If someone were to ask you why social media is important for black businesses, you might be able to talk about the benefits of using it as a marketing platform. But what if they pressed further and wanted to know how your business can benefit from having a social media strategy in place?
And even more importantly: What would that strategy look like? It’s not just about posting on Facebook and Instagram once every few weeks. A social media strategy should include goals and objectives, audience segmentation, content calendar creation, influencer identification – the list goes on. That’s why we compiled this guide for black owned businesses!
What is a social media strategy?
A social media strategy is a plan for using social media to reach your goals.
It’s about building relationships and creating a dialogue with the people who show interest in what you have to offer.
A social media marketing strategy helps you achieve your objectives by guiding how, when and why you will use various social media platforms. It also helps keep things organized by clearly defining roles and responsibilities within the organization, so everyone knows what they’re supposed to be doing (and who they should be reporting back to).
Why Black Entrepreneurs Need Social Media Strategy
To be honest, there are a lot of ways to reach your target audience. But since we’re just getting started here and this is the first lesson, let’s go with the most obvious:
- social media is a great way to reach your target audience
- Social media can be used to increase brand awareness
- Social media can be used to build and boost relationships with your customers
- Social media can be used to build relationships with your employees
- And social media can be used by you (and all of your employees) to build relationships with the community around you
Social Media Strategy for Black Businesses
Review Social Media Trends
As you will see, there are many ways to use social media to promote your business. But before you embark on this journey, it’s important that you understand the trends in social media.
Social media is constantly evolving, and the landscape changes with each passing day. It’s important to stay up-to-date with what is happening in the world of social media so that you can avoid being left behind by your competitors.
Here are some examples of current trends: Mobile advertising has become one of the most popular forms of digital marketing as more and more people access their newsfeeds from their mobile devices. Live streaming video has emerged as a new way for brands to connect with consumers. Virtual reality technology allows people to get a taste of their favourite products without having them shipped first. Instagram stories allow brands to post photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours.
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Complete A Social Media Audit
Social media is a powerful tool for brands, but making the most of it requires careful analysis. This is where a social media audit comes in handy. You need to know what’s working and what isn’t so that you can focus on your strengths.
You can do this by answering the following questions:
- How many followers do you have? Why? What can be done to increase these numbers?
- How many competitors do you have in terms of follower count and engagement? Can their strategy be copied or improved upon?
- Is the quality of your content good enough—or could it use some improvement?
Determine Niche And Target Audience
You’ve figured out who you are and honed your message; now it’s time to determine your niche. What is the area of focus for your business? It can be as broad or narrow as you want, but try to be specific. For example: “I’m going to create a Facebook page for my pet grooming service.” Or: “I’m going to create a blog about healthy eating habits.”
You should also define exactly who your target audience is. This will help guide the way in which you approach them online and offline. Do they have certain interests? Are they more likely to spend money on products that would benefit from those interests? How old are they? Are gender or race relevant factors when considering what platforms might work best for reaching them? Once again, this step doesn’t have to be complicated—a few sentences will do!
Create Goals And Objectives
Before you begin, it’s important to know what you’re trying to achieve. So before you create content and post regularly, ensure to outline your social media goals and objectives.
You can use the SMART framework for this:
- Actionable (or Attainable)
- Relevant (or Realistic)
Always match your business goals against your social media goals to stay on track.
Develop A Content Calendar
Before you get started, it’s important to plan out your content calendar. You’ll want to have an idea of what types of posts are going to work best for your audience and keep them engaged. It’s also important that you know when the best time is for posting. Here, you can indicate which types of content you will use since there are a lot of them.
You should develop a content calendar that outlines all of your social media activities for the next few weeks or months in advance so that you can stay on top of things and make sure your posting schedule stays consistent. Don’t forget about the holidays! I’ve seen plenty of people make this mistake when they were trying their hand at creating a social media strategy for their brand—they forgot about major holidays like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Halloween, which are times when consumers tend to spend more money than normal because they need those gifts!
Identify Social Media Channels
Once you’ve got a handle on your audience and their preferred platforms, it’s time to decide which social channels to use. For many businesses, this will be an easy decision. If the majority of your customers are millennials and Gen Z’ers (who tend to use Snapchat as their primary social media platform), then perhaps you should start there. If most of them are older than 50 (and therefore more likely to have a presence on LinkedIn), maybe that’s where you should start instead.
Don’t worry if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the choices available. Another good rule of thumb is “one for one.” That is, if there’s a platform that has been particularly effective for your competitors or clients in engaging with their customer base, consider using it. This way, you can leverage the successes they’ve had while avoiding any mistakes they may have made along the way.
Here are other social networks to include
Identify And Manage Influencers
Influencers can help you reach new customers as black entrepreneurs. They have a large following and are viewed as experts in their fields. Influencers are not only great for brand building, but they can also help you sell products or services.
To identify potential influencers for your business:
- Look at the number of followers they have on social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn
- See how engaged those followers are (i.e., how frequently they read what’s being posted)
- Check out the quality of their content.
Develop A Crisis Communications Plan
What is a Crisis Communications Plan?
The best way to explain what a crisis communication plan is is to give you an example of how it can help you. If your company were ever involved in a scandal or major incident that negatively impacted its reputation, a crisis communication plan would be essential.
Why You Need A Crisis Communications Plan
With so many companies offering services similar to yours, customers are more likely than ever before to switch providers at the slightest hint of trouble or scandal. This means that if something goes wrong with your business and you’re not prepared for it, both your revenue and reputation may take a hit. A well-crafted crisis communication plan helps to ensure that any negative impact on your business is kept to a minimum.
Practise Social Media Etiquette
Social media is a great way to build your brand and connect with customers, but it’s also very easy to make mistakes. If you’re not careful, you could end up losing fans and wasting time.
The key to doing social media right is being polite, respectful, and understanding the platform’s etiquette. Here are a few things that will help:
- Use proper spelling and grammar. Your followers will appreciate it if you avoid errors in their posts.
- Stay on topic when posting content from other users’ accounts (i.e., don’t share links just because they’re funny).
- Avoid negative comments about competitors or people who aren’t part of your audience—it’ll make them less likely to trust you as an authority figure online or even recommend your business at all!
Track Your Performance
Just like any other business, social media campaigns need to have key performance indicators (KPIs). Beyond the work of creating a social media strategy, you must also track your performance. You’re going to need to know if you’re spending your time and effort wisely by looking at the results of what you post.
There are many tools out there that make this process easy. Buffer, for example, provides users with analytics on their posts in the form of simple graphs and charts, allowing them to see how their posts performed over time or compare different posts side by side.
Another great social media management tool is Hootsuite: it provides users with real-time activity notifications as well as analytics on their post history, which makes it easy for businesses to keep track of how they’re doing without having to log into every single platform individually!
With these social media tools, you can identify what’s working and what’s not and adjust your social media marketing plan.
When you create a social media strategy, keep in mind that it’s about more than just posting. You also have to make sure that your audience is engaging with your content. That means they need to be sharing and commenting on your posts, as well as sharing them with their friends on other platforms. If people aren’t engaged with the content you post, then it won’t matter how great the articles are or how much money you put behind promoting them—they won’t get read by anyone but bots!
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