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10 Ways Your Startup Can Be Better at Social Media

Why do some companies find so much success on social, while others struggle? What makes some companies have such popular social media accounts, and what can you do to get the same sort of popularity? We’ll look at 10 simple ways to improve your social media presence and bring in more business—whether you’re looking to grow your current following or get started on a new platform.

Everyone knows how important social media is for advertising—especially when it comes to startups and new businesses.

But why do some companies find so much success on social, while others struggle? What makes some companies have such popular social media accounts, and what can you do to get the same sort of popularity?

We’ll look at 10 simple ways to improve your social media presence and bring in more business—whether you’re looking to grow your current following or get started on a new platform.

1. Create Quality Content

The importance of creating quality content can never be understated. You may have an incredible product or service, but in the world of social media, this will never translate unless your content is on point. Today’s social media users can quickly spot unpolished content and will move on, assuming that your business is either poorly managed, or, most likely, that your product or service is low quality.

Low-grade images or videos on Instagram or YouTube, poorly written content on Twitter or Facebook, and irrelevant content on Snapchat will all make people turn away. Social content has to get people’s attention—think of it as a way to get your foot in the door. On Instagram, for example, people may originally follow your account in order to see beautifully curated images, but as time goes on, they will also be enchanted by your message.

Also remember that successful social accounts aren’t constantly trying to sell things to their followers. Nobody wants to follow a brand that is constantly pushing sales. Find the right balance between fostering a brand personality and trying to make conversions.

2. Give Out Free Information

Offer Free InformationOffering free information within your niche is a great way to reach people through social media.People flock to the internet for information—just look at how popular free tutorials and how-to videos can be. Not only does free information draw people in (and keep them coming back for more), it also lets your audience know that your company is an expert at what it does.

Let’s say you’re a cloud-based company, like Zendesk, who helps companies manage inbound customer service requests from clients across various platforms. In the introduction to their Guide service, Zendesk presents visitors to their site with information on institutional knowledge, how its use and relevance inspires confidence, and the importance of creating and distributing this knowledge quickly and seamlessly.

After visitors view the short video intro, they naturally see the need for having such a system in place—and the benefits Guide provides. In this way, Zendesk establishes itself as a trusted authority in information dissemination for businesses. A quality video, which provides free insight into establishing customer confidence, delivers that exact confidence to their own prospective consumers.

Take that metaphor and extend it into whatever field your business is in. By establishing yourself as an expert, your audience will know they can trust you for quality information—and quality products or services. Establishing this level of trust is vital to driving conversions to purchase.

3. Keep Posting

One thing that is incredibly important across all social media outlets is to post regularly. Social media is fast-paced and ever-changing, and people will quickly forget about your business if they aren’t seeing it. While it’s very important to create quality content, it’s also very important to consistently create content. If you’re posting one picture every two weeks on Instagram, it may be of high-quality, but you likely won’t keep attracting new clients, or staying in the focus of your current ones.

Social media is a place for short attention spans. Most users aren’t going through your company’s feed and catching up on everything you’ve ever posted; they’re only seeing what’s in their feeds at any given moment. Since most users will only see a small percentage of your posts, it’s always good to skew towards posting more often than you think you should.

4. Bring New Life to Old Content

Content Can Have a Lot of Life Left in It

Just because something is old doesn't mean it can't be used.

You may not always have time to produce fresh content every day, and that’s OK. Chances are that your old content will not have reached every potential customer the first time around.

If you need to use old content, find something that was popular the first time it was posted. Make that content relevant, and breathe new life into it. For Twitter, remember to alter it enough to pass their new automation guidelines.

When you’re creating informative content like blog posts or videos, think about “evergreen” topics that won’t grow outdated. If you can push new readers towards the same piece again and again over time, you’re maximizing the impact and effectiveness of that content.

5. Engagement is Key

Any social media marketer will tell you that people really appreciate when a company communicates with them directly. Taking the time to respond to comments left on your posts will make people feel like your company actually cares about them. Liking their posts, commenting, and following their accounts are all good ways to bring in followers.

Another good way to encourage interaction is to ask them questions. You can ask them questions about your products, or you can ask them questions about themselves. In either case, you’ll be building a rapport with your audience while also gleaning valuable information to help better your brand.

Genuine engagement will also encourage your followers to write positive reviews. Reviews are so important—consumers are more likely to trust positive reviews from ordinary people than they are from companies promoting their own products or services. While there is an inherent distrust of companies, assuming that they will inflate or even lie about the value of their goods, real-life customers offer real, unbiased opinions

If it’s appropriate for your brand, a little humor will go a long way on social. It can give your company some personality and help people loosen up towards your products. People enjoy responding to questions or funny memes, and the more they interact with you on social media, the more likely your posts will appear in their feeds. Just don’t overdo it or try too hard—few things are as cringeworthy as a brand working too hard to appear cool on social media, and your audience will definitely let you know about it.

6. Connect with Social Media Influencers

Connecting with social media influencers can be a very effective marketing strategy. At times it can be difficult at times to reach your target audience on social media, but influencers offer a door right in. You may have heard this term before, but what is a social media influencer?

Chances are, you see more content from influencers than you realize. YouTube is rife with sponsored ads, or “native advertising.” This is also true on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Essentially, a company finds someone who already has a substantial following in their niche, and they use those people to promote their brand. Social media influencers can even be more effective than celebrities at creating sales for a brand.

You may be able to use a social media management platform, like Hootsuite, to connect with influencers. Hootsuite offers users the ability to create and analyze campaigns across various social media platforms—like Facebook, Instagram, and even LinkedIn—through one centralized location. You can tap into current conversations on news sites, public forums, blogs, and other areas to get an idea of who is leading what trends, or weighing in on trending topics relevant to their brand. Then you can become an active participant in conversations and begin forming relationships with desired brands and individuals.

nIdtvsvM9_peOJPDMOEw7u6Q3JzAGRSAqzxhyG6vk22EeMg26aC5inxBdq_u8zNexAchu23y4GR7984Ge1Z4MIA1b7_eV3b0RvXhXylxU4qqMO8UlqmzNdB8Vrmx5KicGwZPc3bTFind people already connected to your target audience to promote your business.This can be extremely effective, but it can also be difficult to know how to connect with people who are willing to promote your brand or company. Knowing how to reach these people is a developed skill, but there are outreach marketing experts out there who can help you grow.

7. Cross-Promote Your Company

Not all people enjoy using all social media platforms all the time, which is why comprehensive marketing campaigns are usually the most successful. To reach the most people, create accounts across as many social media outlets as possible.

It’s also helpful to use one social media outlet to promote another. Because different information can be highlighted on different platforms, suggesting that your Twitter audience also follow you on Facebook is a great strategy. You’re increasing your chances of reaching them with every platform, and more views mean more possibilities of a sale.

8. Be the First to Master New Features

Whether it’s Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, LinkedIn, or Twitter, the best marketing plans always make use of the newest features available. Social platforms are constantly creating new options, and the people using them will always have the advantage.

Using the newest features means competing with the least amount of people. For example, people on Instagram who began using the live story features first had the opportunity to reach people before it was completely flooded with other content.

Snapchat on its own is a relatively new market. There’s a good chance that in the next few months or years, Snapchat will explode with marketing, but for now, only about 5% of businesses utilize it—talk about untapped potential! (Or would that be “unsnapped” potential in this case?)

9. Understand Your Audience

Understanding your audience is two-fold.

First, you want to know who is most interested in your product. Developing an understanding of your target audience will help you create a strategy that will work for them; the kinds of posts they would be interested in and what kind of humor they would relate to. It will also help you identify which social media platform that they are most likely to use.

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Generation Z is a market that is worth going after because they are currently the largest population group on the planet.

The other way to create a marketing strategy is to consider who you want to be interested in your company. If you want to target your product towards Millennials or Generation Z, you’re going to do things differently than you would with Baby Boomers. It may be surprising to know that Generation Z is quickly becoming a very important target group that makes up the largest population group. It’s also important to know that Gen Z is the most likely group to use Snapchat, and less likely to use Facebook.

Knowing what platforms your audience is on also helps you avoid wasting time and effort. The benefit to being on multiple social platforms is to increase your chances of reaching your audience—but if they’re not on a platform, you don’t need to be there either. You don’t win any marketing points for having a social presence that doesn’t have an audience!

10. Hire a Professional

Managing multiple social media accounts can be a lot of work. Keeping up with conversations, engagements, daily posts, customer questions, and more, is all very time-consuming. Since your company is already working hard to create amazing products or services, it’s often worth it to hire an expert.

There are people who make their livelihoods creating incredibly effective social media advertising. They keep up with the latest trends and techniques so that you don’t have to, and they know how to reach your audience and make meaningful connections. These hired professionals will work hard to make sure that your customers feel well cared for, while maintaining the image that want for your brand.

Kelso Kennedy

Kelso Kennedy

CoFounder @RedStampAgency - Time Magazine's 2006 Person of the year. He likes Business, Technology, Hockey and Life.

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