You might be surprised at just how little you actually know about effective social media management. When people ponder what they do or don’t know about social media, they typically think about their knowledge of various platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Some people even pride themselves on staying current on the hottest new social companies and trends such as Sonar, Forecast or Touch.
While social media certainly couldn’t exist without these types of platforms, a person that is well versed in what the latest platforms are, and even how to use them, is only seeing a small fraction of the bigger picture. Scary, huh? In order to make it as easy as possible for people tasked with professionally managing social media for brands large or small to understand what that big picture looks like, I’ve developed a set of “building blocks” that can serve as a guide. I’ll discuss these concepts in-depth in an upcoming book.
Here are the 6 strategic building blocks of effective social media management, in order of most important to least important:
- Audience Aware: Creating targeted content that appeals to specific people.
- Quality Content: Content must be of the highest possible quality.
- Creative: Infuse creativity into all aspects of your strategy.
- Professional Management: Consumers post updates, professionals analyze.
- Trend Conscious: Don’t waste time posting content on the next MySpace.
- Social Platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Tout, Ourspot, etc.
These building blocks can be divided three categories: foundational, sensational and structural (as depicted by the skyscraper in the accompanying infographic). The foundational building blocks are being Audience Aware and creating Quality Content. If you excel in this area you will create a rock-solid base to build upon. The sensational building blocks are being Creative and attacking social media with Professional Management techniques and tools. These are the most often overlooked building blocks which is unfortunate because they can take your content to the next level. Finally, the structural building blocks are being Trend Conscious and having a good knowledge of available Social Platforms. This is simply a matter of knowing where your content will have the best, longest and most useful life.
A big misconception people have about social media is that it is free. It is free, for consumers, but for professionals, money can greatly amplify the effectiveness of your strategy. This is especially true in 3 areas: creating Quality Content, using Professional Management tools and techniques and hiring top Creative minds.
To summarize, the higher the number of building blocks you use to build-out your social media strategy, the better (and more effective) your results will be. For instance, the more building blocks you make use of the more reach, influence and engagement you will have. At the same time, as you use more building blocks you will become more relevant and more trustworthy to your target audience.