Sunday 22 April 2018

Friday Five: Social Media Lessons from Startups

Many big brands produce stellar campaigns, but it is as important for marketers to keep an eye on the little guys – the startups – who are operating fantastic marketing campaigns, often with tight budgets. Startups have been leveraging social media by engaging with early adopters and building thriving online communities, and many startups are finding ways to set themselves apart from the crowd. This week’s Friday5 examines five startups using social media to create excellent brand value.

1. Evernote

Evernote, a cloud-based note-taking software, has quickly ascended through the startup ranks since its beta launch in 2008. Evernote’s Facebook Page is an example of a startup using content and custom tabs to build community. The Evernote Podcast provides more technical content, while other posts leverage lifestyle content, like how to plan a weekend getaway, to engage with casual. Fans can submit feedback and questions through the VYou Tab, and be notified via email when their question has been answered. Evernote’s Welcome Tab contains a button to download Evernote desktop software, an embedded video demonstrating Evernote, and links to more product information.

Insight: Create content relevant to the brand for multiple audiences, not just early adopters.

2. Crowdbooster

Crowdbooster is a social media analytics platform with community managers who maintain an impressive track record of monitoring the social web for discussions related to a product. Mention the startup on Twitter and you’re bound to get a response/retweet from one of three co-founders/community managers within 15 minutes. The co-founders diligently comment on blog posts about Crowdbooster. By honoring the fans who discuss Crowdbooster, the co-founders make each user feel special and appreciated, thus building brand loyalty.

Insight: Speedy and transparent responses to customer inquiries can build a brand’s credibility and enhance the trust people have in it.

3. Uber

Uber, a mobile-activated car-request service, could be the best thing to happen to the taxi/cab world since in-vehicle electronic credit card machines. Because its business is, by nature, location-specific, Uber wisely created @Uber_SF and @Uber_NYC – allowing users to get updates about their city in real time. The main @Uber account posts with a whimsical tone fit for its audience, and always dishes out plenty of retweet love to its loyal followers. (For now, Uber operates in select markets only.)

Insight: Local relevance trumps all online, particularly if a business’s offering is local in nature.

4. Airbnb

Airbnb, a startup that allows you to rent unique spaces around the world, has been growing at an astonishing pace. Airbnb immediately responds to customer complaints and support issues posted on Twitter and Facebook. They take the conversation offline to deliver superior personal support, but close the customer support loop on the original social channel. Airbnb’s use of social media to create a closed-circuit customer service loop has won them thousands of fans and is scalable for bigger businesses.

Insight: Online customer service is a must for brands dealing in personalized experiences and substantial investments such as travel and lodging.

5. Gist

Gist is a contact management startup from Seattle that understands that some consumers have reservations about speaking to a brand online. Therefore, Gist created branded personal accounts on Twitter for @GregAtGist and @RobertAtGist who scour the web for mentions of Gist, personally replying to users. By attaching names to the beginning of the Twitter accounts, Gist becomes a more friendly and approachable brand, which can ease the customer service process.

Insight: If people are at the core of a business, as they typically are, it is important to have personalized and friendly online customer service representatives.


Which startups do you enjoy engaging with online? Do you know of any other social media lessons we can learn from startups?


Image credit: dierken

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