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Published on July 13th, 2017 | by Guest

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How social media can help you grow your startup business

In recent years, social media has undoubtedly become a powerful marketing tool for businesses. Social media platforms are no longer just an optional channel for marketing, they have become a priority for a wide range of businesses. The importance of social media becomes even more relevant for startups that usually work with smaller budgets and grassroots campaigns.

Even though the importance of social media is very clear, very few startups understand how to maximize its potential. So how can you ensure that your social media efforts add value to your startup?

Create a social media strategy

You should start by creating a social media strategy. Remember that you should be consistent and align your social media approach with your company culture. Think about business goals and objectives, and how social media can help achieve those. Social media can be used as a channel for brand awareness, content distribution, lead generation and customer acquisition. Determine which of these are your primary goals. Use the business tools VirginStartup and Entrepreneur to help you create a strategy and get more insights on how to use social media to boost your startup.

Choose the right platforms

Depending on your strategy, you should be able to determine which social media platforms are right for your startup:

  • Facebook. The largest social media platform, Facebook has more than 700 million active monthly users. If you are looking to reach the masses, Facebook is the place to start. Use your Facebook page to ‘like’ other pages and participate in Facebook groups related to your field.
  • Twitter. Twitter users are more likely to make a purchase from the brands they follow. If content distribution and one-on-one customer engagement is important to you, Twitter is the perfect platform. Follow your target Twitter audience and engage with it.
  • LinkedIn. For startups and companies looking to find business partners, LinkedIn is extremely valuable. It is a more professional social platform and facilitates global networking.
  • Instagram. The favourite platform of many businesses, Instagram has less competition and a more engaged audience than other platforms. It allows you to use images and short video to enhance your customers’ experience. When using Instagram, be creative, post images that attract people’s attention and make them want to share. Follow others and be sure to use hashtags. Use the business tool Inc. to find more advice on how to grow your business using Instagram
  • YouTube. A great platform for brand awareness. YouTube gives you the opportunity to distribute engaging videos to millions of users. Invest in high-quality produced videos that are engaging to facilitate conversation and effectively cross-market your brand.
  • Pinterest. It is a fast growing social media platform and is particularly useful for startups with physical products. The success of Pinterest is an example of how effective images are as a stimulus.

Create relevant social profiles

Once you have chosen your social media platforms you should build strong profiles and pages for your social accounts with your audience and goals in mind. This requires a strategic use of branded cover photos, profile photos and filling out of your details. Be creative and fill out as many fields for your social profiles and pages as you can.

Create and share quality content

Great content is essential to succeeding at social media. Think about the content your target audience will enjoy and the right formats (blogs, podcasts, videos, presentations, infographics). Creating a content marketing plan and calendar is key for you to stay organized and produce high quality content regularly. When creating content you can take advantage of tools such as Revieweal to improve your content writing.

Add links to social media on your website and cross-promote

You can add social media icons to your website’s header, footer and sidebar. The different social media platforms are getting more and more interlinked, so you should look for opportunities to link from one social account to another. Pinterest, for example, will allow you to link to Twitter and Facebook. Facebook has apps that allow you to add tabs to your Facebook page for Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest for free.

When starting your own business, it can be very challenging to work with limited resources and capabilities. Social media tools, when properly used, are capable of promoting your brand at very little financial cost. Follow these tips and learn how to use social media to drive word-of-mouth and one-on-one marketing and brand awareness and to increase the potential of your business.

Once you have established a social media presence, it is essential to re evaluate your social media strategy regularly. Startup companies can get overwhelmed by the fast pace and constant changes in social media but it is important to schedule regular checks for all your platforms to maintain a steady and relevant online presence.

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