Marketing for startups can be a challenge, with small budgets and a lack of knowledge about its customers the challenge can seem insurmountable, but with today’s technological improvements there are many ways for startups to market directly and efficiently without breaking the bank.
Step one: Twitter– If you a representing a brand you must be on twitter and better yet active on twitter. According to Kevin Allen of PR Daily step one of a successful twitter feed is to always add value. Don’t be the tweeter who fits the oldest social media joke around about letting the world know what you ate for lunch. If you must tweet about your experience with a meal remember, “pics or didn’t happen” – give your followers something to see, a real experience not just a string of characters and acronyms. Next tip, you are the company you keep, this is especially true on twitter, only follow people who portray the image your company is trying to keep imagine you must bring one of the people you follow to a dinner party at random and your selection criteria may turn out to be much more stringent. Lastly, avoid negativity, criticizing a piece of media or an idea can be ok, however attacking individuals is a wormhole that you don’t want to down. Remember the saying, “Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.” You want to hold your company in good light so act accordingly.
Step Two: Facebook– Before you set out creating a Facebook page take some time to set goals and understand why you are using Facebook as a platform for marketing. How is your target market going to use your page? As a news source for new products or company information, other customers may just want to “talk” and feel like they are part of the company and that they are valued. You must align your page strategy to fit your target and define your success metrics. Next, remember to stay involved, post often, daily or more if possible. The best idea is to create a schedule and stick to it, this doesn’t mean be robotic it means treat the fans of your page like friends and keep in contact with them. Use Facebook ads and offer a reward for becoming a fan, offer weekly or monthly sweepstakes that reward your fans for their commitment to your business, remember a like from someone on Facebook associates your company positively with all of that individuals contacts, they should be rewarded for marketing your business so well. Turn these fans insights into advertising, Facebook’s self-serve ad tool allows you to advertise fans positive comments as advertisements that can be seen by prospective customers and create a real connection between customers, prospective customers and the company. Lastly, use the analytics provided to you by Facebook to better understand your fans and the way your page is being viewed. What is of most interest, what messages are not resonating, and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Step Three: Be inclusive– just because you are using Facebook and Twitter doesn’t mean that you have covered all of your bases. Don’t forget about other social networks such as Google +, Pintrest, Reddit, Foursquare, and be sure to look for specialized networks for hobbies, common interests and professional networks. Spread your message through as many channels as you can as to not leave out anyone, something that gets little to no traction on Facebook might become an instant success on Reddit or vice versa.
Step Four: Create your own Buzz- Don’t wait for someone to share your company with their friends and hope for the best, put out creative content that will gain traction organically. Sponsor events that can involve others offer prizes and showcase your company in a good light.
Follow these tips to make your social media presence a positive influence on your brand and a tool for customers and potential customers to learn, interact and feel like a part of the network you are trying to create. Remember that social media is a tool for communication, so don’t be the friend that dominates the conversation not allowing a second for comment. Be inclusive create a reason for people to interact and reward them for doing so, following these rules will surely create better engagement and a true network.