How to be a social media manager for a small business? My answer is hard work and strategic thinking. Let me tell you how in this post.
In this post: Why social media is important for your business, I told you why your business must be on social media to get leads or sales.
But what happens if you want to be on social media, but you don’t know how, or maybe you are going to be the social media manager of a small business and after a few days you realize that it is very different than being the social media manager of a big business.
Trust me, I have been there. Being a social media manager for a big brand is not the same as being the social media manager of a small business; the goals are very different.
For example, big brands sell by default. Brands like Starbucks, Nike, Adidas are always selling. These brands are on social media with the objective of brand awareness and engagement.
Your job as a social media manager of a big brand is to create good content that keeps the engagement with the audience, and to discover new social media platforms for the brand, and the best part is that you don’t have to worry about sales.
Another completely different world is being a social media manager for a small business.
Why? Because small businesses need to get leads or sales to stay alive, and in parallel, small businesses also need to work on their brand.
For that reason, being the social media manager of a small business is more difficult than being the social media manager of a big brand.
In this post, I am going to show you how to be a social media manager for a small business, whether you are the owner of the business or you are the person in charge of the social media of that company.
How to be a social media manager for a small business in two steps
Ok, let me tell you that when being a social media manager for a small business, you need to think strategically and have clear goals that you want to achieve.
Develop a social media strategy
Define your goals
Like I told you in this post: Social Media Marketing tips for 2021, defining S.M.A.R.T. goals is very important.
Please always remember that S.M.A.R.T. goals are:
Specific: The greatest possible specificity must be sought. Is the goal detailed enough so that someone else knows what you will do and how?
Measurable: What cannot be measured simply does not exist. You always have to set quantitative targets.
Achievable: Goals have to bring out the best in you. They have to be an ambitious and possible challenge.
Relevant: Each of your goals should align with your values and larger, long-term goals.
Timely: You must be clear with the times assigned to each goal, as well as develop a timeline where the different sub-goals or stages are marked to reach the goal.
An objective is to set a goal that we want to achieve. To achieve that goal, first we must put it on paper and second, we must define how we will do it.
An important point is to differentiate between a desire and a goal.
A desire is: I want to open a women’s clothing store.
A goal is: I will open a clothing store in block three of Wall Street in the first quarter of 2021.
The goals must be measurable and concrete to follow up. Where possible, link them to a business objective:
Achieve a 30% market share in the Italian market by 2021.
Reduce distribution costs by 10% during the first half of 2022.
Open two new stores in Denver and New York by 2023.
Your goal above all must be measurable and realistic so that you can achieve it.
If you are the owner, you need to have clear goals for your social media efforts, but if you are the social media manager of the business, you need to talk to the owner to define the goals for the business on social media.
Strategy is the creation of a unique and valuable position that involves a set of different activities.
Strategic positioning can be based on:
- A variety of products
- Customer needs
The strategy consists of making trade-offs (losing a certain quality in exchange for gaining another quality) when competing. The essence is choosing what will not be done.
You must understand that strategy is the creation of a unique and valuable position that involves a set of different activities.
Developing a strategy involves understanding the industry you are in, the macro factors, the competition, and above all, the place you want to reach.
Defining a strategy is both a science and an art.
They are the concrete actions that you must carry out to achieve your goals.
- Participate in a fair to publicize the brand or products.
- Advertise on Facebook and Google.
- Develop a web page.
As you can see, when starting a strategy you must first transform your wishes into concrete and measurable goals, and then think of a strategy and the tactical actions that will lead you to achieving those goals.
Remember to have in mind your consumer when you create your strategy. This post can help: Digital Consumer: 14 great characteristics you must know.
This is an example for a goal, strategy and tactics:
You now know how to create a strategy with a business mindset, because small businesses need to sell to survive.
But I also told you in this post about how to be a social media manager for small a business that you will have to create the brand.
But how do you create a brand on social media? Let me tell you that though the work is hard, it is not difficult.
First, let me tell you that I am not an ad man, but I helped create a brand for a small business.
Create a content plan
Creating a brand for a small business is important, because a brand sells. What happens is that the owners of small businesses are so focused on selling their products that they forget about the brand.
The brand of the business is very important. For example, Coca-Cola is a brand but once was a small business. Also, KFC is a brand and once was a small business as well.
Social media is a tool to sell and also a tool to create brand awareness, and for that you need a content plan.
The first step you need to do to create a brand is to give the brand a personification.
Give the brand a personification
If you want your social media strategy to be a success you have to give the brand a personification.
You may be thinking, what does it mean to give the brand a personification?
It is to give your brand a personality.
Brand personality: if the company were a person, what would it be like? Describe its gender, age, attitude (cheerful, serious, proactive, thoughtful, etc.), dress code, lifestyle etc.
Let me explain the answer with an example. When I was the community manager for Nike in Peru, the company gave me a brand-book to get to know who Nike is as a persona.
From reading the brand-book, I learned that Nike as a persona is a young boy in his mid-20s. Nike has a friendly character and likes to have many friends. Nike is the soul of the party but above all, Nike is cool and inspires other people to achieve their goals.
You need to have a brand personality because you also need to give your brand a voice.
Get to know what your audience wants
You need to know what your audience wants. If you want to know how to get that information, you can read this post: Customer Empathy Map. How to answer the 7 questions.
It is very important for you to get to know your customers, because social media is a two-way street.
You send information to your customers and your customers give you feedback in the comments.
For that, you need to think about what interests your customers, and what they want to find in your social media channels, or what interests you think your customers would interact with.
For example, these are the interests I found for the Nike running audience: finding a friend to run with, having the motivation to go running, answering your questions, finding new products for running, feeling part of a community, and taking part in challenges.
Match what your brand wants to communicate with your customers’ interests
Your content plan needs to have two goals: create brand awareness and sell your products.
To achieve that you need to do a match between what you want to communicate with your brand and your customers’ interests.
Let me explain this to you with the example of Nike:
As you can see, in one column I have the topics Nike wants to communicate and in the other columns I have the customers’ needs. What you have to do is match them up.
That match is your content plan.
The Brand Voice
Your brand voice defines the style of your brand communication with your customers.
Your brand voice can be: informative, argumentative, colloquial, humorous, emotional etc.
We now have the brand personality and the topics for the content plan.
What you need to do is to give your brand a voice by writing your content plan.
Let me give you an example with Nike.
It took three attempts to nail the Nike voice for Peru.
My first try was this: running in the morning is good for your health.
That doesn’t sound like Nike.
My second try was this: run in the morning, improve your health.
Nothing like Nike.
My third try was: beat the sun, run in the mornings, improve your health, exceed your goals. #justdoit
That sounds like Nike, and that was my starting point.
You have to do the same for your brand. Finding the voice of your brand is important.
The content matrix is the order of topics to be talked about during the month.
For example, with the topics for Nike, I can do a content matrix like this.
My way of thinking was:
Inspiration Mondays to start a good week.
Tips for sport on Wednesdays.
Products on Fridays to incentivize weekend shopping.
Sport events on Saturdays.
You don’t have to write content for every day of the week. Think strategically.
You can have this template here. Please make a copy to use it.
Choose the right social media channel
A common mistake for social media managers is to be on every social media channel.
Think strategically and be where your customers are. For example, a young audience could be on TikTok or Instagram. For a more general audience, Facebook is a good choice.
Content plan development
Now it is time to write your content plan, according to the social media channel you are going to be.
For example, I use this template to create my content:
- Day: Monday
- Date: 7/12
- Hour: 10:00 a.m.
- Social Media Channel: Facebook
- Copy: A new week to be closer to my goals.
- Picture: A runner on the street.
Remember that it is very different to create content for Facebook than it is to create content for Instagram.
Adapt the voice of the brand for each social media channel.
You can get a copy of this template here
Also, you can read this post: How to start a blog and get followers?
Conclusions for how to be a social media manager for a small business
How to be a social media manager for a small business? The answer is with a lot of work.
I said that only taking two steps to learn how to be a social media manager for a small business is true, but every step has little tasks that you have to complete.
Now, my recommendation to you is to start on one social media channel, and after six months, evaluate if you can handle another social media channel and if it would be valuable.
I know that small businesses want to sell but first people have to trust the brand.
If you can make people trust your brand you will sell your product or service without any problem.
And don’t be afraid of the comments from people. Comments are good; they mean that you have touched them in a positive way or a negative way.
Be afraid if you don’t have any comments at all. That means that nobody cares about your brand.
Here you can learn: 10 benefits of social media for business