The last several years have changed marketing as we know it. Technology is rapidly changing, and it has made social media platforms more prevalent than ever. With more than 3.8 billion social media users worldwide, it is crucial for startups in every industry to create a noteworthy online presence of their own.
StartupNation exclusive discounts and savings on Dell products and accessories: Learn more here
Below, we’re discussing a few of the numerous benefits that come along with creating and maintaining an active social media presence for your startup:
Grow as your business grows
It’s important to develop a solid social media presence from the get-go. The last thing you want is for potential customers to search for you on a platform where you do not yet have a solidified presence. This can lead to confused customers who ultimately question the validity of your business.
As an added benefit, if you start your social media accounts early on, they will naturally grow as your business gains traction. If you start too late, you will have to play catch-up, which can be a difficult game because steady follower growth takes time.
It’s important to include your social media handles in easily visible spots on your website, and within marketing materials like your newsletter. Both are an invaluable tool that should provide users with all sorts of useful information, including your social handles.
Interact with your customers
A great way to attract loyal customers is by creating meaningful interactions with them. Most social media platforms have a comment or direct message capability, both of which are ideal for customers to share opinions or ask questions about your business.
Since your following likely won’t be very large in the beginning stages, this gives you the chance to interact with your customers on an individual basis. Take advantage of the calm early stages as best as you can, because as your business grows, you and your team will be pressed to find the time to craft one-of-a-kind responses. Take the time you have at the start to make meaningful connections with customers in this stage, and you’ll be more likely to gain loyal, life-long customers.
Provide users with meaningful COVID-19 updates
COVID-19 has completely changed the way the world does business. Nearly every company has been impacted in one way or another, and it is important to keep your customers in the loop.
Social media usage has gone up significantly since the onset of the pandemic, as users are browsing far more frequently to keep themselves informed about the ongoing situation, and many consumers are using platforms like Instagram and Facebook to stay up-to-date on how companies are handling the pandemic. They’re even using these platforms to make purchases, too.
Social media allows you to create a quick update in a matter of minutes, and with things changing day by day, it’s critical to have a platform that allows for frequent and easy updates. Social media is often the first place customers will check for business updates, so it’s wise to use social media platforms to post news about safety precautions your business is taking or any changes in shipping/delivery times. Informed customers are happy customers.
The ability to tailor your messaging to your target audience
Social media offers an incredibly simple way to tap into personalized marketing, as each platform attracts a different audience. This gives you the ability to utilize the platforms that your target audience is likely to be using.
For example, as of 2020, 90 percent of Snapchat users are between the ages of 13 and 24. This means that if you are trying to target, say, individuals in the 50 and up category, Snapchat is likely not a valuable platform for your business. In general, Facebook attracts an older audience, while Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter attract more of a young to mid-aged audience. It is wise to do your research into each application and its features and benefits before deciding on what platforms you need to nail your execution on.
It’s free and simple
One of the best reasons to implement a social media strategy is the fact that it’s absolutely free. Startups usually aren’t in a position to drop loads of money on marketing costs, but the development of your social media profiles runs you absolutely nothing.
Updating your social media channels doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment, either. Of course, how frequently you need to post varies greatly on the platforms you decide to use.
For example, professionals recommend posting on Instagram one to two times per day, while Twitter requires more frequent posts at three to five times per day. Regardless, there is no social media platform that really requires an excessive time commitment. It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to draft up a high-quality, engaging post for your social accounts. With the investment of about an hour or two a week, you can create an incredibly valuable marketing tool.
In order to simplify the process even further, we recommend using social media management tools like Later or Meltwater. These convenient tools allow you to schedule out your posts up to several months in advance. If you are on a tight schedule, this gives you the ability to bulk schedule and not have to worry about posting daily.
If you use these tools, keep in mind that it’s still important to remember to engage with the content you’re posting. Social media isn’t a valuable tool if you just mundanely post each day and don’t engage with your followers. Interact with comments and ask your followers questions. It is important to show you are involved and care about the individuals who take the time to follow your business.
Social media allows for endless marketing opportunities
All in all, social media has an incredible number of benefits for your startup, and the ones we shared are just scratching the surface. There are tons of substantial opportunities social media can provide for your startup. Don’t delay, as it’s best to get the foundation created for your social media channels as soon as possible.
Originally published Oct. 25, 2020.