This blog post was written by guest contributor Katie Love

If your business has no presence on social media, you have a problem. According to the Global Digital Report 2019, there are 3.5 billion active social media users. That’s 3.5 billion people every day your business can potentially turn into customers.

As a social media strategist for my business Love Social Media, I often hear business owners say they aren’t seeing results on social media. However, sending out a tweet or posting on Facebook every once in a while isn’t going to do anything for your business. A solid social media strategy can help you turn followers into dollar signs.

#1. Get Specific About Your Goals

Social media has the power to yield incredible results for business owners. It’s important to get specific about your objective when creating a social media strategy. Ideas include:

  • Brand Awareness
  • Increase leads and sales
  • Update customers/clients on what’s new
  • Engage customers
  • Build repeat customers

You may say, I want to accomplish all these goals! Great, I hear you. However, pick an objective to focus on each month. If you decide you want more people to know about your business, the brand awareness objective may be the way to start. You can measure success by the number of followers, shares, likes and comments you receive. If you want to see results that impact your bottom line, track metrics like website clicks, direct sales from social and email sign-ups. If customer retention is a priority, encourage Facebook reviews and testimonials about your product or service.

#2. Select Social Media Platforms

There are a lot of social media platforms to keep up with and more are popping up. It may seem great in theory to master Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Snapchat all at once. It just might not be the best use of your time. Think about the initial customer avatar you created for your business. When those people are infinitely scrolling through social media posts, what platforms do you think they are on?

If your ideal customer is between 18 and 30 years old, an effective Instagram strategy is important. If you own a b2b business, LinkedIn and Twitter might be the best place to focus your efforts. For businesses with a physical product, Facebook has high conversion rates when it comes to online shopping.

#3. Create Engaging Content

A generic photo off Google won’t be an accurate reflection of your business and will not work as well as high quality photos and videos of your business. They can make a huge impact when it comes to getting people to not only follow your accounts, but also to buy-in to what you’re offering. This may be an upfront investment, but having at least 30 professional photos of your business is well worth it.

However, if professional photography is not in the cards, a smartphone will do. Lighting is everything when it comes to taking a good photo. A simple ring light from Amazon can do wonders. Also, make sure to click the focus button before snapping because there’s nothing worse than a blurry photo.

#4. Scope Out the Competitors

Start by identifying what your competitors are doing well and what is clearly not resonating with the target audience. This information can shape your social media strategy and give you an important look into what may work for your business. Take a look at where your competitor is spending their efforts. If they are all-in on posting on Facebook but neglecting Instagram, this can be a great opportunity for your business to stand out.

#5. Get Organized

Creating a content calendar is one of the best things you can do for your business! Scheduling software like Later, Hootsuite and Buffer can help you organize and automatically post your content. Having a schedule will allow you to plan ahead and organize content plan around holidays and events. If Black Friday is a huge money-maker for your business, having a plan of what content will go out and when can make a huge difference.

Refine Your Expertise

If creating social media strategies for companies sounds like something you would enjoy, you should consider earning an online master’s degree in communication technology from Point Park University. The program offers a social media concentration that focuses on understanding and applying effective social media frameworks across an array of industries. The first employee I hired has a degree from Point Park, and her knowledge of social media is incredibly valuable to my business.

Katie is an expert social media strategist and owner of Love Social Media in Pittsburgh. You can follower her on her website or Instagram @katielovesocial