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Social strategy for small business

December 4, 2013

I recently completed a digital consultation with a small business, helping them form a strategy for social engagement (specifically, on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and the blog on their website.) We set objectives for purposeful engagement, with a focus on communicating key attributes of their brand, monitoring competitors, and driving measurable results.

The point about purposeful engagement is very important. People don’t want to spend time on things that aren’t laser focused on business results – particularly in a small business setting where time is tight and people wear many hats.

And, it can be tricky to harness the seeming randomness of social media. For example:

  • Content isn’t only in the form of traditional collateral: you’ll have photos and videos from smartphones, short blurbs and 140 character tweets, hashtags and handles. It is important that all content shared reflects the brand – and that all who share it understand this
  • Usage patterns for digital media are much different than the cadence for other types of project planning. For example, participation can be driven by events, but can also be scheduled at regular times.

It is tempting to assign one person the responsibility for social. But if your strategy includes monitoring competitors, market listening, communicating your brand, interacting with customers – you want more than one person paying attention to these critical aspects of your business.

Therefore, in addition what you’re trying to accomplish and what results you expect to see, your digital strategy must also include structures to help the key people in your small business form the habit of participation.

For example, in the consultation I just completed, I guided the team in brainstorming hashtags and content sources to follow and in identifying keywords and topics to use in their outbound communications. They set up an editorial calendar and templates to plan content, assigned responsibility for channels according to interests of the team, and developed ways to monitor and share results.

I’m confident they’ll see results from their more coordinated effort. Contact me if you want me to help you improve your approach to a more coordinated digital strategy.

Additional thoughts from more experts, from this week’s Wall St Journal: Facebook, Twitter and Other Social-Media Tips for Small-Business Owners

From → Marketing

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