With over 2.307 Billion global social media users, it will be foolhardy for any business not to leverage this platform for maximum promotion.
Finally, there is a distribution channel that will allow you to reach a targeted global audience while interacting and engaging with them as well. At the same time, you get to glean insights about the demographics and buying patterns of your customer.
Social media is such a powerful tool right at your fingertips, and with the right social media marketing strategy in place, can go a long way in building your business.
In fact, entrepreneurs are increasing the amount of social media spending for brands, only next to email marketing in terms of priority.
That said, how can your start-up business maximize your social media campaigns for best results? Here are some tricks of the trade:
1. Connect with influencers.
Influencers are individuals or groups with a large following, and tapping into them can give your start-up business the leverage it needs to reach your target audience. The rationale of influencer marketing is that the recommendations of these trusted personalities can boost both awareness and positive perception for your brand.
To do this the right way, you need to be able to differentiate between an influencer and an advocate. The former shapes and defines the conversation going around in your niche while the latter promotes and expounds on what is being discussed. You need to find the right people who can significantly impact the perceptions of their followers and help build your positive reputation.
As a case study, Aegora, is a professional marketplace for freelancers who are looking to work with quality partners and clients. This is a business matching platforms that connects them with entrepreneurs who are looking for experts in the field fit for their business needs. To get their business going, Aegora reached out to key people in the PR, marketing, consulting, and start-up industries and were able to get 500 sign-ups from first adopters alone during the first 90 days of the campaign.
2. Host contests and other promotional activities and make them exclusive.
Exclusivity makes the audience feel special, and is a powerful formula for your customer retention initiatives. A members-only contest is a great strategy to reward loyal customers who have been with your brand for quite some time. This will also empower them to do the marketing and advocacy for you.
Run a giveaway promotion for your product or service and don't forget to make this a opportunity for you to learn more about your customer. Let them perform a task like captioning a photo or posting user-generated content as an entry. Before they submitting their entry, you can ask them about their favorite product or service thereby turning this promo as a rich source of data. Later on, you can personalize your marketing approach for each customer based on their answers.
Insider Tip: Rafflecopter is a module for raffles where you give out entries to those who complete tasks like following on Twitter and Facebook. You can use this to make the management of your online contest a breeze.
3. Respond to ALL Comments, Suggestions, Inquiries and Complaints.
Make your customers and clients feel cared for. Acknowledge the feedback and questions they post on your page or send via private message. Letting them know that their input is received informs them that you really take their ideas into consideration.
According to Convince and Convert, this is what social media users expect. From these statistics, about 42% demand that they be responded within at most 60 minutes.
The most common mistake of start-up businesses is having no response and escalation procedure. When running social media campaigns, make sure that you have community guidelines in place, along with how you will handle comments, inquiries, and complaints.
4. Use the 80/20 rule.
People are more concerned about how your product will benefit them, rather than the other way around.
Instead of focusing on just promoting your brand in a pitch, take an approach that tells people the specific benefits they can get. To do this, craft a narrative around your pitch instead of giving it as it is. This will make people more likely to listen to you.
Looking at the numbers, 80% of what you post should not be related to your product or service. It should be related to developing trust and relationships and getting your brand known. 20% of what you post can relate to your products or services – advertised sales or discounts, new product launches, free trials, etc.
5. Learn from your competitors.
In order to outdo the competition, you need to see what they’re up to first. A good social media strategy isn’t complete without an assessment of your competitors’ own approaches.
As an insider tip, here are some tools that you can use to monitor your competitors’ social media properties and benchmark your own performance against the best brands.
There are tools which allow you to analyze Facebook Pages and provide recommendations on how you can improve your page. They can provide you with insights and scores of your Facebook page against other pages and industry average so that you can gain knowledge on how you are performing in your niche.
These tools allow you to analyze several of your social media properties including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and Google+ side by side your competitor.
With access to these tools you need to ask yourself: what are they currently doing, how is it working, and what aren’t they doing that you can do?
Social media is an important platform to connect with your target audience and build your brand image. When done right, this channel will go a long way in marketing your start-up business and getting you in league with the Goliaths in your industry.
About the author
Joan Selby is a content marketer at paper writing service EduGeeksClub and a blogger. Former CalArts graduate and fancy shoelover. A writer by day and reader by night. Giving creative advices to young professionals and startups.