Starting a business enterprise is a daunting task that involves a million small and not so small things to take care of, making it easy to forget about the social marketing channels that are at your disposal. The beauty of social media for start-ups is that it is accessible, cheap, flexible, and provides access to a huge customer base with the ability to target very specific segments.
Let’s take a look at how you can grow your business with the help of social media.
- Set a goal.
Your presence on social media should have a clearly defined, measurable, realistic objective. Will your posts send traffic to your website? How can you use these visitors when they are there? Capture leads / secure sales? Different social media platforms can serve to accomplish different aims and reach different customer segments. Don’t assume that you can approach all social media channels with the same objective. One size doesn’t fit all here.
- Know your audience.
Even before you make your first post, think – who are you targeting? Is this message relevant to them? Does it provide value to them? A message without value to the consumer is worthless.
- Don’t be afraid to spend money
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram – these platforms have millions of users, which present great opportunities to reach your target audience, but just like you, there are thousands of businesses trying to push their message through to them. It is unlikely for your message to generate attention without spending money on advertising it. Being a new business often means limited resources, but one of the joys of social media advertising is its cost – it is highly affordable and flexible.
(example of paid vs. organic likes via Facebook metrics).
- Stay focused
Always make sure to link the message to your brand, audience, your objective. It is ok to try new things but always keep in mind that all your activity online should have a clear purpose. You have to establish your brand name, there is no room for confusion.
If you have clear objectives and are spending money on achieving these, you have to analyse how you are performing. All four social media platforms have easy-to-use analytical tools, allowing businesses to assess the progress of their campaigns and analyse the ROI. Regularly examining Google Analytics figures on your website (especially if it’s an e-commerce website) and linking it to your social media campaigns might be a good idea too. Tools such as Campaign URL builder are great for that, creating custom links and feeding your Google Analytics valuable insights about how successful you social media campaigns are. Very effective, but should be used with care and attention to detail.
Social media is not simple and requires time, creativity and work. These factors can certainly prove to be a barrier to busy start-ups, but with all the benefits it brings, there is no excuse not to utilise social media when trying to establish your brand in the marketplace. With proper research, brainstorming and strategy, social media can do wonders for your business.