How Startup Weekenders can use Social Media


by Colart Miles

syEngage have been part of the organising crew for Auckland’s next Startup Weekend and we’ve been very interested in how the teams could leverage social media.

Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures and the next event is no exception. 80 bright young stars will be turning their minds and immense creative energy to the task at the Team Emirates NZ building in the Viaduct. They will be supported and mentored by some of New Zealands finest and the winners will enjoy high profile exposure and ongoing resources to get their businesses off the ground. We’re especially excited that this year has the highest proportion of female entrepreneurs taking part.

The teams will be coached in the use of the latest frameworks such as Lean Start-up and the importance of Customer Discovery (which got us thinking).

We’d like to share a framework that we have been developing for using Social Media which could prove invaluable to a smart team wanting to get the most out of their Customer Discovery stages.  We call it FACE and it takes elements of inbound marketing and scrum practices to help marketing teams rapidly get into synch with their customers.

Here’s a brief overview:

  • FIND: Use monitoring software to find conversations, influencers and hot topics. We use platforms and services like Google Analytics, JamiQOracle SRM and Radian6 but there are many others. This is especially important for start-ups that may inadvertently be re-inventing the wheel.

  • ATTRACT: Create content (blogs, videos, images, etc.) that’s interesting and relevant. This is currency with which you earn trust… and trust is what you need in order to evolve your business idea with high-quality feedback.

  • CONVERT: Create measurable calls to action (e.g. polls, downloads, email signups, etc.) that indicate engagement and intent to purchase. We recommend using split A/B testing and other social experiments to make sure your idea/service is hitting a felt need. Very important for true Customer Development icon smile How Startup Weekenders can use Social Media

  • ENGAGE: provide customer service and build a community – so our community become the marketers for our brand. This is especially important from the outset as many early adopters like to wear their involvement as a badge and often become strong advocates later on.

We’ve found that this framework is particularly effective as a continuos feedback loop that can scale and complement most new ventures. I’d be very interested to hear how the teams were able to use social media to develop their ideas.