Millions of users flock to social media websites on a daily basis, and the habits of these users are changing. Gone are the days of social media being primarily used by a small group of internet junkies as a means of sharing what food they had for breakfast or what they plan to do on a rainy afternoon; social media has hit the big time.
Celebrities are using it to publish directly to their fan base. Companies of all sizes and persuasions are using social media to connect with and attract new customers. Social media has the power to essentially be whatever the user wants or needs it to be.
Social Media Startup Advantage
The importance of social media is rising and larger companies are taking notice, but home turf advantage still falls in favor of smaller startups. Startups are much smaller than larger companies by their very nature and this gives them clarity of focus with fewer opportunities for fragmentation. It’s not uncommon for some larger companies to have dozens, if not hundreds, of social media channels at any given point. Many of these channels are empty and lack updates. This untargeted approach yields extremely poor results.
New startups owe it to themselves to take advantage of being strong where their larger competition is weak. All a new startup needs is a computer and high speed internet to get the ball rolling with social media.
Cultivate Laser Focus : Resist the urge to create a new Facebook page for every individual offering that’s slightly different from the rest of what your business offers; keep everything together for best results. Splitting off into multiple pages because your skincare business has decided to also offer shampoo would be like a restaurant having a separate appetizer menu that they keep up by the cash register. How many appetizers could they hope to sell that way?
Keep Everything Organized and Connected :Now more than ever, the internet works like a spider web, especially when it comes to social networking. The website should connect to the Facebook and Twitter of your startup and vice versa. Just say no to orphans and islands; connectivity and flow are essential. YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and the website should all link to each other.
Have a Clear Vision: Big companies can’t help but be impersonal and startups should use this to their advantage. Have a clear vision of the kind of personality and vibe you want to give off and be sure to stick to it. Users will follow businesses on social networks because they love the product or service they offer, but startups can build up a following before they even launch simply by proving themselves to be interesting or relevant.
Social Startup Example :Also have a clear picture of the type of audience you would like to build and work on attracting that demographic. This is where making the kind of business you would like to shop at comes into play. An example of this is Fait Ici, the small business launched by Lindsay Davis. Davis attracted her target market long before the doors of her store ever opened by posting thought provoking content that appealed to other people who shared her mindset. As a result, Davis ended up with a huge social network of people clamoring for exactly what she had to offer. It cost nothing, and all it took was a computer and high speed internet connection. Fait Ici’s launch is one of the most successful to date and serves as a benchmark for other modern startups.
Startups owe it to themselves to take advantage of all that social media has to offer. New businesses can use social networking as a launch pad in order to make their businesses not only survive but thrive and grow rapidly.
Blake Sanders is a tech writer at broadband comparison site Broadband Expert and specializes in high speed internet, cell phones, and news on all things technical.
Photos courtesy of smemon via Flickr Creative Commons.