Can a business think of achieving a digital presence without social media? Without using social media can a business stay connected with its audience and customers? Presumably, the answer is a loud ‘no’. Yes, for businesses of all niches and sizes social media presence is inevitable now.
Startups should take social media presence even more seriously than other businesses simply because they have less capital and resources. Often a startup needs to compete with the biggies and established businesses with a feeble and imperceptibly small budget. Consisting of barely two to four employees a startup cannot think of a dedicated marketing team as well. Naturally, they find social media as the most effective marketing tool to connect their audience and build recognition.
But most startups just lack enough knowledge about making their social media strategy perfect to achieve consistent business output and growth. Without knowing what works in social media and what doesn’t, they often end up having social media presence without any substantial business value.
Let us introduce here a few effective tips to grow your startup using social media.
1. Selecting the social channelsA startup consisting of a few employees or often running without any employees except the partners or proprietors cannot afford a regular marketing team to look after their social media presence across a variety of channels. This is where most startups do the mistake of focusing on several social platforms in the initial stage. Social media posting and all other activities like maintaining the conversation, commenting, post liking, followership building, audience targeting, group joining, etc take a lot of time and round the clock involvement. This is why a startup at the initial stage without a marketing team needs to prioritize a few channels where they can put their effective effort and concentrate.
Now that you have decided to keep your social media presence limited to a few channels, you need to consider which channels are ideal for your business to find a quick audience and allow conversion. Here are some simple tips to guide you in this respect.
First of all, you need to develop the ideal customer persona for your business. With all the typical qualities, demographic elements, habits, preferences, cultural aspects, together would make a customer persona who is most susceptible to buy your product or at least take an interest in your business offerings.
Now consider where your buyer persona spends most of his or her social media time. You can easily take a clue from the social audience of your competitors.
Now, let us give you a few well-accepted truths about social media platforms that cater to different types of people. While Facebook is suited for a vast array of businesses, Twitter is more suited for quick bite-sized messages on relevant hashtags related to your niche. Pinterest and Instagram are predominantly visual in nature and perfect for businesses with a lot of visual contents. Pinterest is also dominated by the mainly feminine audience. LinkedIn is great for businesses with B2B focus and expert contents for business thinkers, marketers and techies. Google Plus is a male dominated platform which can push your SEO ranking to a certain extent.
2. Figure your objectiveWhen starting your social media campaign it is incredibly important to figure out your objective. Without fixing your goals your social campaigns will only end up being routine exercises. You may have several objectives in the lineup, but you need to prioritize them to focus on one thing at a time.
Creating Brand Awareness: A startup before everything else must make its brand name heard and try to create a solid impression on the minds of the audience with regularly posting engaging and valuable contents.
Content marketing: Now that you have created an audience and a brand image you must try to spread your contents and grope for wider reach with quality contents. This is only possible by making people share and mention your contents across platforms and groups.
Generating business leads: Now you have come a long way by establishing your brand image, creating an audience across social channels and marketing your contents. This is time to focus on generating business leads through your engaged audience.
Business conversion: Once you have started generating leads through social engagement you need to engage even more to create more leads that result in more business.
Just as contents make the web, social media is also driven and dominated by quality contents. But ‘quality’ is a vague word unless we know that in social media this refers to lean, unique, fast engaging, diverse and evergreen contents. Now every piece of content cannot have all these qualities together but each one of them must have at least two of these qualities. Let us explain this aspect a little deeper.
3. Focus on lean, unique, quickly engaging, diverse and evergreen contents
Social media is a hectic place and your audience is always exposed to countless other posts that are pouring every minute. So, a long body of text or a very long video does not hold much promise. Make posts shorter and stripped off from all unnecessary elements.
The second most important and challenging thing is to create unique contents for your target audience. Social media contents are responsible for 2.5 Quintillion bytes of data produced every day and this makes uniqueness is a challenge for any post. But still, if your posts sound professional, inspired and thoroughly research backed they can create a better impression.
Now, let us admit once and for all that our attention span is decreasing steadily. Naturally, with more contents and steady decrease of attention span you need to be quicker to engage your audience.
You always have to maintain a variety of content types to allow more traction and offer something for every taste and preference.
Lastly, you always should try to create some evergreen contents that people love to save, share and come back again and again.
So, there can be more tips about social media strategy for startups that we didn't mind skipping here. Actually, some well-known ones like connecting existing customers on social platforms and offering customer service through social media are prophesied a number of times. We rather tried to help to perfect the basics of social media strategy for startups.
Juned Ghanchi is the co-founder and CMO of IndianAppDevelopers, a leading company that develops iOS and Android mobile apps.
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