Social media has had a colossal impact on our society; whether it is for business or pleasure, social media has become an integral part of people’s day to day lives.
With over 3.8 billion people using social media globally, many businesses are using social platforms to their advantage, maximising social media coverage to benefit their business objectives.
To help you reap the rewards of social media, increasing business growth and building brand awareness, we have put together 10 top tips on how to maximise social media marketing as a start-up business.
#1 Identify your target audience
With nearly 4 billion social media users worldwide, not everyone will want the service your startup is offering.
For your startup business to be successful, you need to identify your target market and focus your social strategy on a specific group of people who have a genuine interest in your company.
You can identify your target audience by collecting demographic data, sending out surveys and looking at customer feedback. Once you have specified your target audience, you can begin to research how to optimise attention and engagement; this will increase brand awareness, leading to increased sales of products or services.
#2 Research competitors and consumers
Identifying competition for your business is an essential strategy for business growth. Understanding the actions of competitors enables you to position your company and product within the market.
Competitors can impact choices such as price, branding and style of your product; these aspects are essential for a start-up business as it needs to have USP’s to stand out from rival brands.
There are four types of consumer market research: primary, secondary, qualitative and quantitative research.
By combining these different research methods, your business can determine your target market’s attitudes, needs, motivations, and behaviours and therefore cater your brand to appeal to consumers.
The more of an understanding you can gain from your consumers, the better you’re able to market and sell to them as well as create a product or service that meets their needs.
#3 Schedule your social media posts
With so many businesses embracing social media as their primary marketing source, it can be easy for your business to slip under the radar.
The platforms also allow you to schedule more than one post at a time, post on several social media platforms at once and choose a popular time, according to your social platform analytics.
#4 Make use of data and analytics
Social media analytics gathers and analyses data from your social media profiles and posts. The data provides insight into your audience, post engagement and reach as well as competitor insight.
Most importantly, this data allows you to recognise and report which strategies are working for your business and which aren’t, further enabling you to better your posts and build your brand to reach maximum engagement online.
Make sure you share this insight in reports for evidence to your team and stakeholders.
#5 Engage with your audience
With social media algorithms rapidly changing, one thing remains the same: engagement is key!
The effective ways to engage with your audiences differ on each platform. Not only can you have two-way conversations via direct messaging or commenting on posts, but many platforms have alternate ways of communication. For example, on Instagram, Facebook and now Twitter, you can engage with your audience via a ‘story’ feature where you can post polls or questions.
Using polls, questions, competitions and giveaways on social media as a start-up business can build a more significant following and increase engagement, developing brand loyalty crucial for start-up businesses in a mass market.
#6 Consistency is key
The fast-paced nature of social media means that your target audience will see thousands of faces and brands each day; this means posting regularly and in line with your brand values is extremely important to be memorable and make an impact.
However, whilst it is important to be consistent, it is equally important not to bombard your audience with posts. This can result in unfollowing or blocking, two results we do not want.!
Finding a happy medium is crucial for social media marketing. Using analytics and data, you can monitor and trial different post types to see what best suits your audience.
#7 Choose your platforms and keep up with the latest trends
Whilst the biggest social media platforms are currently Instagram, Facebook, Linked In, Pinterest and Twitter – not all of these platforms may be relevant for your business.
Businesses can determine which platforms are most suitable for their target audience and which platforms perform best using UTM parameters. For example, maybe Linkedin directs more traffic to your page, but Twitter generates the most leads and conversions, and Facebook doesn’t generate engagement or referrals. You can then use this information to refine your social media strategy.
It’s also crucial to keep up with social media trends. For example, TikTok has become the current innovation for digital marketing. Using in-feed ads, branded effects, hashtags and trends, start-up brands have been able to go viral with just one simple video. Find out how TikTok can help grow your business here.
Keeping up with the latest trends helps your business to remain relevant and showing interest in current conversations can provide a personable and relatable appearance to the audience.
#8 Influencer and celebrity endorsement
According to YouGov, three in 10 18-34-year-olds (28%) say celebrity endorsement impacts their purchasing decisions. Whether this is a public figure or celebrity posting a picture, simply tagging the brand associated or taking a video discussing the brand has proven to be highly effective when making decisions on a product or service.
These public figures hold such fandom and respect with the public; if they associate themselves with your brand, their audience will want to associate with you as well. This is prevalent on platforms such as Instagram, TikTok and Youtube.
#9 Gather and post soft content
In order to build a relationship with your audience, you don’t want to be posting ‘selling’ content constantly.
Sales posts providing information on offers and products are important, but your audience may get bored and unfollow or even block your profile if it becomes overwhelming.
To avoid this, you can post ‘real-life’ posts, for example: behind the scenes videos, thank you posts, images of deliveries or simply share audience posts. This can help you build a connection with your audience as they see more relaxed and relatable activities as well as increase brand loyalty and conversions.
#10 Set goals and deadlines for your business
It can take time and consistency to build an online presence which can become tiring and disheartening for a start-up business. To stay focussed and motivated, set realistic goals for different aspects of your social media.
This can be to reach a certain number of followers by a certain date, increase engagement on a specific platform by a particular date, or engage in different content styles.
Setting goals can boost performance among your team as they become more determined to reach these results. Goals and deadlines also allow you to keep within a timeframe and budget, as well as holding you accountable.
Successful social media marketing requires creativity and strategy. With these top tips, your business can build an online presence that will increase brand awareness, boost sales, and promote your products and services, all through increasing traffic on your social media and website.
Follow Abi on Twitter for more social media and PR insight and keep up to date with her PRCA Apprenticeship.