Is Social media really an affordable medium for early B2C startups......I don't think so!

As an enthusiastic early stage B2C startup looking for early adopters, the first thing they think of is using Social Media to get the first early adopters. Good idea one would say...most of it is free (until you decide to start buying Adwords, Paid Ads on FB etc.). The reach is in Millions after all.

But in reality, its easier said than done!! The noise on all popular social media channels (FB, Instagram, Twitter etc.) is quite a bit.

Also the fact that most of these users access Social Media channels using smart phones does not help. The limited screen sizes and reduced attention span makes it very difficult for the startups to get noticed.

Recently Facebook published that a typical smartphone user scrolls 2.5 faster and has a attention span of 2 secs...Dwell Time

In India, the popular consumer oriented social media channels are mostly taken over by the big e-commerce giants (Amazon, Flipkart,Snapdeal,PayTM, Myntra and OLX).

TAM Adex data show that the big four e-commerce companies Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal and OLX - alone spent a staggering Rs 600 crore on ads in 2014.

It has become increasingly difficult for the new startups to get the user attention and get noticed by their target customer without burning significant cash on Social Media Channels.

"The biggest challenge for the early stage startups is to find their first 100 customers" - Kunal Bahl - Founder Snapdeal.

What should a new startup do? Where and how should it find an economical, affordable ways to find its early adopters?

Overall, the Indian advertising industry needs new-age mediums of communicating with the customers. Transvisual - An Offline Transit Infotainment Channel for B2C Start...

This blog is also available on LinkedIn Pulse here.

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Comment by Atul Shah on April 14, 2016 at 3:27pm

Thanks for the comments Keerthi and Harshad. While you can get early feedback through friends/friends-of-friends or on the streets, but chances are that you may not reach the right intended target audience/personas which can lead to false feedback. While thoughts you mention here these are OK from a very very initial validation perspective, it is extremely difficult to get any attention over social media because of the clutter.

Comment by Harshad Bhagwat on April 13, 2016 at 12:00pm

I agree. You should get the early adopters through personal contacts and people on the streets. Actually demo your product face-to-face and get immediate feedback and complete the lean startup loop.

Comment by Keerthi Kadam on April 12, 2016 at 12:45pm

Nice post. I think any new startup's first 100 customers are on the streets. If you can demo your product or generate leads by handing out flyers/ pamphlets you are sure to achieve that in good time. FB and other social media serve as a validation rather than acquiring customers. When you talk about your startup, people go check your website, app and FB Page to see how recent have you been, what is your story and things like that. So although social media is not essentially helping in getting those early users, these platforms serve as a validation factor.

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