So, you’ve got a smart new product developed for quite some time. It has the enormous potential of becoming an industry innovation while attracting high volumes of attention and investments for your entrepreneurial project. However, as a new start-up with limited resources, your advertising budget is limited, SEO promotion takes ages to generate any significant traffic and PR is something you can’t really afford at this time.
Basically, you can’t seem to get enough online traction or widespread brand awareness among potential clients.
Sounds like you need to create a social media marketing strategy.
Well, Fear no more! I’ve gathered together more than enough marketing essential tips to get going and spread the viral word about your startup to connect to your relevant audience.
Spoiler alert.. as an entrepreneur you might end up enjoying social marketing quite a lot, as it will go well with your creative skills, ability to innovate and excite.
Why Social Marketing?
In a nutshell, social media optimisation can be the perfect fit for a lean and tight online marketing budget. This is because it relies on engaging content, rather than your financial funds available.
There’s a lot of truth in the claim that in order to generate great content, you also need a reasonable budget. However, I’ve seen numerous examples in recent years of startups that managed to grab the right audience attention and volume by mixing their products with great ideas that went viral.
Additionally, social media platforms such as Facebook or LinkedIn are built heavily on many online communities which their members share similar interests or occupations. Therefore, when your brand goes viral, it will probably enjoy a natural growth by word of mouth/referrals.
“People influence people… A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message. A trusted referral is the ‘Holy Grail’ of advertising. “
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO
So Let’s Get Started
First, decide which objectives you would like to achieve from your next promotion.
- Increase brand awareness?
- Grow incoming traffic?
- Or perhaps improve conversion rate for leads and online sales?
Once you’ve chosen your objectives, you can use the following tools to measure how successful your strategy is and what elements you might need to adjust.
Brand Awareness Measurement
Google AdWords Keyword Planner
Log in to your AdWords account, click on the wrench icon in the top right corner, go to ‘Planning’ and click on ‘Keyword Planner’.
Once you’re inside, type your brand name as a keyword. Next, you will get specific search volumes figures for your brand name. Now comes the interesting part. These results can be viewed on a month by month segmentation when you click on the small graph icon next to each keyword. This will allow you to see any increases in awareness for your brand or products throughout the year.
Additional great tools for branding measurement are:
Google Alerts, Hootsuite, Brandwatch, Reputology.
These tools can monitor how frequently your brand or product names are mentioned across the web. Importantly, you can also use them to monitor keywords related to your competitors (This also refers to ‘Social Listening’ on section 5).
Incoming Traffic/Leads & Sales Measurement
Scroll down and look for your ‘Acquisition’ and ‘Social’ reports in your analytics account. These should show relevant conversion and visitor figures, segmented by each social network.
Although I won’t go into too much detail but there are many guides available on the web about Google Analytics social reports.
Facebook Analytics and Facebook Insights
Whether it’s for conversion and traffic analysis or brand awareness, these tools can assist in monitoring your results. Bear in mind that while Facebook Analytics presents a significant amount of useful reporting data, it only provides it for paid ads traffic.
Still, it’s worth checking out this guide to get a better grasp about how you could leverage this precious data for your product.
It’s Your Business Page, So Keep It Tidy
Now that your social marketing goals are defined, it’s time to make sure your social media assets are ready to welcome new visitors. Whether it’s a Facebook page, Linkedin company page, or an Instagram profile; make sure your company logo image is good quality and all content published on the page is relevant to your social marketing goals. Professionally presenting your business page is just as important as keeping your office clean – it will affect the way a user perceives your business.
Collect Those Positive Reviews!
Next, start working on increasing your social reviews. As I mentioned above, reviews and social referrals play a crucial role in the way your brand’s exposure levels will develop in the social arena or how fast it will grow. Don’t be shy about asking your best clients to share their experiences with your product and service. A simple email might do the trick here.
Create Great Content (What Does It Mean?)
Generating great content is a must for businesses today (and startups among them). As Facebook recently announced, its news feed algorithm will start prioritising content from “friends, family and groups” over posts from businesses. Facebook clearly sent a message to its content creators; that it will favour meaningful and genuine interactions between people. This means that when you post new content, whether it’s a link to an article or video, you should always think about how likely it is to motivate users to comment, share or like. Remember, great content equals better user engagement.
Here are a few examples of smart ideas, brands have used to generate viral content
GoPro Awards Contest – GoPro launched a prize-winning contest by encouraging users to upload their extreme videos. Looking at GoPro’s YouTube stats, the effect on brand exposure seams immense. It’s an excellent example of how a brand can motivate clients to engage with them, create genuine conversations and upgrade their overall product experience.
This video has generated millions of views and thousands of comments on YouTube.
PooPourri – A genius video, in my opinion, which has succeeded to deliver an uncomfortable piece of content in the funniest way I can imagine.
I recommend watching this excellent guide by Wistia about how to shoot a professional video with your iPhone.
Frooti’s Instagram Page – These guys create beautifully made puppetry, combining real mangos/mango juice as real-life objects. This has resulted in substantial levels of exposure and positive reactions from users.
There are many more relatively simple ways to generate content on social media…including:
- Conducting surveys
- Starting a conversation about specific experiences
- Performing a cool scientific experiment
- Creating instructional videos
- Joining social groups or forums and replying to questions from members
- Holding webinars
- Writing ebooks
- Generating infographic guides and more.
Listen To What They Say About Your Brand
‘Social Listening’ will usually have a crucial role in your strategic decision-making when it comes to branding and brand measurement. There are more than a few tools that allow you to monitor your brand and these could help increase brand awareness.
Here are some Social Listening/Monitoring tools available on the web.
- Google Alerts
- Sprout Social
- Digimind Social
While this is only a partial list, there are many other great tools worth looking into.
Although this article doesn’t cover all social media tactics and strategies available, it does however provide a good starting point for your startup which can further be developed as your social marketing operation grows.
As always, you’re welcome to leave your questions and comments below.