Having courage, a thick skin, and good timing are great requirements for small start-ups. However, you need more if you want to be informed and make a lasting impression on potential customers.
You read articles constantly. It could be daily. Weekly. Dozens of articles a day. If you are following success stories of entrepreneurs and start-ups, you will notice that they are employing social media channels to help give them an edge.
For example, Divas SnowGear was started by Wendy Gavinski. Her company uses Facebook to drive traffic to their site.
Contiki Tours launched the #NOREGRETS campaign and used social monitoring to track their successes.
There are lots of stories like this…
Since you can’t go at it alone with zero tools at your disposal – you will need to employ monitoring on social media channels because they will give you valuable insight.
You will know more about business opportunities, your competitors, and your online presence. Here are some tools to try out if you are serious about staying in business.
Social listening tools work while you sleep
Your website is up. Great! You’ve probably got a few social media accounts like Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook. Great! Even while you sleep or when you take a moment to brew that fresh cup of joe, real conversations are taking place. Have you missed out on that idea for a new pitch? Perhaps it’s a potential customer tweeting about how they could use a service like yours.
You can’t catch everything being said; but you can listen to some of the chatter out there. Filter it… Sort it… You can find important information in conversations that can help you increase your visibility.
Use social monitoring tools to get a feel for what’s being said online. Some tools are actually free like Google Alerts and Social Mention. There are other tools that are quite affordable for a small start-up.
Try before you buy
Tools like Hootsuite and Moz offer a trial for a limited time. If you are curious and need to evaluate features and benefits, sign up for a trial.
DIY social listening on the cheap
If you tweet, you can easily employ Twitter’s advanced search to listen to the valuable chatter online. Performing a search is a smart way to get answers to your questions. As an experiment, grab paper and a pen. Write down three questions you would like to know or that could give you insight about your business. Here are some examples:
Are there any companies that I could partner with to help me succeed?
Try search terms like “partner,” “partnered,” or “partnered with”
What grand openings are occurring in a 15-mile range?
Try “grand opening” near:”Atlanta, GA” within:15mi
What is trending that may be applicable to my business?
Use hashtags. However, many tools exist that show what’s trending. In fact, Twitter already has this built-in and comes in handy on mobile devices.
I’d love to hear what you are using for social monitoring. Post a question. Leave a comment. Share the article with your peers.