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Social media can be a very effective way of engaging with current and future customers, community, and fans, increasing your exposure, and driving traffic to your site.  However, if you think about social media strategy as only one part of your broader digital communication, you’ll get even more benefit from your efforts.

Consider these points as you develop your plan for a robust social media strategy.

3 Tips for Planning Your Small Business Social Media Strategy

Have one consistent online voice and personality

Since many of your prospects are exposed to your product or service through various channels and places online as well as offline, don’t confuse them with different messaging on each channel. If you’re using Facebook, or Pinterest, or a blog, or another online channel, keep the contents of your message and the way you deliver it consistent. This includes not only your language choices, but also the look and feel of your graphics, design, and branding. Doing so creates a more coherent “brand” messaging which can be more effective in converting a site visitor into a future contact.

Decide on a central goal

For most small business owners, the goals are to have people buy and refer others. But your social media strategy will directly affect each of those goals. If your goal is to drive more online sales, versus more community engagement, versus more in person contacts, versus, demonstrating your subject matter expertise, or increasing your Facebook fans or Pinterest followers. Once you have a primary goal, you can focus on part of your strategy to drive online traffic to that goal. For example, if your goal is making sales, all your social media platforms will be directing traffic to your website.  If your goal is engagement, your strategy would be driving traffic to sources where you can engage with a prospect, to answer questions, or demonstrate your leadership and mentoring capabilities. This might be Facebook or a blog.

Offline messaging

Don’t forget to include your social media sites on your traditional and other marketing collateral. This includes flyers, business cards, catalogs, phone books, or print advertisements. Make sure your offline customers can find you online, and your online contacts can find you offline.

Using social media is just like any other form of marketing in several key ways. Your social media plan requires a strategy and a goal. A successful campaign needs to use channels appropriate for your business, goal, and target market. And your campaign will take time to show results.

But it will show results with consistent content in your own voice.

Want to learn more about monetization for beginners? Grab my free e-book, 20 Ways to Monetize Your Social Strategy, here. Want to connect with fellow small business owners and build your social media empire together? Check out my free group on Facebook: Social Boss Collective.

#EmpowerSocial

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