3 Months Inside A Startup.

by Alexis Serneels

It’s been 3 months since I posted my first tweet under the LiveTweetApp’s account.

3 months I spent tweeting, blogging, answering to our users' emails and learning about what's like to work in a young startup. My internship is nearly over so it's time for me to make a little recap of everything I experienced here.

How celebs used Twitter during 2014 Golden Globes to increase conversation. Great recap!— (@applivetweet) February 5, 2014

The first thing I quickly realize was that I didn't know much about Community Management. I studied communication and I'm from the generation Y, so yeah, I know about social media, I know about the Internet culture and I spend a lot of time on a computer. But growing and managing a community of real people in order to grab their interest, engage them and eventually do business with them is something way more complicated than just hanging out on Facebook and tweeting once in a while. You need to find an angle, define an identity for your business and interact everyday with your audience.

I realize that I know nothing about Twitter thanks to @buffer 's blog. CC @applivetweet— Germain J. (@Mouffins) February 3, 2014

Fortunately for me, there was practically nothing more than a Twitter and Facebook account in term of social media when I arrived at LiveTweetApp. So I had the great opportunity to build a whole social media strategy from scratch. What could be best for a CM rookie like me than starting from the raw Twitter and Facebook accounts? It may means more work to achieve, but it also means less risks.It didn't take me long to understand that as a young startup offering a Twitter app for a very specific target (people organizing events and willing to create a Twitter Wall to create social interaction) we didn't have a lot to say about the app itself. There is nothing worse than a business trying to do social media marketing by spamming self-promoting messages all day long, right? As we know it, today the trend is on content and as we didn't have much content to produce, we had to share what we found from others. That's when I became, without immediately realizing it, content curator.

The strategy was pretty simple: first, I had to find a tone, subjects that our followers would be interested by and sources that could provide me everyday with fresh news and detailed articles about the social media, tech and event worlds.My first big inspiration was Buffer, an web app that Alexis introduced me to on my first day here and that I've used from day one until today. After reading a couple of their blog posts, I was convinced that their approach, regarding how they connected with their users and audience, was excellent. They were sharing relevant and detailed news related to their business activity (i.e. social media) in an direct and friendly way. On their Twitter account and in their emails, they were speaking to their audience as they would speak to an old friend asking for advices. I immediately felt that it was the kind of communication I would feel comfortable working in, rather than a classic formal style. So I decided with Alexis that I would mimic Buffer's strategy and try to develop the same kind of environment for our social media and client support.It didn't take long to do its magic.

What's cool about starting from scratch as a CM is that after one week you feel like a king. cc @applivetweet— Germain J. (@Mouffins) February 11, 2014

Okay, that was pretty easy since we went from no communication at all to three tweets/facebook posts a day. But still, I felt like I was on a good path.The rest, you probably know how it went if you're reading this. No? How did you end up here then? Okay, go check out my other articles on this blog and follow @applivetweet on Twitter and you'll see what I've been doing the last three months ;)So here we are, three months later. I really enjoyed working here, that was probably the best experience I could have wished for as a first step in a real job environment. I was a real part of the team with responsibilities, work to do everyday, all this in a 4 guys team in a great office where we alternate between calm working periods and laughter (last time I have the opportunity to score points for my internship evaluation, sorry...)

The most important thing I learned here is that in English an interrogation mark has to stick to the end of the sentence (my mother tongue is french and in french you put a space before an interrogation mark. That's kind of a private joke, sorry again).What I really learned is that you can't really teach social media, there are no fixed rules. First because of the speed at which social media landscape is changing, but also because a social media strategy must be tailored for the company it promotes.I'll end this post, with some useless figures that roughly summaries my 3 months as a community manager here

-I posted more than 200 tweets (and I didn't count those on my personal account)
-20 blog posts (including this one)
-339 new followers (I think...)
-266 pictures used in tweets and blog posts-I tweeted more than never before on my personal account (94 tweets and RTs!)-Before starting my internship I haven't "favorite" a tweet since November 2012.