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After spectacular adoption of social media by individuals over the last decade, business use of social media has finally begun to catch up. The aim of this research is to develop a richer understanding of how Irish start-up organisations are utilising social media in order to gain sustainable competititve advantage in the global marketplace. A sample of ten Irish high tech start-ups is interviewed to identify both organisations' primarily use of social media and associated challenges. The findings from this research provide strong evidence that Irish start-ups are using social media primarily for creating brand awareness and as an alternative sales channel. An analysis of the companies' Twitter feeds also provides empirical evidence of how social media is being used by coding their tweets and developing a classification of the key functions of Twitter updates: Information, Interaction and Promotion. Our research also identifies main challenges faced by management administrating social medie initiatives. In conclusion, this research suggests a “best practice” model for start-ups engaging in social media.