Back to Basics on Social Strategy

CT blogSocial strategy matters because it drives discoverability and engagement with your content across the buyer’s decision journey – from awareness through post-purchase loyalty. That strategy doesn’t exist in a vacuum. To have significant impact, it should be tightly integrated with your enterprise branding and positioning, go-to-market plans and overarching content strategy, and thought leadership roadmap.

In helping marketing teams build and refine their social strategies, we’ve found it helps to keep these basic principles in mind:

 

 

  • To generate value, social should be integral to the GTM program – not an afterthought. Considering upfront the content implications of social – should become ‘the new normal’ planning/ideation process. Socialization and collaboration with lines of business and key functional team leaders on strategy and approach is critical to successful execution. Too often, it’s left till the tail end of the process, limiting the options and potential value.
  • Broaden the definition and application of social. It’s not all brand push. Listen Consider actively engaging your employee base as well as aligned industry influencers – and make it easy for them to share your content. At the end of the day, it’s all P2P. Decision-makers are more likely to connect with individuals than brands. The authenticity lift can lead to new networking opportunities and more personalized dialogue.
  • Fresh, relevant content is foundational to social media success. You need a robust pipeline of content worth sharing, amplifying and promoting. Social should dovetail seamlessly with your content roadmap (See Tip #1 above).
  • Make smart use of both organic and paid social engagement. Reports of the death of organic posts may be greatly exaggerated. Or maybe we just expect too much. Realistically, you will continue to do both. Apply the deep learnings from your paid program about what draws and engages your audience best to your organic posts. Or conversely, if you’re new to paid, use organic successes to pinpoint where to invest your promotional dollars.
  • Strive for both quality and quantity in your social community. In looking at the big picture, don’t lose sight of the operational details. Everyone is on the march for more followers. Spend some quality time on a regular basis to check how good that following really is. As bots are getting smarter at mimicking real people, do the necessary ‘blocking and tackling’ to keep them from taking over.
  • There’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ in terms of frequency, type or mix of engagement tactics. And turns out, what works for you now will change over time as your audience evolves and grows. Be prepared to test, learn, adjust – and repeat.

Taken as a whole, a strategic social structure provides a powerful means to build awareness, amplify messages, access trends and become a greater part of the industry conversation. And as such, it can reinforce the brand and support business development.

Cheryl Treleaven
Cheryl Treleaven

Principal

Engaging your customers is at the heart of successful marketing programs. For more than 20 years, Cheryl has been building and executing content and thought leadership strategies designed to do just that. She is excited to be applying that well-honed skill to a help companies like Microsoft, Cisco, 3M, Intel, Capital One and Barclaycard tap into their stakeholder communities and build sophisticated content strategies.

Her experience base spans a range of industries – from technology and financial services to retail, travel, consumer products and healthcare. Cheryl has served as an integral member of her clients’ marketing teams, providing counsel on marketing and brand strategy, thought leadership, media relations, product introductions, and event management.

Prior to joining ComBlu, Cheryl spent 10 years leading corporate marketing for large, complex organizations.

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