Social media has established itself as a valuable opportunity that marketers simply cannot ignore. Its more casual style, emphasis on engagement and user base of nearly 70 percent of U.S. adults set social media apart from other channels. With lower costs and barriers than traditional advertising, networks like Facebook and Twitter allow startups to compete with more established competitors.
Yet with all of its potential to grow an audience, many startup companies aren't using social media to its full advantage. If your startup's social media growth has plateaued and your strategy feels too predictable, the following methods can help bring new life to your social channels.
1. Make the Most of Your Branding
If your social media channels aren't properly branded - including cover images and post images - that's where you need to start. In terms of branding and style, there should be a seamless transition between your startup's website and your social media pages.
If you've been infusing your social media channels with your signature design and tone, try changing it up just a little. This can mean new content types, new image templates or a new angle on product photos. Canva for Work is a great and affordable tool for organizing your brand assets and using them to quickly create social media graphics that meet your brand standards.
2. Get Intentional About Community Management
Too many marketers use social media only as another publishing platform. They only visit their pages when they want to post, which is the opposite of how social media works best: by engaging the audience. Effective community management means crafting content that inspires conversation and then staying around to participate in that conversation.
In fact, Facebook displays the timeliness of your responses to customer questions right on your Facebook page. In addition to creating more conversations, you should also aim to be more authentic. Instead of rote responses to common questions, look for ways to keep it personal such as using the person's name and infusing your own personality. Some tools marketers can use to create conversations and build community include Sprout Social and HootSuite.
3. Give Chatbots a Try
Chatbots are a popular topic in marketing, getting so much attention that the concept has the feel of a passing trend. In spite of this, chatbots are proving themselves to have unexpected staying power because of their ability to simplify and expedite common tasks such as scheduling meetings or directing visitors to the right resources.
There are many different ways to use chatbots within social - and which you choose should depend on your startup and your customers' needs. Facebook's inclusion of a chatbot in Messenger is just the start. From within your social media accounts, a chatbot can be used to facilitate customer support, categorize and redirect IT requests, and generally be a presence online when you aren't. The example of teaching bot "Jill Watson" demonstrates how chatbots could be used for real-time product or software training.
4. Engage Social Influencers
Another way to reinvigorate your social campaigns is to engage with influencers who are active on the social media channels you and your customers use. Although many brands focus on celebrities as their target influencers, engaging with influencers within your particular industry is more effective. You may already know immediately of some of the key players in your startup's field, but there are also tools such as Klout and Followerwonk to help identify those key influencers.
Learn the right tools and strategies to bring new life to your social media profiles, resulting in a wave of new followers and new revenue for your startup. The key is to stay true to your brand and your audience, explore these new opportunities and keep moving forward with the tools and methods that work for your specific strategy.