Social media attracts millions of daily users and thereby dominates the online landscape. Among such a large concentration of diverse audiences, startups can find, target and interact with their target market in ways that can spread brand awareness and promote profitability and growth. For this reason, you can’t afford to ignore social media.
Of course, some businesses have the wrong idea about social media. In fact, they regard sites such as Twitter and Facebook as an avenue to instant success. Buoyed by high expectations, they charge in either with aggressive sales pitches and promotions or none at all and never achieve a positive result.
To be sure, leveraging social media to support your business goals requires hard work. Still, effort, when unaccompanied by a solid strategy, can fail. Get the most from the time and money you invest in social media by using the following five social media strategies to grow your startup.
First, however, consider an important question: Why, in the first place, should you use social media?
Why Social Media?
Despite the maturity of the social media industry, social networks continue to grow in popularity as hundreds of millions of people flock to them every day. Long ago, the enduring vogue of social networks began captivating the attention of business leaders who recognize their potential as marketing platforms.
Years ago, when businesses first ventured into social media, they could simply create an account and watch their number followers swell. Since then, the landscape has changed. Although social media users now expect to find their favorite companies and brands on their favorite social sites, they also expect to receive value from those relationships. With this in mind, your startup, like other companies, must use social media in order to meet customer expectations.
Your startup probably has fantastic products and services as well as vivid visions of a bright and prosperous future. At the same time, you might face time and financial constraints that seem to hold you back. Fortunately, social media can help make your dreams come true without draining your wallet and still leave you sufficient time to manage your business. Begin by using the following five social media strategies to grow your startup.
1. Prepare yourself
Before jumping into social media, learn as much you can about the various social networks. After registering for an account, spend time learning how to use each site. Additionally, visit other businesses (including your competitors) to see how they interact with their audience.
After learning how to navigate each site, learn about the advertising and analytics tools that you can use for your business. You can also use search engines to find useful information such as the type of users that each social network attracts. After preparing yourself by learning about social media, you can begin thinking about what you hope to achieve.
2. Define goals
What purpose do you have for social media? Without a good answer to that question, you set the stage for failure. In fact, failure to articulate your goals can result in a chaotic social media presence that poorly reflects on your brand. Ultimately, such a lack of direction can hurt your startup in terms of reputation. Write down exactly what you want to accomplish via social media.
Of course, the quality of your goals matters. For example, the goal of attracting tons of likes and swarms of followers might not support your startup’s mission. For starters, consider some of the goals that have driven the social media success of other business:
- Build brand awareness.
- Generate leads.
- Provide customer service.
- Drive website traffic.
Finally, make sure that everything you do on social media contributes to your goals. You will also need to define how you will measure your progress.
3. Get help
As a business owner, you might feel overwhelmed by your many responsibilities. From bookkeeping and other administrative tasks to selling, you have plenty of things to do. Add to that the need to produce goods and services and buy supplies and materials. You might even have to ship orders. How can you do all that and simultaneously engage social media? Get help.
If you have employees, involve them in the social media effort. Give them a chance to add their personality and expertise to your brand while giving your audience a chance to bond with your entire team. Certainly, in a startup environment, everyone feels overworked and pressed for time. To compensate your employees for their extra effort them incentives such as financial bonuses, flexible schedules or remote work opportunities.
Of course, as the owner of a startup, you might not yet have a team or your team might already be stretched too thin. What then? Assured Results Online has the necessary marketing and technical expertise to help you reach your social media goals. In fact, with ARO as your partner, you can enjoy the rewards of social media and still have time to manage your business. Contact us for more information.
4. Build a community
Shoppers usually trust the opinions and experiences of other people more than messages that directly come from a business. Knowing this, you can turbocharge your marketing by encouraging your loyal customers to follow your startup on social media. When they do this, they can advocate for your brand from a customer’s perspective as they interact with their friends, relatives and business associates.
Aside from recommending your firm and brand to others, your community of satisfied customers on social media can extend the reach of your team by answering questions and teaching others how to use your products. Also, the mere existence of your community can advance your cause because everyone knows that only a good business can have so many satisfied and enthusiastic customers.
5. Stay active
Failure to persist in active social media engagement reflects poorly on your brand. In fact, if you disappear after posting a few blurbs on a social network, people might think that you went out of business. At the very least, you will tell your customers and followers that you do not value them enough to interact with them. On the contrary, you should regularly post content, answer questions and respond to comments.
Also, as part of an active social media presence, you should monitor the performance of your accounts so that you can focus your effort on the types of activities that produce the best results. Third-party tools such as Google Analytics, HootSuite and Moz can help you manage your social media accounts and supply you with the information you need to refine your strategy and your message.
Using the above five social media strategies to grow your startup will help you get affordable and effective exposure for your brand. Of course, social media success starts with diligent planning and goal setting. Also, your success will depend on how you invest your time and effort. Finally, by maintaining an active social presence and measuring your results, you can build a brand that rises above competitors and creates for you a promising and prosperous future.