Choosing a name for your startup can be a long process in which you advise with dozens of people - your team members, co-founder, family. It's important to remember a few things in the brainstorming process in order to avoid potential unpleasantness and unnecessary budget spent.
Creating a social media marketing plan and setting up pages for your company is a very important aspect of your online presence and a terrific (free) way for your potential clients to easily discover and find you. Before launching any social media page though, consider the following tips.
First - which social networks would your audience most likely to be on? Don’t rush to open accounts in 6 different networks. Launching a page is just the first step. Publishing content and building the page's audience is the hard and time-consuming part that comes later.
Just having a page online with no content at all or posting content once a month won’t do. People will tend to think your company is inactive or just sucks. Also, in terms of liking your page, no one wants to be first at the party - you need to show traction.
Before launching any social media page, consider which ones are the most important right now in terms of growth and leads and focus your energy on them.
OK, I launched a social media page - now what?
After launching the accounts, start building a community around it, while keeping your members engaged.
Here are best tips for launching and growing your social media pages, on a $0 budget.
(If you have other tips, please add them below in the comments and I’ll be happy to update the post 🙂 )
If you are a B2C company, having a Facebook page is pretty much a must. You can decide on the nature of the page - whether customers can post to it or not (if they can, make sure you have someone to reply to their comments as it will turn to be a customer service channel pretty fast). To make the page effective, publish content that you believe will interest your potential and existing clients. Don't just spam them with cute cat memes or unrelated articles. It's pretty easy to choose to "hide" or click "unlike" to a page that pops up too many times in the feed and feels spammy.
3 Tips to Grow Your Facebook Account:
- Invite your friends to the page. You're probably a social person (I hope), with hundreds of friends (at least) on Facebook. Why not invite them to your page? Once people accept your invitation and like your page, their friends will see it on their feed and you may get more followers through that.
- Find relevant groups. There are a lot of VERY active Facebook groups and unlike LinkedIn, you can still find non-spammy ones. Mark a couple of groups and start being active in them - answer questions, post interesting articles and them publish your own posts. An old technique to get people to notice your product is to post asking for feedback from the group. That's something you can do too to try to drive people to your page.
- Use a tool to schedule your content - unlike Twitter where you can just hit "retweet" on someone else's interesting tweet, sharing someone else's posts on Facebook is less effective, and unlike the overflow of content on Twitter, odds of someone already seeing the original post on Facebook is higher. Use tools like Buffer, Followed or Meet Edgar to schedule and manage your content so you won't have to deal with it on a daily basis.
Bonus Tip: Try Facebook ads also to reach a new audience. You can test it with a very low budget starting from a couple of dollars a day and the targeting is very specific.
Like many, I have mixed feelings about Twitter. On one hand, it still is a network with a huge audience that can bring your startup leads and one in which you can build a community. On the other hand, I find it a bit difficult to separate the heat from the chaff on Twitter. And there's a lot of chaff.
Even Sam Altman, president of Y Combinator recently decided he can't deal with Twitter
1/ I’m quitting Twitter for awhile. There are wonderful things about it (esp. giving people a voice), but I’m tired of the bad things.
— Sam Altman (@sama) June 15, 2016
But, Twitter is still a place where brands connect with their potential audience and therefore I think you should consider launching an account there.
Creating content for Twitter is simpler than other networks as you can easily retweet content of others. Just make sure it's relevant and you're not simply retweeting "have a great weekend, folks!". You can write that tweet yourself smh.
3 Tips to Grow Your Twitter Account:
- Start following relevant people. Go to your competitors page and see who they follow. You can also use free tools like ManageFlitter which allows you to either copy followers from other accounts, or search for ones by keywords. 2 things to note, though: 1) careful not to overuse it. Twitter can punish you for following too many people in a short time or do any action that may look automated. 2) when following influencers, the chances they will follow you back (which is your goal after all) are small. So start your following group with the regular folks.
- Publish posts mentioning people. For example, I published a list of 5 tech reporters and 4 newsletters to follow and then posted it on Twitter mentioning the people listed, which caused them to either follow Marketing Ramen, like or retweet the post.
— Marketing Ramen (@MarketingRamen) August 8, 2016
My most viral posts on Marketing Ramen's Twitter are those that mention people or tools. This not only draws the attention of these people to you, but other people, a larger audience, that follows them, can see it too and follow you.
- Add share buttons in your blog. I use GetSocial - it's free, it looks good with the overall design of the blog and people use it. This way, your Twitter account is mentioned in Twitter shares and you can like, retweet it or follow the person who tweeted it. The whole game here is virility - keep an eye on who acknowledges you and spread the word.
Instagram is all about visuals and beautiful images. So, unless your company is in the field of e-commerce, retail, fashion and the likes, opening an account on the social network may not be in your top priority. I personally also don't like the account that all the content they have are inspirational quotes - seems to me like going through the motions.
If you want your account to bring you leads, provide value and a good ROI (remember that the time you spend on things is an investment too...), your posts need to be more than inspirational quotes and random pictures.
Think about your audience - what would they care about most and would most likely click on if they see it on your account?
3 Tips to Grow Your Instagram Account:
- Check for tags that are often used. There are several sites that list the top hashtags on Instagram, but you want to know what's popular right now. One of the tools that is updated daily is HashtagIt. You can see there what the most popular hashtags are.
- Check your competitors' hashtags. For example, if your startup is a recipe app, it's most likely Instagram will be a good place to be as there are lots and lots of foodies and people that upload food pictures on Instagram. See which hashtags your competitors use and add the relevant ones.
- Be visible. This may seem like an obvious tip, but make sure your account is PUBLIC. Adding all these hashtags and making sure your images rock won't help if you forget to set your account to public.
Yes, everyone's on Snapchat. But should your startup be there too? If you audience is millennials - the answer is absolutely. If your startup is B2B, don't bother.
Some people (ahm ahm over 30 folks, I'm talking to you) find Snapchat to be quite weird. But I think the unintuitive interface is its magic.
As content is automatically deleted after 24 hours, it's also easier to repurpose your content on Snapchat as people won't necessarily remember what you said a week ago but will more like to notice you repost the same thing after a week on other networks.
Snapchat also has a magic formula that makes people feel like it's a very personal network, that you are only broadcasting to them, and that is an amazing thing for brands.
3 Tips to Grow Your Snapchat Account:
- Create good content. As there’s still no way to see on Snapchat how many followers you have or if any of your friends follow a certain account, creating good content is the only thing that will get people to be engaged and keep follow your account. I followed several accounts that either blabbered too much or uploaded content that had nothing to do with why I started following them in the first place, so I just unfollowed. As long as you provide good quality content, people will talk about your account.
- Snapchat lists. There are so many lists out there of “top people in X field to follow on snapchat” (Marketing Ramen’s list is being cooked as we speak and will be published soon ;-)). Reach out to people who create these lists and introduce yourself. You can do so via email but the disruptive way would be to send them a private message on the app. That’s much more personalized and a great way to show them you are rock stars.
You of course need to be prepared with good content before sending it so make sure that if they add you once viewing your message, you have uploaded interesting content in the past 24 hours.
** update: came across Snapdex, while watching StringStory's Snapchat - a great Snapchat index where you can add your own profile**
- Account takeovers - this is something I see being used more and more often. Snapchat is a fast and agile social network, and it becomes more and more hard to create content for it, let alone keep the quality high. That's why I see many tech Snapchatters like Justin Wu (Hackapreneur) or Justin Kan (Justin TV) have people take over their account. It's Snapchat's "guest blogging". Just make sure that the person taking over has something interesting to say as I've skipped through some zzz ones.
If you're a B2B company or selling to entreprises (B2E), having a presence on LinkedIn is a must. Yes, everyone's on Facebook all the time. But, if you're selling to corporations, and especially to mid-high level executives, chances are they spend more time on LinkedIn than Facebook during their work day.
3 Tips to Grow Your LinkedIn Account:
- Use your personal account. People need to put a face to a company. Thinking of Uber? Everybody knows they're CEO is Travis Kalanick. Snapchat? That's Evan Spiegel. As part of your company's marketing, you need to brand yourself too as its founder. Use your page to post opinions on company-related issues and start building the brand. This may not necessarily bring your page more "likes" but it may bring you a lot of quality leads.
- Keep the page updated. Any post that you publish that you think may be relevant to LinkedIn, post on your company's page. People will also try to interact with your by commenting on your site - reply to them and let them know that this page is active.
- Let people you work with know you have a LinkedIn page. There are so many startups that grow and hire, but have 4 people listed as working in that startup on LinkedIn. Encourage your employees to add your page as their workplace. When they do this, they will automatically become followers of your page, share posts and bring in more people.
Free Tools to Help You with Social Media Marketing
- Social Pilot - helps you schedule your posts and distribute them to all your social media accounts. No need to draft a different post for every social media page – you can reserve time on your schedule once or twice a week to plan, draft, and schedule your posts.
- If you have a Twitter account, ManageFlitter is a great way to increase your followers by searching for accounts by keywords in the account or bio. They also allow to search by max/min number of followers and following, so if you want to up the chance that someone will follow you back, you can look for people with a smaller number of followers – they would appreciate your following more 😉
- Social Mention - real time search of what's happeing in social media. Shows you top hashtags on the topic you're searching for, top users, sources and more.
- Buffer - I love Buffer and use it regularly to schedule my posts. With buffer, you can schedule posts for the next week, 2 or even more and then later review its analytics to see which post worked and which didn't.
- Tweet Deck - this is a tools by Twitter which displays your account in a more "live" way. On the same page, you have columns with Home, Notifications, Messages and Activity next to each other, and it has more of a feeling of stock market updates.
- Hootsuite - another very popular tool to schedule your posts and analyze them.
Some interesting articles to help you get started: