Social Media and Startup Advice From the Founder of Social Media Week

The CEO of Crowdcentric gives some suggestions on social strategies and reveals the key to startup success.
April 09, 2012

A successful social strategy isn't perfect, says Toby Daniels, CEO of the media strategy firm Crowdcentric. It's risky and often a little raw, which allows for adjustments and improvements after you have had a chance to gauge the initial public reaction.

Daniels, who is the mastermind behind the worldwide biannual Social Media Week, also believes your mindset should not be limited to U.S. borders.

“If you want to get a deep understanding as to how social media is impacting cultural, societal and economic level then you need to tap into the global conversation and make it less U.S.-centric and more internationally focused,” he said.

As CEO of Crowdcentric, Daniels helps brands, public sector organizations and companies maneuver the complex world of social media by creating more meaningful relationships with their key stakeholders and consumers through a combination of media, communication and technology.

With over 12 years of experience in digital media, Daniels recommends that companies build social strategies from the ground up and put social aspects at the center initiative of the campaign.

"You have to build social into the core of the entire creative, strategic planning process and you have to be willing–instead of applying this final polish to a 30-second spot–to actually push something out that might still be a little raw and rough around the edges. Then react and engage accordingly," he explained.

It’s not about producing a perfect campaign. "You have to be willing to make mistakes and take risks," he added. The companies whose campaigns are unsuccessful are the ones that “are unwilling to take risks, experiment in the public domain, accept criticism and build on successes.”

As for starting your own business, worrying his advice might sound trite and cliché, Daniels says finding your passion is key.

“There are formative years of building a business when having to make compromises will be really tough. What's going to get you out of the bed in the morning, what’s going to keep you late at night, what's going to drive you toward being successful, how will you maintain the right level of perseverance if you are not fueled by your passion?"

But that’s not all. He also recommends you  “surround yourself with like-minded, brilliant people who to certain extent represent experience and skills that are different from yours.”

Find advisors in different industry, he explains. Seek mentors in the academic space who can challenge the fundamentals of your idea or someone in the investment space who can look at your business model. Find 15 to 20 individuals over time and lean on them.

Daniels attributes the success of Crowdcentric and its various projects, including Social Media Week, to the many advisers he has come to rely on over the years.

Image credit: Social Media Week