For most of entrepreneurs and business leaders, social media marketing is an important tool. You need to be forward thinking and have a forward-looking approach towards it. However, having worked with startups, I noticed that many of them don’t take enough advantage of this amazing marketing channel. This is why, I have developed an easy social media strategy for startups, that everyone can implement.
Why should my startup have a social media strategy?
The first obvious reason is to avoid your startup to fail. You might have heard that, in the 3rd quarter of 2016, Facebook has reached 1.7+ billion monthly active users while Instagram reached 500 million, Snapchat 350 millions, Twitter 320 million, LinkedIn 300 million and Pinterest 150 million average monthly active users. Most marketers will tell you that a social media strategy is crucial for your startup. The issue is that many entrepreneurs have technical background and don’t see marketing or growth hacking as a serious tool. Social media is the top channel to get your startup discovered. Whether you are building a startup from scratch or you have a more advanced business, social media needs to be part of your marketing strategy. Don’t miss out this opportunity.
Which social media channels should your startup use?
Be careful to not use all social media channels simultaneously. You need to use the ones where your target is. Each social media has its particularities and your target might be using Facebook but not Instagram, Twitter or SnapChat. It is primordial for you to know your target in order to choose which social media channel you should be using. To know more about social media, your can check social media demographics.
Social media marketing has huge potential to drive traffic, get new leads and increase sales. But, with a lack of understanding and without effective tools and tactics, you'll struggle to get results. It's also important to notice that each social media has its own particularities (The message should still be consistent by taking in consideration image sizes, best times for posting...)
Using social media marketing will improve your brand recognition, make your voice heard and connect you with your potential users. Word-of-mouth is known as being the most effective channel to get new customers. You have to picture social media as word-of-mouth on steroids.
Having a social media strategy for your startup will make you connect with potential and current users in a more personal way. If you do it right, you will build brand loyalty and create more leads and sales.
Define your message and identity
In order to reach the right audience, you should have a relevant identity. If you are in the banking industry, have a professional profile picture and post about FinTech, BlockChain or funding; if you are in the sport industry, talk about sports... This might seem obvious for most but a lot of people use social media in the wrong way and don't deliver the right message, image or branding.
Engage and interact with your potential or existing users
You need to interact by following potential users on social media, posting interesting and relevant content, sending discounts, reposting content from others, answering your followers or commenting on their posts. You should also be interacting and joining conversations on social media with people who may need your products or services. Staying active on social media will allow you to get direct answers and feedbacks about your startup, idea or concept.
Do you want to grow your startup with social media?
This takes time but content creation should be part of your social media strategy. It could be blog posts, visuals or infographics. By creating your own content, you will deliver a message and build your startup branding. Social media are great to showcase your content. The goal is to interact with your audience and see their reactions about your content.
You can apply growth hacking to your social media strategy in order to A/B test what you post and according to the data or feedback you get, you can optimize your content (If you’re not sure what I am talking about, check the growth hacking definition). The content itself should be relevant to your startup industry but it could also be informative, funny, shocking depending on what your goal is. There are many content marketing tactics you can get inspiration from to create perfect content.
Remember that you should find the right spot between what you want to tell and what your readers are looking for.
Should your startup pay for social media ads?
It really depends on what stage your startup is at. However, I love A/B Testing and I believe that you should A/B test social media ads for your startup, even if it is as little as US$ 1 / day. This will help you understand how social media ads work, as well as train you to understanding data and even give you some insights about your users that you wouldn’t have known without testing. Testing, tracking and measuring is key for your startup's social media strategy.
What you learned about implementing a social media strategy for your startup
You learned that social media is a must for your startup to get your first users’ feedback and also to get traction. On Social media, you need to curate great content, create and share compelling content as well as being personal and talking directly to potential users or customers.
Social media is a great marketing channel and needs to be A/B tested in order to take the best from it. You have to know that social media is only 1 marketing channel your startup can use and you can define a marketing strategy around it. Social media should be part of a bigger picture and is an essential element of inbound marketing.
At Growth Hackers, we are experienced in executing social media strategy for startups and we can help you with it. We are kind of social media hackers if you want. We will A/B test different social media, grow your community with our growth hacking methods, improve your startup brand image, interact with your users, analyze the data, get users feedback; all this in order to accompany your product development growth and success.
I am the co-founder and CEO at Growth Hackers. We help startups, small businesses and entrepreneurs with growth methods. I am passionate about startups, growth hacking, inbound marketing and entrepreneurship. You can follow me on Twitter: @GrowUrStartup