Top Social Media Tips for Start-Ups: How To Get Your Business Noticed

With over 2.307 BILLION active social media users worldwide, growing year on year at an average rate of 10%, I think it’s fair to say: that creates a pretty incredible opportunity to capture your target audience online. Although there’s a lot of healthy competition, if you find your own way to make social media effective for you, we’re talking not just massive brand recognition & credibility, but also a new sales funnel to earn you more money.

So, what’s the lowdown? Some top tips for different platforms to get you standing out? Here we go -

FACEBOOK:

Now if you’re not careful, you’re going to spend A LOT of money on Facebook ads to get the exposure you need as a new business. BUT - don’t fall into that trap! There’s also heaps of other ways to get noticed without paying for ads, so think outside the box.

Find appropriate groups to post in (being careful to abide by their posting guidelines to avoid being removed!) and how about creating your own group too?! When doing this, the KEY is to offer as much value as possible, relating to what you do. Promote it across other social networks and by growing the GROUP as opposed to the page, you can often get far greater exposure on posts. The group should be about developing a NETWORK of your target audience. So for example, if you’re a new fitness start-up, set up a group that provides FREE daily workout plans, tips and the opportunity for them to share their own stuff too. Everyone is looking for a place to promote things for free, so create the platform that does that whilst being in control and able to use it to your advantage too.

Look at running fun campaigns and competitions with enticing prizes - especially on the launch. Your launch time is the BEST TIME for creating hype so plan your social media strategy BEFOREHAND if possible.

Being consistent with your content and posting regularly is essential. See what works and what doesn’t, monitoring & tracking results on Google Analytics. Use your imagination & don’t be afraid to try new things. THINK: What would catch MY attention if I was your target audience? And remember to have fun with it! 

TWITTER:

As Albert Einstein once said:

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.

And this fits nicely with the ethos behind Twitter: 140 characters, short tweets sent at anytime from anywhere, yet visible to anyone in the WORLD.

The secret to getting noticed?

It’s all in how you represent your brand. Aim to post at least once a day, preferably 3-5 times, spread out across a period of time - Hootsuite is a great free tool to use to schedule posts throughout the week without them looking automated, but make sure you’re still going online to interact with other accounts and keep things real.

Mix up shareable content with promotional posts and take advantage of trending hashtags. #MondayMotivation & #WednesdayWisdom are really great ones right now, because you’re giving people things they can RELATE to and want to share. Make sure you get the right balance of being seen as a professional company and a fun one to work with. Remember: this isn’t your website. You’re simply finding fun, engaging ways to DRAW THEM ACROSS to your site, because once they’re on there - that should sell itself. 

Twitter is perfect for directing traffic, so aim to grow your followers as fast as possible - BUT authentically. Don’t waste time buying followers as they will be of no value. Instead grow your followers yourself by finding and following your target audience. This encourages them to follow back and if they don’t - unfollow them using a software like ‘ManageFlitter’ so that you have room to follow more! Explore automated / welcome messages, written in the most genuine, least ‘spammy’ way. Give followers something small for free and use it as a way to introduce yourself properly. For example; an eguide, an opportunity, a chance to be entered into a giveaway. The great thing about it is when you offer something of value, you can then use Twitter to ask for their email address so that you can get it across to them. If what you’re giving away is related to the product/ service you’re selling, this is a WARM LEAD for you to sell to away from social media, making this strategy PURE GENIUS!

LINKEDIN:

Linkedin has over 332 million members, with 2 new users joining every single second, which is why it’s the perfect place to generate leads and increase business. As a start-up founder, you want to start by building your personal profile - getting people to know you for you & see the passion behind your business.

People like to connect with REAL PEOPLE. They also like people they can relate to and trust. Make your profile stand out and your personality shine through. Don’t simply list professional qualifications and job roles. Make it engaging and different to read! Be sure to write a friendly welcome message to everyone who chooses to connect with you - after all, we can assume they’re interested in what you do if they’re sending you an invite!

Don’t be afraid to send connection invite requests to strangers. In fact, this is what works BEST! The more people you connect with, the more people you can showcase your new start-up to. Use the Linkedin search to identify a job role, industry, location and make it targeted on who can be potentially buying from you. When you send the invite, say something simple like: "I’d love to add you to my professional network on Linkedin, as I’m a start-up and I noticed we were based in the same area.” You’ll be surprised by how many people are happy to accept!

Don’t try to SELL, SELL, SELL. On LinkedIn your focus should be on showcasing yourself as an expert and being friendly, approachable & the right person for potential clients to turn to. Become recognised in your field and share daily updates for your connections - mixing it up from promotional posts to shareable content. This is going to get a far greater reach to begin with than trying to get exposure on your new Linkedin Company page.

When you’re ready - run targeted campaigns. Your connections get an email STRAIGHT TO THEIR INBOX when you message them on Linkedin, so use this to your advantage!

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So there are a few platforms to get you started! There are also other platforms to explore too, but as a starting point: Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin are pretty great platforms for start-ups, no matter what industry you’re working in.

Don’t try to tackle every platform at once, take your time and find out what works for you. Be confident, be engaging and most importantly be YOU!

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Lesley Shelley

ShelleyHolmes Accountancy Ltd, Suite 3 1st Floor Office, 11a High Street, Ledbury