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3 Guaranteed Ways Startups Can Succeed on Social Media

A few weeks ago, I was invited to participate as an expert in a women’s roundtable discussion by my good friend and fellow entrepreneur Stephanie Franco of Diversity Solutions Marketing.
 
In my sessions, one of the most popular topics of discussions was questions surrounding how they could succeed on social media and how it can be used for building an online presence.
 

WERE Event with Stephanie Franco - Diversity Solutions Marketing

WERE Event with Stephanie Franco – Diversity Solutions Marketing

 
Here is what I noticed:  The majority of the small business owners that I chatted with realized the importance of using social networks to grow their businesses and were eager to figure out how to use social media better.   
 
However the majority of them were having a hard time figuring out how to make social media work for their businesses.  
 
A few of the biggest frustrations that many of the attendees had regarding social media marketing were:

  1. Social media marketing is too time consuming and there is just not enough time in the day to do it
  2. They weren’t sure which social networks to use for their businesses 
  3. They didn’t know how to get started with using social networks 
  4. They are not seeing an ROI for their social media marketing

 
After listening to the group more, I could immediately tell that a lot of these women were on the brink of giving up with social media, since they were not seeing any real results.  
 
But… because social media is so popular these days, they were not quite ready to throw in the towel just yet.
 

How the Marketing Landscape Has Changed

 
Times have seriously changed and social media marketing seems to be on the forefront of many small business owners minds — as it should.  
 

 
I mean….the benefits of social media marketing are excellent.  You can sign up for various online platforms for FREE and use them to get more exposure for your brand. 
 
I was reading an interesting statistic from one of my favorite marketing websites Hubspot that stated that 8 out of 10 small businesses use social media to drive business growth.
 
In addition to these statistics, I’ve found the following just as surprising:

  • 82% of SMBs in “hyper growth” (significant increase in revenue YoY) say that social media is effective for generating leads (Hubspot)
  • Social media is used by over 1 million SMBs in North America (Hubspot)
  • 3 in 5 SMBs say they’ve gained new customers by using social media (Hubspot)

 
I can tell you first hand as an entrepreneur that I have seriously reaped a ton of rewards from using social media networks.  
 
Since launching YourChicGeek.com in January of this year with a clear focus and purpose and using social media regularly, I have networked and met with some awesome entrepreneurs, gotten my brand featured in several blogs, and even collaborated with a fellow entrepreneur on a 31DayPRO Challenge that inspires folks to startup.
 
31 Day Startup Challenge with Kim and Shannon
 
I am not saying all of this to brag, but only show you that social media does work. And here’s the best part of it all…I spend approximately 30-45 minutes a day curating content to my social media profiles.  
 

Why are Small Businesses Spending 6 Hours + Per Week on Social Media

 
Several weeks ago, I received an email request from a fellow entrepreneur that I will call Robert.  
 
Robert contacted me and explained that he was struggling with building an online presence for his business and wanted to use social media but wasn’t sure how.
 
Roberts biggest frustration with using social media was that on top of the gazillion things that he had on his ever growing “to-do” list, that he just couldn’t stay consistent with posting content to all of his active networks consistently.
 
He knows that using social media networks to build his brand is important, but stated that it was taking up too much time to manage all of his profiles.
 
After our discussion, I realized that Robert had two main issues:  he was manually trying to manage all of his social media networks and secondly he did not have a strategy and plan in place to maximize his efforts. 
 
I gave Robert a simple plan of action to follow and recommendations on what he can do to generate better results and succeed on social media networks.
 

My Top 3 Tips + List of Guaranteed Ways Startups Can Succeed on Social Media

 
I can’t lie… social media used be overwhelming and almost intimidating for me at one point too! 
 
I didn’t know what the heck I was doing out there in a sea of a million other folks that were trying to stand out online.  I was tirelessly trying this strategy and that strategy publishing one piece of content after another and was getting nowhere fast.
 

Bonus offer: click here to download my free social media startup worksheets + considerations worksheets

 
But then something happened that transformed everything for me: I started to understand this social media thing and figured out that these were the three things I was missing:   
 
1.Understanding who I was targeting on social media (to begin with). Sooo I’ve mentioned this in one of my most popular blog posts to date  >> Focus on These 3 Things and Watch Your Startup Flourish.
 
In this article I list out the 3 things that I believe all startups should focus on and why. Trust me, you’ll want to check out this article.  The simple fact of the matter is that you can’t target everybody and if you do… you will stay “chasing your tail”.  Get really clear on this peeps…believe me it makes all of the difference in the world.  
 
2. A strong social media presence and brand.  I’ve often stated that just as you are judged offline you are judged online.
 
After I had gotten my target market down packed, and started REALLY engaging with my followers on social media (I’m not just talking via the use of automation tools), but adding a personal touch by engaging with my followers, things really started to happen.

 
If I can be truthful here for a moment, when I first started using social networks, I wasnt very “social”. I told myself however, that with the YourChicGeek.com brand, that I was going to approach things differently by making it a point to acknowledge each and every one of my new followers.
 
And you know what..it works! Your followers want to be acknowledged and not treated as if they are just another number and etc., So if there is one super valuable piece of advice that I can give to you — it is to be the “Superhero” to your fans and followers! Thank them and seriously engage with them…
 
3. Using the right tools to simplify the social media management process.  Yeaaa sooooo this was definitely Roberts biggest problem.  He was doing wayyyy too much with posting content manually.  
 
Instead, Robert should have been using social media management tools like Hootsuite (my tool of choice) to manage his social media networks.
 
As a result of getting these 3 things in order (in addition some others), in just 3 months after launching YourChicGeek, I have:

  • Landed a contributing author gig on a very popular and widely recognized publication
  • Collaborated with several entrepreneurs via social media to launch various projects
  • Received an invitation to write for a blog that has more than 60,000 readers +

 
So, as you can see, you can definitely succeed with using social media..it’s all about strategy, and most importantly getting clarity around who it is you want to reach there.
 
I want to note that…success on social media networks should be measured. What I consider successful, someone else may not.
 
As I’ve indicated throughout the article, getting results on social media takes time and a lotttt of consistent action.
 
I am hopeful that the 3 tips presented to you will give you a starting point for using social media networks better for your business.

Your Next Steps

 
Are you struggling to make the web work for your business?  If you are ready to get out of a rut, click here to learn more about my Startup Workbook for Champs to get on the fast track to starting up on the web the right way.
 
In the meantime, please drop me a line below.  I would love to know what strategies you are using to make social media work for your business.  Cheers!
 

Bonus offer: click here to download my free social media startup worksheets + considerations worksheets

Kim
 

Kim, YourChicGeek is a tech savvy diva + founder of YourChicGeek.com. She is passionate about teaching small biz's how to create a web presence for growth + impact. Kim has created several online courses that help small businesses grow and flourish online. You can contact Kim to hop on a quick 15 minute call to chat about your online marketing goals.

  • Hi Kim,

    If I had a penny for every time I heard about the “time” factor and social media I might be a billionaire, lol… 🙂

    It’s funny, I just wrote an in-depth article this week on humanizing digital marketing strategies.

    The web has become so intertwined with itself and with the offline world and because so many are trapped in mass marketing and don’t know it, they unintentionally lose the human aspect of “social” media and treat it like it’s advertising.

    I do say in the article that it will take work! There is no way around it. But the times are also changing rapidly and we are already paying people to access our content.

    The question is how much do you want to pay?

    Where are your customers and prospects?

    Are you there?

    Are you creating meaningful and engaging content.

    I’ll be in N. Virginia tomorrow at an event where I have a booth. I only know two people out of sixty who will be there.

    But, when you look at my social media pages the day after you would think I’m friends with everyone in the room.

    I’ll have a raffle, and a picture will be part of the raffle. It is going to be so much fun!!!!

    Social media for business isn’t all “business” ~ It should also be fun!!!!

    Great post Kim!!!!

    Have a great week.

    ~ Don Purdum

    • Hey there Don!

      Totally agreed Don!

      There is sooo much going on out here that it is A: very intimidating for newbies and B: Super overwhelming for them because 90% of the time they dont know where to start or have a strategy in place for their digital marketing.

      You are spot on as well with being sure to “humanize” the interaction on Social networks, and not treat it as if its just another place to post to sell/market without really building relationships with your peers.

      I totally forgot to add this to the post but will, because in truth as Adrienne stated, this is the single most important thing that I have been doing in the last few months that has really brought in results for my brand.

      Wishing you a fantastic week Don! Cheers 🙂

  • Hey Kim,

    I bet you met some awesome people at that meeting and I’m sure were able to give them some great insights as to how to move forward with social media.

    I’m with Don, I hear that time is a BIG factor for many but I think it’s because they don’t have a plan and of course starting out there usually is more time involved to get things set up and get going. But as you’ve clearly stated in this post and your other one, you just need to figure out which platforms your audience is on and then set up a system to start sharing your message across them all.

    Automation is good to an extent but we both know you’ve taken that time to actually interact with others which has landed you some of the things you’ve accomplished up to this point. That’s huge and I hope those ladies all recognized that.

    Another interesting lesson here and I hope they all signed up for your startup challenge. I’m sure they’ll acquire a LOT of great information from that.

    Wonderful share and I’ll so share this one too. You have a great week now.

    ~Adrienne

    • Heelllllooo there Ms. Adrienne! Gosh you are right on soooo many levels with most folks not having a plan of attack for the social media monster.

      Believe me when I first started out on social networks, I was all over the friggin place. Trying to be active on this network and that network..its just not a good strategy. Which brings me to my next point which is having a solid strategy in place and a plan of attack.

      If I had to sum things up for the event that I attended the biggest issue and challenges that most of the ladies that I met faced was that they did not have a strategy in place. Kinda crazy that I thought I added that to this post but didnt …

      To add to your statement about networking online and being “social” gosh, that is definitely without a doubt super important. Glad that you pointed that out as well. I sincerely appreciate all that you do Adrienne and I HAVE to make it over to your blog to comment. Its been crazytown this week as Ive been finishing up my course. Wishing you a fantabulous weekend 🙂

  • Hi Kim,

    Social media plays an important role for a business to grow. There are many social media platforms to use. But the point is, how to use them?

    People do many mistakes. They try to show their presence at all the possible social networking websites. They should show their presence where they can find their targeted audience.

    You have mentioned some great points here. I am sure people will learn from them.
    Great post.
    Have a nice week ahead.
    ~Ravi

    • Heyyy there Ravi! I appreciate you dropping by to comment on the post my friend. You are absolutely correct with your statement in that folks try to start off by being everywhere when they get started on social media.

      In my opinion, its just not the smartest thing to do. You need to have a strategy about what you do and also get super selective about the social networks that you use as well. I have a mammoth post coming up next month regarding this very topic.

      P.S. Thanks for shouting me out + sharing the post on Twittter 🙂 Appreciate ya!

  • Justin Imel

    Having just started my online business, I certainly need these tips. Thank you!

    • Hey Justin!

      Wooo hooo for you. Glad that you enjoyed the tips 🙂

  • Hey Kim,

    I love this post!

    This post will definitely help my audience to grow a social media presence. I really like the fact that you’ve made it so simple with the 3 tips.

    It’s about working smart and these 3 tips are the epitome of this. It starts with knowing who your target market is, engaging just them, and leverage tools like hootsuite so you don’t stress yourself out by staying on schedule.

    One thing that Adrienne stressed was that, yes automation is good to an extent, but coming from my own experience, it works even better when you personally interact with your audience. I’ve tried just doing automation and it didn’t work as planned. I’m not the social butterfly type, but in this case it’s better to be more social outside of using automated tools to get the best results.

    Thanks for sharing these great tips Kim! Have a great rest of the week!

    • Heyyyy Sherman! Dude I am sooo sorry that I am late to the boat on this response…but yes! Absolutely. Automate — for publishing content but ENGAGE + network with folks on a personal level.

      The engagement piece is one that I should have stressed even more because it is wayyy more important than automation. Glad you enjoyed the post my friend. Cheers and have a great day!