Marketing, Start-ups and Social Media

“Marketing is not social media” – this is probably the biggest lesson that needs to be taught to every budding entrepreneur. Why? Because all that entrepreneurs do is sit on their laptops and flush out updates on popular social media such as Twitter, Facebook, etc. This feels good for multiple reasons: no need to spend much money, no need to meet too many people, no need to feel lower productivity, amongst others.

  • Since start-ups are cash starved most of the time, entrepreneurs feel comfortable creating FB Pages, Twitter handles, etc. Such ideas are popularly called ‘Low cost marketing’ or ‘No cost marketing’.
  • Since start-ups live in a dreamy world, they refrain from meeting real people. People will find us, is their singular rhetoric! But how, remains an unanswered question.
  • Since start-ups love feeling productive, marketing as an activity does not appeal. Going out, trying to fix meetings, making presentations without clear rewards, hearing no’s, etc. are not what entrepreneurs like doing as these activities give a feeling of being less productive.

I am sure there are enough other reasons why start-ups don’t spend time doing marketing, in the real way. What then is ‘real marketing’ for a start-up?

If you want to truly test and get your start-up off the ground, try these instead:

  • Go out and find at least 5 people (increase the number if you like) who will use your product / service and provide feedback
  • Go out and do events or activities that will get others excited about the solution you have just created (and how it can change lives even in a small way)
  • Go out and speak to as many people as possible about your product or service (test: hearing a lot of response, even if they are no’s)

Going out into the real world, meeting real people, hearing real responses is the real use of marketing! Do that every day!

Doing the above will provide the start-up interesting raw material to share on their social media channels, thereby leading to improved association and future sales! Good content comes from good activities done in the offline world. So the next time you start-up your laptop to do some online promotions, ask yourself if you are going to share what you have done in the offline world, if not, power down your laptop and get out of the office – do one of the above activities!

Try it out!


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