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Here’s how to start and build a successful self-funded business from social media

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Social media is growing as a platform, to not only reach consumers but also to build a brand’s online presence.

Creative industries in particular thrive off image based social media platforms to build awareness. We use these platforms not only to post inspirational and relevant content about our brand , but to engage with our target market and find out what they want.

Pinterest and Instagram are primarily image based and are the most relevant to Love Find Co’s customers who are planning their wedding and sourcing visual inspiration for the day.

When Love Find Co was in its infancy I knew very early on that we had to focus on a few key areas: branding, website design, brands we aligned ourselves with, and social media.

One of the first things we did was create an Instagram account and regularly post inspirational images and carefully curated content that would convey in a single image what we were as a brand. The important aspect of creating a ‘tribe’ was to be authentic.

We spend a lot of time curating images which fit a very niche aesthetic and our follower growth has been purely organic. We started our Instagram account eight months before we made our website live, so once it was live we had followers who were invested in the brands visual identity that would translate over to our website. 

What are the most important steps to take when building social media for a business?

You have to post consistently and also be aware that certain things will work better for certain platforms. For example we post inspirations content and product related imagery for our shop on our Instagram page, but we post links to our blog post articles on our Facebook page.  On our Pinterest account we ‘pin’ a mix of inspirations content from other people as well as imagery directly from our website.  

How do you continue to use social media to grow your business?

As Love Find Co grows we continue to post relevant content, but we also constantly monitor engagement and analytics so that we are aware of what is working and what isn’t. We are open to adapting how we use social media as it evolves and we as a business evolve. Everything we have done up until this point has been organic, but as we move into our second year of business we are exploring paid advertising opportunities on social media because we understand that algorithms are making it harder to organic reach your target market – you have to target them with paid advertising opportunities as well.

How can social media cut costs as a way to advertise for a start-up?

When starting out you are watching where every cent goes so when you don’t have huge advertising budgets to spend on print ads, pr or advertising campaigns, you naturally start with setting up social media accounts. These are all essentially free, and initially our own cost was for subsidiary programs like Schedugram and Iconosquare to help us analyse and schedule our posts.

This was really important, because what we weren’t spending on financial costs, we were spending on our time, so these helped streamline our time more efficiently. It’s a fantastic way to get your brand & message across to our audience at a relatively low financial costs. You are able to communicate directly with your target market.

You should view social media as part of your sales funnel. The aim is for your target market to ‘like’ your brand and content, and then retarget them through consistently posting relevant content which will lead them to your website. 

How to to grow your social media channels

Hashtags – work out a group of hashtags that are relevant to your business, and also what you believe your target market would search for. Have these saved and insert them on all your Instagram and Pinterest posts.

Iconosquare – we use this mainly for the statistics it provides regarding engagement of our followers.

Schedugram – we use this to draft and schedule all our Instagram content.

Pinterest – we have a business account so this provides us with engagement analytics relating to our account and website.

Sophie Westley is the Founder of LOVE FIND CO. Revolutionising the way that brides go about sourcing and styling their wedding day look, Love Find Co. is an online wedding destination curated so that the modern bride can plan her big day stress-free.

Sophie Westley, founder Love Find Co

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