This is probably the hundredth time you’re reading this, but social media matters for your startup’s growth. With seven-in-ten Americans using social media for engagement and news content, businesses can’t afford to ignore such a powerful form of marketing. Without the right marketing strategy, the majority of your potential customers won’t know that your company even exists.
Unfortunately, most startups don’t have a fancy marketing budget. That’s where social media comes in. It is not only budget-friendly but is also the most effective marketing tool out there. Though time-consuming, using social platforms to build relationships with customers and prospects is often well worth the effort.
Here is a list of three hacks that will help you leverage social media to grow your business.
1. Stay Laser-Focused
With a smart social media strategy, your startup can reach a huge target audience across multiple channels. However, in my experience, businesses—especially inexperienced startups—often get carried away by the idea of promoting their brand through all available social media channels at once. Unfortunately, this approach can do your company more harm than good because maintaining a consistent profile on multiple social media platforms is both expensive and time-consuming. The key to a successful social media strategy is to stay focused on the social channels that matter the most to your product and target audience. Here are a few tips that may help:
- Instead of doing too much at once, concentrate on establishing your online presence on 2-3 social channels first, and then upgrade your plan with extra channels.
- Decide early on, preferably before you start creating profiles, what your social media plan will accomplish. For example, if your startup offers a B2B service or product, it is better to create an account on a social network such as LinkedIn, where business leaders or CEOs hang out.
- Prepare a schedule, setting aside time for updating the profiles each day. This will allow you to pay attention to other vital aspects of your business.
2. Post Unique Content Consistently across Channels
If you build a dedicated social media following, you will need to post unique content consistently across multiple channels. With 2.5 Quintillion bytes of data created every day, generating unique content for your potential customers is not an easy task. So, set a schedule for posting and start creating unique content even before your social media accounts are up and running. The content can be anything, such as blog posts, podcasts, videos, presentations, and infographics.
With entertaining, hilarious and sometimes quirky videos, you can attract customers quickly. Meet Squatty Potty, a small family startup based out of Saint George, Utah. The company manufactures a weird product called ’Squatty Potty.’ The simple device is designed to correct toilet-sitting posture. Their goal is to change the way we poop. However, marketing a product that helps an activity people don’t like to talk about was a challenge. So, the startup came up with a series of hilarious and unique YouTube videos to spread the word. One such video shows a unicorn pooping colorful ice cream, while a man dressed as a knight speaks about the product. The videos went viral and still continue to attract people. Watch their out-of-the-box commercial below.
3. Provide Effective Customer Service through Social Media
To create brand awareness, startups need to interact with their customers regularly. The best way to establish a personalized relationship with your consumers is to provide customer service through social media. In fact, most leading social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter are increasingly becoming customer service platforms where consumers can directly communicate with company representatives.
According to Social Media Today, one in three social media users now prefers social media customer care services to telephone or email. The statistics also reveal that nearly 67% of consumers now use social media networks like Twitter and Facebook to resolve issues. Providing exceptional customer service on social media platforms offers several advantages to startups, including:
- Social media customer care is a lot cheaper than setting up a full-fledged call center.
- It allows startups to engage with their consumers directly, resulting in increased customer advocacy.
- Responding publicly to customer issues is perhaps the best way of showing how customer-centric your company culture is. Customers are more likely to view your startup as the one that cares about its consumers and not just money.
Here are a few tips that’ll help kick-start your social media customer care strategy:
- Create a separate customer care account on each social media platform. This will keep your main media page away from complaints and support queries.
- Designate a dedicated team member for handling customer support accounts. Alternatively, you can hire an experienced customer care executive if your budget permits.
- Usually, people prefer dealing with humans, so make sure to use a human face for the social media accounts.
- Create guidelines for response time, answering general queries, and protocol for handling escalated issues.
A carefully planned social media strategy is the best way to navigate your startup in the cluttered digital space. Even a small startup with minimal marketing budget can tap into the vast potential of social media resources. Pick a couple of tips from the above list, and your startup should be off to a great start. We would love to hear about your social media marketing hacks in the comments section below.