3 Ways Social Media Can Be Your Startup’s Best Friend

January 13, 2014

9:06 am

In the increasingly populated world of startups, it can be tough to differentiate yourself from the rest. With such a crowded marketplace, companies are now being forced to think outside the box to market their product or service.

That’s where social media comes in. Obviously it’s not a revolutionary platform, but with the huge amount of time building a startup takes, founders often underestimate the immense value social media can have, especially starting out.

If you’re still debating whether or not to put in the time to build a social media presence for your startup, here are some benefits that might help you with your decision:

1. Build Credibility Early On

The startup market is booming. It seems like thousands of new companies are being founded every day, and the consumers’ ability to distinguish between a credible startup and yet another flop is getting increasingly better. If your agency doesn’t gain credibility early on, its chances of making it are slim to none.

In order to build this credibility, though, you must first prove to your followers that you know what you’re talking about — both in terms of your business and the industry at large. Maybe you have a very distinguished background in your field or just landed a prestigious client. Let your followers know!

Start a blog and share your own unique insights. Creating original, industry-related content and sharing it, along with other relevant industry articles, will eventually establish your startup as a thought leader, and you’ll see your following (and sales) increase tremendously.

2. Create Invaluable Relationships

Social media was created with one purpose in mind — to connect and build relationships with people and companies. You can use your presence to reach out to other relevant influencers and expand your network.

Establishing connections like these not only catapults your startup’s growth, but it also opens up new and game-changing opportunities you never thought were possible. Obviously, the chances of making a huge deal happen over Facebook are low, but that’s not to say it can’t help you lay the groundwork for beneficial relationships.

Many startups are even finding top talent or partnerships with investors from engaging with them on social media. So if the possibility is there to create this amazing network with little to no investment, why not try it for yourself?

3. Know Your Customer

One of the most beautiful advantages social networking brought the world was the ability to know, in real-time, what people are talking about and what’s trending in the marketplace. This invaluable knowledge can lead to new, improved changes can be implemented much more quickly than ever before.

Social media also helps you get customer feedback on the quality of your product or service. As you probably know, this is some of the most valuable knowledge your startup can gain.

With social networks, you’re able to quickly learn what’s going on in your specific industry, and use that insight to stay ahead of the competition, differentiate your startup, and become an industry leader. If you follow these tips and put in the time necessary to make them succeed, your startup is sure to grow quicker than you ever anticipated.

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Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010). Find Heather on Google+.

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