I have been around startups in Ireland ever since I left college. This includes being involved at the very beginning of a business to ones who have gotten through those tough first few years.
One thing that I have seen evolve is how they can harness social media for the better of their business. Using three business example’s I will show how startups regardless of what stage they are at can harness social media to help their business.
These three businesses are:
- Trustev Anti Fraud
- Soundwave Mobile Music
- OnePage CRM
Trustev Anti Fraud Software – Pat Phelan as the face of the business
Trustev is a leading provider of anti-fraud software for eCommerce websites. Their system analyses online consumers behaviour and transactions and gives an instant decision of whether they are trustworthy or not. After going through their social media portfolio, the one thing that stood out to me was how Pat Phelan (Trustev CEO) was the face of the business online. He appears numerous times on their Twitter feed alongside articles about trending news in the world of tech. Their feed also includes
- Fraud articles
- Behind the scenes (a real good tactic as it makes the business appear more human)]
- New jobs
- Features on Pat Phelan
They have also harnessed Instagram in a real interesting way by showing the business on a global stage through the power of coffee cups, they REALLY like their coffee cups.
With their LinkedIn company page the key here is to use the employees to help spread word. The business page may be at the centre but its the people around the business that are the important profiles on LinkedIn.
Overall the key takeaways for Startups from Trustev are:
- Have one person as the face of the business
- Use Instagram in a unique way
- Your employees and their activity are the most important thing on LinkedIn
Soundwave – Music as a movement
Soundwave is a smartphone business that tracks what songs people are listening to on their phones and where in real time. The biggest thing that stood out to me was how they harnessed music and the lifestyle around it. Music can be a very personal thing for people, everyone has their own tastes and preferences. Soundwaves Twitter and Facebook profiles are a nice mix of:
- Music News
- Discover new music
- Tech news around music and mobiles (the iWatch)
- News features for Soundwave such as an interview with CEO Brendan O’Driscoll
- The music lifestyle
The most interesting part was how Soundwave looks to tap into user generated content. They did a blog on the top users and their music preferences. This helps to give their profiles a personal touch and shows that they are in sync with the interests of followers and users.
— Soundwave (@soundwave) May 20, 2015
As well as this Soundwave have also tapped into the power of live concerts. Everyone has an experience of being at a terrific concert and very often it is associated with strong emotions. Soundwave created a really smart story wall showing the behind the scenes of the concert that blended their own Tweets and pictures with that of people who attended as well. For me this was a great idea as instead of talking to their users they were talking with them.
The key takeaways for Startups from Soundwave are:
- Harness user generated content where possible
- Use your social media profiles to create a unique lifestyle image
- Speak with rather than to people
OnePageCRM – Provide people with value
OnePageCRM provides simple online sales CRM for small businesses. They have used their social profiles to provide customers with only value but they have also used it for research as well as CRM itself. Their Facebook feed has a nice mix of articles that deal with a variety of business topics ranging from
- Advice for Customer Follow Up
- The best times of day for peak productivity
- The secrets of making the most of your morning
If there was two areas that really stood out to me were:
- How they are able to harness the power of Twitters search bar to find people who are looking for help by simply looking for CRM and #CRM. This is an oh so simple way to harness a tool that in my opinion is up there with Google for usefulness to a business.
- OnepageCRM Support Team Profile on LinkedIn – This is a real smart way to make the most of LinkedIn. Instead of using just the business page for CRM services they created a support team personal profile. It allows them to harness all the tools available to a personal profile that isn’t available to a business profile. Put simply you can use this to mine down and get the most out of LinkedIn
The key things I would take away from OnePageCRM are
- Provide value to users
- Harness the power of Twitter for research
- Use LinkedIns personal profile feature for the business.
Other tools that Startups can use
While these Startups have been able to harness the power of some of the more well known networks there are also some other online tools that can be used not only for social networking but also research and marketing
- Surveymonkey – Most businesses have heard of this easy to use tool. This service is free for up to eight questions so make sure to use them wisely. You can use this tool to find out customer satisfaction or even to create focus groups for potential new ideas. It is a great tool that help you with getting the most important info, customer research.
- Mailchimp – Mailchimp is great if you have a database of customers or potential customers and you want to get the word out to them about news, events and offers you may have. Using the analytics you can then determine what works and what doesn’t in your newsletter so that the next time you can provide people with info that will get their attention and get them to click through to your website.
BlueChief Socials Top Three Tips
The examples above have shown the wide number of ways you can use social media for startups. If there was three tips we here at BlueChief Social would give it would be:
- Dont put your eggs all in one basket, use a couple of different networks
- Use social media to conduct research on current trends as well as on potential customers and even competitors
- Put up information that will help create a strong image for your business – While Trustev have done this through having Pat Phelan as the face of the business Soundwave have done this through tapping into peoples emotions when it comes to music.
These are three things that startups can start working on straight away so that they can develop their social media channels to become a great tool to create a stong brand identity as well as a channel to interact and connect with customers. If you have any questions please leave a comment below. If you want to find out about what BlueChief Social can do for you then please check out our services page.