In my recent post, “Warning Signs you May be Missing“, I discussed how easy it is to develop a “set it and forget it” mentality for your social media strategy. I admitted that I have been guilty of limping along for far too long without doing an overhaul to the SocialNicole social media strategy. So I jumped in and got to work revamping my strategy and the results speak volumes for why you need to revamp your strategy regularly. The fact is, since my social media strategy revamp I have seen significant changes in my key performance indicators (KPI’s). Within six weeks, my Facebook page audience has doubled (that’s 700 new fans). Due to my targeted social media engagement on all social channels my website has seen 300% more referral traffic from social media, finally my email conversions from my website have doubled since the beginning of March. And this is just the beginning! I’m guessing that I have your attention now, right? You want to make the most of your time, efforts and investments in your business. If a revamp of your social media strategy can help, why not try it? Revamping your strategy is not something to take lightly. It should be something you do every year and you should include it as part of your annual audit process. But for those of you, like me who perhaps have not been stellar at keeping up with your annual audit I have created this guide to get you up to speed! Since this post is about changing your strategy, you need to have a written strategy in place. If you don’t have one read about what you should include in your strategy and start working on your foundational strategy. If you already have a formal strategy, the revamp process is not that painful. It does take some time and effort. If you want to be strategic and efficient, you could also include some outside help (Hint, hint! That’s what my social media coaching is for). In reality, the first step is acknowledging you have a problem! Once you acknowledge the issue, you can take the necessary steps to rectify it. My own revamp took about 5 hours of work divided out over several weeks.
Here are my 5 tips for how to revamp your small business social media strategy:
1. Assess your target audience
Has it changed since you created your strategy? Or have you been able to narrow it down to a more specific audience? Think about one segment and identify one target customer from that part of your audience. Create a persona, which is a full biography, for this ideal target customer. If you have multiple segments, create a persona for each major segment. Now, assess the social media channels you are on. Which channel makes the most sense to focus on for your target persona? Facebook may be perfect for one audience segment while Twitter or Pinterest may be best for another. This focus will help you create and curate content for each channel. Make sure you are honest with how much time you have to invest in each channel remembering that every channel requires you to be fully present and a part of the community in order to be successful.
2. Conduct a quick audit of your channels
Our audit tips may seem like a lot to address. If you are not set up for a strategic social media presence or you have not been following your current plans very closely, this will seem like a lot of work. Don’t get caught up on it! Do a quick scan and address where you need to work on crucial changes. Make yourself a list. You don’t have to get all the pieces in place today. Use what you have to help shape where you are going. To start your audit, open your browser and create a new tab for each social media channel you are active on, including a tab for your website. Now, look at each channel and your website to assess the following:
Does the messaging on your channels match the current messaging for your company? Oftentimes, we adjust our goals over time and fail to adjust the approach on our online channels. Make sure that all of your online channels have current profiles that match your company messaging. Also, check that you are using optimized keywords in your profile description. This is how you are found in search!
Are your images for cover photos, profile photos and any other visuals on the channel consistent? Do they match your overall brand look and feel. It’s important that each channel is unique but also that it is consistent with your company. Over time, images should be replaced as your brand evolves. Now is the time to address any design elements that are out of place. Make a list of new images you need to have created to update your channels.
Are you using a spreadsheet to track your goals and key performance indicators (KPI’s) on different channels? If so, what is the data telling you? How is your interaction on each channel and how is the audience growing? Is it the right audience to match your target audience for the channel? Do you feel like your past goals are being reached? Are they the right goals? Minimally, you should be tracking monthly and assessing your work as you go. For many small businesses, it’s hard to keep up with and this important task can be forgotten. If you don’t have a metrics spreadsheet, create one!
Is it the right content? Does it meet the needs of your target audience? Remember, with social media it is important to be personal and connect with your audience. If your audience is interacting with you, are you replying and working that relationship further? If they are not interacting with you, why is that? Curating and creating content is challenging. Without a proper strategy, on a busy day you may not always the best thing to reach your audience. It may also be that the “teaser” or headline you write does not catch their attention.
Do you have lead generation forms set up on your website? Is your website converting? How many people come to your website from social media channels, and has this increased or decreased over time? As part of your metrics tracking document, use Google Analytics to assess your conversions. If you do not have any lead generation forms on your website or goals set you will want to address this in your revamp.
It’s a good idea to take a look at what your competitors are doing. Are they growing a presence online? Are they building a following? Does their audience engage with them? What kind of content do they share? Can you take any ideas from them and/or see things that you absolutely don’t want to do? Many times, businesses forget to look at what others are doing to help fuel their own creativity and inform them of things to avoid. Do not copy your competitors, but do seek inspiration to fuel your own approach.
3. Review your strategy and make adjustments
Remember how we discussed your target audience(s) and proper messaging? This is where you need to change things in your written strategy document. Now, you may consider skipping these changes and think Why bother with changing this document if I know what I’m doing in my head? My number one piece of advice to anyone who is serious about social media marketing is that you have to write your strategy down. Then, when you have changes such as target audience or messaging, you have to change this document. The number one issue that people make with a marketing strategy is to file it away and forget about it. Your social media strategy needs to be a living document that is adjusted and reviewed regularly to keep you on track. Review your goals and the metrics you are using to track them (KPI’s). Are the goals still relevant? Is there anything you want to change, add or subtract from your plan? Is there a better way to measure your goals? If so, adjust your KPI’s and adjust your metrics document as well. Again, make sure you write this down in the plan. Review your content plan for each channel. Does the plan still work or do you need to adjust it to fit your new goals, new audiences, strategy and/or approach? Chances are, you will need to adjust this to make it work with what you are currently doing or want to do. Print out a new strategy document and place it somewhere that’s easily accessible. You will need to refer to this often to make sure you are on track. Consider adding it to your digital project management system or notes on your calendar to review at certain intervals if you prefer to use digital copies. I keep a printed copy for occasional review and make notes as we adjust things. Then, I update the digital copy. I also share the digital copy on Google Docs with my team so that everyone is aware of the plan.
4. Adjust your management guide
Do you have a management guide that outlines the day-to-day tasks that need to be done to execute your strategy? This is the tactical document that should be referred to every day when you manage your channels. This guide should include channels, times of posting, type of content to share and any additional tasks by day of the week. In our guides, we have weekly and monthly tasks as well. Without this guide, your strategy is just a nice document without an action plan. If there is one piece of advice I can give, it is to keep an updated management guide and use it every single day!
5. Make a list
Chances are, after all of this you will have plenty of things to work on over the next year to improve your overall social media marketing efforts. Make a list and order the items from most to least important. Now, set due dates and add them to your calendar. Make implementing these changes part of your work flow. Believe me, the SocialNicole list is long and we are busy working to implement everything we need to get in place. It’s not an overnight process, even for a company that does this day in and day out. The only way to get from point A to point B is to identify the tasks and put a plan of action into place.
Finally….Take a deep breath and celebrate.
You made it through the revamp process! The amount of time your revamp will take depends on how organized you are and how structured your original strategy was. Now that mine is done, it will be easier in the future so long as I keep revamping yearly. This time invested may seem like a lot of effort and time you don’t have. However, if you are going to commit to social media marketing, you need to make the investment. Otherwise, why bother with social media marketing? You should not approach it willy-nilly, as your success will be directly related to you taking it seriously. In the long run, an effective strategy will save time and help you be successful in converting new clients. If you feel overwhelmed and want some help getting through this process, please feel free to contact me. With my one-on-one coaching, I can help guide you through the process with structure, support and guidance. Want to focus on running your business? Hire me to do the revamp for you. I’m here to help! Photo Source