14 Awesome Social Media Tips for Start-ups!
Great - you have made the decision to set up a business, so what's next? A big area to navigate which can be overwhelming, depending upon your personal experience and knowledge, is Social Media.
When setting up my business I didn’t have the money to employ a social media management company and I like a challenge but… there is a wealth of information out there on the internet, in books and magazines and at times there can be too much. It takes time sifting through the articles to find the practical, relevant and timely tips that can assist.
So, I have decided to create a list of social media tips for start-ups and small businesses which I found really useful and will hopefully give you a bit more time to focus on other aspects of your business.
Do Your Research – This is an important first step. Research based around your customer is not only important for Social Media but for your entire business. Get to know your customer, which social media platforms do they use, buying habits and how they interact. Research your market and check out the competition, it’s obvious but people forget to do this. A simple google search can provide you with so much information.
Keywords - An important first step into Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). You might not be creating your own website but an understanding of basic SEO is important, not least because you will be writing blogs that should contain some of your keywords. A great place to start is to sign up for a Google Keyword account. Don’t worry you are not going to place an advert, the planner enables you to work out what keywords to use. Don’t forget to actually use Google for your keyword research.
Platform Overload - Pick one social media platform at a time. Using Social Media for business is very different to using it socially. When you are happy move onto the next platform.
Create a Brand identity – I couldn’t afford to employ someone to create a logo but I created a memorable name and picked a font and colour. The key is to ensure brand consistency across all your social media platforms, this also includes your website and any blogs, mailings, emails etc. Create templates at the beginning in preparation for busier times ahead. See Content Creation for software recommendations for template creation and design.
Get Yourself on Google My Business – it’s free and you can read all about it here
Content Marketing – Why is it so important? You could pay Google or Facebook to generate leads but over time and depending on your industry this could cost you big bucks. Content marketing is about generating a buzz about your new business and building a following organically, it just costs your time. It’s basically cheap PR. When creating content, it’s not all about you and it’s boring to see endless self-promotion. You need to educate, inform and entertain your customers with content connected to your industry.
This can be done through a variety of media from blogging, video, infographics, tips, how-to’s, competitions, presentations and podcasts. You can use content generation tools to help you with this, Feedly and Flipboard are examples of content-generators which you customize to suit your preferences.
Content Creation - When creating content you don’t need to be fork out for expensive desktop publishing software that takes you ages to learn. There’s quite a lot of free software options available to you which do a great job. Canva, Picmonkey and AdobeSpark are examples. They are all really easy to pick up with tutorials on YouTube should you get stuck, or get in touch with me and I can design something for you.
Sell Your Story – if it’s interesting then get it out there. People buy from people so get your message across.
Use Great Pictures and Icons - Marketer Jeff Bullas cites that articles with images get 94% more views than those without. Posts on all social media platforms perform better with pictures. There are loads of free sites that provide photos that are free from copyright. One of my previous blogs provides links to sites and info on copyright, click here
Image Optimization is especially important if you are designing your own website. Even if you’re not designing a website it’s also important for content marketing so you need to get a basic understanding. Find out more here
Social Media Posting Frequency - According to Moz the average lifespan of a tweet is 18 minutes so you can imagine how quickly your tweet can get lost. More information can be found on Google on posting times for specific platforms.
Be Social and Join In - Find out the “Twitter Hours” for your area and business and join in. Being successful on social media is about relationship building and interacting. Creating Twitter lists is a great idea especially as you follow more people. To streamline your social media accounts, you can use a Social Media Management tool such as Buffer or Hootsuite. These tools help you keep track and manage your social networks.
Growing your business organically takes time so be patient.
Next Steps – So what’s next? Starting a blog is the next essential step on your journey. You could delve deeper into SEO and start learning about backlinks, long tail keywords and analytics. Start developing daily and weekly social media checklists. Social media checklist combined with your data from your analytics provide you with powerful information that will fuel your next month’s social media strategy.
There are loads of great resources to read and I have listed a few:
Quicksprout – The Advanced Guide to Content Marketing
Neil Patel – Neil’s website is packed full of guides and his blog is great
If you are a new business or start up and you would like help with social media or other aspects of business, please get in touch. I offer a free one hour consultation - firstname.lastname@example.org