Social media is one of the most relevant marketing and adverting tools in this day and age. We no longer live in a world where word of mouth is just enough. Social media can be frustrating and a bit confusing especially when you just start using it, but you must take the time to incorporate this into the daily tasks of running your business. I have listed 7 tips that I find useful for startup businesses.
1. Make a plan before you start using social media – Running a successful business is all about preparation. You should determine your social media marketing campaign before you actually start using certain sites. You must set goals of who you are trying to reach, what you want them to do once you have reached them, and what will they gain from your social media sites? For example do you want followers to buy your products, share your post, gain information about the company, etc…?
2. Know your demographic – This is something that you should already have established when you first started your company. You should know exactly who you are trying to reach and use them as a guide for your social media campaign. If you use sites that customers in your demographic are not using then you are wasting your time. Take a look at other business owners who are successful in your industry and take note of their social media campaigns, hashtag strategies, and followers. This does NOT mean that you mimic their campaign, this should just give you an idea of what types of outlets and material your specific demographic are receptive to.
3. Know what social sites to use - Not every social media site is tailored for you or the audience you are trying to reach. Do your research and know what your customers are using the most. Use those sites as effectively as you can, for example Facebook has billions of users but if your demographic is not using Facebook neither should you.
4. Be consistent with social media handles - There is nothing worse than someone not being able to find you on social media. You should keep all of your social media pages the exact same or as close to the same as you can get them; therefore, if someone was to search you/your company everything will pop up in that search. Understand that your social media handle may already be taken so you will have to make slight adjustments as needed.
5. Interact with users – The idea of social media is to be social, if you are not interactive with your users they will forget you and move on to the next business offering similar services. This is tedious, I know, but also very necessary. Starting off you should try to answer all questions, say thank you to comments, and like and comment on others social media pages. People want to feel involved and know they are appreciated for helping you with your business. A quick thank you under an Instagram photo will do the trick.
6. Experiment – You’ve already made a social media campaign but you are not getting the results you thought; it is okay to change the plan. Things change daily in the virtual world, there will always be a new hashtag, movement, social platform and so much more. You have to make the necessary adjustments as this happens. You cannot be afraid to make change and take necessary risks for your business.
7. Partnership – Use those same businesses that you researched to reach out for partnerships. If you have a business with a large social media following that is willing to partner with you this will expand your social media growth. You can offer different things such as free products to the partner and cross promotion. Whatever you do make it creative and your own style. Do not be afraid to reach out to larger companies you will be surprised how far an email can go.
Ultimately, social media sites are tools that you absolutely have to use and you must use them properly. Take the time to research the sites that your demographic uses and get prepared to interact daily. Social media does take time and effort to gain followers but it can be fun and will be worth it.