4 Tips for Startups Looking to Maximize Their Social Media Marketing Efforts
For startups it can often be difficult to know where to begin when it comes to social media marketing. With so many different platforms - combined with seemingly endless rule changes - it's little wonder that many startups feel it's too challenging to launch a social media marketing campaign. Even so, it's vital that you take action to develop a presence in the social world. In fact, with approximately 40% of people socializing via social media rather than face-to-face, a social media strategy could be the difference between your startup's eventual failure or success.
The reality is that more and more startups are launched each and every day. It's crucial that you stay informed about what's going on in your particular industry and niche. Take the time to find out what other entrepreneurs in your industry are doing to attract notice.
Research is one of the single most important activities you can undertake to get ahead of the competition.
Beyond research, it's critical that you seek out your prospective customers where they are, and that you maintain consistency in your approach. The two biggest social media platforms are Facebook and Twitter - if you've not already developed profiles on those two platforms, then don't delay any longer. But while Twitter and Facebook dominate the social media scene, they're certainly not the only fish in the sea. As such, it's important you consider other platforms, as well - examine each to egt an idea of where your brand needs to be based on who you're targeting.
For example, if you primarily provide services to other businesses, you should definitely have a profile on LinkedIn. For businesses that sell direct to consumers, try Pinterest. Regardless of the number of social media platforms on which you decide to participate, make sure that you keep your brand identity consistent throughout, including your username, profile picture, etc. This creates a uniform approach.
It also makes it easier for customers to locate you and engage with your brand.
Don't Overdo It
While it's important to go to where your customers are, one of the most common mistakes that startups make is trying to be active on too many social media platforms at once. If you have accounts on too many platforms, you'll likely find it difficult to keep up - which defeats the purpose of your social media strategy in the first place. Proper engagement relies on regular, consistent updates. The general rule is that it's better to have fewer, but more active, accounts than more non-active accounts.
Play by the Rules
Regardless of how many and which social media platforms you decide to try, learn the rules and stick to them. Remember that the ultimate goal of social media is to give people a place where they can connect. Social media platforms do provide a powerful avenue for business marketing, but that's not their sole purpose. In order to be successful - especially for startups - it's vital that you play by the rules. Spend some time becoming familiar with the various regulations and guidelines of each platform where you choose to develop a presence. Failure to do so will not only render your efforts unsuccessful, but could even cause you to be banned.
Consumers don't visit social media platforms to be bombarded with spam or ads. They want something fresh, interesting, valuable, and entertaining. Along with sharing valuable and interesting content, it's also a good idea to offer something from time-to-time to encourage engagement and sharing. This could take the form of a prize, but you could also offer discounts and other incentives to build interest and generate publicity. It's certainly understandable that you'll be on a budget when you are first launching your brand, so remember that you don't need to spend a lot of money to attract interest and build loyalty.
Finally, keep in mind that you'll likely make mistakes as you work to build a social media presence for your startup. The key to succeeding is to keep trying. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself as you are just getting started. It may take you a little while to find your stride within social media.
As long as you're persistent, you should see a return on your investment.
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