Are startups really taking to social media in order to win investment capital?

The short answer? Absolutely.

Look at it this way: attracting the attention of investors doesn’t happen overnight, nor does it happen through a single channel. Instead, it’s a combination of an effective online presence and the ability to communicating the right message to those who are willing to spend.

Social media ticks both of those boxes without fail. When you also consider the transparency of today’s startups and the need to emphasize culture to investors, there’s arguably no better place than the various social channels to do exactly that.

That said, there is no “right” way for companies to attract investors via social. For the sake of making a positive impression to the right people and clearly communicating what you’re all about, keep the following seven strategies in the back of your mind.

Set Up Your Profiles

No matter which social networks you’re trying to dominate, fine-tuning your presence based on best practices is your first step. For example, make sure that your profiles are 100% filled out and optimized, including your:

– Profile pictures and cover photos
– Descriptions and bios
– Appropriate links and/or hashtags included in your “About” sections

From logos and color schemes to voice and copy, it truly pays to be consistent for the sake of sticking out in the minds of investors. To quote Flashmarks: “Your business’s profile image turns every one of your social media posts, comments and replies into an at-a-glance branding opportunity.”

Follow the Right People

Before you obsess over getting the attention of others, you need to make sure that your company profile and team profiles are following relevant profiles from the word “go.” A baseline of who you should follow and “like” as soon as you set up your social presence include:

– Industry players that you admire, including potential players
– Relevant VC firms and investors that you know of
– Pages of industry publications, bloggers and journalists

This instantly increases your visibility and could earn you a value follow back if you interact with such profiles via tagging and sharing content.

Network with Potential Investors

Beyond your company profile, consider how you can use your team’s individual social profiles to your advantage via LinkedIn.

Given that it’s a professional social site where networking is the norm, there’s arguably no better place to show off your industry experience. Finding investors through LinkedIn means not only following the right people as noted in the tip above, but regularly publishing, commenting on and sharing the content of relevant influencers.

Guest Posting

If you assume that industry blogs are run by gatekeepers who are extremely selective in terms of publishing content, think again. Most publishers are absolutely itching for new, breaking pieces and will accept a pitch if it’s line with what your audience wants.

If you’re a tech startup, likewise make it your point to look out for blogs in your niche where your company content would be a good fit. Whether you write such pieces yourself or hire a ghostwriter to get it done, a guest posting strategy can be marketing gold.

Score More Mentions

Piggybacking on the previous tip, getting included in industry blogs instantly boosts the likelihood that those same blogs, editors and readers will shout you out.

The more shout-outs and mentions you score, the more likely you can create brand advocates and followers to increase your credibility. After all, brand advocacy builds trust and visibility, serving as trust-builders that are organic and difficult to match.

Get Journalistic Coverage

While getting featured in blogs is great, getting featured in prestigious print and online publications is even better. Niche and specialized publications signal that you’re a big player in your industry, if nothing else.

Similar to blog editors, journalists are chomping at the bit to get in touch with sources who can hook them up with a story. Platforms like Help a Reporter Out (HARO) can connect you to such journalists who can give you the spotlight.

Be Consistent

As a final aside, businesses need to be consistent with the tips above if they want to realistically gain the attention of a potential investor. Competition out there is fierce: companies that regularly put themselves out there to score those mentions put themselves ahead of the curve.

While the concept of scoring startup funding via social might seem totally off-the-wall, there’s no denying the role of such platforms when it comes to catching the attention of investors. Any combination of these tips is fair game for those who want to put their best foot forward within their industry in the hopes of eventually attracting an investor to take them to the next level.

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