There are 1.79 billion social network users worldwide. With an audience this big, it’s not surprising that 92% of marketers place high value on social media. Amongst all available channels, this is the most inexpensive way to establish your brand and to reach out to your audience. Although results are immediately available, it takes time and dedication to cultivate an effective and lasting client-consumer relationship.
Social media is the ideal route for start-ups because it provides countless opportunities like sharing updates, events, or promotions. Sounds easy, right? Not. Let’s paint a picture here: You started the company a month ago and you now decide to go digital. Your main goal is to gain Followers or Likes. The easiest people to persuade to like your Page are your friends and family. Although you’ve created a small community, you still haven’t reached your target audience. This is where these hacks step in.
First Things First, Be Genuine
Most of our social media marketing clients have two goals—brand awareness and sales. Brand awareness always comes first and this is most especially true for start-ups. We design a plan to introduce their products or services to their targeted audience first; sales come in second.
With social media, everything is in the details. You must provide complete company details including address, telephone number, website, and a brief introduction. Fill out all applicable page information. This makes it easier for your audience to get to know you. Make sure that all information are correct and that telephone numbers are working. John Nulud, our Social Media Specialist, also suggests using a high resolution and customized profile picture (preferably your logo) and cover photo.
Create a Brand Persona
Your Brand’s personality must be someone your audience can relate to. Since interaction in social media happens instantly, your brand persona will dictate whether the reaction will be positive or negative. Social media is a good avenue for your brand to be “human” so don’t interact like a robot, otherwise, consumers will not engage with you. When defining your brand persona, John recommends that you understand who you’re writing to first.
Always think about your audience—what they read, what things they buy, where they hang out or where they want to travel—when creating your SMM (Social Media Marketing) plan. You should base your tone and approach from them. You wouldn’t encourage people to shop during a hurricane, right? When you’ve figured out your personality, it will be easier to interact with your audience.
Engage Like you Mean It
Now that you have a persona, engage your market using their language. John cites this example: if your products are for mothers, give tips about caring for your children, advice on parenting, or share recipes. You don’t always have to promote your brand because sometimes, this approach turns off your audience. Think of it like an excessive display of #selfies—not a good picture, right?
Moreover, you need to respond to your audience in a timely manner, otherwise, they feel taken for granted. Consider that the longer the response goes unanswered, the less brand love you get.
Explore Investing in Ads
Social media is just like search engines—they have algorithm updates once in a while. Facebook is continuously revamping their site to make it easier for marketers to sell their products and services. If you’re a start-up, this may be a good way to spread the word outside of your social media page’s immediate network.
In addition to this, most social media platforms that have advertising products will allow you to filter who you want to target. This allows for “contextual advertising” so that you get more relevant results out of your campaign.
Lastly, advertising doesn’t have to be expensive. Social media advertising is made to adjust to all pocket sizes. An advertising campaign can start from a low of PHP 40.00 (Yes, you read that right. Forty pesos) and work its way up from there. So, there’s really no reason for you not to try this out.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of Networking
It always pays to have a network of digital influencers on your side as they can be a good asset for your company. The trick here, however, is to reach out to influencers within your niche because doing otherwise will just confuse your Followers. Additionally, they add relevance and authority to your Page.
After you’ve established a connection with them, cultivate it into a relationship. This builds trust therefore more opportunities for networking. You can collaborate with them, ask them to take over your Instagram account for a day, or review your products/services and share it in their social media pages. This creates buzz and (hopefully) sales for you. The more industry-related people there are in your community, the higher the interaction will be.
Social media networking, after all, is all about building and maintaining relationships with your followers and influencers.
Social media plays a big role for companies and brands. It is the future of marketing. In fact, this is the most practical and cost-effective way to do marketing, especially for start-ups. So, get ahead of the game and invest in a great social media marketing campaign as early as today.