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Social Media Execution: 5 Steps for Success

Updated: Oct 14, 2020

The standards for effective social media execution can't adequately be broken down into five simple steps. In practice, it's an arduous process that is unique to each practitioner.


However, success begins with a few key building blocks. Presented below are a few key tips to build an impactful social media plan.


 

When it comes to connecting with stakeholders, digital strategy should be at the core of your communications plan. While the ideation phase is critical, having a great plan is only half of the job.


Executing that plan is key.


The million dollar question is: How do we accomplish this?


1. Social Media Plan


The crux of the social media plan is generating the ‘editorial calendar.’ This is a document that specifically outlines your social media activity, down to the dates and times.


This process will consume the bulk of your time.


Everyone has their own creative and strategic process for this, here's how I go about mine:

  • Start by outlining topics or themes. It’s going to be important to define what it is that you’d like to talk about. It will help to refer back to your communications plan.

  • Decide how often you want to post — we’ll talk more about that later.

  • Using a template in your computer, create a calendar.

  • Fill out those boxes, baby.

That’s a very condensed view of the process. As you’ll find out, every campaign is going to yield a different workflow. Yet, this should get you on the right track.

These two things — the plan and the calendar — are your foundation. Once they're in place, you’re off to the races. The next step should be to start scheduling your posts.


Use your resources to schedule as many posts as you can.


Facebook allows you to do that within the platform. Beyond that, I recommend using Hootsuite.


2. Establish Your Accounts


The next step is establishing your digital presence.


You should start with the Big 3. That is: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. These are easy platforms to be on for nearly any organization.

Make sure you’re dedicating time to the creation process — don’t take it for granted. Building out an effective account is critical. Part of that process includes having the branding together.


After this, you’ll start by building your following. Reach out to relevant influencers, organizations, and community groups as accounts to follow.


Engage consumers organically. Genuine growth and real life engagement will yield you results. Paid effort will not.


3. Determine Your Posting Cadence


The next step is determining how often you want to post. This should be something you decide as your building your calendar.


Your messaging strategy, your organization, and audience expectations will determine the frequency of your post. This can be flexible depending on the amount of content available. I would recommend giving yourself a minimum and maximum number as a part of your social strategy guide.


Some organizations post multiple times per day, more than 10. However, that strategy may be too frequent for you. At the minimum, you should post at least two to three times per day.


There is also some variability when discussing which platform you are on. Expectations for platforms like Facebook and Instagram are different than Twitter and LinkedIn.


Facebook should be reserved for more formal and long-form posts. It is not meant for constant updates. Instagram's purpose is clear. Formal posts in your feed should be limited to no more than two per day. However, story updates can be constant. Twitter can see the most activity in any given day. Feel free two tweet every few minutes if you have the content.

LinkedIn should be treated much like Facebook.

4. Generate Quality Content


Prior to sharing content, ask yourself this question: Does this have purpose and does it serve my audience?


In short, avoid sharing content just for the sake of filling up your feed.


Remember this: generating content is strategic and artistic. You should rarely, if ever, make a simple post and consider that to be quality outreach.


Creating content is something that you should invest in. Graphic design, photography, videography and more will all serve to engage and entice your audience.


It also serves to aid the digital aesthetic of your brand and will help to satisfy your consumer. When considering Millennials and Generation Z, poorly executed content looks cringe.

5. Evaluation


The final step in social media execution is a reminder that social outreach is an ongoing process. Evaluation of your efforts is critical.


Understanding the effectiveness and impact of your strategy is key.


Knowing who your consumers are, when they're online, what platform they're on, what content they want to see, and more, is critical.


Take the time each week to evaluate your metrics.

 

Social media is hard. Creating meaningful and impactful content that drives your consumer to action is difficult. Knowing how to evaluate your metrics and act is overwhelming.


While this is not a comprehensive list, these simple steps will put you on the track to success.

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