How to write a social media strategy for your creative business
For creatives, freelancers and small businesses, social media can be an overwhelming task on the to-do list. If you’re juggling many hats (all the hats, anyone?) finding the time to create, edit and post content regularly can be daunting. But with internet users spending on average 144 minutes on social media a day and 89% of consumers stating they will buy from a brand they follow on social media it is an incredible resource for small businesses.
It’s time to crack it and create a social media strategy for your creative business. We’ve created a handy how-to guide to help you get social and reach your goals.
What is a social media strategy?
In short, a social media strategy is a summary of what you would like to achieve and a plan for how you will get there. It is a plan of action that is going to clarify what success looks like and how you will measure that success. Simple, kind of.
1. Choose your goals, make ’em smart
Start with the basics and ask yourself what you want from social media for your creative business. Whether it is to build a community, increase website visitors or generate leads; having goals will bring clarity to your content strategy and make it much easier for you to measure success. Your goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely and not just all about racking up the likes.
Once you have your goals, decide how you will measure them. If you want to increase your customer engagement, you could measure your Instagram Story reach. If it’s all about improving customer service, then measure your Twitter response time.
2. Do your homework
It’s time for an audit. Take a fresh pair of eyes and review your current social media platforms. Check whether the brand names match, the imagery and designs are up to date and if the messaging is clear and on-brand. Imagine you are visiting as a complete newcomer to your brand and make sure everything shouts YOU from the rooftops.
Have a look at your strengths and weaknesses – what content always goes well? – make a note of what works and what should be quietly shelved.
3. Get to know your audience
Who are they? What do they like? Where do they spend their time? Create audience personas for your first and secondary customer. Take a peek into the analytics across your platforms, there’s a lot of useful information there. You’ll find out the age, location and what your audience are interested in, helping you to create content that resonates with them.
4. Choose your platform(s) wisely
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, Linked In, Python X, Snapchat. There is a lot of platforms to keep on top of and only one of them is made up (gotcha). If your target audience is over 60 with a penchant for gardening and auto homes it probably isn’t worth ploughing all your time and efforts into Instagram. They aren’t there. Do your research and don’t make assumptions. If you were a customer looking for someone like you, where would you look?
5. Content pillars and a content calendar
What are content pillars, we hear you cry! Also known as content buckets (yes, we know), your content pillars are three to five themes that your brand will consistently mention on social media. If we ran a sideline business in environmentally-friendly BBQs (Gather Around The Fire, anyone?) our content pillars would be wild camping spots, BBQ recipe dishes, tips on sustainable choices and of course our beautiful BBQs. We would produce a post each week that mentioned these topics. Figuring these out will make it a lot easier to create post ideas and keep your brand consistent on social media.
A content calendar is a love letter to future you. Colour-coded excel sheet, scrawled on a sheet or in a snazzy online tool – however you like it. Make notes of caption copy, imagery, hashtags and dates and times you want to post. Future you will thank you. Keeping a content calendar will help you remain consistent and continuously hit your content pillars. It will also help to tackle those creative blocks and mean you don’t experience sheer panic every time you open Instagram.
6. Pick a content day
Do not, we repeat do not write, create and post your social media content on the same day. You deserve better than that! Pick a time each fortnight to jot down your content ideas, write out your posts and get your images sorted in advance. It will save time and infinite distraction scrolling in the future.
7. Go forth and execute
Consistency is key (baby) and it’s all about quality over quantity. It’s better to post content that resonates with your brand and your audience four times a week than every day with posts that aren’t very good.
8. Keep an eye on your goals
Return to the goals you set at the beginning of your strategy regularly and make note of the results. What you track depends on your goals, so if engagement is your pie then record likes and shares of your content. If you want more web visitors then keep an eye on the click-throughs to your website.
A social media strategy for your creative business is a process so keep monitoring your progress, adjusting your strategy as you learn and celebrate those wins! The social media strategy of your creative business dreams is, like everything, at your fingertips. Go get ‘em tiger.