Intellectual Property

Developing Your Social Media Presence

Authors: Melanie G. Rubocki, StartupPercolator

To engage potential and current consumers in today’s evolving online environment, it is necessary to build a web presence that communicates your company’s message and vision in a compelling and effective way. Social media outlets, such as Twitter and other online relationship building tools, can help you develop a bond with your target audience that is built on mutual engagement. When developing your online strategy, keep the following things foremost in your mind.

1. Control your brand’s online presence. Ensure that your brand is consistent across multiple media channels by devising a content development strategy that deploys your company’s vision in every major social networking outlet. Failure to establish an online presence that enables you to control your brand and its message can read like an open invitation to unsatisfied customers and competitors to craft your company’s message for you.

2. Engage in online conversations about your brand. Show your customers that you are listening and that their constructive feedback about your product or service is critical to your company’s success. Smart founders know that million-dollar ideas are often sparked as a result of customer feedback. When feasible, incorporate interesting ideas received from your audience into your business model.

3. Be as polite online as you would be in person. When feedback is received, whether good or bad, politely communicate your appreciation to your customers so that they feel compelled to help you build a better company. Besides being tacky, responding defensively to negative feedback will put your audience on the defensive and will create adversarial relationships. Keep in mind that an army of online enemies will never translate into long-term business success.

4. Protect your brand. Always remember to take the right steps to protect you brand. Whether it is in print or online, protecting your brand through the proper implementation of a thoughtful IP strategy will be an investment as well as risk mitigation.

How to Prepare for an Equity Financing

We have covered in past FTTWs how to value your startup and how much capital to raise. Once your startup decides to pursue equity financing, you should start to prepare for the investor due diligence process. On the business side, you will need to prepare a business plan and should take steps such as obtaining management references, interviews and background reviews, customer/user references, technical/product reviews, financial statements and business model reviews.

What Every Startup Needs to Know

On Wednesday, June 26th, Perkins Coie’s Palo Alto office hosted the startupPerColator event, “What Every Startup Needs to Know.” Lowell Ness, a Perkins Coie partner in the Emerging Companies & Venture Capital (ECVC) practice, moderated a panel which included Herb Stephens of NueHealth, Thomas Huot of VantagePoint Capital, Jennifer Jones of Jennifer Jones and Partners, Yuri Rabinovich of Start-up Monthly, and Olga Rodstein of Shutterfly.