How Startup Founders can use Social Media Networks as a Branding and Lead Generation Tool

Social media is an amazing world to advertise for startups. More and more organizations are joining social media platforms with a specific end goal to connect with bigger groups of audiences and grow their business. Though there are many growing advantages of social media marketing, numerous businesses are uncertain whether they should spend their time and money or not.

Over the years, social media networks have moved from an optional marketing platform to a critical one. Businesses now depend on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to promote their brands, generate leads, and distribute content. Social media is even more effective for startups, small businesses, and new ventures that often have to work with small budgets.

Want to grow your brand and generate leads using social media?

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Branding and Lead Generation Tools

1. Email Marketing

While traditional newsletters and email marketing are still important, the ability to capture more data on users and use behavioral-triggers has enabled marketers to get a lot smarter with how they target users in the inbox.

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2. Content Marketing: From Blogging to Microsites

Given the broad scope of content marketing, a good question to ask is what type of content should startups be focusing on to generate leads?

Well, you could go by which tactics are most commonly used by other companies. The risk of this approach is that, by definition, you’ll be doing what everyone else is doing.

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Whether you’re a contrarian marketer or prefer to stick to what’s working for others, a good content marketing strategy requires a degree of diversity and experimentation to understand where the biggest growth opportunities are for your business.

3. Social Media Networks

Considering that social media is an integral part of content marketing, and to some extent, search marketing, it is a useful channel for lead generation and brand recognition. How successful will your blogging or infographics be if no one’s following your company’s updates on social media?

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While tens of thousands of companies blast out self-promotional drive, a minority of businesses use it generate and nurture millions of dollars’ worth of leads. In this instance, it’s best to learn from the minority rather than the majority.

Advantages of Social Media Networks for Startups

Social media networks present two key advantages for startups. First, startups can start social media marketing campaigns on shoestring budgets and reach millions of potential consumers without making compromises on quality. Secondly, social users love everything new – and new is the perfect definition of startups.

Here are few advantages social media networks can have for a startup:

Brand recognition

It’s easier to establish your brand when you’re on social media. The reason being that, social media gives a lot of channels which you can use to share information and content about your startup. With a presence on most popular social media networks, it’s easier for the customers to find the startup.

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Lead generation

Social media helps startups and business generate leads from their campaigns. All the posts, videos and campaigns on social media networks can be linked to offers and discounts offered by the businesses. The engagement generated from the campaigns on social media leads to lead generation.

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Improved search rankings

The longer and deeper the business invest time in the most popular social media networks, it leads to better rankings. If you notice, the strongest brands are easy to reach via social media. Right? They engage their clients, they have a lot of followers, and they regularly post content–whether it’s a photo, a video, or an interesting article.

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Marketplace insights

With social media, it’s so easy to get to know your clients and your target market. You know why? Because a lot of content in social media is user-generated. That’s why you have to spend time on social media. With it, you get to discover your clients’ lifestyles and preferences. There are a lot of tools available which you can use to analyze your client’s’ demographics. It’s really interesting because all that valuable information is at the tip of your fingertips–quite literally. Once you’ve studied the insights, you’ll have more ideas on what you can do to attract more of your target market.

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Increase in traffic

Without social media, your traffic depends on your existing clients. Oh, and some people who might be familiar with your startup, too. But an increase in traffic would be great, right?

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Social media basically gives you the power to reach people outside your existing group of clients.

How Social Media can be used for Branding

You simply need to be where your audience is to stay relevant and remain profitable. It’s no secret that the majority of your buyer’s journey is self-directed. People self-educate online, searching for as much information as possible about the products and services they want before they purchase. In order to capitalize on that behavior, you now need to show your audience some love.

Engaging on social media platforms can feel overwhelming at times. People are seeing streams with thousands of posts every day. So how do you make sure your brand stands out?

1. Establish a voice

Take a look at your company mission statement and see what values resonate with your company culture, then incorporate that tone in your day-to-day messaging. Once you’re clear on your company values, take time to research and understand your audience. Follow trending conversations to see if there are certain values that are important to your prospects and customers.

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2. Show Up

Brands engaging on social media networks enjoy higher loyalty rates from their customers. Engagement with audience shows you’re not a robot, mindlessly pushing company messaging. Rather, there’s something behind the brand–a voice. People are looking for reasons to connect with a brand, so give them many.

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3. Share Relevant Content

Social media is the megaphone for content. However, nothing of this will matter if the content you’re providing isn’t interesting, relevant, or authentic. So how to put your audience’s interests first? There are several tools available out there to help you evaluate your audience demographics to understand their interest and how you can deliver it. Perhaps the easiest one is a social media networks native analytics dashboard. You can gain insights into your audience demographics such as age, interests, profession, location, to name a few. Branding on social media is all about understanding and engaging with your audience based on their demographics, you can consciously build meaningful relationships.

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4. Customer Service

Social is the new front line, providing you the opportunity to actively listen for both positive and negative feedback.

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How Social Media can be used as a Lead Generation Tool

Companies employing lead generation strategies on social media are able to achieve better results throughout the funnel—building brand awareness and generating conversions, achieving better sales productivity, producing higher revenue growth, and creating a sense of community for advocates and followers.

1. Special Offers

Everyone loves freebies, so consider hosting a sweepstake or offering giveaways on social media networks. These types of campaigns are something people enjoy sharing on their social channels, and by including an entry form, you’ll have the opportunity to capture important lead data. At the end of the form, be sure to incorporate a way for entrants to share the offer via their social channels. This way, participants can spread the word with their community and with every mention, you’re able to continue building the relationship by engaging and acknowledging their posts.

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2. Polls and Surveys

Asking the audience of what they are about the most, is always the way ahead. Followers usually provide you with a wealth of knowledge, and polls offer a unique way for people to express their opinions. This is a amazing way to get feedback on how people are using your product, what their pain points are, and what they’d like to see on your roadmap. You can even offer incentives to increase the response rate.

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3. Refer-a-Friend

Referral campaigns can be a great way to engage your followers on new social media networks. Create compelling offers for both the referrer and the referees such as gift card or cash incentives. It might be the nudge your customers need to recommend you to their network.

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4. Discount Codes

Discount codes and flash deals are a great way to increase brand awareness and generate demand. By including a strong call-to-action and time constraint, you can create a sense of urgency for people to respond to your campaigns. Many consumer companies are adopting this as a way to combat skyrocketing cart abandonment rates, but it is also highly relevant in the B2B space as well.

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5. Promote Gated Content

Promoting gated content on social media is one of the easiest ways to generate leads. Social media is a great megaphone to get your content out in the world, and by developing posts that direct to landing page where users are prompted to fill out a form, you can generate new leads and nurture existing ones in your marketing database. One of the most critical components of this method is to ensure your social posts provide content that captures the interest of your followers.

6. Host a Tweet Chat or Live Stream

Going live is a great way to directly interact with your followers and engage with them in real-time. By answering questions, gathering feedback, and generating awareness about your products or services, live chats give you the opportunity to position your brand as an expert in the industry. You can also drive cross-channel traffic by directing participants to branded content, landing pages, and offerings.

7. Paid Social Ads

With recent updates to many social networks’ algorithms, advertising on social media platforms is becoming more important than ever. These updates are made to give users a better experience, so they’ll see less promotional content and more of the relevant content that they want to see. This means that, as a marketer, you’ll need to supplement your organic posts with paid promotion to get your posts seen.

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Conclusion

As social media marketers, it’s easy to focus on the content you share and growing your number of followers. But take a second to think about the connection between social media and your brand first. Prioritizing social media branding will help you connect with your target audience, be more strategic with your efforts and get better results.

 

Growth Marketer | Co-founder. Amol is Chief Growth Strategist at upGrowth. Different ways of lead generation, quick optimization tricks, and easy to implement growth hacks are his specialties. He loves to read and share his knowledge through training in free time.

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