Social Media Guide for Startups

Phone with social media icons.

In today’s marketplace, completely ignoring social media simply isn’t an option. Why? Because everyone is online — including your competition.

Some brand-new businesses are hesitant to invest time and money in social media marketing because they realize it’s a major commitment, while others go about it totally wrong, not realizing the importance of the endeavor.

The fact is, social media is a valuable marketing channel for your startup to increase brand awareness and build customer loyalty. If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve got you covered with this guide on the social media channels you should be paying attention to and how to build a social media marketing strategy that works.

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Social Media Platforms & Your Target Audience

There are multiple social media platforms businesses should be using to increase brand awareness. To use different social media platforms effectively as a business owner, it’s essential to understand the unique characteristics of each platform and how they can be leveraged to appeal to your target audience.


TikTok has made a huge impact in the short time it has been available. The video-sharing app is used predominantly by younger users. However, it is growing in other demographics as well. This is a fast-moving platform with the goal of this content to go viral by creating or tapping into trends.

X (Formerly Twitter)

X, formerly Twitter, has a wider range of demographics on the social media platform. While the platform does allow users to share videos and photos, it is primarily text post content. However, the name of the game on this platform is engaging with and growing your audience through communication. That means responding to mentions fast and engaging consistently with other accounts to build your brand.


LinkedIn is where networking and thought leadership collide online. This can be a great place to share professional triumphs and exercise a social media strategy that is longer form and more thoughtful. The LinkedIn audience is primarily professionals and business-oriented users.


While Instagram has historically centered around photo-sharing, with the introduction of TikTok, Instagram is now favoring accounts sharing a healthy mixture of photo and video content on static feeds and “stories,” which makes this platform slightly labor intensive. However, content can be repurposed from these accounts for other Meta platforms such as Facebook and Threads.


Pinterest is a highly visual platform with an audience that is predominantly female. The benefit of this platform for businesses is its favorable algorithm, shopping features, and the ability for users to easily convert from posts.


YouTube is a video platform that has recently expanded into short-form video as well. The audience on YouTube is broad and diverse, allowing channels to create content that appeals to a wide range of viewers. The key to success on YouTube isn’t just great long-form and short-form videos, it is optimization from video titles to tags.


While the demographics that use Facebook are somewhat broad, the platform does have a significant number of users over 30. The social media platform offers an excellent resource to share longer text posts, communicate important information about your business, and build a space for communication with your customer base.


Threads is a Meta alternative to X. This text-based platform experienced rapid, immediate growth, which has since slowed. However, the platform still receives consistent posts and allows users of other Meta-branded social media accounts to share content across the different platforms.

How to Create a Social Media Strategy

Creating an effective social media strategy for your business involves a series of thoughtful steps tailored to each platform’s unique strengths and audience. These are some of the best ways you can craft an effective social media strategy that appeals to your target market.

Know Your Audience

Knowing your target audience is critical. Understand their demographics, interests, online behaviors, and the social media platforms they frequent. This knowledge will guide you in creating relevant content that resonates with them and results in a more successful social media marketing campaign.

Understand Your Goals and Objectives

If you don’t have goals, you’ll have no idea whether or not your social media efforts are producing results. Goals keep you focused on your objective. The goals of your social media marketing efforts may include:

  • Generate more link clicks and click-throughs
  • Boost community growth and reach a wider audience
  • Increase engagement (comments, shares, saves, etc.)
  • Expanding brand reach and build customer loyalty

Choose the Right Content for the Right Platforms

Not all content can be used across all platforms. The key to social media strategies that work is to tailor content to each platform. For example, LinkedIn is a business-centric platform and therefore your social media presence on the platform will likely lean more professional, informative, and authoritative. On a platform like TikTok, however, your content should lean more energetic, youthful, and entertaining.

Create a Content Calendar

Planning and scheduling your content in advance ensures a consistent and organized approach. A content calendar helps you manage your content strategy effectively and align your posts with key dates or events relevant to your brand. Using a social media management tool can help you create an effective content calendar.

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Monitor the Results of Marketing Campaigns

Once you’ve set your social media goals, you need to be able to measure and track your results. Most social networks provide pretty straightforward analytics, including data like your reach, clicks, number of post likes, and number of followers.

It’s best to track your analytics on a weekly basis – you need to give your content time to get interaction. Your weekly tracking should involve:

  • Updating your findings for each of your social media channels.
  • Creating a weekly summary where you list key indicators.

Review and Adapt Strategy

Reviewing your findings on a continuous basis helps ensure your social media always grabs the attention of your community.

If you notice a lot of engagement on a specific post, you should consider sharing similar posts in the future. The same mechanism works for the type of content you share — if you’ve noticed a higher reach for your videos, this is an indication that your audience prefers this type of content.

Tips for Social Media Marketing

As a business, you need to fight to be noticed. So the question is, how can you fight the best? How can you increase visibility and shareability and get in front of all the noise? Here are three tips to help you in the social media battle:

1. Keep Up With Trends

While the most important consideration when crafting a social media marketing strategy is to stay true to your brand and message, you should also be keeping up with what is trending on various social media strategy platforms. A few examples include:

  • Trending audio on TikTok or Instagram
  • Trending video templates
  • Trending Instagram story formats
  • Trending topics on X that you can speak to

Social media is constantly evolving, with trends changing consistently. Keeping up with these can seem daunting. However, there are tools offered by social media platforms such as TikTok trends that are popular right now, such as hashtags, music, and creators.

2. Leverage Other Platforms and Tools

Even a great social media marketing strategy can take time to grow your audience. It is important to use the tools you have at your disposal to guide users to your social media page. Here are a few of the tools you can use to encourage existing customers to engage with your startup on social media:

By using other platforms where your audience is already engaged with your brand, you can guide them to various social media platforms to further support your brand. This is going to be a more successful endeavor if you offer incentives such as discounts for following, building a social media following into a rewards program, or doing giveaways.

3. Use High-Quality Video and Imagery

Higher-quality graphics will make your content more appealing, which will ultimately impact how shareable you are across social streams.

  • To maximize image quality, preview your posts before actually posting them to see how the image looks first. Some images may look good on your website but not in your social media posts or may need cropping or resizing.
  • Become familiar with your platform’s preferred dimensions and sizes. Wide (vs. tall) images tend to look best across most social channels.
  • Always make sure your pictures are high-resolution (not blurry or pixelated) on your website and on social
  • Include video covers, emojis, and other eye-catching branded additions to make your content more visually appealing

The better your content looks, the more likely it’ll gain visibility. The more visibility you gain, the higher your brand awareness you’ll get.

Frequently Asked Questions

How should startups use social media?

Startups can effectively use social media to grow their business and engage with their audience. Each platform will achieve different results for your business due to the type of audience and format of the platform. Therefore it is important for startups to establish their goals for each platform to help create effective social media marketing strategies.

Which social media is best for startups?

The best social media platform for a startup depends on various factors, including the nature of your business, your target audience, and the type of content you produce. 

For example, if you are a business-to-business (B2B) SaaS startup, your most valuable social media platform may be LinkedIn. Alternatively, if you are a beverage startup geared toward Gen Z, you may see the best results on TikTok.

How often should a startup post on social media?

For businesses on social media, it’s less about a rigid posting schedule and more about finding a balance that works for your audience and your resources. Quality always trumps quantity. 

On platforms like Facebook and Instagram, a few posts a week can be effective, especially if they’re engaging and high-quality. LinkedIn is more professional, so a couple of posts per week can be sufficient. The key is to monitor engagement and adjust your strategy accordingly. Remember, it’s better to have a manageable schedule that allows for consistent, meaningful interactions with your audience than to overwhelm them with content.

How do I promote my startup on social media?

To promote your startup on social media, start by identifying your target audience and choosing the right platforms where they are most active. Create engaging, authentic content that reflects your brand’s values and story. Use a mix of organic posts and targeted ads to reach a wider audience. Engage with your followers by responding to comments and messages, and encourage user-generated content to build community. Regularly analyze your performance metrics to understand what works and refine your strategy accordingly. 

Remember, consistency and authenticity are key to building a loyal following.

How much does social media marketing cost for startups?

The cost of social media marketing for startups can vary widely based on several factors, including the platforms used, the extent of paid advertising, the production cost of content, and whether you manage it in-house or hire an agency or freelancers. Tools for scheduling and analytics might have monthly fees ranging from $10 to $100 or more, depending on their capabilities. 

Fortunately, services like Arrow are an inexpensive option to automate social media marketing with ease.