In times when the web has become an indispensible part of our lives, when social networks are places where people connect, engage, influence and seek entertainment while looking for information and take buying decisions based on what they find online…brick and mortar stores are passé. Click and mortar is in; all around us are businesses that are fueling their operations with social media.
Being a startup is not easy, especially during an economic slowdown where sales are challenging if not impossible and branding and promotion are expensive propositions. Today my agenda is to feature ways in which Indian startups are using social media for business…marketing, advertising, customer relationship management, seeking feedback, soliciting enquiries…you name it and they are doing it with ease all with social media.
If you are looking for qualified, confident and capable people to work for you then the most obvious place to look is not an online classified or job site. Try social media to draw attention of people who are your fans simply because they already love your brand and admire your work. India centric, fun brand Chumbak did exactly that recently. Posted jobs on their website and posted the link on their Facebook page.
Soliciting and Taking Orders
MORA by Ritika, a designer label by Ritika Mittal, committed to the revival of rare weaves from North Eastern parts of India has been using Facebook and Twitter to keep customers informed about product availability, taking Orders, showcasing available products and communicating with customers on order status.
Ritika also writes her own blog which chronicles her journey on the road less taken while she scours remote parts of the North East to revive weaves and fabrics. Her blog is a personal diary of sorts which adds a personal touch to very MORA ensemble.
Abhilasha Jain Duvvuri, the lady behind Mish Mash design, a premium home décor label that celebrates color, India and boho chic all at one go as well as Tania’s Clay Studio, a Singapore based Indian startup use Facebook to announce new product launches and feature new products too.
Getting noticed is perhaps one of the biggest challenges for a startup. This is why sharing press and publicity about you or your brand is important. Startups like Mish Mash Design are doing this quite successfully on their Facebook pages.
Sending Out Subtle Sales Messages
Your sales messages need not be overt and in your face. Sometimes a subtle message is all you need to arouse interest in the minds of your target audiences. That’s where WOW-postcards, an initiative by Sumitra Senapathy’s The WOW (Women on Wanderlust) Club does. A postcard featuring picturesque locales is all they need to receive enquiries from aspiring wanderers
Just Some Fun
Everything need not be about business on social media. You are allowed to have some fun. That’s what The WOW (Women on Wanderlust) Club uses social media for as well. To post light hearted stuff to herald the weekend.
The WOW blog is a platform for Sumitra to showcase writings by wanderers who have travelled with her firm; this is a far better way of promoting her tours as it presents first hand customer experiences.
Links to Online Stores and Demonstrations
You don’t really need a physical retail presence these days but you do have to get word out about where people can find you online. Earthen Concepts-a Clay Odyssey by Nidhi, is a Facebook page started by Nidhi Srivastava for her clay figurines, jewelry, home décor items and personal accessories features links to online stores and step by step demos to help people learn the craft.
Announcing Brand Associations
Bangalore based startup, Footsy, dealing in socks and footwear accessories uses Facebook to announce contests and start conversations with fans. It also uses it to announce brand associations with the major socks brands like Happy Socks and Sockaholics.
This is how Indian startups which are mainly selling online and seeking to establish their brand identity on the web are using social media to make their presence felt. Social media is helping them widen their reach and sell products without spending huge amounts in the process.
As a startup finance is one of the biggest constraints that prevents startups from standing out in the crowd with their branding and marketing efforts. However, Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare Business Pages, Pinterest and blogs are making this easier and more effective.
Be it sharing products created, sharing feedback from customers or sharing facts and trivia, there’s a lot that startups are doing with social media. Hop on to the social media bandwagon and propel your business in to the public eye.
Featured image: Xurble