In 2017, Wasp Barcode surveyed more than 1,000 startups and found that almost 61% of them were using social media as their primary marketing tool. Not only this, the modern, tech-savvy customer prefers socially responsive brands over the ones that don’t take proactive steps to engage with their audience online, as it gives them an opportunity directly interact with your business.
According to Social Media Examiner, 58% of entrepreneurs and small business owners strongly agree to social media playing a crucial role in the growth of their organization. While most businesses use PPC or a variety of advertising campaigns to create brand awareness, sometimes, going back to basics and relying on traditional methods to attract customers works the best. As a small, community-focused startup, a strategic social media presence can be your next go-to strategy for getting the word out about your brand. Here’s how you can get started:
Put the customer first
Most brands get caught up in promoting their products or services, without stopping to consider how their business can make a difference in an average customer’s life. Readers want well-written content that’s helpful and has a suitable call-to-action. Instead of telling your customers to engage with your brand, introduce them to a specific problem that can be solved by adopting your product or service in their daily lives.
For example, SurveyMonkey, an online survey development software, strategically partnered up with Microsoft Teams to bring quick survey-building tools and features to enhance workplace productivity. In this post, they give their audience a snippet of the problems they’re aiming to solve by integrating with Microsoft Teams.
Collaborate with other relevant businesses and brands
Driving organic user reach becomes easier when you can tap into the viewership of other brands in your industry by initiating a mutually beneficial content-sharing agreement. Indulge in a tough-in-the cheek camaraderie with other pages, share their content with your audience when it’s appropriate or run a competition/giveaway with them.
For example, Wendy’s, the popular fast food restaurant chain took a light jab at IHOP, a well-known pancake house franchise on their recent name change (IHOb) to promote their new range of beef burger patties.
With their distinctive brand personality and consistent humour, Wendy’s has managed to bank a profit of $64M in just one year using their voice on social media. Not only this, their follower-count has continued to grow exponentially along with their engagement rate. An average post from Wendy’s garners more than 30,000 likes and 10,000 shares organically.
Be mindful of your post length
While social media is often seen as an outlet for long-form content, a study by ExpressWriters actually shows that posts with a character limit of 40 achieve 86% higher engagement than ones with 100 characters or more. If you cannot contain your message to 40 characters, aim for the second-best length of 60 characters that’s expected to receive 66% more engagement than longer posts.
As a general rule, keep the following things in mind while crafting a social media post:
Avoid beating around the bush:
Given the volume of content that’s readily available for user-consumption, it’s highly unlikely that your audience will spend more than a few seconds going through your post. In fact, a heat map study by Nielsen Norman shows that most people don’t read content in the typical left-to-right fashion and instead opt for an F-shaped pattern. What does that mean, you ask? Simple – your readers are merely skimming through the content they come across online. Brevity is your friend. Getting your point across in just a few words will appeal more to your audience, so keep it short, straight-forward and concise.
Use compelling images: According to Kissmetrics, Facebook posts that use visuals get 53% more likes, 84% more click-throughs and 104% more comments than text-based updates. Not only this, 94% of the most engaging posts on social media include images. Since self-explanatory photos tend to perform the best, you can also shorten the length of your posts and include persuasive text in you visuals.
Stay on top of current trends to join the latest ‘hype train’
After the Supreme Court ruled in favour of same-sex marriage in 2015, people around the world started using #LoveWins on Twitter to celebrate and express solidarity. Brands like Target, American Airlines, Ben & Jerry’s, Buzzfeed, GAP, Uber, VISA, Youtube and MTV were quick to positively attach themselves to the happiness wave and tweeted in support of the verdict.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t necessarily need a massive marketing budget or a team of resources to see long-term results. However, by taking the necessary steps to optimize your long-term marketing strategy, you can increase your odds of reaching and engaging with as many people as possible, without shelling out your hard-earned money. We hope the above tactics help you in successfully kickstarting your brand’s social media presence.