Buzz is an unquantifiable yet desperately important factor for startups looking to make a
major impact in their respective niche.
We love "buzz" as entrepreneurs, even if we don't all define it the same way. Some of us think of buzz in terms of how many people are talking about or sharing their experience with a product. Others think of buzz as how quickly an idea or product is able to spread.
The bottom line for buzz in business is conversation potential -- the number of likely conversations that will spontaneously occur as a result of your product or service hitting the market. Generating a positive buzz means maximizing your audience's ability and desire to talk about your product, one way or another.
As a small or startup business, buzz is all you have. Your brand is young, your reputation is unformed, and your access to capital is limited.
So how can you use buzz to your advantage? Try these five steps:
Step 1: Visualize your audience. The first thing you need to do is imagine the type of person you want talking about your product. Are they male or female? Old or young? What do they like and dislike? Try to create individual profiles of your target audience.
Step 2: Collect your conversation fuel. You need to make sure those buzzy conversations have enough fuel to self-sustain, and you can do that through written and visual content. Write everything as if you were speaking directly to the profiles you created in step 1, making it as appealing as possible, and syndicate your content through social channels and press releases.
Step 3: Spark new conversations. Find people who aren't familiar with you, and give them a chance to talk. You can do this through social media, or in person at networking events. Ask them about their needs. Find out what they know about you. Ask them to connect with you on social media.
Step 4: Nurture your relationships. Keep your followers and fans interested by keeping them entertained, and keep a steady stream of new content and new features rolling out so there's always something new to talk about in your niche.
Step 5: Reward your advocates. Finally, develop a program that rewards those who talk about you. It could be as simple as a giveaway for individuals using a hashtag associated with your brand, or as complex as a code referral program that incentivizes customers who bring you new members.
Put these five steps to good use and start building buzz for your products and services as soon as you can.
Jose Vasquez is a serial entrepreneur and tech enthusiast dedicated to helping startup technology companies get the direction and momentum they need to succeed. As the founder of Build. Brand. Blast., Jose has established a collective resource for tech entrepreneurs to consult when brainstorming, creating, launching, or expanding a new business. Jose is also the founder and CEO of Quez Media Marketing, a marketing firm that combines technology and creativity to help new and growing companies get the results they need.
Jose graduated from Goldman Sachs' 10,000 Small Businesses program. Goldman Sachs is a partner of the What Is Working: Small Businesses section.