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12 Keys to Build an Awesome Social Media Strategy

by Shawn Karol Sandy

Are you struggling with how social media can work for your business? It’s hard to exactly measure the ROI of social media, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be leveraging it to grow your business or increase your sales.

If you’re not using social media to bring your customers closer to you—guess what? Your competitor is.

The beauty of using social media in your business is that you give customers an opportunity to get to know you—to “try before they buy” and understand what it’s like to work with you. Putting yourself out there on social media makes you visible to your customers when they are searching and researching problems that you happen to solve.

The ideal outcome is that you have input, insight and can contribute influence to their decision making criteria. Thus, customers come to you when they need your solutions.

The ROI of social media is your business will still exist in 5 years.

-Erik Qualman

So, how do you build and execute a scial media strategy for your business? If I lay it out for you, you have no more excuses to not do it, right? It’s not rocket science but it does take a lot of moving parts to “do” social media right so that it benefits your business. Even if you’ve tried before, even if you’re doing it now, read on to:

Build a Better Social Media Strategy in Just 12 Ninja Moves

1. Have a POV

No one wants a company mouthpiece – someone who spouts off the company tagline and repeats the company ad slogans or brochure highlights.

Instead, ask yourself:

  • What and more importantly, WHY do you believe you have valuable insights?
  • Where did you develop your opinions?
  • How have you built your body of knowledge? 

Define your expertise and experience and form your Point of View to share.

2. Have a personality

Vanilla is a decent ice cream flavor, but no one really goes WILD for vanilla. What’s your flavor? Kooky, nerdy, laid back, innovative, humorous?

Show and share your authentic personality—don’t have an online and offline personality. Just be the best you that you can be and make sure that your professional personality is clear through your social media profiles.

Photos, well thought out and constructed bios, posts, engagements, etc. This is your personal professional brand. You are not a product. You are not a company. You are a human person with talent, personality, smarts, flaws and a story (oh, yeah, and this is your personal brand).

People buy from other humans, not companies.

3. Have a reason

Why are you posting, sharing or commenting? "To sell your stuff” is not a reason. To improve your profession, to enlighten customers, to give insight to buyers, to challenge status quo, to bring light to problems...those are reasons to engage and interact with people.

Combined with your point of view and authentic personality, you develop your voice.

4. Find your audience (channels)

Don’t try to be on every social platform. You’ll end up diluting your efforts and probably do none of it very well. Where are the people that you want to talk to? B2B need to be on LinkedIn and possibly X (formerly Twitter). B2C will find their audience on Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok. Pick 1 or 2 channels where your target audience is active and stick with those.

5. Deliver value

Though the term is “social selling” the irony is that there is NO SELLING on social media.

Don’t push or promote.

You can “elevate and offer” but you first have to build trust with your audience by proving you are valuable to them. Share insights and opinions that bring value to your customers’ lives and businesses. Do you know how to do something, know how to identify problems, solve problems or execute strategy? What can you share that brings value? Bringing value builds trust—which is key to building influence among your customers.

6. Listen

Half or more of the benefit of being social and having a social media strategy is “listening” to what your customers are saying.

  • Listen to the questions they ask.
  • Listen to what problems they’re discussing.
  • Listen to where and from whom they’re getting their information.
  • Listen to how people use, like or dislike your product.
  • Listen to which competitors are talking to your customers. 

Social media listening is at its basic level the “free” version of focus groups, surveys and market research.

How fantastic that you can have real time access to people who are or could become your customers!

Listen to what they have to say and take that information back in to your company and develop your products and messages to reflect what your customers value.

7. Engage in conversations

You wouldn’t go to a networking event or an expo and not talk to anyone, would you? What a waste of money that would be. Have you ever been to a cocktail party where someone talked to you about their kids or their job nonstop? How badly did you want to hide in the bathroom for the evening?

Much of the etiquette you’d use live and in person applies to social media. Instead of shouting self promotion, using social media is about participation and engaging in conversations with people. Find chats or forums where people are discussing something you’re interested in or have value to contribute. Hold up your end of the relationship by listening and participating in conversations.

8. Create relationships

People smell when you’re using them. Desperation and inauthenticity are stinky colognes. Just like being accosted by uber “networkers” live and in person, people know when you’re trying to sell them or use them for their connections online. Real relationships are give and take. Listening and conversing. Sharing and nurturing.

Just like business, personal and professional relationships offline, you must work at online relationships too. “Connections” and “contacts” don’t refer business, advocate for you or buy you but Relationships with real people can produce those results.

9. Find your communities

Whatever your interest or professional niche (and, of course personal) I promise you—there is a group for you on Facebook, X, LinkedIn or any other social media channel.

Participating in forums and online communities builds your bank of knowledge and can help you find customers who need your answers or solutions. Be strategic and find the communities that work for you. It’s not much different than being a member and attending your local professional organizations. You have to show up, contribute and listen. (Hmmm, are you seeing a theme trending here?)

10. Be visual

Liven up your posts and quotes with visual elements. Infographics are hot, hot, hot because they’re brief, to the point and we have very little attention span these days. Squirrel!

Using photos, humor or inspiration quotes and graphics give people a break from heavy text or even entice people to read what you have to say. Use photos from events with real people or interesting things to demonstrate your voice and personality in your social life.

11. Share the love

If you’re only sharing your own content or promoting your own business, you might be operating in a vacuum. Share and champion others—especially your customers’—content, good news, problems and expertise.

Be a well-rounded individual on social platforms just as you would in real life. 

12. Be consistent

I’d love to know the statistic about the number of businesses and professionals who set up an account on social media and abandon it shortly there after. Either because they’re not seeing the point, getting results or don’t have time—there are probably millions of abandoned account profiles out there.

Don't be one of them. Once you decide which channels will reach your audience, test how often people want to hear from you. Figure out what time of day your audience is most active. Commit to being there—schedule it if you have to—and be consistent about showing up, using your point of view, demonstrating your value through your authentic personality.

Now you have the basic strategy to building a social media strategy. This means, you have no more excuses to NOT using these free tools to grow your business.

Get Out There and Execute Your Social Media Strategy!

It’s not so hard once you start—but you have to keep at it, try new things and work at it to be successful in social media. It does take a strategy and trial and error but it has been the biggest GAME CHANGER in sales and business since the internet was born.

Don’t miss out on leveraging these tools to your advantage. If you’re not building and executing social media as a strategy to talk to and influence your customers, someone else is. If you don't know where to start, let's chat. Team Sauce crafts strategy designed to Make Moments that Matter for your customers, including social media strategy development. 

In the meantime, build a smart social strategy that integrates into your business development initiatives—download the free Recipe for Results to plan your growth efforts as scale. 


Topics:CommunicationGrowing Small BusinessFacebookSocial Media

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