As an entrepreneur, social media is your best friend (free, ubiquitous marketing!), but in a busy startup with what feels like an endless to-do list, it probably seems like just another chore. It’s absolutely a smart investment of your time to spend 45-55 minutes each day in your social channels, and the social media hacks below will show you how you can make the most of your time:
No need to toil over original blog posts or rack your brain constructing the perfect photo meme; chances are, someone has already done it for you. Keep an eye on what others in your industry are saying on their social channels by using services like Hootsuite that alert you in real time when someone mentions a key phrase or hashtag. Then, share, like, or retweet it. Not only does this provide free, easy-to-come-by content for you, but it also generates industry goodwill and builds relationships with complementary services.
Another way to find fresh content is by setting up Google alerts for keywords that are pertinent to your product or service. These will be delivered to your email as often as you like and will save you the trouble of conducting the searches yourself. If you reblog a piece, always give credit to the source and link to their original post (and proceed with caution). This increases visibility and builds good relationships with bloggers and other websites, and is simply the right thing to do.
Share like a Pro
While others might be posting the kind of content you want to share with your own audience, it’s important to wrap that content in the language of your brand. You only have a split second to capture the interest of your audience, so be brief. “Brief” means different things on different platforms, but keep curated Twitter posts to under 100 characters, and blog posts to under 1,000 words. Enliven posts by including an image, ideally on every post, and experiment with post timing to make sure you’re getting your content in front of your audience when they’re online (see Automate Your Posts below for more).
Help your posts get found by including the #hashtags your audience is using. Don’t go overboard, but do use two or three per post if you have room. Hashtags connect your posts with other conversations on the same topic so your voice can join the chorus of people discussing it. Ultimately, tracking metrics is the best way to gauge your social media success. Many of the services described below in Automate Your Posts also offer tracking and analytics, but at the very least you should be tracking the timing, hashtags, and engagement generated by each post in a spreadsheet.
Automate Your Posts
Tools for scheduling posts eliminates the need to post manually. You can queue up a week’s worth of posts all at once, which is a boon to productivity. Some of the better known services include Buffer, Post Planner, Sprout Social, and Tweetdeck. It’s perfectly acceptable to share the same post over multiple platforms, and you should even re-post original content like blog posts regularly.
Social media is a “must have” for any startup, so if you need to hire an extra set of hands to keep up with posting and content creation, do it (or outsource it). You’ll reap the benefits of company visibility, audience building, and engagement, which eventually leads to paying customers and investors.