Six Tips For Building A Social Media Presence From The Ground Up
Whether you just opened a business, launched a new vertical or are working on expanding your current product line into new markets, there are many reasons to start a social media presence from scratch.
According to the Pew Research Center, a massive amount of Americans are on social media. In fact, "69% of the public uses some type of social media." So if a business isn't online, it may not be reaching as many potential customers as it could be.
Starting your business’s social presence from scratch can be daunting, but there are several tactics you can utilize to help you succeed:
1. Find Your Audience
First things first, only create accounts on social platforms that your target audience uses. Conduct thorough research before launching any accounts to make sure you're reaching the right customers on the right channels.
When developing a social presence for a merger and acquisition firm in the for-profit private school industry, we were careful to only focus on channels where the firm’s customers spend most of their time. The firm’s target audience is school owners nearing retirement, which means that the typical age of these customers is between 60 and 85 years old.
Considering that only 8% of adults 65 years and older use Twitter and only 10% use Instagram, we quickly ruled out these platforms since they don't attract much of the firm's target audience. Instead, we focused on platforms like Facebook where 41% of adults age 65 and older spend their time.
2. Create A Content Calendar
After you've determined where your audience is, it's time to gather and create the content for your campaign. Strategize with your marketing team, and build a content calendar that includes links to interesting articles, relevant local events and blog posts, as well as enticing imagery. When it comes to posting content on social media, we prioritize quality over quantity. You need not schedule a post or multiple posts every day, but we do recommend keeping a consistent schedule. We recommend posting anywhere between two and four times per week, depending on the content you want to share. Additionally, it's important to ensure that you use high-quality images, whether they're custom photos or unique and high-resolution stock photos. Prioritizing quality images and content versus publishing subpar posts frequently can help ensure that your feeds are more consistent and aesthetically pleasing to your followers.
Our internal team uses Google Sheets to manage content calendars for our agency and our clients. This platform allows our project managers, designers, writers and editors to collaborate on a single document in real time.
We recommend planning at least two weeks of content at a time. Once you create your accounts, you'll likely want to hit the ground running and be ready to publish content immediately.
3. Complete All The Sections Of Your Profile
When creating your social profiles, make sure you fill in all the blanks — even the optional sections. For example, on Facebook business pages, you can fill in a sidebar section called “Our Story” where you can insert additional information about your company and an image. This section can be used to highlight anything you want for your business, so it's important to consider what your primary customer will want to know more about. For the merger and acquisition firm, we utilized this section to offer the story of its founding and provide more details about its core mission.
4. Follow Complementary Brands
If you don't already know which brands are complementary to your business, now's the time to assess the field. Find these brands, and follow their accounts. In response, brands that are complementary to your business are more likely to follow you back and engage with your posts.
For example, we helped a liquor licensing service track and follow complementary licensing services in neighboring states — which quickly proved to be a successful strategy. Many of these complementary services followed our client and started to comment, like and share the posts, particularly on Instagram. This strategy, paired with consistent posting and high-quality images, brought in 250 Instagram followers and increased impressions by 99.2% over four months.
5. Assess Your Competitors
Following competitors can allow you to keep close tabs on what they're doing online. While it's important to develop your own unique strategy, it's also a good idea to be wary of what's working and what isn’t for your competition.
How many times do they post in a week? What kind of content are they sharing? Monitoring your competitors' profiles can give you a launching point for your own social media and help you learn from their successes and failures.
6. Spread The Word
Make sure all of your employees are following your company’s new social accounts, and ask them to share the accounts with relevant friends, clients and customers. Gaining that initial traction up front is key. By encouraging the merger and acquisition firm's team to share its new Facebook business page with clients and friends, page likes increased by 900% overnight.
Respond Or Risk Falling Behind
As social media pages become like a secondary website for many businesses, your company can benefit from being both present and interactive on social platforms. With a strategy in place, building your social media presence from scratch doesn't have to be overwhelming. Using these simple tactics, your business can capitalize on the relationship-building aspects of these platforms and intercept prospective customers in the places where they're already engaging. The bottom line is that social media is quickly changing the marketing environment, and it's up to your business to respond or risk falling behind.