All budding entrepreneurs dream of the day that they take their startups to market. However, as hard as you may work to obtain the funding you need, build a talented staff, and develop your business idea, you may find that your startup is still lacking something essential: customers.
Early stage startups face a wide array of challenges, but establishing and scaling your customer base will be one of the most difficult. As a new business, your startup does not have an existing audience to use as a jumping off point. And if your team is small, you may not have the public relations expertise needed to market your business to wide audiences.
In today’s digital environment, social media has emerged as the best solution for emerging startups that are looking to engage with potential customers, convert those interactions into sales, and develop a loyal following. There are numerous tactics that you can use to maximize your use of social networking as a solid, effective business tactic.
Here are five social media tips that you can use to increase your customer base at your startup:
Use different platforms to your advantage
You may be tempted to utilize every single social media platform out there when trying to grow your audience, but this can actually hurt your startup in the long run. Don’t spread yourself too thin by signing up for numerous sites at once.
Instead, you should focus your efforts on a few key platforms. Sign up for the social media sites that best fit your startup’s brand. Depending on which products and services you offer, you will find that certain platforms will make it easier to showcase your offerings.
If you do use more than one platform, then it’s important to claim the same handle on every profile. This will make it easier for your audience to find you on every site.
Share the right content
You won’t be able to attract customers to your brand by simply establishing social media profiles for your startup; you also need to make frequent use of your chosen platforms. However, the content you share will shape the public’s image of your startup, so you should determine what types of posts you would like to use to fill your profiles.
Though you may be using social media to attract new audiences to your brand, you avoid sharing content that is meant solely to advertise your products and services. Consumers would much rather see interesting, engaging content than standard sales pitches. As such, you need to make sure that the materials you share on social media are worth reading. Give your audience helpful tips related to the products you offer, engage them in interactive quizzes, or thrill them with videos. Consumers want quality and diversity in the posts they see from businesses, so you should always post content that will catch their eye.
Interact with your audience
The most effective way to use social media to grow your audience is to interact with them. More and more consumers are taking to social media as a means of accessing customer support, so you should be ready and willing to reply to their needs at any time. Whenever someone shares a comment on one of your posts or sends you a private message, you should make sure to send them a reply within a few minutes. This will help your audience see that you are always open to conversation and make them feel valued.
Also, the more you interact with your social media audience, the more experience you will gain in regard to social engagement. This will lead to more comments on your profiles, more views on your posts, and a bigger customer base.
Guide customer conversions
Using social media as a way to grow your customer base by interacting with online users is one thing, but your end goal should always be to convert your audience into loyal patrons. You should make it easy for your online network to find your startup’s website and, consequently, your products and services. Your social media profiles should always link to your site both in your bio section and at the end of the posts you share. It’ll be easier to drive conversions if you facilitate a connection between your audience and your web page in fewer than two clicks of a mouse.
Don’t give up before it starts working
You will need to fully commit to your social media marketing if you want to see your customer base grow. There’s no denying that it’s a difficult goal to achieve, and it’s just as onerous to drive your online engagement and develop thrilling content along the way. Given the challenges of social media use, many businesses abandon their social media profiles after trying for only a matter of weeks.
In reality, you will need to focus on social media for up to a year before you will understand the nuances of satisfying your audience and get on the right path toward scaling your customer base. It won’t work overnight, so you can’t let yourself give up on social networking before you even begin to see results.