The following is an excerpt from “Managing the Social Media Mix” an exclusive whitepaper brought to you by Oracle. Download the exclusive whitepaper now! This white paper provides a step-by-step guide for determining your strategy—and the proper mix of marketing channels—in social media. With it, you can use the time you have to efficiently define a balanced social media mix.

Eight Steps to a Better Social Media Mix

Social media is a continually evolving realm with amazing potential for business communications, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. By following the eight steps outlined in this white paper, you can clearly make decisions about your social media mix and online communications strategy.

1. Gather Your Portfolio
Start by doing a quick inventory of the social media channels that you already use. If you are like most businesses, you will find that you already have different channels set up and managed by different people. Write each channel name on a Sticky Note: one for Twitter, Facebook, the company blog, e-mail, and any other online communications channel you use. (For the moment, don’t worry about social media channels you want to use in the future. Those will be covered in a later step.) Having this data in front of you can help you organize your channels by overall reach.

Figure 1. Gather your portfolio.

2. List Your Content
Inventory the kinds of information that you distribute through your social media channels, such as white papers, status updates, case studies, event information, customer service, and industry discussions. List each content type to make the first column of a table. As you make your list, keep in mind that—beyond different information—there are also different types of conversations you’re trying to foster with each piece of informational material.


Figure 2. List your content.

3. Look Through Four Social Media Lenses
Four lenses—frequency and formality, the condensing funnel, the waterfall, and subscription size—offer different ways for you to look at your communications to generate new ideas and understanding about how social marketing works.

Figure 3. Look through four social media lenses.


Lens 1: Frequency and Formality
On the content list from Step 2, add two columns, “Frequency” and “Formality.”

Frequency means how often you send a communication. Formality means the general level of resource investment the communication requires, how conventional it is, or perhaps how geared toward a strategic audience, response, or result. Frequency and formality tend to be inverse: formal messages go out less often; informal messages, more often.

Rank all your content by frequency and formality. For example, if you have 10 content types, rank each from 1 to 10. Your most frequent communication—say Twitter posts—ranks a 1, second-most frequent ranks a 2, and so on.

Now, rank the formality of each channel 1 through 10, as well. Formality is perhaps tougher to gauge than frequency, but remember, it’s a relative scale. Deciding whether e-mails are more formal than blog posts can start a good, strategic discussion with your team.

Lens 2: The Condensing Funnel
Consider whether or not your content funnels through your communication channels. For example, your organization might tweet everything, blog about industry trends, and use a newsletter mostly for promotions. Thinking of that content in a funnel that leads toward a business goal will highlight how and where content gets redistributed.

Overall, where does your funnel lead readers?

Lens 3: The Waterfall
As you think about the funnel, begin to think of content as a waterfall that runs through it. For example, some tweets may lead to blog posts, and some blog posts may lead to white papers. You want to highlight this flow, because it leads to better content development once you have an online communications strategy in place, as shown in Step 8.

As this relates to the first lens, you’ll see that formality often increases as you move down the waterfall.

Lens 4: Subscription Size
Ranking social media channels in terms of subscribers has a huge impact on your communications strategy, too. It takes time and effort to transition communities across social media, and attrition happens all the time.

Rank your channels by number of subscribers. Write the rankings on the Sticky Notes you made for each channel in Step 1.

 

Download the rest of the whitepaper here.