Social Media Marketing for Startups

Did you know that social networks are the most influential channel when people are looking for inspiration to make a purchase? If you have a startup and you’re looking to acquire new customers and grow your brand, you can’t ignore social media marketing. 


Most startups don’t have big budgets for promotion. Not only is social media marketing cost-effective but it also allows you to reach a broader audience. If you know how to leverage social media, you can improve your customer support, boost sales, and increase your brand awareness.

Social Media Marketing for Startups:

Best Social Media Marketing Strategies For Startups

In this article, let’s take a look at some of the best startup social media marketing strategies that can take your business to the next level. With these clever strategies, your brand can also stand out among your competitors.

1. Pick the Right Social Media Channel

Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Twitch, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Reddit, and more —  the number of social media channels is constantly increasing. While it’s great to have your presence on multiple channels, you may want to pick one or two channels that you want to focus on.

If you want to grab the attention of your target audience, you need to make your presence felt on the channel that they are most active on. Before you pursue any social media platform, just take a step back to understand your target audience. Find out where your startup’s target audience spends most of their time.

For instance, if you have a company that sells baby products, your target audience is likely to be new moms and dads. So, which social media platform should be their focus?

According to Pinterest, roughly 80% of US moms use their platform. Furthermore, 40% of parents in the US use Pinterest. Clearly, startups targeting parents can’t ignore Pinterest. 

While it may not be the most popular social media platform, it is important for startups targeting parents. Similarly, a startup that targets professionals might want to focus on their LinkedIn marketing strategy.

You need to invest some time to understand your audience’s online behaviour and preferences. It’s a good idea to shortlist a couple of platforms where you want to put the most effort in before you start planning your campaign.

2. Produce More Video Content

We live in a video-first digital environment. By 2022, 82% of all IP traffic will come from videos. Moreover, live internet videos will account for 17 percent of internet video traffic by 2022.

With decreasing attention spans, the rise of videos really shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, they are more engaging than images or text-based posts. And they aren’t just great for improving your brand awareness and visibility. They can even help you make more sales. 

In a survey, 64% of respondents said that a marketing video on Facebook influenced their purchase decision in the past month.

When it comes to the type of content, video brings in a lot of different options. For a startup, you could boost awareness with tutorials and product reviews. To launch a new product, you could do a live video to give your audience a sneak peek into what’s in store for them. 

Just keep in mind that social media users can get easily distracted. So, you should hook them in with an interesting title and beginning. 

Keep your social media videos short to ensure that you get more engagement. Or you could upload a detailed video on YouTube and just publish snippets from it on other platforms 

The Food Network uses this strategy for uploading videos on their Instagram profile. In their captions, they mention the link for the actual video.




3. Leverage Trending Topics

The best way to get your brand noticed on social media is to leverage trending topics. On Twitter and Facebook, you can easily check the insights to see what people are talking about. In addition to this, you could check Google Trends to find out what’s trending.

For events like Christamas, Halloween, or Valentine’s Day, you can plan a campaign in advance. You already know in advance that it’s going to trend on specific dates. But to find out what’s in the news, you’ll have to keep an eye out.

If you find a trending topic that aligns with your brand values, it’s a good idea to join in the conversation. From a simple tweet related to a trending topic or a creative infographic, you could publish any type of content. 

Facebook and Twitter provide you with complete insights regarding the top trends on social media. You can use that information to create a social media marketing plan for your startup. You need to keep an eye on all of the latest trends and see which ones you are relevant to your brand.

Patagonia is an American clothing company that sells outdoor clothing. While it’s a big company, startups can sure learn a lesson or two from their social media strategy. 

In the light of the global climate strike, Patagonia has lent their support to the movement. They have published photos and videos on their Instagram page that talk about climate, sustainability, and recycling. 

They aren’t just posting about what’s trending, but they are also taking a strong social stand. It’s a great way to get your startup in the spotlight.



4. Organise Giveaways and Contests

The secret to growing your social media account is giving back something to your followers. After all, who doesn’t like a freebie? In fact, a study by Tailwind showed that Instagram accounts that organise contests grow 70% faster than the ones that don’t.

It’s a great way to boost engagement and to start a conversation that involves your brand. While you’re spreading brand awareness, giveaways can help you attract potential leads for your business as well. 

Simply put, when you organise contests and giveaways, you give out freebies in exchange for a small favour from your followers. You could ask them to tag their friends, like your posts, or follow your page. 

To host contests or giveaways that get engagement, here are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • Clearly mention the terms and conditions for the giveaway for the contest.
  • Pick an amazing gift that will tempt your followers to participate.
  • Set a deadline that’s not too far away. That will help you create a sense of urgency.
  • Announce the winners publicly so that you can maintain transparency. 

You could also collaborate with brands that produce complementary products for contests or giveaways. Fabletics’ New Year special giveaway featured products from five different brands.



5. Encourage User-Generated Content

To acquire new customers, startups need to prove that their services and products are great. One way of getting social proof is through user-generated content. It can lend some credibility to your brand. 

If you have a happy customer, ask them to write a review for you. Also, encourage them to post a photo or video with your products. 

Daniel Wellington features user-generated content on their Instagram page. They also encourage users to use a branded hashtag with their photos to boost brand awareness. With this social media strategy, they connect with their audience and even get more content for their profile.



6. Use Memes For Marketing

Digital natives can’t get enough of memes. They are everywhere. As long as the internet exists, memes are here to stay.

Because they are entertaining and easy-to-consume, it’s easy to make them viral. So, why not use memes to communicate with your target audience?

Meme marketing is the hottest social media strategy that big brands are using. From Apple to Gucci, everyone is using memes for marketing. 

Your startup can easily get in on this trend too. Unlike videos or blog posts, memes don’t take too much time to produce. And you can do all the work yourself. You don't need to hire a writer or a social media strategist for it.

All you need to do is bring out your funny side. If creating original memes seems like a daunting task, there is a way out. You could take popular or trending memes and customise them to fit your brand. Take inspiration from Ruffles’ creative meme shown in the screenshot below.

Meme marketing isn’t really rocket science. It’s simple and fun. While there really aren’t any rules to follow, just avoid the temptation to post memes all the time. 

Going overboard with meme marketing will make it seem like you are really desperate for your audience’s attention. 


Social media can be an excellent way for startups to reach out to their target audience. Without spending a lot of money, you can boost your brand awareness and connect with your audience on social media. 

The key to creating an effective social media strategy is to understand your audience’s preferences, behaviours, and needs. Add in some creativity and innovation for content creation, and you have everything you need to create buzz on social media. 

About the Author
With over 15 years in content marketing, Werner founded Influencer Marketing Hub in 2016. He successfully grew the platform to attract 5 million monthly visitors, making it a key site for brand marketers globally. His efforts led to the company's acquisition in 2020. Additionally, Werner's expertise has been recognized by major marketing and tech publications, including Forbes, TechCrunch, BBC and Wired.