So, you stare at your Twitter account, Facebook page and LinkedIn business profile and nothing happens. You send a flurry of tweets. Maybe “engage” with an “influencer” or two and then you jump over to Google Analytics to watch the conversions increase 10x. But that conversion rate actually went down.

  • If you have ever felt that more content was the answer, your social media strategy is broken.
  • If you’ve made a concerted effort to RT more people, your social media strategy is broken.
  • If you’ve ever boosted a post without adjusting targeting, your social media strategy is broken.
  • If you’ve never boosted a post, your social media strategy is broken.
  • If the only URLs that appear in your social media feeds are your own, your social media strategy is broken.

Let me clarify something at this juncture. There’s a key word I want to emphasize in all of this: strategy. Your content may be great. Your calls to action are on point and your messaging is tight. But what’s the strategy that guides you forward?

Define your voice, define your strategy

A strategy is the methodology you use to accomplish a set of goals. Tactics, plans and deliverables constitute your strategy. Your strategy is not a two-page Word document or 10 PowerPoint slides. Your strategy is a living entity that grows and evolves alongside your social media program.

The core element to a successful social media strategy is the voice of the brand. The words, images, structure, tone and humanity that bring a brand to life. Is it pithy, serious, humorous, contrite, morose, or some combination of other traits? Perfect. Own it. Be that voice.

If you don’t tell your own story, somebody else will tell it for you. You’ll be dependent on the words that others use to share your strengths and, more often than not, the way they amplify your weaknesses. The first step in any social media program that has any opportunity for success is determining how you want to tell your story.

How to win social media

If you’re worried that your social media strategy sucks, just know that it can be fixed.

So, how do you win at social media?

Commitment to excellence

We’ve established that in order to have a successful social media program, one must be inherently committed to maintaining a presence and being an active part of the communities you want to have a presence in. Social media is a long-term commitment that is governed by the precedent you set. If you start out by Tweeting 15 times a day and your team is posting 6 blog posts per week, guess what happens when you start having one tweet a day and maybe one blog post every other week: You lose your audience. You just lost at social media. In order to win, you must set a precedent and stick to it.

Be data based

Think of the audience you want to reach. What data supports your choice of that audience? Think of the calls to action you use. Have you a/b tested to make sure you’re optimizing your conversion rates? Look at your Google Analytics. Are you actively present on the sites sending you referral traffic? By making decisions on content that are based in measurable results, you can ensure the success of your social media strategy.

Be awesome and don’t suck

People share awesome. They don’t share content that is bad. Unless it’s awesomely bad, but I would encourage you not to seek out that kind of content. Go ahead and post a meme or a video. In fact, recent research shows that Facebook prefers you post a video. But you also need to tell great stories with your content. Find out what resonates with your desired audience and create content that works for that group.

Fixing your social media strategy takes work. It takes commitment. And, it takes a little bit of awesome too. Let us know what elements you think make for a great social media strategy in the comments!