As the owner of a startup, many things can probably seem overwhelming at times. From managing inventory, clients, accounting, staff, payroll, and a myriad of other things that can only be managed by you — the owner, or other top managers of the brand.
However, one of the easiest things to manage when it comes to startups is your social media accounts. I say it’s easy because one of the most fun and exciting aspects of marketing is shaping a brand’s core base through the management of its social media. This is where you, as the owner or manager of the company, can talk directly to your consumers.
More importantly, it’s where your consumers can talk to you, and give you insights on their experience with your brand. Here are a few social media branding insights to help startups create a community and engage with their audience.
Tell your story…daily
A mistake often made by a lot of brands (not just startups) is the lack of consistently keeping their audience updated on not just what’s going on with the brand, but also what the brand stands for. How many times have you gone to a company’s social media page, scrolled down a few posts — and still had no idea of what that brand stood for and what the brand represented?
As the manager of a startup, it’s imperative that you’re constantly amplifying your brand’s story to your audience. You don’t have to give your brand’s bio every day (that wouldn’t be fun at all), however — you should be iterating your brand’s identity via social media on a daily basis. Your audience should be able to look at the last five posts on all of your social media pages and know exactly what your brand stands for.
Engage your audience
One key marketing principle to remember is this, people appreciate brands that appreciate them. And what better way is there to show your appreciation for your audience than by interacting with them on social media? Your consumers will appreciate the fact that you — a representative of the company, took time out of your busy schedule to help them with their inquiry — or just to show your appreciation for them supporting your brand.
Create your community
The most important aspect of social media marketing for any brand is simply this…create a social environment. People like to interact with their like-minded counterparts.
The formula to creating a social environment for your brand goes as follows:
- Create the product or service.
- Identify what makes it different than everything else currently available.
- Present that difference to an audience.
- Provide a place for those that are interested in the product or service to gather with others.
- Allow that community to thrive will little direction from your brand and don’t try to micromanage it.
Be a creator of tension
As humans, we’re drawn to tension like a moth to a flame. It’s why we love thriller movies that are loaded with suspense. It’s why sports fans get so excited on draft day and why viewers of certain reality shows get so antsy in anticipation of seeing if their favorite contestant will win or get eliminated.
In his book This Is Marketing, author and marketing hall of famer Seth Godin stated that “We create tension when we ask someone to contribute to the bake sale or join our book club. We’re using one force to overcome another force (the status quo). “
One way you can create tension with your audience on social media is by doing things like having giveaways or sweepstakes for your followers. This will give your audience an incentive to engage with your brand because it’s free and inclusive. The tension is created due to the fact that the consumer doesn’t want to miss out on the prize (loss aversion is a great tension creator).
Here’s a sweepstakes idea I created that your customers will certainly appreciate and it will cause plenty of tension in the process.
Conduct sweepstakes on social media where the first 50 or 100 people to take a picture with one of your brand’s products, post it on their social media page, tag your brand’s social media account — as well as one of their friends’ accounts, and they both would receive a valuable prize or exclusive access to your brand’s next product release.
This will work because it not only involves your consumers, it also has a word-of-mouth element to it because your consumers will include one of their friends in the sweepstakes.
The key to creating tension is that it has to be random. The audience shouldn’t be able to predict when you’re going to do it…but it does have to be frequent enough so that your audience stays dialed in so that they won’t miss out on the next event.
Last, but certainly not least — is the simple gift of helpfulness. Helpfulness is the gift that keeps on giving. Your brand should exemplify helpfulness in every facet. One of which is through social media.
Your audience has dreams, goals, and questions that you can help them with. And if there’s something that your consumers need that your company doesn’t provide, you can be helpful in pointing them in the direction of a person or an entity that does provide what they’re looking for.
Unfortunately for consumers, the road of helpful and empathic brands has been the road less traveled. Fortunately for you, it’s a lane that’s wide open to take your brand on the road to prosperity.