Social Media Channels for Startups
One of the most important things that entrepreneurs need to consider is their online presence
When starting up a business one of the most important things that entrepreneurs need to consider is their online presence. Small business owners (SBOs) must craft a digital brand “voice” when developing their marketing strategy. Social media is now considered one of the most powerful platforms an SBO can use when trying to startup and promote a new company.
Hubspot reports that 92 per cent of marketers in 2014 said social media marketing was important for their business. Eighty per cent of companies also indicated that their online social media presence increased traffic to their websites.
The Perfect Platform
It’s clear that SBOs should create a social media account for their business but with all the available options, where should you start? Rachelle DeSorcy, Digital Events and Social Media Coordinator at Startup Canada, says it’s important to consider your target audience when building your brand’s social media presence.
While it’s important to claim your business’s social media handle on all channels, you’re not obligated to make the profile public and start posting. Choose the platforms that will engage your customers. DeSorcy says it’s not beneficial to create accounts on every social media platform and then not post regular, quality content.
“It looks ridiculous if you have a Google+ account but haven't used it in three years,” she says. “Why go to Instagram if you’re selling something for a demographic that simply isn’t using it? Entrepreneurs need to know that every move they make needs to be strategic and targeted.”
Instead, SBOs need to research the platforms where they can engage with their target audiences.
Less is more for entrepreneurs looking to make a digital impact.
Learn the features of your chosen social media platform(s) and take advantage of any engagement measurement tools available to measure how effectively you’re driving traffic to your website and making sales.
It may take some time to decide exactly what platform(s) can best represent your brand. The next step is crafting your voice.
Posting Quality Content
The content you post needs to do two things: engage your audience (a.k.a. your customers) to build rapport and trust, and it needs to sell your product by letting people know what’s on offer.
Your digital brand voice tells your customers what kind of business you are. Your voice includes the type of language you use, what articles you share, and how often you take time to answer questions your audience or community has about your product or service.
Sharing helpful, interesting and engaging content is a big part of your overall digital strategy but DeSorcy says you shouldn’t shy away from highlighting your products or services regularly.
“Why have a business platform if you can’t advertise once in awhile?” DeSorcy says. “Personalize and post your content yourself (or get someone from within your business to do it for you!) and make sure to engage with your audience. Don’t just post an advertisement and never say anything else.”
Your followers shouldn’t only see posts encouraging them to buy. There should be a healthy mix of engaging content with direct advertising. Experiment to see what works best for you.
It’s so easy to get overwhelmed with all your startup responsibilities. Social media can take up too much of your valuable time, if you let it. DeSorcy says to start small and be authentic when choosing a social media channel and building your online brand.
Streamline your social media tasks by only checking your platforms a few times a day. It can help to enable desktop notifications and use a tool like Hootsuite or Buffer to make sure your audience gets content when they’re most likely to engage with it.
“Use your social media as a tool to not only to gain customers and a following, but also as a customer success strategy,” says DeSorcy.