For some time, I have been writing and ranting about how Social Media/Networking tools are making their way into small and medium businesses. Well, it seems that more early stage companies are incorporating these concepts into their startups. You would think I would be happy about that; something I predicted coming true. Truth is I think it’s great, but the bad news is that many of these entrepreneurs really don’t know what this means and a few, like one I saw yesterday, must have been told to just add the words “Social Media” to their investors presentation and then claim that they are like Facebook or LinkedIn including creating completely ridiculous exit valuation predictions.
I did see a second company yesterday who is looking to brand and grow their busienss using a combination of on-line and social media tools in lieu of attempting to raise lots of funding for a major consumer marketing campaign. A real new tools versus old school thinking, and just the formula in these times when cash/funding is hard to come by.
So, if you are putting together your plan for a new startup and someone suggests that you somehow use the words “social media” or “social networking” and not necessarily incorporate these into your web presence, you are going to be caught and fast. More importantly, if an investor thinks you are trying to pull a fast one on them, they dismiss you immediately. You need to understand, we have all seen numerous social media/networking companies over the last few years. So, we are pretty familiar with these concepts.
My recommendation, for what it’s worth, embrace these tools and aggressively add them to your business and use them to work on your growth.