5 essential things to do before creating social media accounts for your business


Today, marketers have little doubt about the impact of social media on a brand. We’ve all heard the stories of a company or product going viral from a single tweet.

What we hear less often about is the preparation that companies do before opening their Twitter account. Like most things in your entrepreneurial journey, it’s all about preparation. Don’t just open social media accounts for your business without some basic first steps.

Here are five steps to follow before opening your business social media accounts:

1. Define your target audience.

You would think that was extremely obvious, but my experience tells me otherwise. Don’t just open a Twitter account because you’ve heard that’s what you’re supposed to do. First, ask yourself who you are targeting with your social media efforts.

Defining a target audience is absolutely crucial not just for social media but for all of your marketing in general. How could you take advantage of social media if you don’t even know who you’re talking to?

Are you interested in reaching a certain age group? People living in a certain place? Maybe they are people with a certain title in an organization. Whoever you’re trying to reach, make sure you have complete clarity about it before you get started.

2. Determine where your audience spends their time.

Ok, so you figured out who you are targeting with your social media efforts. Fantastic. Now figure out where they are, so you know you’re not talking to a wall.

For example, if you are targeting a technical director in an organization, TikTok is probably not the platform for you. Alternatively, if you’re targeting teenagers, LinkedIn would be pretty much a waste of time.

The thing is, once you know who you’re talking to, the next thing to do is figure out where you’re talking to them.

3. Make sure you have valuable content to share.

Again, this shouldn’t even be said, but sadly, I’ve seen too many marketers open social media accounts for their business without having a clue what they’re going to share. In general, content marketing is a super powerful tool, but in this case, it’s an absolute must. Don’t just open a new Facebook page for your business without knowing what you’re going to share there.

The type of content you should share is not self-promotional but rather value-driven. In other words, give people a reason to follow you.

4. Establish a real strategy and objective.

So what do you hope to achieve on social media? More sales? More interest from investors? Maybe you are looking to hire talent. These are questions you absolutely need to ask yourself before you get started. Strategy and purpose will have a profound impact on the type of content or engagement you will produce on your accounts.

For example, if you’re looking to attract talent, maybe a visual platform like Instagram where you can share company events and culture would be the right platform for you. If this is your goal, the type of content you share will be very specifically adapted to attract talent. If, however, your goal is to attract investors, you may focus more on market size and opportunity.

To really get the most out of social media, make sure you know what you’re doing and how you’re going to do it before you get started.

5. State a very clear measure of success.

So you defined an audience, figured out where they hung out, started producing content to share, and strategized. Now what? Before you start tweeting and posting, define how you will know if you are succeeding or failing.

Do you measure success by the number of followers? Maybe it’s engagement, like replies or shares? Perhaps it is the traffic generated by your website?

If you open your business accounts and start publishing without first defining a measure of success, you’ll be shooting in the dark without knowing if you’re on the right path to success.

The bottom line is that it’s true that social media can be extremely effective and impactful, but don’t kid yourself that you can just jump in without preparing in advance.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.


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