#100WastedWeeks – When to use social media in your startup business

Lots of social media icons

Most entrepreneurs do social media way too early. They spend ages on getting followers, sharing content, retweeting, building and managing groups… and then wonder why money doesn’t flood in.

A Google search for why you should be on social media yields 460m results

A Google search for “why you have to be on social media” yields 460,000,000 results

They aren’t stupid. Thousands of social media experts, courses, workshops, presentations and articles tell entrepreneurs that “you have to be on social media”.

Google has 480 million results for this topic, including articles from reputable sources such as Forbes, KISSmetrics and Huffington Post.

These experts aren’t wrong. Social media can be an incredible source of growth for businesses. Ignoring it as a fad would be a huge mistake.

However, they rarely give guidance on when you should use it.

For anyone who hasn’t yet got a profitable business machine, I’d argue that social media is a waste of time, particularly when compared to the alternatives you should be working on instead.

Social media is best used when you have a process that customers can be taken through that results in a profit for your business. This is when you are ready to build long-term relationships & channels that attract more ideal customers to you.

Social media can be great for this, when used with a specific purpose!

For example:

  • Reaching out (gently) to potential joint venture partners or journalists who may be interested in your story (Twitter is good for this)
  • Building a community of ideal customers who refer others to you to learn more about what you can do to help them (like my Parentpreneur Accelerator Community Group on Facebook does for me)
  • Contacting very specific ‘big fish’ potential customers and nurturing long-term relationships with them (LinkedIn and Twitter can be good for this)
  • Sharing content (and often paying to promote it) to attract your ideal prospects into a sales funnel (Facebook, Instagram and Youtube are perfect for this).

However, this all takes a lot of time, and (often) a lot of money.

This is why you have to be confident that if/when it works (i.e. you attract your ideal customers) that you can then turn them into sales, and they’ll pay enough money to make the time/money spent worthwhile.

If not, make your goal to get your first customers (to prove there is demand), then build a profitable business machine with happy customers & strong referrals, before you then think about social media and other Marketing channels.

Finally, when trying social media, measure what works so you can stop the stuff that doesn’t, and reinvest in the stuff that does. Don’t “spray” your messages throughout social media and just “pray” for positive results!

This article is one in a series called #100WastedWeeks in which I aim to help you cut your huge To-Do list right down to the things that really matter for you right now.

Please comment below – let me know what you think, and what ‘must do’ tasks are currently on your list!

About The Author

Alexis Kingsbury

Alexis is founder of the Parentpreneur Accelerator and Making Greatness Ltd. He is a serial entrepreneur, with experience creating start-ups in a variety of areas, particularly in SaaS and EdTech. He is also a lucky husband and proud dad, and now helps other 'parentpreneurs' like him to achieve their dreams of having successful businesses, making a difference in the world, and spending time with the people they love.

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