Grow Your Startup With Social Media Marketing
So, you’ve claimed your startup’s brand name on Instagram and TikTok, uploaded your logo as the profile image, and are thinking, “Now what?”
Social media can be an essential arm of a startup company’s comprehensive marketing strategy, so take advantage of it. Social media marketing for startups increases customer awareness and engagement and can generate quality leads or sales.
Social followers have a big impact on businesses that are just breaking into an industry. A quality social following helps legitimize your brand, increases the potential for user-generated content (UGC), and provides insight into your customers and their pain points.
Without a doubt, growing your startup brand’s social media following should be a top priority as you scale your business.
Current Events Causing Startup Uncertainty
The collapse of a top Silicon Valley startup lender in recent weeks has shaken the tech and SaaS ecosystem. This week alone, Meta laid off 10,000 more employees and Amazon cut 9,000 jobs.
Though these current events increase anxiety for startup and tech company owners and employees more than their customers, that uncertainty can still trickle down to the consumers. Consequently, customers may be more hesitant to make a purchase or subscribe to a service when they aren’t confident it will be a worthwhile investment.
How can startup brands combat this uncertainty? Investing in, and prioritizing, content distribution through your social media channels. Doing so will establish expertise in your industry, reassure customers that their needs will continue to be met, and reinforce your brand identity.
How Social Media Marketing Benefits Startups
A social media marketing strategy might seem superfluous as a line item on your marketing budget, but deciding to invest in it is well worth the cost. And the good news? Once your strategy is up and running, social media marketing doesn’t have to be expensive.
In fact, most of the benefits social media marketing provides to startup brands can be experienced using organic social media efforts (as in, without advertising costs). If you don’t have room in your budget for paid social yet, let that be a piece of your marketing strategy that is added later.
Establishing your brand on social media creates a gold mine of opportunities to generate results that align with your overall business goals – and bottom line.
Here are the opportunities that social media marketing produces for your business:
Create Brand Recognition
Today’s consumers need at least 7 digital touchpoints from brands before making a purchasing decision or taking action. These touchpoints can include a brand’s Instagram grid, TikTok feed, website homepage, blog content, email newsletter, and/or presence on other channels.
Filling your brand’s social media channels with content shows prospective customers that the company is active, relevant, and legitimate. You’re engaged, and they should be too. Plus, the more content you share, the more your brand will appear in news feeds delivered by the social platform algorithms, which increases brand awareness.
Additionally, social media content can show users that you know what you’re talking about. Establishing expertise in your niche or industry helps you stand out from competitors and reinforces what makes your brand worth following.
Communicate with Customers
Once your audience knows who you are, it’s important to actively engage with them. Social media is built on a foundation of communication and sharing ideas among friends. For brands to be successful with social marketing, they should adopt and integrate this idea into their strategy.
Interestingly, 76% of consumers in the US expect brands to respond to their social media messages within a day of reaching out. It’s why some brands use AI tools that auto-respond to messages right away.
There’s a huge opportunity here. Less than 25% of brands across all industries are responding to social media inquiries.
So, if you want your startup to stand out among your competitors, consider using social media platforms to enhance the customer service experience your brand provides.
Generate Reusable Content
The content you share on your brand’s social media channels doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, in a well-planned and comprehensive marketing strategy, social media content should reflect the content and themes your brand is distributing elsewhere.
For example, social posts can pull from your brand’s published blog posts, resource centers, customer testimonials or reviews, and email newsletters. The best content is evergreen (meaning it stays brand-relevant for a substantial amount of time) and reusable (meaning it can be shared on multiple channels and at multiple times).
Encourage User-Generated Content (UGC)
Producing user-generated content is like striking gold when it comes to an organic social media marketing strategy. UGC combines quality, reusable content to utilize on your website and other branded channels, with customer feedback that is invaluable to your brand; this is what prospective customers want to see.
In essence, UGC is the stuff brands pay influencers to generate for them, but free. We’re talking about reviews and testimonials, unboxing videos, product demonstrations, and lifestyle imagery featuring your brand. These all increase the legitimacy of your startup and allow new customers to picture what their own life will be like with your products and services by viewing others’ feedback.
Increase Organic Inbound Traffic Generation
When the content you share on your social media channels is engaging, it will be shown to more people outside of your following. More reach means more profile visits, and therefore, more outbound clicks to visit your website.
Startups should work to increase organic inbound traffic to the best of their abilities, whether it’s through organic social media marketing, SEO content, or keyword optimization. When search engines think your website provides value, they will prioritize your brand in the search engine results page (SERP) ranking.
Become Familiar with Your Audience
As you build your social media followers, you will gain access to a test incubator market for learning more about your customers. Understanding why someone chose to follow your brand is an important step in understanding where they fall on the buyer’s journey.
Most social media platforms provide businesses with demographic information for their followers, as well as the users who interact with each post. This is built-in customer research and allows you to develop target personas based on the results of the content you distribute.
Don’t forget to use this information to identify what’s working well, and what isn’t. This insight allows you to better understand user pain points, and how they think your brand’s products or services align with their needs.
How Are Startups Using Social Media?
Startups use their social media channels to build brand awareness, generate valuable leads, and increase traffic to their website. They may also use social media advertising and product listing capabilities, on applicable platforms.
Here are 10 Ways Startups Use Social Media Marketing:
1. Connecting with their audience by responding to comments and customer service inquiries
2. Asking their audience questions and using their answers as intel about their buyer journey
3. Sharing industry-relevant information
4. Capitalizing on fun and engaging trends while incorporating their brand
5. Repurposing user-generated content
6. Monitoring brand mentions and the sentiment of conversations about their brand
7. Addressing incorrect information from UGC or comments by sharing content that clears things up
8. Evaluating the content and audience of their competitors and adjusting their own strategy as needed
9. Using paid advertising on relevant channels to increase the reach and results of the content they share
10. Reporting on the metrics that are consistent with their business strategy and goals
Which Social Media Platform is Best for Startups?
The best social media platform for startups to use depends on their industry and customer demographics. Each social platform has its own unique benefits and audience distribution. For example, the audience that frequents Pinterest varies from the audience on Facebook in age, location, and gender identification.
The first step in choosing which platform is best for your startup brand is to have a comprehensive understanding of your target customer. Different generations use different platforms to search for products and services, and understanding which platform your customers use will increase the chances of your content showing up for the right people.
You might consider creating a social media presence on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest at the beginning of your content distribution, but devote more focus to one or two channels based on results over time.
Google Analytics can help you distinguish how much traffic is coming to your website from specific social channels – although, attribution changes in GA4 will make this a bit trickier to track.
Social Media Advertising Opportunities for Startups
Ready to take your brand one step further on social media? Paid social advertising is a cost-effective way to get your brand in front of a specifically targeted market. Paid ads can increase the reach of your content and help you begin to build your audience if your brand is just starting out.
How to Launch Social Media Marketing For Your Startup
Let our social media experts set a strong foundation for your startup, when it matters the most. We will analyze competitors, develop an audience-based distribution plan, create content, and customize a social media strategy that can scale with your business.
Reach out directly to our founder, Alexa, to learn more about our services, and how social media could benefit your brand.
Should startups use social media for marketing?
Startups should absolutely use social media for marketing because it can distinguish their brand from competitors, drive sales or leads to the website, and create brand awareness.
What is social media marketing vs. advertising?
Social media marketing includes any content that is shared on social networks by brands. Social media advertising includes ads brands pay for to be targeted to a specific audience, show up higher in an algorithm-led social feed, and feature specific calls to action (CTAs).
How can startups share evergreen content on social media?
Startups can utilize evergreen content on their social media by creating images featuring their product, location, or services that are not going to change during the next several years. Content that focuses on the brand and industry-relevant content that is not trend-based can usually qualify as evergreen.