written by Will Fraser | December 18th, 2012
Startups are a unique type of businesses. They are focused on high growth, establishing a brand, and finding that all-important customer base as fast as possible.
As startups traveling along their journey, social media is often seen as a way to help grow.
In this article we will review some best practices for startups to consider as they create their social media strategy. We will also take a look at what several Victoria-based startups are doing on social media today.
Here are the top 4 tips that any startup can use to create their social media strategy.
1. The Right Place
It is often tempting to try to be everywhere that any customer could ever be. Other times you just want to be everywhere you find your competitors. With limited resources in a startup this typically leads to spreading your company too thin.
Overly Generalized Tip:
If you’re looking to find customers you will probably do better on something like Twitter. If you’re looking to create a place to talk with your existing customers you may have better luck on Facebook.
2. The Right Time
Each customer group is online at different times. You don’t want to be Tweeting with no one around to hear you. Think about your target audience ( geographic location, age, gender) and attempt to determine when they are online.
This may be a bit of a trial and error process. You will get the right answer in the end as long as you know what you are trying to achieve and keep measuring the results.
3. The Right People
Social media is all about influencers and community. It is important that you find the journalists, community leaders and other respected community members in your startup’s field and talk to them.
By building online relationships with the right people you may just find your startup featured on the front page of your favorite blog or at least being retweeted by some of your demi-idols.
4. The Right Message
Every startup thinks they are amazing (or at least should). However, not everyone in the world is interested in the arrival time of your staff or the fact that you just saw a police car go by your office.
Having a clear intention of each message you send out will go a long way in ensuring that you achieve your objectives. This combined with knowing what resonates with your customer base is key. Posting content with the right keywords and media type (pictures, videos, etc.) will really drive engagement.
I have selected several startups from around Victoria B.C. to showcase some real world examples of how other startups are using social media. This is not meant to be a master class of social media, just a view into what is actually happening.
Business to Business
MediaCore is an online digital media platform used by companies, schools, universities and other institutions to use video and audio to instruct, train and teach. Its key differentiator is providing a private and secure platform for sharing media seamlessly within an organization on both desktop and mobile devices.
Facebook [Post 8 – 12 times per month]: Post images of the offices, news articles about MediaCore and relevant blog articles.
Twitter [Tweet 15 – 20 times per month]: Tweet product updates, support questions and some internal company successes.
Business to Consumer
Pixton introduces the world to Click-n-Drag Comics™, a revolutionary new patented technology that gives anyone the power to create amazing comics on the web. From fully posable characters to dynamic panels, props, and speech bubbles, every aspect of a comic can be controlled in an intuitive click-n-drag motion.
Facebook [ Post 2- 4 times per month]: Share user created comics, run contests and other image content featuring their product.
Twitter [ Tweet 3- 5 times per month]: Share educational content, product updates, answer customer questions, and feature comics.
Business to Consumer
Russ Hay’s The Bicycle Shop began when Russ Hay and his wife bought a second hand store and weeded out everything except used bicycles. Now owned and operated by the Clermonts, Russ Hays is primed for a relaunch in 2013 that will touch on all aspects of their business.
Facebook [Post 7 - 10 times per month]: Share images of product (via Instagram), general biking fitness content, and talk about special offers.
Twitter [Tweet LOTS of times per month]: Share product information, sale information, community events and talk with a lot of community members about biking.
To Wrap it up
A strong social strategy for your startup is not a ‘one size fits all’ problem. You know your company best and need to think through creating your own strategy try it out and adjust as you learn.
If you would like a comprehensive article on marketing for a startup you may want to read this guide here.
Let me know if you have any questions in the comments section below and feel free to share any tips, tricks or ideas you think other startups would love to know.