When used in the right setting, social media marketing can be one of the most persuasive and powerful ways for brands to reach out to their customers. In many ways, social media enables companies to communicate in a personal and non-infringing manner.
This brings about great opportunities for start-ups to communicate with their followers consistently without exhausting their budget.
Here is a five step guide to improve your start-up’s social media marketing.
1: Align your social media marketing goals with your business.
Contrary to how things may seem on the surface, social media marketing is more than aimlessly getting all the likes, shares and comments you can find.
You are starting off from a good place when you begin with the end in mind. Drawing on the bigger picture, it is crucial for your start-up to kick off their social media marketing strategies by asking ‘Why?’ and aligning your social media presence with your business objectives.
If the business objective is to reach out to a larger group of consumers in the next year, then the social media goals may be fine-tuned to increase brand awareness. If it is for conversion, then you may want to focus on driving traffic to your website.
2: Secure your social media handles.
After identifying a clear direction of where and what your social media marketing goals are, it is now crucial to make sure that your social media handles have been secured by you and your team. The last thing that you would want for your start-up is for your audience to be confused as to how and where to find you. Choose platforms where you expect your target audience to spend their time, however, don’t spread yourself too thin! Remember, quality over quantity.
It is also a good practice to secure these handles on emerging social media platforms as well, for you never know when your start-up will need to establish its brand presence there.
It’s also a good idea to think about and begin to use any hashtags that are unique to your start-up.
3: Know who your audience is and what their social media habits are.
It is important for your start-up to understand and recognise who your target audience is.
While it may sound unbelievable, many brands tend to overlook who and where their audience is coming from. Often, their intended audience is different from their actual followers. This gap in understanding may cause them to create the wrong message for the wrong crowd.
In the social media arena, relevance is key for you to play your cards right. Take the time to go through how your start-up is adding value to your consumers before crafting posts that are suitable and relevant for your audience.
As social media marketing strongly pushes for a two-way communication today, it is important for your start-up to update and check on your audience demographics regularly.
4: Establish partnerships with the right brand ambassadors
As mentioned earlier, communication is always a two-way strategy. Your start-up has to keep this in mind, as trust is one of the most important aspects of social media marketing.
An effective way of building trust for your start-up is to find the right people to share more about you with their own personal networks. Also known as ‘tribal marketing’, this marketing approach enables your start-up to connect with your consumer base in a trustworthy manner.
Start-ups can improve on this by creating personalised interactions. In a world where consumers are receiving an overdose of information, this is a tailored and effective way of reaching an individual, allowing you to cut through the clutter.
Think different. The best brand ambassadors may not be the celebrity with a couple of million followers, but rather a regular consumer who strongly identifies themselves with your start-up and is going to share your values with their own social networks in a positive manner.
5: Make social media analytics work for you
Thanks to the proliferation of tools and platforms today, your start-up may find it much easier to track, measure and draw insights from your existing strategies. Digital footprints create tangible results that can give rise to observable trends and direction based consumer behaviour.
This can help you sharpen your content to resonate with your target audience on a deeper level.
Depending on the goals mentioned in our first point, different sets of metrics can be used to measure the impact that social media platforms are contributing to your start-up. For example, an increase in website traffic can be tracked and optimised with Google Analytics.
By setting tangible goals, your start-up will be able to discern if your social media marketing strategy is going in the intended direction. From there, you can decide on the best ways to optimise and sustain this engagement.
To conclude, social media marketing is a powerful arena that breaks down the financial barriers of traditional marketing. This is an advantage that smaller brands and start-ups can leverage to further their business goals.
The important question lies in the purpose behind this brand engagement. How does your brand speak to its followers? What makes your brand interesting enough to make your consumer want to start or continue their relationship with you? Are your values and beliefs compelling enough to resonate with your brand’s audience?
Ultimately, keeping your brand personality authentic will help to create a loyal brand following. The concept of word-of-mouth remains more important than ever for a brand to maintain its trustworthiness. No matter how the trends change, peer-to-peer marketing is not to be underestimated.
Written by Abigail Teo from MAD School