Social Media is a natural way to connect with customers and show how you are embracing your brand values. It is also a great way to show how you are an expert in your field, which in turn builds trust in your business. By posting regularly in an entertaining and informative way you can build brand awareness and credibility.

Social Media can help grow your business by increasing website traffic, generating leads and even by increasing word of mouth referrals by partnering with influencers. It's estimated that word of mouth drives 20 to 50 % of purchasing decisions.


Cow-Shed Startup have extensive experience of defining Social Media Strategies to support your business goals and grow your business. There are several steps to follow to ensure the most successful results.

1. Social Media Objectives and Goals

We start by defining what you want to achieve from your social media strategy. By defining clear social media goals which contribute to your overall business goals, we ensure your efforts will make a real difference to your business.

Social Media Objectives can include objectives such as increasing brand awareness, driving more traffic to your website and improved customer experience.

Social Media Goals are the specific goals that will set out how and when you will achieve your objective. For example for an objective of increasing brand awareness, your goal may be to increase your social media reach. However, to make this goal achievable you will need to be more specific - does this mean 100, 1000 or 10,000 new followers, in what timescale and on which social network?

2. Know your audience

Knowing who your audience is, and what they want to see on social media is crucial to creating content that they will like, comment on and share.

We help you develope audience personas or avatars to allow you to think more clearly about what your potential followers and customers want and need and what you can offer them.

Metrics such as Instagram Insights will give you information on the engagement of your posts and show you when your followers are most active.

Instagram stories are increasingly important with over 400 million daily active users. Story engagement can be improved by understanding your metrics and acting on them in the best way - for example if your story engagement is high, but your reach is low, the next steps might be to use more popular hashtags next time to reach a wider audience.

3. Know your competitors

We carry out a competitive analysis to identify who your competitors are and what they are good at and not so good on social media.

The competitive analysis will identify your main competitors, the social networks they are using, how big their following is and how quickly it is growing. For each competitor we keep track of how often they post to each network and what their engagement numbers are like. You can learn a lot from Social Listening!

This information will allow us to create a SWOT analysis for each competitor. Strengths (eg good at promoting their business in a non intrusive way), Weaknesses (eg inconsistent posts), Opportunities (eg slow response times) and Threats( eg disgruntled customers - have you got a plan for dealing with them?) can all provide a great source of inspiration and help you avoid common mistakes with your campaigns.

If you are already using social media we also evaluate your own efforts and compare them to your competitors. This can help understand what is working well and what needs improvement.

Impostor accounts are accounts using your business name or the names of your products but which you don't own. If we come across any of these - it is important to decide how to act on them so that they don't impact on your brand.

4. Determine which networks to use and how to use them

We help you decide which social channels to use and what you will use them for. For example, you might decide that you will use Twitter for customer service and Instagram Stories for cooking demonstrations. We find it very useful to create a one-sentence goal for each social network you plan to use. We also recommend using just two or three channels well than trying to use every social network.

We help you create, or optimise existing accounts for each social network you plan to use. Creating a good profile and well-defined bio, using the correct sized images etc for each channel etc are all very important steps.

5. BRanding and Content

Now its time to think about the type of content you want to share. The key types of content include

  • Content that shows off your personality.
  • Content that shows off your brand values. What makes your brand unique - how will you highlight these qualities.
  • Content that brings your brand story to life
  • Content that offers advice about your expertise. Educational content that boosts your audience's knowledge is always popular.
  • Content promoting your product or services. For example, demonstrate how your product can fit into your audience's life and inspire people to share how they use it.

We brainstorm 4 or 5 content ideas for each category to help you start to populate your Social Media Content Calendar.

6. Creating a social media content calendar

We help you set up a Social Media Calendar. Creating a posting schedule and planning your content mix in advance ensures everything you post supports your business goals. It also gives you time to craft your message and ensure images and captions are well thought through. We help you publish your posts at the best times for your audience and that you mix up your content and format. Beautiful photos are always popular but video gets the highest engagement.

There are different ways of mixing your message.
80/20: 80% of your posts inform, educate or entertain your audience and that 20% directly promote your brand.
Social media rule of thirds: 1/3 promotes your business, converts readers and generates profit, 1/3 shares ideas and stories from thought leaders in your industry and 1/3 involves personal interactions with your audience

7. Updating your Strategy

Your social media strategy is not cast in stone - it needs to be flexible and responsive to feedback. As you start to post and track your results, you may find some strategies are working better than others. Our approach and tools will help you analyse the information available and use this to refine your strategy. Your social media strategy document should be a living document - we recommend quarterly reviews. Cow-Shed can be involved in the ongoing process on a regular or ad-hoc basis - whatever approach is best for you.


Now you have a Social Media Strategy, its time to get posting. Cow-Shed run two-hour workshops for Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube to get you and your team up and posting on your chosen social media networks.


Instagram for Business Workshop

Two Hours - Skype or Face to Face

The Cow-Shed Instagram workshop shows you how to grow your business with Instagram. We tailor the workshop to your current level of expertise and also to your business area. The workshop is filled with hints and tips that will help you grow your account quickly.

What we cover:

Instagram overview - how to post an image with caption and hashtags.

Promoting your business - how to set up a business account, writing the perfect bio and understanding your insights.

Branding your account - tips for a beautifully curated feed.

Content - ideas for post content and the power of stories. Suggested tools for graphics and video.

Followers - how to grow your account to reach your customers.

Metrics - measure the success of your efforts

NB This workshop assumes you have an Instagram account and a Facebook account set up on your phone before the workshop starts - we are very happy to help you set these up but will need a little extra time.

Feedback from previous workshops

“I just wanted to say thank you very much for today - it was really useful and I feel we learned a great deal from it. Looking forward to putting it into practice now…”

CH, Hampshire

“Thank you so much for today… feels like we are going to be experts!”

AF, Surrey