If you’re an undergrad with the entrepreneur gene, here’s a pop quiz you’ll like.
What is the common factor among the following global start-up successes: WordPress, FedEx, Dell and Reddit? The list of companies started by undergrad students is encouragingly long; Google, Microsoft and of course, Facebook were omitted from the possible choices as it would have been too easy for almost anyone to guess the right answer. While as a student, you may or may not kick off what turns out to be a multi-billion dollar concern, but building a brand that provides you with a decent lifestyle is a viable opportunity if you can attract willing buyers of your product or service. In this age, social media must be a cornerstone of any marketing plan, and as a young scholar, you’re in a good position to apply some basic tenets of how to find your market. Your business choice is up to you, so let’s focus on how to build your customer base.
Your website needs to be at the center of your marketing campaign; it is not the end game of your marketing campaign.
The test of all your online activities is whether or not a good percentage of your prospects are successfully guided to a point of sale. The snazziest web design is nothing more than a liability if it doesn’t function to hand over leads to a check-out feature, a customer service voice or a live salesperson.
If you think of your webpage as your fishing vessel, think of your social media activities as the net into which you draw the catch to the boat. Continuing with the net metaphor, once you acquire a prospect your goal is to qualify that prospect and keep directing those good leads to a point of sale until they buy something, move away or die.
With 8 million subscribers, this venture infamously begun by a college student can’t be ignored. With a strong, optimized business page, you can tap into FB’s own metrics that do more than list “likes” on its Page insights dashboard. With the relatively new feature, People Talking About This, webmasters can get real-time data on user shares, comments, and responses to polls or invitations. The benefit potential is the webmaster’s ability to adjust to trends in real time.
Just as with Facebook business pages, Twitter can be used to target specific products as well as your general brand. One way to use a single Twitter account is to place a link leading to a specific landing page in a tweet. Depending on your product and your ability to recruit a few other students, you may have the luxury of having two or three Twitter accounts, coordinated by you through a Twitter client like Tweet Deck or Seesmic.
When your dog catches the car
A final word of hopeful caution: Be ready to have success when you employ a basic, but strong marketing plan centered on social media. Your goal shouldn’t be to have such success that you have to abandon your college education (unless you’re Bill Gates), so plan backwards from delivering your service and master your time management skills.
This article has been written by Lindsey Harper Mac who is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She writes on behalf of Colorado Technical University. Lindsey is currently completing work on her graduate degree. If you wish to write for us, kindly check out the guidelines to write a guest post.