Social media and marketing are here to stay — but do you know how to make the most of social equity for your startup? It seems like every week there is a new platform or strategy that everyone is buzzing about.
However, not every strategy will work for your startup and that’s why we’ve got 5 viable paths to consider.
Read on— by the end you’ll know which direction to point your social media strategy in.
Check it out: 5 Keys to Branding For Small Business Success
Put People First
Customers have never favored a saccharine or corporate approach to advertising but the growth of social media has made impersonal marketing even less appealing. Use this reality to inspire your social media ethos and develop a strategy that puts people first.
There are many different ways that you can do this. For instance, you could get the members of your startup to carry out ‘social takeovers.’ This is where you hand over the keys of your social media account to someone who doesn’t normally look after it.
It could be anyone, a rep from the admin team, a part-time recruitment official, or one of the company directors. If you’re feeling really daring then you get another company to get involved, such as a local school.
The important thing to remember when you unleash a social takeover is that you don’t get too carried away in your brand message; social media is about building a community and if you want to put people first, it means you’re going to have to let your startup take a backseat.
Partner With Bigger Players
Going viral is a tactic that can reap huge success for a new business; just take the example of Dollar Shave Club, whose excellent video, Our Blades Are F***ing Great, is now part of social media strategy legend…
Unfortunately, not every startup can run a social media campaign that gets over 25 million YouTube views. However, what you can do to give yourself a chance of getting those figures is to partner up with a bigger player.
This could be a social media influencer, or a partnership with a bigger organization. If you’re really smart then you can create one big player from a number of smaller players. How? By using micro-influencers. These are influencer marketers who don’t have the enormous figures of people like Shakira, but do have a devoted following who will be influenced by their recommendations.
Whichever strategy you take, the important thing is that getting an endorsement from a big player can make a huge difference in driving up your social media network and that’s a huge deal – your network is your net worth.
Experiential Marketing: Offline/Online Social
Customers don’t want your startup to sell them your goods, services, or dry corporate messages. What they want instead is for you to engage with them on a level that makes you products part of their life by selling them an experience.
Snapchat have been using AR for sometime and it’s become a potent weapon for a number of businesses. In April 2018 Snapchat released a Shoppable AR Lens feature, an extension of the social media platform’s shoppable ads that let brands connect directly with Snapchat users.
Snapchat’s Shoppable AR Lens was launched by Adidas, Clairol, STX Entertainment, and King. You can see how Adidas made this exponential form of social media work for their Deerupt running shoe by checking out this article. Experiential marketing has enabled these brands (and many more) to use to social media to create awesome offline/online social experiences.
But for your startup to really get the most of this social media tactic, you need as many composite parts of your business working together in harmony as possible. By making sure your website is geared for AR and VR, you can create a strategy that uses experiential marketing to drive customers from your social media accounts to your website.
Host Social Communities
Posting a million different things on social media is great. But what do you think the value to your startup would be if instead of just being a publisher of information for your followers, you used your social media accounts to become a curator and a community manager?
Building up a community by using Twitter chats and Facebook groups is an excellent strategy to get deep engagement from your social media followers. And, remember, engagement is the most valuable currency that social media has.
If you don’t believe me then just listen to what Ryan Stewart, founder of the group Digital Marketing Questions, has to say on the value of creating a social community:
“Facebook pages and personal posts rely completely on the Newsfeed algorithm for organic exposure. Facebook groups send users a notification whenever someone posts to the Group, thus driving traffic to each post… Facebook gives users the option to silence these notifications. However, if your group consistently adds value, they won’t.”
If you want to find out more on how you can use the social communities to create a winning social media strategy, read this strategy using private Facebook group.
You don’t have pots of money to throw at every corner of your startup; you need to get a team of people that you can trust, build a website, find an office space that works for you, and have a working accounts system…. And that’s just the beginning!
Thankfully, social media is easy to bootstrap — especially in the early days.
You can automate your processes and scale up your social strategy with a range of free tools and inexpensive VAs. There is so much AI-driven automation out there that can help you take the heavy lifting out of social media management.
Of course, you need a good strategy to get you started — but remember to keep things agile and reactive. Make the most of social advertising to seed and launch content and products, but don’t put your entire business in the hands of one channel either.
So many startup businesses don’t last the test of time and for so many different reasons. Getting your social media strategy wrong might not be thing that sends your startup under, but getting it right could be what takes it into the stratosphere. So, pick your strategy, implement it now, and take your company as far as you can.
Author: Kayleigh Alexandra is passionate about helping startups succeed. She blogs at Microstartups.org and donates all website profits to charities that help people reach their full potential.