In our busy world of smart phones, social media has becoming an essential element in the success of any start-up.
Whether it be to assist with customer relations or to ensure your company is being noticed by investors, a strong social media presence is vital to building your community and fostering a strong and trustworthy brand identity.
It is also an extremely useful tool when a company is starting up and looking for early investment. The world of social media is a huge education in itself, but to help get you started, we have outlined some aspects that will set you on the right path early on.
Pick the right channel – Do not just jump onto every available platform. Think about your target audience, both from a user-perspective and an investor-perspective. LinkedIn is a clear must from a B2B point of view. It is also most likely to open you up to investor networks but consider other channels for other purposes. Facebook has excellent group chat capabilities for community-building and Instagram will allow you to be visual with your product. Think about which platforms suit you and your product but also which platforms could open you up to new users and potential investors.
Consistent brand identity – This goes without saying really, but it is so important to maintain brand consistency, design and tone across all of your social media channels. Social media is a fantastic and cost-effective way to build your brand identity, but this needs to be consistent across all platforms.
Know your objectives – You need to think carefully about what you are trying to achieve before you spend time making noises. Do you want to create some excitement around your start-up, find investors, generate leads or attract new talent? By understanding your objectives, you will be able to apply targets and KPI’s that will also guide you in terms of the content you post.
Post regularly – Put a content calendar in place from the outset so you develop good habits and post at regular intervals. Consistent posts will build customer trust and brand credibility. Having a regular schedule of content will not only help customers find you, trust you, and understand your brand, it will also save you time in the long run.
Be relevant – While it is great to post at regular intervals, it is more important to post content that is relevant and informative. There is a lot of noise out there, so you want to make sure that your audience is looking out for what you have to say, because they know what you are going to say, is relevant to them!
Engage with your followers – Social media platforms give people the opportunity to engage and communicate and this is a massive benefit for any business. Feedback from potential users and/or investors is easily obtained and being agile in the early stages of development, means start-ups can take this feedback on board and make relevant changes. Do not be afraid to ask your followers their thoughts on your project, fundraise or your product. By engaging with your social media followers, many of whom will be potential customers, users or investors, you are opening yourself up to a plethora of invaluable feedback and research.
Have a dedicated resource – Someone needs to own your social media presence. By all means, brainstorm amongst your team to come up with some relevant and informative ideas for posts, but at the end of the day, one person should have responsibility for ensuring your message is put out there. If resource is tight, which is the case with most start-ups, then look at employing tools such as Hootsuite, Tweetdeck and Buffer, which allow you to manage your posts and the majority of your social media from a single dashboard.
There are no set rules when it comes to social media and there are many more things that you should look at and bucketloads of information and educational resources out there.
The key thing is that thanks to technology, we now have at our disposal some very interesting platforms that you can use to get whatever message you wish to get across, to very targeted audiences.
You will definitely make some mistakes along the way, but as long as you learn from those mistakes, your social media presence will only get stronger. Do not be afraid to try new things and above all, have some fun with it and just start communicating!