Why do Online Startups need to use social media?
Why do Online Startups need to use social media: well one good reason is it can be a very cost-effective way for any new business to broadcast themselves and what they are about- online.
For a brand new business both offline and online the offline marketing factors are as important as ever-Signage, ads in local papers etc but in addition, there is also an online audience for any business to reach and social media will help to get your brand up there and let people know you exist.
In my experience I view online startups as falling into one of two categories:
- A brand-new business starting out both offline and online
- An established offline business bringing themselves online
In either scenario, whether you are starting out online offering either a product or a service you have probably been advised to create a website (or update/modernise it) and also to use social media to promote your business.
That is good advice but only tells part of the story, and an old saying springs to mind “look before you leap”.
When it comes to social media, starting out, you will listen to friends and colleagues and some will swear by the benefits of using it whilst others will say it’s all a waste of time.
In my opinion, both generalities are true – depending on many other factors however-but for the waste of time proponents, you need to dig deeper because often you are only getting part of the story from them. Did they pursue it all with no plan? Were they consistent with their efforts? Did they engage people or just spam them? and so many other questions that could be asked.
It is true that if you pursue social media marketing the wrong way then yes you will waste time.
“Social marketing is now a 24-7 job.”
― Gary Vaynerchuk …
However, used properly there are many opportunities for you online through social platforms.
But there will be rewards through social media if you embrace it wisely:
- It’s a great way to build a loyal following
- To drive traffic to other channels you own such as in particular your website
- Lots of the traffic online that we seek and want, we have to earn, and that traffic still comes from social media!
- Ideal leads can also see your fans and likes, which increases the credibility of your business
- Social media is akin to a virtual word-of-mouth arena where your followers can recommend you to their own friends and followers.
Of course, all of this is predicated upon your starting out by devising and following a plan, researching what social platform fits and testing it over time, learning how to use the platform technically and learning how to engage people “who have an interest in what you are all about” and by posting useful information.
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, so pick one social platform and go with it fully and be consistent with message and content and you will be surprised at how your audience will slowly but surely grow.
Then you can consider expanding into another social channel to further expand your reach.