Social Media: Strategies for Businesses: Part 2

You’ve read last month’s article about the benefits of social media for businesses. Now you’re asking yourself, What do I do now? This month, we’ll discuss some first steps about how your organization can harness those benefits & use social media to accomplish your business goals.

Image usage permission granted by Sean Nicholson from

Step One: Align Social Media Goals with Business Goals

This step is where you’ll figure out if social media is right for your organization. It’s okay if you’re not sure if your organization is ready to dedicate time, money, and personnel to social media. Maybe the timing isn’t right. Perhaps the resources aren’t available to have someone manage it correctly. That’s fine. To help you decide, here are some important questions to discuss with your organization’s decision-makers and marketing team:

What are your business goals? Make sure everyone in the room has a clear-cut understanding of what are the most important organizational goals.
What sorts of goals can social media help accomplish? If brand awareness, client/customer engagement, sales, conversions, or lead generation are some of your goals, social media could be a viable solution.

Now that you’ve discussed your business goals, and everyone is on the same page, and you’ve all agreed that social media can help your business in more than one way, you can proceed to making some more strategic decisions.

Step Two: Platform Selection

Just because there are millions of people with Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Pinterest accounts, doesn’t mean that those millions are going to be interested in what you have to say. Picking the right platforms for your organization will help increase the probability that your messages are going to the right people.

24% of small businesses don’t have any social media presence, which makes sense if their target market isn’t on social media. However, most likely at least one of your audiences is somewhere on social media. So how do you reach that audience? Where are they? Snapchatting to a baby boomer is like writing a letter to a millennial: the method for sending your message just isn’t right.

Say you’re targeting adults who are close to retirement. Perhaps Snapchat and Twitter aren’t the best options since their demographic skews significantly younger. Instead, try a platform like Facebook where 72% of 50-64 year-olds and 62% of 65+ year-olds have profiles.

Here are some questions to help guide your discussion about what platforms will provide the best channel for delivering your message:

Which audiences should we target to accomplish our business goals?
Where are they on social media, if they’re on social media at all?
Will the platforms we choose offer the features we’re looking for (posting pictures, space for text, etc.).

Image usage permission granted by Sean Nicholson from

Step Three: Strategic Content Creation

Notice how this step is dead last. Posting whatever, whenever, wherever will not accomplish the business goals your team discussed earlier. Content should be based on the goals of your group, audience-focused, and platform friendly.

Goal-Oriented Content

Say two of the most important goals for your social media presence are to increase sales, and increase customer satisfaction. Posts about your products or different applications of the product could help with the increasing sales goal. Posts with customer testimonials or keeping up with customer comments and questions could help with customer satisfaction. However, posts about bunnies that look cute while they’re eating carrots and other root vegetables aren’t goal-focused. Sure, they might be cute. Sure, they might even get likes and shares. But at the end of the day, what did those bunnies do to help your goals?

Audience-Focused Content

Not every post can be self-serving. Too many posts with “buy this!” or “try this!” can exhaust readers. They’ll learn to see your name in their news feed, and scroll past your plea for a purchase. Of course, it’s important to alert customers of new sales or improvements to the product, but not all the time. Try mixing up your content to include things that your audience likes. Yes, this means a little more work when it comes to getting to know your audience, but it can help you create impactful (and maybe even viral) content that will resonate with them.

Platform-Friendly Content

Each platform has different characteristics that offer challenges and opportunities for your brand. For example, Twitter is limited to 280 characters, and Instagram doesn’t allow live links in their photo captions. Knowing what limitations your platforms have is key to creating content that will work best, without having to make frequent adjustments to your content.

Interested in creating or refining your company’s social media strategy? Our social media team is here to help! Check us out on Facebook, Twitter (@MediaG), or give us an old-fashioned phone call at 248.687.7888.