Social Media for Start Ups
Social Media Strategy
In this modern era of digital marketing, start-up companies with any serious aspirations must enter the marketing arena armed with a killer social media strategy. People are finding their cars, their homes, their jobs and even their partners through the medium of the internet so you best be sure they can find your product/service on there too. For all intents and purposes, if your product/service can’t be found on the internet then it doesn’t exist.
Facebook & Twitter
The two heavyweights of the social media marketing tools are quite clearly Facebook & Twitter. According to Social Bakers.com there are over 2.3m FB users in Ireland, 47% male & 53% female and the largest age group 25-34 closely followed by the 18-24 age bracket. Twitter has a staggering 600,000 daily users in Ireland sending 1 million tweets each day. So with these statistics a successful utilization of these two digital facets can go a long way in whether your company sinks or swims. They are now crucial for building awareness and creating a buzz for new products & services. A new product can be launched using the scope & audience reach of social media in a time efficient manner. Facebook campaigns and Twitter marketing strategies are now part and parcel of a product/service launch.
Identifying your Audience
So where to start for Social Media Start ups? Identifying your audience is the first step. You can pinpoint your audience in real-time. Research the sector, industry and competition. Finding out exactly what your competition is doing, what is working and what isn’t will help identify their weaknesses which in turn will help you fill in what they are missing. Metrics on keywords, follower profiles will help define your target audience. There is no point hitting every network when you start up initially. Locate your core customers, and prioritize to reach them and whereabouts they reside online. Facebook and Twitter are the first channels to start with and they can be used for all business models. If your business provides a service for other companies you might consider LinkedIn. Also B2B companies that are focused on lead generation LinkedIn would be the ideal channel. LinkedIn ads are actually a fraction of the cost of paid search advertising with an average CPC at about €3. LinkedIn ads can generate a click through rate that is 60% higher than the average across other social networks. If your business is more of a visual/physical you might need to consider YouTube and Flickr/Pinterest for a more visual presence.
Rules to Follow
There are certain rules that would be advisable to follow when using Social Media Networks. Their main objective and the reason why millions download and use them every day is, quite simply, to help connect people with each other. Try and make every post personal. Ideally put a face to your social media outlets. When a follower interacts with your site they should feel like they’re interacting with a person and not a business. On Twitter follow only profiles that are potential target audience members or profiles or like minded business. Social Media does not only provide a channel to connect with consumers but also to build relationships with other business which can be just as valuable.
Tips & Insights
On Facebook it can be useful to talk to the fans of competitor companies, and can even gain you a few of their fans. Don’t just add people to increase your numbers, followers and ‘likes’ you will gain by becoming friends or following won’t be as worthwhile as the ones you get from genuine interest. It is essential to keep the community active by constant interaction and asking for feedback, which is a valuable source for any company. Facebook and Twitter feedback is the modern day comment cards and are far easier to receive. An example can be seen in Ryanair’s recent foray into the world of social media with Twitter and their improved customer friendly website. This proved as a delivery on a promise to improve customer relations. They had no alternative as they were losing business because other airlines were becoming more successful and Ryanair’s cheap and cheerful, no frills airline was losing business because of poor customer service.
How to Engage
Offering something to your valued customers is a sure way of engaging them and getting the community talking. Competitions on Facebook and Twitter is a great way of building your customer base. Most people want ‘free stuff’. Although the prizes don’t have to be costly, they should reflect the image of the company. No matter what image you are looking for, make sure your social media presence reflects it in every way.
The businesses that are getting the most out of their social media outlets are the ones that react first and respond intelligently to whatever is in the news that has grabbed people’s attention.
Remember you’re being social for your brand, but represent it as yourself. Be human and personable and you will find you will build up the strongest bond with your customers and will be the most successful.
Good luck with your new business and share your experience all you new Social Media Start Ups out there!
– Maria –
Useful websites with great insights and information on Social Media:
2. North Social Media.com Website
3. Social Bakers.com – great stats on all Social Media /channels