These are my slides from a free public workshop I conducted for JCI Beirut about the basics of Social Media Strategy that includes examples of brands that do not have a proper strategy, defining your goals, the sales cycle, asset mapping, defining your audience and creating personas, choosing channels, voice & tone, posting frequency & time, crisis management, and understanding Facebook's algorithm.
The best goals are quantifiable, so everyone is clear on what you want your social
media plan to achieve. It is also important to identify what metrics you are going to
track, and how you're going to measure them. Potential goals include:
1. Sales: using social media to create first-time customers. or introduce them to the
2. Leads: incoming calls. contact from submission forms. email subscribers.
3. Marketing:You may simply want to improve your relationship with existing
customers and prospects.
4. Loyalty/Brand Enthusiasm: increase retention and/or improve customer service.
5. HR: attract and retain quality employees. DefineYour Message
Segments of your customers and prospects have different
relationships with the brand. Some have never heard of
you. Others are raving fans.Which are you trying to reach
with social media? What your target audience already
knows about you will dictate what you can credibly have a
conversation about in social media.
1. Awareness:They may have heard of you. vaguely.
2. Interest: They've heard of you and may have visited
the website, but are not customers.
3. Action:They’ve made a single purchase.
4. Advocacy:They are fans of the brand. Frequent
purchasers.They tell their friends.
• A common myth about social media is that it's free, or at least very
cheap.While it may be free to set-up aTwitter or Facebook account, it
requires time and usually lots of it, to effectively manage how those
accounts are used.
• How many people, and how much time, are you able to devote to your
social media plan?
• What technical experience do they need?
• What tools do they need?
• What content do you already have or create on a regular basis that can
be used? For example you may produce a monthly newsletter in print
form that could be used to create four or five blog posts.
• How much money can you dedicate for ads?
• A great way to ensure you hit your target and focus
communications on the tight people Is to create
personas.These are short deceptions of fictional
individuals that represent your target.They're not
real people, but rather they are archetypes that
represent real people.They will help you identify
the potential character traits. personalities, habits
and attitudes of your customers.
• Which networks they use and how much time they
• If they initiate conversations, or comment on them
• If they would be comfortable engaging with your
Creating a Persona
• Conduct target market research
• Survey customers
• Create gated content to website
• Analyze social behavior
• Utilize an external partner (e.g. Simmons data)
• Divide results into persona buckets
• Create a story for each persona that
• Edit, edit, edit – limit to the right
• Make them personal and detailed.
What a persona should include
• Where they work
• Details about their role
•Values and fears
• Elevator pitch
• Information seeker
• There are thousands of channels to choose from. Which ones are the best fit with
your brand, customers, resources and goals?
• Do you need to create regular blog posts to demonstrate your expertise? Perhaps
your target audience is women who might be found on Pinterest? Maybe you're a
professional with lots of contacts on Linkedln. Do you have the resources to
monitor and update more than one platform?
• Prioritize your channels, start slow and get comfortable even if it means starting
with just one platform. Spend time getting accustomed to posting content,
answering questions and comments, and the overall level of engagement
required. Once you're comfortable, add another platform and slowly build your
• Voice:Your brand personality described in an
adjective. For instance, brands can be lively, positive,
cynical, or professional.
• Tone: A subset of your brand’s voice.Tone adds
specific flavor to your voice based on factors like
audience, situation, and channel.
• Essentially, there is one voice for your brand and
many tones that refine that voice.
• Voice is a mission statement.Tone is the application
of that mission.
Voice is a 4 point formula
• Character / persona –Who does your
brand sound like? If you picture your
social brand as a person (a character),
here is where you can flesh out this
identity with specific attributes that
fit who you want to sound like online.
• Tone – What is the general vibe of
• Language –What kind of words do
you use in your social media
• Purpose –Why are you on social
media in the first place?
The three C’s of brand voice
• Culture – What does your company stand for?What makes you stand out from all
the others who are after the same audience?Your unique qualities make your
culture special, and these should be a pillar of developing your voice.
• Community – Listening can reveal how your community speaks and can help you
speak easier with them and to them.You can use their language and meet them
on their terms.
• Conversation – Personality and authenticity are key here. What do you want to
add to the conversation? As you think about what you can offer, you’ll start to see
a better picture of where your voice might fit.
• Content type:What are you
• Reader:Who are you talking to in
• Reader feelings:What’s the
reader feeling when they are in
this tone scenario?
• Your tone should be: Use
adjectives that describe how you
should sound in this scenario.
• Write like this: Give a brief
example of how the writing
• Tips: Explain best practices of
writing for this scenario.
• Content type:Tweets
• Reader: Potential customers,
• Reader feelings: Eager and
engaged to find interesting
content and information
• Your tone should be: Helpful,
informative, clear, approachable
• Write like this: “DidYou Know:
The 8-hour workday was invented
to help people work less?We have
the story here.”
• Tips: Use lots of questions.Avoid
sounding authoritative. Invite
others to learn and discover.
This frozen pizza brand has an incredibly distinct tone onTwitter,
keeping things casual (note the lack of capitalization), hip, and witty.
They often live tweet events, making pizza-related observations on
IcelandWants to BeYour Friend
Designed as a way to get
people interested in
visiting Iceland, this
website and social media
presence takes on a very
congenial tone with lots of
odd spellings and a
whole thing is written
from the first person
perspective of the country
of Iceland.Voice doesn’t
get much more unique
The incredibly short life cycle of a tweet
Facebook’s life cycle is much longer,
• Facebook posts reach their half-life at
the 90-minute mark, nearly four times
• The 90-minute mark was found by
Wisemetrics in their study ofTwitter
and Facebook life cycles.They found
that 24 minutes was the median
engagement point forTwitter and 90
minutes for Facebook. For Facebook, a
post reaches 75 percent of its potential
in the first 5 hours (vs. three hours for
Optimal Posting Frequency Summary
• Facebook: 5-10 post a week
• Twitter: 5-30 post a day
• Linkedin: 1 post every weekday (20 times a month)
• Google+: At least 3 posts a day
• Pinterest: At least 5 pins a day
• Instagram: At least 1.5 posts a day
• Blogs: 1-2 posts a week
Best time to post on Facebook
• Engagement rates are 18% higher on
Thursdays and Fridays.
Facebook – find the best time to post your
• Another study found that engagement was 32% higher on weekends, so the end
of the week is definitely a good, rough guide to start experimenting with.
Twitter – when is
the best time to
Twitter engagement for brands is 17%
higher on weekends according to Dan
Twitter – when is
the best time to
On the other hand, anArgyle Social study
showed that weekdays provide 14% more
engagement than weekends for B2B, so
this is definitely one you’ll want to test on
Twitter – when is
the best time to
This could be due to lunch breaks and
people looking for something to keep
them occupied on the commute home
Instagram audiences are engaged
throughout the week. Mondays should
maybe get a little more attention.
• Monday andThursday at any time
other than 3–4 p.m.
• Videos any day at 9 p.m.–8 a.m.
• Experiment with 2 a.m., 5 p.m., and
Wednesday at 7 p.m.
• Midweek posting is optimal from 5–6
• Tuesday at 10–11 a.m.
• Tuesday,Wednesday, andThursday at
7:30–8:30 a.m., 12 p.m., and 5–6 p.m.
• Saturdays are your best bet for
reaching Pinterest users—and later at
• Saturdays at 8–11 p.m.
• Any day 2–4 a.m. and 2–4 p.m.
• Fridays at 3 p.m.
The late-night infomercial effect
• There is, as you might imagine, a flip side to scheduling your posts when your
audience is online. We’ll call it the late-night infomercial effect.
• When there’s nothing else on, you’re more likely to watch an infomercial.
• When there’s little else being tweeted, your tweets are more likely to stand out.
The late-night infomercial effect
• Being one of the lone voices in the inbox could prove beneficial.The same could
be said for social media.
• Maybe posting on off hours isn’t all that bad after all?
5Trends in Digital Crisis Management
1. Everything happens at lightning-
2. People demand “hyper-
3. Dialogue as important as message
4. Search reputation delivers
5. Brand detractors have the same
The first 24 hours:
• Bad news spreads faster than ever before via
Twitter, Facebook and our collective “lifestreams”
• Monitor all relevant consumer generated media,
not just traditional media
• When responding to emerging crisis, you may
to react fast –in a matter of hours, not days
• Have a streamlined approach and a team in
• Experience in social media will help you respond
• There are no secrets anymore –don’t
assume you can hide information
• Any individual has the power to expose
what were once “private” conversations,
making them public –expect what you
say to be blogged
• Be ready to reconcile contradictory
• Ensure any CSR efforts are sincere,
defensible and authentic
Get ready for a 2-way dialogue:
• One-way messaging doesn’t work anymore
in a world where people crave dialogue
• Inviting customers into a conversation is the
most effective way to build goodwill and
brand advocates who will support you if
• Communicating solely through press
releases and scripted interactions doesn’t
• A system for listening is critical to remaining
Regulation is built or broken in search.
• 80% of Internet users start their session at search
• Organic search is sensitive to social media content due to
• Google delivers “universal search” making multimedia
• Difficult to dislodge content once it is in search results
Your detractors are resourceful:
• An individual voice can travel around the world more easily today
• Small organizations can often be fast and nimble with social media
• Listening to consumer generated media is critical
• Everyone is an influencer in their own circles, so traffic alone can no longer be the
only metric for judging influence
First response from company should be “we know”
• Slows the flood of “hey company, did you know?” messages.
• Do this immediately, even if you have little additional information at the time.
1. Respond first wherever the crisis
2. Then respond in all other venues
3. It’s imperative that you have
established social presences on all
outposts, even if you don’t
routinely use them.
• Are you ready for a Pinterest crisis? (it
• Do you have a list of all blogs and blog
authors that cover your category?
One Place to HouseAll the Facts
Much easier to direct people to an updated crisis FAQ, then to answer every
question viaTwitter, Facebook, blog comment, and beyond.
Crisis FAQ Ingredients:
o Acknowledgement of issue
o Details about occurrence
o Photos or videos, if
o How the company found
o Who was alerted, and how
o Specific actions taken
o Real or potential effects
o Steps taken to prevent
o Contact information for
real people at the
• People want to vent
• The BEST case scenario is that they do so on a venue you manage and control
• It is imperative that you proactively open a channel for dialog (even negative)
• If you do not, other venues that you do not control will serve that role
• Also keeps most conversations in a single place – easier to track
• Early warning detection for new crisis dimensions
• Gives customers a place to come to your defense (sometimes)
Crisis is a spectator sport
• It’s not about winning, it’s about damage
• There are no victors in online tit for tats
• Encourage vehement critics to contact
you via email or phone
• Gives them an option
• You’re seen as extending that option
• Rule of 3: Never send a third reply. At
that point, take it offline
Reconstruct and Deconstruct
Document every element of the crisis
• Make copies of all tweets, status updates,YouTube comments, blog comments,
• Make copies of all emails
• Analyze website traffic patterns
• Analyze search data
• Which venue came first, and when?
Reach is decreasing big-time
Reach is now
less than 5% for
Understanding the algorithm
• Facebook’s algorithm, formerly known as “EdgeRank,” determines what content
people see in their News Feed.
• We spend 40% of our time in the News Feed, so this is a very big deal. News Feed
is how people find information on Facebook.
• An Introduction to Social Media for Small Business, Community Futures
• Utilizing Personas in Social Media Contests, Kendall Bird & Katy Katz
• How to FindYour Social Media MarketingVoice:The Best Examples, Questions and Guides, Kevan Lee
• A Scientific Guide to PostingTweets, Facebook Posts, Emails, and Blog Posts at the BestTime, Belle Beth
• The Social Media FrequencyGuide: How Often to Post to Facebook,Twitter, LinkedIn And More, Kevan
• The BestTimes to Post on Facebook,Twitter, LinkedIn & Other Social Media Sites [Infographic], Lindsay
• Social Media for Crisis Management, OgilvyOn
• State of Facebook 2015, Derek Belt
Let me know In case I forgot to credit someone, I will gladly update the list.