Social Media is an extremely powerful tool. Many companies, start-ups in particular, have been made or broken largely due to social media.
Social Media provides an inexpensive way to reach and engage potential customers for your startup. It is also a valuable source of information and feedback that can be used to your advantage. Budgets are tight and with so many other expenses to consider, marketing spend is often neglected. Social media provides a low-cost platform to speak to its millions of users. It is also an important part of your brand building and will work well with your other marketing efforts. It plays an important role in growing your website and will improve your search engine rankings.
With the many options, available and trends constantly changing, where does one start? Let me share a few key pointers on how social media can help your startup succeed.
1. Have A Plan in Place?
As with anything in business, planning is essential. Develop a social media strategy so that you are clear on what you want to achieve. Do this before you start the social media campaign.
Understand the relevant platforms and what they can offer relative to the objectives and goals you have laid out for the company. You want all aspects of your marketing and strategy to integrate and complement each other. You cannot simply create profiles or pages without a comprehensive plan that is aligned with the business goals.
2. Select Social Media Platforms Wisely
There is no one size fits all approach and different platforms function in different ways and with different markets or demographics. The field is dynamic and changes constantly. Do a bit of research beforehand and ensure you understand the platforms clearly before engaging. You need to consider the nature of your business, the demographics of your target market and your geographical location when assessing the various social options available. The other trick is to keep a close eye on developing trends as social media patterns change and evolve over time.
3. Listen to And Interact with Your Followers
Social media is not a static medium and needs to constantly embrace and engage all followers. Ideally, you want to create and community around the groups, encouraging dialogue and interaction. This needs to be done consistently and regularly. Strive to achieve loyal, raving fans.
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4. Develop A Social Community of Brand Ambassadors
There is no more credible brand ambassador than a happy, vocal customer. If you can create a meaningful, genuine connection between your company or brand and a customer, it will be a great benefit. Seek out the key opinion leaders and influencers within your social communities and make them advocates of your business.
5. Use Social Media as A Customer Service Tool
Given the fact that you will be interacting regularly with your customers, social media is a perfect tool for providing outstanding customer service. Take note of comments and feedback and implement changes where necessary. People are often a lot more honest on a social platform then they might be with a salesperson or service consultant.
Be very wary of negative feedback and respond quickly and appropriately to the issue.
6. Re-Evaluate Your Social Media Strategy Often
As your company and social channels grow you will need to constantly reassess your strategy and online activity. The dynamics of the group change dramatically as it gets more people on board. Sit down with a team and objectively look at the scenario regularly and make changes when and where necessary.
Ensure that you have consistent branding and messages across all platforms. Although the wording and style might differ from one to the next, the underlying message needs to be the same.
7. Be Bold
Presumably part of your success has been doing things differently. Do not be afraid to do the same on social media, within reason. Stand out from the crowds by trying new and different ways of engaging your audience and creating a positive stir in the market.
Embrace social media and utilise it as a cost effective, powerful tool to reach your market.