Inbound marketing makes social media a very powerful tool. And while it can be a daunting task to power through endless tweeting, blogging, gramming, and facebooking, it is all done in the hopes of building brand awareness from the ground up. Unfortunately, sometimes that means playing the waiting game. According to Veronica del Rosario, Head of Marketing at THINX
, a MassChallenge alum, inbound marketing is always a long lead strategy.
Veronica has a lot of insight on the matter, considering THINXs marketing campaign went viral after their launch in 2013. Like most young companies lacking in marketing funds, she first turned to inbound marketing. It is meaningful to mention though that, as Veronica said, [their] core business and what [theyre] doing is what got real attention, not some hashtag or gimmick.
Quality Over Quantity
Instead of trying to jump on the bandwagon with trends or post clickbaity things that you think people might click on, the content posted on social media needs to be of a higher quality. Create content that's true to who you are as a company. It has to be authentic, says Del Rosario.
If a company tweets something that is relevant and thoughtful, more people are likely to click to find out more because they will be genuinely interested.
Dont Be Afraid to Make Waves
According to Veronica, one of the other main mistakes a marketing team can make on social media activity is staying neutral. Staying neutral on issues makes for a sad and lifeless media presence. Marketing is all about staying relevant. To stay relevant one has to be up to date on the happenings of your ecosystem and your industry. If you're going to be talking about what's going on, you have to take a stance on it. Otherwise, what are you really offering followers?
You're not giving them anything to react or respond to, and you're not providing a channel for discussion. The double edged sword of that then is you run the risk of turning a fan or two into haters, but the losses you suffer by engaging people are worth it compared to the opportunity cost of staying neutral.
Patience is a Virtue
Social media has added an interesting dimension to marketing over the past decade or so, and it can be both positive and negative. While no startup can really afford to buy a spot as a sponsored ad on Facebook, anyone can create an account for their business and post their content for free.
The bad news is, it will be very difficult to get followers at first. But BE PATIENT. Playing the waiting game is never fun, but it is necessary. But the good news is, the number of followers each of your social media profiles have in the beginning doesnt matter nearly as much as one would think. We spent a lot of time worrying about how many fans and followers we had and how to get more of them, instead of taking the time to create ace content that could serve the few thousand people we already had in our community.
This is a mistake because when you focus all of your energy on creating the best content possible, youre likely to churn out some pretty compelling stuff. It might take a while, but all it takes is one thought provoking post to blow up and the fans will follow.
Show Passion For Your Cause
Like many startups, THINXs product solves a problem that your everyday American woman faces, and theyre also out to contribute to a much larger cause. Says del Rosario, Were really out to break the taboo surrounding menstruation, which means speaking out and being loud and proud about it??thats really our mission. Our giveback is a cherry on top.
The giveback she is referring to is their partnership with AFRIpads in Uganda. For every pair of their period panties purchased, THINX sends funds to AFRIpads, which trains women to sew and sell washable, reusable cloth pads to girls. After purchasing the pads, these girls will never have to miss school due to their periods again. For companies who are like THINX and are mainly working for a philanthropic cause, it can be hard to convince people that the issue you are working to solve is worth their money.
It is especially hard when Gen-Y is known to be pretty apathetic. If your company falls into that category, Veronica urges: Share stories about who your work has impacted, or stats on why this kind of work matters, and the difference it can make. It's not about marketing; it's about leading by example and practicing what you preach.
Maintain & Explore
Lastly, managing all the different social media platforms can be overwhelming. Its important to continue cultivating a steady stream of quality content on the channels that are already successful, but dont forget to explore other mediums. It would be dangerous to get too dependent on a single platform. Veronica said, Right now, we're testing podcast ads because... why not? But that doesn't mean you'll see our butts in your newsfeed any less.
Launching and maintaining a prosperous marketing campaign on little to no cash is a tough gig. Work hard to always post quality, thoughtful, and engaging content, and eventually something you post will blow up. Youll gain traction, and eventually your company will be a household name.