A solid plan and strategy are the key to every social media success.
I wish I had a dollar for every time someone told me that they measure social media successes by things going viral. That's such a misnomer. I also think people feel smarter when they repeatedly use the word "viral." While there's no arguing that a viral post or tweet results in a quick win, it's just that: quick. True success in social media comes down to things that last.
Part of my job at InvestmentNews is to come up with social media strategies that result in wins. And while I've been creating these types of strategies for more than 10 years, I can tell you honestly that you can do it too. At the end of the day, it's less about experience and more about common sense and anticipating the answers to the right questions.
So here's my advice: 2019 is a month old. Make sure your strategy is sound for the remaining 11 months. Here's how in three steps. Use this for specific projects or overall strategies; simply modify it by adjusting the size and scope.
Step 1: Identify your goal
Wrong: I want people to share my tweet.
Correct: I want to reach financial advisers on the East Coast and hopefully have them share my tweet
Having someone share a tweet is too broad. When you don't identify the someone, you could end up with the wrong person sharing it for the wrong reasons. You need someone who is in a position to make a difference. Finding these people is about making sure you're attracting the right followers. Keep an eye on your follower list. Retweet and engage with like-minded people in the industry.
Step 2: Decide the platform and frequency
Wrong: I'll just put it out there on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, and see what sticks.
Correct: I have a tweet, Facebook really isn't working for me and I know a bunch of people I should tag on LinkedIn.
Can you see the difference between reading any further? Twitter isn't Facebook and Facebook isn't LinkedIn. Where you share is just as important as what you share. Knowing the correct people to tag earns you bonus points in my book every time.
Decide how you'll determine successes and failures
Wrong: I'll take anything. A retweet and I'm taking the rest of the day off.
Right: I want at least 100 impressions on LinkedIn and three retweets or replies.
Never settle for anything. Anyone can get a retweet. But not everyone can get 100 impressions. And guess what? If you can, then you can get 200. And 300.
Optional (and smart) step: Turn your trial social media plan into a template for future projects.
Wrong: Doing the same thing over and over will ultimately save you time. (Honestly, that might not be wrong, but it's not necessary.)
Right: Having an outline as a place to start not only saves you time, it redoubles your effort. While no two plans will be the same, an outline will remind you of what you've done previously. Editing yourself then becomes that much easier.
Some people are always going to approach social media incorrectly. They'll fail to see the connection between different plans. Don't be that person. Hit the reset button on how you think and think different. Steve Jobs would be proud.
If you have a social media question or an idea for a column topic, please let me know. Tweet them to me with the hashtag #onsocialmedia or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.