We were honored to be joined by an amazing founder friend of ours for a webinar this week. Tara McNulty is the founder of Shoot, an awesome contact sharing mobile app that is so much more efficient than carrying around a pack of business cards (which, as she shared in the presentation, often get thrown away).
Tara shared her experience trying to build a brand from scratch and acquire first time users for her app, all while working with a limited budget and limited time. Anyone running a business on their own, or with a small team, will find her time saving tips and execution strategy especially useful.
You can watch a recording of the webinar here.
You can also find the presentation deck about how to build a brand as a slideshare here.
In the presentation, we also shared five steps that any startup can follow to begin building a sustainable brand on social media.
1. Establish a consistent style
As you begin to build a company, you’re likely thinking about your product market fit. Take this one step further and identify how your product and brand stand out in that market. Identifying your voice and your visual brand at this stage will help you develop a consistent style you can distribute across every platform.
Think of your marketing and social media presence as a promise to your audience. You are telling them who you are and what they can expect to see from you in the future. Deliver on that promise with consistency of voice, imagery, and content.
2. Choose Channels Based on Your Audience
If you try to be everywhere and speak to everyone, you will end up talking to yourself. Spend the time getting to know your target audience. Study their behavior online. Where do they share; where do they have conversations? What are they interested in? Pay attention to their style of language and content shared.
Check out these 10 tools you can use to get to know your audience on social media.
Then decide which channels or social networks make sense for the audience you are trying to reach. For example, if you are targeting teens and twenty-somethings, you might find they are most active on Tumblr, so you should concentrate on building a brand and voice there.
3. Imitate and Curate
It’s kind of an open secret that everyone is imitating everyone else on social media. Sometimes we call it curation. This isn’t really copying, but directly sharing content from others that you like or that you know your audience will enjoy. This is a great strategy to keep a steady stream of content coming into your social profiles without spending too much time creating original content. It’s also a great way to attract new users and build your brand, because every time you share something from someone else, more people will see your profile and you are likely to inspire other people to share your content.
When you create content of your own, first of all make sure it’s visual, and secondly, take inspiration from successful users. Pay attention to influencers and the style of content that gets the most engagement. You can use a tool like Buzzsumo to identify the most popular content around specific keywords. Then create something of your own, that is connected to your brand and voice, that is similar.
4. Add Value and Start A Conversation
No one will want to get to know the person who walks into a room of strangers and starts shouting. Sending out your content onto any social network without engaging with the community has the same effect. Don’t be that guy.
Instead, pay attention to the conversations that are already happening. What can you add that is unique and valuable. Don’t be afraid to be bold and provocative. Is there a unique point of view that you can contribute? Start a conversation. Reply to influencers and other businesses in the space and get people talking. Then listen and pay attention to the conversation and consistently engage.
5. Build Momentum
One of the most powerful ways a startup can use social media is to build momentum. Don’t give everything away at once. Use social media to build anticipation for your next release or launch. Give previews and share unique information consistently overtime to peak your audience’s interest.
Customer testimonials are another great way to continue the momentum. Share imagery and examples of people using your product or service in the real world. Did someone do something you didn’t expect? Will your product interact with another brand? Tag them too.
Most importantly, whatever you do, be consistent.
We’d love to hear what else has worked for you as you build your brand on social media. Comment below or tweet at us with your ideas!
Director of Marketing @ Viraltag