Getting started in social media as a startup business

Monday, April 01, 2013

Let’s face it... Social media is an absolute minefield for small businesses.

Many go in heavy-handed, creating every profile under the sun. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest... No stone is left unturned, no timeline left unpublished-to, no comment unsaid. Others, however, will create a Twitter page, and spend all day tweeting about their products to their 17 followers... Thoughts of success circling their heads. That’s just not the way to do it.

Startup businesses shouldn’t be using Social Media because they feel like they ‘have’ to. They should be doing it because it makes sense... Because it fits into their overall strategy, and, most of all, there is an actual viable reason for it.
For instance, say you are a small web design agency, and you’re looking to try and drive more business through social media. What do you do? Do you start tweeting ‘Get a new website designed!’ every five seconds? No. No, no, no. Social media is about giving, not taking - people don’t want to be sold to, they want things given to them, be it content to read, pictures to look at, videos to watch.

So, how could that fit into your overall strategy? Well - you might have a portfolio page or a blog. You might want to showcase your most recent fantastic website design. So tweet about that. Ask people to let you know what they think, and talk to them. That’s how you do it. You invite people to view your work, and by doing that, your brand is in their minds. Should that person be in eventual need of your services, you’ll stand out as being the one that didn’t try to shove services down their throats. You were the one that had a friendly conversation with them, and left it at that.

Businesses need to stop seeing Social Media as just a platform to try and sell on. It’s much, much more than that. It’s a platform to be seen on, a platform to engage with your prospective and current customers, and a platform to spread your business’s message and ethos.

A great example; a few years ago, a Virgin Train’s passenger tweeted about a train he was currently on, and how nice it was. Someone who was monitoring the social media for Virgin Trains (@virgintrains) contacted the train that the passenger was on, and one of the staff on the train took a free cappuccino to him. From now on, every time that customer is going to get a train, he’ll remember Virgin.

That’s how you want social media to work for you... to make you stand out from the crown and be the one that is remembered.

Author Biography
Pete Campbell
Website Design Consultant at Jask Group

Pete Campbell is a digital marketing consultant based in London, UK. He built his first website when he was an 11-year-old kid and now helps small businesses and global brands define and execute their online marketing strategies.

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