If you (or anyone you know) has ever worked at a startup, then you know what the grind is like. Early mornings, late nights, sprints, scaling…and the list could go on.
With the massive amount of work to do, how could you possibly ever find time to write a blog piece or post on social media? More, how do you even know if it’s even useful for your brand/product?
Now, you might be thinking: “Oh, God. I haven’t even thought about our social strategy…do we even need a social strategy? When’s that call I have tomorrow? Do I have to push our Beta launch back?”
Believe or not, we understand the stresses going through your head, which is why we’re here to help. After all, a startup can be one of the most exciting times in your career, so embrace it. Your story is one that people want to hear (that’s one of the reasons why HBO’s Silicon Valley is such a hit), and today we’re going to give you some tips on how to tell it.
First Off, What do you do?
This isn’t your title or elevator pitch. No, I’m talking about the very reason you believe you’re the next unicorn. What’s the motivation to those early mornings and late nights (besides an ‘exit’)?
Finding your brand’s core mission/story is the first step in learning what to even write about. In advertising, it’s called “The Nugget of Truth,” or the universal belief system you share with your audience. Granted, this takes a lot of tough self-talk, but you’ll know in your gut when you find it…and once you do, everything from here becomes easier.
Know Your Audience
Once you’ve mastered your story, it’s time to start telling it to the world. But before we can begin, we first half to figure out how this tale will tell. While half the tech work has their eyes set on being thought leaders and influencers, that may or may not necessarily be your fit.
Now, I’m not saying it’s bad to be a thought leader, but it might not be the best course of action for your brand, as part of that commonality I mentioned earlier is dealing with understanding how your product or service behaves and where that happens.
Netflix is a great example of how this works. By knowing that their product is used as a source of entertainment at home or on-the-go, their ads focus in on being a part of the conversation about what people are watching. This goes beyond the “what do you guys think of this show or movie?” approach and rather asserts itself within the memes, personalized content, and pop culture their audience is already taking part of.
Albeit, Netflix has a little bit of an easier path considering the type of content they’re given, but that’s not to say you can’t do the same.
Imagine your approach by taking yourself out through your website and using your product. Ask yourself questions like “What type of people do you think built this?”, “Why did they do it?”, or “Do I want to know their opinion more on how the Celtics are doing or how regulation affects FinTech?”
Think of this process like going on a date for the first time after a breakup. Sure, your nervous a little bit about what they might think, but through time, things will work themselves out while you get to learn more about yourself as well.
Get In Where You Fit In
Now that we understand who you are, we have to figure out where you’re going to go. And with the various amounts of platforms, we have to target the ones you’ll be most successful at.
Fortunately for us, the folks over at Paceo put together some excellent demographics on usage, but that’s only half the battle. The other half is the numbers game, which is less analytical than you might think.
As we mentioned above, what people initially perceive of your product or brand is going to determine what they want to hear from you, but where they hear it is vital as well. While the medium isn’t exactly the message here, it’s damn near close. The venue and community you chose to represent your brand in are going to determine who’s it going to interact with it.
Say if you’re going after the role of a thought leader than LinkedIn or Twitter would serve you better than Instagram or Facebook. Additionally, if visually stunning photographs of your artisanal product are your thing, then Instagram or Twitter would be the most efficient.
To study, look through brands similar to yours as well as your personal feeds. Imagine what your brand would say here and how it would fit. While you may be thinking “It’s my company, it can go anywhere.”, that’s unfortunately not always the case.
This one is going to be brief, but it’s necessary to say. Once you’ve gotten yourself involved in these communities, you have to post regularly to stay relevant in the conversation. Without it, people will forget you exist.
Finally, I’ll say that social media doesn’t have to be hard (even with the busiest of schedules). Take the time to figure out what you want to say and how you want to say it, and you’ll never want to leave the conversation.