After guiding startup companies over the past 20 years and launching ventures of our own before being acquired then directing PE/VC firms, it’s interesting to see how startups spend OPM (Other People’s Money) as if it’s endless then eventually things come crashing down. And this post touches on one of the biggest failures we see around startups advertising on social media.
First and foremost, just because you have money in the bank doesn’t mean you have to spend it frivolously and that ties back to social media marketing where instead of organically building the right foundation then exploring additional options, doing A/B testing etc. many startup founders/employees gravitate towards the set it and forget it approach while burning money in the moment.
Before spending a dollar on social media ads, startups need to think about their core foundation – content, messaging, etc. – and ultimately who they’re trying to reach in the end. And gathering those insights in a natural way to see what works organically can be augmented by running ads in the future, though you can’t lead with that.
If you’re a startup that’s looking at marketing on social media, take a step back to think about what makes you special and outline all of those factors. You’re better than your competitors because of XYZ and need to show that.
In a nutshell, until you have a solid content strategy and have taken full advantage of organic social media marketing don’t dump money into social media advertising. Take things in steps while continuing to learn along the way.