Social Media for Start-ups – Chapter 1

I met a friend yesterday who complained how overloaded she is with work. She is busy working for an amazing start-up that’s giving people advice on what clothes to wear and where to buy them. Standard sizes unfortunately are not for all, as everyone’s body is different – and that makes finding the proper clothes a challenge for many people.

Now, on top of everything, my friend has been told to start a Facebook page. Thinking as an entrepreneur whose time is money, she complained: “Seriously? It’s going to be even more work posting something stupid in Facebook!”

Except that this is anything but stupid. I was able to reassure her: “It’s not going to be too much work if you have a plan. Think ahead before you start, and Facebook won’t keep you from your main tasks.”

My friend was impressed by this advice, and suggested I might share it – so here goes.

Business woman typing on a laptop.First, don’t post anything that you don’t believe in – you shouldn’t. Be personal: People don’t want to communicate with companies, they want to communicate with people. So: What do you FEEL when you are with your customers? What do you like most about your job? Just tell people about that. Do you love the feel of a cashmere jumper? Then write about it.

Be authentic. Be what you are, do not try to be someone else. Not everybody can love you, this is a fact.Write about things that are interesting for you, don’t pretend you like something when you don’t. In the long run, you might even make people like you even if they were suspicious at first.

Think more before you start: Is Facebook really useful for you? Better to use Twitter? If you work a lot with images, Pinterest and Instagram may be the better choice, maybe even YouTube. Also have a look at LinkedIn and Xing, at least in Germany. Choose the proper channel, see what really makes sense for your company in your industry.

Behind authenticity and feelings there is always the rationale. Set up your objectives: What is the added value for your audience? What do you want to achieve? By when would you like to achieve this? Can you describe your company, your services, your products, so that even your neighbor could understand?

Another way to avoid additional work is to engage a professional communicator, because social media is all about effective communications. Find somebody who understands your company, your products,your services, your feelings, your focus, your strategy. It might be simply not possible being an entrepreneur to manage your company, attend to your customers and on top of that, perform as asocial media manager. Look for someone professional that you can trust, who can be your own voice.Because social media is not about posting empty words, it’s all about positioning your company.

In the next step, we’ll look at some common misunderstandings of social media around omni-channel commerce. Watch this space.

Conchita Miller

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