For most startups, social media is not a priority on their to do lists — there always seems as if there is something that is more important and must be done first, such as getting clients, railing capital, tweaking services or products etc. This means that social media generally gets placed on the bottom of the to-do list.
That being said, social media is of equal, if not more importance than those other points. If it is not — it should be— an essential component of your overall brand. By having a solid social media footprint, investors may be convinced to add to their financing —it may also draw the attention of vendors and clients you may not have even considered.
Social media is what will either make or break startups — is not only where but also how their brand is built. It is no longer a desire to have a killer social media strategy; it is now a must have especially if you want your startup to stand out from your competition´s.
Now before you aimlessly attempt a social media startup, here are five important things to consider:
Have a Clear Strategy Developed
If you think that merely starting a Facebook or Twitter page and keeping your fingers crossed that by a stroke of luck you will achieve millions of followers, you may want to reconsider your strategy. What is needed is an actual and concrete plan, one with milestones, timelines, benchmarks and goals.
A social media strategy which will be effective should be able to help you to:
- Identify Your Target Audience —Who is your target audience? Are they peers, customers, vendors or a combination of these? If you do not know who you are targeting, you cannot expect your audience to know either. Until your social media following has grown, you may feel as you are having a one way conversation. So make sure that your social media messages are honed to your target audience and go where ever they will be.
- Have Solid Goals — Ask yourself why you are using social media? There are companies who use it to establish their executives or companies as thought leaders and other who use it to attract new customers. Make sure you know exactly why you are using social media.
- Determine Your personal Social Media Brand — Exactly who are you? Are you serious? Are the irreverent, whimsical voice? Is it a combination? Go through all the clutter and decide clearly what your race is. Step out of the box! When companies do what their competitors dont, which is when a memorable social media campaign begins.
- What Will Your Medium Be? — By posting on every outlet in existence, you will be spreading yourself out too thin. There are literally countless social media outlets, and some will fit your brand better than others. Perhaps you can dominate Twitter of Facebook, however you may not pull off Instagram or Linkedin. Choose a few to begin with and take it one step at a time. The bulk of your resources should be devoted to venues where you have been most successful.
Commit Manpower and Resources
Until you have actually devoted not only time but also company resources to social media, you are not remotely serious. This does not mean that you have a twenty two year old, unpaid intern manage your social media accounts. She may be able to Instagram selfies just fine, however building a community, developing followers and monitoring the online reputation of your company she will probably flop.
Develop a Schedule You Adhere To Post Regularly
ADHD is something that seems to affect just about everyone on social media. If you are not posting, someone else will be. If you do not show your followers something that is worth reading and even sharing, they may quickly forget who you are. Your goal should be to past two to four items a day on each outlet, more than that could come across as overkill.
**Bonus — if you make posting as easy as possible, it will be simple to keep a regular posting schedule. Use free devices such as HootSuite to schedule and manage your posts on various channels.
Place The Focus on Building a Community
Yes it may seem like a nice idea to be able to amass product sales which break records by simply using a single tweet. However, your primary focus should never be sales. Building a community of followers as well as sharing content that will engage your audience is what it should be about. You should have only one sales pitch for every ten posts. If you have more than that your entire project will begin to seem like a sales pitch.
One great way to improve the pace of acquisition is to buy Instagram followers indirectly via a tool such as Instamacro. Instamacro is a liker and follower service that automates the process at whatever pace you want – liking and following people in a drip manner. It allows you to grow your Instagram followers and build a community in a hands off manner.
Measure Your Results
Having a million followers would be awesome, that however is not the only success barometer. What results are being obtained from your investment? How many sales have come from social media? New Customers? Website analytics? Product recognition? Programs such as Facebook Analytics, Klout, Hootsuite, Twitter and Bitly can help you answer simple questions such as how many people are reached as well as where and when.