Being a social media manager for a rapidly growing startup isn’t easy. Bouncing between being a content writer, photographer, and customer outreach specialist at a moment’s notice can be exhausting. And despite continuously checking off boxes, a start-up social media manager’s to-do list tends to grow overwhelmingly.
But startups need social media to grow. So there are a few things social media managers can do to make their job easier and grow their startup’s followers.
Learn why social media is so important for startups, along with five ways startup social media managers can stay on top of their game.
What is a social media manager, and why do startups need them?
A social media manager is responsible for the upkeep and proliferation of all social media accounts for an entity or company. These duties include, but are not limited to, maintaining social media accounts, moderating posts, generating the content, and using analytics to track the effectiveness of their marketing efforts.
Social media is one of the most important marketing tools for startups. It allows them to reach their target audience and promote their product or service at a relatively low cost compared to other marketing channels.
Marketing statistics for startups show that the most actively used platform for building brand awareness is social media marketing. In addition, millennials are 247 percent more likely to be influenced by blogs and social media, while business data has revealed social media as the best method for attracting new clients.
While going viral can make an unknown startup a household name overnight, just maintaining an online dialogue between the brand and the audience can be enough to build relationships and grow sales.
It’s clear social media marketing is a solid strategy for startups. But successful social media campaigns don’t manage themselves. Almost half of all startups spend less than two hours weekly on social media marketing. That’s why every startup can benefit from having a dedicated social media manager on their roster, no matter their product or service.
5 in-depth tips for startup social media managers
Overload doesn’t have to be a requirement for startup social media managers.
Here are a few tips for making social media a rewarding and engaging experience for both brand and audience.
1. Build an idea database (and work on it continuously)
One of the best problems in social media marketing is an overflow of post ideas. Social media managers should set aside time each day to brainstorm for content inspiration. Here are a few techniques to try:
- Come up with industry themes. These could include products, services, or fun engagement topics. For example, an ice cream shop could post a weekly summary of how they invented each of their favorite flavors. At the same time, a landscape service could focus on different topics each week (e.g., flower gardens one week, lawn care the next, followed by weed prevention).
- Look to the competition for inspiration. You don’t necessarily have to be the first to develop a post idea. Instead, look to the competition to see what’s working and emulate it. Don’t just copy it. Instead, focus on what is overlooked or how you can improve upon it, like designing an infographic to drive home a text-only point well-received by your target audience via a competitor.
- Go directly to the source. First, ask your audience what they want to know about your business or how you can help them. Then, head to a search engine and see what suggested questions are around common keywords in your industry.
But what do you do with all those ideas? Scribbling on Post-It notes is a surefire way to misplace a potential viral post. Utilizing a cloud-based storage platform is ideal and can be as simple or as detailed as you would like. A single spreadsheet organized by post type may be enough, while others prefer project management software.
Bonus tip: Don’t forget about curated content or content shared from other sources. It’s a quick way to get a post out or start a discussion without investing time in creating unique content. This technique shouldn’t be the main pillar of a startup’s marketing strategy but rather an occasional fallback.
2. Plan in advance, but be flexible
Planning content well in advance can take the daily pressure off a social media manager. Rushing to the keyboard to craft a post minutes before the deadline can lead to embarrassing mistakes and poor engagement with audience members who sniff out an unprofessional approach.
Social media managers must plan their feeds around product releases, sales, holidays, important industry news, and other timely events. Having a social media strategy that you can facilitate through the proper tools is the best way to help you stick to the biggest rule of social media: posting consistently.
At the same time, it’s important not to plan too far in advance. Having a bit of flexibility is important in social media management. Think of the companies upended by the COVID-19 pandemic, which had to abandon their 2020 content plans.
Experts recommend planning content at least one month in advance (but certainly never for the full calendar year at once). This strategy means a startup social media manager should find the fastest way to move through the planning process so they can tackle the design portion with plenty of time. One way to do this is the Getting Things Done time management framework. It helps users quickly and easily navigate long and complex to-do lists, like planning social media posts.
3. Perfect your photography without expensive equipment
When it comes to social media, visuals are everything. Startups rarely have the budget for a professional photographer, leading social media managers to do all the staging, capturing, filtering, and editing independently.
Luckily, plenty of photography tips and tools help novice social media photographers.
Here are some basics:
- Stage appropriately. Proper product staging isn’t just for professionals. There’s plenty to learn about photography between lighting, props, backdrops, textures, colors, and style. Experience is a fast teacher, so even if things aren’t coming together, keep snapping.
- Use an editing tool. Capturing photos on a smartphone and using the included editing tools won’t cut it in today’s social media environment. So instead, opt for an online editing site that can help produce professional photos at a fraction of the cost. In addition, there are plenty of free photo editing tools available to help boost a photo’s visual appeal and impact.
- Keep photos organized. Some platforms require photos of different sizes. And once you have a great product photo, it only makes sense to use it in as many marketing channels as possible. Keeping your photos organized can save oodles of time. Choose to organize by product, shoot date, or platform usage. Don’t be afraid to make copies if a single photo checks the boxes of multiple digital folders.
4. Know the 4–1–1 Rule
The 4–1–1 rule is an easy way to create balance in social media posts for startups. It is a simple formula for creating content and suggests that for every six posts:
- Four should be entertaining or engaging
- One should be a soft sell
- One should be a hard sell
Engaging content will get more likes, comments, and shares than a sales post. Pictures and videos tend to work the best.
A soft sell is a type of advertising that does not seem to be advertising. A soft sell usually doesn’t have any sales pitches or CTAs and instead relies on the product’s merits to speak for itself. On the other hand, a hard sell internationally persuades people to buy or trial a product or service.
The 4–1–1 rule is not a strict formula; rather, it is more of an idea to help people decide how to post on social media. When using the 4–1–1 rule, remember you want to have some engaging and interesting posts for your audience. And also posts meant to push your product or service. Having all of one or the other won’t result in a winning social media campaign.
5. Avoid the social media hamster wheel (i.e., posting without progress)
Disappearing on your audience is a cardinal sin in social media. But how much should you post, so you connect without being bothersome?
The answer depends on your platform, your social media goals, and how engaged your current audience is.
It’s not just about how often to post but also the best time to post. Crowdfire’s Best Time feature helps startup social media managers know when to publish a post. The suggested time is based on previously posted content that received maximum engagement and the time when a brand’s followers are most active online.
Not ready to commit to a social media management app? Do your best to stay up to date on posting trends by platform and make a note of your brand’s top-performing posts. Look for a time window that resonates most with your audience and stick with it.
And if a post reaches a disappointing number of followers, you can always repost it at a later date and new time to increase reach and engagement.
Social media management at its best
Social media management can be overwhelming. There aren’t enough hours in the day to brainstorm, plan, design, edit, and post on multiple platforms for a target audience without any help.
Crowdfire helps you discover relevant curated content to share with your audience, pre-schedule your posts, publish content from your website, and tailor posts for every social network.
Learn how Crowdfire can simplify your startup’s social media management process today.