20 November 2015

The 15 faces of developing your first social media strategy

Author :

Have you recently decided to create a social media strategy for your organisation? There are so many exciting adventures ahead of you. 


Picture it, Monday morning 9:15am, a boardroom in the middle of the city. Crowded around the table are a bunch of sleepy, I can’t believe its Monday already, faces. The MD is pumped and ready to get the week off to a fresh new start.


“We’re going to develop a social media marketing strategy,” he says in between sips of his coffee. You can see how excited by the idea he is. You know it’s going to be hard work. You nod, smile, wish you had an extra strong coffee instead of the now inefficient flat white with two sugars you’d brought with you. So you take notes, allocate timeliness and dates, this is a meeting after all and return to your desk to begin creating a social media marketing campaign that will work. 


Back at your desk you start researching social media strategies to find out how other people have done it. It doesn’t look too hard, after all in just six short years you’ve already got nearly 3,000 followers on your personal twitter account, and all you do is talk nonsense and post pictures of cats.


As you do your research you realise everyone else is basically making it up as they go along. Schedule your tweets, don’t schedule your tweets, be personal, stay professional, respond to complaints, and ignore complaints focus on the good. In no time at all, you’re casting the evil eye at everyone else who managed to not get volunteered for this exciting new initiative.


Sooner or later you need to put finger to keyboard, so you take a deep breath, read the entire internet, clean your desk, buy another coffee, decide that you really need to read the internet again in case you’ve missed anything and then, after lunch and some phone calls you really need to make, you’re off and running.


This is the job you know you were born to do. Social media marketing strategy. Send out tweets, write a blog, maybe two. You’re caffeinated, you’ve got your inner Anthony Robbins shouting encouragement in your head. You know that no matter what this is going to be the best ever, soon to be included in every single marketing “how-to,” guide ever created.


After days of research and hard work your shiny new social media strategy is done, and now comes the important bit, getting buy-in from the other team members and senior leaders. You’ve got a vision to execute and while you’re going to champion it, you need to make sure other people understand its importance.


The team reassembles, opinions are forthcoming. We should be more personal, we should definitely be less personal, and we should only do professional things, what about a funny tweet on a Friday afternoon. I don’t like memes, cats, I really like cats how can we incorporate cats, everyone likes a funny kitten picture. You sit and you make notes, take on board feedback that sounds like all the blog posts you read at the beginning and come to the realisation social media is a like a rubix cube. No matter how often you move the pieces, you still end up with a hyper-colour mess. You just have to get down and do it and see what happens. Planning may look good, and you have a swanky new document, but it will only get you so far.


You’ve written your content, the blog is bulging with wonderful tid bits of information. You’ve figured out how to write an engaging tweet, you’ve racked up a bill with Shutterstock the size of most third world countries annual GDP. As you sit at your desk, 140 gleaming characters stare back at you. You press send, and rejoice for you are a social media God! Come at me Nobel Prize for Social Media Strategy. Write that Social Media Best Tweet Ever Oscar speech. Riches will soon be yours.



You give yourself a pat on the back and half an hour later the urge to check how triumphant you have been is too strong to ignore. You click on the blog platform. 4 reads? That can’t be right. I used words, and hash tags and a link, ohh and a picture too. The blog platform must be broken. You go to your link shortener, 0 clicks. Really is the whole internet broken today? What about that clever cross post on LinkedIn? No activity. Well poo.



Your first tweet didn’t exactly set the world on fire, but that’s okay. You’re resilient, you’re determined, you got three new heart things on a tweet about your sandwich on an earlier post on your own account. You can do this. Nothing will get in your way as you reach for the stars as a social media super strategist. All those hours of live tweeting reality TV shows have given you a skill set no one can beat. Time to regroup and get back to it. Another hour, another tweet.


Another moment, your stars are aligned, you’ve included in an infamous quote from an infamous Prime Minster. Your image is on fleek, confidence reigns. You unleash your inner Olivia Pope. There’s nothing you can’t cover up or fix or if it comes to worse case scenarios, a court you can’t use to pervert the course of justice. You forget the dismal failure of your first tweet and do another one. This one is on point. You know it, the universe knows it and soon Twitter will know it too.


Twenty minutes later you check the stats. 2 retweets, half a dozen stars – I miss the good old days – and a couple of tweet backs saying they liked the post. Not only that, you’ve gained a new follower. All the doubts and fears subside, you’re on the gold medal podium. A superstar. You mention your new follower. That person is now obviously your new best friend, you’re already planning to ditch work early and take whoever it is out for a coffee. And the boss says;


That’s great, now what about the LinkedIn groups?






Mike Cullen has recently returned to Akolade after a period as the conference producer for one of Australia's leading economic think tanks. Mike began working in the conference industry in 2007 after looking for a career change from the high pressured world of inbound customer service. Mike has worked for some of the most well-known conference and media companies in the B2B space and in his spare time is working on his first novel in a planned Epic Fantasy trilogy.











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