Digital strategist, Laurie Wang breaks down the startup growth hacking essentials for the new year.
Let’s face it, social media can be a huge time commitment. It is not an overnight process, and it takes daily consistent action to see results.
For a startup, social media channels are one of the biggest growth hack marketing channels to reap benefit from building an engaged community of customers and fans. I would like to share with you the biggest mistakes to avoid in social media marketing and how you can succeed in growing your startup using social media.
1) Focus on 2-3 social media channels
I see this in many new businesses and startups, they join all of the available social channels at once, without realizing how time-consuming it will be to maintain a consistent profile daily.
This can lead to burnout and wasted time on social media channels that are not relevant to their specific business area.
Having a plan is important before you start creating an account on each specific social media channel. Content should be prepared beforehand so you are not scrambling to post updates when you are busy working on your business.
I recommend selecting 2 to 3 social media channels that are relevant to your target audience, and grow the social presence on those accounts with a targeted strategy and implementation. Eventually, you can upgrade your social media marketing with more channels and spread the word across the existing channels that you have spent time to create.
2) Deliver high quality content consistently across all social media networks
As with anything in life, consistency in delivering the type of high quality content your customers and followers are expecting on a daily basis is not an easy task. Interesting and consistent content is one of top three reasons people follow brands on social media.
If you would like to maintain a consistent and high quality brand across all of your social channels, then you’ll need to give your prospective followers a reason for following you and being interested in what you do.
The top 5 reasons followers remain loyal to brand on social media is through the following types of content:
- Promotions and discounts
- Latest product information and updates
- Customer service inquiries
- Ability to offer feedback (people are happy to do this!)
3) Share content when and where your target audience are online
Do you know where your target audience likes to be on social media? Those are the channels that you should be building up the initial social media presence.
Here are some great infographics from Sprout Social that can give you an idea whether specific social media channels are the right fit for your target audience.
Within Facebook’s native platform, let’s say you are a knitting company, you can type in “People who like knitting in London” and you’ll be able to see the type of pages they will like, the content they share and other specific interests.
Next, you’ll want to make sure to show up when your target audiences are online and active within these social media channels. Maintaining an always-on approach to social media is the right approach, but you’ll want to make sure you are present at the right moment with the most relevant content so the majority of your followers will be seeing it.
You can see the best times to post through your Facebook page, Instagram Business page’s analytic dashboards. For Twitter, you can see this through premium tools such as Followerwonk.
4) Make use of live and behind-the-scenes social media content
Showing the real-time, behind-the-scene sneak peek content is often the easiest and most effective strategy on social media. Imagine the type of content that your customer and followers post on their daily profiles, but now your brand is posting this on a regular basis.
This provides an intimate experience for your brand, taking them somewhere they would otherwise would not have the access to explore. Facebook Live videos and Instagram Stories are two great examples of this, especially when they are being promoted by their respective social networks to the front of follower’s social feeds.
By inviting your followers into this exclusive club, you are also creating the sense of them being part of something, increasing trust, sentiment, and loyalty for your brand.
5) Include influencers in your social media marketing strategy
The recent Google study of YouTube influencers found that 70% of YouTube viewers say they relate to YouTube influencers more than traditional celebrities. Since influencers foster strong ties with their fans and community, they have a more engaged audience. They drive 3x as many views, 2x as many actions and 12x as many comments.
More importantly, 6 in 10 YouTube subscribers would follow advice on what to buy from their favorite creator over their favorite TV personalities.
How can you create content by partnering up with influencers to benefit both you and them? Competitions are great for partnerships like this. Make sure to include both of your social handles and ask your followers to participate by following both accounts and sharing with their social networks.
I’d love to hear about your experience in applying these! Your startup should be off to a great head start for the new year!
Laurie Wang is a freelance social media and digital marketing strategist and public speaker based in London. She had previously worked for Ogilvy & Mather, on global campaigns for clients across large brands and small startups. Laurie is most curious about how social media and technology are changing business, society and culture around the world. Say hello on Twitter @LaurieWang_