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Social media in today’s day and age is an excellent platform for brands to showcase their unique identity and values. By incorporating their USP and culture into their social media content, businesses can create a powerful and authentic connection with their audience. The 2019 ‘Connected Leadership’ study by the Brunswick Group, surveyed 2,047 full and part-time U.S. workers of companies with more than 1,000 employees and showed that 65 per cent said it is important for CEOs to actively communicate about their companies online. The study also showed that 60 per cent of employees check the social media accounts of executives before accepting a job offer. To put this simply, one out of two employees prefer to work for CEOs with a social media presence and over half of all CEOs aren’t active on a single social media account.
Frankly, what a missed opportunity, Sanjay Kaushik, Managing Director of Netrika Consulting said, “The primary focus of businesses on social media should be to build and maintain relationships with their customers.” This needs to start at the top of the chain. Leading by example to set the ethos of the brand and company work culture can be the best advice for any founder. For similar great pieces of advice, we spoke to eight founders to understand ways other founders can tackle the social media space.
1. The Primary Focus
The primary focus of businesses on social media should be to build relationships with their target audience by creating content that is relatable and engaging in a way that helps in gaining trust which in turn leads to loyalty. It is very important to develop a sense of community in your audience. Keeping this in mind, Karan Khatri, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Mainstreet Marketplace shared, “The ultimate goal is to market the product/services but to drive traffic to all channels of the business.” Social media is not just a marketing tool, it is more like an arm of your business without which you cannot serve your audience better to create the right brand image. Founders should also focus on the content they shared, more importantly, “Content that is an actual extension of the business, whatever expertise or insights that the founder has with respect to the business that they are building on a daily basis,” says Ayush Shukla, Founder of Finnet Media. A prime example according to Vijay Nihalchandani, Founder of Travinities is TATA Products, “The powerful brand and trust of Ratan Tata is what drives me to make my purchase.”
2. Finding Your Right Audience
The only way to find the right audience is to get out there and try. Viraj Sheth, the CEO and Founder, of Monk Entertainment shared how early on in the business he and his co-founder Ranveer Allahbadia (aka BeerBiceps) decided to have a distinctive and individual presence on social media. “Personally for me, video-based content was not a good fit as I was not so comfortable but Twitter was a good way for me to share my observations and thoughts. In my office, I am known to tweet about experiences and interactions I have with people and surprisingly these are the tweets that went viral. So it just goes to show how your content makes an audience for you.” on the other hand for a more traditional approach, Dr Somdutta Singh, Founder and CEO of Assiduous Global shared, “Combining market research, analytics, and advertising can find the right audience on social media and effectively help engage with them to build and grow your business.” Once you have identified this target audience, you can create content and marketing campaigns that are tailored to their interests and preferences. Veena Ashiya, CEO and Founder of Monrow Shoes suggests a good way to go around this is “By listening to customer feedback and analyzing customer data, companies can continuously refine their marketing strategies.”
3. Some Handy Tools
Saheli Chatterjee, Marketing Strategist and Founder of Freelance 101 Academy highly recommends using “Hubspot, Swiped.co, ReallyGoodEmails andTwemex. for multiple platforms but I do not recommend scheduling or automation tools since in my experience it hurts organic reach.” Some more tools include Canva to leverage an array of templates to create beautiful content, Hootsuite in case you need to schedule posts and Brandwatch which is a social listening and analytics tool that allows businesses to monitor social media conversations, news, blogs, and forums in real-time. Other tools like BuzzSumo can be used to identify the most popular content in your industry and analyse the performance of your own content. It is important to bear in mind that our audience tells us what they feel, like, and dislike as we are always taking feedback.
4. A final Tip
Parth Shah, Co-Founder of Pitchvilla explained that “We work on creating a value ecosystem we don’t only focus on getting customers out of our content we focus on creating a chain of multiple networks which are curious about exploring the side of our business.” “Always remember to never do anything to be famous, funny or make money, instead focus on building a bunch of curious audiences who want to see you grow and they will get you business,” he added. Building a strong relationship with your audience can foster brand loyalty and create a community around your brand. For this to take shape, consistency is the key. Having a schedule and providing what the audience needs is the right mix to tackle the space. The struggle is to get this in the right permutation and combination. Hence it comes down to trial and error but being consistent will give you more chances to crack it sooner. So consistency is the key.