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7 innovative social media strategies for start-ups

Last updated on: May 18, 2013 13:09 IST

7 innovative social media strategies for start-ups

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Courtesy Yourstory.in

Pratik Dholakiya, SEO and VP of Marketing at E2M Solutions, a full service internet marketing company tells you how to make the most of your social media presence

Social media demolishe6s manufacturer-consumer hierarchy, competitive advantage that the big boys have, and literally levels the field.

Everyone has 24 hours a day and then social media.

There's all the money in the world for everyone to make, and there's tremendous opportunity with social media that startups can tap into.

The fields are flat. The opportunity is ripe.

As a start-up, how should you be using social media?

Illustration: Dominic Xavier/Rediff.com


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1. Make social media the home base

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Content marketing, publishing as a brand, and regular communications with your customers -- both present and potential -- should begin with social media along with your regular channels such as blogs, reports, and other content marketing channels.

As a start-up, creating accounts on social media websites is the first step.

Keeping them updated regularly, using them to engage with your fans and followers comes next.

Selling on social media is a business afterthought.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier/Rediff.com



Tags: Dominic

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2. Narrate stories

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Stories are a great way to engage with your audience.

How do you get stories that are worth the attention of your customers? Glean stories from your customers personally.

If you sell a web-based accounting solution such as Xero or Freshbooks, for instance, publish blog posts on how clients can benefit from using such solutions.

On social media, highlight these stories, make references to your customers by using operators on social media channels such as + for Google Plus, and @ for Facebook and Twitter.

If you are telling a story, let the world know about it.

Spread the word out. Hustle to push the story out.

Keep the protagonists of your story informed (as a bonus, your customers will love that they've been featured).



Tags: Facebook , Xero

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3. Get generous. Use special mentions

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As a start-up, your greatest challenge is to get noticed.

To let the world know that you exist, you have to pander to human ego.

On social media, it's easy to get attention.

All you need to do is to use "mentions".

When you find something you like, read something that inspires you, watch a video that strikes a chord, hear a podcast that almost changed your life, or read a blog post that struck your heart -- give a shout out with a mention on social media, across channels.

You'll learn to appreciate the effort others put in, you'll benefit from generosity, and what you give comes back.

How about some examples? Here go some of them:

"Weird isn't the new normal, it's actually a good thing". A Life-changing book:  "The Flinch" by @julien. Read it now.

Thank us later @adobecreative cloud gives us a new reason to pick up design/development skills. #tools make money.

@Xero changed the way accounting works for our business. Try it for free and slap us if you don't agree.

You can use almost the same messages for both Facebook and Twitter.

While message formatting and publishing with mentions might change slightly with each social media platform, the point is simple: Get attention by pledging your goodness. Make an impact with generosity.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier/Rediff.com




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4. Feature customers. Like it's a religion

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Do you ever mention your customers in your social media communications or do you take them for granted?

Imagine how much of an impact you'd be making for your customers if you could find something nice to say about them in public?

Why not create a social media marketing strategy by including at least one customer mention per day (more mentions per day if you have lots of customers)?

Make customer mentions a habit and it's a habit that rewards you handsomely.

Here are some examples:

Small and beautiful. Those little jewelry pieces at @samplecustomer almost melt our hearts

There are still businesses that put passion before profit. Did you meet @anothercustomer yet?

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com




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5. Videos just work

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Video is the buzzword for marketing on social media (and even by itself).

Videos have high-levels of engagement.

They captivate, tell stories better, and showcase your expertise.

Creating videos and marketing them on platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo should be your first crucial steps.

What type of videos would you create?

Go on and regale viewers with your start-up story, ideas, products, services, other messages you might want to broadcast, and much more.

Videos are the new profit-making machines. If nothing, they are brand creators. Use them to your advantage.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com




Tags: Vimeo , Uttam , Rediff

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6. Images have their place

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Images, visuals, infographics, memes, and posters are all social media food that users crave for.

The more give it to the media, the more it's shared and consumed.

The more that happens, the better it is for your start-up.

Visuals are the way to go if you want to ramp up your content marketing, social media engagement, and to get the "stickiness" factor that your start-up needs.

With tools such as Piktochart and Easel.ly, making infographics isn't that hard.

Images and posters are easier to create with a choice of tools -- both open source and popular ones such as Adobe Suite of products.

Once your content is ready, do a social media blitzkrieg.

Push them out to Pinterest Business account, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and many other channels available.

What do your visuals say about your business?

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com




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7. Share + Care + Respond = Social Media Success

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Share content that you publish.

Share other content you don't publish but that which still resonates with your followers and fans.

Get generous and promote or re-promote other's content.

Show care and respond with questions, answers, thoughts, and ideas.

Contribute to the community and make an impact.

Go out of your way to help others on popular -- and trustworthy -- Q and A sites such as Quora.

Make community building your passion.

That's just the way social media works.

It works only when you work for it. It works on the principle of generosity and reciprocity.

Social media makes you an all-rounded publisher.

Social media forces you to listen while letting you to share the very reason your business exists.

How do you use social media for your start-up? Please share your ideas with us.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier/Rediff.com




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