Rahul Varshneya is the co-creator of Foster.fm, a SaaS platform helping startups and small businesses grow their companies using social media.
This is truly the big bad world. You try your best (or at least you feel you’re giving it your best shot), but you still don’t see results. On the other hand, you find that some with the least efforts get all the attention!
“The most awesome stage”
Last year, Facebook's VP of Design thought the TNW Conference main stage was the best she'd ever been on.
I’m talking about the big bad world of social media. So much has been written about it over the years and yet entrepreneurs and startups struggle to get their foothold of these platforms.
There have been guidelines on constructing the right posts, guidelines to post at specific times to attract attention, so much on growing followers and engagement.
While the spiel on all of the above is relevant, the key ingredient that makes for a good social media strategy itself is missing. And that key ingredient is the understanding of what social media is, how it works and the tools you need to get the maximum benefit out of your time spent.
There are many questions that I come across while talking to startup founders on their social media strategy to market their products. These are a few of the most common questions answered.
How do we make our campaign go viral?
Did you see that campaign which just went viral on social media? Well, it didn’t happen overnight and certainly the brand didn’t just launch their social media accounts with this viral campaign.
A viral campaign is the result and not the means. And also, it happens like once in a blue moon! Quite literally.
A viral campaign is something that you cannot force. You can certainly design for one, but you just have to leave it to chance for people to spread your message. If it’s authentic, interesting and share-worthy, it sure will get the necessary attention.
Which social channels should I focus on, there are just so many?
True that there are a host of social media channels to reach out to your customers with, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Quora, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Vine, and the list goes on and on.
The way to go about is to have a deep understanding of who your customers are and where they hangout. Based on your findings, narrow down your focus to target the top three channels. Spend all your energies on these channels versus 40 others. It’s the 80-20 rule. Discover the 20 percent of the media channels where 80 percent of your customers visit.
No one has the time to run a campaign across 40 different channels, not even if the person is a dedicated social media consultant.
We aren’t getting much traction from social media, what’s wrong?
I’ve seen in my personal experience in talking to many hundreds of startup founders over the last few years that one of the most common reasons for less or no traction is not being consistent on the platforms.
A consistent presence tells your followers that you’re interested in communicating with them. That you care about them. If you Tweet erratically, sometimes four times a week and occasionally more or sometimes just once or twice, your followers or users just don’t know what to expect from you.
To make anything work, you need to give it sustained focus. You need to show up, everyday, day after day.
Why don’t people respond to our updates, why is the engagement so low?
The most common reason for people not responding to your updates is because it just isn’t interesting enough for them to comment or share! Content is getting shared everyday across networks and people love to share awesome stuff they read with their network.
Did you for one think what you’re sharing may just not be relevant to your audience? Search for content everyday that is relevant to your followers or the users that you’re trying to attract.
These should help you get started with a social media strategy that works. If you have any further queries, please put them in the comments below and I’d be happy to address.