While reading Claire Diaz Ortiz’s most recent book, Social Media Success for Every Brand, I was struck by the variety of anecdotes and examples she uses throughout the book—from bloggers, small businesses, billion dollar brands, and even the Pope. Despite the huge differences between the business models and audiences for each of these examples, the principles remained the same.
Because Agathon serves two distinct types of clients—WordPress bloggers and custom development projects—many of the posts we write here on the blog intentionally serve one group or the other. However, today’s post is valuable for anyone looking to craft a sustainable and successful social media plan.
While there are plenty of resources out there on this very topic, what sets Social Media Success for Every Brand apart is the way it aligns with Donald Miller’s StoryBrand framework. The basic premise of this framework is that the most effective way to tell your story and connect with prospective customers is by using a story arc. Miller’s contention is every good story—whether it’s a book, movie, play, or marketing campaign—has the same seven elements:
- The character (or hero, who is your “customer”)
- Has a problem
- And meets a guide (that’s you!)
- Who gives them a plan
- And calls them to action
- That helps them avoid failure
- And ends in success
While we don’t have the space to get into the SB7 framework in depth here, I also recommend Donald Miller’s Building a StoryBrand, which dives into those seven principles in detail. However, Social Media Success for Every Brand provides an introduction on each of the seven principles before diving into how they impact your social media marketing.
In addition, Diaz-Ortiz shares her own framework for achieving social media success, the SHARE model:
First, you need to open a story gap: Who is your character/hero? What is their problem? How will you act as a guide who gives them a plan and calls them to action to lead them away from failure to success?
Then, move them up the engagement ladder by providing valuable content. When it’s time, close the story gap and call them to take action.
It’s important to remember most of your social media content will not be direct marketing that results in a sale. Following the Pareto principle,
Use different types of content—both the content itself (i.e. questions, statistics, curated content, etc.) and the medium (i.e. images, video, text)—to keep followers and fans engaged and interested.
Different businesses and organizations will use social media differently. The book includes an evaluation to help you determine which platforms matter most for your brand.
As you’re creating content, pay attention to the when. How does your audience interact during different times of day, days of the week, and seasons of the year? Tailor your content according.
But more important than getting the timing just right is posting consistently. Except, of course, when you use break-taking and pattern disruption to your advantage. 🙂
As with the StoryBrand framework, one of the principles Diaz-Ortiz emphasizes is everything you do on social media should be about your audience and not your brand.
That means presenting your customer/client/user as the hero and making your social media account about them rather than yourself. She reiterates this equation for success: Empathy + Connection = Social Media Engagement.
You can create this engagement by telling great stories, helping others, asking questions, and interacting with your followers.
While most brands want to grow on social media, the key to effective growth is to focus first on your current audience. Creating great content is the foundation for getting more followers. Once you’ve done that, you can use paid advertising, influencer partnerships, and hashtag marketing to draw in new followers and fans.
The guiding principle for your social media marketing strategy should be excellence. How can you create content your followers actually want?
- Be prepared for the unexpected and roll with the punches.
- If you mess up along the way (and you probably will!) own it and keep going.
- Don’t delete or hide negative comments unless they’re truly offensive. Look for opportunities to turn them into positive conversations instead.
While these are the guiding principles of the SHARE model, Diaz-Ortiz spends the bulk of the book walking through how this model applies to each of the main social media platforms. N