Social Media as we have previously talked about, is proven to be one of, if not, the biggest tool for businesses at their disposal. Companies can engage, receive feedback and even test out new ideas to the general public over social networks. this combined with the eggheads at the office can result in some businesses raking in huge amounts of profits. So how can small or start-up businesses hop on this bandwagon, or even attempt to catch up with the others? Well we’ll digress further and see what decisions start-ups should follow, but first the basics.
Did you watch the VMA’s recently? Chances are you didn’t need to, even I myself found myself with better things to do yet still knew about Miley Cyrus’, less classy ‘booty shake’. This is a prime example of just how powerful the web can be, within minutes hundreds and thousands of users took to their PC’s or mobiles to tweet/post/share about the performance and just like that the whole world knew. Just like Miley’s rump, this news was thrusted in your face whether you liked it or not and know you may be thinking, ‘well what’s that got to do with me?’ The answer’s easy, trends.
Trends for those who aren’t familiar, are topics that are the most frequently ‘talked’ about. For the best example look at Twitter, there’s a discover section which lets users find out the top ten trends for either the world or your specific location. Now for businesses, this tool can be used to see what is mostly tweeted about at the time and then to see if they can work out how then can market around that. For example if the word ‘hotdogs’ was trending in the city of Manchester, then a cafe business can tweet about how they sell hotdogs and by using the hashtag (#) the word ‘#hotdogs’ then becomes searchable and this will generate more people seeing the Tweet and therefore gaining the business more attention.
To be fairly bleak about this, if a business isn’t online at this day and age then they’re the equivalent of living with the Dodo’s. Every successful business has some form of online presence because it can create a whole range of possibilities to engage with customers. Facebook pages allow people to talk to the admins behind it and it almost makes the company feel ‘human’. Twitter allows businesses to create quick and short tweets about trending topics and it gives the impression that they are the go to guy. YouTube allows business to publicly post videos about anything they desire, even show off products or give ‘how-to’s’.
My advice for start up businesses would be to start a fresh on the social media sites, maybe just focus on Facebook and Twitter as they are the most popular social media out there at the moment. Set up accounts and engage with users in a way that makes them want to ‘follow’ you. Post about trending topics or unknown topics that will then prove to be popular, this will make users on edge to hear from you. Want to promote a product but have a low follower count, try talking to trend setters i.e people in your same business sector that are seen as the know it alls. For example if you’re a newly start up restaurant in Liverpool and you’d want to generate more followers and customers, then start talking to the local trend setters. @LivFoodDrink would be a good account to start engaging in as if they start to tweet you and engage with you, then their followers will do the same.
Overall social media can prove to be the life or death of a business and it’s important now for start-ups or any business to be a part of this growing trend and to see where it leads.