tool to reach new clients and stay connected with your existing customer base. If you’ve never managed a social media page for a business, there are a few tips and tricks you should be aware of to maximize the return you get from social media, while minimizing the time you spend on it.
In this article we’re going to explore the 5 steps to get you started quickly using social media for your business. We’ll cover how to determine your goals for social media, how to choose which platforms to use, and how to create a steady flow of content without consuming all your time.
We’ll also include a BONUS TIP at the end of this article to help you supercharge the speed that your social media accounts grow!
As you go through these steps, we encourage you to create notes and being to develop your own process. This will help you a lot with passing the torch when it comes time to hire someone to help with your marketing.
Step 1. Figure Out Your Goals
The first step to successfully get started with social media is to figure out what you want to use it for. Determining what you want out of social media will affect your entire strategy from what type of content you post, how often you post, and even whether you’ll use paid social ads.
Some examples of social media goals:
- Generate new leads/sales for your business
- Stay connected with your customer base/provide customer support
- Attract talent
- Build & strengthen partnerships
Selecting goals early on will save you time in steps 2-5 as you’ll have a better idea of what you need to do to accomplish your goals.
For instance, if your goal is to attract talent, you may prioritize content on your company’s culture/lifestyle of your employees. If your goal is to generate new sales, you may not focus as much on the company culture posts, substituting them instead for posts about your product or service.
If you want to take it a step further, put a number to your goals (Ex. I want 3 new clients each month from social media). This will become more important once you’ve been utilizing social media and have some data to inform your targets/forecasting.
As it is often hard to set targets when you don’t know what to expect, we suggest simply selecting a high-level goal from the list above and choosing a time-frame (Ex. 3 Months) to commit to your social media plan and assess your results.
Step 2. Choose Your Platform(s)
Once you know what you’re trying to accomplish on social media, you’ll need to figure out which platform or platforms are appropriate to reach your audience.
Is your audience largely comprised of younger people? You may want to look at platforms like Snapchat or Tik Tok. Are they a little older? Perhaps Instagram or Facebook. Is it a business audience? Twitter & LinkedIn may be your best bets.
A quick Google search of “Audience Demographic by Social Media Platform” will yield tons of results to help inform your decisions.
A quick word of warning, as you embark on this journey of marketing your business online, you may hear that you should be on as many platforms as possible, at all times. While in theory, with unlimited resources, it can be advantageous to have your business active on multiple platforms, when you’re running your social media on your own this can be a quick way to burn yourself out and reduce your results across the board.
Instead, we suggest starting with 1 or 2 social media platforms and mastering those before moving on to others. Figure out what works for you, both from the perspectives of driving results, and being manageable.
Step 3. Create a High-Level Content Plan
Now that you have an idea of what you want to accomplish with social media, and what platforms you will use to reach your audience, now it’s time to create a high level plan for your content.
Below we will include a template that you can use, along with a video demonstrating how to create this high-level plan for your content.
Download Social Media Plan Template: Click Here
Step 4. Plan & Create a Month of Content
Now that you have a high-level plan to guide your social media strategy, it’s time to get your hands dirty. Come up with specific content ideas for each day of your social media calendar. If Mondays are the day you’ve decided to post an inspirational quote, choose a quote for each Monday of the month, and begin drafting your captions.
We use Monday.com to create ours and our clients’ social media calendars. You can use any tool you like including Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. In fact, the template you downloaded in Step 3 also includes a template of a content calendar for you to use.
We recommend planning out your content 1-month in advance. This will save you the time of having to stress about coming up with content ideas each day. We don’t recommend planning further out than 1 month, though—as you may run into issues if variables in the world or your business require you to alter your plan.
As for actually creating your content, there’s a variety of tools you can use including Canva & Adobe Spark. You can also find a variety of handy apps on your smart phone to help you with everything from creating graphics to editing photos and producing videos.
If you’re not creatively inclined, we recommend starting from a template, or taking inspiration from a post you’ve seen that you like, as opposed to starting from scratch. It may also be worth looking into a subscription to a service such as Envato Elements for all types of creative assets that can make your job easier!
It’s also worth noting that if you’re finding that your content isn’t that engaging or creative enough, you should seek help immediately, as putting out sub-standard content can hurt your branding and thus—your business.
Step 5. Schedule Your Content
Now that you have 1 months’ worth of content it’s time to pre-schedule them. There’s many tools that exist that allow you to schedule your content to be posted automatically.
Each tool has it’s pros and cons, but here are a few you can consider.
Facebook Business Manager – If you’re using Instagram & Facebook as your social media platforms, Facebook has it’s own platform that allows you to pre-schedule posts, view analytics and create ads for both your Facebook and Instagram accounts. While it’s far from perfect, it is also free to use, making it a good platform to get started and comfortable pre-scheduling your social media content
Hootsuite – Hootsuite is pretty well industry standard when it comes to social media management & scheduling. It is a very powerful tool with plenty of add-ons and analytical tools to help you get the most out of your social media. It is also one of the most expensive tools available, so you’ll have to determine if it’s right for you.
Buffer – This is a great, affordable platform for managing your social media. While the analytical tools and functionality aren’t quite as extensive as Hootsuite, it is much cheaper, making it another great tool to get started with managing your social media channels.
Bonus Tip: Reach Out and Engage with Your Audience
Our bonus tip for utilizing social media is to spend some time engaging with other people’s posts within your audience. Taking 20 minutes each day to search through hashtags and your followers’ posts, leaving thoughtful comments as you go can be a great way to not only increase the size of your audience, but create a community!
Watch this short video to see how we go about doing this.