Marketing April 3, 2014 Last updated September 18th, 2018 1,371 Reads share

Social Media For Start-Ups: A Reliable List Of Do’s And Don’ts

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Social media is a cheap and fantastic (how often do the two go together?) way of telling the world about your newborn company. It is one of the most effective tools of marketing and given the ever-expanding number of people on this bandwagon, your target client base is only going to get much, much bigger.

However, knowing that social media is a wonderful marketing tool, and actually leveraging it to your advantage are two very different things.

Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind here is that the way you shape your approach to social media in the initial days may well define how others view your company. You want to make sure you don’t, even inadvertently, give out the wrong impression or promise things you cannot deliver.

Here are some of the most important things to bear in mind when using social media to market your business.

Do Devise a Proper Strategy

Exactly what do you want your social media to do for your company?

  • Do you want to just spread awareness about your business? Then you need to start following the relevant people in your niche.
  • Do you want to use the platform to talk about your products and attract more customers? You will have to work in tandem with an email campaign to get people to follow you on Twitter.

One of the ways to do this is to reach out to the established bloggers in the niche you are targeting and start writing for them. Become an active member of their communities and chances are they will let you leave your Twitter handle in the author bio section.

If you build credibility on these blogs, your social media will likely see a rise in incoming traffic of people that actually matter to your business.

Why do you want people to follow you? What exactly have you got to offer them via your social media stream?

Clarity with regards to the above-mentioned will give you a solid strategy to build on for the future. The bottomline is that social media can only be one part of your overall marketing approach and how you use it will be defined by what you want to gain from it. Don’t just get on Twitter and start posting for fun!

Do Keep Your Online Presence in Line with the Personality of Your Business

Every business has a personality, which over time becomes its identity. In the world of marketing, a strong personality is greatly desirable as it gives you visibility, tells people what your business is about, and aids brand recall.

Social media is a fantastic way for you to build public perception of your company, and to reinforce it every step of the way, or rather, every day of the week.

  • What do you sell — cosmetics, technology, or writing services?
  • Perhaps organic food, eco-friendly clothing, or eastern home décor items?

How about you leave a helpful tip for your followers on how to best use any of the items you sell. That way you make it worth their while to have you in their Twitter feed. Just like Starbucks here is helpfully suggesting its followers what to have with the morning coffee!

starbucks

(Screenshot in real time. Image credit: https://twitter.com/Starbucks)

You can also send out helpful messages that are in line with the motto of your business. Here’s how Bacardi handles its rum-loving brigade — a great way not just to promote your product but also to encourage the right attitude in your followers of using that product.

bacardi

(Screenshot in real time. Image credit: https://twitter.com/BACARDI)

Whatever it is that you sell, you need to design your social media pages so that they are reflective of your business’s personality, or in any case create a personality for your business that is in line with your vision of it.

Do Keep Things Relevant, but Fun

Don’t bore your followers. Never, ever bore your followers. Boring people is a cardinal sin on the Internet. Given the drastically dwindling attention spans of people due to a constant bombardment of information on their senses, businesses sometimes feel the need to resort to the equivalent of standing on their arms and doing cartwheels to attract attention!

Which isn’t a bad idea really, as this demonstrates.

mashable

(Screenshot in real time. Image credit: https://twitter.com/mashable)

It’s fun to post interesting statistics, funny pictures, and inspiring quotes to keep things light-hearted and your audience engaged, but you don’t want to take it too far from your purpose.

The best way to learn of the various ways in which businesses around the world are using Twitter and other social platforms to talk about themselves is to check out their social media pages. We aren’t suggesting you follow them all, but do keep an eye out on the innovative and fun ways of using this medium to keep your followers excited and the conversion rates climbing.

How to Avoid Slip-Ups

The list of what not to do when you are on social media trying to build credibility and a following for yourself is rather long. But we start with common sense.

  • Don’t post under the influence of alcohol.
  • Don’t respond to comments on impulse.
  • Don’t keep your followers waiting for long if they pose a question.
  • Don’t bombard your followers with posts and tweets.
  • Don’t follow anybody and everybody.
  • Don’t misspell names and make grammatical errors.
  • It’s nice to be witty but know where to draw the line and don’t take digs at others.
  • Don’t auto-respond on Twitter. Instead take out the time to respond thoughtfully to every tweet you receive. The idea is to interact and forge meaningful relationships with your followers, and not to respond to them for the sake of it.
  • Sometimes, challenging competitors can be fun, too. But NOT if you’re still finding your feet yourself!

Xperia

(Screenshot in real time. Image credit: https://twitter.com/nokia)

Always keep in mind that social media is a universal platform for your business. You only want to say and do things that you are confident wouldn’t backfire on you. Be guided by the need to promote your business in a way that adds value to the lives of your followers, and you should do fine.

Images: ”Social media icons set in colorful circle layout. / Shutterstock.com

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Tracy Vides

Tracy Vides

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