Starting any new business can be incredibly stressful, with a mountain of work that needs to be done and it seems no matter how much you chip away at it, you get nowhere.
Marketing is of course essential to any business, but no more so than a startup. And Social Media has grown to become one of the biggest marketing tools a business can use.
For any startup, social media can be used to get off the ground and:
- Build a brand and a following
- Find first clients
- Recruit team or outsourcers
- Research the industry and competitors
As such, social media should be a priority for any entrepreneur and startup. But there is so many other priorities, it’s easy to end up getting behind, or giving up on social media early on. The truth is, social media won’t net you instant results, it will take time, weeks, even months.
But it’s essential to start as soon as possible, and stick with it. That’s why I’ve created this essential handbook covering all of the major social medias, and what needs to be done on them. Some actions are for one time only, others need to be consistent. And perhaps most importantly, each of these actions are FREE.
Whilst I’m an advocate for paid ads and PPC for every business, that is a whole new level — for now, let’s stick to the basics.
Starting with by far the biggest social media Facebook…
- Create a page for your business. Add a cover photo and display photo, and fill out all of the pages details as prompted at page creation. This includes links, information about the business, location, the industry it’s in and so on.
- You also want to set up individual products on the page — depending on how many products you have. If you have a dozen, this is realistic. If hundreds, consider choosing the best selling or those you believe will appeal more. Bare in mind, the more expensive they are the less likely somebody is just simply buy it from your page, so also use only small and entry level products on it.
- For each product you put onto the page, you need information on the product as well as images. However most importantly is a promotional video explaining the product, it’s benefits, costs etc. With this, and many of the parts I’ll be covering, you’ll be taking actions that can be used in other platforms and not just across social media. Product videos for example will be used everywhere, so need making one way or another!
- Next you want to schedule a minimum of 5 posts a week — the posts should be a combination of engaging posts as well as product posts promoting what you have to offer. Media is essential here, and images should be included in every post. Also encouraging engagement, comments, likes, shares, helps build up an early following.
- Live videos can be streamed to a facebook page and it’s follows, and this should be done weekly if possible. The videos don’t need to be very long, or of high quality. A few minutes of engaging and valuable content will suffice. And don’t worry, it will take a long time of practising to get perfect live recordings, and nobody expects them to go smoothly when they’re live anyway.
- Last but not least, you want to run a monthly competition to your followers and the wider facebook community. The price should be one of your products that is not too cheap nor too expensive, something people want! In exchange, you should ask for likes, shares, and even registration via an external landing page where you can capture peoples contacts details to market with in the future.
Instagram can be utilised much like Facebook, but it’s important to do both despite this. Remember though, a lot of the material used on Facebook can be used here too!
- Firstly, create an account for your business ideally linked to your Facebook. Add a profile image and other profile information such as a brief of what you do, a website link etc.
- Next you want to do what you’ve done with Facebook and put some product promo videos up — there is no reason why these cant be identical to the ones used on Facebook, so the workload isn’t doubled!
- As with Facebook too, you want to post 5+ times a week. Instagram is more image based, but you can still use the Facebook content here too — just have less text and focus more on the image — make them engaging and have written content on it too. Plus, include some high performing and industry applicable hashtags to each post to drive traffic and engagement.
- Live videos can be recorded on Instagram too — unfortunately at the time of writing, despite Facebook and Instagram being owned by the same people, it’s not possible to live stream a video to both platforms. But it only takes a few minutes to redo the video on Instagram, and it’ll help the quality increase faster!
- Last but not least, the competitions ran monthly on Facebook should be promoted on Instagram too.
Linkedin is a more professional social media to all of the others, which means there is typically less people on it — but the calibre of audience increases. Regardless of the industry, Linkedin should not be ignored.
- To start, a new personal profile needs setting up. This should include the persons name, a photo, information on their new startup etc. The profiles headline needs to include many key words to ensure maximum exposure. Skills for the startup founder needs to be created and include anything of relevance. Then a page can be created for the startup itself — with identical info used on the Facebook page.
- Next, content should be posted — the content can be identical to what is being used on other platforms, but posted not as often. Ideally twice to three times a week max.
- Relevant industry groups should be joined — aim for ten a week. Not all groups will accept, so aim to apply for twenty to be sure. Once inside, regular input can be made in existing discussions, as well as creating new discussions. This can lead to valuable relationships in the future.
- The key with Linkedin is the relationships, so the main goal is to build connections. To start with, aim to contact (message) 100 potential customers a month. This should typically lead to 25 connections and a 1/4 connection rate. Potential customers should be well targeted, and this is what takes the most time but makes it worth it. You wouldn’t try selling a wedding dress to every person on the planet, would you? Think about who your target audience is, what they do, what industry they work in, and search them down using Linkedins search ability!
Twitter is a more compact version of Facebook that relies on shorter posts.
- As with the others, the first step is to create an account — add a profile and cover photo and information in the bio including a link and key words.
- Seek out industry and market leaders and follow them on Twitter — this should absolutely include competitors. This allows the ability to see the perfect target audience, many of whom follow the competitors.
- As Twitter is more short and snappy, posts should be more frequent than the other medias — twice daily would be ideal. Whilst this might seem like more work, needing way more posts, again the more you create for Twitter, the more you have in reserve to use on other platforms in the future.
- Twitter runs primarily off of hashtags that people use to find tweets most relevant to them — so every post should include a handful of the most relevant, and also most searched hashtags.
- Aim to grow followers by 100 a week — this might be a tall order in the first few weeks, but it’ll get easier each and every day and before you know it you’re surpassing 100 a day.
Youtube is the last of the big five social medias that all startups should use from day one.
- You guessed it, step 1 is to create a youtube profile, set a display and cover photo, and profile information.
- Aim to add 1–2 videos a week, at least. Each video should include an attractive title, a well written description and be of something people want to watch. But wait! You don’t need to make brand new videos. Use the content you have already…
- You’ll have product videos and recordings of Facebook/Instagram lives to add to Youtube as a starter for ten. By that point you’ll be getting better at video and you can then create short videos for each post you’ve posted on Facebook/Instagram/Linkedin/Twitter. If you have a post offering a ‘top tip’ for example, simply create a short 60 second video where you share that tip.
- Eventually longer videos should be created. But again, all of the content can be re used everywhere else — so it’s not wasted effort.