Social Media for Startups: An Interview with Soraya Darabi

Soraya Darabi
Photo Credit: © Elk Studios

Soraya Darabi is an expert in social media and a successful entrepreneur.  At only 23, she was the Manager of Digital Partnerships and Social Media of The New York Times. She’s been featured as one of  Inc. Magazine’s “30 Under 30”, Fast Company’s “Most Creative People in Business”, and most recently as one of Style Caster’s “50 Most Stylish New Yorkers.”  This week, she took the time to talk to the Harbus about strategies to maximize the benefits of social media.

According to Darabi, effectively using social media means converting new users into loyal customers. While it’s important to keep track of your efforts and to understand what works and what doesn’t, you can’t fully depend on the number of followers or likes to tell you the whole story cartier santos 100 replica. “At the end of the day you’re going to know you are a success because your community is telling you you are.”

In order to convert new users into devoted consumers a company must “take a step back and understand why you’re embracing social media.” In understanding why, it’s important to acknowledge that social media can make your brand look more innovative. It also increases user engagement, even if that just means getting people to a landing page that says ‘download our app’. Social media also provides an easy way to start gathering your next generation of users and internally provides an opportunity for your company to continue the conversations about where you should be headed and what technologies you should be using.

Darabi recommends beta testing everything, even if it means exploring apps and products that don’t seem to directly relate to your brand. This will keep you in tune with the innovations in the tech community and give you ideas about how you could apply new technology to your own organization. “Spend thirty minutes a day with newer platforms. Especially the ones that are scaling so rapidly that you hear about them constantly.”

When advising about best practices, Darabi recommends using your content as your marketing. She also recommends capitalizing on timely events, from holidays to the Oscars, always taking advantage of the events you can foresee in order to anticipate the wants and needs of your customers. It is also essential to be authentic and “rapidily changing and iterating to address customer concerns, be it positive or negative.” And lastly “when you’re thinking about reaching an audience you have to be thinking about where you’re directing them.”

Darabi ended the interview with some sound advice. “Be in a constant, perpetual state of research and development. Be your own R&D lab.” She advised that MBA’s “stay curious, stay focused on your individual goals, of course, but also realize convergence is happening to every industry and is not unique to tech” To give yourself a competitive advantage, “allow yourself a chance every day to research innovations that are disrupting your industry and experiment with the platforms that are communications catalysts.” And for entrepreneurs she advised, “Starting a business is hard, there is no shortage of resources to help you, but you can’t do it unless you do it. To be an entrepreneur means to invite failure as it means to invite success. Don’t be afraid of anything.”

Author Biography cartier roadster replica
Catherine (Katie) Leary Tomezsko is the General Manager of The Harbus.  She can be found on twitter @CTomezsko


  1. uhm… she started a company whose primary innovation is an iphone app that can take and share pictures of food…OOOOOHHHHHH

    1. You appear to be misinformed about Ms. Darabi. She is not dubbed a “social media maven” for just cofounding a popular app. She single-handedly brought social media to the NYT’s, creates and helps charities, and consults to start-ups and other businesses…and that’s probably not all and that’s just what I know of from twitter.

    2. @Rick: And what have you done, [ed.note –removal]?? Soraya is an incredible person. At three years old she dwarfed your entire life’s worth. Think before you speak “Der”elict.

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