Social Media for startups
So you’re starting up your own business and you probably have a thousand and one things to do at any given moment. There’s so much stuff to keep track of when you launch that it’s easy to dismiss some things as unimportant or trivial, especially if you don’t think that they relate to the day to day running of your business.
If you’re ready (or just about ready) to launch then you’ve probably taken care of all the big issues and there’s a lot of fine tuning to be done in the coming months as your business starts to grow. You’ll no doubt have a website because you’ll know that in the Digital Age on online presence is an absolute must. It’s the most powerful and cost effective way of reaching the largest prospective customer base possible – the whole wide world!
A Website is not Enough
However, a website is just not enough nowadays to constitute an online presence – you have to be socially engaging. That means that you need to be interacting with your online audience on a regular basis (daily if possible) in order to develop a relationship with your customers and empower them as your brand advocates. Recruiting an online army of people who recommend your products/services is today’s most powerful way of marketing for any business.
This means that a Facebook Page is an essential for you – and a Twitter account is an absolute must. Pinterest, Google+ and YouTube are all social media platforms that can be used to carry on a conversation with your followers. You’ll be able to spread the word about your brand – let people know what you do and why you do it better than your competitors.
Spice it Up by Getting Social
Social Media really is the buzz phrase at the moment – it’s huge and, as a startup business, you should be joining in. Even if you’re not ready to start trading yet, publishing a blog to tell people what’s going on is a great idea. You can share your struggles, your hopes and your dreams – be real and tell it how it is, you’ll be surprised at the trust you will foster in your audience when they encounter your honesty.
Conversation is the name of the game and online conversations are all around us. You can join in by writing a blog and encouraging people to respond with comments – it’s a great way to do some market research and find out exactly what it is that people want. You can respond to queries, offer advice and solutions and forge online relationships with a growing customer base. It’s also advisable to look at blogs in your niche market and get involved by commenting on posts, a great way of linking back to your own blog or website. Make sure that your comments are interesting and enlightening – say something that adds to the value of the conversation. You may find that you become known as a bit of an expert in your field – the go-to person when people need information that you have.
Turn the Negative into the Positive
And, if the conversation sometimes becomes a touch negative – don’t worry. Negative comments should be viewed as your chance to respond to a problem immediately. If you have a strong online presence, you’ll see the comments straight away and address them. People will see that you’re not ignoring negative comments (and sweeping the problems under the carpet), but that you’re willing to face a dilemma head on and that you’re acting quickly and decisively to sort out whatever it is that’s gone wrong. This is a great way of building trust and developing your brand image for the future.
Written by Jonny Ross of Jonny Ross Consultancy who offer SEO and Social Media Workshops for organisations large and small.