Unify Your Social Media Strategy In 7 Simple Steps

by Daniel Cassady May 21st, 2012 

unified-social-platform

With dozens of high-attention social media platforms jockeying for attention, it's no wonder that business owners are baffled when they have to unify their social media activities into a cohesive, unified marketing strategy. A big issue is too much variety, where even two social media platforms focusing on video can work as differently as night and day.

To bundle your social media activities into one powerful message, you must choose topics that cross various channels. Here's a seven-step plan to fold your social media into business promotional gold:

1. Soundbite summary - Twitter and other microblogs have elevated the soundbite to a high art. You have to be able to summarize the gist of the message and make it alluring in a mere 140 characters (including shortened URL link). If the title or slogan of your topic already is bumping up to triple digit character counts, consider letting the tail wag the dog and prune the original phrasing to fit the microblog!

2. Full blog treatment - The diametric opposite of the soundbite summary is the ability for the topic to sustain the detailed exploration necessary in the blog format. If your product's label has changed colors that is a message that might suit the soundbite but fall flat in the blog. After all, how can you fill 600+ words with paeans to fuchsia? The selection process of the best topics for social media unification have to also be profound enough to warrant considerable elaboration.

3. Multiple angles - Conventional posts on the standard social networks such as Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn are generally just a bit longer than the usual tweet, therefore you need to compose multiple posts to bridge the gap between the curt soundbite and the expansive blog. It is considered bad social media form to essentially duplicate posts, so you need to focus on various aspects of your message topic. If you're introducing a new product, for example, you can craft separate posts on the original invention; the R&D process; the manufacturing facets; the eco-friendly packaging; the innovative marketing, and so on.

4. Suitability - The message should be adaptable to both B2B and B2C messaging, and its strengths be leveraged in the appropriate forms. LinkedIn is the prototypical B2B vertical social network and the types of posts which are most effective on that platform are not necessarily suited to the more horizontal networks such as Facebook where you are addressing a wide "fan" base.

5. A picture tells… - The Pinterest revolution has distilled both micro- and macro-blogging to a single visual impact. You need to create the ultimate photo or artwork which sums up the essence of your message in a single, striking hit. In order to achieve the maximum effect you need to discover something within your message's topic which can attract the attention not only of the cognoscenti who can appreciate specific details, but of the general public who must be able to recognize the image as unique, interesting, and most importantly: share-worthy.

6. Video killed the verbose star - It's not enough to stop at static images as videos are an integral part of your overall social media blueprint. Videos are an art form onto themselves, and extensive attention (and in most cases, budget) must be allocated towards ensuring that the result is professional, informative, entertaining, and powerfully lends itself to viral distribution.

7. Cross-Channel everything – The properly unified social media strategy enables the imparting of essentially a single message across channels to saturate your customer's attention. All aspects of social media must be harnessed and cross-plugged, including the critical email marketing channel to drive cohesive engagement across your various social networking presences.

If your message's topic is not layered enough to work equally well in all of these vectors, you're better off to pass on it and come up with subject matter that does lend itself to such multiplexing. Keep in mind that your social media presence is a key component of your overall company's image and a single misstep in any one of these channels can have extensive negative ramifications.

There is no substitute for the meticulous crafting of each iota of your social media messaging to ensure that it will be widely distributed and your business will benefit from the expanded customer engagement.

Daniel Cassady

Daniel Cassady is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to an Email Marketing Blog run by Benchmark Email.

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