Start-ups are often hard-pressed for cash, sure – particularly during their incubation period. But if your marketing plan doesn’t include some sort of social aspect, you’re missing out on massive opportunities to promote your start-up. Even if you’re an avid user of social media, what can you do if no one cares about you?
- Have a solid game plan: Don’t just go in guns blazing with no thought for the future. You need to set goals for having a social media presence, along with plans and tactics to accomplish these goals. Measurements to establish success are useful too. Having a strategy is critical.
- Try and actually, you know, talk to people: Social media is, after all, chiefly about networking and relationship building. If people take the time to reach out to you, then acknowledge it! You can build up a reputation as a start-up that really cares about its customers. It can also be used as a useful customer service method. Make sure you manage your complaints effectively; word gets round quickly when companies take no heed of negative feedback.
- Too much self-promotion is unfashionable: It’s not all about you. Share the love on other businesses who are doing great things or any noteworthy industry articles. Don’t make every post a sales pitch; rather, try and build some constructive relationships built on more than just self-aggrandisement.
- Shyness vs spam? Posting on social media is something of an art. Too many posts will irritate people while too few will mean no-one remembers your name. There’s no set rule about this – it really depends on your business and audience. Take the time to investigate how people respond and what works best.
- Be a person, not a droid: Show off that dazzling personality! No one wants to feel like they’re chatting with a ‘business’. Be a human being – if you have fun stuff to say, your brand must be fun too. Social media isn’t a chore; rather, it should be entertaining. Just like a good conversation!
- Don’t overthink: Nothing in this world is perfect. People just want to know your brand. Don’t worry about what you post on you social media channels. Just consider what things you would ‘like’, rather than only focusing on what your brand feels is should say.
- Keep doing it! Of course, you should be sensible regarding the amount of time you can devote to managing your social presence – but, once you set expectations, make sure you stick to them.
- Don’t be a broken record: Photos get more likes than text, it’s official. You can use pictures, infographics, links to other juicy websites (they don’t have to be strictly relevant!) and more! The only limit is your imagination.
- Check out the competition: Well, if the other feller’s doing it, of course you should be too! A lot can be learned from your direct competitors’ social media streams. They can be a good guide to what you should be doing – and, perhaps more importantly, what you shouldn’t.