The 7 Cs of a successful social media strategy

A lot of people and companies decide, after using social media for a while, that they need a strategy. Of course, that approach is like putting the cart before the horse. To ensure success, you should think about your social media in the context of the seven Cs. Let’s examine the 7 Cs of a successful social media strategy

The 7 Cs of a successful social media strategy

By understanding the key Cs of a social media strategy, you can better implement, maintain, and manage your social media presence.

1. Community

Like all good communication, it is best to start by determining your target audience.

  • Where do they spend time online?
  • What social media channels do they use?
  • How do they communicate on these social media channels?

Before your social media efforts can take shape, you should listen and learn about your community. For example, a B2C consumer goods brand such as Oreo, one of their top social media communities is Facebook. Their salute to the Mars landing was a huge hit with their Facebook fans. For a job seeker, he or she will most likely find a community on LinkedIn.

Finding out where your community interacts on social media is the first step of a successful social media strategy. It is important to first determine what type of conversations are taking place about your brand and in your industry before engaging in a community or building a community from scratch.

2. Content

After you figure out how your community engages with social media, you should next figure out what content you are going to share with your followers. For example, if you are looking to grow your personal brand, what articles are you going to share to highlight your expertise about your job or personal interests?

If you are a company, how can you show your clients and prospects that you are a thought leader? Are you trying to make their lives easier?

3. Curation

You can’t think about content, without mentioning curation. Curation is a way of sharing other people’s content and acting as a museum curator. Content curation is the process of sorting through the vast amounts of content on the web and presenting it in a meaningful and organized way. A content curator as someone who continually finds, groups, organizes and shares the best and most relevant content a specific issue.

Content curation is one of the easiest ways to share content because you don’t have to create anything. This leads well into the next “C”: creation.

4. Creation

Creation is the act of creating content online. This can be in the form of text, images or video. If you have posted a blog post, uploaded a video to YouTube or took a picture and posted it to Instagram, you are in the creation business. One of the ways to help you create content is to create an editorial calendar.

What is the sweet spot between creation and curation? According to research, the sweet spot of curation to creation is a 60-40 (60 curation and 40 percent creation). You can also think about content curation as the 4-1-1 ratio.

5. Connection

After you have either curated and/or created content, the next C is the physical act of sharing content. This C is about connecting with your community. It is important to get a deep understanding of what your target audience likes about your social media activities and strategy.

Based on measurements and data, what content are your communities attracted to and willing to share with their friends and colleagues?

Many brands today have created buyer personas using tools like HubSpot’s Make My Persona tool so they can better understand and connect better with their target audience. In other words, personas are fictional representations of your ideal clients. Personas are based on real data about demographics, online behavior, along with educated assumptions about their history, motivations, and concerns.

6. Conversation

This C is all about having a conversation with your community. This C is very similar to the community. However, the important difference is the actual engagement part of communicating with your communities.

7. Conversion

The seventh C is conversion. You can’t talk about social media without having a return on investment (ROI) conversation. The important thing to remember here is that your social media strategy should be tied to your business strategy.

When thinking about this from the company perspective, it is important to remember to look at it two ways. An external view of your clients, prospects, and partners, and an internal view of your employees.

To develop a successful social media strategy, it is important to communication, convince, and most importantly, convert social media into action, both externally and internally.

Whether your social media metrics are at your company, they will boil down to three main categories. Awareness, sales, and loyalty.

On the personal branding side, social media is a way to help you advance your career—whether it be successfully climbing the corporate ladder or launching a successful business. You can judge the success of your personal social media strategy by whether or not you are top of mind with your network and whether it helps you get that interview or land that perfect job.

More than 7 Cs of a successful social media strategy?

In conclusion, the 7 Cs of a successful social media strategy should include:

  • finding and engaging your communities and/or building a new community
  • making sure you have the right mix of content curation and creation
  • connecting well with your community
  • having relevant and meaningful conversations
  • converting on your goals

Just like the 4 Ps of marketing has grown to the 9 Ps of marketing, I am sure there are more Cs than seven. What Cs would you add to this list?

7 thoughts on “The 7 Cs of a successful social media strategy

  1. I find Core Values very important: you’re not doing it to kill time. Another one missing is Context. By emphasizing generated context you’ll make your Content and your Community easier to (re) find. So, can make the 7 up to 10?

  2. Great article! I would suggest that additional C’s include Core Values and Charity – what does your company stand for; having an authentic voice, allows you to better connect with your audience.

  3. Thanks, B.L. I am glad to hear that you enjoyed the post. I thought your three insights about working together as a team, getting senior leadership buy-in, and that success doesn’t come over night were spot on.

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