Budding entrepreneur? Here’s how to grow your startup through social media

social media

Marketing coach Ellie Swift. Source: Supplied.

Let’s set the scene. You’ve just launched your startup. Your vision is big, you have all the ideas, and you know you have a solution for the problems plaguing your potential customers.

The only challenge is you need to find those people first and get across to them how you can be of service.

Here are seven fail-safe solutions for marketing yourself through social media as a new entrepreneur.

1. Create a social media strategy

A goal without a plan is just a wish.

When you’re first starting out you need be clear about what you want your startup to achieve. Be careful not to get this confused with vanity metrics such as the number of likes you have on each post, or how many people follow you. You can have the largest community in the world, but if your people aren’t engaged, then they aren’t going to purchase from you.

Know what your business objectives are, then create a strategy to achieve those objectives.

2. Know what makes you authentically you, and focus on that

Your strategy should also include a clear and unique brand identity.

Ask yourself what visuals represent your brand, what your tone of voice is, and what brand attributes are uniquely yours.

Once you know this information, create content that fits within these parameters. This will help you stand out and be memorable. In a noisy marketplace, differentiation is key.

3. Become a destination for information

Serial entrepreneur Gary Vee has a method known as ‘jab, jab, jab, right hook’. Each ‘jab’ is another word for ‘adding value’ and the ‘right hook’ is where you sell.

Put simply: smart founders spend more time adding massive value than they do selling. This is because they know once their audience trusts them they are more likely to make the sale. A great way to do this is to treat yourself like a news source. Spend time creating informative, educational and inspiring content that adds value to the lives of your ideal clients.

4. Focus on a ‘people-first’ approach

People buy from people. And they especially buy from people they know, like and trust.

Whether your brand is built around you (a personal brand) or has its own identity, ensure you include the ‘people’ of your organisation in your content.

In his most recent book, This Is Marketing, Seth Godin writes: “There isn’t a shortage of online content, but there is a shortage of connection.”

Find opportunities to create that connection, whether it be through community interaction or directly from you to your consumer. Examples of brands that are doing this really effectively right now are adventure wear brand Patagonia and entrepreneur and photographer Jenna Kutcher.

5. Leverage your presence through association

Founding and growing a startup can be lonely. It’s not only more fun to look for opportunities to collaborate, but it’s also a really powerful social media strategy. There are two types of collaborations that work well on social:

  • Peer-to-peer — which usually involve an exchange of services or content swap between both audiences of a similar size or structure and with a similar audience to you; and
  • Influencer collaboration — which requires a pitch to someone with greater influence to utilise your products or services in exchange for some sort of social media exposure.

Both are powerful and should be incorporated into your strategy.

6. Find ways to surprise and delight people

Did you know, the average person shares a positive customer service experience with nine other people. Nine! 

Find constant ways to surprise and delight your community so they share your products or services with their friends. There’s nothing quite as powerful as a word-of-mouth referral.

7. Above all else, be consistent

Consistency equals trust. Without trust, your customers aren’t buying from you. To build that trust, you need to show your community you aren’t going to phantom. You need to be there for them on a regular basis, showing up in the same frequency, week in, week out.

What do you need to take action on first when it comes to creating and implementing your social media strategy? Let me know in the comments below.

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