At the struggle stage, startup founders often have to decide whether they seek more money (in the form of investment) or more customers\/reach. Startups need investment to function as a company, however, without marketing, customers won\u2019t be able to know their presence or even recommend the business to others. Social media platforms help the founders and business developers alike to manage this problem effectively by marketing their product offerings over social media. The use of most popular social media platforms enables the startup to reach a wider audience with minimal investment. Have you made a social media strategy for your business? Social media platforms for startups usually do not require large sum of money. It is one of the easiest, affordable and most effective online marketing strategies. Startups that are looking to accelerate their growth as quickly as possible need to consider using social media platforms to achieve their goal. Below are some tips on how to initiate a successful social media campaign. Why Startups need Social Media Platforms 1. Drive targeted traffic Creating a new page on your site is like taking a really great selfie. You want the world to see it and bask in its brilliance, but you don\u2019t want to beg for attention (or worse, pay for it). That\u2019s why for landing pages, well-placed social media posts can make all the difference. Even a a single link on Reddit drive over 20,000 visitors in one weekend and links submitted to StumbleUpon can take a page that was consistently earning a handful of visitors a day and increase that number to hundreds. Who wouldn\u2019t want to capitalize on that? 2. Using social media for business boosts your site\u2019s SEO Search engine crawlers know which pages are consistently earning traffic and which are just floating out there, forgotten and ignored. A killer social media strategy for SEO is the most important part of earning top spots in search engine rankings, but driving traffic to your optimized pages on social media will cause them to climb much faster in the search engine results pages (SERPs). 3. Social media leads to real relationship building. What makes things like Twitter and Instagram marketing so cool are the interactions people have with their customer base \u2014 you can read their tweets and status updates to get insights into their daily lives (and maybe adjust your marketing strategy as a result). What products are they buying and why? Activities on the weekend? What kind of posts do they love to share, and from what websites? 4. Users are receptive to your messages People view Twitter and Facebook as social networks, not marketing machines. As a result, they\u2019re less likely to see what you post as an advertisement and will be more likely to hear what you have to say. This translates to serious web traffic when you link to your site and posts that market themselves as your friends and followers share what you\u2019ve posted. 5. Social media ads allow targeting and retargeting One of the reasons social media platforms are important is because of the highly customizable nature of social media ads. Facebook ads, for example, allow you to target users by things like location, education level, industry and even purchase history and the pages they\u2019ve liked. You also have to the option to install a Facebook pixel on your site and use it to retarget the users who visit you \u2014 these people are far more likely to convert into solid leads and sales! Top Social Media Platforms in the world Here\u2019s the graph of top 15 social networking sites in the world. As you can see Facebook is leading the pack with a huge margin in front of Youtube. Then there\u2019s another gap of similar size to Instagram on the third place. Social media platform Monthly Active Users Facebook 2,070,000,000 YouTube 1,500,000,000 Instagram 800,000,000 Twitter 330,000,000 Reddit 250,000,000 Pinterest 200,000,000 Vine (In January 2017, The Vine became the Vine Camera) 200,000,000 Ask.fm 160,000,000 Tumblr 115,000,000 Flickr 112,000,000 Google+ 111,000,000 LinkedIn 106,000,000 VK 97,000,000 ClassMates 57,000,000 Meetup 32,300,000 Product Market Fit While product market fit is somewhat of an abstract concept, it essentially means that a significant number of people want your product \u2014 enough to make it viable as the center of a profitable business. Product\/market fit means being in a good market with a product that can satisfy that market. You can always feel product\/market fit when it\u2019s happening. Customers are buying the product just as fast as you can make it, usage is growing as fast as you can add servers, you\u2019re hiring sales and customer support staff. And\u2026you can always feel when product\/market fit isn\u2019t happening. Customers aren\u2019t quite getting value out of the product, word of mouth isn\u2019t spreading, usage isn\u2019t growing that fast. Most startups fail because product\/market fit never happens. The idea behind this metric is that your product is not just another option in the minds of your customers. It\u2019s a significant, beneficial part of their lives and\/or businesses. In other words, your product is filling a tangible market need. Ryan Deiss evaluates market size and its ability to be monetized when attempting to predict market fit. He uses the following metrics: To determine if the market is large enough look for: 30,000+ Google searches per month on your top 3 keywords Active blogs Facebook pages Active forums Email newsletters Active associations To determine if the market is monetizable, look for: Direct competition (They are doing exactly what you want to do. This is a good thing.) Indirect competition (They are selling to the same market, but don\u2019t sell what you do.) Affiliate offers (Check Clickbank, Share-A-Sale and Commission Junction for related affiliate offers.) Advertisers (Where there are well-known advertisers, there is money.) Gurus (Look for very influential people associated with your market.) eCommerce Sites (Find sites that are selling products to this market. Read: Best Social Media Platforms to Invest in 2018 How Social Media can help test Product Market Fit In order to discover whether your product can find it\u2019s market fit, you have to get out there and engage with potential customers. You have to get the ball rolling in order to have any chance at building traction. Here\u2019s a starter guide to implement product market fit on different social media platforms 1. Define your value proposition. Your unique value proposition defines your attempt at product\/market fit. It\u2019s a statement that displays your company\u2019s unique value to your target consumer. Creating this value proposition for your product and determining the top social media platforms to be on in order to attract and engage the customers. 2. Create your sales funnel. To have any chance at building traction, you need to turn your website into a high-converting sales funnel. The website should include the following setup: Primary landing page ~ 2-minute demo video About page Pricing and signup page Contact page Your basic sales funnel should take visitors through the following process: Lead Magnet Tripwire Product Core Product Profit Maximizer Returns Paths 3. Create distribution channels. The core distribution channel is your website, but think about other intuitive places to get your product in front of your target consumers. Such places can be the new social media platforms coming up, which are garnering customers on a daily basis. This could also include conferences, camps or other in-person events. You could utilize free-to-distribute digital products in order to get your brand circulating. More is typically better, but only if you can keep messaging consistency and cost-efficiency across all channels. 4. Develop traffic acquisition channels. You typically need some sort of targeted traffic in order to put your lead magnet into play and begin converting leads. There are a wide number of channels to pursue here. The best advice on traffic channels comes from Digital Marketer: Become a master of a single, steady traffic source. Stay focused on that traffic source and, once mastered, add a second and third traffic source. Traffic acquisition channels include: Organic SEO traffic Email marketing Social media platforms Paid advertising Partner cross-promotion Content marketing Traffic allows you to measure your conversion funnel and your product\/market fit. You can\u2019t test anything out without anyone to test it on. 5. Feedback, Feedback, FEEDBACK! The final piece of finding your product\/market fit is customer feedback. Here\u2019s the deal. Your customers are very interested in getting a better deal, in having more of their problems solved. They WILL tell you what they want if you just ask. It\u2019s super simple, and yet so many gloss over this step. Ask your customers what they want. If you have an existing audience pre-product, ask them what they want and then build that! Bryan Harris has a fantastic, extremely thorough feedback process he uses every time he begins looking into creating a new product. Instead of trying to direct the market, he simply analyzes his audience to see exactly what they are interested in\u2026 and he utilizes their direct feedback throughout each step of the development process. Read: Organic Social Media Marketing Conclusion At the end of the day, you can do everything right and still fail to convert if the product\/market fit isn\u2019t there. Follow the processes outlined above, but stop there. Find someone who has done this successfully before. Then do WHATEVER you can to get their input. You\u2019ll see new startups finding success every single year for as long as you live. The opportunities will always be there for those that find their fit.