Recently, Webpositer gave me the opportunity to write as a guest blogger. After some small businesses’ owners asked me how to plan and develop a Social Media campaign on their own I had clear what to write about and also the way to explain it. Now I also want to share it with you all.

First of all, you should know (and probably already know) it’s not easy at all. Developing and implementing a social media strategy requires time to spend on it in order to succeed, even on weekends. This is why companies prefer to hire a specialist to manage their social communities.

However, it is possible to focus just in a few parts of the social media marketing and still be sucessful. That way you’ll have more time for your business.

By the end of this post you’ll also find a link to a step-by-step guide on Slideshare.

What is Social Media Marketing?

Before going social, you must understand that the secret of Social Media is that it’s not about you, your product or your story. It’s about creating value for the communities that happen to include you. If you want to make a positive impact, forget about what you can get from Social Media and start thinking about what you can contribute. The more value you create for the community, the more value they’ll create for you.

First steps

As small businesses’ owners you probably already know what’s your potential audience, who’s buying your products. That will help you drive your campaigns to those profiles. But, where is that potential audience? Where are conversations around your field taking place?

Go grab pen and a notebook, have a sit in front of your laptop and write the name of your business in the tool Social Mention. That way you’ll find out what platforms you should be in, those where your customers interact.

Right after that, let’s spy a little. What kind of Social Media presence does your competitor have? That will guide you and your goal will be improve it.

Developing the strategy

So we now know what is your customer’s profile (i.e. a woman, 20-50 years old, with children) and what online platform they’re using to communicate (i.e. fashion blogs, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter). Now you’re ready to start planning the strategy.

On that purpose, try to follow the steps on the presentation right below the points I’m summarizing:

  • – Set up your goals: What do you want to achieve?
  • – Content strategy: what to publish and where. Decide what kind of voice and tone you’ll be posting with (i.e. you, us… Cheerful)
  • – Social Activation: actions you’ll be launching on social networks and also other platforms that will work as your amplification (i.e. blogs with high
  • –  influence)
  • –  Spread the word: how, where and why to advertise social media actions.
  • –  Calendar: launch the strategy in a 5 months period. Not all profiles must be launched at once. What specialists prefer is to start creating a Twitter community to spread the word.
  • –  Measure your results: Set up you KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) according to your goals.

Click on this link to get access to the Slideshare presentation:

Your small business’ Social Media strategy

Bear in mind…

  • –  Growing a community across social media takes time. It’s like stacking pennies to finally make your dream travel.
  • –  Businesses usually start seeing positive results within the firs year after the launch. So stick to your strategy and don’t give up if you don’t get “likes” in the first months!
  • –  Social Media Marketing is not a trend. It’s actually getting more and more importance. If you don’t get in Social Media at this stage, you could start missing customers, and eventually disappear ofrom the online cloud. Mark Zukherberg, Facebook foundator, said once he won’t give up until every company, every small business is on Social Media
  • –  Every day new trends come up. Brands have to play under the marketing rules if they want to keep growing.

Your turn! I’ll be glad to answer any doubt or start conversations around a new idea any of you come up below on comments. I’ll be waiting for your feedback!

In the meantime, follow the latest trends and info about social media via our Twitter or Google+ accounts, find new pictures and infographics on Pinterest or join our interesting conversations with other specialists on our fanpage and our LinkedIn Group. We’ll be waiting for you!