Do I really need to use social media for my start-up?
Posted on 10/03/2020
Social Media has become one of the greatest phenomenon’s of the 21st century and we see lots of celebrities, businesses and media use it to amplify their brand. But as a start-up there are so many priority tasks needing your attention, you may ask if it is an essential requirement for your business.
Social Media is a great way to launch and promote your start-up as it is low cost and very effective, if you have a strategy. You may be asking the questions where do I start, how do I create content, which one should I use and how do I grow my followers? Here’s some thoughts on how to create your strategy.
- Understand your customers and their preferred channels of engagement. In our first blog in this series, we spoke about research and how important this medium is to understand your target audience. One of the elements of defining that audience is to understand the communication channels they use. If you are a B2B business and your customers engage on LinkedIn and Twitter, these are the channels you should focus your efforts on to engage customers and promote your brand.
- Be consistent in how you describe your business across each channel. Ensure your social media name is close to your brand name or product name and be consistent in your use of hashtags. Hashtags are common across all the social media channels and it is important to ‘own your own’. So if your business is called ImmersiveXR create a hashtag #ImmersiveXR and refer to it in all your social media activity.
- Define and set your goals. What do you want to use your channels for? If you are focusing on LinkedIn and your aim is to grow your followers by 20% over the next 6 months, define who those individuals are and where you will meet and engage with them.
- Build your brand message. Be clear about what you want to say. Do you want to tell them how great your product is? Do you want to define how your start-up is adding value to society? Pick your message and run with it. Monitor the language of your customers and ensure you speak to them in the language they use. If your product is highly technical, be careful you don’t overload your content with technical jargon as customers will find it hard to understand what you are trying to say.
- Be consistent in your posting. Now that you know the social media platforms your customers are using, you’ve picked the messages you want to communicate and have defined your brand message, you want to keep your customers engaged by posting your messages consistently. You may think you need to share content every hour, but this may not be feasible, so if you decide you will post twice weekly, share the content on the same day and time each work so customers look out for your content. This will help extensively with building your brand profile. There are some scheduling tools you can use to help manage this consistency such as Hootsuite, Buffer, Tweetdeck and Hubspot.
- Consider your content. Mix it up and more importantly, make it interesting and relevant. Some types of content you could consider creating include:
a. Attention grabbing headlines– think of stories that attract your attention in the news
b. Great visual content – images/video/slides/animation
c. Topical/trending stories (or stories that bring in topical events)
d. External industry factors such as environmental issues, legislation
e. Ask questions and share your opinion. Don’t be frightened to voice your thoughts about an area of interest that will engage your customers.
f. Information around events you are attending. Ensure you use the event hashtag to have a conversation around the event.
g. Community benefit stories / charities you support
h. Client testimonials
i. Content that engages with a social events calendar
j. Campaigns rather than one-off pieces of content
k. Curate content from other sources/partners and share on your channels
l. Don’t post the same content on all your social channels as this disengages followers
And finally, engage in conversation as much as possible. Social Media is another way of having a conversation with your customers, partners, influencers and suppliers. By engaging them in a live conversation on social media, you will reach out to their audiences, which will showcase your brand to their followers and hopefully gain new followers for you at the same time.
Our recent Women in Innovation Social Media for Business Webinar looked at Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube in detail and the best ways to maximise engagement on these channels. You can watch the recording of the webinar here.