Your new startup is ready for launch!
That’s an exciting time.
Even if you’ve already launched and you’re still in the early stages it’s exciting. There are probably a million things on your to-do list.
I know the feeling. I’ve been there.
One of the items probably on your list is to get your social media strategy all setup. With everything going on it would be easy to rush through it, but that’s not what you want to do.
Here is a guide to help you get all setup so you’re ready to go and succeed with your startup’s social media efforts.
Step 1. Assign The Social Media Manager
Startups are usually run very lean. You might have a handful of people on the team. And if you’re doing well things are likely very busy.
That doesn’t leave time for someone to manage social media efforts. You want to do it, but social media always kind of falls just below the cutoff on the priority list.
Marketing and sales should be probably at the top of the list for startups, but if you have a couple clients it’s easy to work on providing your service for those clients instead of getting new ones.
But if you’re really committed to social media then name the person responsible for it. And make that person set aside specific time each day to work on it. That will put the importance on handling social media every day.
Step 2. Reserve Your Social Media Handles
Simple step here, but don’ forget to do it. You want to do this for just about all the social channels. If you can’t get your exact handle there are other common variations.
My rule of thumb is to keep it as short as possible. And always use your exact brand name in the title or name on the account so people can find you through search.
I try to avoid underscores or dashes when possible too. I think putting the words together is okay.
Step 3. Determine The Top Social Channel
This is an important step.
It’s nearly impossible for large, established brands to handle multiple social media channels.
The best step, especially for a startup, is to focus on the best channel. It’s okay to leave the others dormant until you can pick them up with more effort.
Instead, work on dominating the channel where most of your target followers are spending their time. Look at where your competitors are having the most success on social media. That will give you a good indication of where you should be.
Step 4. Curate Content
When you’re starting out you won’t have a lot of your own content to share. You can only say, “Check out our new website” so many times.
So the way to get around this is to curate content. Get in the habit of reading the publications your target audience (not necessarily you) enjoy reading.
Share the best content from those sources and do it every day. Space out the sharing throughout the day to keep your account active more than just one time of year.
You can use tools like Buffer to help with scheduling.
Step 5. Mix In Your Own Content
As time goes by you’ll start to get your own content that you can share. They might be blog posts, videos or guides or whatever. Share that and mix in different titles and lead-ins when sharing. You can also pull content from within the items to mix it up.
A note here on this one and on the last one is that stats seem to do well as social media posts.
This step also includes sharing regular updates without links. You can make statements, ask questions and interact with followers or others on social media.
Step 6. Identify The Top Hashtags
Hashtags really are a great way to expand the potential audience for your social updates.
You can look at the hashtags your competitors are using. Click on those and see how active they are. See if any of your target customers are using and following them.
Step 7. Listen And Respond
We tend to think of social media as a broadcast channel. You publish your content and people see it.
That is true, but the flip side is listening.
Your target customers are using social media (if you pick the right channel). Follow them and listen to what they’re saying. Help them when they have questions. Don’t push your service too much. Simply build the relationship by helping with the questions your target customers have.
Over time this can be a great strategy for building a great social presence.
Step 8. Join Social Groups And Conversations
A few social channels have industry groups. These are good for individuals within your company to join. It can work well for building partnerships for your business and also to connect with potential customers.
And if there are no groups on the social channel you pick there are probably regular conversations, usually hosted around hashtags, that you can join.
Step 9. Find Industry Influencers
Influencers have the audience you want. A great way to get more followers is to identify the influencers and build relationships.
Step 10. Look For Partnerships
Finally, look for ways to partner with other complementary brands on social media. Other brands have audiences. You need an audience.
Find a way to foster a relationship. You could host a webinar. You could be a guest on a podcast. Create a co-sponsored guide.
You’ll probably have to bring more to the table since you don’t have as much clout, but that’s okay.
Follow these steps and you’ll be in a good position to take your startup social strategy from the very beginning to a good place. Don’t overestimate what you can do in a few months, but also don’t underestimate what you can achieve in a couple years. Make it a habit to commit to social media every day and over time you’ll start to see the rewards of the effort.