How to use social media to promote your startup

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Online presence is key to getting noticed, and every entrepreneur will benefit by building a positive and active online presence for their business. One good thing about the internet nowadays is that a startup can establish its online presence without spending too much money. On social media alone, spending a few hours each week and applying the right strategies can greatly help a brand to establish its presence and build a strong following among the millions of users over the globe. Here are a few ways an entrepreneur can make use of various social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat to expand their reach and promote their brand.

Identify your target audience

It’s one thing to tailor your posts to attract your target market and another to target your audience using the features on social media that will help you customise your reach among their users. For instance, Facebook has a target audience feature that will help you reach the right people when you publish your posts. With this feature, you can focus on your target market by using attributes like age, behaviour, and location. When you target your audience, this enables you to gain a positive online reputation. It also makes it easier to collect information as to the people who are interested in your startup.

Include images in your posts

There is a good reason why Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat are entirely about images. People are naturally drawn to posts that contain images, so make sure that you include relevant, high-quality photos on your posts. Keep in mind though that you do not have to promote your brand and include this on every image that you post. You can post a photo of something that is connected to your message without adding your logo every single time.

You want your target audience to relate to your brand, and always looking like you are merely promoting your brand will not help you gain followers. For promotions, though, it will be best to include your logo whenever you have a special promo or sale. Be sure to specify the promotion, whether it be a certain discount, free offers, or limited special item. For instance, an online gaming site might phrase their promo as “£5 Free Play + 100%1st Deposit Bonus!” and indicate on the post the dates when the promo period starts and ends. This way, your audience knows exactly when they can avail of your special offer, and the shareability of the post improves too.

Optimise your captions

Your captions can be added with hashtags and locations, so use these whenever applicable. For example, if you are promoting a new product or have an upcoming promotion, it will be a great idea to add a unique hashtag for this so that your followers and active customers can use this for their posts as well. When users add your hashtag to their posts, this enables their friends and followers to see more about your specific product or promo when they click on the hashtag, thereby helping to create awareness and build interest in it.

Go ahead and ask questions

One thing that makes social media beneficial to businesses is the ability to engage with your followers. As such, these channels do not only allow you to post links and updates, it also allows you to draw insights from your followers. This can provide you with valuable information that can help you improve your offers and services. So, go ahead and use your social media pages to get feedback from your target audience and look forward to the many things you are about to learn from them. Remember to also comment back on their answers with a thank you or follow up question. This is a great opportunity to let your audience know that you are just a click away.

Go live

According to a report about internet trends by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), video content is forecasted to gain a share of 74% of overall internet traffic. Given this, it makes a lot of sense to include videos, particularly live streaming, in your startup’s social media marketing strategy. Sharing live videos has been gaining popularity and it is a good way for startups to engage with their target audience in real time. Going live on Facebook, for instance, allows you to receive live reviews and comments from your followers and active customers and react to these as they are watching you. This helps form a personal bond with your brand, something that is crucial in building loyal customers.

Know the right time to post

To ensure optimum engagement among your target users, it is best to share or post content on social media during specific times when your target audience are active. While they may always be able to see your post on their feed eventually, or intentionally go to your page to check your recent updates, it is better and more effective if they see your posts during the time when they are online and checking their social media. This ensures that your message gets across at the most opportune time and you get the results you want. Social media platforms have features like Facebook Insights to help you determine the best time to post. You can also use third party tools to help you learn when the best time to post on other social media channels.

For startup business owners, investing time on social media is a great way to promote one’s business because it involves minimal costs. There are a lot of ways you can use various channels to expand your reach and gain more followers online, and it will only take a few hours each week to implement a social media marketing strategy that will improve your online presence and attract loyal customers.

  • Patrick Nelson

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