The use of social media to create marketing opportunities has gone through a huge transformation in recent years, partly because the winning social media channels have improved and gained an even bigger following, and partly because businesses have figured out different ways to use the platform.
From being an optional bit player to becoming a priority and a major player in marketing, social media may have become the answer you’ve been looking for in terms of creating brand awareness for your startup.
Social media marketing for startups is no longer limited to simply generating awareness about your brand, though. The strength of this type of marketing is largely due to it becoming an avenue for distributing content, generating leads, winning over new customers, and keeping existing ones. In short, the different platforms of social media have introduced solutions to varied marketing issues for equally varied businesses, from the struggling startup to the established multinational company.
Here are a few examples of how social media marketing has changed the game for many companies. Let these serve as inspiration in your pursuit of answers for the marketing issues you are currently dealing with.
The more you engage with your users, the more invested they become in your company
The more invested they become, the higher the likelihood of these existing users inviting – directly or indirectly – other potential customers to join the fray. One great example is GoPro. It’s not a new company by a long shot, but the genius behind its social media marketing cannot be denied.
How often do you come up with an idea that gives you free advertising while also wowing your audiences? What’s more, it is real life!
Its own submissions plus the submissions from its users around the world make up the bulk of the specialty camera’s advertising. They don’t pay big bucks to get amazing content; users are only too happy to show the world what they can do with a GoPro camera.
The company didn’t stop there, either. It took advantage of the new way to view videos — streaming. Years ago, this would not have been possible, because if you wanted to see something, you had to download it. Now, you stream videos. It’s instant, and when you’re done, you leave it. No wasted time or storage space. You can take advantage of the marketing opportunities this current state of technology to presents. GoPro has mastered that.
People tweet about everything, everywhere. Now there’s an opportunity
People use Twitter to tell their friends and the rest of the world what they’re up to at any moment. From celebrating at the peak of a challenging climb to saying goodnight before one goes to bed, the micro-blogging site has been at people’s sides for what seems like forever.
For Twitter, its ubiquity is its power
Domino’s Pizza understood that every person who orders pizza is likely to have a smartphone in hand, and where there’s a smartphone, a hashtag is never far behind. This is what’s behind their #EasyOrder program. Apart from using Twitter to tweet pictures of their pizza everywhere, Domino’s is enabling customers to order by using their hashtag. Customers can also use a pizza emoji.
Some companies also use Twitter but not for ordering their products. They encourage people to tweet, simple as that. And when customers tweet about them, they get free advertising and generate leads.
The beauty of this technique is, you can have the most mundane of products or services and people will still tweet about it. Charmin, for example, encourages followers to tweet when they’re doing the most private of human activities: while sitting on the toilet. #TweetFromTheSeat, get it? Because every person carries their smartphone literally everywhere. After all, it’s social media – and most everyone loves fun-slash-funny material.
Know what people want, but also know what people do. And encourage them to keep doing it. But don’t forget to take advantage of when they do what they do. All the while, keep in mind the secret ingredient that everyone can relate to: humor.
Know your demographic. Think like your demographic
Netflix uses its own content to market its online streaming service. It understands that, while food is good and can make people salivate enough to start dialing, scenes from movies and series also tug at something in people. Netflix knows its audience, and by using social media to advertise, they are able to reach an audience that has — quite ironically – started to shy away from traditional television. Since its introduction, Netflix has quickly become the “date-on-a-budget” of choice for millions.
Going back to food, one company that’s killing it in social media is Denny’s, “America’s Diner.” But instead of just showing pictures of their menu on social, Denny’s has decided to embrace the weird and, of course, funny. Ever heard of pancake shoes?
If you scour the web for content that can be defined as “funny weird”, it might take you months to go through the almost unlimited selection. This means it works. Denny’s knows it works. And it’s making it work for them.
It’s not that Denny’s has decided to go against the grain of marketing; it’s just that it knows what demographic it’s marketing to and it also knows what those people like, just like Netflix. And, Denny’s is giving its market a dose of their own medicine, in the most effective way it can.
Knowing is half the battle, as they say, and it’s just as true in marketing as it is anywhere else
Social media marketing works for established companies and it should work with for your startup. Social media applauds and reveres what’s new and trending, and by definition, a startup is new. Using social media marketing can help your startup start trending.
One more takeaway: to fully maximize your social media exposure, you may want to consider data science. Big Data is no longer the future; it’s here. All the data generated by online interactions should count for something. Using data to enhance your marketing is the difference between knowing how to market now and understanding how to shift your marketing for tomorrow.
Right now, however, you should get started on strengthening your social media presence and leveraging it for the purpose of marketing.