Top tips for startups to benefit from social-media engagement
Startling success in this sphere has spawned several spin-offs and now the startup space is overcrowded and extremely competitive. Ventures fail and new ones are born on a daily basis. So in times of such cut-throat competition, how do you manage to make yourself heard, seen and recognized?
The marketplace has changed drastically in the last few years. Marketing needs to go viral to survive in the social media space. And you as a new entrepreneur cannot afford to ignore the largest marketplace, which though existing in virtual world, has the power and reach to make or mar a company’s fortunes. It is very important you have a good social media marketing strategy in place. Your marketing plan should specifically cater to your needs whether it is to drive website traffic, increase brand awareness or promote sales. If you are new to social media marketing, here are a few tips for you to keep in mind.
1. Launch yourself well. You surely have your personal Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. You are also a member of Google plus circles. It’s important you own, promote and publicize your brand on social platforms. The more the awareness you can generate of your product or service, the better. But be careful not to overdo it. Your business should not trample on your personal profile, but should be visible to followers and friends.
2. Generate traffic to your website. There are several methods to attract visitors to your site. You can engage a professional social-media marketing agency to manage your social image or pay for facilities like Google Adwords. An alternate method, which is free as well, is to use some of your time and write blogs that are relevant to what your target audience is searching for. Make sure your content is in the sphere of influence in which your product or service exists. This helps you get free traffic from Google. Guest posting on popular websites is also a great way of driving relevant traffic to your site.
3. Research your audience. You have to be alert to what your audience is talking about. Google Keyword tool helps you type in keywords and check out how many people are searching for them. You can also listen in on conversations on Twitter, dive in and participate in them. Keep a watch on the social media activities of you competitors as well. By reading up on the market reactions to new product launches and listening in on the general market chatter, startups can glean valuable information about the target customer community.
4. Optimize your blog content for Google searches. The first and foremost point you need to keep in mind is that your content should feature in keyword searches. Your title should include the keywords because the title tag is read by Google. Once your title features in a search, the description tag appears beneath it and this too should ideally contain the keywords or attention-grabbing information. This helps to draw your target audience to your post and get that all-important click.
5. Engage your visitor. Once you have got your reader interested don’t put him off with over-the-top promotional antics. To engage your potential customer you need to talk about him first. It could be a problem he is facing, a product feature he has liked and is interested in knowing more about, or a recent development in his area of interest that is trending in his circle. Startups generally arouse curiosity and you can use this opportunity to express how different you are from others in the market.
6. Involve your visitor. You can give your ideas, views, opinions and suggestions related to the topic of discussion. The visitor must be tempted to add in his own comments or views. This will encourage other visitors to do so, too. The more the people commenting on your article, ‘sharing’ it or ‘liking’ it, the better your performance and this immediately ups your Google rankings. And for this to happen, your information needs to be real-time, useful, relevant and fresh. Repetitive content stops visitor engagement. Unique social content helps drive brand chatter. A good ranking in Google searches is half the marketingbattle won for startups.
7. Be responsive. When your blog has garnered the much-desired attention, don’t forget to give it your continued attention. Customers look to social media for quick response and fast action. If you are not responding to a query or addressing a problem right away, you are turning away a potential customer. And in the extremely competitive world of social-media marketing this can be disastrous. You need to do everything possible to turn a connection or follower into a customer.
8. Convert your visitor into a potential customer. It is important you capture the e-mail address or contact information of your visitors. This will help you sustain and grow your relationships. You can gently prompt visitors to subscribe to your newsletter or blog. If the interaction has been rewarding and informative, this information won’t be hard to come by from your visitor. Make the process simple and easy, and throw in some incentives as well for the subscriber. For example, subscribe now and get 20% off on the first online purchase!
9. On social media you don’t market, but communicate. Everybody knows that the sublime need of all content is to generate interest on the part of the reader. And that interest is generated when there is something for the reader in your blog. If you continuously engage in open, honest and helpful communication with your visitor, you earn his trust. You are not an irritating salesman, but an online friend. You need to speak the language of your target customer, enjoy his interests and be a source of reliable and timely information. Your passion for your business should translate into passion for customer engagement as well. Once you gain your identity and are no longer ‘just another marketer’, it becomes easy to pitch your product to him. Your newsletters are noticed, blogs are appreciated and the chances of sale increase.
Businesses need to constantly reinvent and renew themselves to stay relevant in the fast-changing marketplace of today. The attention span of the new-generation customers is as short-lived as their brand loyalty. You need to constantly strive to remain relevant and rewarding, as a brand. Social media if used wisely and optimally will give you a powerful presence in the lifestyle, choices and interests of your customers.
Viyuta Agarwal is a content strategist for CouponzGuru.com, the web's liveliest and most exciting coupons and deals website. Viyuta also loves being a part of the travel, business and food blogging community and enjoys life to the fullest. Hit her up on Twitter @ViyutaAgarwal