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Social Media for Startups: A Cheat Sheet for Getting Started

Looking to create your startup’s social media accounts, but not sure where to begin? We’ve compiled all of the necessary tips and tricks to remember when you’re building a new account; from Twitter to LinkedIn, these pointers are relevant across all platforms. Whether you want to publicise your grand opening, connect with clientele, or just get the word out about your small business, social media is a useful tool.

Here are the first steps for building your business’s social media accounts:

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Pick a Handle…
Your handle (another word for username) is typically what your followers will search for when trying to locate your social media accounts, so you want to make it good! Make sure your handle is easy to remember, professional, and related to your business; unless you sell shoes, don’t pick @ShoeLover55 as your handle! If your dream handle is already taken, try adding in some initials (e.g., @JohnLSmithShoes), underscores (e.g., @John_SmithShoes), or a location (e.g., @JohnSmithShoesNC) for variation.

… And Stick to It.
You’re going to want your handle to be as similar as possible across all platforms.For example, if your business handle is @ThePopcornShoppeNY on Instagram, you don’t want it to be @JimmysPopcornNY on Facebook. This makes it harder for potential followers to find you across multiple platforms. It can be difficult to nab the same handle on all of your major platforms, as they may already be taken; however, a similar (or the identical) handle across multiple platforms will be easier for clients to find (and remember).

Mix In the Hashtags.
Hashtags are used to “tag” particular messages or topics in an online post. If you post something on Twitter about marketing, you will use a hashtag (#) to indicate that topic (e.g., #marketing). Then, when someone searches #marketing on Twitter, your post would be included in those results. Hashtags can help you reach a wider audience, and should be included in most, if not all, of your posts. However, be careful how many hashtags you use; for platforms like Instagram, using lots of hashtags can boost your post’s chances of being viewed. For platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn, using too many hashtags looks unprofessional.

Personalize Your Profile.
Profile personalization is an excellent opportunity for branding. If you have the funds, considering consulting a graphic designer to develop custom headers and profile pictures featuring your company logo. You could also use photos of your staff team or company building. Whatever you do, use your own images; stock photos tend to be impersonal and can actually lose the interest of your profile visitors.

Concentrate On Connecting
Social media isn’t a one-way street. Make sure you’re connecting with your followers; if they comment on your picture, be sure to mention them back. If they Tweet you, send them a friendly response. Make sure to regularly analyze your content and see if your likes and interactions (e.g., comments, shares, retweets) are increasing. If they aren’t it might be time to reconsider what you’re posting and manipulate it to suit your target audience.

If you need help managing your startup’s marketing, talk to us.

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