Social Media Hacks For Startups
Isadora Teich wrote this article
Startups usually begin as a very small team of people, maybe even just one enterprising individual!
If you have only a handful of people trying to wear all of the many hats necessary to keep a startup afloat, there are likely some things sliding through the cracks. In many cases, establishing a young company’s brand on social media can be put on the back burner.
Here is why we think that is a mistake, and how it can be solved!
Whether you are working with one other person or a hundred, any business venture can benefit from some social media savvy.
What Can A Strong Social Media Presence Do For Your Startup?
Early-stage startups need just two types of hires: builders or sellers.
— Annelies Gamble (@AnneliesGamble) March 31, 2021
Of course, in business, if you are going to put resources into something you want to see returns. Due to the very nature of startups, social media marketing is a perfect match.
As startups are meant to be vastly scalable enterprises that grow quickly, you want your name to have a strong presence in the social media environment, where absolutely anything can go viral.
However, in social media, as in the world of startups, you can’t sit around waiting for virality to strike. You need to create something with strong bones beneath any glitz, that truly connects with investors, users, and supporters.
Social media, when used correctly, can help you jumpstart this process. This is largely because of the vast global reach these platforms have.
According to data aggregated by Sprout Social, more than 3.6 billion people use social media currently and the number is projected to increase to 4.41 billion by 2025.
Facebook is the most popular social network globally, with over 2.7 billion active monthly users in Q3 of 2020 alone. Even “less popular” social platforms have hundreds of millions of users.
Why would you want to pass up your chance to connect with a growing pool of billions of people? There are really no limits to who you might network with.
From customers to investors to other entrepreneurs, they are all utilizing social media.
Which Platform Is Right For Your Startup?
If you take one thing away from this blog post, please remember this:
You do not need to be on every social media platform to have a solid social media presence — especially early on.
Many social media newbies fall into the trap of thinking that their business needs a YouTube, an Instagram, a Twitter, a TikTok, a Pinterest, a LinkedIn, a Facebook Page, a Clubhouse invite, or whatever else new and trendy that pops up. This is a critical error for a few reasons.
For one, the only reason mega corporations will often have presences on every social media platform is because they have multiple people and likely an entire team managing everything.
Many startups begin with less people in their entire team than a company like Pepsi would have on just their social media or general marketing teams.
Don’t compare yourself to that.
Choose the main platforms that your target audience uses, and focus your time and energy on those.
You can do this with a Google search. New reports come out about who is using which platforms from many sources all the time. Also, factor in your budget, skills, and the amount of time you have.
For example, running an Instagram account takes way less time and resources than a YouTube account. Posting images and doing short ‘lives’ on your phone, which you likely already have, is way less time intensive than shooting and editing longform content.
You may feel overwhelmed. Often people assume that if they don’t have hours and hours a day to post on every account, social media is useless for them. This is not true at all. Most internet celebrities gain fame from content that they began posting on only one platform.
Arguably one of the most famous people on earth right now is TikTok creator Charlie D’Amelio, who has almost 80 million TikTik followers.
She started by only using TikTok to post short dances and now has a business empire. Even her family members have jobs in entertainment as a result of her posting. Think about all of the social media stars who are known as only Instagrammers or only YouTubers.
When it comes to social media, you don't have to start everywhere, but you do have to start somewhere. Click To Tweet
If you only have time for one platform, figure out which one is most popular with your target audience and use it. This could be as simple as writing a few short tweets a day.
Don’t Forget To Be Social
Other than overextending at the start, this is another critical error that startups and businesses in general make when they are new on social media.
Almost everyone who has ever worked in social media at any level has seen a company follow this exact timeline of events:
1. A company spends a lot of time or money on creating and scheduling a lot of content on too many platforms.
2. They post a lot.
3. No one ever interacts with any of their content, it adds nothing to their business, and they don’t know why.
4. They keep investing more and more into switching things up.
5. No one interacts with any of the new content either and it adds nothing to their business.
6. They do this repeatedly until they either give up or run out of money.
So, what is the missing piece of the puzzle?
The social aspect.
Social media is all about interaction. It is way more important that you are active in conversations on whatever platform you choose and that you talk to people, than that you post every hour. In fact, depending on the platform, if you post too often people will be annoyed by your brand.
If you only have time to make a post or two a week, don’t worry about it. You are not out of the race. While you do need to have some content posted, focus most of your energy on interaction and less of your time making complicated and expensive content that likely almost no one will see in the beginning anyway.
It only takes a second to leave a comment on a Youtube video, and in some cases weeks to create one.
Leaving a thumbs up emoji on someone’s Instagram post takes no time at all, but does spread a link to your account. When you interact with others, they often show thanks by interacting with your content.
Just be sure to use your time and resources wisely.
Basic Social Media Etiquette
Many people often forget how much like real life conversation social media can be in some aspects.
For example, imagine you meet someone at a work event from another department. If they only talk loudly about themselves constantly and leave no room for you to participate in the conversation, how charmed would you be by them?
Then, maybe a few weeks later they email you asking for a favor. You remember how much they annoyed you instantly.
How likely are you to do what they asked of you?
On social media it is the same.
Companies who post constantly about themselves and never include anyone else in any way appear selfish, out of touch, and annoying. Companies who appear to constantly be selling something while offering nothing else often turn people off.
Approach social media like you are talking to normal people who you hope to build a beneficial business relationship with, because that is exactly what you are doing!
Keep in mind that organic social media growth is often a long game. While going viral is always possible, you can’t depend on it. It may take months to see if what you are doing is working.
Also, social media growth often ebbs and flows. Whether you are gaining one follower a week or a thousand, keep posting.
And more importantly, keep interacting.
About ChopDawg.com: Since 2009, we have helped create 350+ next-generation apps for startups, Fortune 500s, growing businesses, and non-profits from around the globe. Think Partner, Not Agency.
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