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Social Media Marketing (SMM) for Startup Businesses

Marketing is one of the most vital parts of a business to succeed and be sustainable within the market. To keep themselves in a customer’s mind, businesses need to build a clear brand, a unique name, an impressive brand logo, and an interesting and unforgettable video are examples of a great marketing strategy. Building a positive brand impression for the customers is important to encourage them to purchase your products and services. Therefore, a marketing strategy is important for any business, especially for startup business who don’t have an existing customer base. An effective strategy helps the business to reach a broader audience that will increase the size of its potential customer group, eventually bringing success to the business.

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For startup businesses, a comprehensive marketing strategy is even more important as they enter the market. Advertising your business is important for entrepreneurs to successfully provide a clear understanding of their products and quickly acquire attention from the customers.

Nowadays, the Internet is becoming more and more popular. On average, people spend approximately 24 hours per week on Internet surfing.[1] Additionally, Millennials and Generation Z spend, on average, over 42 hours per week on the Internet.[2] The Internet is a vital part of people’s daily like taking more than 14% of people’s time as they use it to search, work, watch videos, study, play games, chat with friends, use social media, and more. Among these categories, social media takes more than 50% (17.5 hours/week) of the time.[3] Within the average 2 hours and 22 minutes Internet use per day, people spend a large amount of time on social media than any other activities on the Internet. Therefore, from a business perspective, startup businesses should use such a great opportunity to use social media to market their business.

Social Media Marketing (SMM), is a form of an Internet Marketing Strategy, aimed to produce and spread advertising contents through the social media platforms to promote businesses’ products and services. This is usually the most convenient and cheapest method for the startup businesses to advertise their products and services. To implement this strategy, startup businesses have to follow certain steps:

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Identify demographics of potential customers

Understanding your customer is as important as understanding your produces. Before implementing any marketing strategy, you need to have a clear understanding of who will be most of your potential customers. To identify this, you have to understand your products and the existing market.

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Here are a few ways to collect information:

  • Send surveys to people that you know to learn their preference on your products
  • Survey/interview people on street to listen to their thoughts and opinions
  • Research on competitors in this market to learn the demographics of their existing customers
  • Compare with your competitors to learn your advantages and disadvantages to have a though of your focus on marketing.
  • Seek for consulting services to learn deeper about the market and your industry

An understanding of the demographics of your potential customers will give you a clear thought to build your marketing plan to succeed in the market. Also, you will gain further knowledge to select the Internet marketing strategy that fits your business the best, such as content marketing, email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), conversion rate optimization, social media, paid advertising, and influencer marketing.

Choose yours platforms

After you choose to use social media marketing strategy, you need to choose the marketing platforms that fit your business, such as social media website and mobile platforms. If you are a startup business, don’t choose too many platforms, because it may result in an overspending of your marketing budget which could be harmful to your business.

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In fact, each social media platforms has difference user demographics. You need to research on the user demographic of each social media platforms to understand the demographic of the main user group. Therefore, you will be able to choose the platforms that fit your customers’ demographics the best and the ones that can help you reach the most potential customers. You have to match the user demographics of each social media platform and your potential customer demographics to find the best platform to implement your marketing strategy and maximize the effectiveness of your marketing budget.

Create your content

Creating good content in social media marketing is important for your business to be memorized by the audience. A good content can last in people’s mind for years. Being memorized by the customers is important for your business to enter the market. Only people who memorize your brand will become your loyal customer and will make the greatest contribution to your business. Therefore, developing content that can be easily memorized and descriptive of your products and services will be most effective. Impressive visual contents can also be helpful for the customers to remember your brand. Developing advertising contents is always the core of marketing. Although there are many skills and techniques to develop advertising content, I would recommend you to create your content by your own. The reason is that, an impressive content needs to be unique and easily-memorized. The advertising content developed by using the complicated skills and techniques won’t well reflect the uniqueness of your business and it will lose some important features of you products. As a business owner, your biggest uniqueness is that you know your products and customers more than other people. Therefore, you will definitely have the knowledge to create your own advertising content to be unique and attractive to the audience.

Different social media platforms have different features. For example, YouTube mainly focuses on video-sharing functionality and Facebook mainly focuses on social networking services, such as posting feeds, connecting with friends, and sharing articles. The differences among the features and functionalities of these social media websites allows you to think of creating different advertising content. Cross-platform advertising content can be used, however, depending on the features of certain social media websites, the advertising content need to be created differently. For example, posting an advertisement on Facebook is usually a picture with a link of an article that the audiences can click on the picture to view more information. However, advertisement on YouTube is usually in form of a video. Therefore, you will need to create a video advertisement separately, because the pictures can’t be put at the beginning of a YouTube video. According to these differences, you need to carefully consider the social media platforms that you choose when you create marketing contents.

Share your content

Social media platforms provides various functionalities for you to share yours marketing contents. For example, you can use pop-up ads, hashtags, sponsor ads, public influencers, and many other methods to share your contents to other people. However, regarding to the different types of social media platforms, they each provide different methods for you to market your business. Therefore, you will need to consider these functionalities when you determine your targeting platforms. Also, each of these marketing methods have different pricings and will provide you a different level of productivity. You will need to consider your marketing budget and your expected outcomes to select the marketing methods that fits you the best.

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In today’s technology era, social media has become an important part of people’s daily like. Taking over 50% of people’s time spent on the Internet, social media is a great opportunity for businesses, especially startup businesses to market themselves. For startup businesses, social media marketing is the fastest and most cost-efficient way to implement marketing strategies. Marketing on social media platforms is the fastest way to acquire the most people’s attention. A good marketing strategy can even make audience remember your brand and products for a long time. Therefore, using social media wisely to market your business can largely improve your business and build your brand image in the market.


[1] Condliffe, Jamie. “The Average American Spends 24 Hours a Week Online.” MIT Technology Review. April 23, 2019.

[2] Wertz, Jia. “Online Marketing As We Know It Is Changing With The Rise Of Generation Z.” Forbes. October 01, 2018.

[3] Salim, Saima. “How Much Time Do You Spend on Social Media? Research Says 142 Minutes per Day.” Digital Information World. January 04, 2019.

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