Six essential shifts in social media strategy

We’ve reached a critical point in the evolution of social media as a business tool. Gone are the days when the GMOOT (Get Me One Of Those) approach will get you anywhere – simply having a Twitter account, or a Facebook Page, isn’t enough. We’re at the point of social media saturation, and something’s got to give.

So began the session description for my recent presentation at BlogWorld New York. The crux: that the days of social media as an experiment are over – it’s time for a more mature approach to social media within companies in order for social media to be viewed as a sustainable communications and business function.

Unfortunately, we’re also at a point where pursuit of the shiny object has reached an extreme, and that this pursuit is conducted within an increasingly transparent fishbowl while armchair critics circle, waiting for the next “fail” from companies.

In this environment, where transparency and scrutiny are paired up with a shift in focus from experimentation to results, and yet where the allure of “the next big thing” persists, companies need to structure and approach social media differently.

My presentation focused on six essential shifts that I see in how many businesses approach social media strategy. Of course, not all companies are in the same situation. Some with mature programs have evolved beyond this stage; some face just a few of these shifts; others face them all:

  1. Moving away from shiny objects and towards social business
    1. Asking “why” to understand demands
    2. Building a social media infrastructure to support the social brand
    3. Taking baby steps in implementation – from crawl, to walk, to run, to fly
  2. Setting better objectives for social media
    1. Setting SMART objectives
    2. Tying back to broader business goals
    3. Staying clear of the “how” and “what” when setting objectives
  3. Measuring effectively against those objectives
    1. Focusing on the right numbers for the audience
    2. Understanding what numbers really mean
    3. Avoiding made-up numbers
    4. Measuring to drive insights alongside determining results
  4. Breaking down silos and integrating across functions
    1. Approaching social media as an integrated function
    2. Breaking-down silos through day-to-day tactics
    3. Integrating through reporting structures, governance and social media organizational models
  5. Planning and executing content more strategically
    1. Considering content objectives
    2. Identifying appropriate content sources
    3. Fine-tuning execution via appropriate content volume, mix and format
  6. Engaging effectively to build relationships and communities of interest
    1. Embracing negative and neutral conversations
    2. Establishing processes to minimize risk

How about you – have you seen companies needing to make these improvements to their social media strategy?

For more on the topic, check out this excellent write-up of my presentation over at SmartBlog for Social Media.

Thanks once again to Rick, Dave, Deb, Shane and the rest of the BlogWorld team for the invitation to speak. This was my fifth BlogWorld presentation, and I always enjoy it. 

41 Responses toSix essential shifts in social media strategy

  • kevrichard
    ago8 years

    Big thumbs up on the measurement piece Dave! The race still continues to reach massive fan counts while people still don’t understand what having these fan bases will do for their business. Moving the industry away from this mind set is going to be a massive up hill battle but something that needs to be done. 

    •  @kevrichard Hi Kev, I agree. Especially with Facebook’s continued focus on engagement over absolute reach, companies need to focus on engaging the people who have opted-in alongside (and perhaps above) growing their fan base. The reality that Facebook won’t let you reach more than a fraction of your fan base without paying really shines a spotlight on that on that platform in particular.
      Hope you’re well 🙂

  • Dave’s slides are terrific but it was really special to hear him present as well. I highly recommend the BlogWorld virtual ticket which will give you an audio combo for these slides. I hope to see your sixth BlogWorld presentation in January in Las Vegas Dave.

    •  @LindaSherman Thanks so much, Linda. Really appreciate your kind words, and it was great to see you in New York.

  • easycommerce
    ago8 years

    Thanks many to create and explain about Social Media Marketing strategies within 6 level. Article is very useful to me & nice 🙂

  • Murrayiz
    ago8 years

    Well said. We’ve been talking about this for a long time now; most people are still just focusing on the wrong things. I especially like the ‘Measuring’ section – I’m doing an entire presentation on effective measuring and reporting at Social Media Strategies Summit Miami this week, and it’s not  what people are going to be expecting. 

    •  @Murrayiz Thanks! Are you planning on posting your slides from the Social Media Strategies Summit?

      • Murrayiz
        ago8 years

         @davefleet Yes, I am, but my presentations usually have mostly images with little text.  I think they are videoing it, so if I can get a copy I can post that also.

  • jspepper
    ago8 years

    Well, there’s the necessary and the reality. Agencies have no vested interest in breaking down silos. 

    •  @jspepper I disagree – my life would be SO much easier if silos were to disappear.
      For one, integrated briefs would result in programs that generate better results (hence prolong client relationships). That alone would make it worthwhile. 
      As I mentioned during the presentation in New York (but not clearly in the deck), too, integration in measurement also makes it easier to demonstrate the impact of your own programs. 
      There are a plethora of reasons why integration makes sense. Yes, there are also reasons why some would like to avoid it, but frankly I wouldn’t want to work for those agencies.

      • jspepper
        ago8 years

         @davefleet You work in a rarefied agency, though, where they actually encourage risk taking, outside thinking, blogging and other stuff. And are an independent that doesn’t have to worry about a holding company.
        But I think other agencies are still in dog fights and pissing matches with advertising, marketing, SM firms for the budgets. I meant silos in that instance.

    ago8 years

    yeah its very useful post for Social Media Lovers…

  • I like the point you are making about stepping away from the shiny object. We’ve found that following the next big social media fad isn’t that effective for us (with the limited resources of a VC funded tech startup). Rather, focusing on LinkedIn has garnered us leads every single week. 

  • SualehaAkhtar
    ago8 years

    not able to meet the expenses and your budgets???? (11411) Here’s a chance to earn part time, a smart way to relief your tight budgets by doing your work from home. You can easily earn up to 10-20 $ per hour or 100$ per month. For details visit

  • Thank you Dave. Good slides and good information. Slide 15 really gives direction. By the way, the slide with the fish in the fish bowl is nice.

  • yoursocialfans
    ago8 years

    When you Buy Facebook Fans the quantity of visitors to your page as properly as your site will increase, enabling you to make greater use of public social networking for increasing income. A growing number of individuals right now use public social networking sites in purchase to link with their friends and family. With an incredible number of customers opening the network each day you have unlimited prospective to present your company, services and goods to prospective customers all over the world.Buy facebook fans at yoursocialfans

  • GaryEdgar
    ago8 years

    I want to get slide 25 made into a T-shirt and wear it to every “social media-type” convention! It’s glorious.

  • I can totally recommend it 🙂

  • smythjorden
    ago8 years

    nice info and very effective for all user.
    <A HREF=””>Buy facebook likes</A>

  • smythjorden
    ago8 years

    This blog is more informative for all user.

  • andreibuspro
    ago8 years

    Nice. The slides tell its own story. I like slide 17 and 50.  Geez,thanks for sharing.

  • John rahul
    ago8 years

    Thank you deve for your kind awesome presentation. I love slide 15 and 16. Its very essential for directions. And i have found some other articles here
    What you guys think about it ? please let me know.

  • Developing the skill to engage negative social media conversations in a diplomatic manner is one of the harder things to do with the platform. This is especially crucial during times when the brand is dealing with large-scale negative publicity.

  • sumona241
    ago8 years

    Pretty nice post.. I was grateful to you for the following fantastic articles and and wished to say that I’ve really enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. In any case I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again soon! You also invited to visit my weblog <a href=”” target=”_blank”>”Make Money Internet” </a>, if you get time and scope.

  • Nice article, thanks for the information.
    Anna @

  • thank you verey much l like the nice post good luck my freind

  • Evascott
    ago8 years

    <a href=””>fashion</a>

  • Evascott
    ago8 years

    Social Media plays a important role in the online. Thanks for giving this strategies for us. This will help us to improve our knowledge.
    <a href=””>Konto walutowe</a>

  • businesscoachmelbourne
    ago8 years

    Really it is good aritcles . I learn so many new think about social media.

  • businesscoachmelbourne
    ago8 years

    Really it is good aritcles . I learn so many new think about social media.
    <a href=””>business coach melbourne</a>

  • businesscoachmelbourne
    ago8 years

    For this article I learn what is social media and what is the important of social media.

  • JimmyLalani
    ago8 years

    This was one great read, had some excellent pointers.

  • Great presentation, was a great read. 🙂

  • commoncentsmom
    ago8 years

    For me the measurement slides rang true, too often so many have fabricated numbers, inflated them, without being able to show the ROI. The links needs to be shown.

Trackbacks & Pings