3 Ways Social Media Will Drive Startup Growth

In 2020,  there was a huge shift in businesses moving their brick and mortar store online and while this was bound to happen eventually, COVID-19 sped up the process for a lot of those businesses who had “Build a Website” or “Start Social Media Profiles” on the bottom on their to-do list. Everyone knows they need to be online but the amount of importance they place on it determines when they will make the switch. For those industry leaders, it is generally sooner than later.

It’s safe to assume that digital marketing is on the rise and if your startup does not have a digital marketing strategy, you will most likely be behind some of your biggest competitors. Studies have shown that each year, the number of people using online platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, increases significantly. Back in 2018, Facebook surpassed the two billion user mark while YouTube, Instagram and WeChat are not too far behind. These users are using social media every day which is a huge opportunity for any business to reach them where they are at.

In the first half of 2020, a record of 3.8 billion people and counting were using some form of social media from Facebook to Instagram and YouTube to TikTok. With that size of audience, it is no wonder why everyone from well-established companies to small start-ups use it to promote their business.

As we consider the impact social media has on daily life, we also need to consider how startups should use social media to benefit their business. Here are three ways you can market your startup online to support  your overall growth and success.

Build Brand Awareness

One of the first things a potential customer does before buying a product or service is research the options on the market, so that they can compare the benefits and value offered by each brand.  Aside from a website, a startup’s social media profiles are another way potential customers do their research. Content such as branded images, videos, and graphics play a big part in convincing a customer to put their trust in your brand. One of the most significant benefits of having a social media presence is that your brand gets exposed to a wide variety of people, who all have the option of easily sharing with their own network. The more people that get exposed to your brand, the more they understand what services and products you offer that fulfill their needs and they start working their way through the purchasing funnel hopefully turning from a stranger to a paying customer.

Your startup may not necessarily offer a physical product at first, or at all. Being online and providing context to your audience (and potential customers) about what your product or service is or does can help make it feel more tangible. It also adds to the overall credibility. If you don’t have some type of social media presence, there is already an immediate lack of trust for potential customers.

Have Empathy and Be Helpful

Another great advantage of your startup being on a social platform is that you have the ability to connect with your potential customers at their fingertips. You can engage with them on a daily, weekly or monthly basis – whatever suits your digital marketing strategy. With this ability to connect immediately, it is also important to remember that you should have empathy and be helpful in your overall marketing strategy, especially in times like these.

Altitude Accelerator  hosted a webinar on Innovative Marketing: Marketing in Uncertain Times with Jose Martins from Hubspot for Startups, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Jose explained that you need to look at your start-up and think about how you can be relevant during these times” and asked, “How can you help people?” An example of this is  demonstrated in this article on Working Successfully at Home: It All Starts With Modern Wifi.

In a time where there are numerous economic changes taking place in people’s lives, you do not want to be seen as insensitive to their feelings, or as adding more noise to their overall user experience. Focus on providing your audience with a solution, engage with them to understand where they are at and how they are doing and then when they feel comfortable to buy or use your service, they will come to you.

Lead Generation

Another advantage of using social media is that you can redirect people to your website and generate relevant leads. In this article on Optimize Your Website for Lead Generation, we shared the power of focusing your marketing efforts on three areas – connect, convince and convert. Social media allows you to connect with your audience, your marketing strategy will aid in convincing that audience to visit your website to learn more and your website will allow you to generate a lead with marketing automation. It all works in unison.

It is important to note that in general, only 4% of your website visitors may be  ready to buy on the spot. This is one reason why you must nurture this audience through your social media channels and warm them up before they get to your website to purchase or sign up to learn more.

Having a strong social media presence plays a huge role in communicating to your audience that your startup is one worth buying from. A brand’s social platform can build trust with customers and it provides another great opportunity for them to learn about your brand and what it stands for. With every like, tweet, comment and share, your brand is tapping into larger communities you may have never thought it would reach, building relationships with those people and converting them to leads.

With the use of social platforms, your startup not only builds brand awareness, credibility,  connections, and generates leads, but also gets exposed to all kinds of people all over the world. Actively using social media for your startup  is one simple and efficient way to grow your brand in a short period of time.

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