Growth Plays: 3 Start-Ups Share their Social Successes | Hootsuite Blog
Image via Annie Spratt under CC0 1.0

Growth Plays: 3 Start-Ups Share their Social Successes

By now, we’re all familiar with headline-making stories of social success: Oreo’s dunk in the dark tweet, Coca-Cola’s Share a Coke campaign, and the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. But what’s a new brand to do when just starting out? How do start-ups fit social into their ever-evolving marketing plans?

We spoke with three start-ups experiencing rapid growth and asked them about their secrets to social success. These trailblazers all have two things in common: they get creative with tactics and quickly optimize their strategies on the successes.

Q&A with Zeel: Finding bliss on Snapchat

Headquarters: New York, NY

Founded: 2010 by Samer Hamadeh

Zeel created their massage-on-demand concept in 2012. They were the first company to bring same-day, in-home massages to customers, giving them the opportunity to book a Zeel massage in seconds using the iPhone or Android app or via the company’s website.

How are you using social media as part of your growth strategy?

Social media is the technology version of word of mouth marketing—and it is one of our most powerful tools for growth. Zeel uses social media to share the Zeel massage story—the creation of the first and finest massage-on-demand company—and engage with our customers.

We offer worthwhile, relevant, and generous content with our followers—content that they want to share. And we ask them to share the same with us. We love all the photos they share of their massages! We’ve had a strong Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest presence for some time, but this year we branched into Snapchat and increased our overall video content.

For example, we take questions from the Zeel audience on #WellnessWednesday on the Zeel Snapchat, @zeelmassage, and on Instagram Stories, @GetZeel. By offering rich sharable content and increasing the channels which we do so, we’re reaching broader audiences, while also connecting further with our current audience.

Growth Plays: 3 Start-Ups Share their Social Successes | Hootsuite Blog
A #WellnessWednesday question sent in by one of Zeel’s Snapchat followers. Image via Zeel.

How does social fit into your marketing plan? 

Social is a major component in our tech stack. It’s one of the key layers to help us get the right information in front of the right audience—from both an organic and paid perspective.

The targeting that social affords allows us to create digital ads that are targeted by geography, interests, behavioral, and spending data.

For example, Facebook categorizes certain people as frequent travelers because they open Facebook in multiple cities, and travelers are a great audience for Zeel. And from an organic perspective, we were able to increase our interactive content for real-time and true conversations with our audiences.

Q&A with Breather: Brand awareness takes flight on Twitter

Headquarters: Montreal, QC

Founded: 2012 by Julien Smith and Caterina Rizzi

Breather is a network of private and professional spaces that you can use to work, meet, or relax. The idea to start Breather came from founder Julien Smith’s lack of work space to use while traveling. Today, Breather operates 100 spaces in 10 cities, accessed via the company’s website or via the mobile app for iOS and Android devices.

How are you using social media as part of your growth strategy?

As a growing brand, one of our biggest challenges is awareness. Social is the best way for us to reach new audiences. Our social strategy focuses on the big three platforms—Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter—which we use to distribute everything from stories about people who use our spaces to articles about our newest locations to meditations on the future of work.

Of course, it helps that our workspaces are so impeccably designed. Posting photos of beautiful spaces on the internet is a pretty good way to get people’s attention, but brand awareness is only a part of our growth strategy, the other part is engagement. We use both organic content and digital ads to target audiences to hopefully get them to engage with the brand each step of the way. Until they (hopefully) become a user.

Growth Plays: 3 Start-Ups Share their Social Successes | Hootsuite Blog
Before a brand has developed an audience, founders like Julien Smith have seen success running ads from their personal social accounts. Image via Julien Smith’s Twitter account.

How does social fit into your marketing plan?

We use a number of marketing tools across our various departments. These include Google Analytics for blog stats, Trello and Dropbox for creatives, Unbounce for custom landing pages, and Zendesk for customer support. Our numbers on social are strong, but we’re still growing.

Q&A with Baqqer: The power of community lift

Headquarters: San Francisco, CA

Founded: 2015 by Dan Gailey and Nathan Ross

Baqqer is an ecosystem for makers and creators to build, share, sell, and crowdfund together. It was created by longtime makers to combine the essential tools to build and sell products, so anyone around the world can find the resources they need to create amazing things.

How are you using social media as part of your growth strategy?

We engage with our audience and help champion great makers and creations through social media. We auto post projects and events through our social channels to help give an extra boost of distribution for both creators and their fans. We’re doing this on Twitter right now as a test.

How does social fit into your marketing plan?

Since we’re still early stage, our marketing toolbox is simple: we use Mailchimp, Google Analytics, and Hootsuite with some homegrown code. Hootsuite gives us a great experience for managing all of our social channels for things that can’t be automated, like engagement with our audience, conversations with trending topics, and reaching out across multiple social channels simultaneously.

We use our own homegrown code to quickly allow users to auto-post on our Twitter feed to let our audience know what’s happening around the site. Our code allows users to cross-post not only to our company feeds, but to their own feeds through Baqqer. We connect LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter at the moment. The whole world should know what you’re working on!

Whether you’re a start-up or an established brand, Hootsuite can help. Schedule posts, engage with followers, monitor your efforts, and manage your social channels the easier way. Try it free today.

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