You’re on social media. You post sometimes. You have no goals, no schedule, no ideas. In short, you have no social media strategy.

What’s wrong with that?

A lot, actually. Take a look —

One. When you have no social media strategy, you stop posting.

If you don’t know what you’re posting, how often, or who you’re posting to, then you’re going to stop doing it altogether. Don’t ignore your fans or get left behind online! Even if Facebook does disappear in 5 or 10 years, something else social will take its place.

Two. Your fans will be bored.

First they’ll skim your posts, then they’ll hide your posts, then one day they’ll clean out their Facebook or start unfollowing on Twitter and you’ll be the first to go. Not that you should be everything to everyone, but they liked you for some reason to begin with! Why not keep them by helping them out with great content?

Three. It’s already easy to get lost in the shuffle.

Facebook may have a huge number of people you can reach (1.23 billion users as of January 2014 –, but as of November 2013 there were 25 million active small business pages ( to compete with for their attention.

Twitter may have 645,750,000 active users as of January 2014 (, but one-third of small businesses use Twitter ads, and even more are tweeting (

How do you compete with that, especially if you have no strategy? TOMS has been tweeting about #onedecision in conjunction with their new product coming out for weeks. They are online posting their content, sharing user content, and telling you about the unveiling at SXSW that happened Tuesday. Oh, and they’re opening a store in Austin–did you know? Just like opening a store, this social media posting didn’t come without a strategy. It was carefully planned and implemented by their team over a particular span of time.

What does social media impact anyway?

> Your fans are there, so you’re missing out on engaging with them. Happy fans keep coming back, after all.
> Word of mouth is still the best way to get customers. Don’t engage with your fans and you might miss out on some new ones too.
> Did you know that social media actually impacts SEO? Search Engines want to see that you’re online and active. You can also share links to your website to boosts your search rankings.
> Content is still king! From what I’m reading, it will continue to be so. Your fans want your product, but they’re also a big fan of free. Whether that’s an infographic, blog post, photos to share, a giveaway or anything else…they want in. Social media is the best place to make them a part of it.

How do you create a strategy?

The best way to do this is to be specific to your company, but there are a few questions you can ask yourself when planning:

Who is your audience?
I don’t mean who you want your audience to be (though that’s important), but who is your current audience? The best way to grow your audience is to use word of mouth with the audience you have.

What are your goals?
Be specific! Use numbers and time-frames so that you can measure your progress.

Where are you going to be and focus your time online?
Don’t just choose your favorite social media site, but see if you can find out where your fans are online. Pick one place to start and grow from there!

How often can you post and how often will you post?
Whether writing blogs or sharing other content, what are you going to do and how often? Being predictable with timing isn’t the worst thing online. It gives your fans something to look forward to and has them going to look for the next thing!

How much time will you commit a week to making that happen?
Will you schedule posts in one hour on Mondays then come back and check on them each day? Will you sit online and write for three hours every day? Whatever your schedule is, make it work for you.

Who will make this happen?
Is this your job, or do you have a team member to help?

What are your non-negotiables?
Think about the voice of your company, the style, what’s okay and not okay to post, and more. Make posting easier on yourself by following a guide that you’ve set up for your business.

What in your social media strategy is working for you, or what are you going to start doing?

March 12, 2014

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