To get noticed and rise above the noise is a tricky thing. Even more so, because your product is most likely neither Unique, Revolutionary nor Groundbreaking, thus by default won’t get any media attention. Entering social media and social networks where one can practically reach anyone instead of “sucking up” to traditional media to get coverage, might therefore sound like a great alternative. At least that’s what you think. Welcome confusion. Welcome silence.
On social networks one will be bursting into people’s living rooms and interrupting their private conversations, whatever the day’s topic might be. The only comforting knowledge you have as a unknown startup, is that it’s practically same for everyone, even for big brands like Mercedes Benz. One has to earn its place in the conversation. There’s no magic sauce.
But, just because media representatives are hanging out on social networks like Twitter, seemingly approachable and available, doesn’t mean you can just jump on them. If you’re going to make “cold calls”, you better have more than a great story.
The 80/20 In Social Media
“80% of success is about showing up” is a quote by Woody Allen, and the 80/20 rule applies greatly even in social media. In social media it takes practically no time to sign up on all social networks and services available, but to choose which ones to sign up to, start making those conversation and create content becomes the real challenge and time consuming part. A task you’ll never be finished with, so arguably it could even be called 90/10 rule. It’s an ongoing process, a continuous conversation. There is no Big Break, it’s about consistency.
Social networks are great places to create relationships, so instead of treating social media as another media channel, see it as human behaviour. It’s no fun being around people who love to hear their own voice and talk about themselves, right?
How Earn Your Place In Conversation And Start Create Relationships?
- Listen, both to your customers and what’s said about your company in social media.
- Be helpful, be a person. Remember to Thank!
- Share and Contribute.
- Embrace others, most importantly your fans, ambassadors and customers.
- Use social media as your customer service. There’s no better PR for your startup than happy customers. Ask Zappos.
If creating relationships on social networks and engaging in conversations with your customers feels tough, this is what you’re up against: The life of a PR by Steve O’Hear, TechCrunch Europe. Still the single most brilliant piece on media relations.
Ps. I also had the pleasure to share the programme with Jennifer Hicks, founder of global digital PR agency ink Communications, and communication professional extraordinaire. Most of all, Jennifer is an absolute darling. Check out her presentation Smart Communications.
Paula is Digital Product Advisor and Top 100 Women in Tech in Europe, focusing on Mobile only (first) products, and Go-to-market and Internationalization strategies. She has to date mentored over 150 digital technology companies, and rated as one of the very best startup mentors in Europe. Contact Paula to help your company grow its digital business. Read more about her work, connect @Twitter, @LinkedIn. “You never learn anything when you speak, only when you listen” – Roelof Botha / Douglas Leone, Sequoia Capital
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