Social Media can be one of the best ways to grow your business, but also a great way to waste a lot of time with little reward. We're going to show you how to set goals, and get started with social media at your company.
Goals of social media
Before you start tweeting away, plan your social strategy. Why do you want to spend time on social media? Having a focussed plan will help achieve your goals and prevent wasting time.
Brand Awareness - social media is a great way to express your unique personality and brand. Extending your voice beyond your website and product allows potential customers and employees to get to know what you’re all about. A consistent brand experience across your social networks is particularly important when you’re just starting out, because this might be the first time people hear about you!
Content Promotion - if a blog post is written and isn’t shared on social, does it really exist? Promoting your great, valuable content on social networks helps you get more eyeballs on your website, and traffic into your lead funnel.
Lead Generation - the holy grail of social media marketing. Capturing prospects information through social media is often a cost effective customer acquisition method. Usually companies will start by building brand awareness and promoting their content before attempting lead generation. It makes sense - you don’t want to come on too strong by asking for the sale before visitors get to know you.
Community and Customer Support - once you have customers, social media helps you get to know them better. Whether it’s answering questions, or generating positive interactions with your fans, using your networks to interact with the public is super important. Being active on social is all about being where your customers are, and not ignoring them when they get in touch!
Choosing the best channels for your startup
Each social network has it’s benefits. The best networks for you depend mostly on your target market and your goals. Know which channels you’ll focus on first. It’s better to do one social network really well, instead of twelve really badly.
Twitter - great for content sharing and connecting with potential customers. Tech SaaS companies should definitely jump on Twitter as one of their first networks.
Facebook - a very visual, B2C focused platform (although some B2B companies find success here too). Facebook can be useful for creating communities in Groups.
Pinterest - visual platform, a must-have for retail companies with predominantly female customers. Females are responsible for 90% of all activity on Pinterest.
Instagram - another platform that relies on high quality images and videos to attract attention. Great for e-commerce and lifestyle businesses.
Snapchat - An ephemeral marketing platform all about the youth. If you sell to teenagers or young millennials, you may be able to find an audience on Snapchat. Genuine, interesting video content is a must.
LinkedIn - B2B focussed platform that relies on individual connections and networks. Useful for sharing content in industry groups or for recruiters looking for candidates.
Using Social Media in your Startup
Once you’ve identified your goals and target social networks, it’s time to start socializing!
Set up your profiles
Take the time to fill out the whole profile, choose high quality cover and profile images and set up properly. Most social networks depend on complete profiles for discovery and searching. It’s also a surefire way to make a good first impression. Also, try to register your business name on as many networks as you can, even if you aren’t going to be active on them now. Owning your brand name on social is almost as important as your website domain.
Grow your audience
Every network has it’s own unique strategies to gain followers and fans, but some tips apply for all:
- Post consistently - instead of sporadically posting when you remember, set a schedule and stick to it.
- Use hashtags and keywords - #hashtags connect communities interested in similar topics. Finding the appropriate ones for your audience can help expand your reach.
- Quality over quantity - spamming is a no-no. If you’re going to be on social media, take the time to generate helpful, interesting content. Find high quality images for visual networks and only share links that you’ve actually read and liked. People can tell when you put in the effort.
- Make connections - find audiences that are similar to yours and get involved. Have conversations and follow other influences in your space. It’s just like networking in real life. If you only talk about yourself all the time, you’ll be the least popular person at the party.
- Be genuine - keep your brand front and center in all you do. For example, our posts are beardy and emoji filled. That wouldn’t work for all companies, but it’s part of who we are.
Interact with customers
If a customer comments or replies to something you’ve shared, don’t leave them hanging! A quick response shows there’s a human that cares behind the screen.
Get the whole team on board
Your employees are your biggest advocates. Encourage team members to be active on social media. If you’re on Twitter, you’re just as likely to interact with Josh (@shpigford) as our main handle (@baremetrics).
In our next lesson on social media, we’ll talk more about how you can use automation to save time and power up your social media efforts.