Social media for start-ups: Connect, converse and grow!

Social mediaWritten by Nabanita Roy, who is a web enthusiast and blogger currently working as a Community Development Executive at forums.com. She is trying to help people connect – and you can connect with her on Twitter @nabanita_roy.

Social media is no more the next thing. It has grown bigger and has spread like a wildfire. There is a brand karma associated with social media, when it comes to start-ups who grow to become smart-ups. Why do start-ups adhere to social media so vigorously? The reason is simple. They want to converse, collaborate, engage and finally shape the idea.

So what is it that drives the start-ups to channelize ideas through social media?

The golden word is ‘innovation’. It is actually the thought process that matters. The idea is to take ‘the road less travelled’ and to be able to take the risk than to accept failure. With start-ups there is always a ‘wow-factor’ that needs to be attached at every corner – or else the world is always ready to look for a better replacement.

What is the ROI quotient from social media?

– The ROI in case of social media cannot be easily measured. It comes out as “brand recall” and the perception of your brand to your target market.
– Have a clear overview of your present condition and the efforts you need to put in.
– Chain your thought process. Are you thinking outside the box or just following the crowd?
– Is it the right approach or do you need to add a unique factor to get your presence felt?

The reason: You do not want to get lost in the crowd after some time. It is not just being a name, but to evolve as a brand.

Where is the vantage point? Well, you need to know where you want to be:

Be it a business, research, individual entity or community building, it is essential that you have a USP to put forward. If not, you are perhaps on the same level as any other start-up business. Determine the elements that need to be altered first, so you can know where you are going wrong. Listen to your target market and design your product/services subsequently. Revamping is another factor that must be prevalent in your product designing. Every time you will find new markets, new conversion rates and so on. But what you need to pitch is one big idea that will hit the score. To grab a better stand think what you can offer better than the others even if you have many competitors. So don’t just develop an idea. Keep on fostering and nurturing it. Start engaging users and converse to get better conversion rates!!!

What after planning a social media plan? Start cultivating it constantly to acquire that brand equity:

Social media is not a stagnant sphere where the same old concepts rule. It changes every single moment and thus it becomes pertinent that you take a shift likewise. So stay active and make more friends who will protect your image in case there are some bad omens lurking around you. It is true when you have a visible brand, there will be some anti-elements that will try to spoil your reputation. During those tumultuous times, your consumers will be a boon in disguise. The more you connect and converse, the better you emerge out as a trustworthy brand.

There are a few things that you can keep in mind in this regard:

– Be aware of the social media present that can be used for promotion of your company.
– Follow current trends to get idea about the current market or recent events.
– Check out applications that you think can be of any assistance.
– Keep a check out for the updates so you are always on track.
– Ensure that your target market trusts your brand. This takes time – but must not fade away.

The aim is to stay focused, but think differently. Think, develop, create, engage, experiment, share and grow. The journey from start-ups to becoming smart-ups has a silhouette of elements. All you need to do is to break the shackles and do the new!

Clickbait: Information overload! How can brands cut-through all the noise?

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 10.11.34You won’t believe the hidden message in this blog post! Or rather – there isn’t one, I just wanted you to click through and read this. But bear with me – I’m about to suggest something incredibly controversial – a never-heard-before admission by a social agency!*

As much as clickbait is the emotional catnip of our online experience and can drive consistent traffic for publishers like The Daily Mail and Huff Post who churn out multiple stories each day, it’s still hugely annoying to discover you’ve been duped by an over-excited headline promising to give you all the feels. For brands, adopting the same practice can negatively affect perception and ultimately – sales. So how can brands cut through all the sensational copy and deliver successful results without falling prey to creating clickbait themselves? How do they beat them rather than join them?

 

Platform crackdown

In the early days of social, Facebook optimised content based on engagement, meaning that if users clicked on a piece of content, it received a higher ranking in newsfeeds. In 2014 Facebook took steps to try and crack down on those gaming this ranking using clickbait, and in February this year it introduced an update based not just on what users engaged with in their feed, but what they wanted to see. Facebook’s advice is that Pages should avoid encouraging people to take action (such as encouraging lots of clicks), because this will likely only cause temporary spikes in metrics that might then be rebalanced by feed’s ranking over time – meaning the latest ranking favours content that users naturally engage with rather than content that users click on through coercion.

 

Last month Instagram followed suit and announced it would alter user’s feeds to optimise the content users “care about the most”, and Twitter has also adopted a similar change (although users can opt-out and revert back to the chronological feed). The changes will hopefully make it harder for clickbaiters to game feeds with meaningless content, but the real aim for the platforms hosting is to surface more engaging content more frequently so users return often and stay longer.

 

The same goes for brands on social. If the content they produce is consistently engaging, then users will interact more frequently, leading others to discover it through preferred ranking. Ultimately, these new newsfeed algorithms exist to generate more meaningful engagement, driving not just clicks, but conversations via comments, and shares.

 

Learn and adapt

Meaningful engagement begins with relevant content that creates value for the user and the brand. While an insight-driven content strategy is key to delivering this, brands should also adapt stories and messages based on the emotional needs and behavior of their audience. This is more than just a case of ‘test and learn’ or refining what has already been done. Brands must also evolve their approach in line with new behaviors, platforms, competitors and rankings or risk being left behind by those who do.

 

A good example of a brand that does this well is Buzzfeed, who’s CEO recently shared their new strategic thinking, revealing how their objective has changed from getting users to click through to their main site to view stories, to allowing content to be consumed directly on other platforms. The new direction was prompted by analysing which content generated clicks and discovering that users prefer to consume some types of content within the platform they are already on. The company also found a discernable difference between user interactions with the same content on different platforms, demonstrating how content demand and consumption vary across sites. What spreads like wildfire on Facebook might fail miserably elsewhere.

 

Relevance is key

For brands looking to use social content to drive click-through to their site, it’s important to balance the goal of the company (clicks to eyeballs, or conversions to sales, for example) with the desire and behavior of users on different sites, and monitor response over time. Relevance is key to interaction, and brands that think like publishers will know that relevance is an ever-changing chameleon. While users are bombarded with meaningless clickbait, there is ample opportunity for brands to channel the social zeitgeist by delivering valuable content that meets audience needs in the format, time and platform that suits them. If they get this right, they won’t need clickbait.

 

At Mindjumpers we help companies and brands to think as publishers and provide end-to-end social media management across multiple markets, encompassing full social strategy, planned and reactive content creation, analysis and reporting.

 

If you’d like to find out more please get in touch.

 

*Don’t be naughty and scroll to the last paragraph – I’ve hidden the controversial part somewhere to optimize your dwell time in finding it!