Confused if social media is the right channel for your startup?
Or perhaps worried that your startup does not have that kind of a budget to spend on social channels.
In this blog, first, we will show you some industry statistic and then discuss how you can leverage social media to increase your brand visibility and sales. We will also discuss how other Indian startups are using social media.
Let’s get you started!
Why should startups use social media?
There are approx 3.2 billion people on social media be it Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn, and this number is increasing rapidly every second.
61% of the Indian population use the internet every day.
In the next 10 years, companies and startups will leverage social media for customer engagement, operations, customer support, and brand building.
According to Statista, India has the highest Facebook user base as compared to other countries in the world.
ShareChat a Bangalore-based startup is the desi social media channel that is growing at a fast pace and has a customer base of 30 million users and can be used in 14 Indian languages as mentioned by BBC News.
As per the news report provided by Twitter Inc, its daily active user base is 326 million. As per the latest news, the number of members in LinkedIn is 562 million out of which more than 50 million users are Indian.
Out of all the social media channels, the most interesting growth is seen on Instagram. The Instagram user base is growing by 5% per quarter and has already reached 1 Billion monthly active users in June 2018.
Compared to Instagram, Facebook’s monthly count grew by 3.14% and Snapchat’s daily user count grew by 2.13%.
Today, social media is one of the efficient and cost-effective channels for startups who are strict on their budget and want to create brand awareness instantly.
You might be thinking that social media is not the place where your customers hang out the most, believe me, many companies still think the same but the data speaks otherwise.
In order to get your grip on the social media channels, your content should not be just like any other content out there. It has to be different and speak directly to your target audience.
90% of the consumers say that watching a product video helps them make better purchase decisions and 64% of the consumers mostly buy the product online after watching a video about it as per the report by HubSpot.
Did you know?
Humans have the ability to recollect 65% of the visuals three days after watching it.
Tools to create social media graphics
While creating visuals try to avoid stocks images as it has crowded the internet like hell and does not look genuine.
Instead, create something of your own.
If you are a small startup and cannot afford a graphic designer go with free social media designing tools like Canva, Snappa or Adobe Spark. They have a number of templates and you can start designing within seconds.
(Of course, you will have to register at these sites first. Don’t worry, they won’t ask for your credit card details while signing up.)
To be frank, I am not a graphic designer but these tools are so handy that I do not have to start from scratch, I can design attractive images easily.
Alternatively, if you feel you can not invest your time creating graphics check out how to use stock images here.
Most efficient social media channel for your startup
As of October 2018, Facebook has the most active users base. There are more than 80 million SME business pages on Facebook out of which 6 million startups use Facebook for advertisements. (These companies are both B2B and B2C).
Though Facebook tops the list on social media, companies also use Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram to advertise and engage with their audience.
According to a recent survey conducted by PwC on consumer habits, when asked where they go to buy products online, 37% of the consumer said social media and 34% said retail websites.
Consumers want to know what their peers think about the product/services/brands before they go for a purchase. They want to receive promotional offers and engage with the ads relevant to them on social media.
The below data shows category wise purchase decision of consumers on social media. Food and Drink category has the highest influence on the purchase decision of the consumers, followed by gifts, fashion and so on.
Facebook is the most affordable channel even for startups to promote their business. Apart from cost, 30% of the marketers feel that Facebook gives them the highest ROI followed by Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.
If you look at the data of our Facebook post, without promoting we received a good amount of organic traffic on the testimonial video of our customer:
And with Boost Post (paid) we received
In short, Facebook gives you a wide range of options to target your customers at the minimum possible budget.
To learn about Facebook marketing read the guide here.
You must be thinking which social media channel will work for me?
There is no specific answer to that. The channel where your target audience spends more time is where you should be present.
Although the data shows Facebook is the most widely used channel for business, it’s best to test other channels as well and measure the results.
Did you know?
On an average people spend 35 minutes on Facebook every day.
How startups can increase their fan base and engage with them?
Until now we were discussing numbers as to what data says about social media and those numbers were astonishing. But when we start doing actual campaigns it’s a lot tough to grab audience attention and make them like your post/page, comment on it and share it.
As we discussed above the most engaging content on social media are visuals and videos. And if you remember more than 3.2 Billion images get shared on social media daily. Channels are already very crowded and noisy.
To stand out you need to do something unique and out of ordinary to grab your audience attention.
Let’s discuss what all you can do to increase your fan base and engage with them:
- Know your audience pain points: The first rule of social media marketing is to know the pain point of your audience. Check Quora or Reddit to understand what kind of questions the audience asks. You can also ask your existing customers problems they face or conduct a survey to know the difficulties of your customers. Based on those questions you can create a content that solves your customer pain point and share it on social media to attract prospects.
For example, when buying a product online, we feel insecure to pay because we are unable to test, touch and feel the product. To solve this, companies have return policies and money back guarantee in place, that gives some security to us. Peak Pilates, went an extra mile to create a one-minute product video that gives their customers an idea on what they can expect from an exercise equipment. This increases the level of trust and differentiates them from their competitors.
- Create visual stuff: Visual here means videos, images, and infographics. Today, 1 in every 5 Facebook videos are a live broadcast. People prefer consuming content on the go. Write a blog, create explainer and product videos, tutorial videos, conduct live broadcast, or webinars to address their problem and provide a solution. But make sure your video is no longer than 2 minutes or you will lose your audience attention.
Long videos don’t work on Facebook anymore. Social Media Examiner CEO and Founder, Michael Stelzner said only 4 to 6 individuals are watching 50% of the video longer than 2 minutes on Facebook. Watch the whole video here:
- Use Hashtags: Identify popular hashtags to attract the relevant audience or develop a brand-specific hashtag that people can relate to. For example, McDonald’s has created its unique hashtag #imlovinit. People relate to it and use it in their real life (especially posting on Twitter or Instagram after having an amazing burger).
- Spy on your competitor: It’s always good to keep an eye on your competitor’s social media pages. What kind of posts their audience are engaging with, which content has given them most likes, comments, and shares. You can use your competitors’ social media strategy and develop content around those topics and grab attention.
- Create a content calendar: Once you have your content in place prepare a content calendar and follow it consistently. It’s best to choose the time and day when you will be sharing the content with your audience and stick to it. Don’t leave your audience wondering when they will see the next post from you. After posting, always ask your audience to like, comment and share your post.
- Stay active on social media: Always respond to your audience on social media. It shows that you care for your customers and you are always there for them. In fact, 59% of Americans believe that their queries get solved faster and its easier to communicate with the company on social media than on customer support portals.
Check out this 2-minute video by Neil Patel to get an insight into how you can increase your fan base on Facebook:
How to leverage social media to generate leads?
In order to generate leads from social media, you need to have a specific landing page for that post. According to HubSpot companies with more than 40 landing pages have a better conversion rate.
For startups, this may be a difficult number to achieve in the starting, but it’s not impossible. For starters, you can ask your developer to create one landing page and tweak it from time to time and measure the results.
If you are new to the landing page design read this post.
For example, Suppose you are hosting a webinar and would like your audience to register for the same. Running a social media campaign without a landing page is not advisable.
Before you run a campaign make sure your landing page is ready with all the necessary details like:
- Start Time, End Time and Date
- Contact Form
- Topic and what they will learn
- Who will be the host
- Who all are the speakers and what’s there profile
The landing page gives clarity to the audience as to what the webinar is all about and the chances of your audience filling the form increases.
Though the length of a landing page is debatable, data says, longer landing page increase the chance of conversion rate by 220%.
It all depends on the hit and trial method. For some companies, long landing page works for others short one does. You can always test which one works for you.
Always remember to add a link back to your website wherever you wish to generate a lead, increase subscription or sales from your social media post.
A post from Eko that helps generate leads from Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook:
If someone wants to become our API Partner, it takes them to our landing page where they can fill their details.
Did you know?
Sharing user-generated content increases the chance of conversion rate by up to 4.5%.
Social Media strategies you can learn from these 5 Indian startups
To create brand awareness and buzz around social media Freecharge went for growth hacking marketing strategy. They focused on the key elements like:
- Building a personality for their startup before jumping on the social media
- Generated content that people can relate to
- Focused on turn around time to respond to their customers.
(Source: Social Samosa)
The food startup FreshMenu mainly focus on content marketing strategy. Their content marketing does not generate sales directly through the content but gradually builds trust and brand image in the mind of the consumers. To expand their content marketing strategy this food-tech startup rolled out a magazine that educates and delights the customers with respect to everything about food.
Ola Cabs expanded its business by running Facebook ad campaigns. As mentioned earlier Facebook gives you multiple options to target your audience. Leveraging the features of Facebook, Ola focused on targeting customers above 21 years and used gender wise, location wise and age wise targeting. It also segmented people based on whether they access Facebook on mobile or laptop.
An Edutech startup Byju’s started in 2011 with online video-based CAT classes. Their brand awareness happened through word of mouth. Since their target segment is students they started with TV commercials and saw that 75% of their app downloads happened outside metro cities. They use TV to advertise their app and once students download the app they then target parents through print ads. Recently Byju’s has deployed Feet-on-Street model where salespeople go door to door and give the demo of the product in places where social media is still expanding.
But that does not mean Byju’s is not at all active on social media. Statistics show that Byju’s occupies the topmost position in terms of most efficient brands and received 9.1 million engagement on its social media posts in 2017.
Facebook and Twitter are the major social media channel for Grofers. They run different offers from time to time that is time-bound and hence creates urgency among the audience. Their target segment is the working population who have insufficient time to go for household shopping. It also started advertising on TV to increase brand visibility.
Did you know?
As per YOURSTORY, Indian startups share 3 posts per day on their social media channels.
Over To You
Product and services are different for different companies and so is their social media strategy, as we saw above. A social media strategy that works for one company may not work for others. You will have to figure out what type of content works best for your target segment. If you do not know how to start, check out the social media pages of your competitors. It will give you an idea on the type of content your audience consumes.
What kind of content has worked for you in the past? Do share it in the comment below.