3 Pillars to Social Strategy Success

Ben Bradley
Ben Bradley

Director of Strategic Accounts - Client Consulting

3 pillars social strategy successIt’s well known today that a successful digital strategy needs to include social media integration. That said – there are still many brands building a Facebook page, Twitter handle, etc. and not fully thinking out the strategy behind it. A quick Google search of social media mistakes will reveal many poor social executions and strategies. To make sure your company does not end up on the first page of a search like this, here are 3 pillars for developing a strong foundation to your social strategy.

Pillar #1 – Know your social strategy goals (and how to measure them)

First and foremost if you are going to be involved in social media and you want to measure the success, we need to move beyond the last click (or any other single source) attribution models!  Digital marketing is dynamic and involves many touches if we don’t acknowledge that and measure with that in mind we can’t manage our efforts effectively.

Your social success will need to be paired with the proper (pre-defined) metrics to get a true read on success. You likely won’t see Tweets being the last driving action to a purchase, but they might influence and build the relationship, so you need to measure different than many traditional channels.

Metrics and measurement are key elements of a social strategy, and here are 2 good articles with deep dives into what social metrics to monitor:

Pillar #2  – Engagement (don’t just talk at your customers, talk with them)

Social strategy
Source: Breaking Media

A social strategy is about more than just promoting your content via twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or whatever is next.  A Twitter feed filled with a barrage of self-severing content is no different than screaming at people, it doesn’t go over well, and will be ignored after time.

Your social strategy should be focused on engagement. Use the channels to communicate with customers and prospects by asking questions. As Oracle’s Social Selling Expert Jill Rowley says: be a “information concierge” and an “insights professional” to your audience. The foundation of your social strategy should be about engaging the audience in a meaningful way.

Beyond that it’s critical to remember that social isn’t anything more than another channel to communicate with. You don’t run a “social campaign” (with start and end dates) – if you start a social presence it must be maintained, and always on.

Pillar #3 – Turn your followers into advocates

social strategy
Click image to enlarge

Peer recommendations are two and a half times more responsive than any other marketing channel, according to a study by the American Marketing Association. Further per TechTarget’s media consumption study “peer-generated insight” is a top influencer during the research process.

Additionally as shown in this Branderati slide share:

  • “90% of Advocates write something positive about their purchase experience.” – per McKinsey
  • “Offers shared by trusted advocates convert at a 4x-10x higher rate” – per Zuberance

It is critical that your social strategy includes an element of nurturing and empowering current customers and prospects to develop user generate content.  By helping your customers feel empowered and appreciated, in turn they will become advocates and your best marketers. Share the content your users create on social channels, but also consider housing it in a more formal location as well (such as a microsite).

P.S. – The 4th pillar

Success in social channels will only be limited by adoption. Far too many times I have heard marketers say “social, yes we do that, but it’s another team’s responsibility” . If you want social success every person in an organization needs to understand their ability to influence social channels. Get involved and have fun with it!

If you would like to continue this conversation, you can reach me here or follow me on LinkedIn and Twitter.


Customer Engagement, Marketing ROI, Measurement, social goal setting, social media, social media marketing, social media strategy, user generated content

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