Startup eSeries: 8 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Use Social Media - Common Sense Living Newsletter
 
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Startup eSeries: 8 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Use Social Media

Entrepreneurship
Apr 30, 2015

 

I landed an assignment through Linkedin in the first few months of listing my enterprise on it. That's when I realised the true efficacy of social media platforms and just how useful and cost-effective they can be.

This view was echoed by many entrepreneurs in the Startup eSeries too, who spoke about using social media to promote their services and products. Himanshuu Chandrakant Sheth mentioned he uses Facebook with a lot of visuals to give clients a fair idea of what to expect on their photo safaris. He has so far had no problem filling up his tours. Likewise Neha Sethi  of the cookie brand Sweetish House Mafia used Twitter in the early days of her enterprise to Tweet to all her followers about the time and location of her then mobile store - the Nano.

Online statistical research only backs the growing importance of social media. Digital Statistics India 2014  says that: "India has 205 million internet users, 86 percent of Indian web users visit a social networking site, and 40 million check online reviews." And these figures will only increase with the growing penetration of smartphones and internet connectivity.

Get Social!
Source: Rawpixel / Shutterstock

The advantages of being on social media for any small, medium or big-sized enterprise are unquestionable, as author Erik Qualman of Socialnomics says: "We don't have a choice whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it."

In this article, I will give you some social media tips that can help you have a more effective presence online - making your enterprise more visible, accessible and definitely more 'like'-able.

  1. Create your own page: Decide which social media platform works best for your service and then get your own account or page on it. Social media platforms like Facebook, Google+ and Linkedin have multiple uses and can be used effectively to present your work or gather a huge number of followers/connections. Image-centric platforms like Pinterest and Instagram particularly work well for businesses that have interesting and colourful products to be displayed. Twitter helps you make a statement, say it in short 140 characters and present it to just about anyone in the world who is interested in the same subject as you.

  2. Engage your followers: One of the best ways to keep your audience hooked is by giving them thought-provoking and engaging content. It's been noticed that pages which get "unliked" over a period of time and see their number of followers dip are those that fail to provide regular, unique and interesting updates. Content can be made interesting by making it brief, saying your message clearly, personalizing it, using attractive visuals, sharing relevant links and constantly having dialogues with your followers. Social media like anything social, is about conversations. So getting chatty is a good strategy. Some brands also use quizzes and surveys to keep their followers engaged.

  3. Use wow visuals: Social media studies show that content with visuals have 90 percent more viewership than those that don't use images. Thus images can play a big role in making your service or product more visible on social media. With smartphones that now ensure high-quality images, which can be uploaded instantly, your life as an entrepreneur  has only become easier. So keep taking pictures, caption them well and see how many clicks you get on your page.

  4. Make videos: From short 15-seconders that capture moments to longer ones on the making of a product or a testimonial from a happy and satisfied client, videos if made well are ready reference points for any customer. They can be scripted, shot with real people or simply animated with the use of good illustrators. Video as a format, has the advantage of being both educational and entertaining at the same time. Use a phone, handycam or any other device, upload it on YouTube or Vimeo and your video is ready to be viewed by the world.

  5. Start networking: Social media is essentially the online equivalent of what we do at parties and business conferences - it's a place to network. Thus, when you make connections and get more followers, don't just look at them as a number. Take some time out to get to know them, tell them a little about yourself and feel free to make your ask. If you're looking for business, say that upfront, if you'd like them to attend a webinar, send them a direct message in their inboxes. Like the offline world, in the online world too, the personal connect is important. As is the first impression.

  6. Build a fan following: It's unfortunate but true, numbers play a big role on social media. So gather all the clout you can and get people to 'like' your page, share your page and bring in as many followers as you can. Just about anyone can be your follower, from friends to friends' friends, family, colleagues and even remote acquaintances. And remember, on social media people believe in 'paying it forward', so if you like someone else's pictures and updates, they'll like yours in return... don't hesitate to be generous with your likes.

  7. Share your knowledge: All social media platforms have discussion groups on a variety of topics. And depending on your area of interest, you can decide which one you would like to join. Another option is blogging - blogs are a good way of sharing your knowledge on any topic. They are short articles that use a casual conversational tone to educate the reader on a particular topic. Blogs especially help consumers get more details on products and their workings. Many bloggers only focus on product reviews, and brands have seen increased awareness about their products through such blogs.

  8. Post at the right times: On social media, it has been observed that it's not just what you post but when you post that matters too. Did you know that people check their phones first thing in the morning, just before they sleep, at meal times, at coffee breaks, while stuck in traffic or commuting by train and right after work? Social media platforms allow you to schedule your posts such that you can optimize timings when people are most caught surfing and browsing these sites... Don't just create good content, be smart about the time you post it too.

And finally, simply be 'you' - your authentic self. Users of social media make no apologies about being who they are, they unabashedly present themselves and their thoughts in their most real and candid form. Freely share your stories, dialogue with your followers and build a brand and presence that is both remembered and liked. If you pay attention to these points, your voice will definitely be heard on the World Wide Web.

 
 

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4 Responses to "Startup eSeries: 8 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Use Social Media"

m pardha saradhi

05 May, 2015

Very good hand holding and pragmatic article and fecilitates followers in implementation and I will be one of them. The suggestions of Bhautik Sheth are worthy of consideration. The dominant features of online communication are fast pace of spreading of message and easier replication. They have both passitivties and negativities.

Like (2)

Bhautik Sheth

04 May, 2015

Finally, you wrote something on Social Media Marketing! I my self run a small company named iVIPANAN Digital Marketing Services in Surat and being Digital Marketing Trainer and Consultant, I always say to my clients and peers what you have written in this article. Few things I would like to add here. 1) Write to read, don't write only for the sake of writing on social media. 2) Social Media provides engagement platform. You need to develop patients and need to invest time to indulge with your prospects to convert them in money paying customers. Be creative and compelling while sharing anything on your social media profile. 3) Facebook is changing everyday. Keep in touch with it. Posting pictures is not the only solution for successful marketing of your product or service. Define a short term, and long term objective before executing on social media. Getting more "likes" does not give any confirmation for more business. Who is liking your page is more important rather then anybody is liking your page. 4) Use native videos on Facebook. Recent study suggests that native video is getting more engagement compare to any other type of posting on your wall. 5) And finally, as an entrepreneur, come out as a thought leader OR industry leader. Include blog with your social media activity. You, being an industry thought leader will help your business to grow!!

zahid patka

03 May, 2015

ritika thank you for trainining me for proper use of social media

Like (1)

Turab

03 May, 2015

A good and tested guidance. -- Should help the beginners well If it can be demonstrated with a live example of product or services it will be more interesting. Hope some one who has experimented and achieved results can discuss the same on forum

Like (1)
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