Social media marketing for early stage businesses can be filled with obstacles, but these five rules will pave the way for success.

Startups are a dime a dozen. It’s a harsh reality, but it’s true. That’s why it’s absolutely crucial to market your company in a way that’s engaging and effective. Whether you’re running an info graphics company or have just launched the next best app, you’ll need to make your marketing endeavors relevant to your target customers or market, which means utilizing the myriad of social media platforms that are readily available. If this sounds like a daunting experience through uncharted waters, don’t worry, we’ve got the map.

1: Stability.  

When it comes to social media, the same rule applies. Whether you’re on Facebook, Instagram Google Plus, Whatsapp, Linkedin or Twitter, it’s instrumental that your startup resonates uniformly across all fronts. While it’s true that each site has its own time and place, fully stocked with innate advantages, the fact of the matter is that it’s 2018, and most, if not all of your users are native to multiple social media platforms. This means that you have the opportunity and responsibility to not only re-introduce but reiterate your company’s brand, message and philosophy. The last thing you want is for your users to be confused. Just like your favorite company, you must thread your startup’s cohesive trajectory through the phones, laptops, hearts and minds of your users.

2: Love Your Product, Love Your Service.

Look at Apple. They just love their products. For years, they have dominated the software and hardware market and it doesn’t look like things are changing anytime soon. Their confidence and drive to innovate has allowed them to revolutionize the manner in which we not only engage with media, but with one another. Every move they make is well calculated and deliberate and it’s what keeps us engaged.

3: Don’t Talk t0 Your Audience, Listen them with total care.

Customers, clients and users are integral to any business, and they bring a lot of comments with them. Do not fear this. Embrace it. It’s true that anyone can be a critic but do not look at customer feedback, especially negative feedback, as an obstacle. Look at every comment, good or bad, as an opportunity to learn about how your company can refactor, improve and perpetuate those facets that are succeeding. “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning” —Bill Gates This is a perspective worth adopting. When you consider your customers as part of your team, even the most negative of criticisms can be informative as an opportunity to learn what is and isn’t working. In saying that, negative feedback is something that should be dealt with promptly and positively, especially in the social media arena. One bad experience can have a tremendous ripple effect. When you’ve got thousands or even millions of users, all with open ears and open eyes, you must remember to diffuse negative situations with a level of eloquence, consideration and transparency.

Social media lives up to its title in every sense of the word, and you must remember to stay social. Talk with your audience, but more importantly, remember to listen.

4: Quality Control or Believe in your Product

When evaluating your social media platforms, it is important to remember that they are opportunities. They are opportunities to relay information. They are opportunities to influence thought and emotion. In much the same way that an art museum curates its walls with select works, you must curate your social media platforms to convey absolutely what is vital to your business and your audience.

5: Timeliness

Humans are creatures of habit and that’s a fact. We crave reliability and familiarity. Take advantage of this when structuring and releasing content on your social media platforms. Making posts once or twice a day is an excellent way to maintain audience engagement, generate buzz, and show that your business is hard at work. You know the saying about idle hands. Additionally, one of the perks of sticking to a schedule for posting content is that it will challenge your team to discover innovative and creative ways to market your business. And regarding creativity: remember to have fun with your marketing. It’s a great way to let your audience know that you are a relatable, personable community of unique minds, not just a machine dedicated to dollar signs. If keeping up with regular posts sounds like a lot to process, do not worry. There are several tools that can make this undertaking that much easier. Need a recommendation? Check out Postcron. Automating social media posts has never been so easy. While it’s true that social media marketing can be a daunting undertaking, remember that there is a spectrum of resources available that can make the process that much easier for your startup. It is a lot to take in, but remember, embrace social media for what it is—social—and keep the conversation going.