Guest blog, written by Alison Battisby, Founder of Avocado Social
Social media is often cited as a key marketing strategy for any new startup. It’s low cost and can be activated almost instantly, with live feedback and results. It can be used as an invaluable insights tool for finding out your potential customers’ opinions, as well as the latest trends in your sector.
Often, startup businesses get social media wrong by not keeping their channels up to date or by posting the wrong kind of content to fit with their overall brand message.
Alison Battisby, social media consultant and founder of Avocado Social, shared her six top tips in getting the most out of social media:
1. Keep your channels up to date: You don’t need to be posting every few hours, but ensuring there is a fresh update on your channels is a great strategy for showing your customers what your business is up to, and sharing any exciting news or product updates. We recommend startups aim to make sure you post every couple of days to platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Twitter requires slightly more activity so give yourself a few minutes every day to go and retweet interesting news and blogs around your business topic.
For example if you make gluten free muffins, you could share the latest gluten free health news or a blog about creating a perfect birthday party for your children, and state that your muffins would make a great addition!
2. Use strong imagery: Imagery is so powerful in social media, as it can turn a user on or off in seconds. The images that you choose to use speak for your brand, so if you are looking to develop trust and a reputation, then your images should be high quality. Think about how your photographs can show off your brand personality or stand out in the busy social media newsfeeds; colour and layout are important here.
3. Make it easy to contact & buy from you: On each social media channel there are designated areas for you to fill in a well-crafted biography. Think about keywords you can include here that your customers might be searching for, and make sure you include a direct link back to your shop or contact page.
4. Be responsive: It can be disappointing as a customer to contact a brand only to be ignored or to receive an automatic reply. When replying to a customer, think about how you can move the conversation forward by asking questions or encouraging them to share their own opinions about your business. This is a great start to finding fans of your brand who could become long-term brand advocates.
5. Plan and schedule: Often startups find that social media takes more time than they imagined, and it can quickly get left to the bottom of the To Do list. By spending some time every week to plan out your social media posts, you can spend more time interacting with customers or spotting trends in social media and it will help you to make sure things are kept up to date. Check out Buffer or Hootsuite for your scheduling needs.
6. Find what works: Keep an eye on your free analytics. The best statistic to look at is engagement, which means how people reacted to the post. Did they click, comment or share it? If one of your posts did really well in terms of engagement, try to determine why that was. Could it have been the photo or video you used? Was it the time you posted at? Or maybe it was the general theme of the post (light-hearted, educational, controversial)? When you plan your next round of content, keep this information in mind.