June 25, 2013

How to create a Social Startup

Bitspiration conference

At Bitspiration: An inspired gathering for European startups

Target audience: Entrepreneurs, startup teams, marketing professionals, social media strategists, businesses.

JD LasicaI‘m spending the week in Krakow, Poland, and gave a presentation yesterday as one of the featured speakers at Bitspiration, the second annual conference for entrepreneurs, startup teams and investors, chiefly from Eastern Europe. About 300 people have turned out to hear from a high-quality lineup of speakers from Europe and the United States, including four of us from Silicon Valley.

Here are the slides from the talk I gave on how to create a Social Startup, and why you want to do it:

Three main factors for Social Startup success

Some top-level takeaways from my talk (forgive the early slides that talk about my Polish American heritage), which are applicable to businesses and organizations as well:

• The media landscape has changed radically in just the past five years. Create media to tell your own story, don’t depend on an outside agency to come in and do it better than you can.

• Check out this photo I took earlier this month of Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte with a fan. A year or two ago she would have just asked for his autograph. Now, she wants a shared media moment with him.


Startups should consider three things for Social Startup success:

  1. Message. What’s the one brilliant thing your startup will do? What’s the one thing you want to be known for?
  2. Messengers. You should use social strategically to build a passionate community by making sure you identify influencers as well as regular supporters online and engage with them.
  3. Media. Use social to tell your own story.

• Bake social into your product instead of tacking it on as part of a marketing campaign.

• Infuse Social DNA into your startup, beginning with the hiring process.

• Bake social into your go to market strategy. Use content marketing to create thought leadership in your sector, using key keywords. Possibly create a social media newsroom on your site, rich with media assets, key bullet points and testimonials. Consider creating an ambassadors program or affiliate program if it’s relevant.

I’ll try to have my photos and highlights from the conference tomorrow. JD Lasica, founder of Socialmedia.biz, is now co-founder of the cruise discovery engine Cruiseable. See his About page, contact JD or follow him on Twitter or Google Plus.

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