We're living in a time when we've never been more connected to people. Your kids--and maybe your parents--are on Facebook. That schoolyard bully who beat you up in first grade is now an insurance salesman you're connected to on LinkedIn. But why does this even matter?
It matters because this connectedness presents numerous opportunities for the small business who understands how to leverage it to connect with current customers as well as potential customers.
With an effective social media strategy, your small business can:
- Drive more traffic to your website and generate qualified leads
- Increase brand awareness in your local community and industry
- Strengthen your small business brand by building positive perception in your community
- Set your small business up as a thought-leader and expert in your community and industry
- Build customer loyalty
Benefits aside, there are common challenges every small business faces as it relates to building an effective social media strategy:
- Where to begin; what is the first step?
- What is most important? What isn't important?
- How does a small business find the necessary time to commit to social media?
- How does a small business stay on top of all the changes and new developments that occur in social media?
Most companies begin by putting the cart before the horse: Tools before strategy. This is the wrong approach. Begin with strategy first, then determine which tools and tactics your small business will need to implement to best fit your social media strategy.
There are three key components in building an effective small business social media strategy. Each of these are broken down in the mind map above. They are:
1. Determine your social media objective--what are you trying to achieve exactly?
2. Identify your "theme", or identity--what makes your small business unique?
3. Identify your key performance indicators (KPIs)--how will you measure the impact and effectiveness of your social media strategy?
Take a look at the mind map above and drop us your thoughts in the comments below.
Our FREE infographic, "The 11 Most Important Social Networks & Apps for Green Industry Companies" will help you understand where best to spend your time online. Download it by clicking on the image below.