The prevalence of social media for casual and recreational purposes has made it a great venue for businesses to capture the attention of potential consumers and engaging them. Today, social medial sites are used by brands and companies as a major platform for marketing.
A conceptual study by Wael S. Basri and Mohammed R. A. Siam (2017) emphasized the importance of social media for businesses and startups. According to them, “Social media has a proven capacity to produce an impact in several ways like brand popularity, content distribution, community interaction, lead generation, or customer acquisition” (p. 244).
Various businesses utilize these social networking sites to their advantage. Entrepreneurs looking to start a business should take a look at what these platforms have to offer to further their marketing campaigns. This article provides an insight on how to build a social media strategy for startup businesses.
1. Set Clear-Cut Goals
Any business starts with a business plan, a document that clearly states the project’s goals and strategies to achieve them. This offers a comprehensive study of the project’s feasibility including potential offerings, product name, market research, projections, branding, and other relevant details.
One important aspect of this document is the marketing section. This part outlines the business’ plan to generate leads and attract its target markets, as well as strategies on how to do so, with sales as the bottom line.
Modern business plans include marketing plans, with a good portion dedicated to social media. Listing clear and realistic goals for social media marketing creates achievable milestones for the business.
2. Look Into Social Media Auditing
Startups are young businesses that are have been around for three to five years. While they are young, they are likely to already have profiles on various social media platforms. This opens up the need for social media auditing.
A Harvard Business Review article by Keith A. Quesenberry (2015) said that social media audits can help marketers. It is described as “a systematic examination of social data to help marketers discover, categorize, and evaluate all social talk about a brand.” It can also help marketers know how the brand is performing on social media, what consumers are saying about it, and how its competitors are fairing (Quesenberry, 2015).
Overall, social media audits can show effective and efficient practices that the startup is already doing, as well as those that are not working. It creates an opportunity for improvement.
3. Do Relevant Research
Research is always important. It is present in many aspects of the company, from creating the business plan to auditing social media accounts. While all the information-gathering and analysis may seem enough, it is important to remember that the landscape is always changing and many external factors are introduced, making it necessary to do further research.
Researching the target market, competitors, latest social media trends, and current business landscape can provide marketers with the information they need to create engaging materials.
4. Focus on Important Data
Social media strategies affect several business elements. One of the most basic of them is the number of likes and follows on social media accounts. These are great indicators of how far and wide marketing materials have reached, as well as how engaged the audience is.
However, a study by Harvard Professor of Business Administration Sunil Gupta revealed that “likes lead to nothing” (Gerdeman, 2017). It is also not an indicator of the number of loyal consumers as likes do not lead to loyal consumers and it does not mean that loyal consumers click on like.
More than the number of likes and follows, entrepreneurs should focus on consequential data such as click-throughs, cost-per-click, and views on Stories. Analytics generated by business social media accounts can also provide great insight into the audience as it shows the location, age, and interaction of followers. These details can be used to better engage consumers.
5. Create a Schedule
Before social media became a major platform for marketing, people and companies only posted as they see fit. This was before meaningful analytics become more accessible thanks to built-in report-generation tools on social media platforms.
With more accessible metrics, entrepreneurs can see the time of day and days of the week their posts get more engagement. Setting a schedule to publish content that coincides with times and days that get more consumer engagements is a great way to boost follows, likes, and views.
They can also create strategies for customer service through social media using these metrics. For example, startups can schedule times when representatives are online at the same time that consumers typically send inquiries.
Having a solid social media strategy can be a huge advantage for startups. These tips can help them get ahead of their competitors on these platforms, engage with customers better, and boost their growth with the help of social platforms.
Basri, Wael & Siam, Mohammed. (2017). Maximizing the social media potential for small businesses and startups: A conceptual study. International Journal of Economic Perspectives. 11 (2). 241-245.
Quesenberry, K.A. (2015). Conducting a social media audit. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2015/11/conducting-a-social-media-audit
Gerdeman, D. (2017). ‘Likes’ lead to nothing 0 and other hard-learned lessons of social media marketing. Retrieved from https://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/don-t-express-sympathy-with-a-cheerio-and-other-hard-learned-lessons-of-social-media-marketing