Whether you’re a seasoned social media guru or an anxious luddite, executing an effective social media campaign is hard. An ever changing landscape of tools, tactics, and benchmarks of success can cloud the horizon and lead any organization down unproductive rabbit holes. Adding a real structure to your efforts makes all the difference in the world.
Here is what works for us >>
The first thing to determine may seem obvious, but I’ve seen even the most digitally astute organizations completely miss this main point –
Always start by defining your objectives. Reverse engineer from there. I say this a lot during pitches and you’d be surprised at the responses I get. People are impressed and say that no one’s ever said that to them before! Seems obvious to me.
Once you’ve clearly defined you’re objectives, it’s key to have an integrated set of strategies to guide your efforts. Here’s our tried and true framework >>
1) Listen and learn!
Any effective program begins with quality research. If you want to engage and people people online you necessarily have to learn about them first.
- Identify networks, communities, and audiences;
- Listen to what they’re talking about;
- Begin curating content by developing feed lists, web searches, and Twitter monitoring tactics.
2) Curate Content
This is your content strategy. A key part of establishing a presence, becoming a trusted source of information, and a respected voice is providing regular, useful information to your communities.
- Find the right tools (see list below);
- Learn to use RSS feed readers (we love Feedly);
- Use Hootsuite to monitor multiple Twitter conversations and lists;
- Get your own content ready.
Be there or be square! Establish a regular, strategic presence on key networks.
In an environment characterized by chronic information and content overload, it’s important to show up and join in the conversation. Dissemination means posting quality content on a regular schedule on key networks (i.e. the ones that the people you want to reach are on). You want your people to see you when they log on, and you want what they see to be good.
Here’s a rough content breakdown guide that we advise our clients to follow:
- 25% Useful information on key topics from your curated content
- 25% Reposts, shares , comments, and retweets
- 10% Ask questions
- 20% Personal anecdotes and insights – keep it human!
- 20% Shameless promotion of what you’re doing!
4) Target and Engage
Establishing a presence to increase recognition is important, but engaging with your targets and the people that influence them is key. Take a look at how Buffer hooked social media celeb Guy Kawaski when they were just starting:
Continually optimize your program and use good data to do so. It should be a living and breathing entity that evolves over time. This means it should adapt and grow. Use key social media metrics and google analytics to assess what campaigns worked and why, then recalibrate based on a concrete feedback loop. Establish regular benchmarking and work sessions to continually optimize your efforts according the numbers.
6) Rinse and repeat!
Bonus section for reading the whole post – killer apps!
These 4 tools are a great start.
Buffer – The ultimate sharing and scheduling tool. Affordable and powerful, Buffer does what the others try to do for a lot less.
Raventools – A powerhouse suite that combines in depth SEO applications, website research tools, social monitoring, and google analytics integration.
Feedly – A great RSS feed reader.
Hootsuite – Still the gold medal winner of Twitter clients. An essential tool for monitoring Twitter.