Launching a business is a lot of work, no matter the industry. Startups are especially difficult as funding is usually low and time is always limited. Even so, it is important to build your brand’s presence online just as you build your business from the ground up.
With the advent of technology and social media, your startup must be visible online or your brand does not exist.
Social media provides direct access to your target population for very little money (or free!), making it the most effective marketing strategy on the market today. It allows you to attract hundreds, if not thousands, of new customers to your brand each and every day. The hardest part of social media marketing, however, is learning how to make your brand more visible among the crowded world of social media.
Before you get started on social media, educate yourself on the best practices for gaining followers and increasing brand visibility. Here are eight of the most important things every startup should know about social media marketing before they begin:
1. Know Your Destination
One of the biggest mistakes that most brands make when they first start out on social media is not determining a clear end goal for their social media marketing strategy. You need to have a good idea of what you’re looking for out of your campaign and how long it will take you to get there. If you don’t create a clear path to reaching your goals, then you are simply posting content haphazardly in hopes of generating revenue. This not only does not effectively raise revenue but it also wastes time and money that could be used more efficiently.
2. You Must Offer Valuable Content
With all of the social media marketing blogs recommending to post frequently and consistently, it can be tempting to throw a few low-quality links in the mix simply to fill the gaps. This will get your brand pushed to the bottom of the news feed as nobody wants low quality content. Instead, curate quality content with quality pictures so that your followers genuinely enjoy your feed and return each day to follow along.
3. Good Results Don’t Come for Free
Social media marketing used to be a wildly uncontrolled venue for free marketing that worked successfully for brands about ten years ago. Now, however, you simply must post ads if you want to increase brand visibility. That doesn’t mean that you should start boosting posts at random or creating ads for the sake of visibility. Instead, create a well organized funnel strategy so that users are eventually led to your website and your product or service. It will cost money, sure, but it is far cheaper than previous forms of marketing and has the highest ROI.
4. Determine The Best Times to Post
Every social media platform has different characteristics that should be noted. Twitter, for instance, functions best at night. It is also important to respond very quickly, within 30 minutes or so, to Tweets directed at your brand if you want to build the greatest visibility. Pinterest, on the other hand, functions best during the day. Even the topic of your Pinterest pins can be organized by the day of the week, according to which pins are most successful each day. Be sure to fully understand what works on which channels so that your efforts are not wasted.
5. Complete Your Profiles
Your social profile may seem like the very last thing on your priority list, but it is indeed important. It is the first glimpse users have of your brand, so be sure to make it a good one. The more detailed information that you include in your profile the better because it allows users to quickly determine whether or not your brand is relevant to them. It also provides a good opportunity to slip some keywords in there so that your social media profiles are visible to search engines.
6. Conversion is the Main Goal of Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is not simply a way to give your target audience a peek into your brand. It is also a way to generate leads and boost sales. Be sure to incorporate efficient CTAs (call-to-actions) in your posts so that users are encouraged to participate. You can easily make it a fun process by providing something for free in return for their email address or offering to provide a juicy newsletter each week that they simply must read. By bringing your audience to your website, you are far more likely to convert these followers into buyers.
7. Social Media Works Better if You Have a Blog
Even if you are not a blogger, your website should have a blog. The blog should publish quality content regularly, at least several times a week. This is not because your readers are simply dying to know what you know, but it significantly increases brand visibility on search engines. Do a little bit of keyword research before publishing each blog post so that you know that your blog is attracting potential customers that are already interested in your product or service.
It also allows your brand to humanize itself and give itself a voice where it is otherwise lacking. People like connecting with other humans and it is no different in the business world. Give your audience something to enjoy so that they develop loyalty towards you and your brand.
8. You Must be Engaged to Boost Engagement
The number one rule for generating engagement is to be engaged yourself. You must put your brand out there and have it become an unofficial expert in the niche that you are targeting. Engage with other users and show them that your brand exists. One of the easiest ways to do that is through an automation service, like Growr. Growr automatically likes and follows users on Instagram within your niche so that your brand is engaged 24/7. This saves you time and increases brand awareness in an authentic way.
Social media marketing is not an easy task. It takes a lot of strategy, patience, and work to get things rolling. But if you start with these eight principles, you will be headed in the right direction. What are some of your key tips you would offer other startups just creating a social media marketing campaign?
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