So you’ve finally decided to leave your comfortable job at a public sector recruitment firm. You have decided to go private. And not as an employee, too. You have built your own business from scratch using all of your savings. Now your first entrepreneurial gamble is up and running. And you’re the boss, answerable only to yourself. It’s what you’ve been dreaming of.
Since you’ve got what you’ve always wanted, you might as well aggressively market your business. Let defeat not be an option. Make sure you get your message out there and that you get people to listen.
One way to do that is via social media marketing. It’s free. And for startups like your business, it’s the most cost-effective marketing strategy there is. That is if you follow these best practices.
Customers respond to brands with a consistent character. They do not like getting confused. They want to relate with a brand that’s like a friend who’s not fickle. That is where consistent branding comes in.
Decide from the get-go if you’re going to be hip and young. Or classy and cultured. Across your social media platforms, stick to your branding. Never deviate. That way, it will be easier for your target market to find you. And once they do, they’ll stick around. Be mindful of every content you share, of every status or statement you compose. They should be on-point with what you are about.
Ideally, you have a social media manager tasked to curate content and schedule posts. The schedule of your posts is just as crucial as the content you share. Here the rule of thumb is to post during high-engagement hours of the day.
Typically, that’s when people are free to scroll through their feeds. In the morning, before people go to work or school, is a strategic time to post. The same goes for lunch hours and that window of time before bedtime. Haphazard posting defeats the purpose of social media marketing. No one will see what you share.
Spotlight customer-generated content
You can never go wrong with organic marketing. You do not pay for it. But it’s effective. Picture your brand going viral for the right reasons. You’ll be reaching audiences beyond your target market. That can only be great for business.
Look for customer-generated content that spotlights your products or services. For example, a flattering review. Or an unboxing video. Boost those types of content by sharing them on your social media pages. There’s nothing more reassuring for your would-be customers than hearing from your previous customers that you did a great job.
Engage with followers
Social media is for social engagement. Just because you’re a brand, not a real person, does not mean you are exempted from the conversation. The minute you made an appearance on a social media platform, you’re part of the conversation. So converse.
Engage with your followers. Whenever they comment on your posts, respond appropriately. Here, once again, brand consistency is key. If your branding is young and hip, you better sound young and hip. You’d better know the cool thing cool kids are into these days. Remember that those cool kids can easily sniff out a poser, which won’t look good on you if you’re unmasked.
Engage with other brands
Extend your social media engagement with other brands, especially those that are relevant to your business. For example, if you run a travel agency, interact with a luggage shop, for example. The followers of that brand will know about you. And they might get interested in what you offer.
You don’t have to engage with your direct competitors. However, you can always check their feeds to see what they’re doing right. Check out the social media pages of the best performers in your industry, too, for inspiration.
Social media platforms have built-in analytics tools. That means that you can measure the effectiveness of your campaigns. Are they reaching your target audience? Which of your posts prove most engaging to your market? Based on the data you gather from those tools, tailor-fit your social media marketing approach to your market’s preferences. That will boost engagement which hopefully leads to customer conversion.
Just because you’re a startup without a sufficient budget does not mean you have an excuse to be wishy-washy with your marketing efforts. In fact, the opposite should be true. Be more aggressive because you’re trying to build brand recall. Money’s not an issue with social media marketing at your disposal. Make the most of it.