Starting a business isn’t just another day at the beach. Operations take time, money, risk and can make your stress levels reach unprecedented temperatures. Even more so during the hot – or in the case at HootSuite HQ: mild – summer months when the days are long, and everyone is in vacation mode.
That’s why the HootSuite team decided to create a mid-summer News Roundup which features articles for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Let the HootSuite Dashboard help you drive your business, while you kick back, relax and enjoy the summer months.
All Top Startups – 11 Things Your Startup Should Copy From HootSuite
- The name HootSuite came from a crowd-sourced naming contest we initiated when we were ready to launch the dashboard as it’s own company.
- Partnering can be a risk, but it allows you to fill your weaknesses. Get over the desire to be the lone wolf, and consider partnerships.
- We have always used HootSuite to market HootSuite – by creating a tool we use ourselves, we’re able to build a product that is truly beneficial and continually improving for our users.
Establishing brand awareness, effectively engaging with your customers, and converting your efforts into revenue are major hurdles for a startup. Leveraging the viral nature of social media is an easy and inexpensive way to get over these obstacles. Historically, we’ve heard that one happy customer tells three, while one unhappy customer tells ten. With social think 300 and 1000. As a startup working in this type of paradigm, think about how you can leverage this powerful virality:
- Identify influencers, and start a conversation. Who are the key people who talk about your product or service. Discover them, and start talking. Informational interviews are a great way to get the ball rolling.
- Don’t advertise, build your business on word of mouth. If you have a great product/service, strong brand ambassadors/influencers are worth 100x their weight in advertising gold. Remember, people listen to friends and acquaintances much more than a blinkey banner ad.
- Learn, rinse and repeat. Learning from the successes you have and consistent practice is integral for success. Use social media analytical tools to learn what is working, repeat, and adjust your approach appropriately. Keep your message fresh and stimulating and you’ll be on your way to winning with social.”
Entrepreneur - How to Measure Your Return on Your Social Media Investment
“Social media has allowed us to really reach into our local community, build relationships and drive traffic into the salon,” says Garcia, who uses several tools to monitor his business’s social media footprint, track customer buzz and grow his already-thriving business. Precise and purposeful, the time Garcia spends online leaves little room for waste. Every tweet counts. Every post matters. Emerson’s social media presence is the salon’s biggest competitive advantage.
But, it seems, Garcia’s ability to interpret the social media numbers–and convert followers into customers–is not the norm for many businesses.
“One of the biggest problems that users have is gauging ROI for the social media campaigning they are doing,” says Ryan Holmes, CEO of HootSuite, a social media monitoring service. Measuring the return on investment, or ROI, of your social media activity will help determine if your tweets and status updates are helping your operations–and how you can maximize these online efforts to reach your goals.
InternMatch - Rockstar Training School
This article was contributed by HootSuite Marketing Director Dave Olson to Internmatch to share tips for managing and inspiring interns.
For start-ups, Interns can fill a critical role to get a product out and promoted on a limited budget. For established companies, they can populate a “farm system” for entry-level employees similar to a sports teams’ minor league affiliate. Interns allow you to cultivate a new batch of talent and “taste test” a number of candidates to see how they react in real-life work situations before committing to a contract.
Coffee is your Job
Do I ever ask interns to fetch me coffee? Almost never. This task is a menial “make work” task for them and (honestly) going for a cup of coffee is one of the best parts of your day. Instead, invite your intern out for a chat over a beverage and everyone wins. Also, make sure they are invited for company events, after-work beer sessions and other “team building” activities – it’ll pay off with passion.
Mentor your Padowan: You are receiving free (or cheap) labor and in exchange, you should share your experience, feedback and inside tips and tactics. Go beyond the simple assignments and take the time to explain the “why” beyond the “what” and “how.” Giving this contextual meaning to their tasks will help them emotionally invest in the project. But don’t coddle– they are humans, not puppies, and your real advice will be of more use than unwarranted compliments.
Under 30 CEO - 5 Survival Tools for Small Business Owners
Business Insider - Social Media Isn’t Free to Entrepreneurs or Anyone
If you are an entrepreneur today, and not using social media to promote your business, you are missing out on a huge opportunity. ~ There are hundreds of consultants out there who will take your money for guidance in this area, but I recommend that you start with some free resources on the Internet:
- Make social media an integrated part of an overall strategy. An integrated marketing strategy starts with an overall brand management strategy, delivered through online and offline communications, promotions, and customer engagement vehicles. Your Twitter YouTube messages better match your print advertising message.
- Find the right tools to analyze the ROI. Return-On-Investment metrics are not new, but the tools are different. Get familiar with current social media tools, such as Google Analytics, Omniture, and HootSuite analytics. Over time, put together the data you need to measure your progress on a weekly/monthly/yearly basis.
The Globe and Mail - Ten Companies. Ten Industries. Ten Success Stories
HootSuite runs on a “freemium” business model. About 97 per cent of the software’s users download the free version of the product. The remaining 3 per cent–most of them enterprise customers–pay for a more powerful, full-featured version.
In addition to adding more features, HootSuite’s staff have focused their energy on getting their products on as many devices as possible. The software is now available for desktops and various mobile devices, including iPhones, BlackBerrys and Android-powered phones. (The team is also working on a version for Research In Motion’s PlayBook tablet.) HootSuite has also launched several versions in other languages, and even has its own service that shortens website addresses so that they don’t take up too much space in Twitter posts.
- It always pays to have the best employees. Start with a good core team, and build around them.
- Stay lean. A lot of creativity comes as a result of watching what you spend.
- Eat your own dog food. The company uses its own products internally.
Videos for the Entrepreneur
Here are some videos from the HootSuite vault.
The Rise to the Top – Why Entrepreneurs Should Give a Hoot About Hootsuite
A video interview with CEO Ryan Holmes.
There are loads of monitoring sites or applications, however my impression is that companies find it a bit overwhelming and time consuming.
Finding Your Sweet Spot - Forum for Woman Entrepreneurs
This Roundtable event explored how these diverse business leaders often start down one path and then change direction before finding their “sweet spot”
Back to Work
We continue to listen closely to your Tweets, Likes, comments and concerns about using HootSuite. Further, we invite you to help us localize for your local area by helping with translations, adding thoughts about networks and services to add, and sharing tactics for using HootSuite.
Keep your thoughts coming and we’ll keep tuning the tool to meet your needs. Keep in mind, technical and account issues are handled through the Help Desk and you can follow all media coverage about HootSuite via social bookmark stream.