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Three ways startups are dominating at social media in 2014

(Social Media) Lean, mean, and technologically inclined, startups frequently utilize social media to increase their online presence and establish their brand identities.



How startups stand out

Startups are fascinating entities for numerous reasons. As new audiences learn about their products and services, they generate excitement and buzz simply because the startup is innovative and fresh.

Often lean, mean, and technologically inclined, startups frequently utilize social media to increase their online presence, engage with fans, and establish their brand identities. But with so many businesses fighting for attention, how do startups distinguish themselves on Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms?

The answer often lies in how they differentiate themselves from competitors. Most startups understand the importance of using visual components (such as videos, photos, and infographics), keywords, and relevant news topics to draw readers in and start conversations. However, what they lack are distinct, magnetic personalities that keep people interested.

>What’s Changing in Social Media?

In 2014, more users than ever populate the ranks of social media sites. With so much noise clogging each individual’s Facebook Timeline, Twitter Feed, or other social media page, users quickly become jaded and uninterested at blatant attempts to “market at” them. The nature of social networks makes it easy for users to delete, unfriend, or ignore accounts they find annoying or boring.

This reality makes it more important than ever for startups to employ fresh, sincere, and engaging social content with high shareability and viral potential. Posts, pictures, and links should go beyond telling the viewer about a product or service, they should tell a story about the human beings behind the business.

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The most successful users on Twitter, Facebook, and beyond understand this – or their personalities are simply so engaging that they can’t help but gather followers. Either way, the social media winners of 2014 are those who use their innate humor, innovation, and interests to draw readers in. They attract people by sharing genuinely fascinating and entertaining content, not by pressuring readers to buy their product right away.

Ways People and Businesses are Making a Splash on Social Media in 2014

3 Ways Startups are Dominating Social Media in 2014
Recently, a vast array of personalities and brands have found success on social media, each by integrating clever marketing strategies into their own unique personalities. Although their methods have varied greatly, their results have been the same: increased online popularity and engagement.

To emulate the savviest social media users, take into account these considerations:

1. Be audacious.

Entrepreneurship is not for the timid, nor is social media. Brands that gain the most supporters are those with the confidence to represent their product boldly and honestly. Although audacious messaging may evoke strong negative emotions in the occasional viewer, it will also likely produce even more positive reactions!

Consider the now-notorious Zack “Danger” Brown, known for his $10 potato salad Kickstarter campaign. Although social and news media alike raised a chorus of ridicule regarding his pursuit, over 6,500 individuals donated to the campaign. Brown now has $52,981 with which to make his potato salad, whereas those without the audacity to ask continue to have nothing.

Oreo’s famous Super Bowl Tweet, is another prime example of being not only audacious, but combining that with perfect timing.

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2. Share events and locations.

Startups engaging with customers on Twitter can expect high numbers of followers and retweets if they use the platform to communicate “exclusive” information, such as upcoming events or appearances. This works especially well for traveling businesses, such as food trucks or musicians.

A recent compelling example is the San Diego Comic-Con, whose organizers relentlessly tweeted details regarding which events would take place and where. Followers received real-time updates to help them decide which sessions to attend and where to find their favorite industry personalities. The event may be over now, but they’ve likely gained a loyal army of long-term followers.

3. Create collaboration.

Social media users love to feel as though they’re part of something; this is why user-generated social media campaigns draw so much attention. Participants benefit from seeing their ideas used and companies benefit from greater engagement with their followers; everyone wins.

Recently incorporating this philosophy were singer Emeli Sandé and carmaker Jaguar, who collaborated on a social media campaign where users submitted sounds, words, or photos to evoke the sensation of “exhilaration.” Using the hashtag #FeelXE, they sought to engender creativity while promoting the Jaguar XE.

In 2014, building a compelling social media strategy requires more than “going through the motions.” Startups wishing to establish a strong social media presence must develop a fearless and multifaceted approach in which they share their personalities, present useful information, and include followers in their successes.

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How has your startup leveraged its unique qualities to become a social media knockout?

Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. When he's not consulting, glued to a headset, he's working on one of his many business projects. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.



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