As a startup, it’s easy to get bogged down in day-to-day operations and lose sight of the bigger picture. Marketing, sales, and customer service can feel like separate worlds – never mind running a business as one cohesive unit!
And with all the work that needs to be done, it’s easy to underestimate the power of social media and not use it in a social media marketing strategy for startup. But, in case you didn’t know, this powerful platform lets you connect with customers on a more personal level than any other form of marketing, making it an ideal choice for startups looking to impact their audience.
Indeed, the rise of social media strategy has given many startups an advantage over their competitors that much larger companies don’t have. Through these sites, entrepreneurs and startups can connect with customers in ways that weren’t possible before and access valuable customer feedback early in the company’s development.
However, with all the things you need to do, it can be difficult to know where to start when creating a winning social media strategy for startups. If you want to do it right from day one, these strategies will help you create an effective social media strategy for startup that will continue to provide benefits long into the future.
What Is a Social Media Strategy?
A social media strategy for startups is an overarching plan to guide startups’ or companies’ social media usage. It’s important to have this as early as possible because it can help you be more consistent with your messaging and connect with customers in a genuine way.
A good strategy should align with the objectives of a business and make sense of what you’re trying to achieve. For example, if you’re launching a new product or service, it might be best to have a strategy that concentrates on sharing posts related to that particular launch while scaling back on other types of content.
But why do you need a social media strategy for a startup in the first place?
Why Does a Business Need a Social Media Strategy?
Social media is the fastest-growing medium, and people spend an average of 3 hours daily on their mobile devices. This means that potential customers will likely spend time on social media platforms.
Any business needs to have a social media presence because it’s where the customers are – but it’s not enough to have a profile on Facebook and Twitter. A strong social media strategy for a startup should be tailored specifically to a brand and target audience so you can best reach them through the channels they use most often.
Find out how you can create a winning social media strategy below.
Step 1: Define your goals
When creating a social media strategy, it’s important to understand the goals of a business and how you can best use social media channels to achieve them.
Here are some of the questions you may want to ask yourself before developing a strategy and being able to define your goals:
- What do I want my company’s social media presence to convey?
- Do I want more customers or more brand awareness?
- Do I need help generating leads?
- Do I want more people to visit my website?
- Do I need sales support?
- Is social media essential to my business?
- What is the purpose of my page/profile?
- Who is my target audience, and what do they care about? (If you’re unsure who your target audience is, it’s time to conduct market research.)
Once you’ve identified goals and target audience, it will be easier to decide which social media platform will most effectively reach them.
The goals should be S.M.A.R.T.
Having SMART goals allows you to guide your actions to the right path and yield real-time results. An example of a SMART goal is: “We will use our Twitter channel for customer support. We aim to achieve a quicker response rate, ideally under three hours, by the end of the year.”
Step 2: Know your market
To know your market, you need to clearly understand what your startup does, who your target market is, and what they want. To find this out, you’ll need to do some research.
This may involve surveying customers and asking them what they like about similar products, using tools such as Google Trends to see what people are searching for on the internet, or even just observing how people use similar products in the real world.
Once you know the target market and have a good idea of what they want from a product like yours, it becomes easier to decide which social media channels to invest time in and which not to invest time in.
For example, suppose you’re selling fashion accessories and looking to target women aged 18-35 with disposable income. In that case, Instagram might be a great platform to invest time in because that demographic tends to be more active on Instagram than on Facebook.
On the other hand, if you’re selling office supplies and targeting small businesses struggling financially, then Facebook might be the better option because it has more users with an established business presence.
You’ll also want to consider factors such as where the potential customer base is located and how likely they are to interact with the type of content you’ll share on that channel.
For instance, if 60% of customers live in Canada, but all posts will be in English, Facebook might be a better option than Instagram.
There’s no right answer here; there are always tradeoffs when deciding where best to spend time promoting your brand. But at least now you can make those decisions with more information than before!
Once you know your target audience, you can then create audience personas. Having these personas allows you to prioritize your audience’s needs and wants and create the best type of content that works for them.
To create an audience persona, here’s what you need:
- Spending patterns
- Stage of life
- Social media channels used
Next, we work on the type of content for a social media strategy.
Step 3: Focus on the content type
There are many different types of content for social media, and a social media strategy needs to include them all.
In addition to the usual blog posts and photos, you might want some short videos or podcasts. You could also consider live-streaming events on social media or releasing exclusive behind-the-scenes footage with influencers in the same field.
The possibilities are endless, but they all need to be considered when creating a social media strategy.
The next time you’re wondering what type of content to create, ask yourself these questions: Who is my target audience? What do I want them to know? What do I have that’s valuable?
Below are some of the commonly used types of content for social media:
- Blogs, guides and other articles – This type of content allows you to be an expert in the industry and build credibility. To know what topics to write about, check what’s trending. Then, find what questions a certain target audience wants to be answered. For instance, you can write about how to install Valorant on Windows PCs and share it with the target audience.
- eBooks – These content types may be longer than blog posts, but they have been proven effective in demonstrating your expertise. You can combine several blog topics and compile them by chapter to create one strong eBook.
- Images – Catchy images can help increase engagement, especially if they capture the attention of a target audience. In addition, images are more digestible, unlike blogs and eBooks; hence, they can make good social media content.
- Videos – Nowadays, creating videos is so easy. If you have a smartphone, you can immediately hit the record button. And in terms of social media marketing, know that Facebook prefers these videos. So give this content type a shot and include them while planning content to post on social media.
- Live Videos – This content is a great way to bring events closer to a target audience, especially when they cannot physically attend. Unlike Facebook or Instagram stories, Live Videos can be streamed and watched even after 24 hours.
- Infographics – This type of content uses different information, such as statistics and images. When done correctly, it can be very impactful in conveying complex concepts and ideas.
Step 4: Perform a social media audit
Look at your current channels and see what is working and what’s not. Use tools like Facebook Insights, Google Analytics (or whatever you’re using), or other analytics tools to find out who is visiting your social media pages.
Find out where they are coming from – are you getting any traffic from people in China? If so, create content with them in mind as well.
It’s also important to note that you don’t need to be on every social media channel. Once you’ve done the audit, you can start creating content to engage with your audience and grow an active following. And remember that this strategy will depend on who you’re trying to reach and quality over quantity.
Step 5: Improve and optimize your social media profiles
It’s important to optimize a social media profile. You want people who visit your profile to be able to make an impression of what you’re all about.
One key part of a social media strategy is optimizing a social media profile by filling in the about section. This section includes information like what the startup does, how it differs from competitors, and links (if possible) to any other profiles you might have, such as LinkedIn or Twitter.
This is also where you can highlight past achievements and provide some background about yourself and the rest of the team behind the company.
Another important aspect of optimizing social media profiles is ensuring you have high-quality images and photos upfront. If possible, use a photo of the company rather than just one person. Showcase the team!
Finally, create an engaging intro video explaining what makes startups unique. Keep it short and sweet–less than two minutes at most! Include information about services or products and why someone should work with you.
Step 6: Find and work with influencers
You’ll also want to work on finding influencers who will be able to help get the word out about startups while sharing valuable information with their followers.
When looking for influencers, consider the people a certain target audience would follow. For example, suppose you’re targeting millennials. In that case, someone like Gary Vaynerchuk might be a good person to connect with because he reaches hundreds of thousands of millennials daily via his YouTube videos and Twitter account.
Start by reaching out to them through email or DM (Direct Message) on Twitter, introducing yourself and explaining why they might want to consider partnering with your startup: where are you based? What are some similarities you share with other startups? How many people are in your target demographic? What does the ideal partnership entail?
All successful partnerships should be mutually beneficial, so both parties feel like they’re getting something from it!
Step 7: Be consistent and persistent
Social media is an integral part of startups. However, it can be hard to know where to start with so many different platforms and formats. The key is consistency and persistence. While you may not see the results you want immediately, staying focused on this strategy will pay off in the long term.
It’s also worth mentioning that social media isn’t one size fits all. Not only do you need to focus on different channels depending on the target demographic, but you also need to adapt how you approach each platform depending on its features and unique user experience.
Although it may seem daunting initially, picking the right platforms and sticking with them is key to getting off on the right foot. With time, this strategy will improve as you master chosen platforms—and as people become aware of startups and recommend it to their followers.
Create a Winning Social Media Strategy for Startups!
Social media is a great way to connect with a target market and can be a powerful tool to grow startups. However, there are many different social media platforms to consider in strategy, each with nuances. That said, it’s important that you know which platform will best suit your startup and what content you should post on it.
Social media has become a vital part of modern business, yet many entrepreneurs and CEOs still don’t know how to use it effectively to reach their target audience. By reading this guide on creating a winning social media strategy for startups, you’ll learn all the basics of creating an online presence that will draw in new customers and make startups more appealing to investors and future employees.