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It’s 2017 and billions of people use social media every day. There are various sites that cater to different niches, some for specific industries like real estate, education, or fashion. Businesses have realized the benefits of creating social media accounts for their brands and gaining a loyal following online. People from all over the world purchase goods and services online and discover new companies. As you create your startup, it’s time to plan how to use social media for your new company as you find your place in your industry. Social media can be an entrepreneur’s secret weapon when it comes to marketing a business.

Why is social media so important to my startup?

Social media is the chosen form of keeping up with communication and news for a lot of people. When someone wants to learn something about another person or company, they often take a look at their social media, where information, reviews, products, and events are listed. By understanding how best to use social media as you launch your company, you’ll generate interest in it before it’s even officially up and running. You can attract followers and customers with well-crafted ads and posts, in addition to generating interest around your product. Properly using social media marketing allows you to compete on the same playing field as much larger companies.

One of the biggest shifts social media has caused is the importance of focusing on what the consumer wants from you as a company. Do your research and learn what attracts consumers and what kind of social media posts your target audience responds to well. People on social media are accustomed to scrolling past ads without giving them more than a quick glance, much less ever clicking on ads that pop-up in their news feeds. Startups face a huge issue when it comes to advertising and getting recognized in such a fast-paced culture, which is why it’s vital to develop high quality, eye-catching social media accounts that attract consumers to your business. To accomplish this goal, you need to know what it is that the consumers like.

How can I best use social media?

Now that you understand the importance of using social media as an entrepreneur with a new business, you’re probably wondering what’s the best way to use it to help your business. Most people use social media without a full understanding of how to do so effectively. The first step to take is identifying and understanding your target audience. Once you know your target audience, do some research on what social media networks they use the most frequently and when is the best time to post on those outlets. Keep up with the latest news on social media platforms so you know how to use the features, what consumers think of the different features, and what styles or methods are trending on those platforms. Check out this social media guide to find even more ways to utilize social media platforms for your small business.