5 Steps to Create a Successful Social Media Strategy

a sponsored post by Lynne Brehmer of SpreeWorks 

illustrated social media icons by tiff chow for her personal blog

image credit: illustrated social media icons by tiff chow for her personal blog

Social media is a great way to build relationships with your customers and grow your business. If you have an Etsy store you probably know that it can be hard to make sales by listing your products on Etsy alone. However, combining your Etsy store with your own website and a consistent, tailored social media plan can be an effective way to get your name in front of customers and grow your business.

Here are five steps for organizing and implementing an effective social media strategy:

1) Understand Your Target Market
Start by getting to know the people you hope to reach through social media, i.e.  your customers. Identify your target audience. Understand their behaviors, what influences their purchasing decisions, and why your product resonates with them. This will allow you to tailor your marketing efforts and ultimately make more sales.

So how can you get to know your target market? Try asking a few people who fit your profile if they have 20 minutes for a quick conversation about their online purchasing experiences. I used this strategy when trying to understand the customer base for SpreeWorks, our online store builder tool. I found that most people were more than willing to help. Here are a few ideas to get the conversation started:

  • Where are you geographically located?
  • What do you do for a living?
  • What are your hobbies?
  • What type of products do you typically purchase each month?
  • Where do you purchase these products? Online? At a physical store?
  • What social media networks do you use and at what time of day?
  • What websites do you visit daily?
  • What newspapers and magazine do you read?

2) Define Your Value Proposition and Positioning

Figure out how you want to be positioned in the minds of your customers. Consider why your product is valuable to them and how are you different from your competitors. Think about the words and phrases you would like your customers to use to describe your products. Narrow the list down to six or seven. For SpreeWorks, I decided on the phrases: “online store builder tool, create an online store in minutes, no technical skills required, and flat monthly rate.”

Use these phrases consistently in all your communications – on your website, in your blog posts, in your social media interactions, and in your email marketing campaigns. People will start to recognize your positioning and immediately associate it with your business. They’ll also start to use these terms when searching for you online which will help improve your search engine rankings.

3) Get in Front of Your Customers

Now it’s time to get your name in front of some customers and start generating traffic back to your store. Go back to your research and identify which social media networks your prospects use. Then, start to interact with them over social media at times of the day when they are likely to be online. Whenever possible, include a link back to your website where people can easily buy your products, but be careful not to shamelessly promote yourself.

Here are some easy ways to start the interaction…

  • Comment on a Twitter discussion on a topic your prospects are interested in.
  • Ask a question on your Facebook timeline. Reply to the responses you receive.
  • Post a helpful blog article on a topic your prospects are interested in. Share the post on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Post a helpful video on YouTube. For example, if you sell jewelry supplies, demonstrate how to create a necklace using your products.
  • Create Pinterest boards that are related to your business and represent the interests of your target customers.
  • Like your prospects on Facebook. Follow them on Twitter and Pinterest. Retweet/share their posts.

4) Create an Action Plan with Measurable Goals

Develop a daily action plan for your social media strategy. You can start small by spending 30 minutes a day interacting on social media sites. Make sure to choose the social media networks that your customers use. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to create award winning content, the important thing is to start somewhere and to stay on the top of your customers and prospects’ minds.

Now associate a measurable goal with each action you outlined. You can determine appropriate benchmarks by doing some internet research and talking to other business owners who have tried similar tactics. Here are some examples:

SpreeWorks, 5 Steps to Create a Successful Social Media Strategy

5) Measure Your Results and Iterate

Figuring out which social media strategies work best for your business involves some trial and error. As a small business owner, your time is probably limited so you want to figure out which tactics provide the biggest bang for the buck as quickly as possible. Check the performance of your social media actions against your goals on a frequent basis. Review your performance week over week.

Determine which tactics exceeded your expectations and which ones underperformed. Evaluate the return on investment for the ones that over performed. If they are worth your time then continue with these strategies and figure out ways to run similar campaigns. For those that underperformed, try and figure out why. Ask one of your customers why the tactic didn’t resonate with them. You might find that if you tweak your strategy a bit then you’ll get a better response rate.

Remember, with social media there’s no magic bullet. Every company, even large multi-national companies, go through the same trial and error process to find social media success. With consistent efforts and reviewing what works and what doesn’t, you can leverage social media to drive additional traffic and revenue to your online store.

About the Author
Lynne Brehmer is the Director of Product Marketing at Spree Commerce. Spree offers a solution that empower sellers to create an online store in minutes. There are no technical skills required. Etsy store owners can also easily synch their products with their SpreeWorks store. Checkout the SpreeWorks website for more information on how you can start building your online store today.

9 comments

  1. What a great article-and sorely needed. I often feel like I miss the mark on my social media skills. In fact I just feel like I’m wearing someone else’s shoes-uncomfortable & awkward. How to make it feel more like a natural flow in my day is also something I’m trying to figure out. This is getting printed out and reviewed step by step. Thank you!!

  2. Hanna says:

    I totally agree with April’s last comment. Most of the time, I feel awkward and just don’t know what I’m supposed to do to get the kind of result I’m looking for.
    For instance: say I set a goal to get 5 sales from a discount code on my blog and I get only one. What does that tell me? It could be a number of things why it failed.
    And the target market question is still a big soar point for me. I’m having trouble not only identifying them, but also, I have no idea where they hang out. Sigh….

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