5 Social Media Management Tips For Startups

Have you recently started working as a social media manager for a start-up? Perhaps you’re the founder and you want to know how on earth you can manage your social channels with very little budget and time. Well I can’t say I’m an expert, but I have spent a great deal of time ironing out the creases as social media and communications manager for Simtek and I want to share with you what’s worked for me.

My name is Rachael and I am a part-time musician part-time communications manager. I also have a love for illustration, which has been very useful when it comes to creating unique social media content.

Managing social media for a startup can be pretty different than if it were a more established company. You’re often working with limited budget and juggling many roles at once. My first tip seems like a simple one but trust me it’s very effective:

Set Goals

I said it was simple didn’t I. However, it’s surprising how easy it is to forget this and jump straight into scheduling random posts with no real thought behind what you want to achieve from them.

When working for a start-up, these goals will probably look a little different to those of a more established business. For example: you will need to build up a following from scratch, find out how they like to receive content and develop a relationship with them.

It’s good to use the S.M.A.R.T acronym when creating goals.

S- Specific

M- Measurable

A- Attainable

R- Realistic

T- Time based

Establish your audience

I’m guessing by this stage you already have an idea of who your target audience is, however it is important to know how to speak to them. For example; if your company sells make-up products aimed at 16-25-year-old females you can be fairly certain that they’re going to respond well to make-up tutorials, discount codes, model photographs etc. However, if like us you have a product that appeals to a very wide range of individuals from: travelers, to gun owners, to boat owners, to truck drivers. Then that’s a pretty broad spectrum of potential customers to try and reach!

This is something that we’re still experimenting with. The good thing about being involved with the early stages of a start-up is that I do get the chance to experiment a little, without any catastrophic effects if something doesn’t work as well as I’d hoped.

The key to this is to stay neutral, at least to begin with. Don’t post anything that is going to alienate a potential customer. However, at the same time make sure you are posting about subjects your audience are actually interested in. If you have to be a tiny bit controversial then so be it, at least you will learn from your mistakes, or get people talking about your product/service if there is an uproar!

Still totally stumped by what your audience will respond to? As a starting point look at your competitors and how they interact with their audience. Don’t copy them word for word just get some ideas and adapt them for your business model.

When I started at Simtek we hadn’t even began shipping the product. This made things more difficult as we had to build a following around a product that barely anyone had used yet.

Understand your Audience

Once you know what your audience likes then you can start posting in a way that they will respond well to. Tools such as BuzzSumo help to identify the most shared topic for any search term, or domain.

Understanding your audience is the key to promoting your business. If you’re not sharing content that they care about then the likelihood of them sticking around as an engaged customer is very unlikely. This is especially important in the start-up stage, as zero- or very few people- have used your product or service yet. Therefore, when you actually launch your new product/service, you’ve already got fewer potential customers than if you were sharing engaging content that they were already interacting with.

Create a Content Plan

Once you have established your goals, how to speak to your audience and what you want to say. Then it’s time to put that all together in a plan. I find it’s a good idea to do this for a few months at a time but not skip too far ahead, as things are more focused that way.

There are loads of online tools to help you create content plans Hootsuite in particular has some great templates you can download and fill out yourself. I like to start with a month by month list of how I am going to achieve my S.M.A.R.T goals, then incorporate all my other analytical findings. I then create a spreadsheet of what I am going to post on each day and how often.  

I use Hootsuite to schedule posts and make sure I do this at times where my audience are most active.

Analyze your Audience Regularly

This is especially important for a start-up still finding their feet. Use analytics tools such as those built into social media sites or external ones such as Hootsuite, Follwerwonk and Viralwoot to see how your audience is interacting with your posts. It’s also useful to see the best times to post, and establish which content is performing well. This is something that will need to be tweaked and reviewed regularly, especially at the beginning.

I hope those tips have been helpful. Like I say I am no expert when it comes to social media management. I just wanted to share with you my experiences of working in social media for a startup.

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