Startups, Are you going the Social Media Way?

By Team YS|2nd Nov 2011
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Social Media Startups

Funny are the ways of being, some think it’s Twitter and others it’s just Facebooking.While my first blog post was a run down on how to go the PR way, this time around, I will be talking about few things that one needs to realize before pitching in Social Media. Unfortunately, Social Media is considered as one of the most inexpensive way due to its lower economic cost. Unfortunate! Yes, that’s what I think. The reason: Time is money and the amount spent on social media overtakes any other medium. How do I know this? Well, there was a time when I was handling three simultaneously singlehandedly and was about to experience a breakdown #Nostalgia . But we Startups are in a better position now. We work for ourselves, have our own product and want to do what’s good for us. So let’s start . Few pointers - what matters and and some which don’t:

Basic Knowledge: I know we all are technically sound people but do we really know what our users or prospective clients want? Which platforms they prefer to visit to listen and where do they mouth their thoughts? So do we? If not. Time to do a background check. Only once we are clear should we choose the place we want to build our identity.

Do you know Social Media is to be social but not a place to sell: My first major pitch, the spokesperson asked us: How many products can we promise him to sell? My answer: How much does your advertising agency promise? He had no answer. Keep one thing in mind. If you pull it, you get it. Also, what you are trying to create is a gateway to showcase your product and an impression that it is reachable. Thing to remember: Nothing works out in a day. It’s not a sales pitch but a reputation pitch.

Are you ready to listen? There is an immense amount of communication pertaining to you/ your brand or your industry and it’s all THERE. Are you listening to it. Do you know what people do not like or something they simply love? (P.S I am not talking about the various questionnaires/ surveys companies usually take refuge to). It’s important to listen. Only speaking and not listening, doesn’t work. The funda is same “No touching only seeing” from Himesh Reshammiya’s new film but that is just for a certain period only. Once you think you are ready to dive, just go ahead. Though before that, sit back, listen and ponder. From a personal experience, we actually managed to retain a big client. All thanks to something good being said about our online initiative on a completely different portal!

It’s not free: Great if you want to do it internally. But just remember you are not saving money. Let’s do a small checker: One person will be allotted to handle it. You have to advertise from time to time to get the right kind of viewers. (Hope you guys have heard about EdgeRank if you are planning on going the Facebook way?). There is an extra cost to personalizing the tabs, and the background. In short Creative, Execution and Time cost! Are you ready to shell out money then? If the answer is yes, then you better not wait

Online is part offline: Never ever think, you can be socially active by just being online. You are planning on becoming a brand and not just a random account. How good is your relationship with your influencers? In short, people, bloggers who you meet mostly OFFLINE. Are they happy with your brand and are they going to talk about you? If yes, you are ready to roll.

Strategy: I know, I know it should be the most important factor. But frankly, I think there is a three way process that needs to follow.

Prepare

Activate

Engage

You need to prepare the ground work. The time you are going to spend deciding who is the right resource and what is the approximate budget. Once this is done you will be jumping into the activation act, where you will start experimenting to see what works and what doesn’t and lastly when you have created a comfort zone, you are ready to Engage :)

That’s all for this time, and I know, the pointers may sound pretty generic but are essential to think and to help introspect. From next Post onwards, I shall be shedding light on each point with examples and sharing how do we usually build up various strategies. Would love to hear from you guys, who are planning on going the Social Media/PR way. May be the future posts will be created out of how your particular startups should work? Think about it .

You can contact her via her Twitter handle @shaakunsethi or mail her at shknsethi@gmail.com

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