One way to increase your tribe is to tap into the ever-expanding resource of social media. Nathan Chan shares his experience and knowledge on how to utilise social media in getting the right people into your business and in growing your reach exponentially.
Nathan Chan is the Publisher & Editor of Foundr Magazine, a digital magazine for young entrepreneurs on the App Store & Google Play store.
The internet is a rich repository of data, with almost all information available at the tip of your fingers. Moreover, with the boom of social media, with its reach constantly expanding in all directions, space and time are no longer an impediment to getting more and more people to know your brand.
During the Social Media Marketing for Startups Masters Series talk by WeTeachMe, Nathan Chan, Publisher and Editor of Foundr Magazine, shared how he used social media for his business. Although he built his business only 4 years ago, it already has over one million followers on Instagram.
Passionate about social media and lead generation, Nathan quips, “What I’m trying to do with Foundr is essentially build a household name, an entrepreneurial brand that produces the best content out there, to help early-stage startup founders, aspiring or novice-stage startup founders, or even experienced entrepreneurs.” One method to achieve that goal of becoming a household name is to tap into the immense power of social media.
However, according to Nathan, “likes and followers do not pay the bills”, which is why it is best to pay attention, first and foremost, on Return On Investments (ROI) and lead generation, which were discussed at the Social Media Marketing And Growth Hacking For Startups article. And whilst you are in the process of immersing yourself in mastering the social media ecosystem, do not lose sight of your bottom line and always bear in mind that this tool is used to help you grow your business and lead you towards your business goals.
Knowing Your Tribe and Keeping Them
In every business, it is vital that you are able to identify who you want to target. Some questions that you need to address would be:
- What are the types of people you want to attract?
- What is the profile of your market?
- Where can you find your tribe?
- Where do your customers or prospective customers hang out?
Social media can help you connect with your customers and prospects. Nathan did two things that helped him identify with their readers and constantly engage with them. One, he paid attention to his customers; and two, he delivered on his promise.
Pay attention to your customers and where they are coming from
When Foundr was in its initial stage, Nathan paid close attention to their early stage subscribers, learning more on what they liked the most or what they liked least in the magazine, therefore, enabling him to improve his product. He personally linked with them through Skype to ask them information like how they found out about the magazine. He also checked on Foundr’s Google Analytics to find out where the majority of their traffic is coming from. Then, he capitalized on those channels that generated leads for their magazine.
Find out where your customers and prospects are and reach out to them. Connect with them through email or social media and get their honest feedback that you can use in formulating your strategies and tactics on how you can keep them and make them remain loyal to your brand.
Deliver your brand promise
When Nathan started out with Foundr, he just did it as a hobby project. But as time went by, even when there were just only very few who read the first issues, he kept going. He continued doing what he was doing because he promised to produce a monthly magazine.
Whether you are starting out or already into your entrepreneurial journey or in the process of expanding your business, always do not lose focus on why you started your business in the first place. Bear in mind what your brand promise is in order to have your customers continually patronize your product or service.
Mastering the world of social media
With various new channels and platforms popping out every now and then, social media can often become intimidating, especially for someone who may not be passionate about social media or adept at it. Here are ways how you can familiarize yourself with this online sphere and break into its world.
Test one platform at a time
If you have zero or little knowledge about social media, one of the methods to master this is to look for people who are good in this area and learn from them. You don’t have to deluge yourself with a lot of information all at once. Focus on one channel at a time, then master it before you move on to the next.
Try as many platforms as possible
There are those who, when they master a channel or platform, stop at one and do not delve further into exploring other avenues. While a particular channel may work for you, like in Foundr’s case wherein they are a hit on Instagram, do not just rely on it. Social media is always evolving and it is constantly driven by trends. Try the various platforms and understand which among these channels drive the most traffic to your business.
Research on which one fits your business
“If you’re a B2B (business to business) then you might look into LinkedIn. If you’re more of a B2C, you will probably look into Instagram. Once you worked out those channels, do your own research,” Nathan suggests. There are tools, such as Google Analytics, that can provide you with data on your performance. Some of these platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, also have their own analytics that can give you data on your reach and engagement. Look into those numbers and see opportunities for growth hacking.
Come up with great content
The way to attract people and bring them in, to the point of getting them engaged to your brand, is to have great content on your social media channels. The internet is an immense source of remarkable content and if you just know how to navigate your way and search the good ones, you can find several ideas that you can include in your social media posts. You can develop a rule book for your every social media channel on what kind of content you will have for each.
Take note though, it is not enough that you find a good photo and post it there. You must not discount the fact that your content is cohesive to your brand and what you stand for. To do this, you have to post something that is:
– within your niche or related to your business or industry. Make sure that whatever you put out there points back to your brand. How would you relate a nice dress to your business if you are selling food? You have to place that connection in order for your readers not to be confused.
– appealing to your target audience. Think of your customer. Understand them and craft your content in a way that speaks to them and reaches out to their emotions, needs or wants. Videos are often more pleasing to netizens.
– aspirational. People like to linger in accounts that provide them with a positive feeling. Quotes and memes are often a hit, while aspirational products can also attract an audience.
– value-oriented. Make sure that you are providing some sort of value to your readers or followers, whether a solution to a problem or an answer to a need.
Schedule your posts
Nathan uses a tool called Meet Edgar that enables him to do regular posts for Foundr. Since each channel has different dynamics, posting frequency and scheduling can also vary from one platform to another. On Twitter, they post every half an hour. On Instagram, they share five to eight posts a day. For Facebook, posts come at twice or thrice a day. Also, as much as possible, have different contents for your various platforms so that you give a variety of experiences to your followers. Include in your rule book the frequency of posts per channel.
Avoid social media faux pas
Mistakes often happen, but they can sometimes be avoided. It was a valuable lesson for Nathan as he stumbled and committed a misstep which he had to correct in order to assuage some of his readers. Remember that in social media, there are several trolls lurking around and you wouldn’t want to attract them through a single error. Always check, edit and think before you click the “post” button on any of your channels. Better yet, test it first internally before you put it out to the public.
Using social media to have an edge in your industry
Once you have identified your tribe and mastered social media, you are now ready to move forward to getting more people engaged in your brand or business. You should know by now what ticks and what clicks for them. But with so many brands to follow and countless players in the social media field, how do you make yourself stand out from the crowd?
Conduct a competitive social media scan
It’s not enough that you just look into your followers. You also have to take a look at your competitors and how they are faring in social media. Learn from them as well. Find ways on how you can improve yours and how you can be different from the others, in a good way.
Get popular people on board
As a magazine business, cover stories are significant to Foundr’s readers, as well as to its followers. Nathan had to chase some personalities that can boost their brand’s image. “These individuals are some sort of authority in what you’re doing so people will take you seriously,” Nathan remarks. How to do this? These are what Nathan did to clinch him interviews with hard-to-reach people, the likes of Richard Branson, Tim Ferris, and Arianna Huffington.
1.) Write a letter. Formalize everything. This will legitimize your request.
2.) Find the gatekeeper. Track the head of PR or someone who can give you inroads to that person.
3.) Make that call. The best way to make a follow-through of your request is to talk to the person to make that appointment.
4.) Look for right place-right time situation. Opportunities do not just present itself, sometimes you have to look for it yourself or create one yourself.
Look for other opportunities
With social media’s growing landscape, there are several opportunities from different angles. For Nathan, he found an opportunity through Appstore SEO, which enabled Foundr to be among the top apps when searched in the Appstore.
Taking your social media marketing to the next level
With the tools handed out to you, you can now start looking into your strategies and tactics on how you can strengthen your brand’s image and expand your reach, both of which can contribute to your business growth.
Netizens can often be fickle. Others get into the follow-unfollow game. In order to maintain people into your social media channels, remember to:
- find ways to loop people back in
- focus on wow moments
- know your retention rate
- under-promise and overdeliver
- delight your customers and surprise them
Be visible social media-wise and be present online for your customers. Let them know you’re there, constantly reminding them of your online presence and engaging with them through social media posts. Most of all, it all comes down to a relationship. Social media is there to widen and deepen your relationship with your stakeholders. Use it to your advantage.