IF YOU’RE READING THIS blog post, chances are you’re thinking of doing some kind of social media for your product or service based business, or perhaps you’re already doing it and it’s not quite working for you and deep down you know you need some kind of plan to get things moving in the right direction.
Somebody might have recommended that you hire a Social Media Manager or head over to an agency for help, but if you can’t afford to, (especially if you’re a start up) what’s the alternative?
Well, you could consider DIYing your social media plan rather than doing nothing at all.
A social media plan or strategy will ultimately save you time and money. If you don’t have one, you’re shooting in the dark and probably implementing tactic (idea) after tactic and not seeing the results you hoped for.
If you’re on social media, ASK YOURSELF what you want social media to deliver for your business.
Chances are you’re gonna say more sales right!
Social Media Marketing is usually the start of your customer’s journey. It might be the first time they meet you and your biz.
Think about how you take them on the journey. Think about how you can make the experience easy, even fun.
I use the analogy of dating!
1. Start with the small talk! Tell them a bit about you and of course ask about them.
2.ENGAGE with them! Super important because the social media platforms love it when you’re being social! No surprise there then!
3. Invite them out on a date! Or in your case, invite them to like your Facebook page, or to follow you on Instagram. You get the picture.
4. Flirt a little more – keep the convo going.
5. Invite them on a weekend break and YAY, they’ll be ready to join your list, programme or purchase your amazing product!
If you’re ready to write your plan, and the thought of doing it fills you with fear, please don’t worry, it’s not that bad.
Write it in stages. Carve out an hour a day for 5 days and It won’t feel like a mammoth task. Eat cake! That always makes me feel better!
In this article you will learn:
- why a social media strategy is important for food and drink businesses
- what you need to do to get started and DIY your own social media strategy
- how to DIY your own social media strategy if you can’t afford someone to do it for you
Why every food and drink biz needs a social media strategy
There are a number of reasons why you need a social media strategy. The key reasons are:
- it builds awareness, engagement and trust with your audience which in turn helps you reach your commercial objectives
- building traffic and generating sales leads
- gives you a competitive advantage
- to gather customer data and research to use in future marketing campaigns and product development
- helps cement your authority within your niche
Essentially a social media strategy will help you deliver your business objectives if done properly.
What you need to get started
- data – including sales, customer insights and website analytics
- list of all your social media channels and some idea of what posts and messages are working / not working
- your customer avatar – so you know who to target and how
- competitor information including an audit into what’s working for them
- basic keywords understanding
If you don’t yet have a product in the marketplace, you won’t have access to all the above, so try to access as much as you can by doing some investigation work online and offline. You should at least have some idea of who you are serving, why you’re serving that client and who your competitors are.
When you create a social media strategy whether you hire a SM manager or DIY it, you need to have an insight into all this data. It’s just like travelling to a new destination without checking the route or not having a strategy on how to get there.
How to DIY your Social Media Strategy
Once you’ve gathered all your information, I recommend that you do the following to start creating your SM Strategy.
Goals & Objectives
Write down your business goals and objectives – you need to be clear what you want to achieve as a result of implementing a social media strategy. It could be:
- to increase your brand awareness
- to increase sales
- to grow your client base
- to grow your audience
Social Media Marketing Audit
You need to have a clear understanding of what’s happening in your own business, with your audience and with your competitors’ social media and marketing activities. The best way to achieve this is to conduct your own Social Media Audit.
Grab a spreadsheet and for each of your activities and those of your competitors make a note of the following :
- the followers (profile and number)
- social media publishing schedule (frequency, day, time etc)
- social media profiles and links
- social media content type
- social media engagement levels
- social media branding (including design, use of images etc)
- website audits (layout, menus, pages, branding, loading speed, freebies, social media links, promotions and trial offers)
- anything that’s not working on your / competitor’s website / social media
- make a note of the things your competitor is doing really well – are they running competitions, joint ventures that seem to be working for them?
- note their sales / business model – is it subscription based, is a low priced / high volume model / are discounts offered for high volume purchases etc?
Grab your keyword plan.
If your website is built you should have developed a keyword strategy with your web developer or if you DIY’d your website and not sure what I mean by keyword strategy check out my post here. Don’t ignore SEO! It’s what got my business noticed on Google and how my clients found me. It cost no money but it can bring you new customers so give the post a read – it’s not as scary as you might think!
If you don’t have a keyword plan, then create one as you’ll need these to insert into the social media content that you create and publish. Again, the blog post here will help you do that.
Create Your Content Calendar
Next, create a calendar of content that you already have. You want to add your blog posts, behind the scenes photos, promotions, product photos.
At this stage, don’t go gung ho sending all your product links to all your social media audiences! You will end up killing the relationship before it’s got out of the traps. You need to win the hearts and minds of your tribe first. This will come later when you’re creating your strategy.
Creating The Game Plan
Once and only once you’ve done all of the above, can you begin to create your game plan – your strategy.
Without doing the above, you have no plan. The only thing you’ll be doing is “winging it”. You’ll end up a “busy fool”, dancing around the edges and wasting your time and money.
I’m a planner. It’s in my DNA and I know that a plan works. I’ve created plans for my corporate client, my own business and independent clients and they work.
So, define your company objectives, decide which you need to deliver first and write a plan of how to deliver them based on the knowledge you’ve acquired through your research.
I’ve done my beset to give you an overview of how you can DIY your Social Media Strategy. If you would like more help to continue along your foodepreneur journey, please email me (Jay) at firstname.lastname@example.org or click this link to arrange a FREE 30 minute strategy consultation about your next steps.