“Consider, do you want to be a Social Business, or a business that uses Social.”
This was a question that really resonated with me during my Social Media class. It really got me to thinking more broadly about the application of Social Media as a part of a customer engagement/ marketing strategy. There isn’t a “correct” answer, rather it’s really about getting to the heart of what you want to accomplish and then ensuring actions are aligned with what you defined for your strategy. It’s when you go into the plethora of all that is available that you’ll drown in the possibilities and in the best case, feel overwhelmed. Whereas at worst case, you risk creating a poor customer experience with misaligned strategies and actions or off-brand voice.
This leads me to the next phase of my career after school. I have an idea for a startup and wanted to leverage the material I’m learning into promotional strategies to get the word out and build a following. Therefore, I wanted to dive into what points I need to consider for a startup business and what part of my overall customer engagement strategy will be Social Media.
Tips for Social Media Success with My Startup
Right off the bat, there is a reoccurring theme in the course material. We in no way focused on tactics
and for good reason. There is critical thought that must occur before settling on a tactic or else you are at risk of vomiting all over your online communities with every thought you have at every moment because you think people care about it as much as you do. SocialMediaToday.com offered 8 Proven Social Media Tips for Startups, a few of which I dive a bit deeper below:
- Do plenty of market research: EFFECTIVENESS: Get to know my audience, the landscape of the industry in which I want to enter including competitors and potential partners and social media preferences; which platform does my target audience socially congregate?
- I don’t have to be everywhere right away: FOCUS: Even with such social media tools such as Hootsuite, the “overwhelmed startup” will happen when trying to manage too much, too soon. Perhaps, it makes more sense to focus on or even master one or two platforms. Once I’ve selected my platforms based on my target audience analysis and the type of content I want to put out, I must create a consistent brand experience across the platforms so that there is no mistaking who I am.
- Create Brand Rightness: CONSISTENCY: It would be silly on my part and confusing for my target audience if I tout how “Pro A” I am on one platform but then directly contradict that on another platform with how “Pro B” I am. This will dilute the power of my Brand messaging when not taking a clear stance. No one wants to align themselves with someone that can’t make up their mind.
I’ve created a short video that summarizes these Social Media strategies; CLICK play on the below video!
In the end, I firmly believe taking the time to plan rather than jumping on every “hot” Social Media trend that comes out, will yield much better results in the long term. It feels like this is a necessary exercise to work through when starting up a new business and determining how much Social Media will contribute to the overall strategy which includes sales, marketing, and engagement. The work may be front-loaded, but proper planning at this stage will deliver effective, focused, and consistent messaging as I seek to build lifelong customers and brand ambassadors!
**Author’s note: The Social Media graphic references “Billions of users” across the board. This is incorrect and the source content creator has been notified. The numbers should have been approximately:
- Howard, D. (2019, May 08). 8 Proven Social Media Tips for Startups. Retrieved from https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/8-proven-social-media-tips-for-startups/554270/
- The Pixel. (2017, June 25). How to Boost Brand Awareness with Social Media. Retrieved from http://www.the-pixel.com/how-to-boost-brand-awareness-with-social-media/