net101 2019 Social Media Strategy Exercise

 

This 2019 Social Media Strategy Exercise is run as part of the net101 ‘Advanced Social Media and Strategy’ course. The canvas schematic we use is directly below, and the full support notes – available as PDF download – are further below.


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



3 Little Pigs Redux

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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.



Hard Boiled Social Media

Sam Spade Registered Social Media Agent, that’s me if you believe the faded gold lettering on my office door. Not that anyone cares much anymore. Social media consultants are like pencils: everyone has a couple laying around somewhere – most of them not as sharp as you’d like them to be.

I poured a bourbon and studied the fly which was making its way 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 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 a long shadow from the ceiling fan played across her magazine-cover face.

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

And now we both do sister I thought to myself.

“Our Facebook organic reach keeps plummeting and we don’t know what to do.”

I glanced at the fly on my keyboard which was now not walking. Probably dead. This city sucks the life out of everything given enough time.

“Awkward.” I said.

“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 net101, they’re one of the better ones.”

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

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


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

 



April Horoscope for Social Media Managers

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Hopefully the hard slog of the past few months feels well and truly behind you now. There is a New Moon eclipse this month and it is urging you to stop worrying about accumulating more followers and fans, and to start engaging more with existing ones. Also, your sensitive nature is likely to pick up on algorithmic changes on one of more of your social media accounts which may detrimentally affect your organic audience reach. You’ll find that you can incorporate some of this new knowledge in a way that gives you a greater advantage.

Note that with eclipses, problems start if we cling on to social media platforms which are not working and pretend everything is ok when it’s not. Release what needs to be released before the Universe releases it for you. Get the picture? As this New Moon eclipse is in the deepest part of your chart it also makes it the ideal month to experiment with other social media platforms which may reveal your brand’s hidden depths. Try looking for inspiration in the Houses of Pinterest or Instagram.

Although you do have all the cosmic support you need to enjoy your social media manager duties this month you must force yourself to work through your fears of analytics and data interpretation to get to the ‘really good stuff’.

Your transient ruler, the rambunctious Mars with a take-no-prisoners manner, will zig-zag through your social media channels. Mars forms a trine to the Lunar Eclipse – this is almost always an emotional time. You may forget a login password or send out a post with a broken hyperlink, so try to stay strong! But Mars also rewards the curious and adventurous – time to shake off your propensity to play it safe and produce everything in-house the way it’s always been done. Try outsourcing a few $5 gigs to an overseas freelancer on Fiverr.com and add some exotic spice to your next posts!

As Pluto remains in the Tenth House it is a rare chance to change the way you think. “What’s the good of that?” you might ask. Well, according to ancient wisdom and New Age theory, we create our reality with our thoughts. If you have got into the habit of thinking negatively about your social media presence, it’s time to retrain your brain. Monitor your thoughts and swerve them towards positivity. You could achieve some amazing business-level outcomes.

This is a wonderful month to expand your mind and you have full cosmic support – the Universe knows you are ripe for change. If you need to, undertake a net101 social media course to help make some sense of your longer-term strategic goals. The more realistic you can be, the better.

As the end of the month approaches, you should feel like you finally have achieved the KPI’s that you so deeply desire and this happiness adds a new dimension to your online persona. You better understand the rules, your superiors are more aware of your particular talents, and you are concentrating on playing the game of social media more skilfully.

 



Social Media Online Digital Guru Wanted! #AreYouTheOne?

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Our client is about to kick their social online digital media presence into the stratosphere! The challenge: get them there with limited resources, a minuscule budget and virtually no internal support. Don’t worry, because If you’re the type of self-starter we’re looking for you’ll smash your KPI’s standing on one leg!

Of course it’s essential you be a social media rock-star with 10+ years experience and a proven track-record when it comes to Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Vine, Google+, Pinterest, blogging, Snapchat and Webo. And your quick mastery of every hot, new online thing is an absolute  given. With drive and sheer-guts determination you’ll generate more followers, more fans and more likes on every social media channel than all of our client’s competitors put together. That’s what social media gurus do!

You have an online street-hip thing happening already – and just as well because you’ll frequently be required to communicate with external stakeholders using the very latest hashtags and emoji! O; Luckily your hipster online persona is backed up with a high-voltage brain, as you’ll be capturing and analysing swaths of BIG DATA as part of your everyday decision-making. Yes, you’re also a triple black-belt ninja when it comes to analytics!

Naturally you also can cut computer </code> in several languages. Bob the Builder won’t have anything on you by the time you’re finished building and launching new websites for each of the 18 brands our client owns. Plus, you’ll get to show off your talents as a wordsmith – the content for each new site will need to be written from scratch!

Oh, and did we mention search engine optimisation? Not a problem for you, right! Using your own secret magic SEO sauce, you’ll propel our client to the top of Google for the top 500 keywords in their space within weeks. What algorithm you say – boom!

Once you’ve trimmed my client’s sails and have them sailing on smooth digital waters you’ll get the chance to relax with the set-up of an international online affiliate sales program. Bonus fun!

Interested? Up for the challenge? We’d love to hear from you!

Total Remuneration Package: up to $42K for the right candidate.

 

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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.”

 



@shakespeare

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“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.”
Macbeth

“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 trash 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 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…

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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.

 



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!”