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Social Media Marketing for Startups: 5 Rules For Success

Dan Steiner
Dan Steiner
at Online Virus Repair Inc., Avila Web Firm

Startups are a dime a dozen. It’s a harsh reality, but it’s true. That’s why it’s absolutely crucial to market your company in a way that’s engaging and effective.

Whether you’re running an infographics company or have just launched the next best app, you’ll need to make your marketing endeavors relevant to your audience, which means utilizing the myriad of social media platforms that are readily available.

If this sounds like a daunting experience through uncharted waters, don’t worry, we’ve got the map.

Related Article: The 10-Minute Social Media Workday


Stop for a moment and think about a favorite company of yours. Then, ask yourself why you’re able to pinpoint not only the name but all the associations that come flooding in.

The word you may be looking for is “consistency.” There’s a common thread that drives every decision they make. Be it a subtle logo change, a billboard campaign or a television commercial, they stay consistent to their brand, message and overall objective.

When it comes to social media, the same rule applies. Whether you’re on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, it’s instrumental that your startup resonates uniformly across all fronts. While it’s true that each site has its own time and place, fully stocked with innate advantages, the fact of the matter is that it’s 2015, and most, if not all of your users are native to multiple social media platforms.

This means that you have the opportunity and responsibility to not only re-introduce but reiterate your company’s brand, message and philosophy. The last thing you want is for your users to be confused. Just like your favorite company, you must thread your startup’s cohesive trajectory through the phones, laptops, hearts and minds of your users.

Related Article: Why Every Business Should be Using Multiple Social Media Accounts

Know Your Product, Know Your Service

You’ve made it this far, and consistency is high on your priority list. Good. However, consistency counts for nothing if you don’t know the ins and outs of your own business. This might seem like a novel concept, but as you bring on new team members, they might not know your business as well as you do. The ability to boast authority in your niche should be at the forefront of your company's goals, and it should be apparent on each and every platform that you utilize.

Look at Apple. For years, they have dominated the software and hardware market and it doesn’t look like things are changing anytime soon. Their confidence and drive to innovate has allowed them to revolutionize the manner in which we not only engage with media, but with one another. Every move they make is well calculated and deliberate and it’s what keeps us engaged.

Don’t Talk At Your Audience, Talk With Them

Customers, clients and users are integral to any business, and they bring a lot of comments with them. Do not fear this. Embrace it.

It’s true that anyone can be a critic but do not look at customer feedback, especially negative feedback, as an obstacle. Look at every comment, good or bad, as an opportunity to learn about how your company can refactor, improve and perpetuate those facets that are succeeding.

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning” —Bill Gates

This is a perspective worth adopting. When you consider your customers as part of your team, even the most negative of criticisms can be informative as an opportunity to learn what is and isn’t working.

In saying that, negative feedback is something that should be dealt with promptly and positively, especially in the social media arena. One bad experience can have a tremendous ripple effect. When you’ve got thousands or even millions of users, all with open ears and open eyes, you must remember to diffuse negative situations with a level of eloquence, consideration and transparency.

The brass tacks of the matter are that business is a dialogue and there are very much two sides of that conversation: you and your customers. Customers need and want to feel like they are participating in your business. They want to know that they have a voice that will be heard and valued.

Social media lives up to its title in every sense of the word, and you must remember to stay social. Talk with your audience, but more importantly, remember to listen.

Quality Control

There is more content  today than ever before and it's all very accessible. Sometimes it’s forced upon us (think pop-up ads), which can be extremely frustrating. Social media platforms are no different. They are dense and often inundated with low-quality, marketing content.

When evaluating your social media platforms, it is important to remember that they are opportunities. They are opportunities to relay information. They are opportunities to influence thought and emotion. In much the same way that an art museum curates its walls with select works, you must curate your social media platforms to convey absolutely what is vital to your business and your audience.

You would never skimp on quality in any other area of your startup, and marketing should be no different. Consider hiring an experienced social media specialist from one of the freelancer sites, such as Toptal, a company that is dedicated to quality freelancers.

They’ve established an elite global network of the top three percent of freelance software developers from around the world and their dedication to top talent does not only encompass their developers but also their entire staff. This makes finding talent easier for us entrepreneurs.

Related Article: When Social Media Attention Goes Wrong


Humans are creatures of habit and that’s a fact. We crave reliability and familiarity.

Take advantage of this when structuring and releasing content on your social media platforms. Making posts once or twice a day is an excellent way to maintain audience engagement, generate buzz, and show that your business is hard at work. You know the saying about idle hands.

Additionally, one of the perks of sticking to a schedule for posting content is that it will challenge your team to discover innovative and creative ways to market your business. And regarding creativity: remember to have fun with your marketing. It’s a great way to let your audience know that you are a relatable, personable community of unique minds, not just a machine dedicated to dollar signs.

If keeping up with regular posts sounds like a lot to process, do not worry. There are several tools that can make this undertaking that much easier.

Need a recommendation? Check out Postcron. Automating social media posts has never been so easy.

While it’s true that social media marketing can be a daunting undertaking, remember that there is a spectrum of resources available that can make the process that much easier for your startup. It is a lot to take in, but remember, embrace social media for what it is—social—and keep the conversation going.

Image Credit: NanoStockk / Getty Images
Dan Steiner
Dan Steiner
business.com Member
See Dan Steiner's Profile
Dan Steiner is a technology entrepreneur, writer, and cyber-security expert, with a deep background in the CA startup community. He is currently Chief Executive Officer at the security firm Online Virus Repair Inc., as well as an active mentor and volunteer at startup events throughout the region. His work has been featured in a number of publications, including the Huffington Post, Inc, Yahoo, Verizon, and Monster.