There are so many things to do when you’re launching a startup business.
If you’re creating some kind of software then you’re probably busy working out bugs and making sure the product functions.
And if you’re offering a service you’re probably doing what you can to provide great service to your current customers.
On top of all those things you have to manage the business and possibly manage employees along with all the other tasks that go into getting the business up and running.
It’s enough to make you crazy.
Then there is the need for marketing. And today marketing includes social media marketing.
If you have prioritized social media marketing for your startup, but need direction on how to get started so you’re efficient with it then I have the steps for you.
Follow these and your social media strategy will be off the ground in no time.
1. Identify Your Top 3 Competitors
There are always competitors for every business. Identify the top three competitors in your industry. They can be different and they should likely have social media strategies going on.
2. Research Their Social Profiles For Followers And Engagement
Look on their websites and see if they promote their social profiles. The likely destinations will be Facebook and Twitter, but look for LinkedIn, Pinterest and YouTube. Look at each of the profiles your competition is using. See where they are getting the most engagement. This is one indicator of where you should be investing your social media efforts.
However, sometimes your competition may be missing out on an opportunity. Maybe the competition is focusing on Facebook and not really getting much engagement and they’re avoiding Pinterest all together. You can look at similar companies that aren’t your competition to see if they’re having success on certain social platforms.
The goal here is to find the place where you can get the most return for your social media marketing effort.
3. Launch 1-3 Social Profiles
A common mistake with social media is spreading yourself too thin. This happens to a number of companies and especially to startups with limited bandwidth.
You’re better off focusing on 1-3 social profiles than trying to be on every platform.
For you it might be launching Pinterest, Twitter and Google+ profiles. For someone else it might be just a Facebook profile. That’s where the previous research comes in.
6. Research And List Common Customer Questions
The best type of content to share on social media is helpful content for your target customers. To provide helpful content you need to know the common questions your customers are asking.
To find these questions, talk to your current customers. You can also look in industry forums or popular forums like Quora. You could even type in general keywords on Google and let Google Suggest related keywords.
Once you’ve identified these questions you can build out a content calendar.
4. Identify Industry Social Media Influencers
Next, search the social media platforms most relevant to you and your industry for influencers. You’re looking for the top users that your target customer respects. These might be bloggers, podcasters or those with video series. They could be former industry professionals or they might even be current industry professionals. It could even be complementary brands and businesses that share your target customer.
5. Start Building Relationships
Once you’ve identified the heavy hitters in your industry it’s time to start building relationships.
Share their content on social media. Comment on their content such as their regular blog. Do this over time and later when you start producing content you can link to their content. You can even email them and ask if they have a couple sentences they could add to a new piece of content you have coming out.
The reason you’re building relationships with influencers is that you want them to eventually share your content. This way you get access to their established audience.
It’s a great way to get engagement for your content and for building social media followers.
7. Create A Content Calendar
Take your research on common questions and create titles and notes with the answers you’ll provide. Here is an example:
Question: How do I get give my bathroom a modern look?
Title: 10 Modern Bathroom Design Trends That Will Last For Decades
Then you can add notes to the calendar along with tasking one person to create it and when they should publish it.
A content calendar is great because it makes people accountable and makes the brainstorming process separate from the creation process. This makes it more efficient to create content and more likely that it will get done.
Here is an example calendar.
8. Setup Your Company Blog
Next, setup your company blog. It’s a perfect way to continue producing fresh content.
When you’re investing in social media you don’t really own the content you share. A good strategy is to first create content on your own platform and use an email program to capture followers. These are two channels you own.
From here you can use The Snippet Strategy to share content on you social media channels.
9. Signup For Buffer
The best tool I’ve found for updating social media is Buffer. You can schedule posts ahead of time. They’re still unique updates, but you can do it all at once and they’re shared throughout the week based on the schedule you choose. And they share to every one of your profiles.
10. Share Snippets
Finally, with each piece of content you create on your blog, create multiple snippets. This gives you tons of good content to share on your social profiles making it easier to keep them updated.
In general, the more you share on social media the more engaged your followers will be and the more followers you’ll get.
There is a lot more you can do to make your social media strategy successful. You could add video to the process. YouTube is a huge platform and online users seem to be gravitating toward video. Also, pay attention to the keywords you use on social media. Search engines are only one area where SEO is important. When sharing on social media, use the language your customers are using. This makes it more likely that they’ll find your social content when they’re searching for information on social media.