There is no question: Social media is everywhere.
But what seems to be a small business owner’s greatest hope for “effective marketing on a budget” can also turn out to be your greatest drain on resources.
What makes the difference? Consistency.
Social media marketing seems to have every marketer’s attention in its grasp, and every small business owner scrambling, trying to figure out some way to capitalize on the free (sort-of) source of infinite sales potential.
You are surely in the same boat with your own small business or start-up. You’d be crazy not to be.
Today, we’re going to teach you 4 easy steps for ultimate consistency throughout your social media marketing strategy.
Plan it Out
What starts with a planning stage? Almost anything. Ever. And a proper social media marketing strategy is no different.
We hit on this in almost every article we write for small business. Why? Because small business owners, especially, cannot afford to simply dive in without a plan. Your marketing budget is significantly tighter. Your other resources are also relatively limited.
We know – we’ve been there ourselves as a small start-up company.
But, we’ve continued our steady growth through a consistent marketing approach.
You can achieve the same by planning out your social media posts at least a week in advance.
Some companies utilize expensive software to help them stay organized. A Microsoft Excel spreadsheet works just fine for us.
Include relevant columns like Date, Content Type, Content Title, the various social media platforms to which you will be posting, and some sort of “checkbox” or tracking system to help you remember where you left off.
Planning out your posts in this way accomplishes several things:
It provides balance – We view things in segments. For example, we have different series such as “Marketing Tips,” “CEO Inspiration” and “Small Biz Hacks.” These themes repeat each week with new bits of marketing advice, and planning out our weeks on social media ensures that we have a balance between all the repeating elements of our SM mix.
So you’ve got your amazing plan in place for social media domination. Now it’s time to carry it out.
Depending on the size and frequency of your small business’ posting, you may be able to carry out a lot of the work manually, at least at first. But beware!
As confident as you may feel, you are taking a large risk at getting extremely burnt out.
Although posting to social media may not always seem like the most difficult task, it is certainly tedious and time consuming.
Our suggestion? Use a free or paid service like Hubspot, Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule and automate your posts.
We currently prefer Hootsuite because we really like free stuff. But if you need to post to more than 3 platforms, another one of these options may be a better fit for you.
Most marketing companies that I’ve seen, including ourselves, seem to use a lot of templates in their posting. This helps to provide your readers with visual familiarity of your brand and an overall comfort in your posts.
On the other hand, this familiarity will quickly come back to haunt you. You need to develop a healthy mix between this prefabricated content and other, more spontaneous and genuine offerings.
If you scroll through our Instagram profile (@10tongorilla.media), for example, you will notice a posting pattern that jumps back and forth between purple quotes from celebrities and industry leaders, orange “hacks” and tips for running your small business, shots of our recent projects, and lots of other goodies.
BUT, you will also notice that mixed in with these preplanned industry tips are plenty of fun, personal and spontaneous photos of everything from me jumping into a pool, to my dog, Linus, fast asleep on me as I attempt to write content for our website.
Why? Because these posts keep things fresh.
After a few “behind the scenes” posts, your audience is much more willing to receive your helpful tips and advice – all served up to them on a beautifully familiar template.
Oh, and ya know what else? Using templates and simply updating the content on them each week saves a TON of your time in creating new posts from scratch.
Stay True to Your Goal
Lastly, you must always return back and remember the original reason you set out on this journey in the first place.
Whether you’ve created a social media goal of gaining more followers, educating about your brand or turning SM leads into cold, hard profits, you must always stay true to that goal.
This goal serves a similar purpose to a company’s mission statement – to be the guiding light so that when you wander from your desired path, you can always find your way back.
In other words, referring back to your original goal ensures ultimate consistency in the approach you use on social media. It provides a streamlined focus in this approach that can only help you achieve your goals sooner.
The greatest social media strategy in the world doesn’t make one bit of impact if the plan is abandoned after one day, one week, one month or sometimes even after a full year.
The biggest takeaway from maybe our entire collection of blog entries is this – You must stick with the plan. This doesn’t mean you can never monitor your approach and make adjustments along the way. In fact, it is imperative that you do makes these adjustments.
But you must be patient.
You came up with this plan in the first place because, for whatever reason, you believed it had merit and the potential to achieve a certain goal for your small business.
So, stick to your guns. Ride it out. Let the strategy play out in front of you.
If your strategy is good enough, something will give and it will work. If things seem like they’re not quite coming together, bring in an experienced professional like 10ton Gorilla Media.
We are always excited to team up with you and knock these problems out for you.
Thanks for reading and as always, get in on the conversation in the comments below! We love hearing what you have to say and it always makes us better at what we do.