Leveraging Social Media and New Technology to Launch and Grow Your Business

Learn how technology and social media can be used for business success at The Social Launch Conference

Marna Friedman is the organizer of The Social Launch Conference.

As a business owner or entrepreneur, how do you know you have the right business model? How do you make sure your product or service will be a success with your target customer base?

These are questions that many business owners and entrepreneurs grapple with. These are also common issues that Marna Friedman has seen as a business strategist and as a member of the Leadership Committee for StartupChicks, an Atlanta-based organization dedicated to helping high-growth female founders and entrepreneurs launch their businesses.

In her experience as a mentor with the accelerator program at StartupChicks, Friedman found that many businesses “were not leveraging websites and social media in validating their business models.” Filling this gap was what inspired Friedman to create and hold The Social Launch Conference.

The Lean Startup: The Philosophy Behind The Social Launch Conference

Friedman explained that this year, The Social Launch Conference was inspired by the Lean Startup philosophy, a model developed by Eric Ries that emphasizes the importance of building a minimal product and gathering customer feedback that will inform each successive product iteration. In this way, startups can adapt their products or services to the needs of their target customers.

In her work with startups, Friedman noticed that many people get “so involved in building a startup and launching it and getting funding that they forget about validating it, which is the premise behind the Lean Startup philosophy.”

What does a philosophy about startups have to do with your business? The same principle of building your product or service around the needs of your customers applies to all types and sizes of business. And, social media and community engagement can be used to better understand those customers and validate your business model.

This is especially important, because Friedman has found that “businesses are having to pivot because they launched their product and then they find out that people are not using it the way it was intended.” As a result, these businesses end up wasting time and money.

The Social Launch Conference: Lessons for All Businesses

The Social Launch Conference takes place November 16-17, 2012

Though the Lean Startup philosophy helped to guide the direction for this year’s Social Launch Conference, this event isn’t meant just for startups or businesses in the technology industry. According to Friedman, the purpose of The Social Launch Conference is to help businesses “leverage social media and engage the community to help them validate their business model as they’re building it. This will help them save money because they’ll find out what people really want.” These are practices and goals that are applicable for all business types.

Friedman explains that the “social launch” aspect of the conference is in “learning how to leverage social media and new technologies to help build a community–whether you’re a startup or a solopreneur or a growing business entity–so that you’re engaging your community and helping them understand what it is you have to offer and what they can do to help you refine that offering.” Having a web presence can help businesses do exactly that.

The Importance of a Web Presence and Social Media

Why do businesses need to create a web presence and use social media? Friedman provides the analogy that businesses would never go without a business telephone line. Business owners still pay phone companies to maintain these lines, even though telephone books have largely fallen by the wayside. The same line of thinking should be applied to a business website. Friedman says, “Hosting a domain is a minimal investment to have a web presence,” and that having a web presence “should be a basic cost of doing business.”

In using social media, Friedman advises that businesses should think about their audience and where they are engaging. She has seen that many businesses use social media “as a megaphone, announcing what they think people want, but not engaging.” She has also seen businesses targeting the wrong social media networks without realizing that there may not be active users in that community.

What to Expect at The Social Launch Conference

These points about how to create a web presence and leverage social media to its potential are just a few of the topics that will be covered at The Social Launch Conference. At the same time, The Social Launch Conference is not solely about social media. Friedman says that there will also be sessions on the Lean Startup philosophy, as well as business model generation, among others.

In curating the conference and selecting guest speakers, Friedman considered, “What are people doing right? What are people doing wrong? And what are the things that people need to understand?” From there, Friedman says, “I sought out those people in our community that are experts in those topics, and those are the speakers who will be presenting at The Social Launch Conference.”

Along with access to these presentations, attendees will also get a 200+ page toolkit filled with references and links to over 200 websites to help them implement the lessons learned at The Social Launch Conference.

Registration is still open for The Social Launch Conference taking place from November 16-17, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. Register today and learn from industry experts how to best use social media and technology to successfully launch your business. (Use Promo Code “Company” to receive $10 off registration.)

About The Social Launch Conference
The goal of The Social Launch is to help startups and businesses understand how to leverage new technologies and social media to build communities and create opportunities. We will explore what’s new in technology and social media; how to leverage the appropriate platforms to expand your community, identify customers and grow your business. Some of the topics planned are lean startup philosophy, customer discovery, social media, SEO, WordPress, legal issues and more. Even businesses that have been in existence for a while can benefit from the topics.

About Marna Friedman
Marna Friedman is the Principal for Mpressive Solutions, LLC, where she specializes in leveraging WordPress as a website platform to help startups and businesses develop a web presence and social media community. She has implemented numerous systems throughout several industries that have resulted in better efficiency and profitability. After years of working for non-profits and other self-employed businesses, Marna is skilled at helping you save money while improving your business.