We break down the key things to know about building a strong social media network for your blockchain startup.
The Broad View
Social media is an essential part of any company’s marketing and communications plan.
No ifs, ands or buts about it.
If you’re reading this, you probably agree–but you would like to know how you can optimize your social media presence for your blockchain startup or project.
Great – this essential guide is designed for you!
First of all – blockchain and crypto projects are very much community-focused. This is why it is absolutely necessary that you make social media a strong part of your growth and traction plan. (If you need help with that too – we’ve got your covered!)
However – what startups often forget is this: social media isn’t just about channels (Facebook, Instagram, Medium), it’s about brand. And brand, in turn, isn’t about your logo or your company’s colors.
It’s about identity – who you are and the vision of your project.
So if you and your team are the heart and soul of your blockchain company, social media is your voice. People will never know who you are, what you want and what you want to give them – unless you communicate it to them.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
You may have some questions as you get set-up with your social media presence. Here are a few answers:
Which social media platforms should a blockchain startup use?
Remember, it’s not about channels, it’s about communicating. There is no magic formula or required list of channels you should use. However, there are some tips for what to focus on… (More on that below.)
Do we need social media as soon as we start out?
Obviously, product development is most important. But because an essential part of building trust and transparency (see below) is about documenting your progress, it’s good to start sharing your story on social media right away.
Should I use paid social media advertising?
Paid advertising has its purpose – a very specific purpose. If you have a specific purpose and a specific goal in mind, then paid advertising can serve a valuable purpose. Otherwise – no.
Do I need a dedicated social media person/team?
The short answer is yes – and no. It is important to be regular and consistent in social media communications – which means that at least one person should have the main responsibility for your social media activities. But because one SUPER important part of social media is authenticity – you will most likely want to have your whole team involved in the process. This is more than just one person – obviously.
Transparency & Trust – the key to your blockchain startup’s success
Blockchain is a very new technology. Yes – bitcoin has been around for 10 years and 2017 brought enormous worldwide attention to blockchain. But it also brought a great deal of mistrust and suspicion.
That’s why trust and transparency are key. And this is where social media comes in.
Social media activity – with clear content about the team, project and product development – will serve as social proof and build trust in your brand…er, your identity.
Tips for transparency on social media
Feature team members personally in social media posts, especially video.
- Be sure include team member social media profiles in the team section of your website
- Consider delivering regular development updates via your blog or Medium
- Use Twitter to engage in conversation with similar or competitive projects
- Employ Instagram to feature team get-togethers outside of the office
- Be sure to document any and all times your team attends a public event
The qualities that make Twitter seem insane and half-baked are what makes it so powerful. – Jonathan Zittrain, Professor of Law at Harvard
Building a strong social media presence and using it to build a strong connection with customers, partners and even team members requires a concrete plan of action.
Here is a high level outline of what you need to do:
- Choose your target audience – and target channels base on your traction goals and project stage.
- Designate social media responsibilities
- Channel set up and monitoring
- Content creation
- Content distribution
- Define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure against
- Outline regular content goals and themes
- Outline ad hoc/spontaneous content goals and themes
- Set up distribution and social listening tool
- Begin content creation – usually with at least 2 weeks advance before first distribution
- Measure performance against KPIs – usually over 2-3 month period.
- Refine and repeat
Much like software development, social media and marketing in general are iterative animals. They need to be tested (based on your growth and traction plan) and then measured. Over and over and over again.
Naturally, using social media on a regular basis requires the help of certain tools to achieve scale. We could dedicated an entire guide to social media tools (and some people have…) but here is a short outline of what you need:
A simple design production process: No, this isn’t a tool, but it is essential. Much of what you communicate on social media is visual. Visuals, whether pictures, graphics or video, are vital to the engagement of your posts. Make sure you have a scalable process for producing the graphics you need to post consistently across the channels you use. And yes – be consistent…with colors, icons and logos.
A shared email account for social: This isn’t a tool either, but it’s still highly recommended. If you have a large number of people on your team using your social accounts, you might consider setting up a dedicated “[email protected]” email address and a consistent password structure. Be sure the email uses your website domain (see tips and tricks). If you don’t want to share an email account, you’ll have even more reason to use… (see immediately below)
A social media posting tool: A tool such as Buffer, Hootesuite, Tweet Deck or Sprout Social will help you keep a steady flow of content going out. Why is this important? Because you really want people to “get to know you” through your social media presence. This means “talking” to them consistently. Inevitably, the people assigned to work on your social media will be distracted or will work at various paces or will be taking time to produce original content. In the meantime, they will forget to post or interact on your social profiles. Scheduling your posts with a tool takes care of this for you. Now, ideally, this tool would also have a way to help you discover other relevant topics and content to share. Otherwise, you should be sure to have…
A social listening/content recommendation tool: Hootesuite has a feature which allows you to get notified when your brand terms are mentioned. Buffer includes a simple content recommendation tab. But as you grow and your reach expands, you may need a dedicated tool for this. Feedly is a good option (and cost-effective). Brand24 is another option with a more heavy focus on brand listening than content.
Three Social Media Secrets
Be specific: As much as possible, try to structure your posts around concrete news, updates, cool features, people or events. If you are vague in describing your blockchain startup as….well…just a blockchain startup, then you will get swept away. Be clear about what you’re doing. Include a “call to action” in as many social posts as possible. If you feel need to broaden your reach through paid social media posts, then use the paid posts as a call to action – to download a whitepaper, to sign up for an AMA, to view a product demo. Don’t just promote to promote.
Avoid Mondays: When was the last time you were overwhelmed with work, emails and cranky colleagues on Monday? Probably this week… Monday is not a good time to post social media content. HOWEVER – Sunday evening can be good. Why? Many professionals actually start to drift back into work mode on Sunday evening – trying to avoid the rush of Monday morning. If you post on LinkedIn or Twitter on Sunday evening, you may get a leg up on the competition.
Attend events – virtually: Even if you and your team cannot attend all the major blockchain events going on (and there are lots…) you can still enter into the conversation. Especially on Twitter, it’s easy to find the hashtag of popular events, search by it and then start liking and responding to people’s tweets. Even if you aren’t present at the event itself, you can pick some new followers this way and build brand awareness.
Transparency may be the most disruptive and far-reaching innovation to come out of social media. – Paul Gillin
A Word on Channels
Twitter: Twitter is all about conversation. It is about “immediacy” – right here, right now. Don’t expect people to dive into long blog posts and in-depth technical analysis from your Twitter feed. Do expect them to react to a provocative statement, a comment or opinion posted on Twitter. When it comes to crypto and blockchain, there is no doubt that “Crypto Twitter” (a.k.a. CT for short) is a vibrant, colorful, sometimes heated place for the exchange of ideas. Dive into it with eyes wide open.
LinkedIn: If you want to be taken seriously (and in blockchain you do…) then you should have a strong LinkedIn page. Be sure your entire team has LI profiles and are listed as employees. You should regularly promote your whitepaper on LI – better yet, take excerpts and put them into blog posts to be shared on LI. LinkedIn is professional – if you can be strong here, you will establish a good base of trust with your audience.
Facebook: Yes, Facebook currently has a bad name as an advertising platform because of its personal data problem, but it is still a force to be reckoned with. It’s relatively cheap to promote posts on FB; there are many different ad formats; and yes, people do still sit on FB. A lot. But like LinkedIn – you should leverage video above all else. Do not expect to build a fan base on Facebook, but you can use it to complement your other communications and drive traffic to specific content.
Instagram: The favourite medium of everyone graphical is also one channel that loves hashtags more than any other. Make sure to include plenty of them in your posts. As to “what” you should post on Instagram – this is a place to put a face on your team, show a playful side to the inner workings of your company. Also be sure to make good use of Instagram stories to offer short video clips from team members. If Twitter is about written conversation, Instagram is about visual conversation.