Undoubtedly, social media is one of the most effective marketing strategies for startup companies with limited budget. Social media is the best medium for driving your new business forward fast as it provides your company with a great deal of exposure.
But social media has to be executed right. While it is true that it can help accelerate the growth of your startup, but goofing it up can make all your efforts ineffective and damage your business’s reputation and chances of success.
So, avoid these 7 mistakes at any cost if you are planning to use social media to take your startup to new heights:
Mistake#1 Not Having a Plan in Place
It is imperative to have a social media strategic plan in place for your business that includes your goals, ways to accomplish those goals, resources needed to achieve them and factors to measure your success. The final plan must have answers for the following questions:
- Who is our target audience?
- How can we engage with them?
- What are our social media objectives?
- Who is going to execute and manage our social media efforts?
- Does our social media campaign ties with our traditional marketing plan?
- How are we going to measure our social media success?
Answering these questions will help you in setting your social media strategy by identifying and filling gaps.
Mistake#2 Posting at Inappropriate Times or Posting Too Often
One of the biggest mistakes that startups make is not understanding how their target customers behave on social web. It is critical to know what time zones your target customers live in and at what time they are most active on the social media channel of your choice. Only when you know these things, your posts will be noticed. If you posts at times when your target consumers are asleep or away, you will no longer be visible on their page when they become active because in most of the channels the average lifetime to be in the newsfeed section is very less. So, share your content at peak hours to gain an upper hand.
Apart from timing, posting content too frequently can also be annoying for your target audience. Sharing rarely is also not advisable though. Therefore, you need to find out what works best for you and follow it.
Mistake#3 Focussing on All the Channels
A lot of startups believe that it is good to be present on as many social media channels as possible. But for new companies, it is not easy to get the time to make an excellent profile on all social networks and create engaging content for all of them. This is possible only if you have a strong social media team that ensures all the channels are utilized optimally. Thus, it is always better to stick with limited channels that have the most targeted prospects and a large audience base. Make your presence felt on these platforms rather than failing at all.
Use LinkedIn if you are a B2B company or if you wish to establish yourself as a thought leader while Facebook and Pinterest are highly recommended for sharing visual content. Via Twitter, you can join industry conversations and connect with followers by broadcasting short messages.
Mistake#4 Boring your Audience by Too Much Self-Promotion
Extensive self promotion without any audience engagement will surely force people to unfollow you. Self-promotion is alright but there has to be a balance between interesting content and customer engagement, and marketing your brand. Instead of putting your business in the spotlight all the time, focus on your target customers. Share posts that interest them, get them engaged in a conversation, ask authentic questions and give intelligent answers. Aim at building your brand’s reputation by empowering and educating your audience. Stop acting like a robot. Instead, showcase your personality by being entertaining, innovative and unique.
Mistake#5 Overlooking your Competitors
Knowing everything about your own business is imperative. However, it is also equally important to know who your competitors are what they are up to. Keep a close watch on your competitors over their website and social media channels. See how they are engaging with their audience and what type of content they are sharing. Also, notice what their fans are saying and how you can use their reactions to improve your business. For example- If their fans are praising about a particular product that you also offer but you are not promoting it much on social media, then probably you must advertise it.
Mistake#6 Not Turning your Audience into Revenue
When you have generated a good quality of followers who are engaged in your page and look forward to your posts, the next step should be to convert them into paying clients. For example- run a specific campaign for your followers on LinkedIn offering them a free e-book or a free demo. This will enable you to collect their contact details and you can forward them to your sales team to pitch in further.
Mistake#7 Failing to Measure Social Media Success
Unless you measure the success, it will not be possible to determine if your social media strategy is proving beneficial for you. Although it will not be easy to measure exact conversions, you can focus on things such as number of Facebook fans, Twitter followers, and referrals from social media sites, plus existing website traffic. Traffic is one of the most obvious ways of measuring social media success. But make sure that you have quality followers rather than just focusing on quantity.
Level of interaction and participation from prospective customers is also very important. Interaction could be in the form of leaving comments, participating in related forums, leaving product reviews or ratings and so on. Please note that an engaged customer is highly valuable one. It also critical to follow the mentions made online about your brand.
If you have a well-thought-out strategic plan and manage to avoid the above mentioned mistakes, social media can prove to be very beneficial in your journey towards making your startup a success. Using social media for business is one of the most cost-effective solutions which, if utilized intelligently, can surely leave a positive mark about your brand on your prospects and customers.
You might also like to read, 9 Effective Ways to Grow your Startup’s Social Media Audience