Bill Gates once said: “If your business is not on the internet, then your business will be out of business.” It seems that every day someone new is saying that it has never been more important to be online, but why is that? As of January 2021, Statista reported 4.66 billion active internet users and of those, 4.2 billion are active social media users. Now that’s a number to remember. Imagine the possibilities. As a growing startup, if you reached just 0.5% of this population, over 21 million people would know about your company.
Social media can be a daunting platform, but it is definitively a train not to be missed as it has become essential to building brand presence and digital reputation. Not only does social media allow for an increase of brand awareness, but it also brings social commerce into play and helps to create experiences that allow people to get closer in a hybrid context - getting to know the brand and also making purchases while having a personal experience with it.
According to the 2021 HubSpot report, generating relevant traffic and leads are the top marketing challenges for a business. Startups are naturally described as fast-paced. However, they typically have limited resources, in terms of money and people. In order to generate leads and stay relevant, they must spark interest and engage with their target community. A social media strategy is not as simple as just creating and maintaining a web page. If startups want to stay relevant and generate long-term relationships, they must put in the work and recognize the potential of these platforms. Let’s dive into some best practices when it comes to building a social media strategy for your startup.
1 – Research and optimize your strategy
Any marketer will tell you that, when you first start any social media strategy, the most important considerations are to identify the goals that align with your business objectives and understand who your audience is. By clearly identifying target audiences, it becomes easier to capture someone's attention because their needs and goals are front and center. Although this can be a difficult task for early startups, it is necessary in order to optimize your social media presence.
Establish who your startup will be communicating to and then move forward with understanding what the social media behaviors of the target audience are. Some key metrics you should take into account are:
- Where is your target market located?
- What are their online behaviors (blogging, magazine readers, etc.)?
- How long are they online?
- Which social media platforms do they use?
Once these questions have been answered in detail, choose 1-2 platforms that best fit the needs of your target and master them.
2– Create a content strategy
You have chosen a platform: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest or one of the newer ones that are currently trending, like, Tik Tok or Twitch. Now it’s time to decide what to post. When it comes to social media content is king, but context is queen. It is important not only that you post consistently, but that you also generate content which is of value to your viewers.
What is the mission of your startup? What do you want to teach your customers? How is your product/service solving their needs? These are all questions that your content should answer in your publications. At first, choose 3-4 content topics and stick to them while still allowing for the freedom to post about spontaneous days or events such as Earth Day.
A clearly defined content plan will enable your startup to reach its social media objectives and stay present in the minds of viewers. To ensure the success of your strategy, set weekly and monthly goals such as acquiring 50 new followers, increasing your reach by 2% or communicating with 20 potential customers.
3– Leverage the platform
Don’t forget that the point of social media is to be social. In order to generate leads, startups must speak to those leads and establish a rapport with them. By engaging with other people’s content by leaving valuable comments or interactions, you can create fruitful relationships with your customers and build a community of fans for your brand
When using social media, it is also crucial to leverage all the different features each platform offers. This will drive your page higher in the “holy algorithm” and allow your startup to obtain a higher number of impressions and thus increase conversion chances. Upload stories, go live, use gifs, create polls for users, make reels and, above all, have fun while educating and interacting with your audience.
4– Obtain more information
Having an omnichannel presence empowers brands to reach consumers at every touchpoint of the buying experience — online and off — to provide a relevant experience across all channels and ultimately allow the desired conversion. Although platforms such as LinkedIn may often provide you with a phone number or email address of certain individuals, this isn’t always the right approach. Be smart about your social strategy so that you learn as much about your followers as they do about your brand.
Keynote speaker and author Jay Baer explains that “email and social media have an important part to play in the conversation between company and consumer. They are strategically, operationally and tactically aligned — or if they aren't, they should be.” Make sure to always include a point of contact in your social platforms and utilize your newsletters or any other brand material to get more individuals to follow your social channels.
5- Evolve and master automation
Social media is time-consuming. It is a process that takes time to build, maintain and master, however this doesn’t mean that there aren't ways to automate your work. Marketing automation tools can help you schedule posts and analyze the impact of your strategy in easy use, seamless dashboards. Some notable platforms that you can turn to for help include:
Social is the way to go
The digital age brings us together in more ways than were ever thought possible and social media allows us to reach more corners of the world with a single scroll. At Enel, we know the importance of digitalizing solutions and ensuring that your startup always has top-of-mind awareness in the case of relevant stakeholders. That is why our network of hubs and international business lines are constantly on the lookout for new solutions that can shift traditional business into becoming more efficient and sustainable. Is your startup ready to enhance its digital journey?