Asanyone who has launched a start-up in the modern age can testify, there is a significant difference between theoretical knowledge and the ability to apply this practically in the commercial world.
Nowhere is this gap more size-able than in the world of social media marketing, as while more than 90% of marketers understand that this is central to the success of their business, many struggle to create a viable presence and genuinely impactful campaigns. This challenge is even more pronounced for start-ups, who can find it difficult to cultivate an effective strategy amid conflicting advice and the information overload that is available online.
How to Build a Viable Social Media Presence in the Modern Age
With this in mind, it is imperative that novice entrepreneurs and start-ups consider strategic and actionable advice that enables them to build practical knowledge that can benefit their long-term growth. Such a learning process also enables you to take progressive steps towards building a viable social identity, and one which reflects your brand and successfully engages your target audience.
So, here are three pivotal steps towards building a socially acceptable presence for the modern age: –
Identify your Audience and the Social Channels that they use
While social media is a relatively new and unique communication channel, it is still governed by many of the underlying laws that drive sales and marketing. More specifically, you need to identify your social audience and target customers before defining your strategy, while also measuring their behavior to determine the most effective channels.
We all know that social media connects you will a global audience, while enabling you to leverage emotive and real-time communication for the good of your brand. There is a growing range of sites through which you can engage target customers, however, and that make-up of your integrated social profile should depend almost entirely on the nature of your audience.
Of course, sites such as Facebook and Twitter are considered as staple platforms, thanks to their vast user-bases and flexibility. In contrast, however, channels such as Pinterest and LinkedIn are relatively niche outlets, with the former product-orientated and dominated by female users and the latter ideal for marketing professional services.
Once you have determined your audience (or at least the target segment that you would like to reach through your campaign), you can make key decisions concerning your marketing spend, the nature of your content and the precise social channels that you will use. This will not increase the effectiveness and impact of your campaigns, but it will also deliver an improved ROI over time.
Create a Single, Master Editorial Calendar
As we can see, the strategic selection of social channels enables you to create an integrated, online presence. The same approach should also be used when planning and cultivating social content, as you create a single editorial calendar that helps you to operate strategically and manage syndication across multiple channels simultaneously.
Ultimately, this enables you to maintain a strategic overview of your content and its distribution, without compromising on your ability to adapt text and headlines to suit individual channels. Such an approach also has other distinct advantages in the modern age, particularly with the planned expansion of Facebook Instant Articles and the ever-increasing range of social publication options available to brands.
Operating within a single editorial calendar also makes it far easier to maintain a consistent brand identity across variable channels, which is crucial if you hope to drive awareness and build loyalty among your customer base.
Above all else, it is important to remember that editorial calendars enable you to plan the type of content that you intend to publish and its precise timing. This is crucial to the impact of your message and its relevance, so maintaining a single, overarching document makes it far easier to optimize your campaigns and identify new content opportunities as the year progresses. This, along with an overview of your syndication efforts, will ensure that your strategy achieves optimal engagement over time.
If these first steps enable you to determine your audience, content strategy and preferred social channels, there is one final factor to consider. This is the need to humanize your brand and social identity, which is crucial if you are to successfully engage customers and thrive in a crowded, competitive space.
Not only this, but affording your social identity a tone and a persona also enables it to communicate emotively with customers in real-time and at a time when they are engaged with the brand.
Twitter is arguably the single most effective platform for this purpose, as it allows brands to deliver succinct and emotive messaging to a significant audience. This is why so many brands look to leverage the potential that exists across the channel by operating separate user accounts, from corporate identities to those that are geared toward customer service. This creates an opportunity to communicate on a more personal level of consumers, simply by changing the initial focus, adopting an active tone and pushing the boundaries of fun and interaction.
On a fundamental level, this is a stepping stone towards the cultivation of brand loyalty and long-term relationships with your customers. Regular interaction breeds familiarity with customers and potential partners, of course, which in turn allows you to grow as a key influencer within your chosen market. Over time, this evolves into something far more substantial, as your cultivate higher levels of trust and engagement (which are central to any progressive relationship).