It’s easy to get started using social media for business purposes. We all use social media in our day-to-day lives, so there’s a level of comfort with the tools.

It doesn’t cost anything to create a Facebook Page for your business, or start posting on Instagram, or create a presence on Twitter, TikTok or your company Blog.

But before you leap in feet first, remember: every good business strategy starts with a good plan. Yes, you can use social tools for free. But the time and effort involved still represent an investment in your business.

Without a plan, you have no clear goal for what you’re trying to achieve. That means there’s no way to know if you’re getting a return on that investment.

Take the time to create a social media plan upfront. This ensures all your social efforts support specific business goals.

Set social media goals and objectives

Create goals that should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.

Base your goals on metrics that will have a real impact on your business. For example, you could aim to acquire customers or raise your conversion rate, rather than simply racking up likes.

Research the competition

How are your competitors using social media? While you don’t want to copy them, learning from what others have done is a great way to reduce your learning curve.

A competitive analysis can help you learn what’s working and what’s not for other businesses like yours.

Conduct a social media audit

If you’re already using social media, now’s the time to take a step back and evaluate your existing efforts.

We can help you or walk you through this process.

Get inspired

You’ve looked at what your competitors are doing online, but what about other businesses? Take inspiration from the success of businesses in all industries.

Where can you find these success stories? Head to the business section of most social networks’ websites and you’ll find useful case studies.

Blogs can also be a great source of inspiration, since we always include lots of examples. And just pay attention to what your favorite brands are doing. What makes you want to click or follow or buy?

Create a social media calendar

A social media calendar helps you post the right content to the right social channels at the right time. It should include a plan for your content mix.

Try starting with the 80-20 rule. Use 80% of your content to inform, educate, or entertain your audience. Use the other 20% to promote your brand or sell your products.