So you have the next big idea. You write up a business plan, find a few angel investors, and flip your “Closed” sign to “Open.” What next?
Startup marketing is an uphill battle, but there is unfathomable opportunity out there on social media that turns bighead-bench-marketing lawyers and entrepreneurs into communicative, modern day marketing masterpieces.
Social Media As You Like It
As a startup, you’re familiar with Facebook, right? Well, Facebook and Twitter are two of the top social marketing outlets out there. Just about everyone uses them to some extent, though few have the resources, time, and creativity to turn inactive accounts into interactive marketing machines. One example that comes to mind is the infamous Twitter complaint, when an account follower chirps negative comments about a product malfunction or poor service. This is unavoidable for startups because they just started. There’s no room for excuses, however, and instead of marking the tweet as spam you should engage it head-on.
You can turn a trolling tweet into a positive piece of information other readers will reach to and respect. If your company gets 140 characters on, “Product XYZ wasn’t at all like I expected #fail #startup,” respond with a curt, polite, and helpful tweet. Something like…“We’ll handle it! Direct Msg us your email, and a service rep will help you right away.” There, in 84 characters you twisted a negative argument into an answer. Will the complainer DM you? Probably. And all you did was prove that you were a respondent, responsible startup.
Two-way connections are what social media is all about. Don’t waste newsfeed space with lame startup press releases and low-quality photos; fill your profiles with active information that explains how awesome you are. This applies to other platforms like Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and your blogs (which you should have).
Startups are interesting. Communities are curious about that strange storefront without a sign, and everyone is holding their breath to see if your dot-com will take off. Oblige them with inside information, status updates, and other media to garner interest. You’re already behind on clients as a startup, but with the right media approach you can easily attract local attention and a foundational fan base.
Social media is a productivity tool as much as it is a crowd generator. A lot of startups are using popular platforms for informal conferencing, tracking product developments, and just staying connected outside of the office. They are cost-effective and most employees born in the 20th century know how to use computers.
As mentioned, startups use social media for generating exposure. Posting boring whitepages and charity events is nice and all, but nothing is as interesting as a new product launch. Tap into every media outlet out there to actively promote and generate conversation. Did you open a craft store and have a new product line coming in? Pin it! Is your tech startup starting to open its app for beta testing? Share it! Keeping messaging straight in social media is a challenge, but with a dedicated know-all source, publishing difficulties are easy to sidestep.
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