Today, over half (58.4%) of the world's population uses social media. That means 4.26 billion people around the world log into Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, SnapChat and Facebook everyday. With the average time spent online estimated to be around 2.5 hours, it’s clear social media marketing is a must for brands looking to get ahead. Think about it. The more your brand is seen online the more likely consumers will engage with it.
In this article we’ll unpick the does and don’ts of social media marketing, ensuring that you have all the information you need to take your online presence from zero to hero.
Why is social media marketing so important?
Social media marketing is an important marketing tool for startups looking to hit the ground running as it is a cost effective way to build brand awareness and reach more potential customers. It allows businesses (like yours) to engage directly with consumers - allowing you to establish a better understanding of your customer, gather feedback, resolve customer issues and build long-term customer relationships. It’s also the perfect place to build a community. A win, win, if you ask us.
7 Social Media Tips for Startups
1. Understand Your Audience
Before you start to create any content it is important you understand your target audience. While I’m sure you already know a lot about who your target consumer is in terms of their demographics, I’m guessing you don’t know too much about their interests, needs, behaviours and desires when it comes to their online presence. Taking the time to find out this information is key to smashing your social media marketing strategy from the get go, helping to save you time, money and resources (plus a few red faces).
To get started find out what social media platforms your target consumers use, how often they use them and for how long. From here you can decide what social media platforms to focus on and devise a solid social media marketing strategy that allows you to not only meet their needs but continue to learn more about them.
Passionfruit Top Tip: Focus your attention on one or two social media platforms. While it is tempting to engage with consumers on every social media platform it will not benefit your engagement. Instead it is likely to impact it. Concentrate your efforts on the platforms where you know your customers are and you will see far stronger growth.
2. Social Media Strategy
Given social media is key to creating a trusted business, it’s important you take time to think about your social media strategy. Working out what this looks like is key to driving brand awareness and return-on-investment.
What is a social media strategy?
A social media strategy is a plan that outlines your social media goals, the tactics used to achieve them and metrics tracked to measure performance.
As you build your social media strategy try to think about the following questions - the answers will help you create a solid social media strategy.
- What are your business goals?
- What are your goals for social media (e.g. brand awareness, sales, etc.)?
- How will you define success (e.g. revenue from sales, lead conversion rate etc.)?
- What are your key performance indicators?
- What are your brand guidelines?
3. Create a Content Calendar
One of the first and most important things you should do once you’ve built an understanding of your audience and established your social media strategy is create a content calendar. A content calendar is a hyper-detailed plan outlining upcoming social media content across different social media channels. When building out your content calendar, make sure you include:
- The time and date of each post
- The social media platform you’ll be posting to
- The type of content you’ll be posting (e.g. blog post, infographic, video, etc.)
- A link to the content (if necessary)
- List all of the hashtags and @-mentions
- An approved caption
Remember, your social media schedule should be consistent and attainable. Avoid adopting a schedule that leaves you struggling to build an authentic and meaningful presence online. Ultimately, how often you post depends on how established you are online. At Passionfruit we’d always suggest posting regularly, at least three times a week on Instagram and Linkedin - try to spread your content out throughout the week leaving up to two days between each post. When it comes to TikTok try posting once a day for the first thirty days to ensure you’re noticed by the algorithm then four times a week after that. And, if you’re on Twitter or thinking about it, try to post a couple of times a day - always aim for a minimum of once a day. Maintaining a consistent schedule like this will allow you to keep your audience and engagement rate high.
If you’re looking for support creating your very own content calendar we’ve created a simple template to help you here. And, if you need a little more support, platforms like Hootsuite can help you create more detailed social media content calendars.
4. Content is King
When it comes to creating quality content for your social media, make sure you create content that adds value. Regardless of whether you’re a B2C or B2B business your content should always be informative. A great way to do this is to conduct social listening, that means listening to what is being said about your brand online and using the information gathered to inform the content you create. For example, if you’re a SaaS business and people don’t understand how your platform works you could focus on creating video tutorials and how-to videos. You could also look at holding Q&A sessions with subject matter experts on your team. And, if nobody’s talking about you (lucky you) take a look at what your competitors are up to. Pay attention to what they’re doing well to drive engagement and conversion. It’s a quick and easy way to get inspired and drive forward the power of your online influence.
Another easy way you can create valuable content is by staying on top of the latest industry trends. Keeping an eye on news likely to affect your audience will help to ensure you create content that adds value - all while enhancing your position as a subject matter expert. Ultimately, creating content that is interesting and engaging will allow you to reach a wider audience and in time drive sales.
Jump on the latest trends
To create exciting and engaging content it is important to pay attention to the latest social media trends (as well as relevant industry trends). One of the easiest ways to do this is to incorporate trending sounds, filters and hashtags into your content. Put simply, jumping on trends is a sure fire way to ensure maximum engagement for your brand.
Keep It Real
As well as creating exciting, informative content aim to create content that resonates with your followers. Consumers want and like relatable, funny and engaging content that resonates with them. Afterall, authentic content is what ensures high engagement and more conversions. One of the best ways to create authentic content as a business owner is to put a face to your brand. Take your followers behind the scenes with you - allow them to celebrate your successes (no matter how big or small) and encourage them to learn from your mistakes. Allow your audience to see what it’s really like to spend the day working at your company - consumers of all ages love ‘A Day in the Life’ videos on social media.
Passionfruit Top Tip: Always remember to maintain your brand identity in the content you create. That means including your brand logo (when necessary), using the same colour palette and matching your tone-of-voice with wider marketing activity and/ or material. For tips and tricks on how to nail your branding, follow these seven steps.
As your social media presence grows it’s important you take the time to measure your success. That means looking at specific metrics to identify what content is performing the best. To do this there are a number of different metrics you need to look at including engagement, reach and conversion
Engagement (e.g. clicks, shares, comments, mentions etc.) is one of the most common and valuable metrics as it shows the level at which people are interacting with your content and brand
Reach (e.g. views etc.) is all about who sees and interacts with you on social media. It can be harder to measure than engagement as it only looks at how many people saw your post
Conversion (e.g. downloads, direct sales etc.) when you put effort into your social media content, it’s important to know if it converts. The easiest way to do this is to use UTM parameters on the links so you can track clicks by campaign and platform
The idea is that by analysing these metrics you are able to continuously adapt your social media strategy in line with the likes and dislikes of your followers. That means if a particular style of post is performing well you should aim to replicate its success and if a specific style of content isn’t performing well, you should be trying to find a better way to engage with your audience. And, remember, there are lots of useful tools online like Google Analytics to help you track the performance of your social media strategy on platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
“Analytics can help you understand what social media sites are working for your business. If you conduct a social media audit and find you have stronger engagement on Instagram than TikTok or Facebook, you might consider prioritising that channel. You don’t have to be on every social channel - stick to the platforms that are giving you the best results.” — Tara Barge, Social Media Specialist
While measuring the performance of your content can inform what does and doesn’t work, it is important to keep an eye on how much you’re spending. Afterall, money doesn’t grow on trees. The good news? Calculating your return-on-investment is simple. The first thing you need to do is workout how much you are investing into your social media strategy. That means thinking about the time, tools, money and resources you invest into making your strategy successful.
Time - How much time do you spend researching, creating and sharing content?
Tools - What tools do you use to execute your social media strategy?
Money - How much money do you spend on creating content and boosting campaigns?
Resources - How many people support your social media strategy?
Once you understand how much you’re spending you can calculate the ROI. How? By using the calculation below. By sorting out the Social Media ROI for each social channel you will have a clear idea on what social network works best for your business. It gives you the numbers you need to focus on the right social channel.
ROI = (EARNINGS - COSTS) X 100 / COSTS
Don’t forget you can calculate your ROI on a monthly basis and if you’re running a specific social media campaign you can focus on calculating the ROI for this instead (much like you would focus on the relevant metrics to understand its wider success).
“We often default to thinking about metrics as a key performance indicator but it’s important to think about your ROI. As a start-up money is a valuable resource so it’s important founders have an understanding of how much and where their money is being spent at all times.” — Raffi Salama, Co-Founder of Passionfruit
7. Automate Your Content
Depending on the size of your team you might not have the manpower to manually post your social media content. But fear not there are plenty of useful tools to help ease the burden of social media management. Tools like Later, Hootsuite and Buffer can help you schedule and share the social media posts outlined in your content calendar. The best bit? It only takes a couple of hours at the start of the week to schedule your social media content meaning you are free to focus on other business priorities for the remainder of the week. For example, why not spend Monday morning scheduling your content, reviewing your engagement and creating any videos you want to put on TikTok that week.
“Always remember to post your content when your audience is active on social media. If you’re spending valuable time, money and resources creating standout content make sure you post it at a time when engagement is likely to be at its strongest. My top tip? Find out the right time to post on each of the social media platforms you are using and build a content scheduling strategy accordingly.” — Katherine Anstey, Social Media Specialist
7. Engage With Your Followers
Social media can be a great way to engage directly with your consumers. Not only does it help you to build an understanding of their needs but it can also build long lasting customer relations. Think of your social media channels as a form of customer service, use them to actively engage with your target audience by responding to comments regardless of whether they’re positive or negative and answering any queries. Look to build a community around your business. Show your customers that you care about them and their experience with your brand. Afterall, your followers are people who will buy your products and/ or services so it’s important to nurture this relationship. Put simply, failing to pay attention to customer concerns could mean losing potential customers to competitors. Who wants that? Answer. Nobody.
Why A Passionfruit Social Media Marketer May Be The Best Option For You
Passionfruit matches businesses with freelance social media marketing experts in just 72 hours, saving high-growth startups, like yours, time. Passionfruit screens freelancers based on their skills, experience and professionalism, conducting video interviews and in-depth reviews of previous work to ensure they are the right person for the job.
So if you’re on the hunt for a social media marketing whizz to help you find your voice and stand out from the crowd you can kickstart your journey with Passionfruit today by signing up here.
Social media is a fantastic way for startups to establish long-lasting relationships with customers. Not only does it help brands learn more about their customers preferences and behaviours it also allows them to increase brand awareness through authentic and informative content. Understanding these social media marketing tips will allow you to build a social media strategy that will drive reach and engagement. Whether you choose to do it yourself or with the support of the various tools mentioned in this article we’re sure you’ll nail it. Just remember to keep your target customers front of mind at all times.
Hannah is a Communications & Brand Consultant. She is an experienced PR Specialist with a strong reputation for developing, delivering & managing standout campaigns for consumer brands.