I’ve had the pleasure of working with multiple start-ups as both a co-founder and an outside consultant. If you had asked me while I was in the storm of my first start-up, the word, “pleasure” would probably not have been the first word that came to mind.
But, on balance, I learned something new every day (usually because of some hard knocks). I highly recommend jumping into the startup world if you can properly backstop your financials with an emergency fund.
For startups on a budget, social media is a valuable space to advertise on because it offers such a powerful platform for engaging with customers. It allows you to use your most powerful value proposition – the personal touch based on your unique experience and personality.
1. Take Advantage of Facebook’s Ability to Target Advertising.
There are a few things you should never skimp on, but advertising is one area that can get expensive if you let it get out of control. I love social media ads because they save you money over other marketing strategies – advanced audience targeting allows you to put compelling content in front of the right person with minimal expense.
Facebook advertising is an art form in and of itself. I recommend checking out this guide which outlines the different steps to kick-start your Facebook advertising.
Here are a couple takeaways in case you don’t have time to read it right now:
- You can use Facebook Pixel to customize the experience for your audience based on their past interactions with your site. This is an AMAZING tool for rescuing abandoned checkout carts.
- There are more than eight types of ads Facebook allows you to utilize. Different ones make sense for different use cases. For example, domain ads are great for gaining click-throughs to your site. Carousel ads are better for quickly showcasing products and scoring an impulse buy.
- Getting “frequency” right is almost as important as the content of your ad. Pay close attention to avoid overwhelming your audience – something that will turn off potential buyers.
2. Respond Quickly to Direct Messages and PM’s.
I know that I’ve primarily talked about Facebook up to this point. That’s because Facebook seems to be pioneering the way social media is utilized and it's gaining momentum – the other platforms are largely playing catch-up.
The following strategy is applicable to every social media platform. When someone sends your social media page a direct message, private message or leaves a review, you should drop everything and respond.
Why? There are many statistics supporting this advice, like the fact that 78% of salespeople using Social Media Outsell Their Peers. But I’ll pivot to some personal experience here.
I have built some of the strongest (and most profitable) client relationships I have by taking the time to chat with the customer via Facebook messenger, Skype, Twitter Direct Messages and Google Hangout. I believe this is because potential clients get to instantly interact with someone who is ready and willing to solve their problems.
And a text message is so simple. There’s no commitment beyond the last message sent. There’s zero sense of dread that a salesperson will try to guilt the client into the sale over the phone or in-person. This form of communication also fits within a busy schedule.
3. Twitter Has Become the Most Popular Social Platform for Business.
I mentioned before that Facebook has become the trailblazer for social media advertising. There’s one exception that proves the rule. When it comes to viral content, it’s difficult to beat Twitter. The 140-character limit forces marketers to be brief, present and hyper-engaging.
This is a takeaway that could be valuable for companies using every type of social media platform.
The most powerful features on Twitter that helped me engage with my audience were:
- The ability to retweet powerful information from other thought-leaders. This reduced the pressure on me to create a ton of original content.
- Having public conversations with other individuals and brands. If the conversation results in powerful takeaways retweets almost always follow.
4. Create an Engaging Ad That Asks a Question.
Engagement is a buzzword that’s thrown around with regularity during my conference calls with teams attempting to maximize marketing dollars. This is understandable. If someone reads an ad and leaves without engaging, that’s not a very good ROI. Granted, you have created an impression, but impressions are almost never tied to dollars hitting the balance sheet.
To maximize engagement, I have learned to dive deep into the information I know about my potential customers. Then, I find a way to ask them a question that both sparks a thought and positions our product or service as an easy solution.
If you want an excellent chance of scoring a conversion, combine a thought-provoking question with a video. You’ll find that video advertising significantly maximizes engagement and viewer comprehension.
If you combine this strategy with the ability to target the audience for your ad, you will find social media becoming a powerful tool for your marketing efforts. You’ll be able to present new information to the right person, at the right time, with a variety of presentations.
Have you had some successes or failures with social media advertising? I look forward to discussing the benefits and pain points in the comment section below.
Photo credit: Pixabay