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    Skot Waldron
    By Skot Waldron

    Your Social Media Strategy is begging you to shut up and listen


    As marketers, we would never think about creating a new logo or launching a new product without first doing market research. So, why are we so quick to launch a Facebook page, start blasting tweets, or put cool filters on our Instagram photos when in reality we do not understand who we are talking to or what we’re supposed to talk about? 

    Before we engage with our audience, we need to understand what people want and how to deliver it to them. It all boils down to this common saying — “People want to know you care before they care what you know.” Take a moment (or a month, that’s what we suggest) to listen and understand what’s going on in the social space.   

    The first question I ask my clients is, “Why are you on social media?”. The answer I usually get is, “Because my boss told us they wanted to try it out.”

    That’s not a horrible answer, but that’s not exactly what we are looking for here. Ask yourself why you’re using social media. What is your end goal? What are you trying to achieve? Without an understanding of your audience and specific goals in mind, how will you define the success of your social media strategy? How are you going to know what to listen for?


    Check your Execution at the Door

    When approaching a social media strategy, start by considering the nature of your business and your individual goals. The words Twitter and Facebook should not even enter the conversation at this point. At this point in the process you should avoid any conversation even remotely related to execution. People get hung up on the specific platforms before they even understand who they are trying to reach and what message they want to send.


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    Shhhhhhhh-ut Up

    I’m going to go ahead and say it. No, I DON’T think every business should be on Facebook (What the…?!?!!). It may not be the place for your particular audience or message. So, before we waste time and money figuring out what sticks, and maybe even damage your brand by “guessing”, we listen. We listen to our clients, and we listen to the digital web-o-sphere. During our process, we ask these questions:

    1. What are your social media goals?
    2. What do you want your audience to think about your brand?
    3. What does your social media audience look like? ie: Which platforms do they use? What are they talking about? Where are they located? Age? Gender? Socioeconomic status?
    4. What kind of content (videos, articles, photos, etc) do you have to use on your social media platforms?
    5. Who is already out there talking about you, promoting you, or even trashing you?


    Make Your Boss Smile

    With this information, we evaluate data and conduct quantitative and qualitative analysis to create a solid foundation for where we are going next. NOW we can determine platform usage, content strategies, monitoring/reporting strategies, and setting up a calendar. Things start to make sense to everyone in the room at this point. We have a plan. People love plans. Bosses love plans. This plan is the foundation for our entire social strategy.

    If you’re new to using social media as a way to market your business, or yourself, then listening works for you. If you’re a social media genius, then you know listening works for you too. We’ve used this for small and large campaigns alike. It’s all part of the process.

    It works.

    If you need a little help getting started or making the argument why you should use social media as part of your overall digital marketing strategy, let us know. We’d LOVE to help you out.


    Social media strategy isn't just for the big boys. Small businesses and entrepreneurs need some love too. Stop wasting time and energy on social media. That's what you're doing if you don't have a plan. Click the image below if you'd like 6 free templates and some best practices to get you started!  

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