Ray’s Marketing Digest | Social Media Marketing Strategy

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However beautiful the strategy Ray Marketig Digest

Social media marketing.

Let’s break it down.

Social –

Interpersonal interactions of people that can result in loose connections as well as strong relationships.

Media –

The plural form of medium which is the technology that carries the communications that facilitate personal and business interactions.

Marketing (Digital) –

The process of putting your brand and service in front of the customer online uses multiple channels such as content marketing, SEO, social media and online advertising.

If used effectively, social media marketing can be the heavyweight in your marketing arsenal.

But it comes with a price.

More work. More resources.

The media is seductively cheap.

The marketing message and social interactions, not so much. 

Marketing on social platforms is risky business. 

You stand the chance of alienating the very people you’re trying to engage with.

This week’s curated posts provide valuable tips and advice to consider when planning your marketing strategy. 

  • how to integrate it with the rest of your business
  • mistakes to avoid
  • examples to follow
  • analytics tools to measure with 


Everything begins with the “WHY”.


Why Are We Failing Social?

Why Are We Failing Social? with Mark W. Schaefer.

Social Media Explained

A book I recommend to businesses who are interested, but skeptical about social media marketing is Social Media Explained by Mark Schaefer.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Mark on my YouTube show.

I started the interview by asking him why he choses to write the book.

“Every time I walked into a company, I faced the same questions:

How do we measure this?

What’s the ROI?

How do we get started?

What do we do about negative comments?”

The book addresses myths about social media marketing and makes the case for including it in the marketing mix.

“Building relationships and communities are the qualitative benefits that work really well for small business.”

Does it take a successful business to succeed in social media marketing?  

“There seems to be a correlation between companies that are very successful and companies that do a good job on social media.”

How does content and “storytelling” fit into all this?

“You have to start with the foundation of a business and marketing strategy and be able to finish this sentence. “Only we…””

If you can answer “only we…” and get leadership to embrace this is a unified way, your social media program reveals itself.

What’s social media’s role in the marketing mix?

Mark explains how Chipotle is making an emotional connection with their products, i.e. burritos.

How do you build emotional connections?

“Emotional connections are the result of a series of little provocations over time.”

“Every time we create opportunities and provocations to engage, we build closer bonds. That’s how social media fits in the mix.””

For more of Mark’s insights, click on the video replay below.


Where do we start?


A Beginner’s Guide To Social Media Marketing…

A Beginner’s Guide To Social Media Marketing… by Alison Zeringue

social media marketing

Columnist Alison Zeringue shares key takeaways she heard as a social media panelist for Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses program.

We often forget how the vocabulary and concepts around social marketing sounds like gibberish to most “lay” people.

The term “online marketing” for example, includes SEM (Search Engine Marketing), SMM (Social Media Marketing) PPC (Pay Per click) and more.

This article answers a few of the common questions small businesses have about social media marketing.

Here’s just a few of the great take-aways from this article:

What works:

– Creative and consistent content strategy

– Consistent and interesting visual branding

– Ad spend to grow your reach and visibility

– Engagement with the audience (replying to comments, answering questions, sharing follower stories and photos)

What doesn’t work:

– Letting a teenager who claims to be a “social media expert” run the show

– Blindly targeting “everyone” using social media (not knowing your audience)

– Lacking SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely) goals

– Failing to take advantage of social media tools for scheduling content and measuring success

Is social media marketing imperative for businesses?

“Social media is imperative for businesses that want to grow, scale and sustain themselves in the economy of tomorrow.”


What mistakes to avoid from the beginning


10 Social Media Mistakes That Small Business Owners Make

10 Social Media Mistakes That Small Business Owners Make by Brad Shorr

10 Social Media Mistakes That Small Business Owners Make

Brad starts off with a strong warning:

“…without a smart strategy, committing human and financial resources to a social media campaign could cost you big, draining resources and generating negative ROI.”

Some common mistakes small business owners make that leave them abandoning their social media marketing effort are:Spreading Yourself Too Thin

Take on one platform at a time.

Having an Undifferentiated Strategy

Don’t publish same content on all platforms.

Not Responding to Comments

Social media accounts are not advertising platforms. Respond to comments and act like a human, not a brand.

Selling too much and not selling enough

Social media users don’t like the hard sell. Build relationships with your social media community.

But at some point, introduce idea of doing business together or it’s not a marketing strategy at all.

Failing to Establish Metrics

Not having a way to evaluate a social media campaign leads to wasted investment and an inability to improve campaign effectiveness.

Which brings us to….



How Social Media Analytics Improve Social KPIs

How Social Media Analytics Improve Social KPIs by William Johnson

How Social Media Analytics Improve Social KPIs

When creating a social media strategy, it’s important to choose KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that make sense for social media and content marketing and measure them regularly.

Fortunately, most platforms have built-in analytic tools i.e.

Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics, YouTube Analytics, Pinterest Analytics, LinkedIn Insights and of course, Google analytics.

William goes into some detail with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google listing important metrics to monitor.

In his conclusion, he explains the objectives for doing this:

  • Identify key social performance areas using tools.
  • Analyze what strategies work, which do not and why.
  • Repeat winning tactics and deal with weaknesses.
  • Monitor growth or failure rates upon strategy implementation.
  • Rework the areas that need utmost attention and keep on improving social KPIs.
  • Be aware of any change (positive or negative) happening around your business due to changes adopted in your social marketing initiatives.


How To Suck At Social Media: An Indispensable Guide For Businesses

How To Suck At Social Media: An Indispensable Guide For Businesses by Avinash Kaushik


How To Suck At Social Media: An Indispensable Guide For Businesse

Avinish Kaushik is an analytics guru who authored to bestselling books:  Web Analytics 2.0, Web Analytics: An Hour A Day

(100% of the proceeds from both books are donated to The Smile Train, Doctors Without Borders and Ekal Vidyalaya.)

This is a classic “evergreen post that I suggest you bookmark or save to Evernote.

As you can see by his list of included sections, you’ll find help with the most popular platforms.

The first section: “Higher Order Bits: Human vs. Business, Success KPIs, S-T-D-C Framework, MoR Test” should be read first as it gives context to the following sections:


– Higher Order Bits: Human vs. Business, Success KPIs, S-T-D-C Framework, MoR Test.

– Facebook for Businesses

– YouTube for Businesses

– Google+ for Businesses

– Pinterest for Businesses

– Twitter for Businesses

– Instagram for Businesses


How One Digital Agency Created a Record-Breaking Social Media Campaign

How One Digital Agency Created a Record-Breaking Social Media Campaign by Jylian Russell


How One Digital Agency Created a Record-Breaking Social Media Campaign

It’s good to have all the theory down, what to do, what not to do etc.. But it’s also helpful to hear from companies that have succeeded with their social media marketing.

Mapplinks, a digital agency in India shares their case study which attributes its success to the following three tips:

1. Build a strong team

Identify the goals of your campaign then select team members accordingly.

Digital Analyst: Identified keywords that the campaign should focus on and worked with the content specialist to optimize content for search.

Graphic Designer: Knowledgeable about the differences between the nuances of website and landing page design.  

Content Manager: Creative, with lots of ideas. Understood the audience and knew what kind of content they wanted.   

Digital Strategist: Engaged with the audience and started a conversation.

2. Use a mix of paid and organic promotion

Reach can be achieved through owned, earned, and paid social media marketing

Google Adwords: Good for generating leads, increasing website visits, and driving conversions or sales for most types of products or services.

Facebook Ads: Helps create awareness and boost word of mouth marketing. Facebook lets you target and reach audiences based on geography, demographics, and interests. It’s a good platform for driving engagement.

LinkedIn Ads:  The best option for B2B advertising since it can help you target decision makers. Not as effective for consumer brands.


3. Amplify the campaign using the right content mix

Use a mix of original and third-party content.

Follow the 4-1-1 posting rule

“For every one self-serving update (Tweet or post), share four new pieces of relevant original content and share one piece of content from others.”

Find great content to share


Choose from the many content curation tools available.






Hootsuite Suggestions


As always, click on the links to these articles to access the treasure of resources they contain. 

As ubiquitous as social media is, using it as a marketing tool calls for an understanding what social is in the digital sense and how it differs from advertising in the traditional sense.


Thank you for sharing your time with me.

If you need help with your social media strategy or execution, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at: ray@rayhiltz.com

You can view past Ray2Go shows on my YouTube Channel or the audio podcast on Soundcloud.

Subscribe to this weekly newsletter here.

About Ray Hiltz

Thanks for dropping by. I'm the Director of Digital Marketing for Image-24.com. My background in business includes non-profit (performing arts), restaurants and Promotions. Having moved on from my own strategic consulting company, I now write about what interests me. So in this blog, you may read about my thoughts on marketing, health issues and business culture. You can follow me on Twitter @rayhiltz or @image24Call

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