Is it possible for a small startup company with little funding to succeed exclusively through social media marketing?
Can social media really achieve ROI (return on investment) no matter how crowded their industry space is?
The question of ROI, huge sales and revenue growth for an organization built exclusively on social media marketing as its one and only marketing channel is constantly a topic of discussion online. Many are now writing articles that suggest a change of focus toward less measurable things like branding, exposure or some other old school marketing lingo that simply replaces real results with a lot of flashy terminology.
Today Bundle Post is announcing that it has achieved over 100% sales, revenue and user base growth in less than 12 months!
Do you think we are a little excited? Of course we are. shouldn’t we be? We have not even done a single social or online ad whatsoever.
You can do this too!
So the question becomes, how does a social media technology startup that is self-funded and in one of the most crowded spaces online compete with companies that have millions in venture funding?
Below you will find six keys to an effective social media program. We also include links to more detail on specific items within each section. So let’s take a peek under the hood…
1) Start Early -
You can’t wait to start your social media marketing when you have your site, product or ducks all nicely in a row. You need to have built a community well before you launch your actual product or service if you are going to be effective launching it in social media. So you have to start early and build a community that knows you BEFORE you are ready to go to market.
Already launched, now what?
If you have already launched your company or service, you’ve GOT to work over time. Growing your community size is every bit important as anything else in social media. This has to be a constant and active part of what you are doing.
You have to have a large enough audience to make social media effective. Think of radio or TV advertising. Although it is mass market, direct advertising and anything but social, it’s about the numbers. Social media marketing is about the numbers too, but not only the numbers. It’s also social. You must find your target audience and connect with them. In essence you need to take an active role in growing your audience on a daily basis and not just building your profiles and hoping they will come.
But this alone doesn’t make social media effective. It’s just a single spoke in the wheel.
2) Stay Consistent - In social media, there is nothing more important than consistency. Just like in sports, if a team is really good at something, but not consistently, they struggle to win. You need to be consistent will all of your social media components if you expect to see results.
Here are a few things to be consistent at:
- Selfless Value – Share enough relevant, valuable content every day, all day that is interesting to your target audience.
- Be Grateful – Thank people who share your posts. Do it always and do it quickly.
3) Strategy – You need to know exactly where you are going and how you indeed on getting there. Get this wrong and you’ll be in trouble. You need to get it right and stick to it! In social, we call that strategy.
Know these 5 things:
- What is the specific and realistic objective of your social media program.
- Who exactly are you trying to reach. (no time to be general. Think geographic, psychographic and demographic)
- What are they interested in? (that’s what you need to post content about)
- What brands/people have already built a following of your intended audience? (Follow their following)
- How often do I plan to proactively engage with my intended audience DAILY?
4) Always Respond -
One of the biggest mistakes we see being made in social media is slow or no response from accounts. When you are mentioned, tagged or your posts are shared, you not only need to respond, but you need to do it rapidly. When someone engages with your brand or content you posted, they are there, right at that moment. Missing the opportunity to have a conversation is limited by the length of time you take to respond.
Ignoring connections that engage with your brand is a death sentence. Over time, they stop. Do this at your own peril.
5) Be Known For Something -
You don’t just DO social media and magically get results. Having an effective social media program involves really understanding your audience, the topics that interest them and the challenges they have that you help with. If you truly understand these things about your potential and current customers, you will know the topics you need to be known for posting about. This is called “thought leadership” in social media.
Beyond subject matters, be known for your engagement, gratitude and response. Better yet, follow our lead and also be known for your Customer Support. We are constantly and publicly acknowledged for our support response, willingness to help and hands on approach. Mimic this and make it not only a priority, but part of your company culture. You will thank me later.
6) Earn Relationships -
Before you start posting your marketing stuff in your feeds, be sure you have real, selfless value in them. A small percentage of what you post on a daily basis should be about you and what you do. The largest number of posts should be what we discussed in number 2 above. Curate content that is valuable to your audience and earn the right to pitch your wares by first doing that and responding to the conversations that result.
Building relationships is a process. Providing selfless value is the method. ~ @fondalo
Does this seem like a lot? Well, it is. There’s an enormous amount involved in running an effective social media marketing program. Your social media management, tools and workflow are the essential components that must work together effortlessly. For us and many other social media marketers, brands and agencies, Bundle Post is the glue that makes them all converge.
If you’d like a live demo of Bundle Post in action and a one on one social media marketing consultation, hit us up on Twitter @BundlePost