It’s not an option anymore: you MUST have a social media strategy for your startup. Considering the number of platforms and the complexity of the demographics they serve, it’s no wonder you’ve been dragging your feet on this. But listen close: this could be the single most important element of your business marketing. Do not underestimate the importance of creating a social media presence for your startup. We’ve narrowed it down to five crucial steps to get you started.
Define your audience
Clearly identifying your target is an essential first step for any marketing (or maybe just an excuse to look up what a baby boomer is). If you don’t know the audience you are catering to, your marketing is about as useless as a margarita without the salt rim. You cannot appeal to everyone, and that’s okay; investing your energy into your target audience instead of attempting to have a broad appeal is money and time well spent. When you are clear on your distinct target, your marketing will be smooth sailing – and when you are sailing smoothly, it’s a perfect time to enjoy that salty margarita.
Determine a specific set of goals when it comes to social media. Do you want to create brand awareness? Increase the quality of your leads? Attract investors or the media? Boost sales numbers? Remember to set social media goals that have the potential to impact your business objective and vision. Figure out how you will quantify these goals and then create a realistic deadline to achieve them.
Select your platforms
The platforms you choose will be dependent on the audience you’re serving and your social media style. Research engagement rates, ease of use, and demographics served. If you’re targeting a younger audience, Instagram and Snapchat have the monopoly on teens and 20-somethings. LinkedIn serves an older, more affluent subset, and Facebook caters to just about every age range.
Here is a great article to help you choose which social media platforms you should spend your time on.
Research the competition
Okay, now we’re gonna do a little spying on the competition (insert evil laugh).
You are not going to COPY everything they do. And I’m not saying that because it would be wrong (it’s perfectly legal to use the same marketing techniques as your competition). But there are reasons to NOT model the techniques of others.
First – you don’t want to look like you are last to the party. If someone else is using a great marketing idea and you steal it exactly, you may look like a desperate, uncreative thief.
Another reason to avoid using other people’s ideas is – they may not be successful. Just because everyone in your industry is using the same technique doesn’t mean anyone is succeeding with that technique. They all may be doing the same thing because they THINK that is what they are supposed to do.
Don’t use an idea if you aren’t pretty sure of its effectiveness.
All that being said, you DO want to know what your competitors are up to on Social Media. You never know what inspiration may come from it.
For specifics on how to ethically “spy” on the competition, join the free Twitter Hackathon. The third email in that series shows you exactly how to research other companies, so you can learn what is working for them – and what isn’t.
Create awesome content
Without good content, your social media presence is devoid of meaning. This is how your brand and expertise are built: posting relevant, interesting, and compelling content your audience wants to be a part of. Gather quality photos, blog articles, videos, and anything else that is in alignment with your startup business branding
Curating / creating / scheduling content is one of the easiest tasks to outsource. If you want a jumpstart on content creation and posting, take a look at Ghost Tweeting’s Social Media Buzz campaigns.
There’s no magic social media bullet, but if you put in the time and energy – consistently posting and engaging, measuring and fine-tuning your approach, you’ll be able to quickly and continually speed (sort of like a magic bullet) toward your startup target objectives.