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How to use social media for startups?

Anuraag Gutgutia | Tuesday 26 October 2010 ( 1 Comment)

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“Social media offers new opportunities to activate…brand enthusiasm.” – Stacy DeBroff, founder and CEO of Mom Central

The human civilization has moved far away from the times when communication among themselves was thought to be an insurmountable dream. We have at our disposal today a vast network of social media that is ever ready to offer us its services and for that matter most of them at free of cost. Yet we have the entrepreneurs gasping around in search of ways to brand themselves, to advertise themselves.

Social media describes websites that allow users to share content(updates, videos,pics), media(physical, electronic, or verbal) and at the same time develops an interface(intimate direct, community engagement, social, electronic broadcast etc) among themselves. Some of the examples of the popular social networking sites are Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, MySpace etc. Besides these, we also have YouTube, Photobucket, Flickr, and other sites aimed at photo and video sharing.
The startups can use these networking sites to disseminate information(from the grass root to the global level) about themselves, their programs, and their new launches. They can foster word-of-mouth conversations among your earliest customers.
Whether you do it on Facebook or on your own site, it’s important to invite your customers to talk to each other and share ideas. It is said,

If content is king, then conversion is queen.

But your site is still inaccessible to the majority group whereas facebook, linkedin etc are used all over the globe. So use them to allow your customers to guide one another on how they use your product or service. Not only will you have the opportunity to learn what people like and don’t like about your product, you may end up with a bunch of people you can ask to help you.

There are also companies like crowdSpring (design) or Tongal (video)— to help the startups source affordable content from designers, writers, and others.

A new concept that has greatly affected the market today is the free products that a commodity offers with its purchase. For example if you buy food, you look for free recipes.So what the startups can do is offer free tools, free ebooks, free webinars etc. Free content generates awareness, builds loyalty, creates newsworthy topics, and spreads like fire. The social media can then be used to popularize these free products and thus gather the attention of the potential customers. Remember, in this day and age, what a brand does is far more important than what a brand says.

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