Every company is different; every social media network has its quirks.
If you’re a startup, it can be difficult to get started with your marketing efforts on social media. How did other companies deal with these struggles?
Are you looking to step up your social media marketing game?
Wondering what tools and tactics the pros are using?
We asked some top social media experts to share us their tools and tactics. The question we asked all of them was:
If you are starting out with your company, maybe you’re in the pre-launch phase or your just launched the first version of your product. How do you build your social media following when no-one ever heard about you yet?
How did you build engagement with your new followers and how did you attract them in the first place? What networks did you use?
Can you describe your ultimate growth technique for building and launching your company on social media and how can people implement that for their companies?
In this article, we’re going to look at their answers, and you’ll discover seven ways you can start and stay ahead of your competitors on the social media curve. This is who they are, from William Harris (Elumynt) to Sujan Patel (Web Profits) and all the brilliant minds in between.
Who? William is the Founder & Growth Marketer at Elumynt, LLC., working with eCommerce and SaaS businesses. He’s also a contributor to leading publications like FastCompany, Entrepreneur, The Next Web, Search Engine Journal, and a speaker at industry events, like IRCE.
His advice? A lot of people think that simply curating a few good posts on social media will get them thousands of followers. But the truth is, it won’t. What I’ve found that works the best, is putting in a little more effort – being human.
If your company is sharing ideas, not just links to your blog posts – and if your company is listening to conversations that are relevant to your core business and interjecting into those conversations in a natural, human way, not a sale-sy way – that’s when you’ll start to build a reputation for your brand.
That reputation creates fans that care about you and engage with your brand which means more shares, more views, and more people that “join your team”.
Who? Jason helps entrepreneurs connect with influencers to rapidly grow their business together on The Storyteller Marketer.
His advice? Personally, I believe there’s a lot of value connecting with influencers in your niche.
Believe it or not, others have already done the hard work of research for you. The easiest way to find the influencers is to do a Google search for “top [niche] [social media platform].”
From there, it’s a matter of engaging with these influencers, finding out what they are interested in, and help them achieve their goals.
Who? Derric Haynie is CEO of Vulpine Interactive – a social media marketing agency. He’s regularly seen speaking and blogging about growth and digital marketing in San Diego, San Francisco, and across the universe.
His advice? The first thing to realise is that you can not go around adding one follower at a time, you need to look for key influencers, with existing audiences, that you can tap into to exponentially grow your following.
The second thing to remember is that nobody cares. Seriously, no one cares about your silly product. So make everything you do about the people you serve and how to best help them, not about you and your goals and ambitions.
My favourite channel for massive growth has got to be Twitter. You can make a bit of noise, engage with prospects and influencers, and people go there to read content, so it complements a blog nicely. I have spoken and blogged about exactly what I do to grow a healthy Twitter following in detail before, here’s a little link to a talk I did that walks through one of the “growth hacks.”
Overall your goals should be aligned back to providing core value to your audience, so long as you are coming up with new, fun, innovative ways to engage with them, the growth, traffic, and sales will follow. It never works the other way around (don’t try selling them stuff and hope that grows a following).
Who? I’m the cofounder of LawnStarter Lawn Care – a marketplace that makes lawn care easy for consumers. I’m responsible for growth and analytics.
His advice? Early on we focused on building a following, but then based on talking with people in similar industries, realised that there’s more to social strategy than just building a following.
Rather, we focused on two things. First, creating content not related to lawn care, but adjacent to it, that influencers in our target audience would share. That’s to get brand new eyeballs on us.
Secondly, we focused on creating microcontent for our customers to share. Since our customers are homeowners, and their peer group is largely homeowners, we got the magical combo of target audience + social proof
As one of our investors who was early in most of the big platforms told us, “You’re not Miley Cyrus, you shouldn’t care about how many followers or likes your page has. But you should care about the social proof of your customers sharing your brand.”
Who? Unbounce co-founder Oli Gardner is obsessed with identifying and reversing bad marketing. A prolific international speaker, Oli is on a mission to rid the world of marketing mediocrity by using data-informed copywriting, design, and psychology to create more delightful marketing experiences.
- Choose the social channel with the most relevance to your audience. Something that we found at Unbounce is that our customers in Brazil all have Twitter accounts, but they don’t use them – they live on Facebook.
- As with anything community-related, being generous with your expertise is a great way to grow your following. When I was growing my following on Twitter, I researched popular hashtags and accounts related to digital marketing and started engaging with this community. I provided advice, recommended tools, initiated discussions and slowly started growing an organic and engaged group of followers.
- I made a point of including share-worthy quotes or statements in my blog posts and then used a tool like Click to Tweet to let people share them. This allowed me to quickly identify which parts of my content resonated best with my followers.Click to Tweet to let people share them. This allowed me to quickly identify which parts of my content resonated best with my followers.
- Since our early days at Unbounce, I’ve made replying to questions and comments on social (and then sharing some of these questions) part of my routine. This will allow you to identify opportunities to connect people in your network to one another which again will help grow your community.
Write one or two epic pieces of pillar content that demonstrate the transformative power of your product or service. Before we launched Unbounce, I focused on an equal mixture of lead generation content (writing a definitive ebook called 101 Landing Page Optimization Tips), and brand exposure content (The Noob Guide to Online Marketing on the Moz blog). If you look at the infographic in that post, you’ll see how landing pages are positioned as the core element – in the centre of the wheel – in all aspects of digital marketing. And because Unbounce is a landing page builder, it’s a natural next step to check us out. This dual approach allowed us to build a community of marketers to reach out to when we launched the product while creating a massive amount of buzz on social.
Who? Nick Lucs is a digital marketing specialist focusing on content marketing and social media at When I Work. In his free time, he runs a local food blog and freelance digital marketing business.
His advice? I’m going to talk about growing my Des Moines Foodster blog.
How do you build your social media following when no-one ever heard about you yet?
– Get active with people related and/or interested in your niche. Search out hashtags and articles that have been shared that relate to your product and business and engage with those people. You get to show your expertise as well as get to show your brand off to the people you engage with.
How did you build engagement with your new followers and how did you attract them in the first place?
– I did some strategic mentioning of restaurants and other notable food writers in the Des Moines area. Also, giveaways are a great opportunity to grow a buzz around your social channels.
What networks did you use? Can you describe your ultimate growth technique for building and launching your company on social media and how can people implement that for their company’s?
– I like Twitter, and for the longest time, that’s where I had my audience and worked on growing a following. It wasn’t for another year or two when I started working on Facebook. If I were to do it over again, I’d make sure I had both FB and Twitter at the same time.
Don’t give up. Stay active, be aware of the convos going on and soon enough you’ll start growing your audience on social.
Who? Sujan Patel is an internet marketing expert with over 13 years experience leading digital marketing strategies for companies like Salesforce and Intuit. He is the co-founder of Web Profits, a growth marketing agency helping companies leverage the latest marketing strategy to fuel their businesses.
His advice? First, you have to decide if social media is worth it for your business because it’s not something you can build into something worthwhile without committing consistent time and effort. I can say from building my personal brand(http://partner.asmallorange.com/personal-branding/) that social media can be extremely powerful to build your personal or company’s network.
From there, there are three elements I used to grow my personal twitter following:
1. Active engagement with influencers
2. Tools to help you curate content
3. Boosting posts on Facebook
First, consistently mention influencers in the content you create. This gives you a natural excuse to connect with them on social media, which is the first step towards building a relationship with them that will allow you to leverage their following more directly.
Second, consistently post/curate content that’s relevant to your audience. I use Quuu to post pieces of content per day, and supplement that with a few posts per day of my own, which I schedule out in bulk using Buffer.
Finally, to build your Facebook audience, you need to run Facebook ads for page likes. Facebook has – and will continue to – reduce the organic reach of your post. Facebook page like ads are cheap and effective since it’s easy to target your ideal audience with their targeting options.
Put that together, stay consistent, and I guarantee you’ll have a sizable social media audience within a year.
So that’s it. Which tactics are you trying at your company? Which are turning out to be very successful for you? Share your answers in the comment below so the world can learn from you and your company as well!