In creating your business plan, you likely already have initial research into your target market. This can help answer some of these questions.
But take it a step further. You can survey your customers to find out. Or track your competitors on social media and see what their audience is like. You can also enter Facebook groups and see what people are saying.
#2 – Choose your platforms
Doing market research will help you narrow down your marketing goals.
There are several crucial metrics that you need to take into account, and they include:
Your target market location
Their online behaviours
How much time they spend online
How frequently they use social media, and
Which platforms they are on
To make the most of your marketing budget, only sign up for the platforms where you will find your market.
You can’t be everything to everyone, and you shouldn’t try to be. Stretching yourself too thin will only result in sub-par content, and huge gaps between posting content. Nobody wants to engage with a brand that sometimes posts on social media.
For the startup team behind Credit Capital, less was more. They explain “we opted to choose Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as our primary social channels. Instead of trying to be everywhere, we want to provide value in the places our audience spends the most time.”
So once your market research has shown you where the majority of your audience hangs out, focus your efforts there.
#3 – Be consistent with branding
You should use the very same handle for each platform that you sign up for. This makes things much easier for those trying to find and follow you.
Using different handles might confuse your audience. Your brand identity should be as clear as it is strong.
Given how much competition is out there, it’s crucial that you stand out in the crowd.
Creating a superior user experience that’s easy to handle is the best way to do this.
Bonus Tip: Don’t lock in a name on one social media channel without researching the others too. If you lock in your Facebook name but realise it’s taken on Instagram, you’ll only end up creating more work for yourself.
#4 – Set targets
Once you get down the social media research fundamentals you should formulate a high-calibre plan for every platform you are now active on.
Don’t feel like you need to be overly specific. But set realistic and achievable goals to help you move forward in your startup.
Establish goals, both weekly and monthly. Some of these may be:
An increase in followers
An increase in comments
Increasing your impressions
Drive traffic to your website
Increase brand awareness
For a goal to become a reality it has to be specific and measurable, so make sure yours are.
#5 – Provide value
It’s tempting to look at successful startups on social media and try to copy them. Don’t do that.
In your early days, all you want to do is provide value.
What can you post that will improve the lives of your audience, or help them address their pain points?
Consider things like:
Members only promotions
Access to premium resources
By providing value for nothing, you’ll help build a loyal following of highly engaged prospects.
#6 – Post consistently
So far you’ve:
Chosen your platforms
Created a strategy and set realistic goals
Provided value to your audience
You’ll lose all the momentum of these great steps if you don’t post consistently.
There are a ton of resources online with recommended ‘best practices’ for posting. But don’t think these are a sure-thing. What it really comes down to is consistency.
If you find a routine of posting once a day, stick to it. If your style is to offer value once a week, stick to it. Plan your content in advance so you don’t run out of time. As explained by the team at Slick Plan, “more efficiently planned content leads to less time and money spent, fewer revisions, and a reduction of do-overs.”
Your audience will quickly become accustomed to your schedule and expect you to maintain it. It’s better to post once a week at consistent times than posting every hour one day and then taking the next day off.
#7 – Use automation tools
It can feel daunting launching a startup, so get a little help.
Even if you don’t have employees, social media automation tools can make social media management much easier to do.
The right marketing automation tools let you schedule and then deploy your social media updates all from a single dashboard.
For good starting options, check out things like:
Many of these tools offer free trial periods, so conduct some research to find the automation software that fits you best.
Startup Tow and Line also recommend testing before you buy. They explain, “we wanted to find a tool that integrates with Pinterest. As a visual brand this was huge for us. And while some automation tools look great, if they don’t have Pinterest integration they’d be wasting our time. So it pays to do your research.”
Are you ready to dominate the social scene?
If you want your social media strategy to be effective then you have to create a plan and implement it.
Market research should provide the foundation, followed by choosing your platforms, providing value, and doing so consistently.
Do you have any social media tips for startups? Let us know in the comments!