Starting a business these days requires a wildly different set of tasks than it did a few decades ago. A company’s success is now incredibly dependent on a good digital strategy. A big contributor to this is social media. With nearly one-third of the world’s population described as frequent users, developing a brand presence on popular networking platforms is no longer an option when trying to break into the market.
Getting good traction on social media in the early stages of a startup can be a rigorous task (to say the least). A common mistake is going in the with notion that frequent posting is the ticket to a fruitful return. In reality, social media marketing is very much a game of “quality over quantity.” Over-posting without a clear direction is not doing anyone any favors.
Here are four suggestions to help new businesses make the most of social media and create long-term brand value.
1. Diversify Your Network
Even though you’ve probably pinpointed the ideal customer during the planning and market research stage, chances are, viewers will have varying degrees of interest in your product or service. While the common threads of your messaging should remain constant, diversifying your audience is necessary for building a strong social following.
For instance, let’s say your business specializes in user-friendly design software. Even though the primary objective will be similar for each customer, a product like this appeals to users of all backgrounds.
As all business owners know, networking is vital to success. The classic saying “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” will always hold merit. Building a social media presence depends heavily on your ability to contribute to different circles and garner widespread interest.
Luckily, networking apps make this task is easier than ever. TagFi for example, enables you to meet up and build relationships with people of all backgrounds. You simply create a profile and search for social circles based on interests.
Programs like this are phenomenal resources to expand your following and make long-lasting connections on a personal level. Business development and networking go hand-in-hand. More acquaintances = more exposure.
2. Research Trending Hashtags
Content marketing and social media can only thrive when the messaging is compelling, interesting, and most importantly, relevant.
The beauty of social media is that it gives everyone the opportunity to involve themselves in widespread conversations. This concept refers the use of hashtags on the big social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
As a business, positioning your content according to trending topics is the most effective way to garner attention and drive engagement. Tools like Talkwalker allow you to monitor popular hashtags relating to your niche and create content to amplify reach.
In a world where “Content is King,” keeping an eye on the hot button issues is your most powerful resource in crafting posts. Remember, social media marketing requires just as much (if not more) research and listening than actually posting.
3. Create Humanized Messaging
When social media exploded on the scene in the early 2000’s, the concept was all about connecting people from all over the world. Even though businesses have established a stake in social media and incorporated it into their marketing mix, this overarching objective has more or less remained the same for all parties.
The term known as “social selling” is based on creating brand trust and bringing a humanized tone to your messaging. This entails making an attempt to connect with followers outside of direct business goals. For example, following the Chicago Cubs victory in the 2016 World Series, brands of all shapes and sizes took to social media to acknowledge the event.
Even though it may not have had much significance in their business regime, messages like this do a lot to showcase a human element and relate to viewers on a personal level. Whether you like them or not, sports have a fascinating ability to bring people together. Incorporating a few nods here and there can do a lot to appeal to different audiences.
In such situations, apps like Kroo Sports make it overly simple to keep eyes on certain professional teams and events so you can be up-to-date on all the latest news.
Even though you don’t need sports to convey a humanized tone, a quick shout out from your business can relate to a mass amount of people, especially in a local market.
4. Take Advantage of Automation
As most experts will tell you, one of the key ingredients to improving social media engagement is consistency.
Hopefully, by the time you are ready to start posting, you have conducted the proper research in relation to when the target audience is most likely to engage with your content. Once you have found a good posting rhythm, it’s important to maintain a schedule.
Now, it’s not always easy to come with good content on-the-spot for each and every post. When you are scrambling to do this, you run the risk of producing subpar material.
This is why it’s recommended to set aside specific time for creation. Once you have built up a good bank of posts, leave the rest to the machines to publish automatically. Social Jukebox is a useful tool that allows you to store a number of posts and set a distribution calendar to ensure you never miss a beat.
Using automation in your social strategy takes care of the technical aspect in maintaining consistency. From here, you can focus your energy on the most important task of creating top-notch content.
Over to You
Building a social media presence from the ground up will not happen overnight. It can take years to gain a significant following. At the end of the day, persistence and relevant content are your greatest allies. Once a good flow is established, people will gravitate towards your messaging.
This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.