Social media is a great way to build awareness for your startup, but it’s not as simple as throwing out a few tweets and expecting success overnight. With a solid strategy in place, you can utilise social media to bring light to what your startup offers and build connections with your audience. Here are some of the crucial steps to consider when creating a social media strategy for your startup.
What are you trying to achieve?
The first thing to think about is what you want to achieve by implementing a social media strategy. There’s no point in spending the time to put a plan in place if you have no idea what you want to do, and having goals are an essential part of figuring out where you should be focusing your efforts.
We’ve got a whole blog post all about setting effective goals, but to summarise your goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely. What suits you will vary depending on you and your business. You might want to increase the orders through your website, build the number of enquiries online, raise awareness of a campaign or a cause or simply drive traffic to your site. Whatever it is you want to do, you should set some clear objectives and angle your strategy accordingly.
How will you measure your success?
As with any sort of strategy, it’s important to know how you will measure your performance. At what point will you have met your goals, and how will you know if your strategy has been a success? Having a set of key performance indicators that are relevant to your goals will give you a clear benchmark that allows you to measure your progress and understand if what you’re doing is working (or not working).
Whilst it may seem like followers, likes and page views are the key currency in social media, they aren’t necessarily the most meaningful metrics to focus on. Instead of looking at top-level vanity metrics, pay careful attention to actual conversions and engagements that make a real difference to your business.
Where are you going to focus?
The social media landscape is ever changing, and it can be tempting to feel like you need to have a finger in every pie. As much as you don’t want to keep all of your eggs in one basket (especially not a basket owned by another company), it’s equally important not to spread yourself too thin - especially if you don’t have a full social media marketing team at your disposal.
When picking your platforms it’s essential to think about who your target audience is and where they hang out online to know where you need to be in order to reach them. Knowing your target audience is a huge part of marketing, and if you haven’t figured that out then check out our 10 step guide to writing a business plan to get started.
Who’s going to implement it?
Social media, and marketing in general, can be a time-consuming part of running a business. Do you have the capabilities to take this on, or would you benefit from outsourcing? Realistically, you need to be able to set aside time to manage your social media presence if you want to implement social media marketing effectively. If you don’t think you have the capabilities then look into hiring freelancers to take on the social media responsibilities for your startup instead.
What are you going to post?
Content is arguably the most critical part of an effective social media strategy for startups. It’s not as simple as just posting whatever you fancy, it’s important to have a clear idea of what you’re going to post and why it’s relevant to your audience. This might be behind the scenes content about the day-to-day life in your business, valuable industry insights that will benefit your audience, sharing product information or promoting examples of your work. There are countless ways to use social media and, again, the right way to use it will depend on you and your business but whatever you’re posting should be valuable in some shape or form. A good rule of thumb to use before posting is asking yourself one simple question: why should your audience care about what you’re sharing?