You’re trying to raise money for your startup, and social media makes that mission easier than ever. In fact, if you know what you’re doing, you can reach millions of people on a shoestring budget.
The big question, however, is how? Below are six quick tips for gaining exposure and raising money for your startup using social media.
1. Understand your platform.
Every social media platform has its own niche. Facebook keeps you connected with friends and family. Twitter shares content in bite-sized chunks. Google+ and LinkedIn are for networking professionally. Some people simply link all of their social media accounts together and post the same thing to all of them. But this isn't the smartest move: You need to tailor your posts to each network you’re on.
For instance, on LinkedIn, you might post a study that addresses some of your audience’s pain points. On Facebook, you might post a funny meme that people in your target demographic will relate to.
2. Choose the right networks.
There are a lot of social networks out there. Developing a real, meaningful presence on any of them takes time and effort. The more social networks you’re part of, the thinner you spread your resources, and the more difficulty you have gaining a following on any of them. Maybe you should just focus on the most popular one? The problem with that strategy is that what’s popular can change fairly quickly. According to a prediction by Rantic CEO Simon Z, Google+ will actually surpass Facebook in terms of followers and user engagement. So, which one do you choose to develop your presence on?
Rather than worry about which social platform will give you the biggest overall reach, focus instead on which platforms fit best with your brand and your audience. Since different social networks have different styles and focuses, they attract different types of people. So look for the three or four where you can have the most impact. If you’re looking for the young and hip crowd, try Instagram or Snapchat. To appeal to investors, meanwhile, you’ll do better with a presence on LinkedIn.
3. Spend wisely.
A social media account is free, but that doesn’t mean your social strategy won’t cost you both money and other resources. The question is, where and how do you spend with regards to your social media strategy, in order to maximize the return on your investment?
You can pay on Facebook or Twitter to promote your posts to a larger number of people. And some sites will simply let you buy social media followers outright. Perhaps the best investment, though, is a social media manager. Rather than focusing on numbers, a manager can help you develop a complete social media marketing strategy that will help you turn those numbers into investors for your startup.
4. Build a community by being human.
One of the benefits of social media is the opportunity it gives you not just to deliver your message to your audience, but to interact with them and get their feedback. With a little effort, you can form real connections that will impact how people see your brand. How do you do this? To start, act like a human, not a marketing robot. Engage your audience, rather than simply selling to them.
If all you do is blast your generic marketing message, people will tune it out. But if you take the time to listen to your audience’s opinions, answer their questions and address their issues, they’ll begin to see you not as a corporate façade, but as a trusted friend.
5. Constantly reevaluate your strategy.
The world of social media is continually changing and evolving. If you don’t change and evolve with it, you’ll be left behind. This means regularly examining your social media strategy to see what’s working and what’s not. If your written tweets about your startup aren’t gaining as much traction as your latest viral cat video, adjust accordingly.
6. Recruit employees on social media.
Your social media pages are the face you present to the world. So those pages can bring you more than just potential customers. Investors will look you up on social media to see what you’re all about, and so will potential employees. Take advantage of this.
Show recruits the experience they’ll have working at your company by posting photos of your office culture on Instagram. You can even post job listings on Facebook and Twitter. Customers, investors and employees should all be able to look at your social media accounts and see what it is that makes your company stand out from the others in your category.
The key to getting investors for your startup is to show them that your company has potential: that people are interested in what you have to offer. And what better way to do that than on social media? A good social media presence means your company is popular and visible. That popularity then leads to customers, which in turn leads to a good return on their investment.
In this day and age, being active on social media is more than just a helpful marketing tactic. It’s essential to the success of your company.