Social media marketing is seduction. And, as every great seducer will attest, it’s important to take things slowly. Impetuous, poorly planned campaigns or knee-jerk postings soon fizzle out, fall short or toxically taint a brand by going viral… for the wrong reasons.
Give your start-up time and space to get it right and build serious long-term social media relationships with customers, potential investors and followers. Here’s how in 9 steps.
Step one: Have a plan
Whatever sector you’re in - green technology, ecommerce, fintech, healthcare, AI - you need social media marketing to survive and thrive. Neglecting to invest in a proper social media marketing plan is a common start-up mistake. You should invest in methodically planning, diarising and regularly dropping great social media content that inspires desire, establishes impeccable business credibility and cements a rapport with new communities.
Step two: Choose the right partner
Research social media platforms that showcase your start-up’s best side and are where your audience spends most time. You know the big six: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest. Investigate niche-specific or special interest social media channels which are indispensable to your audiences.
Step three: Build a gorgeous profile
First impressions and credibility matter. Your profile on each platform needs to be eye-catching, irresistible and engaging. Nip, tuck and pluck any existing profiles. Have a good snoop around the competition for inspiration…then pick and choose: keep what you like, dump what you don’t. A great example is healthcare solution start-up Heka, which uses intimate and chatty tones even in their platform profiles to create a strong personal connection.
Step four: Create alluring content
Build foundations for audience engagement and a community will come. Seize this opportunity to deal directly with your target demographic, gaining invaluable insight. Brainstorm ideas with sales and customer service colleagues and get intel on what works by checking out sites of competitors and influencers who have similar audiences.
Without firm direction good intentions might falter, so create a well-thought-through content plan that ensures you hit your sweet spot. Generate a healthy mix of spice, sell and soul. Don’t use your site just to promote and retail. It’s a turn-off. Check out alternative-to-plastic developers Xampla’s LinkedIn stories, offering a great mix of interesting content delivered in various engaging formats. And don’t forget to nudge shy users with a well-placed call-to-action (CTA).
As a start-up, you have a great story to tell. Reveal what inspired and drives you. Explain how you are obliterating their pain points. Put the complacent incumbents you are disrupting on notice.
Step five: Steady going wins the social media race
Keep your strategy on track with a marketing calendar covering 3-12 months. A posting schedule means consistent posts. Mark up regular events requiring content (sales, celebrations, seasonal markers, Black Friday) and peak and fallow seasons. A brand doing this brilliantly is JustWears, whose ballsy (pun not intended) and cheeky (ditto) posts drop regularly across Instagram and Facebook, building reach, engagement and loyalty.
Step six: Follow the plan
It’s not rocket science... unless your start-up IS rocket science. Delegate tasks to team members with the right skills. And stick to the calendar!
Step seven: Don’t ghost
Don’t ever neglect your social media. Inexplicably going dark will damage hard-won brand credibility and trust. Nothing kills a flowering relationship faster.
Step eight: Spread the love
Get more eyes on your platforms with some simple tweaks:
- Place a social media ‘follow’ button in all your email campaigns, email footers/signatures and on your website.
- Run social media advertisements to get new audience.
Step nine: Consider your options and appraise your performance
Keep abreast of your social media performance - and be ready to act on a dime. Build a dashboard to track progress with your goals and KPIs. Check it daily and address any issues immediately.
Live happily socially ever after
Take things slow: be methodical and develop a rewarding relationship with social media.