net101 Social Media Strategy Canvas Exercise

            view canvas in full res


These are the explanatory notes for the Social Media Strategy Canvas which forms part of the net101 ‘Advanced Social Media and Strategy’ course.

The net101 Social Media Strategy Canvas contains 10 elements:

  1. Core Objectives
  2. Strategic Objectives
  3. Target Audiences
  4. Platform Selection & Target Audience Reach
  5. Content Requirements
  6. Social Media Budgets
  7. Audience Actions
  8. Conversion Places, Events, and Goals
  9. Measurement Points and Metrics
  10. Return-on-Investment Analysis

These elements are the building blocks of a social media strategy that will align with your organisational objectives and prompt you to consider your current social media capabilities, namely your:

  • Ongoing ability to source, produce, and publish relevant content for your Target Audience
  • Internal support from colleagues and other departments
  • Access to relevant data for reporting purposes and drawing actionable insights from
  • Access to budgeted funds

We have logically sequenced the following canvas elements, but examine them individually if you prefer. This canvas exercise can be applied at a micro or macro level—i.e. it can be mapped onto your entire social media presence or an individual social media account, campaign, brand, or geographic market.



Any organisation—whether commercial, public, or a not-for-profit—should be able to validate that their social media presence helps them achieve one or more of the following Core Objectives:

  • Increase revenue (a top-line contribution)
  • Decrease costs (a bottom-line contribution)
  • Increase stakeholder satisfaction, internal or external

When every social media activity you undertake identifies with at least one Core Objective, you gain straightforward answers to base-level questions, such as why are we doing this? or is this activity working towards our goals?

In addition to increasing revenue / profit motivations, increasing stakeholder satisfaction is a common Core Objective. Commercially orientated organisations may look to enhance their brand visibility and credibility to key stakeholders such as existing customers or clients (to encourage retention), current staff or management, the local community, and supported causes. Key stakeholder groups for not-for-profits may have similar stakeholders, with the addition of beneficiaries (their reason to exist) and benefactors (how they can continue to exist).


Meeting one or more Strategic Objectives enables you to meet one or more of the three Core Objectives defined above. Common social media Strategic Objectives include:

  1. awareness (brand, campaign, advocacy)
  2. prospects or leads
  3. customer service
  4. event support
  5. HR/ recruitment
  6. crisis management

Your social media presence may serve multiple Strategic Objectives simultaneously, but each of your social media accounts must always be in service of at least one of them.

Your Strategic Objectives may also change over time, and accounts might switch between different Strategic Objectives given changing circumstances, e.g. during an organisational crisis. But without a default Strategic Objective for each of your social media accounts you will have difficulty in measuring effectiveness against your higher Organisational Objectives.

NB: Customer Service or Crisis Management might not be default Strategic Objectives for any of your accounts, but any of them may be used as a customer service touch-point – for questions, comments, complains and feedback – or users may gravitate to one or more of your accounts during a crisis affecting your organisation.



Targeting multiple audiences in one place at one time is difficult. Messages often become too broad to resonate with any one segment. Most organisations have multiple Target Audiences (or stakeholders) that they would like to attract on social media, but this creates a dilemma: should you selectively target or widely broadcast your communications?

We believe tightly defined Target Audience selection is required when publishing through social media, doubly so when executing paid campaigns. Smaller, well-defined Target Audiences who receive timed messaging aligned to their tastes and preferences achieves better strategic-level outcomes.

There are several ways you could define your Target Audiences:

  • By demographics—commonly defined as age, gender, location, etc.
  • By affinity group—people linked by a common interest or purpose
  • By buyer persona—semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers (which include demographics, behaviour patterns, motivations, and goals)
  • Your current social media fans/followers
  • Your current website visitors (can be found via a Google Analytics report: ‘Audience’ > ‘Interests’ > ‘Affinity Categories’ or ‘In-Market Segments’)

Once you have defined your Target Audiences—which should align with your Strategic Objectives—select the social media platform/s most likely to reach them.

Avoid setting up a new social media account without knowing the Strategic Objective it will serve and the Target Audiences you expect to find there.



The following social media platforms are commonly used by organisations operating within the Australian market. (These platforms are also covered extensively across our net101 public course programs.) To simplify your options, we’ve excluded platforms serving demographic niches, such as Snapchat and Weibo:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube
  • Blogs (e.g. WordPress)

Many organisations operate on several platforms, and your unique mix of social media platforms should be based on how to best reach your Target Audiences to meet your Strategic Objectives.

Target Audience Insights—Who’s on What?

Identifying where to reach your Target Audiences on social media can sometimes begin with intuition but may depend on trial by error. Thankfully, however, there are also resources and tools to assist your decision:

  • Country-specific, third-party research data, e.g. this or the annual Sensis Yellow Social Media Report
  • Data from your social media accounts (platforms often provide segmented demographic data about your users who engage with your content)
  • Platform user databases, e.g. Facebook Audience Insights
  • Competitor social media accounts

Your platform mix may also change over time as Organisational and Strategic Objectives, Target Audiences, and resource capabilities (time and money) change, or as social media platforms fall in and out of favour.



Now that you know the social media platform(s) your primary Target Audiences frequent, the question now is how to acquire Target Audience reach. Reach is a common social media metric which signifies the number of unique individuals who viewed your post (not to confused with impressions, which is the number of times a post was served).

Reach can be measured across all your posts on any social media platform, within a specified timeframe, or just for specific posts. Reach can, in turn, be broken down into its organic and paid components.

Organic Reach
Organic reach is published social media content that was served to a user base without paying for that to happen. People can view your content organically (for free) if they:

  • Visit your account/profile page directly and view your content
  • Perform a platform-specific keyword, hashtag, or geo-tag search that aligns with an aspect of your content
  • Are subscribers—your fans or followers—and have your content added to their newsfeed (referred to as initial reach)
  • Have personal connections with individuals who have engaged with your content (through likes, comments, and shares) and consequently pushed your content onto other newsfeeds (referred to as viral reach)

The extent of your organic reach within any given social media platform is determined by a combination of factors: the number of direct visitors to your account, the number of fans or followers you have, the amount of user engagement with your content, and each platform’s unique newsfeed algorithm. These algorithms—sometimes referred to as quality filters—determine the content each user sees (and doesn’t see!) on their newsfeed, and from which sources and in what order.

A Note on Search
Your blog content and public YouTube videos can also enjoy extended organic reach via internal search and external search engines such as Google. The content you publish through these platforms is indexed and stored indefinitely in the search engine data centres that drive search results. However, this is not the case for most of your published social media content, hence the need to publish regularly to maintain your visibility.

Paid Reach
Most social media platforms offer paid options to reach Target Audiences. Paid reach is often used to supplement organic reach or for more granulated targeting. Paid content is typically noted as promoted or sponsored on a user’s newsfeed.

Promoted Content
Most social media platforms allow you to pay to for a published post to appear in the newsfeeds of specified user groupings. This is commonly known as promoting or boosting your content. Promoted content can target existing connections, their connections, or other users based on filters of differing granularity, depending on the platform.

Most social media platforms also provide a targeted advertising option across a range of formats and placements. Content served to specified users via this option is (usually) not visible on your own page/profile. An ad can also target existing connections, their connections, or other users based on filters of differing granularity, depending on the platform. In some cases, the targeting and reporting capabilities of ad-served content is greater than that of promoted content. In addition, ad-served content typically incorporates clear buttons or links to drive engagement and conversion. Facebook, for example, allows advertisers to select from a number of call-to-action buttons for ad-level content:

  • See Menu
  • Apply Now
  • Book Now
  • Contact Us
  • Download
  • Get Showtimes
  • Learn More
  • Send Message

Using both Organic Reach and Paid Reach can lead to great success in the long term. Additional organic reach can be achieved via sponsored content (boosted content or an ad) if users engage with it. Depending on the platform, user engagement oftentimes pushes sponsored content into the newsfeeds of users’ personal connections.



Content is the ‘media’ in social media. It’s easy to underestimate the time and effort required to produce relevant content that engages your Target Audiences. The types of content produced should be determined by your Strategic Objectives, the social media platforms your Target Audiences use, and your Target Audiences’ content preferences.

There are six principal social media content formats (and numerous sub-formats) to engage users:

  1. Short-form text (e.g. an update, tweet, or caption)
  2. Long-form text (e.g. an article)
  3. Images (e.g. as part of an update or album)
  4. Short-form video (under a minute long)
  5. Long-form video (longer than a minute)
  6. Audio (e.g. a podcast)

Ideally you will be comfortable producing in any of these content formats so as to reach any Target Audience on any social media platform in any format.

The chart below shows which content formats are supported—commonplace or not—across the most common social media platforms.

view in full res

Considerations for Content Selection

To get the best results, produce content in the formats that each platform supports and is based on the specific preferences of your Target Audiences.

For example, Facebook supports all six content formats, but not all are commonplace. Just because you can publish long-form text, long-form video, and streaming audio does not mean such content is expected or wanted by Facebook users (most prefer more bite-sized content).

Publish within your capabilities. If you determine your Target Audiences on Facebook prefer short-form video content, you need to know your ability to produce or curate relevant video content for them.


In Summary So Far…

You should now be able to articulate the following to maximize your use of social media platforms for your organisation:

  1. What is its primary Organisational Objective?
  2. Given our primary Organisational Objective what is our primary Strategic Objective?
  3. Given our primary Strategic Objective, who is our primary Target Audience?
  4. Knowing our primary Target Audience, which social media platform(s) do they actively use?
  5. Knowing which social media platform(s) our primary Target Audience actively uses, which content formats are commonplace, meets the preferences of our Target Audience, and can be continually produced by our organisation?

Let’s look at a couple examples to see how organisations might answer these questions.

Example 1—A Cooking School

  • Primary Organisational Objective: increase revenue
  • Primary Strategic Objective: brand awareness
  • Primary Target Audience (demographics): males & females, ages 25–65, who live in Bendigo
  • Social Media Platform the Target Audience Actively Uses: Instagram
  • Social Media Platform Content Requirements and Target Audience Preferences: Instagram commonly supports short-form text (captions up to 2200 characters), images (standalone, carousel and GIFs) and short-form video (up to 60 seconds, excluding IGTV). You believe your Target Audience will value: aspirational images of completed dishes, table settings, and cooking equipment; simple, text-based recipes under 2200 characters; and short-form cooking tips and how-to videos. All content will be strongly branded.

Example 2—An Electrical Engineering Company

  • Primary Organisational Objective: increase revenue
  • Primary Strategic Objective: leads
  • Primary Target Audience (affinity group): operations executives within the national and international mining sector
  • Social Media Platform the Target Audience Actively Uses: LinkedIn
  • Social Media Platform Content Requirements and Target Audience Preferences: LinkedIn supports short- and long-form text, images, and short- and long-form video. You believe your Target Audience will value detailed technical information, case studies, articles related to mine safety, and downloadable spec sheets. You will place little emphasis on images and great emphasis on in-situ equipment demonstrations using long-form video. Clear calls-to action will be used, e.g. online forms or bridges to the company website, with further bridging options to the contact centre (to capture leads).



Depending on your Target Audience and the variability of newsfeed algorithms determining the extent of your Organic Reach, you might find it difficult to achieve your Strategic Objectives without spending money. Regardless of your current Organic Reach, you may want to supplement your social media presence with Paid Reach by promoting selected content and/or running targeted communications through an advertising panel, such as Facebook’s Ads Manager.

Paying for audience reach has the advantage of allowing you to target users based on granular profile characteristics and, in some instances, online behaviour. Paying to reach select Target Audiences might be your only way to reach them.

Because social media paid campaigns are generally more targeted than traditional offline channels, campaign budgets are often smaller. Budgets can optionally be applied on a per campaign or rolling basis with specified caps. Paid campaign settings, including spending, can be fine-tuned as you go.



Just reaching your Target Audience—through organic or paid means—may be enough, especially if your Strategic Objective was to spread awareness about your brand. To meet other Strategic Objectives, however, you may need move beyond reach and elicit action. There are four general types of Target Audience actions:

  • Engagement
  • Media Consumption
  • Participation
  • Moving across a CTA (call-to-action) Bridge

Engagement Actions
Social media engagement can take the form of a like, comment, or share. Engagement is desirable in that it can increase the (viral) Organic Reach of your content and potentially the Organic Reach of future content posted through your account (e.g. Facebook’s algorithm uses aggregate account engagement as a quality indicator for an account).

Organisations may wish to maximise engagement for other reasons, such as to solicit feedback or create a sense of community by allowing users to express themselves and communicate with other fellow users.

Media Consumption Actions
Media consumption requires users to click within a social media post to more fully access the media contained within it. Examples include the starting, replaying, or un-muting of a media stream, viewing an image gallery, or downloading a file. Media consumption actions are important because they increase your media reach and imply audience interest.

Note that auto-play media generates a view (past a certain time mark), but it technically does not produce media consumption actions unless a user action takes place. Video content which is hosted on YouTube and syndicated through social media (which doesn’t auto-play) does count as media consumption, which can be measured via both the viewing platform and YouTube’s analytics dashboard.

Participation Actions
Participating through a post is another valuable and measurable category of user action. This could take the form of a poll response, a competition entry, an event RSVP (‘interested’ or ‘going’), joining a live stream, claiming an offer, or completing a form.

Inviting participation serves several potential and useful purposes: community involvement, market research, feedback, commitment, two-way interaction, leads, sales, and compiling user-generated content.

Call-to-Action (CTA) Bridges
Social media reach can facilitate awareness and invite engagement, media consumption, and participation as described above. But in order to meet certain Strategic Objectives, you will need to encourage users to move across a CTA bridge to another online or offline location. These are known as conversion places and potentially include:

  • Your website
  • Another social media location
  • A physical location
  • Your contact centre

Common CTA bridges to conversion places include:

  • CTA buttons (e.g. ‘learn more’, ‘buy’, ‘donate’, ‘call’, ‘message’)
  • Hyperlinks and hypertext to websites
  • Telephone numbers and street addresses



Moving a Target Audience to a Conversion Place such as a website or to a public event can be an end in itself, but usually additional actions need to be undertaken. For example, a social media CTA bridge in the form of a ‘buy now’ button would typically land a user at the head of an ecommerce funnel with a further action required to complete the purchase.

Conversion Place: The Website
Moving Target Audiences to your website is common for lead generation, customer service, and ecommerce. A social media user who crosses a CTA bridge to a website landing page is typically invited to move through one of several possible conversion pathways, each with a corresponding conversion goal. Examples include:

  • Making an online payment (ecommerce)
  • Making a reservation
  • Making an appointment
  • Becoming a partner
  • Creating an account
  • Viewing product or service details
  • Getting a quote or estimate
  • Checking an inventory item or schedule
  • Finding a location
  • Making a donation
  • Making an enquiry
  • Applying
  • Subscribing (e.g. to an EDM)
  • Downloading, using, viewing, watching, playing (page engagement actions are commonly called events)

Website goals can be measured as time on the site, pages viewed per visit, or (more commonly) making it to a destination page. A destination goal is the final page in a conversion step process and is often the confirmation page for a purchase, newsletter sign-up, or contact form. In some instances, a website only serves as an intermediary bridge to a conversion place, such as a physical location or a contact centre.

Website Analytics & Social Media Conversion Tracking
Your website analytics—most likely Google Analytics—will automatically categorise your social-media-derived traffic by medium and source (e.g. ‘social media’ may be the medium, while ‘LinkedIn’ is the source). Once you’ve set up website conversion goal tracking through your Google Analytics account, you’ll be able to report on the number of goals reached through your website, which in turn be can be attributed to the mediums and/or sources that facilitated those goals. This is known as last click or assisted goal reporting, and it can be applied to all your social media platforms or to any other online channel driving traffic to your website, such as organic search, paid search, newsletters, or referrals.

Though more advanced, your social media CTA buttons and hyperlinks can be tracked individually using campaign URLs, sometimes called UTMs. Campaign URL strings contain additional descriptive information which you assign yourself, such as a campaign name. Campaign URLs are installed behind a social media CTA button or converted into a shortened hyperlink. Any visitor who lands on your website via a campaign URL is identified in your Google Analytics dashboard as coming from the campaign name, medium, and source you assigned to it. This enables you to attribute website traffic and website goal data to specific social media posts or campaigns, not just to ‘social media’ or a particular social media platform.

Any CTA button, hyperlink, or hypertext you control and clicks back to your website can incorporate a uniquely identifiable campaign URL. They are free and easy to create and are commonly used for paid campaign tracking when a website serves as an intermediary or final conversion place.

Conversion Place: Other Social Media
You may wish to move users from one social media platform to another to drive awareness about your other social media presences, gather new followers, or have users join a group. A social media post could also be positioned to bring users to an event page, form, or social media live stream.

Conversion Place: A Physical Location
Bridging users from social media to a physical location can facilitate product or service trials, browsing or purchases, meeting with your people, or attending an event. Common CTAs which facilitate physical visits include encouraging users to find your nearest location, use an interactive map, find a street address or hours of operation, view travel directions, and find public transport and parking options.

Tracking the online medium, source, and campaign name that prompted a physical visit is more difficult to measure than a website visit. This is known as the attribution problem, and much has been written on it. Campaign-specific offline redemption vouchers are one possible means of mitigating this common online/offline disconnect.

Conversion Place: Contact Centre
Bridging users to your contact centre—or any interactive organisational touch-point—can be a Strategic Objective in itself, especially for customer service or achieving another Strategic Objective such as lead generation or sales.

Social media offers multiple CTA bridge options to connect users to an organisational contact centre: phone numbers, ‘call now’ buttons, email addresses, postal addresses, contact forms, live chat, chat bots, and direct messaging. Even without overt contact centre CTAs in place, social media users may still reach out to you directly through your social media account or by tagging or mentioning you in a post.



This Social Media Strategy Canvas incorporates a sideways funnel overlay which narrows to the right and can be summarised as Awareness > Actions > Conversions. With this funnel as a guide, we can see how subsequent actions work to achieve different Strategic Objectives:

  1. Reach enables target audience awareness.
  2. Target audience awareness enables user actions.
  3. User actions enable engagement, media consumption, participation, and/or bridging to conversion places.
  4. Conversion places enable conversion goals and events.

Potential Measurement Places sit across all these points depending on your Strategic Objectives. Measurement Place metrics (captured over a specified timeframe) include:

  1. Total Reach—the number of people who saw your content, broken down by Organic and Paid Reach
  2. Engagement—the number of likes, comments, shares your content earned
  3. Media Consumption—the number of views, plays, downloads your content earned
  4. Participation—the number of poll responses, entries, RSVPs, etc. generated by your content
  5. Website Visits—the number of visits and/or attributable website goals and events completed
  6. Physical Location Visits—the number of visitors to particular locations (potentially difficult to isolate the source of such user actions)
  7. Contact Centre Engagements—the number inbound contacts received (potentially difficult to isolate the source of such user actions)

The Measurement Place metrics you choose to report on should directly support your Strategic Objectives, which in turn will support one or more of your Organisational Objectives. Below are examples of these associations.

Strategic Objective 1: Awareness (of product range)
Measurement Place and Reportable Metric: reach (organic and paid)
Core Objective: increase revenue by driving more store visits and in-store purchases

Strategic Objective 2: Lead Generation
Measurement Place and Reportable Metric: applications via your website
Core Objective: decreased costs

Strategic Objective 3: customer service
Measurement Place and Reportable Metric: social media actions (engagement and media consumption)
Core Objective: stakeholder satisfaction

Assigning Values to Metrics
Assigning values (relative weights) to your reportable metrics is useful in three ways:

  1. For internal relative weighting purposes. For example, a video would typically carry less weight (less importance) than a lead, which in turn might carry less weight than a sale. A common technique to weight relative value is to assign a local currency equivalent, i.e. asking yourself how much you’d be prepared to pay for something to happen. For example, you might value an incremental video view to completion at $0.10 and a lead generated from an online form submission at $50. Benchmarks are useful because you are using the common denominator of your local currency to make like-for-like comparisons of your different campaigns. Note, however, that these are internal value assignments only—not real money.
  2. For attribution purposes. Strategic Objective metrics with weighted values expressed in your local currency can often be attributed to the various online mediums, sources, and campaign URL’s that drove the outcomes. For example, attributing the relative values of website traffic and goal or event completions back to Twitter can help you track the effectiveness of your presence on Twitter versus on other social media platforms.
  3. For return-on-investment (ROI) analysis: If you can measure the values of your Strategic Objective metrics in your local currency, you can compare the value generated against what you’ve spent, informing how you might maximise your ROI in the future.

Assigning Dollar Values to Metrics
Strategic Objective metrics, as mentioned, can be assigned nominal currency values, e.g. $AUD if you’re operating in Australia. This is not as difficult as it may seem, and chances are you’re doing this in various offline contexts already. For example, to achieve Target Audience reach through a magazine, you might commission a quarter-page ad with a supporting advertorial for $5000. Here you are paying a defined dollar value to reach people within the magazine’s circulation (the magazine’s reach). If you weren’t happy with the anticipated reach and audience makeup, you wouldn’t pay the $5000.

That same calculus can be applied to social media. What would you be prepared to pay in $AUD to reach 1000 users within a tightly defined Target Audience on Instagram? What would you be prepared to pay for 500 users to participate in a poll on LinkedIn, to contact you, to visit your website, or to register for an event?

Internal Benchmarking & Target Metrics
Your expected nominal dollar value returns for your social media investments will become clearer over time. The more you use social media and the more campaigns you run, the easier it will be to establish internal benchmarks.

If you don’t know what a reasonable cost is to reach a target audience on social media, you might consider what you’re currently paying. If it costs you $10 on average to reach 1000 users, and you are satisfied with this as a return, you could establish this as an internal benchmark (i.e. 1 user reached for 1 cent).

Benchmarks are based on what you have been spending and your satisfaction with the measured returns. An average per-unit outcome must be satisfactory for it to be a benchmark. Here are several examples of potentially satisfactory outcomes:

  • $100 / 8000 people reached = 1.25 cents per person reached
  • $100 / 100 engagement actions = $1 per engagement action
  • $100 / 5000 video views = 2 cents per video view
  • $100 / 3 leads =$33.33 per lead
  • $100 / 200 competition entries = 50 cents per competition entry
  • $100 / 20 website visits = $5 per website visit
  • $100 / 5 website registrations (conversions) = $20 per website registration
  • $100 / $400 in ecommerce sales = $1 per $4 in ecommerce sales
  • $100 / 6 store visits = $16.66 per store visit
  • $100 / 15 direct messages (to contact centre) = $6.66 per direct message

Benchmarks are useful because you are using the common denominator of your local currency to make like-for-like comparisons of your different campaigns

Like-for-like benchmark comparisons can be applied across different target audiences, different social media platforms, and different channels. For example, cross-benchmarking allows you to measure:

  • Target Audience 1 vs. Target Audience 2 (same platform)
  • Social Media Platform 1 vs. Social Media Platform 2 (same campaign)
  • Social Media vs. Another Digital Channel (same campaign)



Once you’ve established internal benchmarks for all of your key metrics, they can be used to calculate the returns on any social media financial investment.

Example 1:

  • Campaign Strategic Objective: increase brand awareness
  • Budget: $80 in time and money
  • Campaign Measurement Metric: total reach (awareness requires reach)
  • Internal Benchmark for Reach: $1 for 100 people reached
  • Campaign Results: 756 organic reach + 12,881 paid reach = 13,637 total reach
  • Average Reach per Dollar Spent = 170 (13,637 people reached / $80).

If your internal benchmark for reach was 100 people per dollar spent, then any campaign result below a 100 per campaign dollar is a negative return, and anything above 100 is a positive return. This campaign example, therefore, would have delivered a positive return (13,637) for an $80 investment.

Example 2:

  • Campaign Strategic Objective: participation (in a competition)
  • Budget: $300 in time and money (a prize)
  • Campaign Measurement Metric: competition entries
  • Internal Benchmark per Competition Entry: $1.20
  • Campaign Result: 180 entries
  • Average Cost per Entry = $1.66 (300/180).

If your internal benchmark for an incentivised competition was one entry per $1.20 spent, then any campaign result below a $1.20 is a positive return, and anything above is a negative return. This campaign example, therefore, would have delivered a negative return (180 entries) for the $300 investment.


Closing Thoughts

The Social Media Strategy Canvas need not guide every social media activity you undertake. It has a strong transactional focus and is suited to social media when you are in ‘campaign mode’ (which you should be in most of the time).

It’s important to understand the canvas’ limitations. For instance, it doesn’t really address the relational side of social media, such as community engagement and two-way dialogue. While relational activities can lead to increased organisational trust and reputation, such qualitative outcomes are harder to pin down.

If, however, you need to present a business case involving social media to a client, in a direct report, or to a stakeholder group, the canvas framework should prove useful. We are big fans of tight reports, so here’s a suggested outline for a one-pager social media business case:

  • Why: ‘To help meet this organisational objective…’
  • How: ‘By meeting this strategic objective…’
  • Who: ‘By targeting this audience…’
  • Where: ‘On this social media platform…’
  • What: ‘Using these content formats…’
  • Target: ‘Reporting on these metrics…’
  • Investment: ‘[Activity X] required [Y amount of time] and [Z amount of money]…’
  • ROI: ‘Measured against these dollar-value internal benchmarks…’


If you’d like this strategy canvas exercise delivered as part of a conference keynote or workshop, or as an in-house training session, contact Tim Martin. If you would like to attend the net101 Advanced Social Media & Strategy public course, the dates are here.

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A Day at the Races

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“This time and they’re racing at the 5000 metres Social Media Market Domination Handicap. First out of the gate is MySpace and she’s pulling away quickly. It’s a fresh track and she’s making the most of it. YouTube off to a slow start with buffering issues. Then it’s blogging, LinkedIn and Twitter in a tight bunch, followed by Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and Snapchat in last position. MySpace now four lengths in front, but Facebook could boost at any moment as we’ve seen her do so many times before. YouTube and LinkedIn both on the pace. But wait… it looks like MySpace is changing jockeys – yes, it’s a News Corp executive now in the saddle – a risky in-race maneuverer, let’s hope they know what they’re doing. But oh no, she’s stumbled badly – she’s out! What a pity for the new owners.

“As they approach the 3000 mark it’s Facebook now firmly in the lead. Blogging moves up on the inside rail – what a great performer he is over longer distances. With a 1000 to go it’s Facebook half a length in front of blogging, followed closely by YouTube in third. Google+ now coming up strong on the outside – just look at him go! Google+ is closing on Facebook – four lengths, three lengths… oh no, he’s thrown his jockey! What a bitter disappointment for the Page/ Brin syndicate who have tried so hard to make their presence felt on this track – they’ll be left searching. YouTube now gaining ground – he could be the one to watch. Instagram makes a break looking like a billion dollars. But it’s still Facebook leading the field, followed by blogging, YouTube and LinkedIn, Twitter fifth then Instagram and Pinterest, and Snapchat closing up the rear.

“Into the final straight and Facebook’s the one to beat  – she’s looking mobile, showing true responsiveness. Now with 140 meters to go Twitter throws it on, but has she left enough room? Instagram still looking for a way through. Now it’s Snapchat coming on – wait, yes, he’s done  a face-swap with LinkedIn – have you ever seen anything like it folks? Screen-grab that one while you can! Twitter left with no room to fly as Pinterest has her pinned against the inside rail. It’s Facebook in front by a length followed by Instagram neck-in-neck with Pinterest. But it’s Facebook! it’s still Facebook! Yes it is! Yes it is! Yes –   Facebook takes it all the way home! Instagram and Pinterest in a too-close-to-call photo-finish for second and third places.

“Congratulations to Facebook and her Wall St owners. A beautiful 12-year old mare by Zuckerberg out of Harvard. And thanks to the tireless support of the fans, investors and advertisers, without whom this race would not have been possible.”




Status updates from the Bard…

“Now is the algorithm of our discontent.”
– Richard III

“The course of launching a website never did run smooth.”
– A Midsummer Night’s Dream

“If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you fill our newsfeeds with self-serving promotional content shall we not disengage?”
– Merchant of Venice

“To boost, or not to boost, that is the question.”
– Hamlet

“If content be the food of social media, publish on.”
– Twelfth Night

“Brevity is the soul of Twitter.
– Hamlet

“Love all, trust a few, have a social media policy.”
– All’s Well That Ends Well

“How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have no social media assisted conversion insights!”
– King Lear

“When online detractors come, they come not single spies, but in battalions.”
– Hamlet

“False Facebook must hide what the false heart doth know.”

“Wisely, and slow. They stumble that post fast.”
– Romeo and Juliet

“So foul and fair a heavily filtered Instagram post I have not seen.”
– Macbeth

“Give every major social media platform thy ear, but few thy voice.”
– Hamlet

“What’s posted can’t be unposted.”
– Macbeth

“Out, damned stock image! out, I say!”
– Macbeth

“Video, video – wherefore art thou video channel?”
– Romeo and Juliet

“All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little website.”
– Macbeth

“Facebook fans sought is good, but given unsought, is better.”
– Twelfth Night

“The complaining fan seeking something free doth protest too much, methinks.”
– Twelfth Night

“There’s many a brand has more fans than wit.”
– Comedy of Errors

“Give thy personal thoughts no brand tongue online.”
– Hamlet

“Your endless sales posts are as tedious as twice-told tale, vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man.”
– King John

“Brands do not care that do not demonstrate their care online.”
– The Two Gentlemen of Verona


Dear Little Miss Social…


Dear Little Miss Social

The professional value I derive from LinkedIn is diminishing as it starts to look and feel more like a second Facebook. Is that just me, or has something happened over there?

Maxine Jeffery
Flummoxed networker,
Melbourne, Australia


Dear Gentle Reader

On occasion Little Miss Social delights in a robust metaphor, and this one of them. Whenever I hear mention of LinkedIn I cannot but help think of the plight of Rome in the first century AD. For alas Gentle Reader, I fear the sack and decline of LinkedIn is upon us.

As uncouth as the Gauls, Visigoths and Vandals may have been, they are nothing on the modern-day Barbarians who wield their destructive power from inside of LinkedIn’s own city walls! What possible defence pray-tell do we have against fellow-denizens bent on recycling inspirational quotes from Richard Branson and Steve Jobs? Or the publishing of endless streams of math problems and the first-word-you-see letter plays? Or the spamming of one’s own group members with unsolicited in-mail? Or the pitching of dubious or odious business propositions from one’s newly acquired connections? If I may be permitted to paraphrase Augustus, we may have found LinkedIn built of marble, but we leave her today clothed in bricks.

Little Miss Social’s advice for the continued use of LinkedIn is simple: build and maintain your own house and let the city populous at large endure the Barbarian rampages. Grant access only to your chosen and build a safe-haven around them. Be vigilant of peddlers, serial sharers and the Bransonites. Do not be afraid to cast out transgressors – use the ‘unfollow’ option at the first signs of trouble or ‘disconnect’ the connection altogether. Do not engage with low-quality posts – that is how the Barbarian makes his presence felt. Do not post inspirational quotes – they depress our collective sensibilities (and it is how we know you have too much time on your hands or are just manifestly unhappy in your current job role).

But do play your part – be useful and ever-considerate of what you are directly and indirectly posting onto the newsfeeds of others. I will do the same and we will both once again enjoy Rome as it was when Caesar was a boy.


3 Little Pigs Redux


Once upon a time there were three little pigs. One pig built his brand online made only from paid advertising while the second pig built his brand online made only from social media. They built their houses very quickly and then sang and danced all day because they were lazy. The third little pig who had recently completed a net101 course applied his learnings and worked hard all day to build his brand online from a website and a blog. He then filled them with the richest of content, and reinforced both with analytics.

A big bad wolf saw the two little pigs while they danced and played and thought, “What juicy tender meals they will make!” He chased the two pigs and they ran and hid in their houses. The big bad wolf went to the first house and huffed and puffed and blew the house down in minutes, for the pig had maxed-out his credit card to pay for his ads. The frightened little pig ran to the second pig’s house that was made of social media. The big bad wolf now came to this house and huffed and puffed and blew the house down in hardly any time, for it wasn’t really the little pig’s house at all – it was owned by a third-party corporation located in America, and the terms of use had changed earlier that afternoon. Now, the two little pigs were terrified and ran to the third pig’s house that was made of the reinforced website and blog.

The big bad wolf tried to huff and puff and blow the house down, but he could not. He kept trying for hours but the house was very strong and the little pigs were safe inside. He tried to enter through the chimney but the third little pig boiled a big pot of analytic insights and kept it below the chimney. The wolf fell into it and died, just as the data had predicted.

The two little pigs now felt sorry for having been so lazy. They too built their business brands online with strong websites and blogs and lived happily ever after.


Don’t pay the consultant man – until he gets you to the other side.



It was late at night on the world wide web,
Facebook had our brand on the run,
Little time had we spent preparing for this journey;

He is closer now that the rules have changed,
But he’s reading from a map undefined,
He wants us to pay his bill,
And in return he’ll promise to deliver.

But when the engagement numbers came down,
We heard our CEO howl,
There were voices in the night, “Don’t do it!”
Voices out of sight, “Don’t do it!
Too many brands have failed before,
Whatever you do,

Don’t pay the consultant man,
Don’t even fix a price,
Don’t pay the consultant man,
Until he gets you to the other side”

In the new media mist, then he gets on board,
Now there’ll be no turning back,
Beware that bearded hipster at the rudder,
And then our newsfeed flashed, and our fan-base roared,
They were calling us out in shame,
And dancing memes that jabbered and a-moaned
On our wall.

And then the consultant man said,
“There’s algorithm trouble ahead,
So you must pay me now,” “Don’t do it!”
“You must pay me now,” “Don’t do it!”
And still that voice came from beyond,
“Whatever you do,

Don’t pay the consultant man
Don’t even fix a price,
Don’t pay the consultant man,
Until he gets you to the other side;

Don’t pay – the consultant man!”

“Social media is like a…”



“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at YouTube.” – Oscar Wilde

“I came, I saw, I left a comment.” – Julius Caesar

“The Facebook newsfeed algorithm is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” – Forrest Gump’s Mom

“Houston, we have a conversion funnel leakage…” – Apollo 13

“Insanity: posting the same thing over and over again and expecting increased audience reach.” – Albert Einstein

“Spam which does not kill us makes us stronger.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

“A cat meme gets halfway around the world before a filter has a chance to get its pants on.” – Winston Churchill

“The unexamined analytics report is not worth having.” – Socrates

“Instagram posts are always darkest just before the dawn.” – Thomas Fuller

“Be @yourself on Twitter; everyone else is @taken.” – Oscar Wilde

“Whenever you do a thing online, act as if all the world were watching.” – Thomas Jefferson

“I post online therefore I am.” – Descartes

“Live fast, die young, and leave a good-looking newsfeed.” – Irene L. Luce

“The best time to start an opt-in email database was 10 years ago. The second best time is now.” –Chinese Proverb

“People often say that social media posts don’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar

“Social media costs money. But then so does brand invisibility.” –Sir Claus Moser

“Don’t ever wrestle with an online troll. You’ll both get dirty, but the troll will enjoy it.”– Cale Yarborough

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to consume an unusal email newsletter without unsubscribing from it.” – Aristotle

“I have made this status update longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter.” – Blaise Pascal

“Asking a social media manager what she thinks about her community is like asking a lamp-post how it feels about dogs.” – Christopher Hampton

“There is nothing to writing a blog. All you do is sit down at a computer and bleed.” – Ernest Hemingway

“I find Facebook very educating. Every time somebody opens it up, I go into the other room and read a book.” – Groucho Marx

“A website visitor is a person, no matter how small.” – Dr. Seuss, Horton Hears a Who!

“A person who doesn’t tweet has no advantage over one who can’t tweet.” – Mark Twain

“Ask not what your social media community can do for you; ask what you can do for your social media community.” – John F. Kennedy

“If you can’t explain your social media strategy to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.” – Albert Einstein


Social Media Private Dick


‘Sam Spade, Registered Social Media Agent’ – at least that’s what the faded gold lettering on my office door says. Not that anyone cares much anymore… social media types are like pencils – everyone has a couple laying around somewhere, and most of them not as sharp as you’d like.

I poured my third bourbon for the morning and studied the fly walking across my keyboard. An overly precise knock at the door broke the hot silence of the room. It always starts this way, and I knew just how it would end.

“Mr. Spade?”

She was in her mid-thirties, tall, confident and dressed as crisply as a 100 dollar bill – the type that runs the corporate factories downtown. And probably as comfortable with interpreting an analytics report as she is applying lipstick in the dark.

I nodded wearily. As she moved towards my desk the shadows from the ceiling fan played across her face.

“I… we… the people I represent have a small problem, Mr Spade.”

And now we both do sister, I thought to myself.

“There’s been an incident. A marketing co-ordinator we let go won’t give us back the only login details to our Facebook brand page.”

I glanced at the fly on my keyboard which was now still. Probably dead. This city will suck the life out of anything given enough time.

“Awkward.” I said. “And now you’re looking for someone to clean up your little mess?”

“Well, yes. It’s a… delicate situation. We’re a big brand you see. We have profile. We can’t afford to made a public laughing-stock. Will you help?”

“It’s 25 hundred dollars a day plus expenses, Miss…?

“Huntington. Mrs. Huntington. And that’s a lot of money.”

“You should have thought of that before. Book yourself into a social media training course next time – the world could do with fewer delicate situations. Try NET:101, they’re good.”

“Very well Mr. Spade I’ll write you a cheque. And thanks for the advice.”

“Take a seat Mrs. Huntington and tell me from the beginning…”

There are many stories in the big city, this has been one of them.