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Best Practices: Social Media for Startups (Part One)

In Entrepreneurship by Teague LoughmanLeave a Comment

For the past 6 months, I have volunteered for an incredible nonprofit, Defy Ventures, working on social media / digital marketing. Defy “transforms the hustle” of formerly incarcerated individuals through 200+ hours of online entrepreneurial training and “Shark Tank”-style business plan competitions. In short, Defy is amazing — definitely check them out and get involved to give these amazing entrepreneurs-in-training (EITs) a second-chance!

For my new readers, a little bit more about me:

I’m an 18-year-old aspiring entrepreneur, living in the San Francisco / Bay Area. I have 55,000+ Twitter followers, 20,000+ Instagram followers, and, combined, my blogs have received over 1.5M page views since launch. Hobbies include: reading, blogging, photography, music, soccer, and surfing (waves and web!).

At Defy, many of the EITs seek my advice on social media (campaigns, content, scheduling, reach, etc). From those requests for advice, I realize that my advice could benefit not only Defy Ventures EIT’s, but also many entrepreneurs too!

Below, I introduce part one (of a four-part series) on Social Media for Startups. Over the next two months, I’ll show you how to go from novice to ninja with social media information on: building a following, creating and scheduling content, campaigns, top-secret tips/apps/ideas used by social media pros, and more.

Let’s get started!

Job #1: Never stop learning.

No matter how many social networks you set out to master, or how long you study the social marketing field, there is one secret that will ensure you’re successful: Never stop learning!

So, to kick off my Social Media For Startups series, here’s a list of my favorite resources for social media.

Social Media Resources

Social media / digital marketing is a science involving special communication skills and it’s landscape is constantly changing.

1. The Best Tip Ever:

Follow your favorite sites/people on social media and learn from them! Observe what they do / what works. Then, go out and make it happen on your own profiles.

2.  Recommended Books:

No matter your skill level, you can always be improving your social media prowess. One of the best ways to do this is by studying the experts in the field (read: go follow them on social media right now!). Here are a few of my favorite books that share some great advice:

  1. The Art of Social Media, Guy Kawasaki
  2. The Art of the Start 2.0: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything, Guy Kawasaki
  3. 500 Social Media Marketing Tips, Andrew Macarthy

3.  Recommended Sites:

Here are 3 blogs that provide fresh, actionable information:

  1. Social Media Explorer
  2. Hubspot
  3. Marketing Guru Scott Monty

4.  Top 10 Must-Read Blog Posts:

For starters, I always suggest to learn from the best, so I’ll leave the explaining to the experts:

  1. How to Get Your First 1,000 Followers on Every Major Social Network
  2. 30 Little-Known Features of the Social Media Sites You Use Every Day
  3. 4 Reasons to Stop Spamming Your Social Media Channels
  4. How to Become a Twitter Influencer
  5. How to Write the Perfect Tweet
  6. 9 Surprising Stats to Know How to Be Successful on Twitter
  7. The 3 Biggest Mistakes People Make on Twitter and LinkedIn
  8. How to Create a Facebook Business Page in 5 Simple Steps
  9. How to Use LinkedIn: The Ultimate List of LinkedIn Tips
  10. The Marketer’s Scoop on Instagram and How to Use It

Set yourself to a little bit of learning every day, every week, and you will soon become a great social media resource yourself!

5.  Podcasts to Check Out:

No time for reading? Download some podcasts on your phone and begin learning through listening (great for commutes, travel, lunch breaks, walking the dogs, whatever!). Here are my 3 favorite podcasts:

  1. Tell your story on social media…while it’s not really a podcast… legendary VC and storyteller extraordinaire David Hornik teamed up with Stanford’s Jennifer Aaker to create a great webinar on the Power Of Storytelling.  Listen up!
  2. Social Media Examiner’s Michael Stelzner helps your business navigate the social jungle with success stories and expert interviews from leading social media marketing pros with Social Media Marketing Podcast.
  3. Social Pros focuses on real people doing real work in social media. With stories and behind-the-scenes secrets about how companies like Ford, Dell, IBM, ESPN and dozens more staff, operate and measure their social media programs, it’s a must-listen.

Next up, in Part Two of Best Practices, Social Media for Start-Ups, I will introduce the principles of building a dedicated following across multiple platforms.

Until then, follow me on Twitter and sign up for the Tech Teague Email Newsletter (below!) for more great tech and entrepreneurial resources!

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