What Startups Need To Learn About Social Media

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What Startups Need To Learn About Social Media

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Let’s imagine a world without the internet. The thought of living in the world without the internet is quite scary, isn’t it? What would the world be like without Google searches? How could we ever learn to cook, fix furniture (or anything), find directions or purchase products by not moving an inch from the comfort of our homes? And one of the gems of the internet undoubtedly is social media, which gives us that human feels in the midst of 0s and 1s.  And this ‘feel’ is increasing as more and more people are on social media (1.55 billion people on Facebook!) while 4 million users are from Nepal alone! (The data is an approximate figure collected using Facebook's Ad platform.)

And one of the gems of the internet undoubtedly is social media, which gives us that human feels in the midst of 0s and 1s. And this ‘feel’ is increasing as more and more people are on social media (1.55 billion people on Facebook!) while 4 million users are from Nepal alone!

 

In this business-meets-digital world, the internet and social media have created an extraordinary way to reach new customers, and that is social media marketing. Startups and businesses in Nepal are also signing up more than ever on social media to connect to their customers.

 

But, let’s clear the air first. Setting up a Facebook page and posting messages out through it doesn’t qualify as social media marketing. Social media marketing is using social media as a tool for effective communication of our products and services with our customers, which in turn will generate sales. While there is no hard and fast rule to do it, there are some pointers which can be quite helpful for startups:

 

Social media marketing is not completely free

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube provide many facilities such as location, interest, age and gender based targeting to reach your target audience and you can use these services to reach your customers for a meager fee.

There is a general misconception in the Nepali way of how social media marketing is thought of. We sign up on social media and start sending invites to hundreds and thousands of people hoping they’ll ‘follow’ and ‘like’ us. We generally force our friends and peers to ‘like’ or ‘follow’ our page. We start posting about our products and our company, and then everything abruptly stops. It stops because neither are we getting the appropriate response we were looking for nor are we being able to engage our customers. In simpler words, it stops because we couldn’t quite reach our target audience.

 

(Source: www.thecsuite.co.uk)

If you want to reach more of your target audience today, you need to pay. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube provide many facilities such as location, interest, age and gender based targeting to reach your target audience and you can use these services to reach your customers for a meagre fee. Kaymu, for example, is advancing quickly to strengthen its customer base within two years of its inception by using the power of paid social media marketing.

 

Engaging customers

(Source: www.forbes.com)

We generally focus only on increasing likes on our pages and posts, but when it comes to customer engagements or participation in our posts, it is actually very close to zero. First, the focus should be on mining the data from customers and providing incentives to get contact information. For example, an online e-lottery ticket for a free sign-up can be used to get these data and then you can figure out who your target customers actually are.

 

The mined data can be incorporated to design compelling offers. We will understand which marketing campaign will work on them. High discounts, sale offers or even Rs. 100 mobile recharge for the correct answer of a simple online quiz are few of those campaigns that are prevalent in Nepal. But if you come up with novel ideas, better it is for your campaigns. Make sure that your offers are fresh and ever changing. No one sticks much to the old and boring games (that’s what mobile gaming taught us; Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, Temple Run all faded away.) Give a deadline to your offers and encourage customers to take action right away.

 

Re-check your content

A startup in its first few years will most probably be building contents only around its products, services and itself. This is a major reason why so many business pages of Nepal are stagnant. Keep in mind the online personalities of your customers. A user’s social media profile is very private, more like an extension of his own personal place. Follow your customers too, check their likes and dislikes and build contents around that.

(Source: www.brandanew.co)

Share contents about your product that are informative. Influence your customers thinking through informative, humorous and emotional posts. 

Imagine you run a fitness gym in Kathmandu and upon your research you found that many of your followers were married women. Now you need to build contents around this information. Share posts that most married woman can relate to, something like an after-pregnancy fitness. This can strike them to indulge in comments and even have conversations with you. Also check hash-tags and trends, give your opinions on them and also take opinions back from the customers. By this way, you will give your customers a good reason to share your content and mostly a good reason to establish an online relationship.

 

Fun fact

The popular #ALSIceBucketChallenge massed over $220 million from all over the world for ALS research. See the power of a hash tag?

(Source: www.forbes.com)

Measure your efforts

Social media marketing is not free, so you need to check the returns on your investment. Facebook and Twitter now provide tools that track, measure and analyse  data related to your customers and contents. There are also third party applications, such as Buffer, Followerwonk, Viralwoot, you can use. Check them and incorporate the analysed data into your plans. 

(Source: www.cloudfront.net)

 

Social media marketing is not free, so you need to check the returns on your investment.

 

(Source: digitalgrowth.ca)

Last words

Regardless of whatever tricks we apply in social media, the best marketing is done when your products or service is of quality and satisfying to your customers. Never step back from providing the optimum quality to your customers.

I always stress that marketing and communication is synonymous. To reap the benefits of social media marketing, there needs to be communication; so engage in conversations and encourage to comment through your contents. Always keep it coming from both sides, share others' contents then they’ll share yours.

 

Comments

  • Guest
    Pradeep Monday, 09 May 2016

    Very useful article. Many people think social media marketing is only publishing about their products and services regardless of just 500 likes and target customer.. It could be valuable source of building brand equity.

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Guest Tuesday, 24 May 2022