People, not platforms: and 8 more steps to social media success

At its core, Komfo and Komfo Summit is about social media, so before diving into individual posts about the #komfosummit trends, let’s touch the surface of the social media track.

The afternoon interactive tracks were meant to send you home with some hands-on tool to implement at home, and this was exactly what the afternoon girl-power-sessions – Kerry Watkins and Emma Blom – gave the participants in the afternoon social media track at #komfosummit.

Kerry Watkins is the woman behind SocialBrighton and SocialCopenhagen, and believes that keeping social and content in-house is a key to success. Hear-hear, I say.

Emma Blom is the woman behind Stockholm-based Social Industries and reminded us not to add more irrelevant content to the never-ending stream.

Kerry’s  8 steps to social media success were hands-on and relatable, while Emma’s 4 tips for social advertising in the ever-changing evolution of formats challenged our perception of the way ‘things are done.’ Throughout, we were constantly reminded: it’s about people, not platforms.

It’s about People, not Platforms

Throughout the day, I was happy to see the overarching emphasis on people over platforms. Platforms and technology change, but people remain.

But if we were to talk about the platforms for a second, let’s remember that each platform operates under their own culture, under an umbrella of rules, rituals and traditions bound by the technology and the people using it.

Harness the unique power of each platform to reach different people by making your strategy about the people you are trying to reach, not about the platform. Different platforms will need different approaches and content. Platforms come and go but people remain.

a few of the objectives you might use in your social media strategy – per Kerry Watkins.


8 steps to a successful social media strategy

Kerry’s session on 8 steps to social media success were hands-on and relatable, and I’m here to share a mashup of her tips with som of the tips and topics from throughout the day.

1. Set objectives: ask, what you want to achieve? Is it data collection, listening, traffic, lead generation, lead conversions, reach, brand awareness? The possibilities are (almost) endless. But remember this reminder from Emma Blom:

“If you can’t measure it, don’t do it”

2. Develop audience personas: know your audience and adjust your communications accordingly. There are lots of models and methods for developing personas out there. Pick one that suits you. It is, after all, about people, and not platforms.

3. An approach for each network: which networks should you be using?  You dont have to be on all of them, but you should be using all platforms differently. And remember: Don’t recycle content across platforms, or, as Carlos Gil said:

“It’s called digital leftovers, and you just don’t do it!!

4. Plan and brainstorm content: what should I share? Kerry suggests her own method, the “content challenge”, but make sure you are focusing on creating (which always takes longer than planned! whether you are gathering assets, curating, editing photos, writing, shooting video, or brainstorming content), scheduling key content, and leaving time for real-time updates as needed

5. Communication & community: Communication is a two way thing. Remember your personas and remember to engage. If you’re in it for the long-haul, building community is essential.

6. Consider resources – but don’t forget to execute. There are loads of resources out there – free as well as paid – to experiment with for making your life as a social media manager easier. Komfo, tweetdeck, buffer, buzzsumo, pocket, memit – figure out what works for you and make sure it’s scalable.

7. Measure & learn – Is it working? Focus on key metrics (those should have been decided way back in the first point). Again, are we talking reach, engagement, CTR, network growth, website visits/conversions? Maybe different campaigns have different metrics? Now go back and reevaluate as you go. And remember, if you can’t measure it, don’t do it.*

“I’m not smarter than anyone else, I just have better data” – Emma Blom

8. Involve the team – Social media doesn’t work in isolation

The last one is one of my absolute favorite reminders: even though it’s a tough job to get the organization involved, it’s absolutely vital for success. Often, it includes a cultural and a mindset shift, because you have to get people convinced in seeing the value and the excitement in your social media efforts.

Next, you need to get your colleagues thinking visually and in stories, taking pictures and inspiring each other.  If you can, find some first-mover ambassadors that are willing to participate in writing blog posts or even snapchat video takeovers.

The content challenge

Let’s talk for a minute about the content challenge, which is a method, and I believe also a workshop Kerry runs, for brainstorming new content. All it requires is a dice and some pen and paper. Now, start rolling.

As with other similar methods, some if it will be silly and crazy. That’s the point. Most of it will be useless. But some of it will be gold, and you have to let yourself go out on that limb in order to reach the gold status.

The content challenge, courtesy of Kerry Watkins from SocialBrighton & SocialCopenhagem
Does this all sound easy? Well, my mission has failed. All of this is doable, but it is not easy and it will take some time. However, the good news is that it’s best done failing fast forward – Get started, reevaluate, then repeat.
Go forth and prosper!

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