Gaining traction as a startup is a true challenge. How can you attract a loyal audience when you’ve only just entered the market? It’s tough work, but it is by no means impossible.

By carefully selecting the right platforms, being consistent, staying active with your current audience, and more, you can reel in a strong audience in no time. Even for a startup, this challenge can be tackled easily. In this article, I will detail four actionable ways to grow your audience in the startup stage.

1. Find Your Platforms

In order to grow your audience when you’re first starting out, the very first step is to research who your target market really is. Who are you targeting to sell your products or services to?

Do you have a revolutionary IT solution that can benefit multinational corporations? Or are you a small boutique selling sustainable clothing solutions to women? Ask yourself who you are trying to reach, and then tailor your next decisions towards that target market.

Once you’ve narrowed down your target market, you’ll want to find the platform that your audience is most active on. For example, a boutique targeting young women will most likely turn to Instagram as their platform of choice but could also benefit from an active presence on Facebook, Pinterest, and more. On the other hand, a more technical service may find its niche on LinkedIn.

Also, look into what platform can showcase your product or service best. Instagram is known for its easy story functionality and useful B2C shopping capabilities. So, if you’re targeting consumers directly, Instagram may be the best place for you. Restaurants, bars, and other storefronts can significantly benefit from Facebook as it allows you to easily showcase your hours and helps you feature an about section, menus, and more.

Overall, you’ll want to find the platform that fits your audience’s needs and allows you to differentiate your business.

2. Post Killer Content

No post and no piece of content should go to waste. Once you find your platform, every post needs to be catered towards your audience. Yes, you want to sell your products and services, but it’s crucial to gain the trust of your audience before pushing your products as a startup.

Your content should be educational, useful, and entertaining. Repost articles that are useful to your audience. Create content about the common questions your followers are asking. Resonate with your audience and establish yourself as a trusted authority within your space.

You should write compelling articles and post content that shows your brand personality. Create a relatable space for your audience to join.

By gaining your audience’s trust instead of solely pushing your products, you’ll grow your audience significantly. Not only will your audience trust your brand, but they’ll become brand-loyal, coming back time and time again for your products or services.

3. Be Consistent and True to Your Brand

Consistency is key for startups. Establishing a brand identity is hard when you’re just getting on your feet, but it’s crucial to grow your audience.

Create a posting schedule that keeps you on track to post consistently. For startups, it’s great to really expose your personality, so posting once every day or two or consistently posting to your story is a good idea. Follow your schedule so your audience can become accustomed to your brand.

Be sure to use the same tone in all your content. This is crucial for consistency. If you’ve used a casual, relatable tone throughout your past posts, stick to this. If your product is more technical and you would benefit from a professional tone, stay true to that. Confusion will only cause your audience to lose trust in you. Consistency can go a long way for startups.

4. Stay Active with Your Audience

Last, but most definitely not least, stay active with your audience — even if you’ve grown to a significant size. Engagement is a great way to ensure trust in your brand.

If your followers are reaching out in your comments, respond in a timely matter. If they have questions about your startup, answer them. You want to relate to your followers and treat them not only as potential customers but as friends. If you’re feeling up to it, you can also follow a few of your followers back.

One of the most important engagement activities you must do with your audience is to address negative concerns immediately. No brand is perfect, and startups tend to run into a lot of flukes. If someone reaches out to you on social media, comments on one of your content pieces, or directly contacts you with concerns, be sure to follow up immediately and address their concerns. React positively and avoid defensiveness. There’s bound to be hiccups in any startup. It’s best to truly address the concern, dissect how it happened, and devise a course of action to prevent it from happening again.

These four strategies are crucial to start growing a significant audience on your platforms, no matter your industry. Best of luck on your startup journey!