27 September 2010 17 Comments

Brands: how to build a start up through social marketing

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps Profits and Non-profits with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals

Start up Entrepreneurssmall business brandingSocial media is no longer used by individuals to stay in touch or to stay connected. Starts up entrepreneurs are now seeking the opportunities in social media to expose their services to target through social marketing. Many are getting it right while many are losing it big times. This is because they do not understand the rules that will help them keep their reputations at the touchline of the game.

Social media today helps everyone to demonstrate his/her expertise, create trust and build credibility for any service. But users need to constantly demonstrate act of giving, caring. Those who eschew giving and follow the part of hoarding do not have a chance of survival today. Interestingly, they are the ones that lose out. The information they are hoarding is everywhere now with the click of few buttons.

To benefit from social media marketing, all an individual start up needs is the ability to package an idea that solves a problem for a specific target audience. Then, identify where those targets are in the plethora social media landscape there is also a need to properly position the idea so much that the targets are fully briefed. Not that alone, start ups must build emotional attachment to the idea.

To benefit from social marketing, start ups must understand what Michael Fruchter calls the five C’s of social media. Never forget that what you are trying to achieve is word of mouth advantage. So ability to build conversation around the idea will get your start ups far ahead than broadcasting monologue. Social marketing is all about building two-way communication. Be ready to answer question, love people out there and give a personal touch to the answers you are giving.

To be successful also you need to be part of a community or you build one. The community should not be a place where your word is the final or where your opinions can not be constructively criticized.

Also learn to make meaningful contributions to other communities that are influential and relevant to your target. Over times, some of the targets will notice your contributions and comments in solving issues and they will be ready to patronize you. If it is also possible learn to contribute to credible offline media to enhance visibility. Don’t forget that you need to set long time goals in case you do not get instant ROI. It will first come in trickle and then you will hit the gusher.

To get the best in your social media marketing, do not overlook the possibility of collaboration that are healthy and can enhance your business visibility. Care must be taken though through adequate background check of those you want to collaborate with. Remember your brand reputation is important as a start up. In doing all these do not forget that you need a central hub where you can direct all the potentials to. No matter how small, have a web-blog that says much about you and your idea. Keep the content fresh. Build expectation in the hearts of your audience with regards to a specific time, day of the week. If you have a platform that is abandoned, most online users assume you are either dead or you are no longer passionate about the idea.

Lastly do not be a spammer. It hurts more than anything.

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