Social Media for Startups: Where to Begin?
You have just founded your company, or you are planning on starting your company soon. You know you need to be on social media, but you do not know where to begin. So many options are available but how can you best approach them and which ones are right for your brand? In this social media for startups blog post, I describe where you can begin.
Not every social media channel is right for your brand
Every article will tell you that you do not need to be on every social media channel. There is simply not enough time to be present and active on all of them. Inactive accounts never look good, so simply just join. Think first.
For instance, I own two companies that are entirely different from each other. This first one, translation agency BudgetVertalingOnline, is very business-like and text-based. The second one is Meemoeder.com, where I blog and vlog about lesbian family life and international LGBT+ events. This one is much more informal and more video and image-based.
I thought Twitter was sort of dead, but when I visited an event for Meemoeder.com, I saw everybody in the audience on Twitter. I started paying attention to my Twitter account again, and it is currently one of the two main ways I stay in touch with my audience. In addition, I was finally able to join Instagram because it was not suitable for my first company but highly recommended for my second company.
That means you have to plan ahead when considering social media for startups. Below, I will dive into this.
Social media for startups: 18 tips that can be a part of your plan
Tahha Ashraf has listed 18 social media marketing tips for startups that I feel can serve as a part of your social media plan.
- Identify best channels
- Focus on the target market
- Make a content calendar
- Identify the best times for posts
- Create visually attractive content
- Create engaging posts
- A/B test your campaigns
- Follow authorities of your niche
- Stream videos live
- Focus on mobile
- Capitalize on trending topics
- Consider artificial intelligence and virtual reality
- Consider influencer marketing
- Host giveaways
- Use social media to improve customer service
- Develop relations rather than followers
- Track data
- Stay active
What I miss in this list is step one: identify your audience. Once you know your audience, you can decide what they need from you on social media and what your social media marketing goals are. Then, you can identify what social media channels are best for your brand.
Also, do not just capitalize on trending topics. There are many examples of how that went wrong. Therefore, let’s dig a little deeper.
Social media for startups: 8 essential tips
I feel Donna Howard has done a better job at writing down the essentials. Sure, it is helpful to consider AI and VR, but is that really where you want to begin?
1. Social media for startups: conduct market research
As I said, you cannot just start somewhere. You need to identify your audience. Thus, you have to conduct market research. You have probably already done this when you created your business plan. Now, do this research again with social media behaviors in mind.
2. Find out what platforms your audience is using
Market research will help you hone your marketing goals. Learn about the location of your target audience, their online behaviors, how long they spend on the internet, what social media platforms they use, and how often they use social media. Join the platforms your customers use most.
3. Use the same handle wherever you sign up
Consistency is imperative. Using the same handle wherever you sign up will make it much easier to find and follow you. Sometimes, this gets a little tricky, though. What if your handle is already taken? What if your company’s name is too long for the characters you are allowed to use? Be prepared for this and come up with sensible alternatives.
4. Create a high-level social media marketing plan
Now, it is time to craft a high-level plan for every platform but do not make them too specific. They will not help much in the beginning. Draft a marketing plan for each chosen platform and set weekly and monthly goals. Examples include acquiring fifty new followers, expanding your reach by five percent, or communicating with fifteen potential customers.
5. Social media for startups: focus on mastery
As I said, it is better to focus on only a few platforms. You will see better results if you only focus on the platforms where your customers already are. Try to get the most out of the platforms chosen.
6. Build a brand message
A brand message is not just for big brands; it is great for startups too. Find out what you want to say. Pick a message and go with it. Then, study the language of your consumer and speak to them in that language.
7. Post consistently
Once you have your plan, keep your customers engaged by posting consistently. It does not matter how often you choose to post as long as it is consistent. This will make finding you and understanding your brand easier for your customers.
8. Use automation tools
Automation tools for social media can help you schedule and organize social media updates from one single dashboard. Think of Buffer, Hootsuite, Hubspot, or Social Flow.
One language or more?
When you have written your business plan, you have thought about your market. Will you stay at home or go abroad with your product or service as well? If you decide to take an international approach, this must be reflected in your digital marketing plan and social media plan as well. That is where I can help you. I am a translator English <> Dutch, so I can help you get your message across professionally in another language. Want to get in touch? My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Want to read more? Why to Include Social Media Translations in Your Marketing Strategy