Over the years, social media has moved from an optional marketing platform to a critical one. Businesses now depend on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to promote their brands, generate leads, and distribute content. Social media is even more effective for startups, small businesses, and new ventures that often have to work with small budgets.
Social media presents two key advantages for startups. First, startups can start social media marketing campaigns on shoestring budgets and reach millions of potential consumers without making compromises on quality. Secondly, social users love everything new – and new is the perfect definition of startups.
In terms of numbers, social media presents an unmatched marketing potential for startups. In the US, over 70% of Americans maintain at least one active social account. Additionally, at least 90% of young individuals between ages 18 and 29 use one or more social media accounts, which presents a great opportunity for startups targeting millennials.
Still, with all the opportunities businesses stand to gain from this platform, many startups fall short when it comes to utilizing the power of social media.
So, beckons the question, how can startups begin to reap the benefits presented by social media?
Design a Robust Social Media Marketing Strategy
A cross-industry survey by Simply Measured found that over half of small businesses often find it difficult to develop a social media strategy. Yet this is one of the key first steps when deciding if you want to give your brand an online identity.
A good social media strategy will take into account the company’s values and culture. Does your company exude the serious, classical approach to business or the friendlier, casual and laid-back aura? Pick a side and run with it, making sure it defines your social media strategy.
Defining your customer base is also another important facet of a good social media strategy. Startups should have a good understanding of their target market, including demographic profiles, preferences, and needs of potential customers.
Smartly Broadcast your Presence across Different Channels
The key word here is “smartly.” There are over a dozen different social media platforms that startups can use but only a handful that will actually have a positive impact on ROI. Startups that have done their homework on establishing solid strategies will usually have an easier time with this.
The social media strategy you design will help determine the platforms your startup will use. There are about six social platforms startups can use, with Facebook leading the pack in terms of popularity with over 1 billion active users globally. A Facebook page is a must for any startup irrespective of the industry as it speaks to the health and openness of the business.
Twitter is also an important player, with over 68% of users on that platform saying they would buy from brands they follow.
If your products and services are geared towards the younger generation, Instagram would be one of the best platforms for your startup, Web apps like Endoyin will help you to find your targeted user base in Instagram.
I have heard many startups buying cheap instagram likes to create first good impression but I don’t think that is a good strategy.
Create Great Content
There are no shortcuts to great content. The quality of posts you put up on your Facebook page or other social platforms will determine how much users will relate to your brand. Great content will help improve your brand’s visibility, promote lead generation, and improve customer acquisition on a shoestring budget.
Create fun, engaging, and useful content that speaks to your target audience. For instance, if your startup targets stay at home moms, you can share helpful information about online business ideas, cool recipes, or any other topics that moms will find helpful and interesting.
You can also incorporate videos, infographics, and other media-rich materials to make content more appealing across multiple platforms. Your audience will thank you for it.
Build your Community of Followers
Over time, a good social media strategy will give your startup the opportunity to establish relationships on different social media platforms. Use these relationships to create a community of followers and brand ambassadors for increased brand awareness and exposure. Of course, this will require some level of time and monetary investment but will pay off handsomely in the future.
Startup entrepreneurs often have to contend with limited financial resources when venturing into a new business. They are usually required to maintain a fine line between overspending on marketing and getting the word out to as large an audience as possible.
Social media offers startups the perfect platform for low-budget and high-impact marketing across the board. As long as you get your social media strategy right, your startup should reap the benefits that come with increased brand awareness with the smallest of marketing budgets.