Blogs News


Show All Tags

The importance of social media for the early stage of your start-up

Tue, 18 July 2017

Contributed by Dan Murray co-founder of Grabble and the 2014 Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
It can be pretty exhausting as a start-up founder navigating the laborious and detailed business plan pitch decks, market sizing exercises, meetings with negative naysayer potential investors and starting to figure out how the hell to encourage people to join you on your mad journey with no traction, money, or in most cases, office space, let alone perks like table tennis. So to think that, on top of all that, having a social media presence is a necessity, is a daunting thought.
The single most important thing to remember as a founder is that your business will live or die by the way you prioritise. Of course, everything seems like a priority, and of course, at the start, you need to work 20 hour days, 7 days a week. Anyone that tells you that you don’t need to, probably hasn’t done it themselves and doesn’t really understand why you would want to do that - but you will. You have a burning passion and desire to do everything, and that irrational behaviour is totally normal, but even with all that time at your disposal, you still have to prioritise. 
So where does social media come into your list of priorities? Well, what kind of business are you building? If it’s a B2C (business to consumer) then it’s probably more important than if you’re a B2B. However, social media for social media’s sake doesn’t help anyone. A lame tweet, a poorly framed Instagram post, an unimpressive series of blog posts on Tumblr – soon the only opinion you will be creating for your brand is a negative one. So, definitely think before you start aimlessly posting.
Next – it’s important to pick a platform. This is essential because we like to run before we can walk, so we expect that maintaining regular, interesting updates across all platforms will be within our grasp. In case you really can, then Tweetdeck and Buffer will suit you well, so you can plan and schedule your posts, though neither work for Instagram. 
In case you can’t, decide what’s more representative; is it Facebook, twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr? If you don’t know, it’s fine to test and measure which of these is performing best for you, but diving into filling all these channels up with engaging content that keeps people involved with your brand is a pretty unlikely expectation and therefore a wasted endeavour. 
At the end of the day, quality trumps quantity – and what you post should, just like your business, have some purpose behind it. If you are building up an audience on Instagram, is it so they can engage with your brand and remember to use it, or is it to attract new customers? Different posts will require different calls to action, which elicit different responses and therefore results. If you want lots of people to see your post, that’s very different to wanting someone to buy from your post. Decide what the intention is, and measure it on that basis.
Don’t forget that social media is one aspect on a long list of priorities and it can have an impact in varying forms. You can raise money, sell directly to prospects or just get large audiences.
If you’re a wordsmith, then perhaps Medium or Tumblr blog posts that you share on Twitter will be best at inspiring people with your point of view/way of thinking, you might even get a few potential investors interested in what you say. 
If you are a B2B founder, you stand to make more money per customer, so rather than going for volume, consider how to create an impact through careful targeting, and utilise a platform that your ideal client is using. 
If you’re a B2C founder, it’s usually more about scale and brand awareness – so hitting high volumes is essential, in which case it’s hard to beat Instagram.
Whatever you choose, just make sure you have an intention, a desired outcome, and optimise towards that. Don’t try to buy loads of followers and give the impression that you’re popular because you’ll still get no engagement so that will end up causing you more problems than it solves. Don’t try to optimise more than two platforms at once – it’s doomed for failure. 
Take things slow, consider why you are posting, and remember that people want to see the quality, so posting less, but more meaningfully is far more likely to have an impact than rushing to post content that’s not interesting by general standards.
But the best advice I can give? Don’t be afraid to do NO social media at all. Remember your priorities, and stick to them. Only bother if you have the time, and you have a relevant strategy – if not, the mystery behind your business will serve you better than any mediocrity can, so just make sure you are focused on the right goals to get to the next stage. Whilst it’s important in terms of brand building, social media has a time and a place, and only you can decide when that is, and what platform best suits your industry or market. Good luck!

About Daniel Murray (Co-founder of Grabble)

Dan is Co Founder at Grabble & Mobula, a serial entrepreneur, angel investor, & the UK Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2015 as well as being part of the Drapers 30 under 30 for fashion and on the advisory board of Retail Week Live. He also runs an international community of entrepreneurs called Foundrs comprising 300 founders between London, LA and San Francisco.
He hosts a podcast called “The Secret Lives of Leaders” in which he interviews key people in the UK entrepreneurship sector, featuring founders of Just Eat, Photobox, Moonpig,, BBH, & even HRH Prince Andrew. He started Funconference, a weekend away for founders and CEOs where all content is curated and attended by fellow participants.

The mobile commerce enthusiast is a keen public speaker on all things mobile and fashion, tweets @murraymuzz and writes a popular blog ( about the lessons he learns growing a team and daily struggles of running a consumer start-up.

His greatest achievement to date are his cats, who have a 10k+ following on Instagram (@archieandbells)

Could you be the next Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year? If you think that you or your business has what it takes to win a Shell LiveWIRE Award you can apply online now via our Awards page.


Related Posts