Working in a tech startup, you probably have a massive potential audience on social media. If you (or your competitors) have generated any traction at all, people are likely tweeting, blogging or otherwise pontificating on your topic.
Why is that great? well there are many reasons why this can be a boon, here are just a few:
- Get feedback on your product direct from customers
- Engage influencers by making friends
- Manage Reputation by listening for negative mentions
- Find and Amplify positive mentions of your brand
- Spot Content trends in what people are looking for and supply
- Be alerted to Competitor activities (business intelligence)
Thats 6 reasons to be using Social. If you are not at least monitoring social you are missing a huge part of what it means to be a modern digital marketing pro.
Social is a time Vampire
Beware; social media will take over your BUA (Business as Usual) if you let it. I can happily spend my whole day engaging every last person online to EARN some traffic, which is probably not the best use of my time as someone trying to grow autonomous signup streams as fast as possible. Plus as we see in my Hulo Werld post there are about 1,000 other jobs i need to be doing too.
So here is my technique for the moment:
- Selectively Engage
Monitor Social and Web
Listening carefully and you can filter out the high noise to signal ratio of web and social chatter. The key is to focus. Focus on the high value topics, competitors and keywords you NEED to be aware of, set a limit and stick to it.
Google Alerts used to be an industry staple, sadly now it is dead. However you can replace it and improve on it using two free tools:
Both of these tools do a similar job but tend to return different results now and again. Its nice to use the both to belt and braces your listening coverage, and/or to listen for a wider range of keywords. They simply trawl the web for mentions of the things you want to know about and high light them to you.
React and selectively engage
Mention brings back quality results which I find easy to then filter and react to by creating a task to follow up, or by just replying then and there with social integration. Its important at this stage to be selective about what you choose to react to, and who you choose to engage. If you doubt as to who you should engage with, there are plenty of social profile measuring tools out there like follower wonk, that will let you search for and analyse twitter profiles. You could always go with your gut, and just see if you think a person is are worth engaging, remember its not always just about big follower numbers, you should aim to target influential people specifically within your niche.
Automating your listening is one thing, but automating your broadcasting is another altogether. Many tools out there (some native to the platform) will let you schedule or delay messages. This can be a powerful tool, especially if you like to sleep at night and still have a social presence; remember social is very timely – if you didn’t post in the same hour as the person who logged in, you probably missed them.
There are other tools like paper.li which will even make the content for you. However Brands beware, if you let go of control of your output into the web, you may just get stung.
Another way to keep your content in front of people is to promote your posts, tweets, statuses, updates etc via paid platforms. Social advertising is worth at least a test; try to calculate you current CPA (cost per acquisition) and test £50 on ads.twitter.com. Be remember though you are working at the top of the funnel usually with social, so your success metric will likely be laggy or indirectly driving conversion, so check out attribution modeling or goal paths in GA.
I hope you get some ideas about how to tame social media via this basic frame work, it seems to work for me, but as with anything in digital marketing you need a diagnostic mindset, so don’t just copy me, try some other stuff too.