Facebook recently celebrated its 12th birthday. Wait, Facebook will be a teenager next year? I remember when it was in its infancy as Thefacebook. Where has the time gone? Once a virtual fraternity and sorority house where one could only gain access if you had a college email address, it is now 12 going on 40. How has this grown-up attitude affected startups and small businesses?
There was once a time when no matter what was posted on a Facebook page it was seen by anyone who “liked” the page. That has since changed, and in fact the algorithm is constantly changing. Your business page is now lucky to get 10 percent of its Facebook fans to see what has been posted. Facebook thought of a way to monetize, and users found themselves in a situation where they had to pay to play. But social media also levels the playing field, giving startups virtually the same platform as established businesses with actual marketing budgets.
Since it’s almost unheard of for a business to not be on Facebook, what can you do? Has your startup looked at your social media strategy lately? Do you have a social media strategy in place?
Social media, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube, has to be part of the conversation, not an afterthought. Do not think of it as an option, rather a priority to consider. And remember, your social media goals should align with your business goals. Social media is an extension of the values and culture of the business—treat it as such.
Facebook can be used for advertising, but don’t forget that it’s a social network. This is not the time to be antisocial. Think of ways to connect with your customers. You do not want an audience. You want to build an engaging community by adding value.
I’m a proponent of being authentic. If your brand’s tone is whimsical, find a way to infuse that into your social media presence. Embrace who you are and do not try to be someone you are not. Once the conversations start, brand awareness, conversions, customer acquisition and lead generation become easier.
5 Social Media Must-Dos for Startups
- Load Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts with basic information about your company and easy-to-find contact information.
- Create a social media strategy and align it with business goals.
- Build community by connecting with your customers and adding value.
- Be authentic by infusing your brand’s tone into your social media presence.
- Update these accounts regularly—don’t let them go stale.