How Startups can Leverage the Power of Social Media

Harness the power of social media. A guide for startup companies.

September is ‘the month of startups,’ and we’d like to kick it off by highlighting how new businesses can maximize the potential of social media. By now, it is evident that having a social media strategy is no longer optional for businesses. A plethora of research supports a strong social media presence to boost your brand’s awareness, engagement, lead generations, and number of closed prospects.

Social media is a great and free resource for startups working on tight budgets. With built-in analytics tools, social media platforms generate up-to-date tracking and insights that show how effectively your campaigns are reaching your target audience. Despite its importance, many startup companies do not know how to best utilize the power of social media to strengthen brand identity.

Plan and Strategize

Before you start haphazardly posting on social media, you must create a strategy that has clear, measurable goals and objectives. Just as you needed to develop a strategy for launching your business, the same goes for your social media. How do you want to portray your brand image? What is brand’s look and feel? Do you want to be known as a corporate structured company, or a laid back, relaxed, and personable company? You must answer these types of questions before you start building your social media strategy. It is important that there is a consistent theme and message across all platforms so that your company appears well-established and united.

Next, you must determine which social media platform(s) best fits for your company based on your target audience and strategy. Some businesses may have a strong presence on all platforms, while other businesses may benefit by focusing all their efforts on one or two. Figuring out the right balance may take some time, and is unique for each business.

Facebook: It is no surprise that Facebook is the largest social media platform with the most active users and widest reach. Facebook allows you to specifically target your audience with content, while also allowing you to reach a wide number of prospects. Just about every business has a Facebook page; if you don’t already have one for your business, it’s time you set one up–it’s super easy!

LinkedIn: This is the largest professional social media platform. The content that you share on this platform should be clean and professional. It is a great tool for networking.

Twitter: Don’t overlook Twitter when you are starting your business! It is a great platform to retweet industry leaders and show knowledge on your specific industry. Twitter allows you to gaining brand awareness through content distribution.

Instagram: Instagram is a great platform to showcase your company culture, new product packaging, community events, etc. Instagram is fun and super visual, so keep the content light and current.

YouTube: People enjoy watching videos and it drives a high level of interest and engagement among target audiences. It is a great place to explain specific processes, increase brand awareness, and showcase technology. Once you have invested time and resources to creating a video, you can share the content across multiple channels.

Determine Goals and Objectives

Your social media strategy must build around specific company goals and objectives. These benchmarks must be measurable and achievable. Here are some goals your startup company may focus on:

Lead Generation: The way you are going to close on leads and increase revenue is to drive traffic to your website. With a greater number of leads landing on your site, there is a greater opportunity to close on these leads. A specific call to action is required to prompt leads to visit your site.

Brand Awareness: Due to the nature of being a startup, brand awareness is inevitably one of your main goals. Increasing your reach and getting your brand image out in front of your audience is an added benefit of implementing your social media strategy.

Content Distribution: We hear all the time how difficult it is for new businesses to create their own engaging content due to limited time and resources. Repurposing and sharing existing content can be a great way to cut down on the time necessary to create original content.

Go out and start sharing!

Now that the basics of social media are mapped out, it’s time to implement your strategy. Remember that social media is SOCIAL, so communicate and respond to your audience; it should be a give and take relationship. Build a tribe and following around your brand. Loyal followers will bring more value to your company than high numbers of uncommitted followers. You want to nurture and increase this following as your business continues to grow.

 

If you have any questions about how social media can play an integral part in your business strategy, check us out at Brandiron.net or call 303-345-1901 to see how we can help!

Playing Tag: Facebook’s New Rules for Native Ads

Facebook has some new rules for native ads, finally conceding to the old adage that advertisers hold dear: content is king.

Until recently, Facebook prohibited publishers from posting paid articles designed to mirror the look of editorial content. This type of purchased content can make it more difficult for consumers to tell advertising and non-paid content apart. This “branded content” is usually posted to social media platforms from powerful influencers like celebrities, spokespeople or the marketers themselves.

This “branded content” is usually posted to social media platforms from powerful influencers like celebrities, spokespeople or the marketers themselves.

Facebook’s policy update has rewritten the rules to allow these influencers and brands to post native ads as long as they simply tag the brand or company paying for the content. Facebook’s brand tagging process works exactly the same as tagging someone in a regular post, making the new rules and regulations simple for everyone to follow.

It is the intention of Facebook to make these native ads more transparent, as well as incentivize marketers to make the highest quality content. Though some major changes are being made, the social media company has said that some rules will stay the same, such as prohibiting the use of excessive watermarks, using advertisements as preroll to videos, and using branded content as cover or profile pictures.  

As far as enforcement, Facebook may have quite a job on their hands if marketers do not consistently follow the new set of rules. Only time will tell how the new native advertising process is received by both the Facebook and marketing communities.