Are you a bootstrap startup trying to create the social media presence of your startup and promoting your business through social media and digital marketing?
The more than 1.4 billion active users on Facebook, 288 million users on Twitter, 347 million on LinkedIn and 70 million on Pinterest, make it essential to have your brand’s digital presence more than ever.
With billions of people connected to these sites, digital presence of your business across all these social media platforms works as marketing catalyst for your startup.
Ignoring the massive power of social media can be a grave mistake. The sheer number of users clearly emphasizes the need for your startup to have a great digital presence.
From established businesses to startups, most organizations use digital presence to increase their sales. According to studies done subsequent results revealed by Hubspot, 44% of B2B marketers have generated leads via LinkedIn, whereas 39% have generated leads through Facebook and 30% through Twitter.
Since funds are not a limiting factor for large-cap firms, they easily set aside huge funds for creating their digital presence and promotion. However, for small business or startups, they lack in resources as well as manpower.
This article provides ways for start-ups to ensure a meaningful digital presence without breaking the bank. You don’t have to do it all at once but keep them in mind and implement them as you progress.
1. Have An Outstanding Social Media Plan –
To stand out from the crowd, having a social media plan is important. A clear digital marketing strategy will help you take your social media campaigns to the next level.
First of all, chalk out your business motives so that you can think about how digital presence over social-media can help you achieve them.
Try new business ideas and be different from others and show consistency in your brand across all mediums. For making your social media marketing strategy a success, it is essential that you remain updated on the latest trends.
Keep comparing your business pages with your competitors and see how they are boosting their online presence. You don’t have to follow their plan but you can always learn from them.
Researching your competitors on social media not only gives an overview of your industry, but it also gives you insight into the current habits of the audiences you’re targeting. According to sproutsocial.com, doing some competitor analysis allows you to benchmark your metrics against others to see how you stack up.
2. Pick Right Social Media Channels –
When starting up, you will often not have many funds to explore all social media channels in one go. As your startup grows, so will your ability to spend more on digital marketing channels.
But to start, pick only selected (2-3) channels that you think are important and most popular with your target audience. Select them according to the relevance to your business. Remember, each social platform comes with special business promotion features.
So, you need to find which channels are suitable to promote your startup. For example, Facebook and Twitter are great for startups as they allow sharing data and fetching real-time responses from potential customers.
For instance, if your startup business sells jewelry, then Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook will be more appropriate than LinkedIn.
However, if your startup is into job consultancy, recruitment, business consulting, then LinkedIn would be more appropriate.
Moreover, it is easier to monitor and update a lesser number of accounts.
3. Analyze Your Customers’ Needs –
When customers visit your social media pages, take this as an opportunity to build relations with them. Instead of merely reading their comments, you can ask them directly what their preferences are regarding your products or services.
Do your customer need analysis on social media. Find out what changes they want in your products. This will help in developing products or services that are customized to consumers’ actual needs.
Ask them for their feedback and they will too appreciate this initiative of yours. The key here is to interact with customers. Make a note of all the feedback that you receive and implement changes wherever required.
For instance, you can use Facebook Insights, for detailed metrics about your posts and the engagement they earn. Audience analysis can help you understand who is engaging with you, and includes demographic and location breakdown.
You can use survey monkey to create a survey form or run polls on Twitter to understand your customer needs.
Remember to analyze your customers’ needs.
4. Resolve Customers’ Issues –
Your social media strategy cannot work successfully without having a plan to resolve customers’ problems. However, providing customer support on the phone and other conventional means is not enough.
Many customers will come with issues regarding your offerings on social media as well. Social media platforms can be a quick and effective medium to provide customer service.
Timely response to customers’ problems is crucial to your startup promotion plans on social media.
40% of respondents expect a response time within hours of leaving a complaint, says a study from Convince & Convert. A dedicated customer support team with your startup will be highly useful.
For instance, Nike created a separate Twitter account just for responding to customer inquiries and issues: @NikeSupport. Nike Support is dedicated to all things customer service, making it easier for customers to reach out when they have a problem or a question they want to be answered. Nike Support is very active and very quick to respond. If you look at the account’s Twitter feed, you’ll see replies every few minutes.
You too can use such methods to build a positive brand image in the marketplace.
Also, it is important to acknowledge your mistakes. Instead of hiding, we would suggest you own up your mistakes in front of your customers. Make sure your apology is a genuine one by using a natural tone of voice.
5. Use Social Media as Recruitment Channel to Grow Your Startup –
No doubt, the key focus of your social media marketing strategy is gaining potential consumers. However, they shouldn’t be the only people you should be paying attention to.
To grow as a company, when the time comes, you will be needing hard-working, dedicated employees to work with you as a team. Many recruitment services are there to cater your need, however, many great candidates may be within your social media following too.
So, next time, when you have a job position to fill, remember to share the details on your business social media accounts. There are many job opportunity groups and communities on social media which can help you in finding a right fit for the position.
Use social media networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, to showcase major business achievements. It makes your follower excited and more interested in your company; promotes company culture and gets people who share your values and enthusiasm interested in working for you.
6. Invest In Building Online Community –
The key to a perfect marketing strategy is to make a real human connection with the audience. Online communities are like your family whose members keep on increasing.
They will discuss your business and its offerings on your forum. This is your way to make a connection with potential customers.
To build online communities of your own, post content that touches people’s heart with a positive sentiment. Just simply talk to them and try to make relationships.
Note that customers appreciate companies that are known for posting emotionally-engaging content.
To build a strong community on social media, make sure that communication goes both ways.
Let your community share ideas and feedback with you, and share useful information with them.
Display your products or services in abundance to gain the confidence of the people. For instance, you can inspire your audience by telling them how you came up with the idea for your startup, and why your team loves what they do. As people react, you’ll be able to spot individuals who read your content and become inspired.
Take this connection and offer passionate individuals the opportunity to be social media influencers and brand ambassadors. These influencers help increase your startup’s exposure and promote your band name.
This may seem difficult to accomplish using social media, but it is a great way to establish a connection and strengthen the support of your startup.
7. Analyze And Improve Your Strategy –
No single social media strategy remains effective forever. Wise marketers constantly look out for new strategic changes that need to be made to satisfy consumers’ needs.
Reaching a target of 1,000 Likes on Facebook does not mean that your job is done. Evaluate your existing plans regularly and see which parts of it require some tweaking or full elimination.
Figure out what new you can add to the plan. Make use of search engines or tools such as Google Analytics to find feedback and reviews of your business.
However, perfect analyzing of your plans is essential to arrive at new changes to make. You can try social media analytics tools to analyze how your business is performing on various social media channels.
8. Think Outside of the Box –
A key to a successful social media campaign is to do something unique. For example, create social media posts that have the potential to go viral. Viral posts bring a huge number of followers to your site immediately. You can then convert them into buyers.
For example, Pepsi ran a Facebook campaign, where the company offered their new soda beverage samples free to those who post ‘Likes’ on their Facebook page.
This creative idea fetched a huge number of Facebook likes and helped the company in expanding its online community.
9. Explore New Trends and Strategies on Social Media –
No strategies and social media marketing plans work forever. It is important to be innovative when it comes to social media marketing strategies for your business.
Experiment with new ideas and do not fear failure. You will only learn from them about how to enrich your social media plans. Channel your startup’s creative energy into new ways of promoting your brand on social media.
10. Content is the KING –
Quality of content is more than the quantity of content when it comes to social media marketing.
Rather than ‘How Many Times’, focus on ‘What Type of Content’, is being posted on your startup’s social media channel. For your content to be engaging, it needs to be valuable to your audience.
Your audience needs to keep coming back for more. And if they find your content worthy, so will search engines, resulting to, driving more traffic.
Mix up your content with blogs, emailers, images, infographics, videos and whitepaper, shared over your social media pages.
So, there you have it. These are 10 crucial tips you should pay special attention to when planning to use social media for promotion of your startup.
As you move forward, you will learn what more can be added to your existing plans to enhance your company’s reach to target customers on social channels.
Make sure that you put your best efforts to explore the potential of the platforms to your advantage.
Which strategy are you using to reach to your potential customers? Share in comments.