Social media marketing is hailed as one of the best ways to promote a start up. It is cheap, relatively easy and pretty effective in helping a company establish its own identity and brand. While there are certainly many benefits to social media marketing, truly benefiting from your efforts requires a certain level of skill and dedication. With the wrong approach, your social media presence could even harm your fledgling business.
These five tips will help any start-up make the most of this hectic time & leverage the power of social media for maximum benefits.
Focus Your Efforts
It seems that every day a new social media platform launches and claims it will be the next Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. This provides a mind-boggling number of options for you to try with your social media efforts. While exposure is a good thing, spreading yourself out too thin is not. Pick a platform that works best for your business. B2B start-ups could consider LinkedIn. Targeting a younger audience, consider Twitter.
Are you a local business? Facebook offers plenty of tools to expand your subscriber base by location. By limiting the number of platforms that you are tracking, you can invest real time and effort for your start-up. This can also help to avoid mistakes as you get accustomed to the platform and social media marketing.
In many cases, the ultimate goal of social media marketing is to increase exposure, drive traffic and create leads. This leads to some misconceptions on how to use the platform. Simply promoting yourself everywhere you can will only find a small level of success. The true power in social media lies in building relationships, establishing authority & offering benefits to subscribers. The first step in this is actually interacting with your subscribers. Every little interaction, from thanking them for reading or sharing one of your posts, to responding to questions helps to build a relationship for your brand. This is also the best way to keep track of what readers and users are saying about your company and an integral part of brand management.
Anyone can create a social media account and post about how great their own products or services are. In fact, you will see a large amount of this. However, this is just a basic implementation of the platform. As a startup, you should be establishing authority in your field and building your subscriber base. A great way to do this is to find other relevant social media accounts, blogs, sites and services and mention them on your social media feeds. By establishing authority, followers will be more likely to trust your suggestions, look at your links and come to you for products, services and information.
Frequent interaction with your social media accounts is essential to success. Try to set aside a few minutes each day to dedicate to finding new targeted subscribers, posting new content and communicating with your existing base. If you have trouble updating your social media during appropriate hours, simple use a scheduling service, such as HootSuite for Twitter or Buffer. If you use scheduled posting applications, be sure to keep each post unique and check back in periodically to interact with and respond to anyone who mentioned the post.
Test, Analyze and Improve
There is no guaranteed formula to social media success. It all depends on your market, your business and your investment. Certain tactics may work great for a competitor but fail for you. Track interactions, clicks and other important stats on your social media campaigns from the start. Though they make take a little time to provide useful information, you do not have to worry about not having access to the information should you need it. From the time you post to headlines and hashtags, any little detail could be the difference between social media obscurity and viral success. Do not be afraid to try new tactics. With your analytics behind you it, it is hard to go wrong.
One last bonus tip is to keep your brand’s messaging consistent. This requires some discipline in brand management and not veering off into every new trend that pops up on the Web. In this case, your Brand will send a mixed message to your audience members, hurting your chance for properly positioning your company in their minds as solution for a specific problem — one of the basic principles of branding and marketing.
About the Author
Steven Anderson has been writing about brand management and marketing solutions for nearly a decade. Visit Cloverleaf Innovation to learn more.