Is it essential for startup founders to have a strong social media presence?

The purpose behind the launch of a social media platform was to connect people with their friends and family who live all over the world. However, over the years, the use and purpose of social media platforms have evolved.

Social media platforms have now become a medium for brands and startups to spread awareness about their products and services and thus grow their business. Companies like Zomato, dunzo Y CREDIT Leveraging the power of social media to keep your customers engaged and coming back for more.

According to Hootsuite’s social media marketing and management dashboard, one in two Instagram users use the platform to discover new brands, and another 44 percent of users use it to shop weekly.

To put this in context, as of January of this year, Instagram had 1.386 million users on its platform. Therefore, the platform provides an incredible opportunity for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to generate excitement and connect with their users in a more personal way.

While startups rely on social media to increase engagement with their customers, when it comes to founders, there are two different schools of thought. Some entrepreneurs believe that social networks have lost their essence and lead to nothing more than a mere waste of time and energy, while others believe that, if used correctly, social networks have a lot of power.

For this week’s article on Entrepreneurship 101we focus on the latter: a team of entrepreneurs who believe it is essential to have a strong social media presence.

Which platform to select?

With a host of options available today, selecting the right channel and platform can be overwhelming for business owners. While LinkedIn can be great for networking and hiring new talent, Instagram and Twitter are great channels for connecting with customers on a more personal level. However, being equally active on all social media platforms can be a challenging and time-consuming task. To put an end to this dilemma, Your history asked startup founders about their preferred platform.

For AlokMittalFounder of online lending platform Indifi Technologies, LinkedIn has proven to be an important funnel for hiring some of Indifi Technologies’ best talent.

“Over the years, we have been able to cultivate powerful networks for both Indifi and its leaders on LinkedIn through a significant and sustained cadence of content. It provides a layer of personalization when interacting with potential talent,” she says. As a startup founder, Alok has used the platform to bring in what he calls “Some of the best recruits.”

Additionally, Alok suggests that LinkedIn is an important touchpoint for stakeholders to discover its brand and content, “which is designed to translate our vision, mission, and ambitions to potential talent, partners, and our fellow fraternity members,” he says.

Regardless of how challenging it may be, Aditya Kumarco-founder and CEO of fintech startup NiroY Sandipan MiterCo-founder and CEO of institutional foodtech startup hunger boxThey are active on all four major social media platforms: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Use of social networks for work.

Social media is a powerful marketing tool for businesses. In the first half of 2021, spending on social apps increased 50% to reach $3.2 billion. A report from App Annie suggests that there has been a 50 percent year-over-year increase in in-app purchases. These statistics strongly suggest that entrepreneurs can use social media to increase their brand reach and loyalty.

In addition to these direct benefits, however, social media offers other hidden benefits for startups and entrepreneurs: keeping up with industry trends, networking, reaching out to investors, and recruiting talent. For example, Sandipan primarily uses social media to conversation tracking and topics that are important to him, share key updates on his startup, and share his thoughts on entrepreneurship and the food and beverage industry in general.

In fact, Alok has been pretty lucky with his use of social media. “I found social media to be a really effective networking tool throughout my career path,” he says. Alok met his co-founder Siddhartha Mahanot via a social media post he made seven years ago on Facebook. That chance social encounter led to the start of the startup.

Image Source: ShutterStock

LinkedIn has proven to be an important funnel for some of the best talent at Indifi Technologies. “Over the years, we have been able to cultivate powerful networks for both Indifi and its leaders on LinkedIn through a significant and sustained cadence of content. Provide a layer of personalization when interacting with potential talent. As a founder, I have used the platform to personally onboard some of the best recruits.”

For B2B2C financial services startup Niro, Instagram and Facebook form tools to reach end customers and build trust, awareness and brand recall. On the other hand, founder Aditya finds LinkedIn and Twitter more rewarding and can be found using them more frequently.

As an early-stage startup, these two platforms provide great avenues for brand research, nurturing early adopters, and championing the startup’s mission.

“I have been active on LinkedIn for the longest time. It’s amazing for networking, recruiting, and thought leadership,” he says. Aditya uses Twitter as a community resource pool. He says, “It’s a great platform to exchange and consume ideas, knowledge, trends and developments across ecosystems and consumer groups.”

summarizing

With the COVID-19 pandemic bringing all one-on-one and physical meetings to a standstill, platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter proved important to the Indian startup community not only for networking but also for collaboration. “There is immense merit in cultivating a social media presence for both startup founders and start-ups, considering where their relevant audience is,” says Alok.

While Aditya himself is active on social media platforms and believes there is merit in having an active social media presence as a founder, he is of the opinion that it is not “essential” for founders to be on social media.

“As founders, each of us has a different journey and personality. Depending on one’s goals, stakeholders, and what stage the business is in, there are multiple routes to actualizing a founder’s ambitions with or without social media. I have personally met successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders with no social media presence and vice versa,” he says.

To read previous articles on Entrepreneurship 101, click here.

Add Comment