In today’s digital age, social media has become essential to marketing for businesses, especially startups. With its vast reach and potential to connect with people worldwide, social media marketing has enhanced how startups approach marketing. Let us have a closer look at facts and figures.
According to Datareportal’s latest research, out of $667 billion spent by brands on digital advertising in 2022 globally, $226 billion accounted for social media ads. So, one-third of the digital marketing budget is invested in social media. This means companies still consider this channel a powerful tool for amplifying their brands’ voices. And here are the reasons why.
Why Social Media?
One of the primary benefits of social media marketing for startups is the ability to reach a wider audience and build brand awareness. According to Datareportal research, the number of social media users nearly tripled during the last ten years, reaching 4.76 billion people in 2022.
When people are looking for something online, where do they go? To Google? Not necessarily. The GWI data shows that the generations from 16 to 24 and 25 to 34 years old do online brand research in social media. The shares of social networks for these two categories are 47.9% and 47.5%, respectively. And even 43.8% of 35-44 years old users prefer social media for that.
The Wall Street Journal even called TikTok a new Google for young people. TikTok is capturing the attention of young adults between the ages of 18 and 24, with a whopping 40% using the platform to access information on a wide range of topics. From trendy fitness routines and fashion tips to tasty recipes and travel recommendations, TikTok is a goldmine of visual inspiration – far beyond what you’d find in a basic Google search. With its fast-paced nature and visually engaging content, it’s no surprise that young people are turning to TikTok for their daily dose of inspiration.
One of the main features of TikTok is that it provides information to its users according to their interests but from reliable sources. Its fact-checking efforts are no joke – the platform is teaming up with independent organizations to ensure videos are vetted before they even make it to the app. Plus, if users report misinformation, it’s double-checked by real humans and technology alike. If a video is proven to be false, it’s nixed from the platform altogether. So. it’s no surprise that this platform works as a search engine.
With the right social media strategy, startups can use platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter to reach potential customers who may have yet to hear about their brand. For instance, many startups use viral social media campaigns to increase their visibility and generate buzz around their brand.
Analysis and Preparation
So, as you see, we have a powerful tool that can bring you fantastic results if appropriately applied. But to fully benefit from these networks, let us check why people spend so much time there.
As we can see from the report, apart from talking to friends and family, social media users also look for news, content, inspiration for doing or buying something, products to purchase, networking, sharing and discussing something with other people, watching some new content from their favorite brands, following celebrities, finding like-minded communities.
But you should also consider that the type of activity also depends on the social network. And you have to assess this factor while planning your targeting. Here are some figures from the report mentioned above about users’ primary goals and behavior:
- Facebook – 71.1% friends and family messaging
- Instagram – 67.9% posting and sharing photos or videos
- LinkedIn – 30% keeping up to date with news and current events
- Pinterest – 38.1% following or researching brands and products
- Reddit – 36.9% looking for funny or entertaining content
- TikTok – 78.9% looking for funny or entertaining content
- Twitter – 61.2% keeping up to date with news and current events
So, if you see why people spend time in this or that network, you may plan your activities accordingly. However, remember that the audience may overlap on different platforms, and you should avoid repeating the same actions for various social media.
Moreover, the most common activity on one platform may not exclude another. For instance, people may check for news and updates on Facebook or research brands and products on Instagram. So, consider this while preparing your content. But before you start creating it, study your target audience carefully.
Let’s imagine a use case. You own a tech startup focusing mainly on healthcare and developing hospital software solutions. Regarding this, LinkedIn and Twitter may be the best social media platforms to promote your medical software.
LinkedIn is a professional networking platform to connect with healthcare professionals, hospital administrators, and decision-makers. You can create a company page, share insights about the medical industry, and join relevant groups to showcase your expertise and build relationships with potential clients.
Twitter is an excellent platform for sharing industry news and updates about your medical software and engaging with your target audience. You can use hashtags such as #HealthTech, #HealthIT, and #MedTech to reach a broader audience and connect with potential customers.
At the same time, platforms like Instagram may not fit here, as they are more B2C-oriented and demonstrate good images of goods offered on the mass market.
Let us take another example: you promote your courses for children. As your target audience is parents and children, you may want to consider social media platforms that are popular among parents and offer opportunities to share visual content such as photos and videos. Some of the best social media platforms for promoting courses for children and parents include:
Facebook is a popular platform among parents and provides several features to promote courses, such as creating an event page, running targeted ads, and joining relevant groups.
Instagram: A visually driven platform can be great for showcasing your courses and creating a brand image. You can share photos and videos highlighting your courses’ benefits and use hashtags like #parenting, #education, and #learning to reach a wider audience.
Youtube is a video-sharing platform that can be great for creating and sharing educational videos about your courses. You can create tutorials, share testimonials, and provide previews of your courses to engage with potential customers.
Pinterest: A visual discovery platform can be great for sharing educational content and creating a following. You can create boards related to parenting and education, share infographics, and link to your website.
Remember that your target audience is parents, so it’s important to highlight the benefits of your courses and how they can improve their children’s education and development. And the business community on LinkedIn, for instance, or short tweets, is probably not the best choice.
Your marketing strategy should include buyer personas, which you will address through different communication channels, including social media. A buyer persona is more than just a one-dimensional profile; it should be considered a fictional character with emotions, motivations, and characteristics. To create a buyer persona, it’s essential to identify specific important information, such as:
- Demographics: Personal and professional information such as gender, age, location, income level, education, job title, industry, and company size.
- Personal preferences: Hobbies, favorite media, communication habits, and other interests.
- Behavior patterns: What drives a buyer to your brand?
- Goals: Personal and professional goals, priorities, challenges, and problem-solving approaches.
- Values: What does your ideal customer consider important when looking for a particular product or company?
- Negatives: Characteristics you don’t want your buyer to have.
- Motivations: Why would someone choose your product or service over similar ones?
Buyer persona templates can vary depending on your company’s needs and goals, but some essential items to include are:
- Career history
- Personality or social behaviors
- Challenges or pain points
- Content preferences
Remember, creating a buyer persona is an ongoing process that requires regular monitoring and analysis to keep up with changing trends and customer needs.
Platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter have built-in targeting tools that allow you to filter and segment audiences by various attributes like industry, company size, and location. These features will enable you to create custom ads targeting specific demographics, ensuring your marketing efforts are as effective as possible.
Creating audience groups is another effective way to segment your audience and gain valuable insights into their preferences. Open groups enable you to gather information from a more general audience, while closed groups allow you to cherry-pick the most qualified candidates to get specific, helpful feedback from a group you trust. Facebook and LinkedIn both have group functionalities that you can use to create groups relevant to your business and your target audience’s interests.
Audience lists are another effective way to segment your audience and have more productive social media conversations. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter allow users to create lists of friends, followers, people who have attended an event, and more. You’ll likely realize your followers are distributed throughout different geographic regions if you’ve created accurate, relevant buyer personas. Posting at different times of the day allows you to generate engagement from a larger portion of your audience, as followers worldwide can engage with your posts.
Leveraging multiple networks is essential to reach a broader audience. Creating several social media profiles with specific intent can help serve relevant content to specific audiences. For example, a clothing brand can target younger audiences on TikTok and older audiences on Instagram. Within each platform, it’s also worth considering creating multiple accounts focused on various aspects of your business or the demands of your different audiences. However, each social media account should still serve a larger audience, so be sure to work on building your overall audience from one account before you try building out more.
Now it’s time to define what you will say to your audience regarding the abovementioned aspects. But at this stage, whether you work in B2B or B2C is also important.
Here are four B2B social media content ideas that can be highly effective:
Showcase your best-case studies:
Share customer success stories, before and after scenarios, and testimonials demonstrating your brand’s capabilities. Highlight key statistics and create graphics or videos to make it more engaging for the audience. This strategy is often used by law firms that build their professional reputation by showing the issues they resolve for their clients.
As the example above shows, the company addresses its existing and potential clients who may have similar intentions (target audience). And here are some important points you should consider in your communication. It shows its value in assisting clients in their strategic plan implementation. It also demonstrates the big team that indicates a big, trustful business with a long history in the legal market.
Highlight community involvement:
If you support local nonprofits or organizations, showcase your participation in social media. Ask your employees to share their volunteer experiences on Instagram Reels, TikTok, or YouTube Shorts. Highlighting your community involvement can help you build trust and network with other local businesses. If your company has a Public Relations department, you are probably familiar with the area of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Such content is a part of this job that positively impacts your reputation and brand awareness.
Post your research:
Share white papers or studies and create social media content that links back to the full report. Use online graphic design tools to create animations to post on Reels or other platforms. Sharing your research can help you target and attract your ideal audience and build credibility within your industry. This will also show your expertise to your potential customers and partners.
Share your company culture:
In addition to promoting job openings, share why someone should consider working with your company in the first place. Use popular hashtags to increase your reach. It’s important to offer great benefits and protections for your employees to attract top talent. Highlighting your company culture can help you stay top of mind for potential employees and contribute to social progress.
But whatever type you choose, focus on the relevant topics for your target audience and touch on their pain points. For example, you work in the medical equipment software field. You’ll be able to offer your followers research about the most common billing issues and how to address them with the latest technologies.
Glorium Marketing Advice: Consider the growing popularity of video content. People often like watching what they are interested in instead of reading. So, your research teaser, CSR activity, or use case can be demonstrated in a short (even three minutes can be too much) and exciting video where you deliver your key message. Modern AI-based creation tools allow users to take much less effort for production.
If your business is more related to B2C, then you can use one of the following types of content:
- Leverage AI for social content ideas: Use AI tools to generate content ideas and overcome writer’s block. This can help you create more content faster and free up time for more original and creative work.
- Run a contest: Social media contests are a great way to engage your audience and generate leads. Offer a prize that’s appropriate for the level of effort required to enter (e.g., a small prize for a simple like-and-share contest or a larger prize for a more involved contest).
- Feature your customers: Sharing customer testimonials or transformation stories can help build trust and credibility with your audience. Consider creating a short video interview with a happy customer and sharing it across multiple platforms.
- Partner with content creators: Collaborating with influencers or micro-influencers can help you reach new audiences and generate high-quality content for future campaigns.
- Get feedback from your customers: Ask them what they want and involve them in decision-making. This can help deepen relationships and build community around your brand.
Glorium Marketing Advice: Determine the best time to post: Research when your target audience is most active on social media and schedule your posts accordingly. This will increase the likelihood that your content will be seen and engaged. Regularly post quality content on your social media accounts to keep your followers engaged and attract new ones. Make sure to mix up the type of content you post, such as blog articles, images, videos, and infographics.
Social Media Advertising
The operation of social media ads can be explained by their audience targeting approach, as opposed to the keyword targeting approach of search ads. Although different platforms have their own formats, settings, and features, some general traits are shared. Like Google Ads, social ads operate as an auction-style pay-per-click (PPC) where an algorithm assesses ad quality, maximum bid, and past performance to determine placements and costs.
Campaign objectives are crucial, and most platforms offer three options representing the top, middle, and bottom of the funnel: reach/awareness, leads/engagement, and conversion/sales. Targeting is possible by demographics, interests, and behaviors, and you can create retargeting and lookalike audiences. Facebook audience targeting guide is helpful in gaining an overall understanding of this.
Additionally, each platform has an account structure allowing the organization of ads into groups and campaigns, despite the different naming conventions employed by each platform.
Measuring social media marketing results can be done in several ways. Here are some steps you can take to measure the effectiveness of your social media marketing campaigns:
1. Set Clear Goals and Objectives
Before you can measure the success of your social media marketing efforts, you need to know what you’re trying to achieve. Set clear goals and objectives that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).
Here are some examples of the goals:
- Increase brand awareness: Increase social media followers by 20% in the next six months by running targeted ads and posting engaging content.
- Generate leads: Increase the number of leads by 30% in the next quarter by running lead generation campaigns on social media and directing traffic to a landing page.
- Improve engagement: Increase engagement rate by 10% in the next three months by posting interactive content, running social media contests, and responding promptly to comments and messages.
- Boost website traffic: Increase website traffic from social media by 15% in the next six months by posting links to the website and running social media ads.
- Enhance customer satisfaction: Increase customer satisfaction by 20% in the next year by responding to customer feedback on social media, resolving issues promptly, and providing relevant information and resources.
- Expand market reach: Expand market reach by targeting new demographics or geographic areas by running social media campaigns targeting specific groups or regions.
2. Track Metrics
You can track several metrics to measure the success of your social media marketing campaigns. Some common metrics include engagement rate, reach, impressions, clicks, conversions, and follower growth.
- The engagement rate measures how much your audience interacts with your content. You can track this metric by analyzing the number of likes, comments, shares, and saves on your posts. To calculate the engagement rate, divide the total engagement by the number of followers and multiply by 100.
- Reach and impressions: Reach refers to the number of unique people who have seen your content, while impressions refer to the total number of times your content has been seen. You can track these metrics using social media analytics tools that provide data on reach and impressions.
- Clicks refer to the number of times people click on your social media posts or ads. You can track this metric using the analytics tools provided by social media platforms or third-party tools like Google Analytics.
- Conversions refer to the number of people who take a desired action after seeing your social media content or ads, such as filling out a form or purchasing. You can track conversions by setting up conversion tracking using tools like Facebook Pixel or Google Tag Manager.
- Follower growth measures how many new followers you gain over a certain period. You can track this metric by monitoring your follower count over time and analyzing trends and changes in growth rate.
3. Use Analytics Tools
There are many analytics tools available that can help you track and measure the success of your social media marketing campaigns. Some popular ones include Google Analytics, Hootsuite Insights, Sprout Social, and Buffer Analyze.
- Google Analytics can help you track website traffic and conversions from social media. To set up tracking, you’ll need to create a Google Analytics account and connect it to your website. Then, you can set up goals and create UTM parameters to track clicks and conversions from social media. You can also use Google Analytics to track the behavior of visitors who come to your website from social media.
- Hootsuite Insights provides real-time analytics and reporting for social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Hootsuite Insights can track engagement rate, follower growth, and impressions. You can also use it to create custom reports and track specific hashtags or keywords.
- Sprout Social provides social media analytics and reporting tools that can help you measure the success of your social media campaigns. You can track metrics such as engagement rate, impressions, and clicks. You can also monitor brand mentions and track the performance of your competitors.
- Buffer Analyze provides analytics and reporting tools for social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You can use it to track metrics such as engagement rate, reach, and follower growth. You can also create custom reports and track the performance of specific posts or campaigns.
4. Analyze the Data
Once you have collected data on your social media marketing efforts, analyze it to determine what’s working and what’s not. Look for patterns and trends in the data to gain insights into what your audience likes and dislikes.
- Identify your key performance indicators (KPIs): Determine which metrics are most important to your business goals and marketing objectives. You can focus on the metrics that provide the most valuable insights into your social media performance.
- Compare data over time: Look at how your metrics have changed to identify patterns and trends. Determine which campaigns or strategies have impacted your metrics most, and try to replicate their success.
- Compare data across different platforms: Analyze your metrics across social media platforms to identify which platforms are most effective for your business. Determine which types of content perform best on each platform and adjust your strategy accordingly.
- Analyze audience demographics: Look at your social media audience demographics to gain insights into their interests and preferences. Use this information to create content that resonates with your audience and drives engagement.
- Monitor competitors: Keep an eye on your competitors’ social media metrics to see how you stack up. Analyze their strategies and campaigns to determine what’s working for them and incorporate those strategies into your own social media marketing efforts.
5. Make adjustments
Use the insights you gain from your data analysis to adjust your social media marketing strategy. Experiment with different types of content, posting schedules, and messaging to see what resonates with your audience.
Another essential part of your social media marketing is working with customer feedback. You should post and promote your content and react appropriately to what users say. Their impressions help you identify bottlenecks and improve your product or service quality. But as social media is quick communication, you should respond quickly. By taking the time to listen to and address your audience’s concerns and needs, you will show that you are committed not only to selling a product but also to helping people. This approach builds trust and fosters stronger connections with your customers, ultimately leading to greater success for yourself and those you serve.
As your business grows, it’s important to take your social media strategy to the next level with social listening. By keeping a close ear on what customers are saying and quickly responding to their needs, you’ll gain their trust and respect and stay one step ahead of your competition. Don’t miss out on this key element of effective social media management.
Check out these social monitoring resources that will boost your online presence:
This social listening tool allows users to monitor online conversations about their brand, competitors, and industry. Key features include real-time mentions monitoring, sentiment analysis, influencer identification, and customizable reports.
This social intelligence tool provides users with insights into consumer behavior, market trends, and brand reputation. Key features include social listening, image recognition, competitor analysis, and customizable dashboards.
This social media management tool allows users to manage and schedule posts across multiple social media platforms and monitor and analyze performance. Key features include a social media calendar, automated publishing, team collaboration, and social media analytics.
This social media monitoring tool helps users track online mentions of their brand, competitors, and industry. Key features include real-time mentions tracking, sentiment analysis, influencer identification, and customizable reports.
This content marketing tool gives users insights into popular content in their industry and social media performance metrics. Key features include content analysis, influencer identification, competitor analysis, and customizable reports.
This social media listening tool helps users track online conversations about their brand, products, and industry. Key features include sentiment analysis, image recognition, competitor analysis, and customizable dashboards.
This social media management and analytics tool provides users with publishing, engagement, listening, and analytics features. Key features include a unified inbox, social CRM, audience segmentation, and customizable reporting.
Social media marketing has become a critical component of startup success. By building brand awareness, engaging with customers, driving website traffic, converting followers into customers, and measuring success, startups can leverage the power of social media to grow their businesses. Although there are challenges, with the right strategy and execution, social media marketing can help startups achieve their marketing goals and take their businesses to new heights.