new female business owner startup marketing

Does a New Business Need Social Media Marketing?

Does a New Business Need Social Media Marketing?

Does your brand new business need social media marketing?

My fourth Savvy Startup Marketer podcast ventured into spicy marketing territory. The hot topic? Why I firmly believe first-time business owners should steer clear of social media in their first year. Buckle up; it’s going to be an insightful ride.

The Social Media Marketing Mirage: A First-Hand Experience

Rewind to 2017, the year I kicked off my agency as a side hustle. Jumping on the bandwagon, I snagged a business Instagram account linked to a Facebook page, the whole social media marketing nine yards. A marginal effort got me to a thousand followers in a couple months—not an uncommon challenge in that era.

But it’s 2024, not 2017, and social media marketing in 2024 is, well, not new business-friendly (at all).

The Changing Tides of Social Media as a marketing tool

The once straightforward path to growing a social media following and engagement has morphed into a complex challenge. The strategies that once flourished—minimal effort posts, follow-for-follow tactics, and massive follower campaigns—no longer bear fruit, especially when it comes to meaningful engagement.

TikTok marketing may be easier to get early results from than Instagram and Facebook, but it’s still going to take more effort than the golden era of Instagram. Especially if you aren’t a big fan of staying on top of and making trendy reels.

A Guiding Light for New Entrepreneurs: Rethinking Social Media Strategy

I know social media is sexy.

I know social media as a marketing option feels like a no-brainer.

Again, it’s not 2017 anymore – let’s get beneath the surface and into the actual day-to-day realities of managing social media marketing.

Social media for marketing does not work without frequency, and consistency. Basically, if you’re going to get results from it, you have to commit the time (or pay for someone else’s time). And then that time spent brainstorming and posting and reeling may or may not get much reach, and definitely has almost no impact after a couple of days.

This is what a new business owner should spend the first year focusing on doing for their startup marketing.

Establish Your Customer Journey’s Sales Strength First

Understanding the customer journey is paramount. Typically, this journey encompasses five key steps, transitioning a stranger to a loyal customer. Social media usually sits at the onset of this journey, focusing on awareness. However, the pitfall for many new entrepreneurs is the disproportionate emphasis on social media, neglecting the other vital steps essential for converting interest into sales.

The Question of Focus: Landing Pages Over Likes

Ask yourself, is your online foundation—like a convincing landing page—in place to convert the curiosity sparked on social media into concrete interest or sales?

The reality is, many new businesses prioritize social media followers over establishing a solid online presence that effectively sells their value proposition.

Did I say not to use ANY social media for marketing? Well, let me clarify:

Rather than starting from scratch with a business social media account, consider leveraging your personal social media accounts and those of your close network. This strategy can provide a more substantial, immediate audience than a brand-new business account could muster in its early days.

In Savvy Startup Marketer, we talk a lot about our Startup Squad – the people in our lives who would be happy to help us spread the word about our business and get those first customers. This is part of their job – using their own personal social accounts to share about your business.

Their social accounts already have audiences. Your personal social probably does too (if you have one). Combine a few personal social accounts and voila! You’ve got a sizable audience already – without needing to agonize over building one.

Prioritizing Platforms That Excel in Lead Conversion

In your first year, focus your efforts on platforms and strategies better suited for selling and lead conversion, such as:

  • A well-crafted website or landing page
  • Setting up your Google My Business profile for local visibility
  • Effective email marketing

Oh, and marketing automation (my favorite topic, of course). These foundations, once solidly in place, can significantly amplify the impact of social media efforts later on.

Let’s Rethink Social Media Marketing for the Startup

As we wrap up today’s discussion, I invite you to reflect on the role of social media in your early business strategy. Is it the cornerstone of your marketing efforts, or can it wait as you build a more solid foundation for your business?

I’m eager to hear your thoughts and experiences. Feel free to share in the comments below. Let’s continue this conversation and support each other in navigating the exhilarating yet challenging journey of new business marketing.

Encouragement for Aspiring Female Business Owners

It’s inspiring to see what my new students are working on for their own businesses and I wanted to leave on a high note with some encouragement.

From notary services to a Southern cooking restaurant to online boutiques to photography to travel planning to opening a cafe, the business launches of women in the small business space is exhilarating to be a witness to.

Check out the Savvy Startup Marketer podcast on Apple or Spotify to hear more new business coaching like this one for women entrepreneurs.

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