Does your startup really need social media? Yes, it does! This article argues why a social media presence can help your startup in multiple ways to give it the boost it needs and how you can significantly capitalize on this.
Looks like you are just about to launch your startup and need some help with your social media presence! In the contemporary society, having a social media presence is super important and your startup will most likely not be successful or thrive without it. There are millions of people with social media profiles using them on computers and mobile devices to engage with friends and the world. According to a study, social media usage has tripled among Iranians since three years ago. There are now more than 47 million social media users only in Iran.
Not taking advantage of social media is like going to a meeting with millennials and taking an old school notepad instead of an iPad to drop down notes – trust me, you don’t want to do that!
Why use social media to market your startup launch?
Even a small social media presence can have a deep impact on your startup, especially when it’s launching. It can help increase your startup exposure to places you would not reach otherwise – new cities, regions, countries and audiences. It can also create interest in the early days, people want to learn about your startup and what it offers, there is not a better way than the power of social media as a cost effective learning tool. This will build long-term loyal fans and potential customers.
Think of social media posts as a wall of information art, it’s everything about your startup – the past, present and future. Every single post is crucial and will shape the brand and its direction. This information art can also boost your startup website’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) rankings. Google and other search engines love websites that are constantly active with new information.
How to use social media to market a new startup/product?
There are so many different ways these days to market a new startup and/or product, thanks to the many social media platforms; Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and others. If we look at Iran, Telegram and Instagram are top priorities and almost 50% of Iranians use them for social media purposes. If you use them the way they should be used, it can lead to a successful relationship with your customers and fans.
#1: Before the startup/product launch:
You can experiment with the demographic you’re targeting by creating a teaser campaign, a reveal campaign and of course, the actual startup/product launch. Each segment can be a continuation of the last to encourage people to remain active during the entire campaign. On top of all of this, you can also create a timer to countdown the official launch date, as well get the attention your brand needs at events and media coverages – the more news about your startup/product, the better traction it receives.
#2: When launching the startup/product:
You can run promotions and offer rewards, the objective here is to have enough people engage with your startup/product that it builds a strong presence. Feel free to be creative with this, for example, ask people to tweet or post pictures, go on an easter egg hunt, etc., the possibilities are limitless!
Research shows that at a restaurant, the average guest takes pictures for 10 minutes before ordering and many bring tripods to better frame their shots. There is huge potential in this for what is essentially free marketing, because while people are posting these pictures on their Instagram profiles, your restaurant is getting extensive exposure at no cost to you!
The objective here is to have people engage with your brand just enough to create awareness and for you to learn more about them. What type of audience is most interested in what you have to offer? Where are they coming from?How did they hear about your startup/product? You can understand the demographics and behaviours of your audience and connect with them on an individual level.
#3: After the startup/product launch:
You can continue informing people by posting new information about what’s going on with your startup/product. There may be things they don’t already know and you want to tell them, or perhaps famous people are using your products. This is also a good opportunity to gain new exposure to people who have not yet come across your startup/product, they want to learn more about everything!
#4: After your startup/product is already in the hands of consumers:
You may want to let them know about future updates or even brand new products that will be available to them soon. For example, if your brand doesn’t have an app yet and it’s releasing soon, or there is already an app which will have a significant new update. Even minor changes can be crucial, perhaps your startup has a new logo or someone really important joined your board of directors.
There are even brands using the power of social media for not only marketing purposes but also for customer support. These brands respond to customer inquiries and issues via Facebook and Twitter with an @support handle, adding another layer of support on top of the regular phone support and live chat channels. Since Telegram is so popular in Iran, this is likely a better option, customers will love how easy it is to contact your support, making them feel confident in your brand.
This is a win-win scenario – with the speed of social media channels (almost instant) you will hear about issues even faster than expected, allowing you to take the necessary steps to immediately resolve them. Customers are appreciative when they have the ability to contact companies on social media about issues and hearing back from them about their complaints and concerns. This will actually help with your customer retention effort! Try to understand what makes these customers so upset that instead of calling in, they took up in arms on your Twitter channel (for example).
What do I need to get started?
You don’t need anything to get started, this the best part! All you need is a computer, an internet connection, and you’re ready to start making profiles on the various channels; Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and of course Telegram (depending on your industry).
If you don’t have experience with this or rather your team is too small to dedicate time for social media marketing, it doesn’t take as much time as you think. Do some research on the internet to get a head start and worst case scenario, you can always hire a marketing firm to take care of this for you, it’s definitely worth the money!
At the end of the day, you and your team should constantly engage with people regardless of who they are – customers and even people curious about your startup/product. You never know what someone can bring to the table, even a customer asking for help. Simultaneously, build and maintain the excitement around your startup/product with a fun startup culture – open the door to new possibilities at every corner, this is the main ingredient for exponential growth.