7 Step Secret Sauce Recipe For Social Media Success


Secrets in the sauceHe: I need more traffic to my blog, more followers to my Twitter account and more likes on my Facebook.

Me: So I told him the 7 Step Secret Sauce Recipe For Social Media Success. In all candour, it's nothing new but as a reminder I thought I'd pass along.

1. The End Game - Start with the end game in mind .. or as marketers might say -- your goals.

What do you want to achieve? What is success to you? Is it gaining a new audience or repositioning your brand with current customers? Is it building stronger relationships with your employees? 

2. Know Your Audience - The more you understand the profile of your audience the better you'll be able to put into play steps #3, #4, #5.  Building a personae of people you want to reach helps to go beyond traditional demographics to including digital/social behaviors. 

3. Selfless Content - Posts that take the needs of your community into consideration and are aligned with the values of your brand/company.

Mantra to repeat before hitting the publish key:

It's not about me it's about you.

4. Focused Content Direction - Choose a topic that is big enough to give you some flexibity but narrow enough to carve out a niche that sets you apart in the cluttered social media space. Helps if you are passionate or have a high interest in the topic .. to help you sustain over time.

5. Consistency Over Time/Social Platforms - To be The "go to diva or divo" - post several times a day about trends, hard to find information, hot tips, industry news.

To position yourself as a  "thought leader" consider weekly posts using platforms that offer longer formats than Twitter and can be deep linked e.g. blogs, YouTube/Vimeo (video), SlideShare. Content ideas: opinons on industry trends, current issues, interviews with leading experts.  

If you're focused on innovation or a start-up it might mean you become active on the latest shiny toy. Yes, there are times when jumping into the the new is a valid strategy.

6. Community Generosity - Identify your peers, influencers and greatest fans. Join the conversatons where they hangout. Contribute to the discussion with your ideas, links, opinions. Rarely does that mean pitch your product.

If you're in a more conservative world or your end game is to sustain your current positioning, it might mean the tried and true  blogs, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. 

Keep in mind that you do not and never will "own" any social network e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, FourSquare, g+, etc. You are a renter abiding by the rules (terms of service) that can and are changed at the discretion of the network.

The only social media properties you have control over are the blogs, communities, sites you build and host yourself. 

6. Resources - Much as we might like to think that the digital world is a free for all .. if you're using social media as a business strategy keep in mind there is a cost. The price you pay is in time, human capital and yes, hard earned dollars too. 

Determining how your resources will be allocated will save you a few sleepless nights. 

7. Determine Results - Is it working? How will you know (refer to #1)if your end game is met? Think about the metrics that will provide you the greatest insight. Hint: Likes are probably not the best indicator. 

There are at least 27 billion tools (well .. that might be a slight exaggeartion but perhaps not!) to help you track, measure and analyze. Some are free while others can run you some major bucks.

A Few Resources - Tools

Twitonomy - a new fav for Twitter analysis

Curated from Social Media Examiner - 29 Tools

Curated from What's Next Blog - 6 Shiny New Objects You Can Use

He: If it's that easy why the big deal?

Me: Right, this stuff is really not as difficult as say finding the perfect jeans. (Girlfriend, now he began to look puzzled .. but you know what I mean.) But there is one more step that I forgot to mention. Gaping void your a social media specialst so am i

The spice that kicks it up a notch ...pulls it together .. it's the person who builds and implements and ensures that outcomes are met within two cultures -- that of your brand and social web.

The skill set and experience that should be brought to the party grows more sophisticated and complex as social media becomes integrated into a business' DNA. 

Social Media Manager Skill Set

Business experience, marketing experince, strategy understand and in the weeds tactics,  great verbal and written communication, knows how to write for the web, problem solving, analytic skills, expeience in web analytics, understands the concept of digital conversation, continuous learner, generously shares, team player with people of diverse backgrounds, comfortable moving between online and offline environments, creative approach to the mundane and the unexpected, ability to work in a constantly moving world, likes helping people, customer first orientation, understands the concept of selfless content, content curation and creation, importance of multiple devices, understands digital behavior and building community. 

Add to that the working knowlede of mulitple social networks, blogs, the concept of authenticity, transparancy, honesty.

Include an understanding of your brand value and promise and how content and conversations must align but not message or sell within the social web. 

Oh yes .. throw in a little passion for social media and the brand and having fun. 

I think that will do it. 

Post inspired by Amber Kapish and David Munk, Stargayzing.

Graphic credit Zazzle


Trackback url:


What a terrific post Toby! Should be required reading for every business.

Thanks for including me in it!

Posted by: B.L. Ochman on Apr 5, 2013 1:36:40 PM

Thanks @BL. Means a lot especially coming from you .. a social media rock star!

Posted by: Toby @tobydiva on Apr 6, 2013 10:03:56 AM

Great information on social media success this was very helpful!

Posted by: Antony on Apr 10, 2013 1:46:07 PM

I underline "have fun", I think that it is the secret!

Posted by: Mary on Apr 12, 2013 4:53:30 AM

@Anthony - thanks for your kind words. Glad you found value.
@Mary- totally agree!

Posted by: Toby on Apr 17, 2013 9:17:12 PM

Thanks for the post and especially the resources - tools section, maybe my social media efforts will finally improve.

Posted by: Sam H. on Apr 19, 2013 2:12:43 PM

Great post. While all those seven points are important, I believe the key are those that involve interacting with the community. We're talking about social media after all.

Posted by: Richie on Apr 22, 2013 8:50:46 PM

Perfect Steps. These are a must for every social media strategy. A successful social media strategy is the one which achieved it's goal. Like wise the best steps would be to know what your goal is and then analyzing your success with respect to the goal. Tools are very important in the process, they give us better insights about your progress.

Posted by: Dave Thompson on Apr 24, 2013 10:51:15 AM

Thank you for sharing the tools.

Posted by: Jenna S. on Apr 30, 2013 5:00:42 PM

Thanks for the inspiring reading. 100% agree that knowing the audience and avoid being self-centered are important.
We saw countless cases that companies talked way too much about themselves and way too little about their customers / audience in their social or blogs...and ultimately these acts turned people away.

Posted by: Sue Zhang on May 6, 2013 8:33:07 PM

I am taking a marketing/pr course right now and we just studied social media and the power it currently has in the world of marketing. These are such great tips--they are almost identical to those in our textbook!

I had a quick question for you: do you ever think that some companies or organizations use their social media channels too much? For example, we recently looked at a few non-profits who updated their Facebook, Twitter, blog and other channels several times, sometimes 5 or 6, a day. We felt flooded and almost overwhelmed by the amount of information being thrown at followers. Do you ever think social media is over-used, or used to the point where it is no longer successful and clear but rather messy and hard to weed through?

Just wondering your thoughts, thank you again for such a great post!!

Posted by: Talia B. on May 30, 2013 4:08:55 PM

All this 7 steps aren`t ideeas for succes, they are things that are used by social media experts becouse this ideeas have generated the required outcome !

Posted by: Stoian Ciprian on Jun 10, 2013 9:00:14 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.