Startups are always hard-pressed for resources - manpower and finance. Scaling in such a scenario needs a brilliant marketing acumen, smart decision making and the effective use of existing resources.
In today’s world, it has become increasingly important for startups to have a social media brand presence so they can reach potential investors, team members and partners, considering that most people spend a significant time on social media.
To make up for the dearth of resources, startups can use apps to support their social media marketing efforts. Here's a list containing five of such apps:
As social media networks add users, feeds get more cluttered and more “noise” is created. How do you find the conversations that matter so you can participate in them?
Since you can’t have your marketing resource waste time scrolling through communities at random, you can set keyword alerts on a social media monitoring app like BrandWatch.
BrandWatch scours through social media posts and find the ones that mention your keywords. Your keywords could include your brand name and important topics in the industry.
You can also set combinations like “Food delivery” if you are a food delivery service to seek people who need your services or make an impression on a community that is having a discussion important to you.
There are at least three important social networks that you HAVE to be a part of. How can you maintain an active presence on all of them? If you fail to post daily, your audience is likely to lose interest and unfollow you.
To maintain your social media presence with ease, you can use a content curation and social media management app like DrumUp. DrumUp lets you post custom/curated posts across multiple social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn).
The app also helps you source interesting articles from your industry to share with your social media audience and engage them.
You can set keywords to source articles and store them on the app’s content library to schedule on your social accounts as necessary. The app also lets you schedule months of posts in advance to manage your social presence easily.
Infographics are a super engaging form of social media content. In fact, they can increase your social media engagement by as much as 3X, according to a report by MassPlanner.
Unfortunately, creating an infographic can be painfully hard, especially if you aren’t gifted with design skills. Instead of creating an infographic from scratch, you can use pre-created templates on a graphic design app like Venngage to do it easily.
Venngage lets you choose from a large collection of templates to tweak and create your infographic. Using the app, you can easily add and modify charts and text to create an infographic for any topic.
If you aren’t sure that your social media efforts are yielding any result at all, the resources you dedicate to it will go to waste.
It's also important for you to identify which elements of your social media marketing are working for you and which ones aren’t. Using a social media analytics tool like Audiense, you can get access to that data.
Audiense lets you understand your target audience and reach them better on social networks. It also helps you identify audience interests so you can create content that is sure to be a hit with them.
Sometimes, your social media marketing activities extend beyond social networks and you can’t afford to spend time on each app/network. Instead, you can create a number of interesting recipes on a cross-platform automation app called IFTTT.
IFTTT stands for If This Then That and that is exactly how the app works.
To get the app to perform a task, you need to create commands that follow the logical condition of ‘if this, then that’. For instance, you can instruct the app to built a list of people using a particular hashtag or cross-post your Facebook statuses as Tweets.
The apps automatic support will replace the need for you to manually do those tasks. The app supports a number of applications like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, Dropbox, Tumblr, Instagram, and Evernote.
Even if these apps look great, why should you choose to invest in them over other resources that enable alternative forms of marketing?
Why social media marketing is worth the investment
The best part about marketing on social media is that you don’t need an initial investment to begin. The accounts you create are free, and you can begin to generate real business through them using strategic content.
Unfortunately, the businesses that run social platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and the lot) are for profit, and they limited reach of commercial content to advertisements on their platforms.
If you aren’t keen on social media advertisements and believe in the organic route, or want to supplement your advertorial content with real, organic content, you need tools that can help you boost your organic reach. The tools on this list are a few examples of the same.
Social media has helped several small and large businesses build an engaged online community, even in the most busy and competitive markets.
i). Social media can drive sales
Even the most boring of industries can build an engaged social media presence. For instance, CIL - a Canadian paint manufacturer - wanted to emotionally connect with its target audience - men who typically purchased their products.
How did they do this? They decided to give their audience more power, by allowing them to influence their products.
CIL built an app and asked users to rename a host of their paint colors. You can watch the YouTube video here.
The result? 15,000 names, 100 million impressions and a 10% hike in sales. (Source: Business.com)
ii). Social media campaigns can alter perceptions
Minnesota has never had the best appeal as a destination for travellers, but a Government backed campaign made a serious dent in that common perception.
The state’s tourism unit had its best assets recreated in steel shipping containers. Visitors could enter the containers and tangibly experience what Minnesota has to offer in an exciting and impressionable way.
Visitors were encouraged to take photographs and post them on social media.
The result? 1.25 million impressions in visits to Denver, Chicago and Kansas city. (Source: Convince&Convert)
iii). Social media campaigning can prompt offline purchases
For 2 days post-thanksgiving, people who visit select stores affiliated with Betsy & iya + Little Boxes, can avail a 10% discount and enter a massive raffle contest with exciting prizes.
The creative director of Little Boxes, Betsy Cross, attributes some of this success to social media.
The result? 23 purchases per participating shop and $323,500 added revenue. (Source: InfusionSoft)
How to make the most of social media benefits with limited resources
You’ll need an ingenious idea. Replicating what someone else has done can be effective, but unless you want a mediocre response, you have to create a unique activity that compels your audience to engage.
Notice how CIL got their unique demographic to engage.
You don’t have to invest in building an app for the activity like they did. You could use social media ads, word of mouth and your website to drive the activity for you. The social marketing apps listed on this post can also help you increase exposure for your campaign.
Team up with partners to increase resources and reach. Instead of hosting your campaign in isolation, you could tie up with partners, who will bring with them unique ideas, an extended network and more capital to implement your campaign.
Try and find partners who can also benefit from the campaign you want to run. The second case study discussed on this post is a good example of this tactic.
Betsy & iya + Little Boxes partnered with other local stores like themselves and generated more revenue together.
If your focus is online marketing, you can work with employees, happy customers and well wishers to increase exposure at a low cost.
Use apps to reduce efforts and boost results. We’re back full circle. Online marketing apps can help you streamline your efforts and get more done with little time and monetary investments. The apps on this list are a good start, but you can explore others to find the best fit for your requirements.
About the Author: Disha Dinesh is a Content Writer at Godot Media, a leading content agency. Her interests include social media and content marketing. When she's not writing, she's on the hunt for social media trends and inspiration.