— September 1, 2019
As if running a startup wasn’t tough enough, you’ll also be facing the vast amount of social media presence you can have.
There is a special approach for those startups that are venturing into social media for the first time. It requires a little consistency and plenty of planning before you hit the ground on social.
Make a plan
You can do this yourself or you can get someone else to do it for you, but unless you have a plan pretty sharpish, you won’t get very far.
Creating a plan for your social media campaign is all about thinking strategically. Sitting down and working out the image you want to present is a big part of that. If you can formulate a kind of mission statement for social, the rest should flow pretty easily.
Work out your goals first. These are the goals that will drive you moving forward. And the goals will define exactly how you behave and interact on social media. It’s that important. Once you know what your aims are with any of your social media accounts, it’s much easier to work out a road map.
The goals can be broken down into four main areas:
You must identify which of these areas (it’s usually no more than 3) your brand needs to focus on when using social media.
These are the most important people you know right now. If you’re in a position where you can sum up your audience in just a few words, congratulations.
You’ve basically managed to do the one thing that will help you build a presence on social.
By understanding what the audience is all about, you can then move onto the stage where you can choose the right social media platforms to be on. And in addition to having that knowledge, you can also work out the kind of tone you need to show as a brand.
Once you have started to plan in detail and you know who your audience is and how they think, you should then be able to follow the approach outlined below:
Spend time getting to know the audience. It is highly likely that you can learn a lot about an audience and what it wants through social listening. This involves simply hanging around and watching your target audience engage. There is no point jumping into a social media account without thinking about what the audience is interested in first. Use the fantastic ability to listen online for a while before you jump in.
Offer advice and be as helpful as you can to make sure you’re able to gain a position in the conversation. Every brand needs to be seen as an expert in its field. If you’re able to give advice and therefore show authority, over time that will translate into followers and engagement.
Build that community by always being around on social. The community will welcome you online and will happily include you if you keep offering advice and joining in on conversations.
You also need to make sure that you have a well-completed profile on the platform, and that you are then changing it whenever any news comes up for your startup. Whether it’s a new employee or a successful round of funding, your profile will be the first thing audiences see and therefore the first place to update.
A startup is on a journey, and that journey is an exciting one. Keep building your ‘tribe’ online and you’ll soon find that people will want to hear more about what you’ve achieved, and which stage on the journey you’re on as a startup.
As a startup, it can become very tempting to look for the next ‘shiny thing’ to enjoy. This could mean a hip new social media platform online that you feel is exciting and should be giving you results. Instead of doing this, focus on the right platforms for you, and then build up from there. The excitement is great, and it’ll keep your startup alive for a long time. But the practicalities of social media mean that you should be taking your time to build up.
The way forward
Focus on making sure that you have a plan, and that you don’t jump into a ton of things without consulting that plan first as well as tracking and measuring results. The excitement is understandable, but it’s vital that you slow down, find what works for you, and then focus on just that.