Social Media Marketing for Startups - Five Principles

Social Media Marketing is a cost-effective option for startups to get the word out amongst its customers. But how can they approach Social Media effectively? This write-up delves into it and is a short summary of a talk I presented at Headstart StartUp Saturday in MDI Gurgaon.

Social Media Marketing for Startups is no different than for an established business. It is only the scope that varies. While established organizations considering social media could contemplate an approach straddling all functions, the priority for startups is usually singular – Customers.

Customer acquisition is the number one challenge faced by teams that are just starting up. With this acknowledgement, startups would do well to pay attention to the following five principles of Social Media Marketing (in no particular order) with respect to customers. They are:-

Align every Social Media effort to Business Objectives: When starting up, startups are an extremely small team with thousand things to do. It is hardly difficult to lose focus. Given the paucity of resources it is indispensable that all Social Media Marketing efforts are directed towards defined Business Objectives.

Know your Customer (KYC) and her Habits on Social MediaDetail the Persona of your customers as specifically as can be. Man, Woman, husband, wife with kids without kids. Nuclear family or a joint family. Young students or retired seniors. Top Management executive in corporate business or an Entrepreneur. It is important that customer Personas are defined and they be targeted at the proper social media platform. Professionals might be more prolific on LinkedIn than Facebook. Similarly, there is a better chance to find hobbyists on Pinterest than LinkedIn, so on and so forth. It is not just important to know your customer, but it has to be taken out further by understanding her habits as well. What time of the day customers are active on Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook? What content resonates and what doesn’t? All these insights become important while putting together the Social Media Marketing Plan.

Build Systems, Processes and Organization: Systematic execution of Social Media Marketing activities would warrant investment in setting up systems, processes and responsibilities.

Be Your Social Best: Engaging audience on Social Media is both an art and a science. It is a question of How and What? “How” would take time, practice and experimentation; on the other hand the question of “What” is a matter of insight. It is important to Get it and Get it Fast that behaviour on Social Media Marketing platforms is no different than how we human beings are, in day to day life. The trick is how close we can come to replicating reality on Social Media.

Analyse, Improve and Learn: One of the cardinal planning principles – to improve, one has to measure. This area of Social Media Analytics requires a dedicated post which our team would attempt. There are a number of tools available to measure results of Social Media campaigns. After measuring results, it is vital to Close the Loop. That is, relevant feedback has to be transmitted to the appropriate function depending on the measurement results.

Would you like to suggest any additional principles to the Five articulated above? What is the role that Social media is playing in your overall inbound marketing stack?

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