For any new startup, getting your initial marketing right is crucial – you need to get the word out about your new product or service to get your business off the ground and on the path to success. With 3.6 billion people using Social Media in 2020, this is one marketing channel that practically all startups need to master.
Aside from being able to access a massive audience, as highlighted above, there are many other benefits of Social Media to companies just starting out. One of these key benefits is speed – you can be set up on the main platforms and raising the profile of your brand as soon as your website is ready to receive traffic, perhaps even sooner if you want to create a ‘pre-launch buzz’. Building some momentum, fast, will be important in the early days.
Another key benefit is the feedback Social Media can provide as your company starts to grow. What your potential customers think of your product or service, how you could make it better, and what features or products you should consider next, is all crucial info that can be gleaned from your Social Media audience and used to keep your growing business on the right track
The Value of Social Media for New Businesses
Few businesses are likely to argue that Social Media isn’t an important marketing channel, but just to hammer the point home and reinforce the idea that it’s a critical channel for new startups:
- 55% of consumers learn about new brands on Social Media (if your target audience is Gen z then this figure is actually 78%!)
- As a result of the pandemic, 43% of consumers used Social Media more to discover new products
- When it comes to interacting with brands, 68% of consumers agree that Social Media makes this easier
(Source – SproutSocial)
How Do I Use Social Media to Grow My Business?
So it’s clear that Social Media is important for startup businesses – but it might not be clear how to develop an effective marketing strategy for using it to help your business grow. While Social Media has enormous potential, like anything if you just dive in you might find you’re not realising that potential – or worse, you could actually do more harm than good.
Your potential audience may be vast, but they are also pretty fickle, so you need to make sure you spend the time planning and developing your Social Media marketing strategy if you want it to be as effective as possible. This is often why some businesses entrust the success of marketing on Social Media to specialist agencies like oneofonegroup.co.uk, but for those intent on going it alone, there are key steps to follow.
Identify your target audience
You may have already done this as part of your overall business and marketing planning, but understanding who is your target audience will be key to using the right Social Media channels, and in the most effective way. Your target audience might be quite broad and require breaking down into different groups and demographics so you can make sure each is targetted with the most effective Social Media marketing strategy.
Find out what platforms your audience uses
Once you understand your target audience groups, this will help you select the most appropriate Social Media platforms to market your brand on, and also direct your marketing strategy on these platforms. If you’re audience is aged 25-35 you might need to focus on Facebook and Instagram; if you’re targetting older individuals you might prioritise Twitter; and for a Gen Z audience, you probably need to consider Tik Tok.
Learn more about your audience
As well as learning where your audience is, you need to understand how they like to communicated with – as in what type of marketing material (formats, content, timing) they are more likely to engage with. Simply ‘being’ on the right platform isn’t enough, you need to make sure you stand out and are appealing to your audience.
Set Social Media goals for your business
Once you’ve completed the work of understanding your target audience and how best to communicate with them, you need to have a goal of what you want to achieve from your Social Media marketing. So many businesses pour money, time, effort into marketing on the various platforms without a real understanding of what they’re trying to achieve other than ‘raise awareness’.
Having clearly defined goals of what you expect your Social Media marketing to deliver will not only help to shape your strategy, it will also allow you to see how well you are achieving against is, as well as the return on investment you are getting from it – something that’s crucial to understand for a business just starting out.
Set out your aims for your Social Media channels
For each of the channels you are using, define what you expect to achieve in terms of engagement that will raise awareness of your brand – so metrics such as likes, shares and comments. Understand what you want to achieve for more commercially-focused metrics measuring conversions – so clicks to your website, sign-ups, enquiries and even sales.
Create your Social Media strategy
Knowing what you expect to get out of each of the platforms you are using for your marketing will help you to build the strategy to achieve those goals. When you’re starting out there may be an element of trial and error, but as your marketing develops the feedback and data you get from Social Media will allow you to focus in on the activity that is most likely to help you achieve the goals you’ve set.
Getting the Most From Your Social Media Marketing
Getting your Social Media marketing right can always be a challenge, especially for a new company just starting out. But progress can be better than perfection in the early days, so rather than waiting until you think you have the perfect strategy, start investing in your Social Media presence as soon as you can. Monitor your performance and adapt your strategy as you grow, and you’ll soon discover how powerful Social Media can be for your startup.