Many startups are finding success with integrated social media campaigns. What is an “integrated social media campaign,” you ask? A fancy way of saying they’re using the online world to attract and engage real-world people with their real-world products. While this sounds rather obvious at first glance, it’s actually a rather nuanced approach to marketing on social media that is only recently gaining steam.
Sure, you’re posting interesting and relevant content to your blog, videos to YouTube, and job openings to LinkedIn—but is it working?
Today we’re looking at 5 suggestions for how to make your startup's social media marketing pay off in a big big way. By tweaking it to attract and engage your audience, and to encourage offline contact. Where specifics are appropriate, we’ll mention them, but in general, this is a list of high-level brand-related tips for you to integrate into an existing social media strategy.
People are creatures of habit. They have routines that are comfortable, and they get cranky when those routines are disrupted. What happened the last time someone interrupted you before you finished your coffee and checking email when you got to your desk? See what we mean?
So for your blog posts, for example, if you want to increase readership and grow a devoted following who devour each new post, not to mention sharing them with coworkers, you need to post at the same time, on the same day, every week. That way, your post can become part of their ritual.
First, create a social media content calendar that'll ensure you know what topics you're generating and when you want to post them. Then, employ automation software. Many of these automation suites include ways to schedule posts ahead of time, across platforms. So your new blog post will go up at the same time every Monday and Wednesday morning, then the social media posts will go out with links to direct those audiences over to read them, too. You can often create crossposts as well, so your LinkedIn and Facebook followers will get an abbreviated version of each post as well. All while you’re getting your coffee and catching up on emails.
This tip crosses platforms and has multiple meanings. First and foremost, be yourself. People want to connect with a person, not a corporation. So even if your startup is already well known and has an existing brand image, by tweeting as you, you’ll make those one-on-one connections that create lasting customer relationships. Of course, you’ll want to stay in brand voice, but being a startup that’s not as difficult as you might think, after all your brand voice most likely is your voice, right?
Part two of personalizing social media means you want to address each audience member individually. We’re not talking about calling people out by name here, rather we’re saying to craft your posts and updates with a single individual in mind. That way, your phrasing will be personal rather than generic, and you’ll create that close bond we keep talking about.
This follows from tip #1 about automation, and depending on the solution you go with it may be redundant since many social media automation tools are already integrated. So this tip is for anyone not using automation or using a collection of tools rather than an all-in-one type solution.
Be sure your tools integrate with one another. What use is automated blog posting if you have to remember to tweet out a link every time a new post goes up? Or if you have to set a reminder to email your contact list when you have a new tutorial video uploaded?
Most social media and automation software has API access, that’s Application Programming Interface, that allows it to be connected to other similar pieces of software or platforms. So even if you’re not using a Twitter automation tool, your blog posting software can use the Twitter API to send notifications anyway. And for the cases where there is no API or when you’re stuck using legacy software, look into robotic process automation (RPA) options. This is a software-based robot, or bot, that automates steps taken through the same user interface human users interact with, thus allowing even manual processes to be done automatically and on a schedule.
Once you’ve put some of these processes and solutions in place, you’ll want to be sure you can measure success, right? Invest in a good analytics engine and lay out your KPIs from the get go. That way, you’ll not only have the right data, but the ability to learn as much as possible from that data.
There are great inexpensive options here, first among them is Google Analytics. In fact, many of the automation tools referenced above include analytics modules so you may not have to go far to glean the information you need. Hootsuite, Buffer, Sprout Social, and Sendible all come to mind as comprehensive suites.
And in case you’re cobbling together a solution until you have a proof-of-concept, most of the main social media platforms have built-in analytics that you can point your API at for basic data on performance metrics.
And finally, when you have data to analyze and you’ve gotten a handle on which aspects of your campaign are returning the results you want, it’s time to iterate. Don’t be shy about dumping platforms from a campaign if they’re underperforming. Focusing your resources on those with higher ROI can have exponential results.
All told, social media is here to stay, and when it comes to marketing your startup there truly is no better way to reach the target audience you want to reach, with the information you want them to have. Use these tips and suggestions to fine-tune your efforts, and we promise you’ll see improvements in click-through, open rates, or whatever metrics you’re tracking.