11/10/2016 12:00:00 AM
Startups Definitive Guide To Getting Started On Social Media
With more than 2.31 billion social media users, delivering 31% of global penetration, social media is no longer an optional tool for your marketing strategy, but rather a priority.
As a startup, social media can help in accelerating your success in both cost effective and time efficient manners. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube, not only can help in leveraging the conversation around a brand, but also, with so many tools built around them, brands can keep track and monitor these conversations for better customer support experience.
Defining Your Social Media Marketing Objectives and Strategy
Before setting up your social media profiles, make sure you define your objectives, think of why your brand is joining the social media scene, how can social media help your brand, and align that with your business goals and objectives.
Define metrics to measure when these objectives are achieved, no point in having goals if you don’t have parameters to measure their achievement
Have a clear understanding of your “Ideal Customers”, create a fictional buying persona as your Ideal Customer, what would be their age, interest, occupation, income, gender and seniority.
“"Here's what our product can do" and "Here's what you can do with our product" sound similar, but they are completely different approaches.”
- Jason Fried
If your objectives are still unclear, here are four main areas Social Media can greatly help any business with:
- Increasing Awareness and Brand Discovery
Think of Social Media as the new word-of-mouth, 40% of people spend more time socializing on social media than they do face-to-face. There are more devices connected to the Internet than there are people on earth, while 109 minutes is the daily time spent on social networking by internet users
Social Media helps in getting discovered by customers. Twitter’s Customer Insight study found interesting numbers about SMBs discovery
- Increasing DR (Sales)
Make sure to provide your sales team with lead generation techniques that turn strategies into sales. After being discovered by your audiences; they start engaging with your brand, whether it’s an engagement or follow or making a purchase.
The same Twitter study found that 38.6% actually shopped from a store or website.
- Offering fast and effective Customer service
With 82% of Facebooks and 79% of Twitter are on mobile, it obviously led to rise of the need for Social Customer Service, J.D. Power and Associates said 67% of customers have used company’s social media site for servicing, which is perfect for a Startup, assembling a -not costly- small team to service your customers is what any company with small budget wishes for.
Customer Service on Social Media is a bit tricky though, according to Buffer, 80% of companies believe they are providing amazing customer servicing job, but actually only 8% of them are.
The good news is:
- Those who experience a quick and effective brand response, 71% of them are likely to recommend that brand to others.
- Customers end up spending 20% to 40% more with the company when it engages and respond in a timely manner over social media.
Here are some customer support tips
- Respond within maximum of 120 minutes
- Monitor your brand
- Use a Customer service tools like Respond to stay organized and save time.
- Find, Listen & Respond to your customers
The best part about social media is that there are so many tools available that can actually help you listen to both your customers and competitors, tools like Mention, Google Alerts and Twitter Dashboard, can keep you on top of what is being said around your brand and your competition.
Choosing the Right Platform
Your brand doesn’t need to be on every Social Network, Facebook & Instagram are perfect for Storytelling, Twitter & Snapchat for live events, LinkedIn for B2B. Your targeted audience (Ideal Customer) will help you identifying your optimum social network. For example, Snapchat and Instagram are popular among millennials, Pinterest among females. If you’re business rely on advertising, then Facebook and Twitter Ads should be your main choice.
Choosing your Brand’s Persona
Creating a consistent, engaging voice is often the most difficult aspect of a brand’s content strategy.
Ask yourself what’s your brand’s personality?
- Oreo is funny
- Nike is inspirational
- XeroxCorp is expert
Brand’s unique voice and personality are what differentiate a brand from competitors.
- Write Engaging Bio
A perfect bio should appear professional, with just a touch of “personal”, add link to your website as well as a professional description of what you or your company do.
Your bio contributes greatly in forming your brand’s online reputation.
“Your online reputation is your reputation. And it better be good.”
- Neil Patel
Lookup Your Competition
Looking your competition up on social network can help you determine which network you should be on, see how your competition is engaging with those potential customers of yours. Make sure to check what is being shared by them, how they engage with the audiences and how can you answer the needs of these audiences.
Keep up with what’s trending
Understand the trends around you and your business, keep up with the updates from the social networks you will be using, be one of the early adopters if it suits your business. Think Periscope, when it was 1st released and acquired by Twitter, early adopters of the platform gained massive amount of followers and ultimately their business grew.
Hire a Team
One of the biggest mistakes a lot of startups tend to do, is they think they can do everything on their own, being a low-budget startup they try to save as much as they can. Social Media is now a priority for any business to thrive, it’s imperative to have a fully dedicated team looking after it. In many Startup cases, social media is the only available marketing tool, due to its cost effectiveness and efficiency.
“Social media is not just an activity; it is an investment of valuable time and resources.”
- Sean Gardner
Prepare for Crisis Management
Crisis happens, and news travel faster than light, especially bad news. With the help of Social Media brands can provide their customers with accurate information and demonstrate the efforts the brand is doing to manage the crises. In recent Emirates plan crash, Social Media played a huge role in saving the brand’s image, Emirates quickly changed their iconic red logo profile pictures into a Brand Safe/Gray colours to demonstrate empathy, made an announcement and cleared the situation within minutes using Social Media. Finally, they shared a video of their press conference with a plain white background, to avoid associating the brand’s colors with the crisis.
Like Emirates, your brand should also be prepared for crisis.
In the next part we will be covering Content Strategy, a vital and essential part of any Social Media Strategy, starting from when to post to what to post, automation and tracking.