Coffee with a Social Media Guru

Last week, I had the pleasure of chatting with a social media manager of a top fortune 500 company over coffee. He shared that there are 5 disciplines of Social Media: Publishing, Engagement, Advertising, Listening and Research. Of course, I had to switch it up to create an acronym to remember them 😉.

The Breakdown

We couldn’t talk long, but I’d figure I’d take the weekend to break down the components of each discipline. Some are obvious, like publishing, but oftentimes companies and organizations miss out on others, like researching, reporting, and listening. Check out the list below and see what you need to add to your social media mix.


This includes having nicely branded social media profiles and pushing content to them. Consistency is key for styling and scheduling. It is important to have a style guide in place to maintain a consistent look and feel. It is also important to have a schedule in place and think through the time of day that your publishing as well. Be sure to include inbound marketing as well. Social is a great place for attracting prospects and sharing what your brand is about.


This section is not about how people engage with your brand, but how your brand engages with other accounts online. Which comments do you choose to respond to, will you taunt a competitor on social media, like Wendy’s? What kind of posts will you like, love, re-tweet, quote, etc? Not all brands have to be wallflowers; join the social media party!


Let’s face it! Organic reach is dying, even google is showing SERPs without organic search results. The environment is now “pay to play.” Understanding when to advertise and how to target successfully will be essential to sustain and grow your brand’s online presence and bottom line.


What does it all mean?!?! Is it working?? Remember that cartoon from last week? Well, I assume confusion around conversions occurs because we’re so eager to push out content, that we neglect the time to do in-depth research and analysis. Granted, it is a hard balance; we all have targets and goals we want to hit, but research can help us get there. When I spoke with the Social Media Manager over coffee, he mentioned that he would like to do a year of research before launching a major social media campaign.


And last, but not least is social listening. “Social listening is the process of monitoring digital conversations to understand what customers are saying about a brand and industry online (Track Maven).” When you listen, you can learn pain points, what’s trending, what your audience cares about the most or what new features/products they may be interested in. It is especially helpful to “listen in” on your competitors and stay up to date on what is happening in the industry as a whole. This activity supports your research efforts and allows you to refine your social media strategy.

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