We’ve generated hundreds of millions of dollars for our small business clients through the years via social media marketing!
And these were not all preexisting, well-established companies; most of them were small businesses starting from scratch!
So if you read to the end of this post, you’re going to learn the exact steps we take with our clients…
…that make small business social media marketing profitable.
Because today, we’re sharing our 6 steps for profitable small business social media marketing.
Come on in and let’s get started!
Step 1: Identify your goals
When starting out in social media marketing, your goal can’t just be, “I want to grow on social media.”
Because what does that mean? What steps do you take to “grow?” It’s too vague.
It’s like saying, “I want to go there.” And the people around you are like, “where is there?”
So you need to set clear goals for yourself and your team.
Are you looking for followers? Direct sales? Increased brand awareness? Lead generation?
Maybe you want to tackle more than one of those things at a time. That’s totally doable!
You’ll just need a set plan and budget to achieve each goal which we’ll get into more a little later.
Once you’ve identified the aspirations you want to achieve, you’ll need to assign numeric goals to them.
We have a post on social media goals that you can read next, but essentially you want to get even more specific with your goals.
If you want follower growth, determine how many followers you want to achieve, in what amount of time.
If you want direct sales, write down how many sales you want at what cost per sale in what amount of time.
And to take this one step further, ask yourself what you want to come from this goal beyond that.
For instance, if you’re wanting to reach 1,000 followers on Instagram in 6 months, what do you want to then come from that?
Are you hoping to get sales from those followers? Or more organic engagement from those followers?
We know for most business owners, if you go down this rabbit hole of questions long enough, eventually the answer leads back to sales, right?
Ultimately, we perform all these different marketing efforts to drive sales.
But what do you want the immediate outcome to be from this goal?
Answering that question will sometimes tell you if this is really what your goal should be or not.
For example, we have clients come to us all the time who say they really care about followers and likes…
…that they want to focus on increasing their brand awareness, but then they measure everything in website traffic and sales.
Those goals don’t align. At least not at first.
Yes, eventually brand awareness will turn into sales, but the immediate signs of success for brand awareness would be followers and engagement.
So if what you immediately care about is sales, your focus needs to be less on follower growth and more on advertising and driving website traffic.
Now some of you may be thinking, don’t you need both to succeed? Don’t you need brand awareness and website traffic?
And the answer is yes!
But, when talking about small business social media marketing, we’re usually also working with small business budgets.
And we mentioned earlier that you’ll need a plan and budget for every goal you have.
So if you don’t have the budget to fund multiple goals right now…
…you need to prioritize and choose which goal is most important to you right now and fund that goal.
Now the last thing we’ll say before we move onto the next step is that if you haven’t read our post on social media platforms for business…
…we suggest that you read it next if you need help determining which social media platform to pursue your goals on first.
You want to choose and master one social media platform first before tackling 2 or 3…
…and this post helps you pick the one that would make the most sense for you given your industry and target market.
This might be the most labor-intensive or time-consuming step, but it’s worth it.
In fact, if you rush through this step or aren’t thorough in your research in this step…
…it will negatively impact the rest of your social media efforts indefinitely until done correctly.
Now we specifically perform a 5 step process for our clients like this below to produce an effective social media strategy for them.
And we cover those 5 steps in this social media strategy post, so we’re not going to re-walk through all of them again in this post.
But that tells you how important and research-intensive this step is because it got its own post.
What we will say is that following those 5 steps will help you understand your target market better, and therefore, how to market to them better.
Plus it will give you a roadmap of what to do to accomplish the goals you’ve established.
Once you’ve got a plan outlining the steps you need to take to reach the goals you’ve set, it’s time to think about how that plan is going to be executed.
Step 3: Allocate your resources
When you’re running a small business, a lot of times it can be a one-man show.
And if that’s the case, everything we just said about step 2 taking a lot of time might have just made you drop your head in your hands.
But stay with me, don’t worry we have a solution.
You can either:
a. you outsource your marketing efforts to professionals like LYFE Marketing, or
b. you account for your limited time now in this step.
Be realistic about how long it would take you or someone else to accomplish step 2 and execute it.
If it’s just you running the show, then start blocking off time in your calendar to chip away at everything bit by bit, day by day.
There are also tools you’ll want to utilize to help automate certain processes and make your life easier…
…so here’s our digital marketing tools post you might want to read next.
The second resource you want to consider and allocate in this step is your budget.
At this point, you should’ve already thought about this at least a little bit in steps 1 and 2.
But if you haven’t already, you need to go ahead and finalize your budget now.
Determine exactly how much you’re willing to spend both on the marketing efforts themselves…
…as well as in labor if you’re hiring someone to help you.
You don’t want any expenses to catch you by surprise, and you want to have a set number of how much you’re willing to spend.
And if you’re completely new to social media marketing, we would plan on setting a number that you don’t expect to make back for a little while.
Don’t spend $10,000 in month 1 expecting to make $30,000 back in month 2. It doesn’t work like that.
We’ve talked about this on our blog before.
But if you’re a brand new business that nobody has ever heard of, you’re going to have to first spend some time (and money)…
…getting people familiar with your brand and trusting you before you can expect them to buy from you.
On average, it takes 5 to 7 impressions for people to even remember your brand, let alone visit your website and purchase from you.
That means you’re often paying for an ad to reach somebody 5-7 times before expecting them to even visit your website with buying intent!
So with that said, if you need some help establishing what your budget should be, then read our post on small business marketing budget next.
Step 4: Be authentic with your brand
If you followed the 5 steps from our other post, you should by now have a solid social media strategy in place that you’ve begun implementing.
So this step is an encouragement to have fun with your brand voice and be authentically you.
61% of people are more likely to buy from companies that deliver unique content.
And 94% of customers are likely to show loyalty to a brand that offers complete transparency.
So use your social media to meet those consumer preferences!
Be transparent about your business, your team, your products, or services, and create unique content that’s specific to your company.
This will help foster a community of followers that trust your brand and feels comfortable purchasing from you.
Social media gives consumers direct access to brands in a way that was never possible before.
Make sure you’re taking advantage of that as much as your customers are.
Customers are asking questions on social media.
We can’t tell you how many people flood our Instagram DMs every day with service questions…
…instead of going to our website to look or make an inquiry, they ask us on social media instead.
So you want to make sure your customer service extends to your social media platforms to keep a pulse on what your customers care about.
As well as to make sure all of their questions are answered.
That’s one of the perks of being a small business is that you see and read every comment!
Nike isn’t out here answering every single comment and DM they get.
But small businesses are, and 73% of consumers will love your brand because of helpful customer service.
Step 6: Rinse, wash and repeat on other platforms
Once you’ve got a solid rhythm going on one social media platform, it’s easy to transfer everything that’s working onto a second, third, and fourth platform.
Especially if you’re following all the tips from our other posts we mentioned earlier such as:
- creating your content calendar in advance,
- batch scheduling them,
- researching the most engaging posts on each platform,
…and so on.
73% of small businesses invest in social media marketing strategy as part of their branding efforts.
That’s because it works and it can be profitable with the right steps in place.
And that wraps up our 6 steps on small business social media marketing!
Head over to our social media marketing services page today if you need any help with promoting your business on social media.