How to Build a Social Media Strategy for Your Startup
How to Build a Social Media Strategy for Your Startup That Builds Awareness and Drives Traffic to generate sales and leads.
Social media is the past, the present and the future of the internet – or at least, that’s what it seems to be.
With more social media users active online every single day, it’s easy to see why businesses large and small have taken to these platforms in an effort to engage with their audience, boost their sales, and promote their offers.
If you, as a startup, have not yet built your own social media strategy, now is the time to do it. When it comes to the, how to build a social media strategy for your startup, let’s take a look at the essential steps you’ll need to take.
1. Set Your Goals
Not having a specific goal in place will only derail your social media strategy. That’s why this is the first and most essential step you need to take. It will guide all of your future choices and decisions, and it should be at the very heart of your strategy.
Some of the most common social media goals you want to consider incorporating include:
- Increasing brand awareness
- Driving traffic to your website
- Generating more leads
- Increasing sales
2. Choose Your Social Media Channels
Many startups and brands make the mistake of trying to do too much too soon. In reality, there is no point, no need, and not enough resources to allow you to be equally present across all social media platforms at the same time.
Instead of trying to gain some traction across multiple platforms, focus on the one that would yield the best results.
Choose it based on your target audience’s preferences and how well your brand aligns with the given channel. For instance, even if a lot of your target demographic prefers Instagram, if your brand is not very visual and you can’t think of a great way to advertise it via images, choose the second most popular platform.
3. Check out Your Competition
Before you rush into creating a social media profile for your brand, you’ll also want to check out your competition and see what their presence is like.
If you really want to know how to build a social media strategy for your startup, you will want to know exactly what your main competitor is doing. Why? Because they have already established a wide-reaching presence on a certain platform, and it will be up to you to choose whether you want to compete with them there.
You should also take note of the kind of social media content they are posting – hashtags, mentions, images, videos, stories.
How are they appealing to your shared audience segment, and what can you do to stand out?
4. Set up Your Presence
Once you’ve identified the platform that’s right for your brand, you’re ready to start building a presence on it – slowly but steadily.
You don’t want to start bombarding users and influencers to follow you, like your posts, or otherwise engage with you. You want your presence to be noticed naturally, and build a following over time.
Social media ads can help you out here, as they will help get your name out and grab people’s attention without being overly pushy. You can also work on establishing a relationship with several key figures in your target audience and let them spread the word about you.
5. Start Planning Your Posts
Since you already have your goals in mind, now is a great time to come up with content for the posts that are going to support those goals. Depending on the platform you’ve chosen, start compiling images, videos, tweets, or posts that you want to publish.
Ideally, you want to add all of your ideas to a social media calendar that will help you get organized later. It should feature the dates you want things to be posted, the content you want posted, and any other relevant information, like hashtags to use, people to tag, and so on.
You can also add a feature to your calendar that will allow you to track the performance of your posts, but more on that in a bit.
6. Automate What You Can
Social media automation is incredibly important – you don’t want someone to have to spend hours on social media every day, posting and tagging. Find a tool that can help you schedule your posts, so you don’t have to do more than add them to the queue once a week, and let the tool do the rest.
While you are automating social media posts, don’t forget that you still need to show your human side on social media, and make an appearance. Engage with your followers as often as you can. Like, share, comment, retweet, and repost, especially from the people who seem to be the most engaged with your brand.
7. Spread the Word
Once you have a social media presence, you’ll want to let people know about it. Spreading the word on the platform itself won’t cut it.
Add your social media handles to your website and email signature. Let the people you’re in contact with know about your new profile. Ask friends and family to like and share, but make sure to spread the word among your business contacts as well.
Also, you don’t need a creative agency to run ads, and ads are a great way to boost your initial presence and get noticed.
8. Measure Your Results
The main reason behind setting goals was to be able to track them later. Once you’ve started posting, you’ll need to monitor what kind of traction the posts (and associated website or other marketing materials) are getting.
Assign a relevant metric to each goal:
Different goals will require different metrics – for example, reach is a good way to measure brand awareness, and clicks will help you keep track of sales.
Don’t expect the number to go up instantly, or that they will keep linearly rising. It’s only natural that there will be dips, so don’t get discouraged.
Building a social media strategy for your startup will take some time, but if you follow the steps we’ve outlined on how to build a social media strategy for your startup you’ll start seeing some significant results. All you have to do is dedicate enough energy and resources to each of them.
If you don’t, go back to the drawing board and reevaluate your choice of target audience, chosen platform, and the content you produce. Reevaluate and try different things until you figure out how to build a social media strategy for your startup that gets you the results you’re looking for.