Interview with Ovi Negrean, Co-Founder & CEO of SocialBee is a platform that helps entrepreneurs, agencies, and small to middle-sized businesses manage their social media content. The platform allows users enjoy the many benefits of lbeel media marketing. We caught up with CEO and co-founder, Ovi Negrean.


How did you come up with the idea for the company?

Funny enough, the idea for SocialBee came to us while working on another startup. Some friends and I created a product called Nugget, which was a quick and easy way for our users to skim the contents of a book and see if they would like to read it.

Like many other startups, we used social media to promote Nugget and grow our audience. To cut down on the time invested in social media and increase productivity, we created some tools that would automate the process of sharing evergreen content. Somewhere along the way, we realized that the tools we made had a lot more potential than our initial startup, so we took a leap of faith and invested in building a new startup.

Once we got our first customer, we took off and never looked back.


What can we hope to see from SocialBee in the future?

We have a lot of plans for the future. In fact, the first of June marks five years since SocialBee came to life, and although we can say that we came a long way, we still have a lot of work to do. These five years were all about building a steady foundation, finding our own unique flavor, and learning the ins and outs of managing and marketing a successful startup.

But we’re not planning to stop here. We are actually coming up with two complementary products, one of which might not seem that complementary at first. But in time you will see that we have an integrated vision of how to build a top-class product that helps our users —which are usually startups or small service providers, get the most out of their marketing strategies and help them grow their companies.

Besides that, we want to keep improving what we already have. We’d really like to nail down the whole Instagram use case, especially seeing that we have gained access to Instagram links’ APIs, something that we didn’t have until now.


What tips would you give to young entrepreneurs who are thinking of starting their own business?

There are a lot of tips that we could share, but one of the most important ones would be a thing that I call Sell > Service > Scale, Alternative Startup Methodology. Now, when starting a business, most people concentrate on an MVP to showcase either that:

  1. their product is something that people are willing to pay for or,
  2. their product is going to become a sustainable startup.

But there’s also something that I’d like to call a concierge MVP which means that you build the most basic version of your product to see if it can pull any clients. For example, in the beginning, SocialBee was just a mix of very complex Google Sheets and a lot of manual work on our end. You first need to sell your vision and then work things out as your very first customers are experimenting with your product.


What do you think makes a business successful on social media?

I think nowadays social media became a must, but businesses can’t thrive on social media marketing alone. The truth is that you might not be able to drive a lot of customers through social media purely because your target audience is not social media bound.

But even in this case, you shouldn’t forget about posting on your accounts. After all, you wouldn’t want a potential customer stumbling over your Facebook page and thinking you’re out of business just because you haven’t posted in a while. So consistency is the first step towards success.

Then we have authenticity. You have to find your own voice on social media and use it. The way you address your customers and your tone will have to remain the same, as they will be part of your brand.

Here’s how you can distinguish the two —the way you address your customers is the vocabulary you use and the tone is the way you say it. So for example, even if you use friendly words, if you don’t have the right tone, you might come across as fake.

Another good tip here is to stay away from a very corporate way of speaking online.