When it comes to launching your startup, you are probably going to need to rely on a whole lot on social media channels to get the word out rather than spending your precious marketing budget on advertising and traditional marketing.
Social media accounts for business are a brilliant way for collecting new followers, getting new likes and shares, and creating new connections, all via the smartphone or personal computer. If you are looking to get some exposure for your new brand, it is safe to say social media accounts are the bee's knees of digital marketing tools.
While it’s pretty easy to just set up a few social media accounts, it’s important to understand which platforms will give you the most bang for your buck. Does your startup suit Facebook, or are you more of an Instagram kind of business? Will LinkedIn target your potential audience, or is YouTube the way to go for your company?
In this article, we explore the standard set of social media platforms to consider for marketing your new startup and which ones are a good option for getting your startup’s key messages out to the widest audience possible.
How To Choose The Best Social Networks For Your Startup
It’s simple to swan around setting up all the social media accounts known to man when you are setting up your marketing for your business but are you choosing the best social networks for your business?
There’s no point hoping from one account to the other madly posting and sharing content if you're not properly targeting your audience. The aim of the game is to find the social media sites that tap into your largest and most active audience. You need to find the social media sites your followers actually spend time on, listening to their needs and wants so you can develop genuine relationships with your audience rather than just madly posting across ten different social media platforms like a bat out of hell.
Here are some tips for choosing which social networks are suitable for your startup:
Figure out your target market
First of all, if you’re going to use social media platforms for your startup, you’re going to need to determine who you are targeting and who are your ideal customers. What are their interests and what sort of content attracts them to social media? Are they activists? Or do they want to be entertained? It’s important you are creating content that resonates with your customers and target market and that you use a style of writing that mirrors your target audience’s thoughts and interests.
Choose platforms that have tools that allow you to schedule content
Some platforms such as Facebook have scheduling functionality so you can schedule posts In advance, making your marketing much simpler. Rather than having to log on a few times a day you can schedule posts in advance and at times when your audience is most likely online, which is handy if you are based geographically in different time zones. Programs such as Hootsuite are great for scheduling, and you can post for a range of social media including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Google+ all from the one dashboard.
Determine which social media platform will give the best return
Time is money in a startup, and you will need to ensure that whatever social media platforms you’re using will give a return on investment, whether it is new leads, engagement or new customers. If you’re spending 5 hours a week on LinkedIn and you’re not getting any activity of leads whatsoever, it’s probably best you spend your time on other platforms that are returning more leads and engagement rather than flogging a dead horse.
You’ve probably seen the stats for leading social media networks based on active users and demographics, but if you haven’t here is the low down:
- Facebook – 1.65 billion monthly active users
- YouTube – 1 billion users
- Pinterest – 100 million active users
- Instagram – 400 million monthly active users
- LinkedIn 433 million active users
- Twitter – 310 million active users
- Google+ – 300 million active users
While the stats above may be staggering, it doesn’t necessarily mean the social media platform with the most users is going to be the best for your startup; it comes down to determining who your customer is, what their activities and are which social media platforms they spend the most time on.
Which Platform Is Right For My Startup?
There is no hard and fast rule for the best social media platform for your startup, however, there is a simple way to determine where you might start your marketing to get a better idea of which network suits your startup the most.
As far as the style of your startup and which social media platform is the best fit for your business, it can come down to trial and error. The P3 Solution created an interesting infographic, which outlines a guide to the style of social media platforms to help startups and businesses which covers the info outlined below:
Facebook – the place to hand and connect with fans and followers
If you have a Facebook account, you’d be well aware of the vortex that it can become. The platform is a place to chat, discuss and connect, and is by definition a social platform for interacting.
Twitter – the place for breaking, up to the minute news
When you are on Twitter and actively growing your business tweets can be sent 5 to 10 (or more) times a day. It’s a perfect place for businesses with tons of news or newsroom type info. If you have a bunch of information you want to get out quickly to your audience in 140 characters or less, then Twitter is the place to be.
LinkedIn – the place where business people hang
More of a professional networking site, free from the social chatter of Facebook. The platform is for professional connection and creating an introduction that benefits your career and building your name in your specific industry.
Instagram – the visual place to showcase your products and services
With Instagram the image is king, and it’s a perfect place if you have a range of products or influencers you want to showcase. It’s a place where people window-shop and seek visually appealing images.
Pinterest – similar to a showroom for products and services
If you run a clothing line or an eCommerce shop, Pinterest will be your best friend.
YouTube – use video to teach or showcase your brand using DIY type videos
Perfect for businesses that want to show their audience how to use their products or do certain things, YouTube is used for lots of step-by-step type tutorials and raising viral awareness of products.
Google+ - resource exchanging and online sharing
While probably the least likely to drum up as much business as some of the other platforms, Google Plus is suitable for bringing together people who might be in groups that could be interested in your startup and showcasing your experience and knowledge in a professional network.
At the end of the day, it can be hit and miss until you find the right mix of social media platforms for your business and you will need to drill deep to develop an avatar for your ideal customer to get a deep understanding of who your target audience is.
Take the time to learn as many social media platforms as you can and always set up business accounts that use the right language and style to suit your target market. Invest time wisely and don’t try and use every single platform, but the best platforms to suit your startup.
To save some time you can engage the services of a freelance content writer or social media expert to provide some guidance on the best platforms for your startup or to help create a social media strategy or content for your business on an ongoing basis.
Need A Helping Hand With Your Social Media Marketing?
If you love the idea of setting up social media platforms for your startup but just don’t have the experience or time to get the content together, there are plenty of freelancers specialising in social media marketing out there who are available to write the content to suit your target market.
Whether you give them full reign and get them to create and schedule your content or you just want a content strategy developed, freelancers are a great way to get some marketing support without having to engage a full-time marketing expert for your business.
To create a brief for your content writer or social media expert, you’ll need to put together the following:
• Describe your startup and who you are looking for in a content writer
• Outline exact what needs to be done
• Add in a time frame for the job
• Outline your budget
If you haven’t engaged a freelance social media marketer before you should ask for examples and at the very least ask them to do a small paid project for you to get an idea if their style suits your startup.
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