Social Media Tips for Edtech Startups: Podcast Episode #12
When social media first came out around ten to 15 years ago, I was working at an advertising agency and my job was focused on bringing social media to a Fortune 100 company. And it was really exciting because social media was new. There was a lot to explore there, and this company had budgets to be able to advertise. There also wasn't as a lot of competition and the algorithms just weren't as sophisticated as today.
Now, with the popularity of social media, it's all changed. It's a different landscape. There's a lot of concerns around privacy and there's a lot of changes around algorithms that the social media platforms can change whenever they want. You have less control around who's seeing your stuff. And there's a lot more people that are on social media, which is good. There's also a lot of other companies and brands out there too. If you're thinking about social media for your edtech startup, there are three tips that I want to share with you that I've learned and seen from working in and out of social media for the past decade or so.
My first tip is to not launch right away on every social media platform. It's really easy to do that because they're all free and it takes minutes to get yourself set up on all the social media platforms. And you might see that other companies have the little social media widgets on their website or their emails showing that they're on every social media platform. But don't get caught up on that.
You want to think about starting off with the social media platforms that your target audiences are in. You could join those social media platforms yourself and just search around. Depending on what the platform is, you could use certain hashtags that they might be looking for or look for different groups and just get a sense for where you're seeing more activity from the people that you are trying to reach and just start on one platform.
Because the thing with social media is that consistency and keeping up with it is the key to success, especially if you are not advertising and you are just posting organically on social media. The algorithms on all the platforms are favoring people who are creating content consistently because those platforms want people to stay within their platforms and they want people to be using their social media and so they're rewarding people who are active. So that means that you as the brand, you need to be active on social media platforms. And if you are spread across five different social media platforms, it's going to be hard to stay consistent and consistent in these cases is definitely weekly, even multiple times a week on some platforms like Twitter multiple times a day. So there's a lot of work that goes into maintaining the social media platforms and the worst thing to do is to launch on five different platforms and then a month later you're not active anymore and you've spent that time building up some followers and then you go away. You want to stay consistent so you could keep building up your follower base and get engagement over time.
My third tip, last tip around social media for your edtech startup is to recognize that social media is a two-way communication. So if you are using social media and you're just sending things out and you don't plan on engaging with other people in any way, then don't do it. That's not what social media is about. Social media is about building a community and engaging with people and it's also about providing value and just being a good member of the community. And that means not always sharing content that is specific to your product. So think about the 80 20 rule. When you are scheduling your content in your posts, you want to have around 20% of your posts as promotional around your product, promotions or demos or testimonials. And then the other 80% are other things like other types of articles or quotes or images, tips that are related to what you are promoting but are more valuable for people to share and consume because that's ultimately what you want to be doing is getting people to interact with your content and then over time they'll respect what it is that you're sharing and they'll explore your product.
If you're not on social media for your edtech company, that is okay. As you've hopefully seen through these three tips, it's not as easy as it might look. Yes, it's easy to get started, but to keep up with it every week, every month there's an investment there. So you want to make sure that you are up for that when you get into it. And it's okay to just start small and focus on one social media platform and do really good with that. And then as your team grows or you learn more about that social media platform, you could expand out to other social media platforms.