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.



“Social media is like a…”

 

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

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

“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

“Online trolls who do not kill us makes us stronger.”
Friedrich Nietzsche

“A meme gets halfway around the world before the truth 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 Instagram; everyone else is taken.”
Oscar Wilde

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

“I post 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 5 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

“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 read long-form industry articles has no advantage over one who can’t read.”
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 Strategy Lasagna Recipe

This is a dish which satisfies every time – even the fussiest of executives will be back at the table asking for more. While it’s easy enough today to buy pre-made social media strategy lasagna from any agency, it’ll never taste as good and perform as well as a homemade one. Bon appetit!

Method

Preheat your oven – ensure you have a consistent flow of energy to last the full cooking time, otherwise your social media strategy lasagna will not hold together.

In a large mixing bowl add 2-3 fresh social media strategic objectives – you’ll find these in all good organisations, or just ask your local senior management team to order some in for you. Then slowly mix in at least as many measurable goals as you have objectives. Don’t let the objectives and the measurable goals split – if this happens, discard and start over.

Add 2 cups of senior management buy-in, 1 cup of stakeholder engagement, 3 tablespoons of branding and 500ml of high-quality social media training (for best results I recommend net101 – available from most Australian capital cities; use a lesser substitute if you must). Mix together thoroughly by hand and set to one side.

In a non-metallic social media platform add layers of original content – I often use an even mix of educational, informing and entertaining, but it’s up to you. If including sales propositions do so sparingly as their bitterness is not to most people’s taste. If you are running short of original content you can top up with curated content, easily available online with a bit of sifting.

Between each content-layer add a few calls-to-action (often sold as ‘CTAs’ in most supermarkets). Why not throw an extra telephone number in for fun – it’s one of those classic CTA’s that goes well with everything.

Pour the mixture over your layered content, sprinkle with some attention-grabbing headings and bake on a low, consistent heat for several months. Test every week or so with an analytics skewer. When ready, serve with a side of fresh brand personality and a fine bottle of organisational transparency.

If you have leftovers, freeze in portions and reheat for internal meetings or conference presentations.



Interview with a Vampire

Thanks for speaking to me today.

You’re welcome. 

So, you used to be a vampire – you would suck people’s blood until they ran dry?

Yes, but I’ve moved on. I’m now a SEO [search engine optimisation] consultant and I suck people’s bank accounts dry instead. I guess I was born to suck. It’s not such a bad life.

Don’t you worry that you’ll get caught someday?

Not really. SEO consultants have been moving amongst the business community with impunity since the late 1990s. People see us, but they don’t really see through us if you know what I mean. We wear special opaqueness cloaks which are made up of fast talk and jargon.

Do you have any weaknesses – can you be killed?

We’re sensitive to website analytics reports, especially the daylight of business conversion data. But no, we can’t be killed.

Are you in cahoots with any other dark forces?

Yes, digital marketing agencies often provide us with safe-harbour.

Who are your most vulnerable prey?

We target the weak and desperate business-mind. We use a ‘get found on page 1 of google’ hazing-charm to confuse their power of reasoning, and then we put them on a monthly SEO maintenance plan. We suck them until they financially run dry, or the hazing-charm wears off – whichever comes first.

That sounds awful! How do you live with yourself? I mean, what do you see each morning when you look in the mirror?

Nothing, I’m a vampire.

Okay, getting creepy now. Thanks for your time. Let me get the window…



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 service 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.

Sitting on the floor cross-legged storytime version:



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.”