Social media has become a ubiquitous part of our lives. Even if you don’t have a business, chances are you still use social media—and so do your friends and family members. As a small business owner, it’s crucial that you take advantage of this opportunity to grow your customer base and increase brand awareness by focusing on creating and implementing an effective social media strategy.
Every day, we hear about the importance of social media in our business marketing strategy. We see companies on the news and all-over social media sharing information about their business and using it as a way to connect with customers. Even if you are new to social media, there are some simple ways that you can use this platform to your advantage. The most important thing is to know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.
Small businesses in Kenya utilize social media to create a digital footprint and increase community outreach. A winning small business social media strategy is one that gets you noticed for the right reasons. There is much more to it than posting frequently and attending every event. This can be achieved through effective processes, strategies and automation tailored to your brand’s needs.
If you want to use social media and social networks in your small business, but don’t know where to start and are wondering exactly how to use it best, then you’re in the right place. I will take you through these three simple steps to a winning social media strategy for your small business in Kenya.
Where to Start with my Social Media Marketing
Just before we get to this winning social media strategy, there are a few things or skills you need to have to get most of this work done. Most of these can be gotten from your general marketing strategy that you may have earlier started.
- Identify your target market and define the persona
- Identify what role social media is playing in your general marketing strategy
- Get content generation skills or know where to hire
- Learn where or how to publish your content.
Now that you’ve considered your target market, answered the question of social media’s role in your marketing strategy, and learned about content and publishing, we are ready to show you how to actually get started with social media. My advice is the same for any business owner in any industry. You will want to follow these three steps:
Step 1: Set a Clear Social Media Plan
The most important step in your social media strategy is to set a clear plan. You need to know what you’re going to do, when you’re going to do it and how much money (if any) you have budgeted for this project.
This is where we get into the nitty gritty details of creating a social media plan:
- What content are we going to create? How often will we post? What channels are best suited for our audience?
- Who will be posting on our behalf? Who can help us find influencers who might want to promote our brand or products? What kind of influencers do you want to work with?
- How much time should we spend on this project each week/month/quarter/year–and what will happen if those goals aren’t met by me or my team members.
It’s important to define these goals before jumping into action, as this will help keep your efforts focused and on track. You might decide that one major goal is increasing traffic to your website–but if so, then it’s crucial that all of your content is aimed at driving people there (or at least pointing them toward a call-to-action). If another major goal is getting more followers on Instagram or Twitter, then make sure you create engaging content that will entice the audience to follow your pages for more content. Your goal can be to drive online sales, ensure that all of those posts link back somewhere useful (like an e-commerce store) where they can buy something related directly from their phone.
Step 2: Develop your Brand Voice
In this step, you’ll develop your brand voice. Brand voice is the personality of your brand–it’s the way you speak to customers, and it’s also how they perceive you as a company or business. You want people to know who you are right away when they encounter your content or ads on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
A strong brand voice will help you create content that is authentic and consistent across all social channels. It should also be relevant to your target audience–this means it should reflect the same tone as your website or other marketing materials. In the long run, this will result in increased trust and conversions over time.
The best way to ensure that you’re developing a strong social media strategy is by aligning with other aspects of your marketing efforts so they can work together in concert. Your overall marketing strategy will inform how people perceive you as an organization and what kind of content they expect from you on each platform. If those expectations don’t match up with where their interests lie at any given time, then there’s no point in creating more content just for the sake of having more stuff out there.
To develop a strong identity online, consider these three questions:
- What do I stand for?
- How do I want people to feel about me when they interact with my content?
- What makes me different than everyone else in this space?
Align all your content and messaging to the answers to these questions above.
Step 3: Choose the Right Platforms
You’ve come up with an idea and created a feasible social media plan. Now it’s time to execute on your social media strategy. To do this successfully, you need to know your audience, goals and budget; and then apply them by choosing the right platforms for your business.
You will need to decide which social media networks are most relevant for you and your company. Some businesses may want to focus their efforts on just one or two platforms; others may choose three or four different ones depending on their goals and target market.
The most important thing is that you choose the right ones largely depending on the persona of your target audience. The best way to do this is by understanding who your potential customers are and what they want from a social media platform. For example:
- If you’re selling products that appeal mostly to younger people, then Instagram might be more appropriate than Facebook or Twitter because it has a higher percentage of younger users (and therefore more potential customers).
- If most of your clients live in rural areas where internet access isn’t great, then Snapchat may be a better choice than Instagram or Facebook because its videos auto-destruct after 24 hours–so there’s no risk that someone will save an embarrassing photo from one day and re-post it months later!
Here’s a quick rundown of some popular social media platforms options:
- Facebook – You can use Facebook pages as both a customer service channel and an outlet for branded content like blog posts or videos
- Twitter – This platform is great for real-time engagement with customers who use hashtags related to specific topics or events.
- Instagram/TikTok – Millenials and GenZ’ers who prefer images and video content.
- LinkedIn – Mostly B2B marketing targeting decision makers in organizations.
Bonus Step: Measure and Reevaluate your Performance
You’ve set up your accounts and launched your campaigns, but how do you know if it’s working? Social media management tools will help you measure the performance of your content, analyze audience engagement and analyze what’s working for other similar businesses in the same industry. The best social media management tools require monthly subscription which you should have accounted for in your budget.
In addition to measuring the success of each campaign, it’s also important that you regularly reevaluate whether or not there are other opportunities for growth within each channel. For example: If one social network isn’t providing enough leads or sales than another one may be better suited for your business goals at this time.
Consistency is Key to a Winning Social Media Strategy
Plan carefully and publish frequently and keep track of what works.
It’s important to have a strategy in place before you start publishing content on social media. This will ensure that you don’t waste time posting content that doesn’t perform well, or worse yet – it could damage your brand image if you post something negative about your business or industry.
Once you’ve planned out the types of posts you want to make, determine how often those posts should go out each week/month/year (or whatever timeframe works best for your business). You’ll also need to decide what platforms those posts will appear on so that they’re reachable by potential customers looking for them.
One thing we have learnt through the years is that Kenyans just love content. So make sure that when possible–and especially when starting off–you measure performance metrics such as impressions (how many times was an image seen), shares, comments, interactions etc. Ensure that you consistently give your audience the exact type of content that they want. Always remember that social media is a social space and therefore keep it as so. Bring out the social aspect of your brand through content that your audience connect with and avoid over-selling.
If you’re looking to build a brand and connect with your customers on social media, these three simple winning social media strategy steps will get you started. The key to success is planning ahead and staying focused on what matters most, your customers.