A sharing economy business can’t afford to ignore social media. In the past decade, social media has evolved from vacation pictures and a way to stay in touch with old friends into a valuable tool for business growth. Social media allows startups, which often have little name recognition and professional network, to reach potential business partners, investors, and clients. However, devising an effective social media strategy isn’t easy, and startups can’t afford to waste time or resources.
As we discussed in a previous article, the sharing economy has completely changed the way businesses approach their customers. As the industry keeps developing at a fast pace, marketers are facing bigger challenges in terms of growth marketing and brand building. For the past year, we have learned valuable social media lessons that helped us stand out from the crowd and get our presence noticed by our targeted audience.
Here are a few guidelines for creating and organizing your P2P startup’s approach to social media:
1. Think Big Picture
The first and most important step in growing your social media presence is to identify a strategy that aligns with your business’ goals and objectives. Before you start posting anything, make sure you know how each social platform works and where you can reach your targeted audience. By doing this, you will ensure a great start of your online presence. Don’t immediately spit out content without first defining your startup’s core values and asking a few basic questions about overall strategy. What platforms can you most easily create content for? What kind of content are you going to produce – blog posts, podcasts, videos? How will your content support or expand the startup’s brand?
2. Show a Softer Side
It’s very important to let your audience know that you’re human. How can you do that? Be very active on your social accounts and interact with everyone. It’s not enough to just throw some links and schedule posts that your audience might engage with. You have to get involved in conversations, respond to posts and be there for your audience when they need guidance or inspiration. If you show people who you are, they will feel more connected to you and they will start engaging with your business.
3. Understand Your Audience
Who are you trying to reach? Tailor your content to your target group of businesses, potential clients, and investors. A sizeable social media following is worthless if it n
ever leads to sales, new investments, or attracts talented team members. You want to get the attention of the people with whom you want to do business. Also, understanding your audience’s needs will help you interact at a more intimate level, which is key in figuring out what you should give them in terms of content.
4. Listen to Your Customers
Once you get a fan base, start building loyalty with your audience and increase engagement by listening. Knowing what people are talking about your business makes it easier for you. You can improve your products and spot potential followers who have not engaged with your brand before. As a startup, you might not have a lot of financial resources to invest in a complex CRM software, but you can always choose an affordable tool that will allow you to monitor the buzz around your business.
5. Align Your Website’s Visuals With Your Social Profiles
Make sure to always align your website’s visuals with your social media profiles. Using the same logo, images and icons will make it easier for people to find you and follow your account. It’s also a matter of building a strong brand image, which it’s vital for the growth of your startup. So, make sure you’re easy to find and that your business is recognizable.
6. Quality Content is KIng
You should make sure that your content efforts are not focused only on the blog, but also on your social media channels. Quality should reflect in everything you do around your business if you want to get more customers and generate revenue.
7. Develop an Integrated Social Media Strategy
Every social media channel serves a different purpose for your business. For example, we created a marketing calendar, where we can easily visualize our content efforts an
d test different things. If you want to understand what content type performs the best, you can add annotations on your Analytics tool. In this way, you will know how your posts are performing and what can you do to get more website conversions.
8. Allocate Resources Efficiently
Company time is a startup’s most valuable resource, and so you need to prioritize tasks that will have the greatest impact on your business. Take care that your social media manager isn’t overworked, but don’t hire too many people to produce content if you aren’t seeing much return on your investment.
9. Provide a Benefit For Your Users
When people come to your social media profile, they are instantly thinking what’s there for them that they can use. People love getting free stuff and you can offer them anything, from an ebook to a like back on their page. In this way, you will peak their interest and they will start being more engaged.
10. Engage with Other Users
Not all business leads will come to you. Be proactive when using social media – don’t be afraid to message other companies or individuals that interact with your accounts. Also, not all leads or new connections will lead to sales, but don’t be discouraged!
11. Try Not to Outsource
It’s better to have only one voice on your social media accounts because it will give you an authentic look. If you decide to outsource, make sure that you find someone that has a similar voice to yours.
12. Cultivate Trust
Trust is very difficult to build on social media channels and it takes few seconds to lose it. If you want to maintain it, you have to keep your promises. Be always in time and do everything you said you’ll do. If you do mistakes, admit your faults and talk openly about solving any issues that you might have caused. Transparency is key and letting people know what’s going on will help you keep your business’ trust intact.