The following is a guest post by Keval Padia, Founder of Nimblechapps, an iPhone application company. The current innovation and updates of the field lure him to express his views and thoughts on certain topics.
Social media is no longer just an optional marketing tool for businesses. It is now an irreplaceable avenue for growing audience and converting the audience into a tangible business volume. For startups, social media plays an invaluable role. Startups need brand recognition and the first wave of the audience that remains engaged with their content, gradually becomes the loyal audience of the brand. This is why social media plays an even more important role for startups than just in their initial stage. There are a number of ways that social media can really help a startup to grow and become a brand. Let us introduce some of the most crucial ways social media can help startups grow.
From local to global
Many businesses that have their operation limited to some regions can find social media platforms lucrative to reach the larger audience beyond geographical boundaries. Social media typically allows interacting with the global audience and can actually open the avenue to market products and services across international zones. If you have some really valuable offerings for an audience in a different time zone, social media interactions allow you to reach this audience beyond your business location. Any local business with the help of social media can become a global business and can garner phenomenal success in no time.
Building your business brand
A business irrespective of the type of product or services it sells invariably wants to create a brand value that lasts throughout the years of its operation. It is the business brand that instantly carries the reputation and quality mark of business offerings. For startups, creating a brand value for their new business venture is the biggest priority. By building a robust social media community and by posting audience-centric and valuable content on the particular niche, a new business or startup can quickly build its own brand and this, in the long run, helps the business grow and become stable.
Building a strong community
Social media interactions and content posting not only create the brand we want for a business, but it also helps to build a strong community of customers, content users, industry experts, specialists, and social media marketers. All of these people in more ways than one will keep themselves engaged in social media and will help a brand reach more people by just having the conversation about the published post or just by sharing content. What traditional media channels used to do to get the word out about a business brand, social media platforms can actually do the same with more accuracy and in a constantly engaging manner.
Creating user-centric content
If you want social media platforms to deliver quick results and continuous traction, it is important to post user-centric content. To begin, you must ask yourself who your users are. You cannot cater to everyone and this is why it is incredibly important to have a content strategy for your audience. Creating user profiles that are most likely to become interested in your business-specific content and posts is the first thing you should do. Now once you determine the user profiles, you can make a content strategy based upon the user preferences and pain points. While posting on social media, startups must focus on creating a niche audience that quickly engages with their content. It may seem to be a no-brainer to publish user-centric content, but many businesses, including the big ones, fall victim to generalization and non-prioritization when posting across social platforms.
Focus on platforms that you can actually manage
For any startup, the manpower is limited and often they cannot afford to hire social media marketers and expensive tools that can take the load off their shoulders. Naturally, in most startups, few people need to look after a lot of day-to-day tasks, including content creation, content marketing, and social media interaction. This is why when you target a lot of platforms at the same time, managing all of them with the same focus and engagement becomes a challenge. Instead of doing this, you can always prioritize a few platforms and as you grow (or as you can afford) add quality tools or professional social media marketers to venture and expand across other platforms.
Social media is practically free
Social media is a practically free tool for businesses looking for easy promotional tools and avenues. For startups, getting quality user engagement and traction in quick time does not require a hefty investment in marketing through traditional media channels. Thanks to social media, a new business or startup can achieve a good number of followers and a steady flow of traffic. The only criteria to make these things happen is to publish valuable content regularly and to use social media tools to become more discoverable. For any startup, opening a business page across social media channels like Facebook and Google+ is a must.
Offer a mixed bag of content
If you look at the posts on any Facebook page, you will realize that the focus shifts from text content to more visual content. Even visual content is so varied. From slideshows to GIFs to still image video to small video on product reviews to interesting images with captions, we now experience a mixed bag of content rather than long text paragraphs. Without text, so-called visuals can look orphaned so you need to use a legible amount of text that can be quickly scanned by users on handheld devices.
To conclude, we must say that continuous engagement and frequent interaction on social media platforms is the key to the success of a startup in boosting its presence and making tangible gains. Is your business equipped to deal with the huge challenge and opportunity across social media platforms? If not, this is the time to make a strategy for social media engagement and traction for the present and future.