The early days of a startup are iterative. Perfecting a product requires much testing and insight from your user base. To navigate these early days successfully, you’ll need data. Therefore, social media communities are essential for startups. An active, engaged community is perfect for receiving feedback and learning their needs. With a social media community, you gain information that makes your product better.
Communities gives users a sense of agency with the startup. They also propel a startup’s growth. This in turn gives startups a competitive advantage.
HOW COMMUNITY SPURS GROWTH
A Startup Social Media Community Encourages Evangelism
By tapping into an enthusiastic group, you build up a culture of brand evangelists and ambassadors. These users drum up buzz and excitement for your brand across the internet. With a community of evangelists, your startup becomes a full-fledged movement.
Social Media Communities Welcome Newcomers
Startups may use their communities as a support networks to troubleshoot for new users. This offsets the troubleshooting load for a small startup team. As a bonus, especially helpful users will feel more connected to the brand. This group may also provide essential reviews and testimonials.
A Strong Social Media Community = Competitive Advantage
Let’s say your startup is making waves, and competition emerges. It’s easy to copy product features. On the other hand, replicating community is a whole different story. If you’ve built a loyal social media startup community, its users will stick up for your company. This gives you an advantage over competition.
WHERE TO START BUILDING FANS
Choose the Right Social Platform
Because no one social network is king, you should develop a multi-channel approach. That said, it’s best to pick 2 or 3 platforms to focus on when starting out.
This doesn’t need to be a difficult decision. A fashion brand, for example, would find a natural fit on visually focused Instagram. Grow your base on your 2 or 3 platforms of choice. Once you’ve mastered those, extend to more.
Use Your Social Media Community to Teach
Setting up a how-to channel helps newcomers feel welcome. It also provides a place for your group to share tips with one another. You can begin by writing tutorials to help users understand your product. Invite others to share their stories and how-to’s. A collaborative group empowers your customers.
If you want an example of such a community, check out the Pebble subreddit on Reddit. Here, customers and Pebble employees help each other out with the company’s products. They continue to do so long after the company was acquired by Fitbit.
Start Discussion in a Social Community by Facilitating It
Ideally, you want a group that sustains itself with a base of users producing helpful and engaging content for one another. First, you need to get the ball rolling by posting content of your own. Begin by focusing on the startup’s core values. Once you’ve shown how your brand sees things, encourage others to jump in!
Don’t Shy Away from Conflict
Remember the old Mac vs PC debate (or, more recently, the Android vs iOS one)? A bit of friendly rivalry does a lot to spur community growth. Allow your supporters to express their love for your brand authentically. So long as discussion fits within core startup values, the community may be motivated by competition and propel growth.
Keep Your Fans Safe
We all want a thriving social media startup community, but it comes at a cost. A lot of activity means a lot of discussion to moderate. It can be difficult for new businesses to moderate a startup community on social media. Thankfully, with the right tools, you can keep your fans safe more easily.
Smart Moderation is a tool that automatically detects and erases problematic language within the minute it’s posted. With sophisticated machine learning, your team can ensure a safe, welcoming group without any extra workload. The tool works across multiple platforms, and requires no coding knowledge or experience. Check out what sets it apart from other tools here, and learn how you can build an awesome group for a startup!