If you are reading this article, then odds are that you have a business social media page and you are considering using your page to generate business for your startup.
There is a much broader strategy required in order to launch your social media pages than simply setting up a page and hoping it will stick. Social media pages are great for brand awareness, building, and promotion, but you have to actively use to promote your business to your followers and grow your reach, it’s not a case of building it, and they will come.
Here is a brief 10-day countdown for the creation and launch your social media pages to help get the best for your business page so it generates meaningful leads to your business, drives traffic to your e-commerce site and creates a buzz around your brand.
Day 10 – Understand what you are getting yourself into - OK, so you want to launch your social media strategy, so what is it? At this stage of the game, it is key for you to understand the social media platforms you’re using, their capabilities, how much it costs to advertise and how most effectively you and your business can benefit from what each platform offers.
You are not the first person to start using social media to drive traffic for your business, so why not learn from those before you? Who are the sites that you follow, that you like the look of? Take some notes. Read blogs on the measurement metrics for successful businesses in your industry and learn from their success.
Day 9 – Set your strategy - You have an understanding now of what is out there, so let's get started. You need a social media strategy; this is something that a specialist can assist you with. Find a marketing or SEM (search engine marketing) specialist that understands how to set a social media strategy in place.
Some key elements such as:
- What are your objectives of the social media?
- What is your budget for advertising?
- Which platforms are you going to use?
- How often will you post/engage on the platform?
- What imagery, photos and other elements will you use?
- What growth hack strategies can you focus on?
An SEM strategy should be a plan within your marketing plan that deals exclusively with your social media pages, so speak with you marketing expert to get a better idea of costs and benefits of a plan, as without a plan there will be limited consistency and continuity.
Day 8 – Register your platforms - Set up your business pages across your platforms. These should be pages should not be linked to your personal pages in any way, they should be a stand alone business page. This is not a place to post a shot of your breakfast or a selfie with a friend. This is a business site, and people will only follow if it’s relevant so resist the temptation to blurr the lines between your work and personal life.
Remember, just because your business name may be yours in your country, there may be many others around the world and you don’t want confusion so be clear about your page name and check out competitors before setting page names up.
Day 7 – Set up content - With your pages set up, now its time to add some substance. This is done through adding the businesses location, contact details, descriptions and other core blurbs about the businesses. Avoid the temptation to add in personal info and add in PO Boxes or just general suburb addresses without a specific location where possible for privacy.
If you are a ‘bricks and mortar’ store, such as a restaurant, you will obviously need to put a physical address to encourage walk-ups, however, if you are an online business, then this is not necessary – unless it is your office address, not your home.
Day 6 – Work on branding and imagery - With the content set up, take the time to get your logos, images, photos, products and other items set up to add the color, flair, and personality to your site that portrays your business.
Take the time to think like your customers; what images portray your business? Are you excluding certain people through your image selection?
If you don’t have logos, a brand guide or images, it is key that you speak to a marketing expert or graphic designer to get these set up immediately. If you do have the logos, but need some additional images, you can purchase a lot of images to use which are very high quality from outlets such as ‘shutterstock’ and other third party sites.
Day 5 – Set up back links and affiliates - Setting up your social media as part of your greater marketing efforts is part of an overall strategy. Therefore you need to ensure that quality back links to-and-from your website and each social media site are set up and active.
Your affiliate links are companies and networks that you work with or are associated with. It is vital that you share your page with them and they share theirs with you. Your business needs to launch with as many social media pages linking to it as possible. Tap into as many of these relationships as you can to ensure you get the most momentum for your social media activity.
Day 4 – Create networks and affiliates - With your site built, it's time to start networking. Through Facebook and LinkedIn, this may involve searching companies that you use, or aspire the brand to be like and follow them, like them and share their content on your page.
Invite people to connect with you that may possess potential opportunities for sales or affiliations. If you see one of your contacts knows someone you want on your books, ask to be connected to them.
The whole idea of your social media strategy is to connect with others and grow your reach on social media.
Day 3 – Set up paid advertising - Any social media strategy that you have set in place to create and launch your social media pages must have both a paid and unpaid (or organic) structure to it. The paid advertising will allow you to segment markets – for example; you can target so specifically you can set up paid advertising to target people who play badminton, within a suburb on the Isle of Man if you like.
As part of your SME strategy, you would have allocated some budget for social media advertising, the key is to test it and see which one works best for your business.
Test Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram advertising at the same time, with the same market segments targeted, with simply different geographic regions selected, that way you can review which networks work best for your business.
When you have a better understanding, all your paid activities should always be utilized as part of a larger marketing campaign – such as a product launch, promotion or event, don’t just spend the money and hope, spend it to achieve something quantifiable.
Day 2 – Test and refine your pages - With all the pieces of the puzzle in place, now it’s the day before launch, so test, test and retest. Ask a group of friends or your extended network to review your social media pages, ask them to behave like a shopper and get their feedback.
This feedback is not a criticism, but an opportunity for you to improve. You should always ask customers, friends, family, suppliers for feedback on every process so you can improve and streamline the process for everyone involved.
Day 1 – Go Live - You have had 10 days, you have set everything in place, now it is time to go live and get active. The best performing social media sites that are launched are those that have constant, consistent and relevant feeds of information and content that your followers want to hear.
Do put content that isn’t targeting your audience and expect people to listen. Also, don’t just put sales pitches up on social media – create a community, create content and become the primary source of information in your field, after 10 days you created and launched your social media pages, which have become one of your most vital lead generation tools for your business.
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