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Social Media Marketing: Do This, Not That

By Suzy DeLine

Why is the Eat This, Not That! franchise so successful? We crave clarity, simplicity, and inspiration. And, a) we all eat, b) we want guilty pleasures, but with maybe a little less guilt.

If you are a marketing manager and social media falls under your purview, odds are you would welcome clarity, simplicity, and inspiration in your plan, no? Perhaps you feel some small twinges that your social media isn’t quite all it could be?

You can read our earlier post, where you’ll see some food for thought on three things you can and should be doing. But wait… As they say, there’s more! If you don’t have time to read, listen to the podcasts of expert Chase Sagan on all things social media and marketing. Let us ‘cut to the chase’ with Sagan-inspired tips. (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself!)

Top 3 Social Media Tips: Do This, Not That

  1. DO go native. DON’T think of social media platforms as channels of distribution.
  2. DO measure metrics that support business goals. DON’T measure social media metrics.
  3. DO test assumptions. DON’T stop experimenting.

Social Media Platforms ≠ Distribution Channels

Distribution channels: something on which you put your ads. Social media platforms: something on which you authentically participate. You may have your creative approach (heaven knows getting that approved was an epic feat). And it’s tempting to get the format optimized, schedule deployment across all “channels,” and hope it connects. (Spaghetti on the wall, anyone?)

This habit has been promoted by marketing tech. We’ve been lulled by the convenience of Hootsuite and other scheduling tools to put content so easily onto myriad social media platforms. My take: If you’re routinely “publishing” everything you create out into all your social media conversations, odds are your conversations are pretty superficial. You’re broadcasting.

Put in the initial planning time on each platform to define
your identity and value to this community. Start with the needs
of your ideal, desired customer, and the modes of
interaction that makes each platform hum.

I will trust that you have put in the effort to get to know your ideal customer. You’ve done the work with personas. You are confident about the value you have to offer this audience. (If you haven’t done that, stop reading RIGHT NOW and go do it!) If you need to further define your best offering/content on each platform, this article gives you ways to think about some of the leading communities.

And as mentioned in our last blog post, there may be certain platforms where you personally do not connect in a native way. If this is the case, find another resource for whom this is a joy and a pleasure. (Or development opportunity. Or an opportunity to bring in new expertise.)

You Get What You Measure

The million dollar question — is your activity on social media helping you meet business objectives? Let’s make sure your metrics match those, as opposed to having goals that measure ‘efficiency.’ I’m frequently asked how to increase reach or how to build followers and subscriber bases. These metrics often lead you to create content that solves for these goals rather than the larger business goals. As Chase wisely put it:

Isn’t it better to have 10 followers who are very likely
to become customers, than 1000 who “like” everything
you say and take no further action?

The best dashboard I ever had was in Hubspot, as we could easily set up an attribution report. This report showed which marketing activities, including social media posts and ads, led to opportunities. For this client, they recognized that once sales were able to qualify and connect with a lead, marketing could count it as a win.

For other organizations, you might need to see how activities lead to revenue, or brand recognition. This may or may not equal followers, likes, site traffic, etc. If the wording of your metrics matches your org’s overall verbiage, what you see each week should clarify what should go in the creative. (This is preferable over everyone wanting to put their two cents in!)

Inspiration and Iteration

My goal in writing these blogs is to help you, a marketing manager, get ideas on how to make your life better. If you get more productive social media as part of your marketing mix, I’ll be glad. So I’ll leave you with this final thought — social media is content, and of course, you have a map of that. Social media could be its own separate slide in the slide deck, but should it be?

Social media is a place to amplify and take advantage
of what you have decided to say to people,
in a way that helps go the final mile.

Once you’ve got your overall plan in place, do one test each week. Get together with your group to discuss results. How fun is it to have something absolutely new and shiny to share each week? Managers, don’t let your staff meetings become a rundown of the latest fire drills or upcoming events. Encourage everyone to formulate and test one assumption each week.

To get you started, read our previous post on choosing the channel. Consider asking everyone on your team to find someone inspiring on a new social media platform, then propose how your current content strategy might play in that atmosphere. Frequently, the cost to test it will be low and the upside for a new audience and new interactions can be huge.

Otherwise, on a platform you’re already on, encourage each team member to join a group or conversation that is aligned with the problem your brand is trying to solve. (Stay tuned for our upcoming post on #hashtagstrategy for more on this.) Ask them to participate daily and report back in the next meeting.

In Conclusion

Each organization will incorporate social media differently. But the view from our window shows that the above dos and don’ts will give you a more positive return on your time, and hopefully keep things interesting for you and your team.

If you have other sage dos and don’ts you’d like to share, please give a shout out below.

About Suzy DeLine

Suzy DeLine is a digital marketing consultant specializing in both inbound and content marketing. She is a huge marketing geek and gets very excited when she sees things being done well, or innovative stuff being tried out. (She also loves beagles.) She hails from a Wisconsin dairy farm by way of Northwestern University (go Wildcats).

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