Social media is a great way to get new customers.
I think it’s an especially good opportunity for small businesses and startups.
At GBW, social media has been a way for us to get new clients. We’ve been able to use social media in a few different ways to make this happen. More on that later.
To begin with social media you have to figure out how to get engagement from your target customers. You can share amazing content and have a great social media profile, but if you’re not getting others to engage you’ll never get more followers and more visitors to your website.
So here are ways you can get more engagement from social media for your startup.
1. Share A Recipe (End With A Rhetorical Question)
I’m not sure exactly what makes this strategy successful, but it works. It must have something to do with the fact that people are curious about how to do something. So when someone shares the recipe for that something they’re interested.
Then you can take it to the next level by asking a rhetorical question: What are you missing?
Here is a recent example from a golf coach I follow on Twitter. I’m addicted to golf so I’m interested, but this post had more retweets than the others on his timeline so I figured it was a good one.
Yours would relate to your industry. If you’re a web designer you could share the recipe for a good logo design. Then ask what is missing. People will wonder if they’re missing something and they’ll respond.
2. Inject Your Personality Into The Updates
In the previous point I mentioned that I’m addicted to golf. I’ve tried to make it a point to share more little personal tidbits in my posts and on social media.
We’re all unique individuals and people like to learn interesting things about others. The more we share about ourselves the more people can understand who we are. That makes them more comfortable and if they agree (or strongly disagree) with something we share then they’re more likely to engage.
For example, if a fellow golf addict reads a tweet where I mention that I love golf they might reply with their own golf story or maybe they’ll contact me with an inquiry for our service mentioning the fact that I mentioned golf.
I’ve had that happen before.
3. Compliment A Complementary Brand
Hopefully that wasn’t confusing.
Basically, other people and other brands have followers and you need more followers in order to get more engagement. So you have to get the attention of your ideal followers.
One way to do that is to compliment a brand that is complementary to your brand as opposed to a brand that might be a competitor.
At GBW, we don’t do social media management. So what I could do is identify a company that does social media management and that does it well. Then I could send them a compliment on social media.
People like getting compliments and they’ll generally reply to those compliments.
That’s when their followers will see the post referencing you and they’ll get curious and check out your profile.
Be careful with this one. Do it with brands you genuinely like and don’t overdo it.
4. Share More Often Using Buffer
Here’s an example of being complimentary. Buffer is a great tool for sharing content on social media (including blog posts). So I’m mentioning them here because I believe in what they do.
But the reason I’m mentioning them is that one thing people struggle with is sharing enough on social media. To get more engagement you need to share more.
Buffer makes that easy by allowing you to schedule a bunch of updates all at once. I do it once or twice a week and Buffer publishes those posts throughout the week based on the schedule I setup.
5. Use Popular Industry Hashtags
I overlooked this one for the longest time and now I kick myself that I didn’t do it sooner.
People really do follow hashtags. Start with your target customer in mind. Think about who they are. Then search for a few hashtags relating to them. See how popular it is by the number of updates the hashtag has.
For me, I looked at things relating to business, small business and more. Eventually I figured out that hashtags like #startups, #socialmedia, #sales and more were relevant and popular to what GBW customers were following.
Now I used those hashtags all the time and it helps to get more of the right people to view our updates.
6. Share The Same Content As Industry Influencers
Identify the popular people in your industry. They might be competitors or they might be writers in the industry. Find out who they are and look at the type of content they share.
These people are popular partly because of the content they share. A good place for you to start is to share the same type of content they’re sharing.
If they share an industry article about a hot trend then you should share it too.
However, you can take it a step beyond by adding your own insight into the topic. Share the same content, but always look to go beyond what the influencer is doing.
For the long-term this sets you up to potentially be more of an influencer than they are now.
7. Engage With Industry Influencers
Influencers can also be your friends. If they share something and you feel you can offer additional insight into the topic then reply to their update or comment on the update. Add your thoughts. Try to provide something beyond what they’re providing. If you do this and pique their interest they might respond and a conversation could be started that their followers will see. That can lead to more engagement for you.
Agreeing with something they say is good, but don’t be afraid to go against them either especially if you really believe in what you’re sharing.
Social media marketing promises a lot of things. I’ve probably been guilty of building it up to be this cure-all for your startup. The truth is that you’ll have to work to make this engagement happen. It takes work, but with the items listed above you can help yourself by doing what’s proven to have success.