Many new startups make the mistake of ignoring social media in the beginning, as seemingly more important tasks, such as raising capital, building partnerships, acquiring clients and developing products/services, take priority. Strategizing about the best way to use social media is generally a task that is pushed to the bottom of the to-do list.
That said, developing a good social media strategy is just as important, and some would argue even more important, than all the others things on a startup’s to-do list. A solid social media presence could attract the attention of a client base you would have never thought of, as well as persuade investors to offer you more financing.
In today’s world, social media can make or break a startup. After all, startups build their brand on social media platforms. Consequently, a bulletproof social media strategy should never be a like-to-have; it is a fundamental prerequisite, especially if you want to stand out from the competition. With that in mind, featured below are five top social media tips for startups:
- Develop a clear and detailed plan. Gone are the days when an effective social media strategy consisted of quickly creating a company profile page on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and then hoping for the best. Very few people get millions of fans and followers through luck without any strategic planning. Your social media plan should include a detailed timeline of goals and milestones.
By taking the time to develop a detailed plan you should be able to:
- a) Identify and categorize your target audience. Who are you looking to target via social media platforms? Is it clients, business partners, suppliers, customers, peers, investors or a combination? You can’t expect to attract a following if you don’t know who you are targeting. Even when you have no followers, it is important to ensure that you tailor your social media interactions, such as messages, posts, and photos, to your target audience.
- b) Know what your solid key goals are. Why are you using social media? Are you using it to attract a new client base, or to network with influential companies and leaders? It is important that you know why exactly you are using social media platforms.
- c) Have a clear social media brand identity. You need to give your business a personality or brand identity on social media platforms. Don’t be afraid to be a little adventurous. The most effective social media campaigns are successful because they dare to cover ground that competitor companies don’t.
- d) Specify your medium. There are hundreds of social media platforms on the web and it would be impossible to develop effective campaigns with every single one of them. Some platforms are better suited to various types of companies than others, but you should aim to at least have a present on the three main platforms: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can always branch out into LinkedIn, YouTube, Minds and more in the future. In the beginning, however, you need to invest the biggest proportion of your resources into platforms that will bring guaranteed returns.
- Commit resources to your social media campaigns. A successful social media campaign requires a lot of manpower and investment. You need to be prepared to direct resources to the cause and that does not include delegating the task to an unpaid intern. Building an online community, growing and maintaining the business’s online reputation, and acquiring thousands of followers, all require the skills of a paid employee.
- Post on a regular basis. The majority of people on social media platforms have a short attention span, which means they will quickly forget about your company unless you post valuable content on a regular basis. Valuable content is content that is worth reading and makes the reader want to share the content with their followers. Ideally you should post 2-4 items on each different platform every day. More than 4 posts a day on any one platform may be a bit overkill and could actually be detrimental, as nobody likes to feel they are being spammed with messages. Consider using Hootsuite to manage and schedule your posts across various channels.
- Focus on community building. Obviously generating thousands of sales with one tweet is great, but sales figures should not be your main focus. You should use social media to build a community of fans and followers. By regularly engaging with your audience and providing them with valuable, sharable content, the easier it will be for you to expand your customer base. Ideally you should limit sales pitch type posts to one for every 10 informative/insightful posts. One good way to look more impressive is to get more likes from Vibbi, to make your page and posts to look more popular.
- Track your results. When we talk about tracking results we don’t just mean count the number of followers you have on each platform. What you need to do is constantly analyze the return on investment you are getting from your social media marketing campaigns. Results should include followers, sales, web analytics, new leads, new customers, brand reputation stats and more. Some programs that you might find helpful for tracking results including Facebook Analytics, Hootsuite, Klout and Bitly. You need to know how many people you are reaching, when you are reaching them and which platform are reaching them from.
Note: This is a guest post.