I’ve just begun working with a startup on its social media strategy. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are great tools to use when identifying target customers, building a following and delivering content. In this post I’m going to talk about how we laid the foundation for The Billion Dollar Girls Club’s social media strategy.
The BDG Club came to me through Catachafire, which strives to connect nonprofit or social enterprises with skilled volunteers. In their own words,
Skills-based volunteering means that you integrate your specific skills (usually your professional skills/expertise/background) into your role as a volunteer. Source: catachafire.org
After looking at The BDG Club website, my first thought was that this is a financial literacy blog aimed at young, urban women. The way Zuhairah (the girl behind the club) explained it to me, The BDG Club’s goal is to be
An empowerment network for young women who want to live richer lives. Financial literacy and wealth building are the underpinnings of our empowerment strategy.
Z wants to use social media to deepen the Club’s connection with current users so that it can effectively communicate this larger vision, transition current users to the new web site and gain new subscribers who connect with its message.
Here’s what we took away from our first meeting and I think it’s generally applicable for any startup’s social media strategy:
Your Blog is your Heartbeat
Your blog is the main mechanism for delivering content to your followers. It’s also how you can introduce new people to your voice and purpose. On top of that, Google loves new content and writing a blog makes you findable from a SEO (search engine optimization) perspective.
Use a threaded comment system on your blog (like DISQUS)
A threaded comment system allows visitors to your site to interact with each other, rather than just with you, the blogger. This is step one in creating a vibrant, interested community.
Be an awesome blogger and community leader by responding to everyone that wants to interact with you. When you blow up you can change this strategy, but for now, everyone is your new best friend.
How frequently? For most new bloggers, I recommend targeting once a week to get going, but 2-3x times a week is the sweet spot.
Content is king
Always be posting NEW GREAT content such as quotes, videos, interviews, and original posts. People have a lot of choices so make your content as awesome as it can be.
Be social, find a buddy
Copying from the weight-loss industry, I recommended Z build in a buddy system from day one. A buddy keeps you on track and builds the community of like-minded folks.
You want to know how people find your blog, retweet your posts, and generally discover and share your content. Query strings and URL shortners like bit.ly are a great place to start. This post is about social media strategy, so Google to figure out these tools.
Mechanics of twitter
The @ and # symbols are the glue that hold twitter together. The proper use of hashtags will make your content findable on twitter. Twitter should be used to drive people to your blog (more on this in the next post). Same goes for facebook (FB).
Retweet content that is both interesting and relevant to your user base. Following this other person will happen naturally if the fit is right.
People I always recommend because I like them. For further reading, check out:
a. Tim Ferris – my gold standard on blogging and writing
b. Jason Fried – 37signals. Who I aspire to work like.
c. Trust Agents – Fantastic book on building trust online.