Working in Startup Social Media

Austin is one of the best cities for startups. I’ve been lucky enough to work with a few as a social media manager. Working with startups is very different from working with an established company. Working with a startup is kind of like working in the wild west. You get to start from scratch and really create this company’s social footprint. When working on social media for a startup, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Approach everything strategically. You shouldn’t just blindly begin tweeting and posting. There has to be thought and intention behind what you post. Because they are new to social media (even if they have had accounts for a while) you need to create a brand identity for social media and a strategic focus. A few things to include in your strategy.

  • Audience
  • Tone
  • Competitive Analysis

Figure out who you want to target and how you want to approach them. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Look at competitors or companies in your industry to see what they are doing right and wrong. You can learn from the work they have already put in.

Remember you’re the expert. Entrepreneurs are highly invested in their business, more so than a usual point of contact. Their businesses are their livelihood. They know the ends and out of their industry. What they don’t know, is social media. It’s why they hired you. When working with such strong businesses minds, it is important to show them that you are in control and know what you are doing.

  • Metrics matter. Show startup founders and executives that what you are doing is working.
  • Backup your ideas. Case studies are your best friends. When you have an idea (or they have a bad one) use examples of how it has worked out for other brands.
  • Be the voice of reason. I’ve had clients want to post things that aren’t exactly PC. It is my job as the expert to steer them clear of things that will cause controversy.

You have to be flexible. Working with startup clients is not as structured as working with larger companies. Personally, I think that is a good thing. Startups are a fast-paced environment and you need to be able to keep up. Meetings can get cancelled, meetings can run way over. You just have to roll with it. That’s not to say this doesn’t have its perks. Working with startups means being around innovation and a happy hour business meeting or two.

Enjoy it! Working with startups is a blast. Not only do you get to make a real impact on a company’s social footprint, but you also get to work with some amazing people. Being surrounded by entrepreneurs makes you a better person and keeps you on your toes. Even though you’re an agency or freelancer, startup culture is fast to include you and make you part of the team.

The reason I got into social media was to have more direct impact with brands. No where is that impact greater felt than with startups.  I get to work with amazing people on even more amazing products. If you’re a startup looking for social media help, get in touch with me. Whether you want a strategy or full-blown community management, I would love to help your brand grow.

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