How you Tweet Matters: Optimal Social Media Strategy for Startup Lifecycle

Xiaoning Gavin Wang, PhD Candidate, The Wharton School

Abstract: With over 2.7 billion monthly active users on Facebook and 330 million on Twitter , social media provide an indispensable channel for information, offering unprecedented ability to efficiently broadcast information about goods and services, especially for early-stage companies which usually lack a public channel for information disclosure. Literature in marketing and information systems have stressed the importance of social media adoption in the development of startups. While the effectiveness of company social media engagement in increasing firm productivity and profits is well documented, few literature has discussed the different types of social media strategies across different development stages of companies, and how startups should alter their strategy across time. This research project plans to understand what types of social media strategies that startups adopt during different phases of their life cycle and investigates the optimal social media strategies for startups based on both invariant (endure) and changing factors. Our research will not only provide better understanding of the startup social media strategy, but also propose managerial advice to future entrepreneurs and serve as practitioner’s guide.