Do you own a startup? Do you want to make it successful?
“Running A Business Is Easy.” -- Nobody ever said this.
You have created a great product or service, but that's not the hard part. The hard part is to convince people why should they care about your business and tell them what it can do for them. According to this report, “Generating relevant traffic and leads are the top marketing challenges for a business.”
Social media can be your secret weapon to increase brand awareness and lead generation for your startup. The best part? It’s cost-effective mean of marketing. It’s not a channel that you SHOULD use, it has become a channel that you MUST use. It’s the most popular and effective medium to connect with your target audience and get your brand in front of them.
“Almost all the businesses and startups have social media profiles, then why do most of them fail?” I hear you ask.
You’re right, startups have social media pages, but the most common mistake they make is: NOT having a social media strategy. Only a correct plan and strategy can help you to improve brand awareness, customer acquisition, and lead generation.
71 percent of customers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others. Don’t worry! In this article, you’ll find five proven ways to build a social media strategy for your startup.
1. Build (or improve) Social Media Profiles
As I mentioned, social media has immense power to attract people, generate new leads and increase revenue. But it only works when you do it right, otherwise you’ll struggle to get desired results. What to do then?
Before creating a social media strategy establish your mission, objectives and goals that you need to achieve. Now check which social media platforms meet your objectives. You don’t have to be on every social network because each platform has its own audience and USP. Build yourself a strong social media page with each platform your enter. Make your social media page with complete business information and proper image sizes. Here’s a guide for social media image sizes.
It’s Time To Improve And Update Them.
Do you have existing social media accounts? It’s time to improve and update them. Take a look at your social media statistics and demographics to understand your audience’s behavior and how it’s working. Choose the platform that meets your needs.
Julia C. Campbell as a voice for social media updates and improvements put it best here:
“Pick one network and do it well first. Choose one that you like to use personally and are comfortable using. Master it.”
Facebook’s Audience Insights tool allows you to check comprehensive demographics information.
Image via my personal Facebook account
2. Create a Content Strategy
You must create a content strategy and distribution plan before starting posts on your company’s social media accounts. Without a definite direction, you’ll be distracted. A clear definition of your desired state is going to allow you to use gap analysis to create a laser-focused action plan that is going to take you to your destination.
Here are some questions to get started:
Who’s your target audience for a particular content?
What types of content do you need to publish on social media?
What’s the frequency of your content?
What’s your plan to promote it?
First, answer these questions. Build a strategy and share the content your audience will enjoy. “I don’t know what to post on social media,” I hear you say.
A Few Ideas
If you have a startup for a marketing tool, start sharing content about marketing in form of blog content, videos, infographics, podcasts, presentations, etc. You can also share “Motivational Monday” images. Share inside photos of your office culture, this will give your followers insight into your company.
I recommend you to share relevant content from other sources regularly.
Always be consistent with your content. Follow the most popular 80-20 rule. 80 percent of your content should be informative and the other 20 percent can be promotional.
Piktochart regularly shares graphics on their Twitter page.
3. Engage with your audience
Social media is for conversations. Engaging your audience on this channel can help you to build a community of fans for your brand. It can also help create fruitful relationships with your customers.
First, you need to post interesting content that encourages people to take an action. It could be a Twitter poll, a funny graphic, a video, or a product photo that encourages your audience to tag their friends.
How do you feel when people engage with your posts and comments? It feels awesome, right?
It gives you an opportunity to make a conversation and understand your audience. Here are some ways that you can consider:
Respond to these interactions appropriate and answer their queries.
Take the conversation further by asking a question.
There’s a negative comment. Don’t rush, respond positively and try to resolve the issue.
Run contests, ask people to take a specific action, and offer incentives.
When you respond to customers, they’ll more likely to purchase from you and will share a positive experience with more people.
Check out this Facebook Post of Modcloth. They did a great job here:
4. Go Live!
It doesn’t matter what type of business you’re, startups always look for a cost-effective social media marketing strategy. We live in the fast food world where people need everything instant. Facebook live is a great medium to produce instant content. You MUST include live video in your content plan.
It’s a fresh and unique way to provide appealing content to your audience. Popular brands already suing Facebook Live across the globe. Livestream discovered 80 percent consumers would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog and 82 percent prefer live video from a brand to social posts.
Use Live videos to ask questions, company culture, event, or product launch. It drives real-time engagement. Encourage your audience to comment and respond to their questions. Don’t forget to calling out their names. It makes people feel special to hear their names in your live video.
Here’s an example: Embed Code
<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Ftarget%2Fvideos%2F10154487189168120%2F&show_text=0&width=560" width="560" height="315" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allowFullScreen="true"></iframe>
5. Use Email to Support your Social Media
Do you think email and social media as a competing channels? You’re making a BIG mistake. Smart businessmen take these two channels as a team player to fulfil their purpose. Be a smart marketer and use the power of email to support your social media marketing.
Jay Baer put it best at MarketingSherpa Email Summit:
“Email and social media have an important part to play in the conversation between company and consumer. They are strategically, operationally and tactically aligned — or if they aren't, they should be.”
Don’t forget to place social media follow button in your email campaigns and make it shareable. This act will help you to generate more reach and fans. Where you need to place the buttons in email: Above the fold OR below the fold?
I recommend you to Run an A/B test - Place the buttons above the fold in email A and below the fold in email B. And see the results.
In one study, marketers were asked: “Which marketing channels does your organization integrate with your email program?”
You can also send a dedicated email campaign to your subscribers and ask them to follow you. See how crocs does a great job:
I hope these five social media strategies will help you to grow your startup. Do you want to share something? Please drop your views here.