Your Guide to Social Media Marketing for Startups

So you have decided to take the plunge and follow your dream of launching your own company - Congratulations! Having decided on its name and its premises, the next really important step is to plan your website and create your social media accounts as they will be powerful marketing tools for your startup - providing great results really quickly.

Social media has never been more important than it is today. Facebook is used by an incredible two billion people worldwide, whilst Instagram has 800 million followers, LinkedIn 500 million and Twitter 350 million. Using the power of social media will help establish your brand in the market quickly.

One of the key reasons why startups fail is that their founders have not appreciated the power of social media and have relied purely on traditional marketing methods and have not given any thought or effort into creating and developing their brand on social media.

There are certain skills needed to be successful on social media, but they can be learned and developed as your company grows. If at this early stage, you feel that you do not have the time or the ability, it is well worth getting a really good Marketing Consultant on board to help launch your startup and develop its presence on social media as it will definitely be money well spent.

Whether or not you are starting on your own or have any help, the most important starting point is to understand how websites and social media work. Both can be used successfully in tandem to establish your startup and its brand and most importantly, bring you customers. These days, it is all about sparking an interest in potential customers, giving them the information that they seek and providing them with the product or service that will solve their problem.

Once you have secured your customer it is about building a relationship with them and developing their trust, confidence and loyalty in your startup so that you become their 'go to' company every time.

What is Your Message and Who Is Your Ideal Customer?

To begin securing your ideal customer, your company's message and aims should be identified. This point is particularly important for your startup. It is well worth spending some time thinking about your new company and how you would like to portray it. All the text you write must be honest and accurate, with no hype and not overloaded with dry and boring statistics or jargon.

Everyone loves a good story and a well written one describing how your startup evolved would be perfect. Maybe it has been a dream for some time that you have shared with a friend and it began in your kitchen! Your readers will enjoy reading about the emotional trials and tribulations that brought you to your official launch and your honesty will win their respect and confidence.

By first creating a good company story you will be answering the question in your customers' heads "why should I buy from this company?" Decide what your goals are for your new company and what aspects or products you particularly want to showcase. Then it's imperative to consider who you think your typical customer will be and which social network will be the best to reach potential customers. Importantly show your readers what makes your startup special and unique.

Keep It Interesting

Formally written websites and social media postings have largely disappeared as customers enjoy text that is more relaxed and personal that portrays the character and ideals of the company.

Remember the importance of good action photographs rather than boring "grip and grins" - your readers will enjoy seeing stages in the manufacture etc. The popular adage "every picture tells 1,000 words" is very true. As well as photographs, good cartoons and caricatures also work well.

Consistency Is Key

To use social media well, you must regularly upload new content as this portrays your startup to be bubbly busy and active rather than a dated post that leaves readers wondering what has happened to your company and whether it is still in business! Most startups aim for a weekly piece, but remember, once you have started this, you need to continue it otherwise your readers will slip away. Make sure that all pieces mention your company name and motto.

Develop Relationships with Your Audience

Building a community on your brand does take time and effort, but you will reap great benefits. As your days will be hectic it is well worth plotting a calendar of events for the first year marking the dates when you need to upload new pieces and planning many of them in advance to develop a certain theme or mirror the passing seasons. Everyone loves a bargain so why not tempt customers with regular coupons, freebies and competitions? Always keep pieces straightforward and concise as your readers only have a few minutes to spare -if they want more in depth information they will look on your website.

Keep an Eye on Your Competitors

It is a good idea to look at your competitors' websites and social media to see what they are doing better than you so that you can develop and strengthen your own brand. Keep an eye on what is trending in your industry too and show your readers that you are "on the ball". Why not write a piece on a trending topic and why you will or will not be following the trend in your startup.

Knowledge Is Power

The easiest way to monitor the success of your social media campaign is to track all data and regularly toss out a question or express an opinion. This can be linked to the Question and Answer section on your website which encourages interaction.

If you need guidance on how to harness the tremendous power of social media to help quickly develop your niche in the market, there are plenty of informative websites with proven tips and suggestions - use social media effectively and you will be delighted by how quickly your startup will thrive and blossom...

Guest Author

Seb Robert

Seb Robert is the founder of Gophr, a London courier startup. Alongside innovating the courier sector, Seb is a foodie with a passion for sneakers. You can find Seb on Twitter