Social is omnipresent. Social media have had some irreversible impact on our lives, both professional and personal.
Startup is the hottest buzz word in the market place today. Known for being agile, innovative and flexible to adapt; spreading brand awareness is their primary goal. Marrying the two (Start ups & Social media) has the potential to have overwhelming effect on startups which will enable them to differentiate themselves from large organization. In fact, social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Linked In etc. are crucial for brand awareness, customer acquisition, lead generation and content distribution strategy for business. However, startups and new ventures today are still struggling to understand how to maximize it potential to the fullest.
Why go Social:
There are several elements which reiterate the need for social media and how to use it effectively. I have classified them into two segments – External factors & Internal factors.
These highlight consumer’s perspective.
Customers today do not want just a good and responsive service; instead they want to be treated like individuals. They want every experience with a brand to be new and enriching and often tailored to meet their expectations.
With in-depth targeting, platforms like facebook, twitter enables brands to communicate personalized and well crafted content basis interests levels of consumers.
With the advent of digital marketing, social media has now become one of the best platforms for targeted brand communication. However brands need to understand which key metrics need to be gauged while developing social media strategy. Utilizing this data to understand and anticipate consumer behavior is vital. For example, ROI need not be solely seen in perspective of Cost of Acquisition (CAC) per customer but needs to be clubbed with the Life Time Value that the customer will generate for the brand.
Loyalty structures & Participation
Customers are no longer loyal to a brand but to what a brand stands for. They are ready to experiment and connect with a brand that shares their belief. Social media enables brands to communicate what the brand signifies, which will attract likeminded individuals and create brand loyalty over a period of time. E.g. If you as brand support ‘Free Basic’; chance are that people supporting the cause will to cling to you.
Internal factors: These highlight business perspective
Developing a social media strategy
A seasoned marketer understands the importance of a crafting a detailed social media strategy at the onset. Even before narrowing down on the channels to be used, it is important to build a strategy with specific outcomes that will ensure focused communication over a period of time.
Determine what your brand wants to stand for and build you strategy around it. It could be very classy, official approach or it could be more quirky and relaxed. Adopt a tone that is consistent with the culture of the brand and be uniform across all channels.
Setting the scene
Once your strategy is in place, it is important to define your goal. Established goal serves as a springboard from which you can implement your strategy in a smoother manner. It gives a clearer over-arching vision which keeps you focused and motivated in the required direction. Usually for a business, goal could be any of the following:
- Social media as business enabler
- Brand visibility & awareness
- Acquiring new customers
Once you know exactly what you want to achieve, you can identify how exactly you can achieve it, and underpin your strategy with actions that will really resonate with potential customers.
The need to understand what is working for your brand is extremely crucial. With limited resources, the most effective way is through thorough social listening. Gaining an insight into where and how your competitors are enjoying social media successes and struggles, as well as conducting an audit of your own, is the best way to understand both your position in the market, and your target audience. Monitoring competition on various factors such as how are they engaging with consumers, what platforms are they using etc. and using this to benchmark yourself against them is crucial.
Social listening also enables you to understand the needs and interests of your potential customers. The more you know about your consumer the easier it is to develop communication that will resonate with them. It also helps you to target them with specific deals or offers, engage them in meaningful conversation, and post content that is most likely to engage them.
Basis these three elements you can optimize you social media strategy.
Developing a Content Strategy
Even the most well-intentioned social media strategy will fall apart if it isn’t underpinned by carefully considered, well-crafted content. Content is what adds substance to social media, and the best part is that you’ve already begun to devise your content strategy, whether you realized it or not!
Through social listening, you have ascertained what content is most effective for engaging your target audience, the content that is most effective for your competitors and the content which your organization would like to showcase on a public platform.
Depending on your strategy – overall & content, approach, and goals; you should be able to determine which social media platforms are right for your startup. Widely used platforms available today are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Linked In, You Tube and Google.
Simply put, social media is a digital storefront for a brand and it is extremely crucial to put your best face forward. Remember to be human. Organizations that do so are most successful and are able to build the strongest bond.
– Jaydeep Barman, Co-Founder & CEO, Faasos