Creating a good, working social media strategy isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s a dog eat dog world out there. In a market so saturated, it makes it really difficult to stand out from the crowd.
On top of that, creating content is really hard. Coming up with ideas, scheduling those ideas out, and then actually sitting down to create is all really time consuming. And oftentimes, it can take awhile to see results. It’s no surprise that social media can fall between the cracks for many pet businesses.
There are so many other things that you need to be doing as a pet business owner. So the list of reasons telling you not to get serious about your social media strategy never ends.
That’s where I come in. I’ve learned a lot over the years, so I want to share my top five hardest learned lessons with you. Why? So you can see how doable social media really is! You can learn from my mistakes and feel a little better about where you are in your journey right now.
What is a social media strategy?
Allow me to introduce you to the elephant in the room. What actually is a social media strategy? Well, first it may be easier to illustrate what is ISN’T! A social media strategy is not a plan, at least not entirely. Posting 3 days a week (because you heard this was the optimal number) is not your social media strategy.
Strategy implies intention. To set a successful strategy in motion, you have to know what you are trying to do – whether that be gain followers, increase engagement, reach more people, have more website signups, any other goal. And then you have to take steps to strategically reach that goal.
Social media strategies do not have to be complicated but they do need to be specific and intentional. Start with a goal and work your way backward.
Lesson #1: Patience
I’ll confess this one took me longer to learn than I’d like to admit, but it is probably the most important lesson when it comes to social media strategy. I am a huge planner and a huge strategizer, and I love to research and take courses and read and learn and watch informative videos. But knowing more does not speed up the process.
Social media is a long game. It takes time. Growing an audience takes time. Creating conversions take time. And cutting through the noise takes time. If you’re out there hustling, posting the best images and captions, strategizing, and engaging, and things still aren’t working, you may just need time.
I know this is not what you want to hear, but at first, there is a lot of work and very little reward. But over time, as people learn what to expect from you, things will improve. You just need to stay consistent.
Lesson #2: Consistency
That brings me to lesson numero dos. You must be consistent. There is very little wiggle room here. Think about it from your ideal customer’s point of view. Let’s say they see a hilarious Instagram Reel from you. They love it and they go check out your feed. But on your feed, there are like 2 posts from last week, a. post from 3 months ago, and then posts from last year. That customer may be less inclined to hit follow or stick around.
When an ideal customer comes across a business profile that posts consistently with engaging and interesting content, they know that they’re in the right place. They will likely click follow and may even spend an hour or so distracting themselves on your feed.
You do not need to post to all platforms every day – you just need to be consistent.
Lesson #3: Showing up and Being Real
There is simply no way around it. You have to show up.
Personal brands are doing so well right now! People want to know who they are buying from. They will look you up. They will stalk your feed, and they will look for opportunities to connect with you. You have to give them something to find.
Even the most introverted of us (raises hand) needs to get personal with our audience in order to build real connections.
Getting personal doesn’t have to mean showing up in Lives all the time, but it does mean showing your face. It also means talking about yourself. Being human and giving your ideal customers something to connect to is incredibly valuable.
In March 2021, I hosted a 7 Day Get Personal Challenge to help pet businesses come out of their shell. If you missed the challenge live, don’t worry, you can still grab the replay in my shop here.
Showing up and getting personal will look different for everyone and it will even look different from time to time. But it is your job as a pet business owner to show your ideal customer why they NEED you. Connection is one of the easiest ways to get this done.
Lesson #4: There is No Getting Around Video Content!
Video content is huge! And it is only going to get bigger from here.
Video has been king for quite some time now, and with the addition of Reels, TikTok, and Lives in recent years, video has only gotten that much bigger.
Why is video so popular? Attention spans are short and video is engaging. A successful pet business social media strategy has to include video.
How can you work video content into your strategy? There are a million ways, but here are a few:
- Reels and/or TikTok
- Video Posts
- Long-Form Vlogs
Lesson #5: If Posting to Social Media Feels Like a Chore – You’re Doing it Wrong!
I will leave you with this one. If, when you sit down to handle your pet business on social media, you feel an intense dread or completely overwhelmed, you are doing it wrong. Your content should excite you! If it doesn’t excite you, how can you expect it to excite or entertain your audience? Plus, people can tell when you’re not happy to be where you are. They can tell you’re not enjoying yourself.
A big part of creating your social media strategy is developing a system or routine that works for you. Take some time to understand how you work best. When are you most creative? What might you do to procrastinate? All of these are important things to consider when figuring out when you’re going to sit down to do what.
What if you’re just not that into making content for your pet business? That’s fine. Sometimes it makes sense to hire help for your social media. Hey, it’s just like some of us dread taxes (raises hand) and find someone to handle them.
You can find a social media manager to take over your social media, but if you want to keep the personal touch on your social media channels, I highly suggest grabbing a Social Media Strategy package with me! You get the help of a knowledgable social media guide without the risk of posting stale, un-engaging content!